Panama Canal Trip Part 5

Well here is the last part of the trip, then we can move on to more quilting. It has been fun to relive the trip through these posts though as usually you take the pictures and then just file them away somewhere.

Our next port of call was Puerto Chiapas, Mexico. I had been to this port before and knew that Mexico had done a great job of fixing the port up and so Mom and I decided not to do an excursion but just take it easy.

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The above are photos of the scenery as the ship headed into dock at the port of Puerto Chiapas. At the port they have shops and a central sunken dance floor (sorry I only have videos of the dances and I still need to move my WordPress account before I can do video). The dance floor showcases local entertainment. I feel sorry for the entertainers they go for a long time and there is no air conditioning in the building so it is very HOT. The port has also included a bar/restaurant and a swimming pool which can be used by the ship passengers. Mom and I toured the shops and watched the dancing for awhile before Mom went back to the ship and I joined up with my friends I had met on board the ship. We walked around the grounds, then went for a drink and a swim in the bar and pool provided. It was a nice relaxing day.

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The next stop was Huatulco Mexico. I love this place! I have been there several times now and have even stayed and toured in the area. This is a truly beautiful spot with shops, restaurants, a market and beach great for swimming, all steps from the pier where the cruise ships tie up. Mom and I elected to just walk around and visit the market in the morning. We went back on board the ship for lunch and then back out to the beach for an afternoon swim.

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Here is the beach, the photo was taken as we were docking.

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The area is known for its weaving. This loom is set up outside of a shop but they lost out on a sale as they don’t take credit cards. I realize that there is a commission but how short sighted, tourists aren’t going to be walking around with wads of cash on them to purchase expensive hand woven rugs. It turns out the store doesn’t have a web site even, just think of the sales they could generate if they started doing social media, online sales and accepting credit cards. They lost $100.00 for a 4% commission.

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A look back at the ships tied up.

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Mom enjoying a swim. The water was exactly the right temperature for a refreshing dip too.

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The next two days were sea days and the ship welcomed a group of Mexican entertainers on board. This was actually really fun, they gave Spanish lessons, lunchtime performances and also gave dance lessons in the afternoon. They stayed on board until we docked in San Diego.

Our next port of call was Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

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Views of Puerto Vallarta from the ship as we docked.

Mom and I have both been to Puerto Vallarta a few times so we decided to just check out the market within walking distance of where we were docked and then went back on board ship and enjoyed spending time by the pool and in the spa. That evening I had an unexpected opportunity to go to the Rhythms of the Night show. My friends had tickets however one couldn’t make it so offered me the opportunity. At the time we didn’t realize that the reason this person couldn’t make it was quite serious or otherwise neither Tom or I would have gone. The show was excellent though and I highly recommend it if you ever get the chance and our in Puerto Vallarta.

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You are taken on a boat ride to an island and are greeted my a mermaid.

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They also host day trips here hence the hammocks set up for relaxing.

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Characters dressed up as you walk to the open air theater.

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Some of the before show performers.

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Little islands you can swim out to when you are there in the daytime.

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The show included a buffet dinner after the performance.

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The sunset on the way back to the pier. It turns out I had to say an early goodbye to my new friend Tom and I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to his sister. There is a story here however it is not my story to tell.

The next two days were at sea where we just lazed around in the spa and by the pool catching up on more reading. The last port of call for this leg of the journey was San Diego. Here we were saying goodbye to 800 passengers and hello to 900 new ones while a good many of us stayed on to sail back to Victoria.

Holland America did a really, really bad job of this transition. I won’t go into details however the lack of communication and organization at this port was really horrible.

Mom was not feeling well so she decided to stay on board. I was getting cabin fever so decided to venture out on my own. I was told I didn’t need a passport so got all the way off and ran into some friends on the way out but didn’t get far before being told I did indeed need my passport. The only port in the whole trip I needed it! Anyway I went back on got it and my friends (from our table at dinner) had waited for me so I didn’t have to go touring on my own. I thought that was wonderful.

I have been to San Diego numerous times but had never toured the USS Midway which is now a museum so the three of us wandered over that way. Wow we were there for hours and still did not see the whole thing.

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I took this from the flight deck on the USS Midway, you can see the Nieuw Amsterdam just across the way.

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San Diego as we are leaving port.

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Sea lions basking in the sun.

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The lighting is bad here but here is Mom and I dressed for dinner on our last night on board ship.

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We had another two days at sea and then home to Victoria!!

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Just clearing the breakwater on our very last leg of our journey.

It was a great trip and Mom and I really enjoyed ourselves but I have to admit I was so glad to see our familiar coastline and know we were home.

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