Posted by: gardner310 | May 17, 2009

Mexico Musings


Lunch on Progreso's beach with other crew

Lunch on Progreso's beach with other crew

VeracruzSorry I have been out of touch.  The long cruise turned a bit chaotic with the arrival of the swine flu in Mexico.  As usual, it turned out to be media driven but we had to avoid all of our western Mexican ports.  This meant replacing the ports on a last minute basis and having the guests change all their shore excursions.  As a whole it worked out okay wit the guests pretty happy with the decisions that were made.  No illness on board at all, all disembarked healthy in LA or Vancouver.  I will try to fill in the blanks.



We just finished the first week of our 21 day crossing from Ft. Lauderdale to Vancouver.  Our ship is loaded with Canadians going home and they are enjoying that fact.  One less flight for them.

We are hearing more and more about how people absolutely hate flying anymore and are looking for  home ports for cruising.  It’s not even the cost but the hassle that they are looking to avoid.  If they have to fly they want the shortest duration they can get.  The airlines and TSA have made it very uncomfortable to get from A to B.

This cruise we visited 3 new ports for me-Veracruz, Dos Bocas and Progreso.  Veracruz was just a delightful surprise.  It is a modern city with a lot of history, very clean and with a beautiful docking area.  These were all “first calls” for the ship so we had the local dignitaries arrive for ceremonies that both awarded and received plaques.  Lots of music and dancing and of course, vendors.  We had a welcoming committee and a great sail away experience with thousands of the town folks out to wave goodbye. 

In Veracruz I was stopped by 3 local high school students who wanted to practice English.  They were attending a vocational school, studying tourism and had a lot of very intelligent questions.  Their English was very good and they were pleased when I confirmed that to them.  They were enjoying talking to the guests and discovering the different nationalities on board.  I was the first crew member they stopped and they were very interested in the way things operate.  It was great fun talking to  them and seeing their enthusiasm at being able to see the ship and meet the people.

Dos Bocas was the gateway to Villahermosa in the state of Tabasco.  The most popular shore excursion was the one to Palenque, the ruins.  We had great comments on that trip as well as a few minor injuries with people tripping over rocks.  I went into the city of Villahermosa to see the Olmec artifacts in the Museo and it was a lovely trip.  The Museo is set up in a jungle environment with wild kota mundi browsing all over.  I had one so curious he came right up to my shoes.  Think Mexicans raccoons and you will get a pretty good idea of what they are like.

The last stop to date was Progreso and it is the gateway to Merida and the Yucatan.  I did not go on tour but went with 5 of our fellow crew to a beach restaurant an had some wonderful camerones a ajo (shrimp with garlic).  The day was gorgeous and the water a beautiful shade of blue so we thoroughly enjoyed our break from the Lido.

We have been at sea for 2 days and it has been on the rocky side with the ship creaking like the old lady I am.  Everyone is having a grand time, though, and looking forward to Cartegena, Columbia our next port.  Thanks for following me to South America.  I will report in on the state of the state of Columbia.

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