by James Fanning
Jan 28, 2000
My wife Diane and I just returned from a 7 day Mexican Riviera cruise which we both enjoyed very much. While the weather was nippy on deck the seas were calm coming and going. The time in Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan was cool and comfortable unlike June when the humidity starts to rise along with the heat.
Embarkation and debarkation - As usual when you use cruise line air the price from Sacramento is cheaper than arranging your own and paying for ground transportation. Of course you must put up with their pick of flights. AS luck would have it we got a 6:30AM flight which meant a 4AM wake up. Since Sacramento is only a one hour flight. We were in LA and at the luggage pick up by 8AM. We made sure our luggage had arrived though we didn't claim it and went back up stairs to have breakfast. McDonalds is not the best but Pucks was just over priced for what we wanted. By 11AM we had our bags and were waiting for the bus to the pier. Since United Shuttle is the last we were left waiting while full buses passed us by. Finally at noon we got on a bus but their was no room for our bags which stayed on the sidewalk waiting for a later bus. When we got to the terminal their was a huge crowd and we were not on the ship till 2PM. While our boarding was slow the debarkation was held up till after 10AM and we were first off since we took the tour of the Palace Verde Peninsula. We found out later the delay was due to a longshoremen's slow down that was being staged and not customs.
Food - Both Diane and I found the food and dinning room staff to be better than the Destiny which we sailed in October 2000 although we were not so thrilled with the alternate dinning in Tiffany's Bar and Grill which was dry and lifeless the night we went. We only went because early dinning was scheduled at 5:30 which was just to early for us. The Metairie did change our table to one seating ten as I have no desire to sit in the booth where we were assigned. I'm just to large to scoot or squeeze in and can't believe they even have booths aboard Carnival ships. For some reason they always try to assignee me to one and I always have to change even when our booking states no BOOTH
Entertainment- Since the Supper Bowl was on the life boat drill was postponed one day. The way the game went they could have held it anyway. The illusionist Debra Kim was very good and the Elation dancers put on two very energetic shows but the other shows in the Mikado lounge were just run of the mill. It's to bad that the sight lines on Carnival Ships in general are so bad that only those how get in first have unobstructed views and they save all the seats contrary to all announcements. The guitar player in the Drama bar David Davol is really talented and has a huge repartee.
Shore tours - We went on our own and rented a taxi for $30 an hour in Cobo and covered the sights we hadn't seen in this port. In Peurto Vallarta we just went down town and walked around since it was so nice out. I kept warning Diane to watch her step on the uneven sidewalks and I was the one to take a header and was fortunate enough not get hurt as I ended up on my back a culvert. In Mazatlan we went to the Gold Zone and shopper around for a while and drank some beer then rented a cab to see some sights. It all worked out well for us as we've been on this itenerary 4 times and 5 times in Cabo
Ship - We were on the Elation in 1989 and I must say they have taken good care for her. I saw some stains in hall carpets where people had spilled drinks with grenedene which makes a perminet stain . The Elation seems in better shape than the Destiny over all.