2015 Mexican Riviera Cruise – Day 8

Wednesday was our final day at a port (Puerto Vallarta). This would be our best day yet! Prior to the cruise when we first started looking into possible excursions, we were concerned about Jeri’s back and thus we were hesitant to try zip lining and rappelling. Early in the cruise, after talking with some people at the excursion desk, we decided to sign up for it. We’re so glad that did!

We got ready and got off of our ship. Because we had almost an hour prior to departure, we had time to visit a shopping area close by. Fortunately a local told us about golf carts that shuttled back and forth. So we easily saved ourselves a 10-plus minute walk (each way) by hopping on a golf cart. Shopping in these little stores in Mexico is fun because it’s easy to find neat stuff at good prices.

Shopping in Puerto Vallarta. Click photo for full size.
Shopping in Puerto Vallarta. Click photo for full size.

After shopping, we were able to hop on another golf cart back to the ship where we would gather for our excursion.

Traveling by Golf Cart Back to Our Ship. Click photo for full size.
Traveling by Golf Cart Back to Our Ship. Click photo for full size.

Our excursion started with a boat ride to a location south of Puerto Vallarta. Then we boarded the back of a truck, fastened our belts, and held on as we traveled up the mountains to our base camp. The last part of the journey was on unpaved roads.

Looking Out the Back of the Truck as We Traveled. Click photo for full size.
Looking Out the Back of the Truck as We Traveled. Click photo for full size.
A Look Over the Front of the Truck. Click photo for full size.
A Look Over the Front of the Truck. Click photo for full size.
In the Back of the Truck. Click photo for full size.
In the Back of the Truck. Click photo for full size.
Back of the Truck. Click photo for full size.
Back of the Truck. Click photo for full size.

The trip started on paved roads but ended on up on dirt roads. We were held on tight as we were bounced and tossed about.

Truck that Took Us to the Base Camp. Click photo for full size.
Truck that Took Us to the Base Camp. Click photo for full size.

At the camp, we changed clothes and put on our gear.

Jeri Getting Suited Up. Click photo for full size.
Jeri Getting Suited Up. Click photo for full size.
With Our Rappelling Harness. Click photo for full size.
With Our Rappelling Harness. Click photo for full size.

First stop was an orientation session.

Tim Walking to the Orientation Session. Click photo for full size.
Tim Walking to the Orientation Session. Click photo for full size.

Jeri Walking to the Orientation Session. Click photo for full size.
Jeri Walking to the Orientation Session. Click photo for full size.

We listened attentively.

Jeri Listening to the Orientation. Click photo for full size.
Jeri Listening to the Orientation. Click photo for full size.

Tim Listening to the Orientation. Click photo for full size.
Tim Listening to the Orientation. Click photo for full size.

We posed in front of the truck.

Posing in Front of the Truck. Click photo for full size.
Posing in Front of the Truck. Click photo for full size.

Then we were assigned a burro. This was our first time riding an animal! These burros were quite strong and sure-footed carrying us farther up the mountain.

Tim on His Burro. Click photo for full size.
Tim on His Burro. Click photo for full size.

Jeri on Her Burro. Click photo for full size.
Jeri on Her Burro. Click photo for full size.

Once at the top, we hiked a short distance to the first zip line. Jeri went first.

Jeri Ready for Her First Zip. Click photo for full size.
Jeri Ready for Her First Zip. Click photo for full size.

Jeri Zips Down the First Zip Line. Click photo for full size.
Jeri Zips Down the First Zip Line. Click photo for full size.

Then Tim went next.

Tim Prepares for His First Zip. Click photo for full size.
Tim Prepares for His First Zip. Click photo for full size.

Tim Zips Down His First Zip Line. Click photo for full size.
Tim Zips Down His First Zip Line. Click photo for full size.

After a couple of zip lines, we rappelled down besides a waterfall. The scenery was beautiful!

Jeri Rappels. Click photo for full size.
Jeri Rappels. Click photo for full size.

We ended up in the pool at the bottom.

Jeri Rappelling Down Next to the Waterfall. Click photo for full size.
Jeri Rappelling Down Next to the Waterfall. Click photo for full size.

Tim Rappels. Click photo for full size.
Tim Rappels. Click photo for full size.

After some other zip lines, we did our first water slide. Tim sat in front; Jeri was holding on to him from behind.

Coming Down the Water Slide. Click photo for full size.
Coming Down the Water Slide. Click photo for full size.

We slid down the slide right into the water.

Hitting the Water. Click photo for full size.
Hitting the Water. Click photo for full size.

Although we got a face-full of water, we thought it was hilarious and were laughing so hard.

Coming Up for Air. Click photo for full size.
Coming Up for Air. Click photo for full size.

Having a Good Laugh. Click photo for full size.
Having a Good Laugh. Click photo for full size.

Now we were thoroughly soaked.

Thoroughly Soaked. Click photo for full size.
Thoroughly Soaked. Click photo for full size.

Towards the end, we did one zip line upside down.

Ziplining Upside Down. Click photo for full size.
Ziplining Upside Down. Click photo for full size.

Eventually we end up back at the base camp. We picked out our photos. Then we hopped back on the truck for a ride back to the dock.

Leaving the Dock. Click photo for full size.
Leaving the Dock. Click photo for full size.

We take the boat back to the port where our cruise ship was docked.

Returning Back to Port. Click photo for full size.
Returning Back to Port. Click photo for full size.

Passing by the Crown Princess. Click photo for full size.
Passing by the Crown Princess. Click photo for full size.

The guys that took care of us were great. Here they are hamming it up.

Looking Back at the Boat and our Crazy Crew. Click photo for full size.
Looking Back at the Boat and our Crazy Crew. Click photo for full size.

We thoroughly loved the day!

Next Day 9 – At Sea

Cruise Days 1 and 2 – Departure and San Diego
Cruise Day 3 – At Sea
Cruise Day 4 – Cabo San Lucas
Cruise Day 5 – Loreto
Cruise Day 6 – La Paz
Cruise Day 7 – At Sea
Cruise Day 8 – Puerto Vallarta
Cruise Day 9 – At Sea
Cruise Day 10 – At Sea
Cruise Food

2015 Mexican Riviera Cruise – Day 7

Tuesday was another day at sea as we sailed from Loreto to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. In the morning, we watched the movie “Inside Out” on the top deck of the ship. We really enjoyed it.

After Watching the Movie "Inside Out." Click photo for full size.
After Watching the Movie “Inside Out.” Click photo for full size.

In the afternoon, we watched an episode of “Chopped” plus two biographies on the Art channel. One was on Pablo Picasso; the other was on Norman Rockwell. After supper, we saw a musician/comedian Steve Moris in the Explorer’s Lounge. Sometimes he had us laughing so hard that our sides would hurt!

Jeri in the Explorers Lounge. Click photo for full size.
Jeri in the Explorers Lounge. Click photo for full size.

Tim in the Explorers Lounge. Click photo for full size.
Tim in the Explorers Lounge. Click photo for full size.

Next Day 8 – Puerto Vallarta

Cruise Days 1 and 2 – Departure and San Diego
Cruise Day 3 – At Sea
Cruise Day 4 – Cabo San Lucas
Cruise Day 5 – Loreto
Cruise Day 6 – La Paz
Cruise Day 7 – At Sea
Cruise Day 8 – Puerto Vallarta
Cruise Day 9 – At Sea
Cruise Day 10 – At Sea
Cruise Food

2015 Mexican Riviera Cruise – Day 6

What a day! Snorkeling in Loreto was the perfect excursion! We started with a boat ride around Coronado Island.

Jeri Enjoying Our Boat Ride Around Coronado Island. Click photo for full size.
Jeri Enjoying Our Boat Ride Around Coronado Island. Click photo for full size.

Tim Enjoying the Boat Ride Around Coronado Island. Click photo for full size.
Tim Enjoying the Boat Ride Around Coronado Island. Click photo for full size.

We saw sea lions playing.

Sea Lion Playing Near the Boat. Click photo for full size.
Sea Lion Playing Near the Boat. Click photo for full size.

For a while, a pod of dolphins came to our boat and swam along side. Here’s a picture of one.

Dolphin Swimming Alongside of Our Boat. Click photo for full size.
Dolphin Swimming Alongside of Our Boat. Click photo for full size.

The island was formed from volcanic activity. Here is a lava tube.

A Volcano Tube that Looks Like a Big Eye. Click photo for full size.
A Volcano Tube that Looks Like a Big Eye. Click photo for full size.

Here’s a rock formation that looks like King Kong.

King Kong Rock. Click photo for full size.
King Kong Rock. Click photo for full size.

Unlike Saturday at Cabo San Lucas, the water was almost perfectly calm. We could see fish in the clear blue water. After an hour or so on the boat, we made it to the white, soft, sandy beach on the island. The view was idyllic–blue and turquoise water with mountains in the background.

The Beautiful Beach Where We Snorkeled. Click photo for full size.
The Beautiful Beach Where We Snorkeled. Click photo for full size.

Unlike Saturday, snorkeling was so easy! We saw lots of different fish swimming among the coral. While we were around the coral, we could hear a constant crackling sound…kind of like Rice Krispies cereal but only sharper. When we took our lunch break, a fellow snorkeler told us that we were hearing the sound of coral feeding. We saw lots of different fish from tiny to some a foot or more in length. I (Tim) also saw a jellyfish that was about the size of a half dollar in diameter. We both saw a long tubular fish that was over two feet in length.

In the Water After Snorkeling. Click photo for full size.
In the Water After Snorkeling. Click photo for full size.

Such beautiful scenery everywhere!

After snorkeling, we returned to Loreto. Since we still had some free time, we walked around for a while.

With the Crown Princess in the Background. Click photo for full size.
With the Crown Princess in the Background. Click photo for full size.

Jeri in Loreto. Click photo for full size.
Jeri in Loreto. Click photo for full size.

Back on the ship, Jeri ordered a specialty coffee at the International Cafe and we picked up a little snack (roasted vegetables and pecan pie).

Jeri Ordering Coffee at the International Cafe. Click photo for full size.
Jeri Ordering Coffee at the International Cafe. Click photo for full size.

An Afternoon Snack from the International Cafe. Click photo for full size.
An Afternoon Snack from the International Cafe. Click photo for full size.

Next Day 7 – At Sea

Cruise Days 1 and 2 – Departure and San Diego
Cruise Day 3 – At Sea
Cruise Day 4 – Cabo San Lucas
Cruise Day 5 – Loreto
Cruise Day 6 – La Paz
Cruise Day 7 – At Sea
Cruise Day 8 – Puerto Vallarta
Cruise Day 9 – At Sea
Cruise Day 10 – At Sea
Cruise Food

2015 Mexican Riviera Cruise – Day 5

Sunday was the fifth day of our cruise. We docked at La Paz (means “the peace”). Our excursion for the day was a bus trip and tour of Todos Santos (“All Saints”), a town on the other (i.e. Pacific) side of the Baja peninsula.

We boarded a tour bus and drove about over an hour to Todos Santos. Our guide, Guillermo, was entertaining and interesting. We learned some Mexican history and toured the small town. Here we are at the mission.

Jeri and Tim in the Mission in Todos Santos. Click photo for full size.
Jeri and Tim in the Mission in Todos Santos. Click photo for full size.

We found some fun places to shop. The town is known for its artist community.

Tim and Jeri Shopping in Todos Santos. Click photo for full size.
Tim and Jeri Shopping in Todos Santos. Click photo for full size.

We had lunch at The Hotel California which may (or may not) be the source for the song by the Eagles back in the 70s.

Lunch at the Hotel California. Click on photo for full size.
Lunch at the Hotel California. Click on photo for full size.

Tim and Jeri Outside of the Hotel California. Click photo for full size.
Tim and Jeri Outside of the Hotel California. Click photo for full size.

On the bus ride back, Guillermo shared about one of his loves, cacti. We stopped for some pictures next to the cardón cactus (relative of the saguaro). They are among the world’s tallest with some growing up to 70 feet tall.

Standing Next to a Cardon Cactus. Click photo for full size.
Standing Next to a Cardon Cactus. Click photo for full size.

Guillermo, Our Tour Guide Helping Take Photos. Click photo for full size.
Guillermo, Our Tour Guide Helping Take Photos. Click photo for full size.

Next Day 6 – La Paz

Cruise Days 1 and 2 – Departure and San Diego
Cruise Day 3 – At Sea
Cruise Day 4 – Cabo San Lucas
Cruise Day 5 – Loreto
Cruise Day 6 – La Paz
Cruise Day 7 – At Sea
Cruise Day 8 – Puerto Vallarta
Cruise Day 9 – At Sea
Cruise Day 10 – At Sea
Cruise Food

2015 Mexican Riviera Cruise – Day 4

Jeri and I (Tim) woke up Saturday morning expecting to be in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Instead we were treated to the sight of watching us approach Cabo. Cabo San Lucas is at the southern-most tip of the Baja California Peninsula. At the very tip is a rock formation called El Arco (or the Arch). We sailed right past it.

Pacific Ocean Side of Cabo San Lucas. Click photo for full size.
Pacific Ocean Side of Cabo San Lucas. Click photo for full size.
Jeri and Tim Viewing Our Approach to Cabo San Lucas. Click photo for full size.
Jeri and Tim Viewing Our Approach to Cabo San Lucas. Click photo for full size.

After swinging past the tip, the ship came up to Cabo. The captain dropped anchor and announced that because the swells were fairly large (around four or five feet) that the tenders (boats to take us to shore) would be delayed a bit. The day before, Jeri and I signed up for a snorkeling excursion at Cabo San Lucas. After gathering our stuff and checking the checklist multiple times, we headed down to the tenders (which were now running).

Once on shore, since we had an hour or so before our excursion, we stopped at a shop (flea market) very close by. (The shops were in the center of the picture below.)

A View from the Cabo Pier. Click photo for full size.
A View from the Cabo Pier. Click photo for full size.

Jeri Shopping in Cabo. Click photo for full size.
Jeri Shopping in Cabo. Click photo for full size.

We headed back to the pier to meet up for our excursion.

Jeri Waiting for our First Excursion. Click photo for full size.
Jeri Waiting for our First Excursion. Click photo for full size.

We got on the catamaran and headed out on the rough waters. First we headed out towards the famous El Arco (the Arch). On the way, we saw Lover’s Beach and Neptune’s Finger.

Lover's Beach. Click photo for full size.
Lover’s Beach. Click photo for full size.

Neptune's Finger. Click photo for full size.
Neptune’s Finger. Click photo for full size.

Here we are in front of El Arco.

Jeri and Tim in Front of El Arco. Click photo for full size.
Jeri and Tim in Front of El Arco. Click photo for full size.

El Arco. Click photo for full size.
El Arco. Click photo for full size.
A View Through El Arco. Click photo for full size.
A View Through El Arco. Click photo for full size.

We continued sailing to the snorkel site. Due to the high swells, the ride was very rough. Several people on the boat got sea sick (and lost their breakfasts in trash bags). Towards the end, I (Tim) started feeling a bit nauseated.

Tim and Jeri on the Catamaran Heading Out to Snorkel. Click photo for full size.
Tim and Jeri on the Catamaran Heading Out to Snorkel. Click photo for full size.

Here’s where we snorkeled. You can’t tell from the picture but the swells were still coming in and the boat was rocking back and forth.

Area Where We Snorkeled. Click photo for full size.
Area Where We Snorkeled. Click photo for full size.

This was the first time snorkeling for both of us. Although Jeri had a little trouble initially, we both enjoyed seeing colorful fish up close. Even as we floated face down in the water, we were going up and down with the waves. After about 20 or 30 minutes, we got back in the boat and headed back.

Because now we were going with the waves instead of against them, the trip back was a bit better.

On the Catamaran Heading Back. Click photo for full size.
On the Catamaran Heading Back. Click photo for full size.

In this picture, you can see our cruise ship in the background.

Heading Back After Snorkeling. Click photo for full size.
Heading Back After Snorkeling. Click photo for full size.

Finally we boarded the tender to return to our ship.

Tim Ready to Get on the Tender. Click photo for full size.
Tim Ready to Get on the Tender. Click photo for full size.

Jeri Ready to Board the Tender Back to the Ship. Click photo for full size.
Jeri Ready to Board the Tender Back to the Ship. Click photo for full size.

Next Day 5 – Loreto

Cruise Days 1 and 2 – Departure and San Diego
Cruise Day 3 – At Sea
Cruise Day 4 – Cabo San Lucas
Cruise Day 5 – Loreto
Cruise Day 6 – La Paz
Cruise Day 7 – At Sea
Cruise Day 8 – Puerto Vallarta
Cruise Day 9 – At Sea
Cruise Day 10 – At Sea
Cruise Food

2015 Mexican Riviera Cruise – Day 3

Friday was a day at sea as we sailed from San Diego down to Cabo San Lucas. We enjoyed a relaxing day on the ship. In the morning, we saw a fruit and vegetable carving demonstration. The three chefs had some outstanding creations!

Carving a Watermelon into a Flower. Click photo for full size.
Carving a Watermelon into a Flower. Click photo for full size.

A Transformed Watermelon. Click photo for full size.
A Transformed Watermelon. Click photo for full size.
The Fruit and Vegetable Carvings. Click photo for full size.
The Fruit and Vegetable Carvings. Click photo for full size.

This was also our first of two formal nights. I (Tim) bought a new suit just prior to our trip. Before dinner, we got our pictures taken. We were especially pleased with two of the pictures and decided to purchase them.

Formal Night Photo 1. Click photo for full size.
Formal Night Photo 1. Click photo for full size.

Formal Night Photo 2. Click photo for full size.
Formal Night Photo 2. Click photo for full size.

We enjoyed dressing up for a nice sit-down meal. Throughout the cruise, the dessert after the evening meal was always the highlight. The lighting in the restaurant was actually quite low. A long exposure by the camera makes it appear to be bright when it actually wasn’t.

Jeri Enjoying Her Dessert. Click photo for full size.
Jeri Enjoying Her Dessert. Click photo for full size.

Tim Enjoying His Dessert. Click photo for full size.
Tim Enjoying His Dessert. Click photo for full size.

The dessert was Chocolate Raspberry Mouse with Vanilla Crème Brûlée and Crunchy Shortbread. When we first saw the dessert, we were a bit disappointed because we only saw a heart-shaped raspberry cake decorated with chocolate and a raspberry. Boy were we wrong! We were pleasantly surprised when we took a bite and discovered many elegant layers inside. It was fantastic! (Sorry for the grainy photos.)

Chocolate Raspberry Mouse with Vanilla Crème Brûlée and Crunchy Shortbread. Click photo for full size.
Chocolate Raspberry Mouse with Vanilla Crème Brûlée and Crunchy Shortbread. Click photo for full size.

The Inside of the Chocolate Raspberry Mouse. Click photo for full size.
The Inside of the Chocolate Raspberry Mouse. Click photo for full size.

After supper, we went to the Princess Theater for a live song and dance show.

In the Princess Theater Waiting for a Show. Click photo for full size.
In the Princess Theater Waiting for a Show. Click photo for full size.

Next Day 4 – Cabo San Lucas

Cruise Days 1 and 2 – Departure and San Diego
Cruise Day 3 – At Sea
Cruise Day 4 – Cabo San Lucas
Cruise Day 5 – Loreto
Cruise Day 6 – La Paz
Cruise Day 7 – At Sea
Cruise Day 8 – Puerto Vallarta
Cruise Day 9 – At Sea
Cruise Day 10 – At Sea
Cruise Food

2015 Mexican Riviera Cruise – Days 1 and 2

To celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary, Jeri and I (Tim) took our first cruise thanks to our loving, generous children (especially the ones with jobs). Justin and Josiah dropped us off in Long Beach (about a 30-minute drive from home) on Wednesday, September 23rd.

We sailed on the Crown Princess along with over 3,000 other passengers.

While Walking Up to Board the Crown Princess. Click photo for full size.
While Walking Up to Board the Crown Princess. Click photo for full size.

Here’s a picture of our room.

Our Cabin on the Crown Princess. Click photo for full size.
Our Cabin on the Crown Princess. Click photo for full size.

Overnight, we sailed to San Diego which was only a short distance away. We woke up in San Diego Harbor.

Jeri Looking Out from Our Balcony in San Diego. Click photo for full size.
Jeri Looking Out from Our Balcony in San Diego. Click photo for full size.

Here’s view from our balcony. Note the submarine in the picture.

B-39 Submarine in San Diego viewed from our Cruise Ship. Click photo for full size.
B-39 Submarine in San Diego viewed from our Cruise Ship. Click photo for full size.

We explored the ship and found the highest deck.

A Selfie on the Topmost Deck of the Crown Princess. Click photo for full size.
A Selfie on the Topmost Deck of the Crown Princess. Click photo for full size.

Next Day 3 – At Sea

Cruise Days 1 and 2 – Departure and San Diego
Cruise Day 3 – At Sea
Cruise Day 4 – Cabo San Lucas
Cruise Day 5 – Loreto
Cruise Day 6 – La Paz
Cruise Day 7 – At Sea
Cruise Day 8 – Puerto Vallarta
Cruise Day 9 – At Sea
Cruise Day 10 – At Sea
Cruise Food

Labor Day 2015 – Disneyland

Most of the family went to Disneyland on Labor Day this year. Normally our church has a picnic on Memorial Day but canceled this year’s because a lot of people were out of town.

We knew that it was going to be hot and busy so we tried to get there when they opened at 8:00. We were in the park (California Adventure) by 8:15 AM.

We had fun. We did the rollercoaster (California Screamin’). Some did Toy Story Midway Mania; Justin was disappointed that he only had high score of the day and not high score of the month. Some did the Mickey’s Fun Wheel. We all did Grizzly River Run so we could get wet and cool down. Most of us did Soarin’ over California after a Starbucks break.

Toy Story Midway Mania is a fun 3-D shooting game. Here’s Justin with the special glasses.

Justin Ready to Get High Score of the Day on Midway Mania. Click photo for full size.
Justin Ready to Get High Score of the Day on Midway Mania. Click photo for full size.

Victoria got a sweet treat!

Lizzie, Victoria, and Joanna Outside of Ghirardelli. Click photo for full size.
Lizzie, Victoria, and Joanna Outside of Ghirardelli. Click photo for full size.

Half of the group went home before lunch (it was getting hot!). The rest of us planned to catch the Alladin show at 12:40 PM. Since we had over an hour before the show, we headed to Disneyland (remember, we were in California Adventure). Unfortunately the lines were long and the Fast Pass return times were late. So we didn’t do anything in Disneyland except get hot.

We did stop in the Star Wars store. We found an R2D2 outfit that would only cost over $200!

Lizzie with an R2D2 Star Wars outfit. Click photo for full size.
Lizzie with an R2D2 Star Wars outfit. Click photo for full size.

Because Josiah needed to replace his pirate sword, we headed to the Pirates of Caribbean area. Here’s Joanna as a pirate.

Joanna as a Pirate. Click photo for full size.
Joanna as a Pirate. Click photo for full size.

After buying Josiah a sword, we needed to head back for the Aladdin show. We decided to play it “cool” and instead of walk back to the main entrance, we would take the Disneyland train. That was a mistake!

Not only did we have to wait in the hot sun for the train but they didn’t have enough room, so we had to wait for the next train. By the time that we got to the gate, it was too late for the Aladdin show. We had to wait until 2:20 PM for the next show. So we stopped for some lunch and then headed to the show. The show was entertaining as always.

Tim and Josiah at the Aladdin Show. Click photo for full size.
Tim and Josiah at the Aladdin Show. Click photo for full size.
Lizzie, Joanna, and Jeri Ready for the Aladdin Show. Click photo for full size.
Lizzie, Joanna, and Jeri Ready for the Aladdin Show. Click photo for full size.

Joanna took a selfie of our group.

Selfie of Lizzie, Joanna, Jeri, Tim, and Josiah at the Aladdin Show. Click photo for full size.
Selfie of Lizzie, Joanna, Jeri, Tim, and Josiah at the Aladdin Show. Click photo for full size.