Hi: The Aquaspa is wonderful. I really enjoyed it as the water is warmer and enclosed just in case weather in not to your liking. The pool has these
two large "metal roller seats" on each side that have powerful jets coursing through the pipes - was really great!!. The entire Spa area is really well laid out - really nice changing rooms, with showers and saunas and of course all types of "treatments" available. Rather pricey but considering where you are - I guess that's to be expected.
We took shore excursions at each port - my husband has health issues so
we had to pick very mild activity levels - definately do the whale watch around Land's End - saw 3 med.size whales - it was especially nice as our
captain didn't seem in a particular hurry to get back so he spent extra time looking for us. Be sure to take camera!!! The crew take pictures of each couple or group and give you a sales pitch at the end ($ 20 a pop)
which we passed on.
Went to the Pierre Marquis Hotel and Beach in Acapulco with a very nice
lunch buffet. The currents are too strong to swim in the ocean but the pool
is really beautiful and included use of towels and lounges. If you walk down the beach to the ocean - you may be approached by locals selling
silver jewelry - they weren't too "pushy" but I generally don't buy anything other than local crafts from vendors like that - not sure about the
quality of the goods even though they looked quite pretty.
We just walked around Cabo San Luis - was not impressed with the pier
and the restaurants and shops are a bit of a walk - we had a bit of a time
finding a small market to buy Pepsi (got to have my soda!!) but eventually
found some on a back street. $ 1 per large bottle - 20oz. You can bring
that back on the ship with no problem - we chose not to buy the "cola cup"
on the ship - (you buy a cup and for $ 5 per day - can drink as much as you want) - I personally think that is a lot to pay for 14 days ($ 60) per person but if you drink alot of the stuff you might want to do it. We bought
12 bottles of Pepsi which lasted us for almost the entire trip - just drank it
in our cabin - usually had iced tea, lemonade or water with our meals.
Where is your cabin?? We were on Sky Deck - Cabin 9066. We were able to upgrade to Conciege Class for a very small fee and I really enjoyed the
little extras. Although, we compared our cabin size with another couple who were on deck 7 in a regular cabin with balcony and with the exception of a slightly larger balcony and we had a small sofa and they had a easy chair and oh, our vanity area was much larger - the cabins were almost the same. Have you cruised before?? The bathrooms are
terrific!!!!!!!!!!! Even our friends who have taken 7 or 8 cruises remarked on what a wonderful bathroom we both had.
We were scheduled to take a general sightseeing tour in Cost Rica in the morning but there was a mix-up and we were put on the wrong bus and
by the time everything was straightened out it was too late to take anything else in the morning. We did the Orchid Farm in the pm and as I
am in love with the flowers - had a really interesting and informative time.
Even the driver was very knowledgable on the ride to and from and I think
we learned as much or more with him as we would have had we taken the morning trip. The shore excursion people refunded our money for the mix-up which was nice.
We didn't do anything extra the day we transited the Canal. In the evening
the ship is docked at the Cristobel Pier and you can do some shopping from the native Indians - be prepared as the men are in loin cloths and the women are bare chested. We actually did most our souvenior shopping here - there are these very pretty wooden boxes in different shapes and sizes that are kind of a "puzzle" box with a small area to put
some jewelry in if you want. We bought a bunch of these as didn't see anything quite like them before or after. You can "barter" a little as well.
Walk around first and then go back and buy what you like. The cruise line
DOESN'T recommend leaving the market terminal so that's about it unless
you go off ship during the day while the ship is transitting. Takes about
8 hours to do the entire trip. Make sure you listen to the lectures or catch
the same on your cabin TV - very informative and makes the whole experience more worthwhile.
Hutalco is really beautiful - a relatively new tourist area - some place I would like to go back to. The Mexican govt. is going to be much more
cautious about the way the area is developed so as not to create another
"Acapulco" - we honeymooned in Acapulco 36 years ago and I must say
that all the development that obscures the views of the beautiful bay was
Aruba was o.k. - not a pretty island - tons and tons of Cactus (like our west) and rocky land. Took an independant tour bus around the island which was very interesting but the overall impression was not what I expected. Have friends that vacation there every year and was told how
beautiful an island it is - well, yes, where the large hotels and resorts are
it is very pretty but that is all brought in by the developers - not found there naturally. Did some jewelry shopping in Aruba at ESK jewelers.
They are recommended by "Ray" on the ship. If you plan to shop - make
sure you pick up his "buying guide" for $ 20 and get "VIP" cards signed
by him personally - always ask for the store managers and mentioned his name. I thought that he must get some kind of "kick-bacK" from the merchants he recommends but that is not the case. I am sure they give him a nice discount on his own personal shopping.
If you want - my email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
- drop me a line and I
will be happy to talk to you more about the trip. I have some ideas about
things to take or not take and other tidbits you might like to hear. In any case - I am POSITIVE you will have a wonderful time - just keep a sense of humor and don't sweat the "small stuff". Life is too short.