Alan and I got to be spoiled rotten in November and go on a cruise. This was the first trip we had left all of the kids and gone somewhere by ourselves in ten years. We loved every minute. We did the seven day Mexican Riviera cruise on the Holland America Line. There were lots of things we loved about that line but one of the best was that it caters to the older crowd. There was a lot of older retired couples and some middle aged couples and even a few families. None of the hard core partiers and crazies. I guess we are most comfortable with that crowd. We had such a relaxing fun time. It was nice to take naps, eat whatever whenever, enjoy sun bathing, reading, being together all the time, the entertainment, getting to know other fun couples, participating in various shipboard competitions and being without kids. It was so nice but hard not to feel a little guilty for leaving our kids and having such a relaxing fabulous time. Every couple should get to do this from time to time. We would really like to get away together much more often than every ten years. It is just so healthy for your relationship. It felt good to just be us and not Mom and Dad. Next time we might like to go with other adult friends or family too.
The ship was beautiful and the food was great. We did have to buy soda for Alan when we got to our first port because Alan refused to pay ship prices for that. The entertainment was so fun. Our favorite was the Elton John impersonator. He was hilarious and a great comedian as well as a great singer and piano player. The piano bar guy was super good too. The ship singing and dancing cast was ok but nothing too special. The magician was so cheesy. He would tell a joke and then turn his head and shake his shoulders up and down and pretend to laugh. His majic was not that impressive either. He did choose me to go up on stage one night though to have my neck pierced with a sword and smoke blown through it. That was fun but I almost punched him when he lit a cigarette and kept bloking smoke in my face. We also loved to go and sit and listen to the string quartet every night. They were excellent. Ship life is quite amazing. It is a floating city that is very compact and totally relaxed. I loved being able to eat all the time. We even ordered free room service at 2 in the morning. I loved running laps around the ship for exercise. That is a little strange with the ship pitching and rolling. My legs were super sore- it was like I was running hills the whole time. I loved having a pool to lay by in the sun and read. I even liked the movement of the ship. You didn't notice it very much except for the first and last nights. The first because it was a new sensation and the last because the sea was rough. We were never nauseaus but it did feel strange to be moving like that. I loved the chance to dress up in formal wear two different nights. Alan didn't love it as much but he didn't complain. We met a really cute older couple that took us polka dancing-much to Alan's chagrin. It was thier 27th cruise and they were adorable. It was great to do whatever you wanted whenever you wanted. We took three naps in one day. I don't think there is much better than a day like that.
The ports were lots of fun too. The first port was Puerto Vallarta. Everyone told us not to purchase an excursion on the boat becuase you will pay almost triple for it than if you just get off the boat and haggle for activities with the locals. Since Alan speaks spanish we were completely comfortable with that. We hired a guy to take us to Lover's beach and for snorkeling equipment the first day. It was beautiful. The weather was perfect and the water was warm. The beach had beautiful white fine sand. It was great to lay out and snorkel and explore the beach. One of our favorite activities to do together s probably people watching. There was plenty of that to do that day. We didn't see a ton of fish snorkeling but there was some pretty ones. That beach was nice because there are no hagglers walking the beach trying to sell things to you constantly. When we got back we found a mall that had a great little restuarant with really great food. I loved my fish tacos with fresh salsa and rice. It was "real" mexican food! Our next port was Mazatlan. We didn't want to spend much money that day so we chose to go to a time share presentation to have our food and taxis paid for. It turned out great. They weren't too pushy and they let us go in the exact time they said they would. We had lunch on them and the yummy pina coladas and then went to the beach. We rented body boards and had a great time riding the waves and playing in the water. Then we layed out in the sun under an umbrella and read. It was a great day. I just couldn't stop thinking how great it was to have a break from kids and the stresses of the past 11 years of school. Our last port was Cabo San Lucas. This one we haggled with a guy and got a great price on a Zip Line tour. We drove in an open bus up the mountain for about an hour and then did about 15 different zip lines over the jungle canopy. It was stunningly beautiful and such a thrill to zoom that high up and for such long distances. Our guides were fun and pretty goofy. They film it and make it into a movie since it is made in the place that Arnold Swarzenegger (sp?) filmed some action film. We of course did not buy the film but we had a great time.
I highly recommend a cruise. You can get them for fantastic prices right now if you are willing to book them two or three days in advance.
Thank you Alan for a wonderful trip!