Dale and I just returned from New York City where we joined the 3-Day Inaugural Read more →
Tagged: Mexico RSS
Suddenly 2011 is at an end. It’s that strange time when I seem to be simultaneously full of reflection and full of dreams for the future. I’ll write about the future next week (which, as it happens, is the future…).
2011 was a great year for cruising—both for me and for many of my friends. I know from checking out your profiles that it was good for many MMOB friends who I haven’t met yet. My cruise memories include:
- A ride on the Love Boat. Well, not really…but if I twist it enough ways I can say that Holland America is owned by Carnival Corp. which also owns Princess…so sailing Holland America on the Mexican Riviera (the classic Love Boat region) is sort of the same idea! The trip was last March on the Oosterdam*, and the best part, as with many cruises, was meeting new friends—including guys from MeetMeOnBoard.com. I’m proud to say that my partner and I had a MMOB success story—we e-met Jimmi and Kevinbefore our cruise, connected with them and became friends on board, and have been out to dinner with them since…when they came through Vancouver on (another) cruise. That’s what this site is really all about—connecting gay people who love to cruise. I’m proud to say it works.We met lots of other great gay guys and a few gals on that cruise. The ship was pleasant and lots of fun—and much credit for that goes to the inimitable Randall Powell, piano man extraordinaire! Randall made sure we had lots of great LGBT meet ups and that everyone got introduced. Unfortunately for cruisers, Randall is not on the ships anymore.
Raising the bar on cruising. They say once you’ve flown first class, it’s hard to return to coach. Well, I’ve now cruised at a new level—on the fabulous Azamara Quest. That trip has decidedly raised the bar. The level of service was beyond expectations, the food was beyond expectations, the ship was gorgeous, and best of all it only carries about 700 passengers for a more intimate experience. And those passengers seemed to be more sophisticated than many of the folks I meet aboard big, mass-market ships (not snobby, just interesting). I absolutely loved this trip.* This was also my first cruise outside of North America, and I enjoyed the Italian, Croatian, and Montenegran ports.The gay quotient on that trip was decidedly smaller—and the LGBT meet ups were sparsely attended. We did meet a few gay guys, and overall the ship seemed gay-friendly. A particular highlight was Denni and I slow dancing together, in the middle of all the straight folks. No one batted an eye!
A mini-cruise in Alaska. I should be ashamed of myself—I live in Vancouver but have never taken an Alaska cruise. I was lucky to go to Alaska on business last summer, and took a day cruise* to Prince William Sound. Seeing the glaciers there was awesome. There were lesbians on board, and it was a reminder that when you can’t get a full cruise “fix,” a mini-cruise can come to the rescue!
Happy Old Year, so long 2011…
*Note: as is customary in the professional travel writing industry, the author received complimentary travel on Holland America, Azamara, and Prince William Sound Glacier Cruises. The author strives to remain unbiased in his reviews. Please see our full disclosure statement here.
Jimmi is discussing. Toggle Comments
I’m not toally sure what this means, but apparently cruisers are wanting more exotic destinations. Royal
Caribbean announced today that they are pulling their Mariner of the Seas off the Mexican Riviera, without much explanation, and moving it to European itineraries. They are offering a package to guests already booked on the Mariner‘s Mexico itineraries.
I’m rather perplexed by this move, and will do further research. What do you think?
________ROYAL CARIBBEAN ANNOUNCES NEW 2011-12 DEPLOYMENT FOR MARINER OF THE SEASMariner of the Seas to Augment Record-setting Europe Deployment in 2011MIAMI, April 22, 2010 – Royal Caribbean International today announced the redeployment of Mariner of the Seas, which will take effect in January 2011. Mariner of the Seas will offer a short South America season before debuting in the Mediterranean as Royal Caribbean’s record-setting 11th ship in the region for summer 2011. Mariner of the Seas will homeport at Rome (Civitavecchia) from March through October 2011, replacing Splendour of the Seas, which will now homeport in Venice, offering 10- and 11-night Greek Isles and Turkey itineraries for the season. Mariner of the Seas will then return to North America for the 2011-12 winter season, offering seven-night Western Caribbean itineraries from Galveston, Texas, replacing Voyager of the Seas. As a result, Voyager of the Seas will herald Royal Caribbean’s return to New Orleans in winter 2011-12, offering vacationers another Gulf Coast port to embark on a memorable seven-night Western Caribbean cruise.The Mexican Riviera has traditionally been an important market for Royal Caribbean International, with the Port of Los Angeles and Mexican local, state and federal government agencies, and their private sectors playing a supportive role as valued partners. While Royal Caribbean International looks forward to returning to the region in the future, Mariner of the Seas will sail its final round-trip Mexican Riviera itinerary from Los Angeles on January 9, 2011.Guests currently booked on Mariner of the Seas’ Mexican Riviera sailings from January 16, 2011, and onward will be contacted with the following offer. Until May 6, 2010, affected guests can opt for a full refund of any fares paid, or enjoy $200 onboard credit per stateroom ($400 per suite category stateroom) when they rebook their vacation, at the same fare or lower prevailing fare, on a Mariner of the Seas sailing before January 16, 2011, or on the same 2011 departure date aboard Voyager of the Seas, sailing from Galveston. Travel agents also will receive a $50 bonus commission for rebooking affected clients, whose names and deposits have been submitted, to these Mariner of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas sailings. More information is available at http://www.RoyalCaribbean.com/MarinerOfTheSeasRedeployment.On January 16, 2011, Mariner of the Seas will reposition from Los Angeles on a 16-night itinerary to Valparaiso, Chile, followed by a 14-night voyage that cruises the Straits of Magellan and Cape Horn at the southern tip of South America to Sao Paulo (Santos), Brazil. The ship will then offer a short Brazilian cruise season, before crossing the Atlantic to debut in Europe at its new seasonal homeport of Rome (Civitavecchia), where Mariner of the Seas will sail seven-night Western Mediterranean and 12-night Mediterranean Holy Land and Mediterranean Egypt itineraries. In November 2011, Mariner of the Seas will debut at Galveston to offer Texas vacationers two roundtrip seven-night Western Caribbean itineraries through April 2012. Mariner of the Seas’ new 2011 Europe and South America, and 2011-12 Western Caribbean itineraries, Splendour of the Seas’ new 2011 Europe itineraries, and Voyager of the Seas’ new 2011-12 Western Caribbean itineraries will be opened for booking in the near future.Guests aboard Mariner of the Seas’ new 2011 Holy Land itineraries can choose a variety of shore excursion options, at an additional charge, that visit some of the most sacred sites in Israel, including Bethlehem, Nazareth, the Wailing Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and many others. “Grand Overland” takes guests on the most comprehensive overview of this fascinating region with an overnight stay in Jerusalem. On the Egypt cruises, “Grand Egypt Tour” offers guests a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit the awe-inspiring Pyramids and mysterious Sphinx at Cairo, and the Valley of the Kings in Luxor. Guests also should not miss the largest collection of Roman ruins in the eastern Mediterranean and the iconic Library of Celsius on “Best of Ephesus.”
Dee, Paul, Steve and one other person are discussing. Toggle Comments
This town is a small quaint fishing village nestled in a picturesque bay. It was great to spend the day here after bustling around Acapulco. The lack of the big city intensity was welcome and the locals were warm and friendly.
This is a very convenient destination since the pier is literally next to the village. At about 1 mile square, there is no need to rent a taxi to get around. In the center of town you can find the Mercado where you will be able to find any souvenir that you might be interested in purchasing at a much lower cost than the shops next to the pier. We always stock up on Vanilla when we’re in Mexico and at 50¢ per bottle, how can you go wrong?
The group that I’m traveling with decided this was the town to get and authentic Mexican meal. We asked a local resident where we could find a restaurant that isn’t touristy and is popular with the locals. She directed us to La Gabo where we dined on fish tacos and has some of the best Margaritas ever. While most of the the cruise passengers ate at the expensive restaurants next to the pier and beach, taking this 4 block walk into the heart of the town proved to be well worth it.
It’s once again sailing time. Onward to Manzanillo!
The sounds of ukuleles fades farther away as the Mercury continues toward Ensenada, Mexico. We’ve got 72 hours at sea before that happens.
Tonight is Celebrity’s version of Dancing with the Stars, and two gay guys are participating—one is our pal who owns a dance studio in Canada, the other is one of the onboard professional dancers. Unfortunately, they’re not dancing together…
We’ve continued to enjoy getting to know our new MeetMeOnBoard.com pals Mike & Joey. I think I told you that because of our MMOB pre-cruise connection, we all arranged to sit together at dinner. Nice.
Signing off…the string quartet is about to play in the Cova Café and I want to enjoy them…cruising is great. Book one—prices are super-low right now! And invite me along!!
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