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Mexican Cruise - 2002

Patty and the dolphin
We got to swim with dolphins on this cruise and here Patty pets one

First Day at Sea

Shopping onboard

The initial evening after boarding and the following day - usually at sea - the shops always have great deals. Therefore it is usually shopping time - besides the women have to see what is available in all the shops on board. Besides, no matter how well we have packed, there is always something that we didn't consider and Patty is hoping she remembers it during this first shopping frenzy.

P.S. When we are in a port, the shops - and casino - are always closed - by law, not by choice.

However, the evenings are reserved for shows and dancing, whether at sea or in a port.

Patty & Craig dancing

We were sitting at a six-person table - we like meeting new people - and this cruise was especially succesful. Our dinnermates were a couple from Phoenix, AZ  (Jeff & Sherry) and another from Costa Mesa, CA (Harry & Ellen).

As it turned out, Harry & Ellen really enjoyed competing in ballroom dance contests and dancing was part of what we looked forward to in the evenings. The first couple of nights we all got to get to know each other through dancing.

Here we see Patty & Craig and below are Ellen & Harry, with less disciplined dancers than they were use to.

Ellen & Harry dancing

Puerta Vallarta

Our first port was Puerta Vallarta and Patty badly wanted to go see and ride the dolphins, so that's where we went.

dolphin activities

By this time we had firmly bonded with our table mates and found out Harry & Ellen occupied one of the suites at the very stern of the Sun Princess. We all went to their cabin to see what a suite really looked like - very enticing.


Patty & Craig kissing

This was our furthest point south on our trip and we wanted to enjoy the vacation city of Acapulco.

First it was time to find a place to eat ashore and all six of us got off together.

Then it was time to split up and investigate the different places we each wanted to vist. Here we see Patty & Craig on a mountain open balcony overlooking the harbor and our ship.

Dining in town

The Hurricane Run

Upon returning to the ship, we learned a hurricane was moving up the Mexican coast and we were going to have to leave Acapulco early to avoid being caught on it's leading edge.

We watched the ship leave the harbor and retired to Harry & Ellen's suite to watch the weather behind the ship as we sailed north at full speed. We would see the storm clouds covering the southern horizon and began to see a number of water spouts rising from the ocean up to the clouds. It was a spectactular view - several rising at the same time - but we were too excited to take any pictures. Not sure they would show much, but Craig didn't have his camera and didn't want to leave the suite.

The women chatted while the men sat out on the stern balcony, smoked cigars - at least Harry & Jeff did - and sipped on some good liquor that Harry had in his cabin. At one point Harry noted that he saw something in the water off the stern. With everyone 'three sheets to the wind' of course he called it a submarine and we all joined in. This became the hurricane and submarine cruise and was referred to as such for the next several years.

Sherry, Patty, & EllenHarry, Craig, & JeffSherry & Jeff in atrium

The Sun Princess had been through a hurricane a year before and the captain didn't want to take any chances with another one. For this reason the decision was made to bypass the ports of Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas, in the interest of getting out of the Gulf of California as soon as possible. We would instead make a leasurely stop at Ensenada before we retruned to Los Angeles - wow!

This left us plenty of time to eat, drink, shop, and indulge in enjoying each others company in all corners of the ship. Here we see the women and the men mugging for the camera.

To the left Sherry & Jeff posed on the atrim stairway - there are circular stairways running from the 5th floor to the 7th floor, where all the shopping is concentrated.


Ensenada water spout overlook

There was time in Ensenada for all of us to wander the city and take a tour to the Blow Hole to the south.

The blowhole was somewhat interesting, but you had to walk down a sloping, curving road to get there and there were open shops and resturants all the way down.


In the end this was our most memorable Mexican trip because of the hurricane and because Harry & Ellen became regular cruise buddies and fast friends of ours - their home was less than 50 miles from ours and we found many interests in common.