Here we are again, off on another cruise! This time it will be taking us to a warmer climate, along with it being during New Years', which happened on-board about halfway through the journey. I would say it is hard to compare to Alaska, two different experiences, each of which different in there own ways.
About the Ship
During this cruise we where with Princess Cruise Lines, aboard their Golden Princess ship. This vessel was built by Fincantieri, Monfalacone, Italy in 2001.
Los Angeles to Puerto Vallarta 1111 Nautical Miles at 18.4 Knots
Puerto Vallarta to Mazatlan 186 Nautical Miles at 15.6 Knots
Mazatlan to Cabo San Lucas 194 Nautical Miles at 14.8 Knots
Cabo San Lucas to Los Angeles 819 Nautical Miles at 20.3 Knots
Total Distance Travelled: 2310 Nautical Miles = 4273 Kilometers
(1 Nautical Mile = 1.15 Statute Miles = 1.85 Kilometers)
Captain Bob Oliver
Staff Captain Todd McBain (2nd in Command, Head of Deck Department)
Senior First Officer Giacomo Genovese (Senior Officer of the Watch)
First Officer Von Michael Pfaler (Senior Officer of the Watch (Navigator))
Senior Second Officer Maciej Siwiec (Senior Officer at the Watch)
Second Officer Daniel Company (Senior Officer at the Watch)
Third Officer Tom Schofield (Junior Officer at the Watch)
Third Officer Angelo Chiaia (Junior Officer at the Watch)
Third Officer Krishnan Sivanand (Junior Officer at the Watch)
Third Officer Adam Mordaunt (Junior Officer at the Watch)
Deck Cadet Rocco Carida (Deck Cadet)
Staff Captain Todd McBain
Chief Technical Officer Andrew Carney
Staff Engineer Pietro Donato
Staff Electro-Technical Officer Giorgio Lacchini
Passenger Services Director Ivano Calandri
Senior Doctor Jackobus Bosch
Cruise Director Richard Joseph
Staff Purser Administration Jonathan Nuttall
First Purser Food & Beverages Rudi Lainer
Executive Chef Paolo Merio
Maitre d'Hotel Mario Paopato
Accommodation Manager Luis Destua Jr.
Employee of the Month Giovanni Arimado (Captain Steward)
Day 1 - Saturday December 29, 2007 Los Angeles
It was the morning of December 29, 2009. We had went to Disneyland the day before, so we woke up that morning in lovely Anaheim, California.
Following the shuttle from Anaheim into Los Angeles' Cruise Terminal, we embark onto the ship and our cruise begins!
Well departing the Harbour, we were granted with an amazing sunset in-front of the ship, which gave a really beautiful view of the port behind us.
16:00, All passengers were on board, with all pre-departure checks satisfied
16:05 - All lines gone, vessel thrusting off berth
16:50 - Los Angeles Pilot disembarks, and vessel sails on southeasterly courses towards the Mexican Riviera
- Martini of the Day - Flamingo ($8.95)
- Movie of the Night - Evan Almighty, Vista Lounge, Deck 7
- Tonight's Entertainment was Piano Entertainer, Roger Carr, Princess Theater, Deck 7
- Deck 7, Explorers Lounge, 21:45 Onwards, Welcome Aboard Dance
- Deck 18, Skywalkers NightClub, 22:00 - 0:00, Classic 80s Music
Day 2 - December 30, 2007
Day 2, first full day of cruising! Throughout the night, the Golden Princess maintained southeasterly courses parallel to the Mexican Riviera. At 02:00 the ship's clocks were advanced 1 hour to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) -7
At Noon today, the ship's position was at, Latutude 28° 10' .3 N 116° 00' .2 W
The weather to day was about 16° C, Winds Northerly 15 Knots, and 1021.6 mb Barometer, with calm ripping seas and the sky was partly cloudly.
Yesterday afternoon the Golden Princess slipped her lines and maneuvered clear of berth 93 of San Pedro Harbor. Soon after clearing the breakwater the local pilot was disembarked and Golden Princess entered the southern Traffic Seperations Scheme Southbound for Puerto Vallarta. In the late evening, she crossed the border between the United States of America and Mexico and maintained south easterly courses throughout the night.
'Dancing Through the Decades'
Deck 7, Explorer's Lounge
- Martini of the Day - Cosmopolitan ($8.75)
- Move of the Day - Motor City
- Deal of the Day - Free 8x10 Photo Album or scrapbook with 5 pre-selected stock pictures
- Late Night Movie, Deck 7, Princess Theatre, 23:45, The Bourne Ultimatum
- Tonight's Entertainment was cabaret Showtime, Starring Steve Bruner
- Deck 7, Promenade Bar
- 21:00 Roger Carr
- 22:15, Name That Tune
- 21:00 Roger Carr
- Deck 12, SkyWalkers NightClub, 22:00, The Sounds of the 70s
- Deck 6, Atlantis Casino, 11:30, Slot Clinic
- 13:00 - 16:00, $500 Wildcard Slot Tournament
- Deck 7, Wheelhouse, 11:30, Morning Trivia Challenge
- Deck 7, Vista Lounge, 14:00, Ballroom for Beginners
Day 3 - Monday December 31, 2007 - New Years' Eve
Today is the big day, its New Years' Eve!! Time it end 2007 and start with 2008. We continued following our southeasterly courses towards Puerto Vallarta. The Weather has started to warm up quite a bit, with the Temperature reaching a tropical 22° Celsius, with 18 knot Northeasterly winds, as it was Partly Cloudy: Made for another great day of cruising!
During the night, Golden Princess continued following south easterly courses bound for Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. In the Morning the Golden Princess will pass Cabo San Lucas on her port side at a distance of 3 Nautical Miles...
- Martini of the Day - Toasted Almond ($8.75)
- Tonight's Show was A Magic and Illusion Spectacular Starring the Incredible Talents of Gaetano, Princess Theatre
- 05:51 The Vessel was abeam Cabo San Lazaro on the port side off the Baja Peninsula
- Deck 5, Atrium Plaza, 10:15, Fruit & Vegetable Carving Demostration
- Desk 14, Neptune's Reef & Pool, 12:30, Martini and Cocktail Demo
- Deck 7, Explorer's Lounge, 14:00, Art Auction Extravaganza
- Deck 14, 23:15 Onwards, "The Coolest Celebration on the Hottest Night of the Year"
New Years' Eve
Day 4 - Tuesday January 1, 2008 Puerto Vallarta
The first morning of the New Year brought us into the harbour Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. As the sun rose, and we all started to awake and come to relive all the bad choices the night before, it was a beautiful Mexican morning! The sun was out glistening over the deep blues of the habour with a lovely temperature of 24° Celsius. Made for a great day to get off the ship and tour Puerto Vallarta or go on a cruise excursion.
A small and remote agricultural village until the early 1960s, it is one of the fastest-growing seaside resorts in North America. Its resident population us approximately 250,000, a figure that swells when tourists fill its 13,000-plus hotel rooms at the height of the season.
Today's excursion, was to San Sebastian, which is deep in the heart of the Sierra Madre Mountains. Starting in the morning, we caught a bus to the airport where we took a plane to the town's paved landing strip, it was a gorgeous day for flying and could really see for miles when up in the air.
Burrowed deep in the heart of the Sierra Madre Mountains, San Sebastian's remote setting has made it one of Mexico's last remaining secrets. While this tiny mountain enclave (elevation 4500 ft) isn't far from Puerto Vallarta, it's still a world away from the usual tourist haunts.
- Martini of the Day - Ocean's 11 ($8.95)
- Tonight's Show was "A Magic & Illusion Spectacular" staring The Incredible Talents of Gaetano, Princess Theatre
- Deck 6, Vista Lounge, 14:30, The Rose Bowl - Illinois vs USC
- Deck 7, Vista Lounge, 20:00, Freedom Writers
- Deck 7, Explorer's Lounge
- 20:15, Big Band Dance Date
- 21:15, Karaoke Kapers!
- Princess Theatre, 22:30, Late Night Movie - Transformers
- Deck 18, Skywalkers Nightclub, 22:00 - 23:00, Miami Sound Machine
- Deck 5, Atrium Lobby, 16:00, Cocktail Melodies
- Decks 12, 14, 15, and 16, 21:30, Mexican Fiesta Tropical Deck Party
- Deck 6, Atlantis Casino, 23:30, Island Night half price drinks
Day 5, Wednesday January 2, 2008
As the forth day rolled around, we arrived in Mazatlan. Another gorgeous day among the sun gods. The temperature was a lovely 27° Celsius as we wake up to see the city of Mazatlan from our Staterooms.
Just South of the Tropic of Cancer, in the state of Sinaloa, is one of the most popular resorts in all of Mexico. Mazatlan rests on a peninsula jutting out into the Pacific Ocean, with a natural bay and a sheltered harbour. The city is easily navigated on foot, with only one elevated area, the Cerro de Neveria (Icebox Mountain), which separates the rocky Pacific beaches to the South from the wide areas for swimming to the North.
Of the ports we went into, Mazatlan was one of two that we didn't really go on an excursion. Being on a cruise also limits your daily exploring, however, I can see the appeal for travel to, and not so bad. I would try Mazatlan as a standalone vacation.
- Martini of the Day - Baccarat ($8.75)
- Tonight's Entertainment was Comedian Rodney Johnson, Princess Theatre
- Deck 7, Vista Lounge, 18:00, The Fiesta Bowl Oklahoma vs West Virginia
- Deck 7, Vista Lounge
- 20:30, Ballroom Blitz Dancing
- 22:30, Newlywed & Not so Newlywed Game Show
- 23:30, Late Night Movie, Next
- Deck 18, Skywalkers Nightclub, 22:00, Motown Power Hour
- Deck 7, Wheelhouse, 11:30, Brunchtime Trivia Challenge
- Deck 14, Neptune's Reef & Pool, 17:00, Mr. "Sexy Legs" Competition
- Deck 6, Atlantis Casino, 20:00, Texas Hold'em Poker Competition
Day 6, Thursday January 3, 2008
Cabo San Lucas was our sixth day, and third port. The weather was a very comfortable 24° Celsius, partly cloudy, with slight southwesterly winds of about 15 knots. Cabo San Lucas was also our tender port, meaning that the ship anchored in the harbour/bay and then we where ferried to shore by smaller boats (probably about 20-30 passengers). It was different, but there is sure a line at the docks when it is time to go back to the ship. That being said, myself, I prefer docked ports.
Graced by the spectacular rocks of Los Arcos, Cabo San Lucas calmly watches the cool Pacific waters merge with the Sea of Cortes. Once you experience it's crystal-clear waters, white sand beaches, and dry climate, you'll understand this Baja city's transformation from quiet cannery village to [an] international resort. The underwater life, so richly colorful and unspoiled, provides an unforgettable experience. Cabo boasts one of the world's best swimming beaches too.
Of all the ports of call, Cabo (as suggested) I would probably go back to a resort there, it had a good central street and little boutique designer mall, with all your common brands. Didn't go out of the area where the docks were, but I can imagine what some of the resorts were like.
- Martini of the Day, Sour Apple Martini ($8.95)
- Tonight's Entertainment was Cinematastic starting: Don Winsor, Leslie Turner, Emma Randal, Joe Sackenheim Featuring: The Golden Princess Dancers, Princess Theatre
- Deck 7, Princess Theatre, 23:30, Late Night Movie: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Worlds End
- Deck 7, Explorer's Lounge, 21:30, Country & Western Hoe Down
- Decks 5, 6, and 7, Atrium Lobby, 23:15, Champagne Waterfall
- Deck 7, Promenade Lounge, 21:15, Roger Carr plays the Best of Broadway
- Deck 7, Vista Lounge, 20:30, Comedy Showtime Starring Ventriloquist Dan Horn
- Deck 18, Skywalkers Nightclub, 22:00, The Sounds of 70's
- Deck 7, Vista Lounge, 13:00, Ballroom for Beginners
- Deck 7, Wheelhouse, 14:00, Arts & Crafts - Today's Project "Clay Rose Decorated Box"
- Deck 7, Vista Lounge, 14:00, Let's Line Dance
- Deck 7, Vista Lounge, 15:45, Snowball Jackpot Bingo - Jackpot $1, 800
Day 7, Friday January 4, 2008
The final day, we are on route back to Los Angeles to disembark the ship and get on with our normal life. Today was another great day of sailing, it was partly cloudy, with the temperature was not too hot at 15° Celsius and a westerly wind at about 10 knots. The last day of cruising is a great chance to just wind and relax knowing that tomorrow will most often be a long stressful day of airports and transiting back home. For me, the last day is often just taking in as much as I can that the ship offers, rather that be spending time poolside, or taking part of all the activities.
Overnight the Gold Princess made good speed of 21 knots heading north off the Baja California coastline. During the morning, we will close on the Mexican coastline passing Isla Natividad (Christmas Island), Isla Cedros, and San Benito at a distance of about 10 nautical miles. Throughout the day, we will continue to head north crossing the latitude that intersects the Mexico/USA border. Early Saturday morning we will embark our Los Angeles pilot and expect to be safely moored at Berth 93 in San Pedro.
- Martini of the Day, Gold Finger ($8.95)
- Tonight's Entertainments was Comedy Showtime Starring: Standup Ventriloquist Dan Horn and Comedian Rodney Johnson, Princess Theatre
- Deck 7, Princess Theatre, 22:00, The Bourne Ultimatum
- Deck 7, Explorer's Lounge
- 20:30, Fusion
- 22:15, "Movie Poster" Trivia
- Deck 7, Vista Lounge, 22:15, Princess POP STAR - "The Grand Final"
- Deck 18, Skywalkers Nightclub
- 22:00, All Request Express
- 00:00, Farewell Disco
- Deck 6, Atlantis Casino, Win a Car!
- Deck 7, Princess Theatre, 10:30, Culinary Cooking Show - with Executive Chef Paolo Merio and Maitre D' Mario Propato
- Deck 7, Wheelhouse, 11:15, Morning Trivia
- Deck 5, Atrium, 12:30, Towel Animals!
- Deck 7, Princess Theatre, 14:30, Afternoon Movie: License to Wed
- Deck 6, Donatello Dining Room, 15:30, Ladies of the Red Hat Society Tea
- Deck 7, Vista Lounge
- 16:10, Navigational Chart Auction
- 16:15, Final Bingo - $2,200 Must win prize!
- Deck 15, Calypso Pool, 17:00, Ceramics Pick up Show & Tell
Another amazing cruise is complete, and although it was fun and very interested, it was not the same as Alaska, nor should it be. That being said, if I have to choose, I honestly could not, both are so different and depends on what you want to achieve for your trip. And to those who want a sunny, "do your own thing" vacation, then I might say head to Mexico. All in all, very good Princess. And I would like to take you for joining in on my reminiscing of my cruise to Mexico, thanks it means a lot.