My Cruise Diary … (Part4)

April 8th 2010 (Thu)

Today was our day at Cabo San Lucas, a place we have heard a lot about. To avoid the fate at Mazatlan, I woke up even earlier and got to see the ship arriving at Cabo. I woke up the family soon after and we all got ready. We were supposed to report for our Cabo Tour (“Boat Ride to Land’s End”) at 8.30AM. This time for breakfast, along with the other “healthy” items, I added one egg, sunny side up. Hey, arent we supposed to have a “heavy” breakfast? 🙂 We had a great view of the Cabo bay from our breakfast table. We noticed that there was another Cruise ship, a slightly smaller one, in the bay (Holland America’s ship). At 8.45AM (after waiting for a few minutes at the Princess Theatre), we were ushered into a “Tender” (the small boats each Cruise Ship has).

The Tender ride was interesting. We all felt the full “force” of the sea. We were soon herded to our Catamaran, for the 45-minute boat ride to the Land’s End. The Tour Guide (a lady) was amused by Joe singing “Wheels on the bus …” at full volume! Looks like the rhyme is popular in “Me-hi-ko” 🙂 Except for the flies, the ride went well. Forget the flies, the views were just out of the world. And the rock formations were just great. I think I must have taken over 500 snaps just there! They served us Pineapple and Orange juice. Note: Photography is not my strength. The photos, I am sure, does not do justice to the views …

A view of the Land's End, Cabo San Lucas ...

We were then taken to a van, for the ride to a restaurant called Da Giorgio, a few miles out of town. From this restaurant, which had great sit-out areas, we could see the Sapphire Princess in the bay. Like a model, in a fashion show, I noticed that the ship kept turning round and round! Was it intentional or was it due to the turbulence?

View of the Cabo bay, from Da Giorgio ... You can see Sapphire Princess and the Holland America ship in the bay ...

Once we got back to the Harbor, I bought some souvenirs from a gift shop. We then sat down for a so-so lunch at an eatery right at the Pier. Though the food wasnt that great, it had nice shade and we could do people-watching at will. After lunch, Rhea pushed us into a huge toy store. We could only come out, after we agreed to buy a Mexican doll for her. Soon after, we boarded the Tender to get back to the Sapphire Princess. I noticed that there was now a 3rd ship in the bay, Coral Princess.

A couple of days earlier, I had applied for the “Ultimate Ship Tour”, which Princess claims is a “lottery”. Only 6 people will be selected from among the 3000 passengers. Today, I receive the letter confirming my selection. One part of me was happy that I got in, the other part of me was thinking, maybe there are only 6 interested people in the whole ship! It costs 150$. To me, it sounded very exciting. Who wouldnt want to see the inner workings of a massive Cruise Ship? The Tour was at 1PM on Friday.

At 1PM, I went to watch an Ice Carving demonstration on Deck14. Two guys were toiling away. I must say, it did not look like dolphins to me! They said it was dolphins, so I guess it must be 🙂 While the family was taking a siesta, I went to Deck15, had a Coco Loco cocktail (Coconut Rum, Coconut Milk, Syrup and Pinapple Juice) while watching the Ship move out of Cabo. I then went for a quick stint at the Gym.

At A338, I watched a movie called “The Core” for a while. I could not understand how Hillary Swank wounded up in this one. At 6.45PM, we went to the Princess Theatre for a show called “Do You Wanna Dance?” . The show was supposedly at 7PM and there were no one there, except for 2 old ladies. I thought that this show must be really unpopular. Then I figured out that the show was at 8.45PM! We walked out and the old ladies told me that they were aware the show is only at 8.45PM. Well, whatever works for them … 🙂

At Horizon Court, I tried Beef Wellington for the first time. The dish was alright, although I did not like the Horseradish Sauce that went with it. There was also some excellent Salmon Pizza. I did not think that fish would have gone well in a pizza. After dinner, we headed back to the Theatre. The show was excellent. They even had an “Indian” piece and I thought the dancers (no one from India) did quite well. The loudest cheers were for the Irish piece though. That was just fantastic.

After the show, the family retired to A338 and I went to Explorer’s Lounge to see the standup routine by Steve Moris (of “The Beach Boys” fame). He played some mean guitar and the Lounge was overflowing with people.

April 9th 2010 (Friday)

Today was our last sea day (last full day of our Cruise). We woke up as late as we could. After yet another massive breakfast, we walked around a bit. At around noon, Rosemary and Joe went for a Cooking Demonstration at the Princess Theatre (after dropping off Rhea at the Pelicans) and I went for the Ship Tour. There were 6 of us, 5 gents and one lady. The Ship Tour Guide, Mike, was excellent and had quite a few interesting stories to tell. We went to the backstage (of the Princess Theatre) and met some of the cast, then went to the Galley and were shown around by the Head Chef. We were given some drinks and chocolates. While standing on the Theatre stage, I could barely stand straight. There was so much shaking (the movement of the Ship)! I could appreciate the performers even more. Next came the storage area, the Laundry area, the Printing area (where all the menus for all the restaurants and the daily Princess fliers were printed), Hospital area and the Control Room. I was most amazed by the Laundry Room (there were a couple of Indian guys, among the 10-odd people toiling away over there). The sheer amount of soiled clothes coming in, was a sight to behold. Each time we soil a towel or table-cloth, it lands up here! No wonder it is recommended (by Princess) that you try and reuse towels atleast a couple of times before asking for it to be washed.

Pardon the poor quality. Lazy me just scanned the official photograph. The 6 of us with the Captain, at the Bridge of the Sapphire Princess ...

We were then taken to the Bridge. We met the Captain, and were provided with Champagne and more snacks. I was very impressed with the Bridge area and felt sorry for the two “lookouts” (two Philippino guys who had to stand for a 4-hour shift and look out for any “danger” (e.g. a whale)). At the Bridge, we were shown around by a Croatian guy (2nd in command). At around 4PM, the tour came to an end.

I then spent a few minutes writing recommendations for the various Princess Staff who treated us very well. After dropping the recommendations off at the Passenger Services, I returned to A338. By this time the Ship was galloping along and there was significantly more shaking. Rosemary was feeling a bit queasy. I was not feeling that great either (my problem was a headache). For dinner, at the Horizon Court, I had my lightest meal of the Cruise (Rice, Salad and an Indian Curry).

We then went to the Princess Theatre and watched a bit of a music show by Steve Moris. Most of the songs were old classics and he was encouraging the crowd to sing along.

Rhea had a Pyjama Party at 8PM. Rosemary got her back at 10PM and by that time myself and Joe were already asleep.

April 10th 2010 (Saturday)

By around 8AM, the Ship arrived at San Pedro. The breakfast was our last meal on the Ship. I did my regular Sausage/Egg routine 🙂 We had finished all the packing beforehand. After breakfast, we went down to our designated area of departure (Deck7, Explorer’s Lounge, for us). By around 9AM, we got out of the Ship. I thought the staff arranged the departure of the guests very well.

Curious Fact: While the passengers enjoy a week-long Cruise, most of the Staff (who are on 6-12-month contracts) have to head back on the next Sapphire Princess Cruise in another few hours! In a span of 2-3 hours they have to clean every area and get the ship in top shape for the next set of 3000 passengers! Imagine doing the same routine over and over for 6 months, with almost no significant breaks in between! I got a lot of inside information (like this) from Mike during the Ship Tour.

Back at LAX (Los Angeles International Airport), after a cab ride with a driver from Grenada (Man, is USA diverse!)), we had some time to kill for our flight was at 1PM only. By around 4PM, we were back home after a truly wonderful Cruise Experience!

It took only a couple of days before my “Travel Juices” started flowing again and I started to look forward to my next adventure!

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