Cabo San Lucas. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The two of us enjoyed a 7 day vacation to Mexico aboard the cruise ship Carnival Miracle. Leaving the Los Angeles port of Long Beach, our seven day cruise would spend the first three days at sea, where we enjoyed sun, food and fun, before docking on the western coast of Mexico at Puerto Vallarta. We enjoyed beaches, shopping, a night-time dinner and show, and spent the night in port on board the ship. We took an excursion to the Marietas islands to see wild dolphins, enjoy snorkeling and kayaking. The next day we landed at Cabo San Lucas, where we enjoyed the cliffs and beaches of Lands End, swam at a beach resort, and explored the city. Our final day at sea returned us to Los Angeles. This is our 7 day Mexican cruise to Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta aboard the Carnival Miracle. That’s the regular line. Scott: That’s the regular line? Clerk: Is your party all here? Scott: Yeah, just two of us. Wow, that was worth it, just to not stand in that line. I feel like it was well spent now. Scott: Oh, it’s nice in here. Scott: An honest-to-goodness balcony. After boarding, we headed to the Lido deck to enjoy the buffet. The dining room was decorated with busts of British naval admirals and inspirational slogans. “Revenge” We rode the glass atrium elevator and explored the ship as much as we could before the mandatory safety briefing and muster drill. Over loudspeaker: All guest must participate. We will have crew members walking around guest areas and knocking on stateroom doors to ensure that all guests are participating. This is not the time to play hide-and-seek everyone. We will find you! We’re heading out! Escorted by the police. We’re going to go explore the boat a little bit more, and then, we’re going to go get some dinner! Alright, going up! After seeing much of what the ship had to
offer topside, we took in Carnival’s Welcome Aboard show and then went to dinner in the Bacchus dining room. Later, outside on the deck, we watched the sun disappear out across the Pacific. Day 2 aboard the Carnival Miracle, and thank goodness for the Sea Day brunch, that continued serving until 1 pm. We weren’t exactly the last ones to arrive, but we were glad we came in time for the best steak on the cruise, served with eggs. Scott: See, that is a … Krista: That’s what’s bothering me a little bit. Which way is it going? I’m sure towards us. We left a Shopping Ashore show, which was all about Tanzanite, and we returned to our stateroom. Here we found a folded towel animal, tickets for our shore excursions, and, even better, a football game! The Cowboys game is on! It wasn’t downstairs, but it’s on, in the room! Tea Time! At 3 pm we attended tea time with 50 or so other cruisers for herbal tea and the best chocolate cake of the week. This is true love: to leave your Cowboys game and come to Tea Time with your wife? Yes. After Tea Time we went upstairs to the spa for a couples massage. Just got back from the massage, feeling loose. — Feeling good. Oh yeah, it’s formal night. We’ve got to get dressed up. — Maybe. We’ve got to look at the schedule here. It is formal night and we’re going to that place with all the grapes. Yeah, the Bacchus? I’ve heard that word before. The Roman god of wine, eating, celebration and debauchery. After dinner, we enjoyed comedy and musical review shows. Day 3 and even more of the same. This is my new cruise ship hack, is that you shouldn’t go to Tea Time and have four cups of tea, and then get a massage. We attended an art auction, missed out on a salsa class, and learned to dance ‘Thriller’ instead. We chose wisely! We watched a magician eat balloons, cooled off in the ship’s pool, went back to Tea Time for more cake, — Good, thank you. Do you have anything chocolate? and tracked our favorite hurricane. Scott: Clear skies where we are, but … Krista: Well, we’re going south and it’s going north. — Nobody on the boat seems too concerned. But, then the people on the Titanic weren’t too concerned about icebergs, either. — Oh, thanks, Scott. We did some shopping on board, watched for dolphins from our balcony, Definitely a hammerhead shark, though! and sat out on the deck at sunset. We finished out the evening with dinner, comedians, and a show. [mariachi band plays] We just got off the boat in Puerto Vallarta. We were greeted by señoritas, and parrots and a mariachi band. We left the shops at the dock to explore the beach next door and the beautiful seaside resorts. It wasn’t a great idea, because we got chased off by security for not having wristbands. We walked a short distance to Walmart, where we browsed for souvenirs and sodas. Scott: You got the lemon one. And it’s really good. This evening, Krista and I left the ship again
for a shore excursion. We boarded a catamaran which crossed Banderas Bay at sunset. Our destination: the seaside jungle resort of Las Caletas, where we disembarked, and were greeted by a mermaid, a warrior, a jaguar, and a tree monster. [surprised shouts and laughter] We were lead to an amphitheater, where we were entertained by a medicine man while we waited for a show of music, dance and pageantry. After the show, we enjoyed a candle-lit buffet dinner, served in the night-time jungle, high above the waves below. Waiting for the return boat, we watched fish dancing in the dock’s illuminated waters. Okay maybe the big fish were terrorizing the little fish. We returned to the ship, and spent the night on board while the ship remained docked in Puerto Vallarta. We were up early this morning in Puerto Vallarta for an excursion to the Marietas, a small group of uninhabited volcanic islands, located an hour’s boat ride from Puerto Vallarta. We ate breakfast on the catamaran and watched as overhead fishing seabirds followed our boat and plunged into the waters all around us. Oh, wow! We reviewed important Spanish words we might need while snorkeling. Toblerone are a brand of chocolate. ‘Tiburón’ is a shark. The crew entertained us with music and song and showed us how to wear our masks and life jackets. Blue-footed boobies greeted us overhead at the sheer volcanic cliffs of the Marietas. The boat anchored just offshore and we prepared to do some snorkeling. I’m ready. — Are you getting in this shark-y water? He said it’s dolphin-y water. — Dolphin-y water? — I’m believing his lies. It’s so nice! — Yeah, it’s not cold at all! After swimming and seeing lots of fish, we tried kayaking. — Hey, turn around and say hi to me! Hi! We’re on a kayak! A small open launch took us to the other of the two main islands to see Hidden Beach, a small, beautiful, protected beach that can be seen only at low tide. We had unknowingly booked a high tide excursion, but we did get to see a baby blue-footed booby. Lunch started while we were gone. That was a pretty fun day. — It was a really fun day. I mean, I think I could go home and go to bed now and be just fine. — but we’re not going to! Returning to Puerto Vallarta, our boat’s wake was chased by a pod of dolphins, blue-footed boobies dove into the water all around us in search of fish, and the crew led a dance party on the bow of the catamaran. Cabo San Lucas, a resort city at the southernmost tip of the Baja California peninsula. Arriving this morning after cruising through the night, we left the ship to board a tender with other passengers, which would carry us in to the harbor and marina. We joined a commercial excursion, — I hope so, too! which took us first by catamaran out to see the Land’s End Promontory, site of El Arco de Cabo San Lucas, a distinctive rock formation and natural archway carved into the seacliffs by erosion. It’s a gathering place for both tourists and sea lions. [sea lions barking] It’s supposedly the point where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean. Around the corner we saw the famous Playa del Amor: Lover’s Beach, but we didn’t get to land there. A little pineapple juice in the morning. A little shot of sugar on an empty stomach. Back at the marina, we loaded into vans that surely weren’t intended to hold as many of us as they did. Fifteen in this little van? This is pretty snug. The vans dropped us off at the Casa Dorada Resort at Medano Beach, not far from the marina, where our wristbands entitled us to a light Mexican lunch in the seaside cafe. — How’s your chicken taquitos? Very good. After some limeade served under a beach chair umbrella, we were ready for a swim in the ocean. Woo! That’s refreshing! Our wristbands allowed us to use the beachside showers, which was a nice luxury. Soon we were back in the mini-micro-vans. We traveled to the city center for shopping and exploration. We browsed through the commercial center of Cabo San Lucas, returning to the marina by foot to board a tender back to the ship. The promise of great weather greeted us early on the morning of day 7, as the Carnival Miracle returned north, back to where we started, along the western coast of Mexico. It was our last day on the cruise, a full day at sea, and we took advantage of the Seaday Brunch. — steak and eggs … We checked out what was for sale in the ship’s shops on the last day, when they drop their prices, and we checked out places on the ship we hadn’t been, like the library and the chapel. — I’m gonna say there are more people in the casino. We returned to the spa and soaked in the surprisingly empty hot tub. The water feels really good. We met a family of turtles on our way to a well-attended class on how to make those folded towel animals our steward kept leaving on our stateroom bed. We collected enticing things from the Chocolate Extravagana buffet We cheered at a game show, returned to Tea Time looking for that chocolate cake we remembered but still hadn’t found again. I’ve got to say: it’s not about the tea! Tonight, we tried out appetizers we hadn’t before with dinner and finished out the night with a comedian. The following morning we were back in Long Beach, California, and it was time to leave the ship, but not before hitting the breakfast buffet on the Lido Deck. When our number was called, we left the Carnival Miracle and headed home. We had enjoyed a great time on the ship and visited some memorable places in the Mexican ports of Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas. It was a great week spent together.