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Old August 3rd, 2009, 05:00 PM
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Default Mexican Ports?

We are on the 10/11/2009 East to West trans canal aboard Infinity, and were wondering what the latest is on Celebrity making Mexican port calls.

Since 3 ports are on the schedule (Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas), not stopping would sure put a damper on things.

Any thoughts, news, comments?
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Old August 3rd, 2009, 08:13 PM
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Sid, you are referring to the swine flu issues?
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Old August 4th, 2009, 06:11 AM
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Trip,

Yes, exactly.

I'm pretty sure RCCL and Carnival are stopping now a days. Celebrity doesn't do the Pacific side of Mexico in the Summer as far as I know.

I'm not sure what we would do if the ports are cancelled. I guess we would still go since insurance won't cover that reason.

Such problems !
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Old August 4th, 2009, 11:26 AM
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Sid1962:

As you know we'll be on the cruise prior to yours, embarking September 25 and debarking October 11.

=X= agent told me that "if" our ports in Mexico are cancelled (Cabo, Acapulco, Hualtuco), then the alternate ports will be: San Francisco, Catalina and San Diego. San Diego is already a port on our Panama Canal cruise, but the other two are not.

I live in SF, so it may be fun to play tourist for the day....waive at my boss in the high rise, lol.

If you find out differently, please share.
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Old August 4th, 2009, 01:08 PM
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Default PORTS

THIS happened to us once.. we ended up in Cartegena, Spain... a major disappointment.. Now I see that there are fire in Las Palmas in the Canary Islands and if I were scheduled for that port ...considering the port I would be grateful... Seriously, if I wanted to see the Mexican Ports and they were cancelled...is the cruise line about to give you a credit? I assume Trition you made your last payment...
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Old August 4th, 2009, 01:32 PM
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At the moment each week 2 cruise-ships sail (again) to the Mexican Riviera.
More will come after the season in Alaska is over.

Remember there is more flu in the USA and some countries in Europe then there is in Mexico.
Although ships stopped sailing to Mexico in May it was I think somewhat strange because there were hardly any or none any cases of flu in that region...but more at the westcoast of the USA.
Since no ships came many people lost their jobs over there.
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Old August 4th, 2009, 01:44 PM
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with the news that the this swine flu could make this flu season, a much more difficult one, the fact is, that more ship time, or different ports, may be a reality.....just have to weigh the options before final payment, or roll the dice.
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Old August 4th, 2009, 03:41 PM
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Yes, I agree it will be a reality.

I'm all for more days at sea...love the Transatlantics! However if Mexico was my intended destination, I would be disappointed. Living on this side of the US, it's really not...much like the Caribbean and Bermuda are closer to the East Coasters. (I'm envious).

Luckily for us, the Panama is our experience, so I'm OK with Catalina and San Diego and SF. I do understand those who enjoy stopping in the Riviera ports though.

Yes, Parrot Mom we made our final payment already. Either way, I'm getting on that ship!
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Old August 6th, 2009, 11:49 AM
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Default Article re: Mexico

Hi-

Just found this article on Travel Weekly...looks like tourism is picking up in Mexico...maybe just in time?

http://www.travelweekly.com/article3_ektid198850.aspx
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Old August 14th, 2009, 10:46 AM
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Default I found out...

Spoke with Celebrity a couple of days ago, to cancel our transfer. The agent told us that we had the green light to visit the Mexico ports on our Panama cruise! Yay!!

She said that all ports were clear and there were no reported issues of the flu virus.
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Old August 14th, 2009, 12:59 PM
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Triton,

Thanks for the update ! That's good news.

Now to see if Celebrity has the tours for our sailing available yet.

Again, thanks !
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Old August 14th, 2009, 02:13 PM
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I hope so, Sid1962...as an FYI, our San Diego port is already sold out of excursions and so is Columbia! Can you believe that? Columbia has been sold out for weeks, big bummer for us.

The Excursion Department I spoke with last week said that X holds out about 30% of the tours to sell on-board. Hopefully we'll find a couple...

good luck!
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Old August 14th, 2009, 07:47 PM
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I was going to say that since Royal Caribbean is going to mexico again I would assume that Celebrity has no issues with going there.
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Old August 15th, 2009, 06:04 AM
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Holland America will be cruising also to the Mexican Riviera this winter.
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Old September 1st, 2009, 04:06 PM
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Default Infinity 10/11

Hi sid, Triton,
we will be on the Oct-11 Infinity as well and what still kind of worries me is that they opend the shore excursions for Cartagena and Puntarenas a couple of weeks ago. But the 3 mexican ports are still not "bookable"? That doens't make sense?
Any ideas?
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Old September 1st, 2009, 04:54 PM
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Hi HappySailing:

I hear what you're saying...on our September 25 Panama, they did not open up San Diego OR Cartegena until two weeks ago! I sent two emails and had to call Celebrity twice. The did not open up the Panama excursions until just a couple of days ago, and we leave in just over 3-weeks.

The first time I called Celebrity to ask about them not listing San Diego, Panama or Cartegena tours, she provided an excuse that "they were all sold out" and I should have booked earlier, ! I tried explaining that for the past several months they were not listed...in any event, magically, a few days later it opened up.

Are you Captains Club members? If so, call your CC dedicated number. Alternatively you can call the general 800 number (800.647.2251)and ask to speak to someone in the excursions department (yes they have one).

Good luck! We'll look for you as we disembark on October 11!
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Old September 1st, 2009, 05:32 PM
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Default CARTEGNA, COLOMBIA

Okay.. did you know the Prez.of Colombia came down with the Swine Flu? I AM NOT KIDDING!!! That said.. I love Cartegena.. what excursions were you looking to do Triton..Have been to the Monestary, the damn Fort of San Filipe..the guy with the one arm, tc. etc. and even in our younger day and it was mucho anos ago.. walked to the very,v ery top where we met the owner who was in to go to a Bull Fight and bought a beautiful hand done wall hanging.. and then our favorite place..the Dungeons.. Unless your worried about safety.. go out of the terminal (check prices in the terminal) go to the starter and ask for a driver who speaks english..but if you go to the old city which I would if nothing else..just wander around without going into a "cousins" place for a cold drink.. SEND AIR FARE!!! I'l sleep on the balcony..lol.. Cartegena is one of our favorite places considering we spent a week there many years ago
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Old September 1st, 2009, 06:21 PM
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ParrotMom:

We are doing a Celebrity tour that day...I think my DP chose, "The Best of Cartegena". One fort, the Dungeons, etc...and it was the ONLY excursion which boasted an "Air-Conditioned Bus", lol.

Worked for me!
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Old September 1st, 2009, 06:30 PM
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Happysailing,

We have booked one excursion in Cartagena that goes a couple of places, including the Dungeons...hey, as long as we can get a magnet for the 'fridge and t-shirts for the grand-urchins, all will be well...

The other place we want to get an excursion is Alcapulco to see the cliff divers.

As far as Costa Rica and the Mexican port beginning with an H, we plan to get off the ship, browse the shops that are nearby, and that's it.

As for Puerto Vallarta, we intend to get off the ship, grab a bus (yes, a bus), and go to the South Side to walk around and visit some shops we know and love. We have been there on land vacations several times, so are familiar with the city and how to get around. A must stop is a jewelry/culpture store known as Bustamonte. There are 2 of these, one on the Malecon (across the street actually), and one on a street a couple of streets back from the Malecon. Google Sergio Bustamonte and see what he is like. Definately not your run of the mill Mexican silver/art.

If Cabo is still standing after this hurricane, again all we plan on doing is walking around the shopping area and marina.

OK, lot more info that was necessary, but I'm old and got carried away.....
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Old September 1st, 2009, 06:44 PM
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Sid, you're NOT old, and it's perfectly fine to get carried away!

I just noticed that your itinerary stops over in PV while ours does not...we only have Acapulco, Cabo and Hualtuco.

The port in PV is kind of nice, there are some fun shops around there and right across the street is a HUGE Walmart (where we stocked up on bottled water, etc).
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Old September 1st, 2009, 07:30 PM
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Yes, have been to the Sergio Bustamante shop on the side street.. and we bought..not ony did we buy there, but flew to Guadalajara to buy at his shop there too.. His work is very fanciful..I'm not sure what the heck he is doing now, I could "google" him.. but I do have prints of him.. I have some one of the kind pieces.."the boy with the butterfly ears" There were pieces that he did.. that actually brought tears to my eyes..have no idea why.. Also, have a silver pendant..

As for Acapolco.. don't even bother with a tour.. take a taxi ride. and for what was $5.00 you can get a cold drink or beer and walk down the steps and I mean almost down to the water and watch these nuts (I have pictures if you want to see) dive.. then they come back up..

At the Dungeons they will be waiting for you..lol..the shop keepers and the t-shirt guys outside..Now, this is our favorite place for shopping.. I bought real lace silk macrame crocheted shawls (I think alot of the work is done by women in jails) which are gorgeous.. Last time there up on the wall was the work of an artist...that we would loved to have been able to buy..You must haggle hard...very hard.. There are also some embroidered pieces.. some of them X rated..lol.. Outside the shops are t-shirt guys who are very,very persistent.. I must tell you be careful in the shops.. we broke when the girl told us to get it down from the shelf "an antiquity"..well she wanted alot of $$ ..lol.. an english speaking man came in and said there was no sign. so Parrot Mom got back into the cab with the cameras behind her while a crowd and soldiers gathered around..Instead of going right to the car P.M. decided there was a unique mask she must have..not a tourist item.. Well, to shorten the story, we paid the lady I think $50.00 and got the hell out of there with the driver...lol.. but it was a scam.. and I didn't feel like spending time in a Colombian jail.. Now also in Acapulco.. there is an old flea market and Parrot Pop found beautiful leather belts for a song.. in grande..reallly big..
It must of been an open in P.V. our first visit for a week.. I stopped into a shop near the Malecon and spied a malachite parrot.. Also in Cartegena.. Lands Leather, I think that's the name.. . there is a shop...and unless you know what your doing.. be careful with the emeralds...some of them look like 7-UP pieces of glass.
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 11:12 AM
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I hope those ports aren't impacted by that storm that is out there now..

Don
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 11:58 AM
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I hope so too, Don.

Parrot Mom, I Googled Bustamonte, here is the link. Very interesting pieces in his 2009 collection - take a gander.

Also, you didn't mention where you found his work...which port? We will look for him! Thanks for all the "shopping" tips!

http://www.sergiobustamante.com.mx/intro_eng_full.html
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 12:19 PM
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I did buy my first pieces in P.V., but I notice he has a shop in C abo.. actually there are several other shops I think.. Boy, looking at his newest picture.. I hate to be catty, but he was soooo handsome.. and he's as bald as a billiard ball..lol We went to his I think the word is "atalier" in Tlaquepaque outside of Guadalajara to buy more the next year.. we flew there from P.V. I must look at his new work...
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 03:03 PM
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PM and Triton,

We also bought in PV. Mrs. S has a few pendants as reminders of our land trip there. My sister bought her daughter one of the paper machie (sp?) works - it's a boy with a cape riding a caterpillar. Her daughter bought herself a small bronze of the single figure in his Waiting for Reason (I think that's the name) statue that is one the Malecon. It's the one with the triagle headed figures on the ladder. It's right across from his shop one actually.

A few years ago, there was a shop in Copley Place in Boston that carried his work. If it wasn't his it was some pretty good knock offs, but I"m pretty sure it was his. Remember the round balls with the faces? They had some there.

One shop that is no longer in PV (the owner died a year or two ago) was called Viva. It was on Basillio Badillio (sp?), and was in our opinion, the nicest shop in all of PV. It featured jewelry from both Mexico as well as from around the world. Also had nice clothes and shoes. PM, did you ever get to that one?

To be honest, pretty much all the silver shops in PV are alike and carry the same kind of stuff. Sometimes it's hard to recall if you've been in one they are so alike. Pricewise, they are the same also - maybe a few pesos difference. A couple of years ago on a land trip, we bought a fire opal ring. It was a deep red stone, not too common. I had done my homework, and the guy who sold it to us followed me out onto the sidewalk to make a deal when I walked away from his "final" offer. It was on the South side on Olas Altas, across from the Austrian restuarant, Kiaser something or other.

For anyone stopping in PV, beware the ever present time sharks who will appraoch you with offers seemingly too good to be true. Do not be tempted .....walk away. A firm No Gracias should do it.

Triton, I have been in the WalMart you mentioned. It was a few years ago though.
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 04:49 PM
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There are only two ports which to me were so intensive with the street peddlers / beggars...

1) Acapulco (not even as intense as Tijuana)
2) Marakesh, or Casablanca...Oi Vey!!!

Something I learned and it actually worked...rather than saying, "No!" We learned to say, "Sorry, not right now - maybe later." One of the ship's employee's told us to try that in Mexico and it worked! Rather than chase us down for blocks, they immediately said, "OK--Gracias."

Sid, the Fire Opal sounds very nice. Was it a pendant or ring? Opal is my birthstone. I've seen the Fire Opals, but have not purchased.

Yes...lots of silver...and tequilla. 8)
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
PM and Triton,

We also bought in PV. Mrs. S has a few pendants as reminders of our land trip there. My sister bought her daughter one of the paper machie (sp?) works - it's a boy with a cape riding a caterpillar. Her daughter bought herself a small bronze of the single figure in his Waiting for Reason (I think that's the name) statue that is one the Malecon. It's the one with the triagle headed figures on the ladder. It's right across from his shop one actually.

A few years ago, there was a shop in Copley Place in Boston that carried his work. If it wasn't his it was some pretty good knock offs, but I"m pretty sure it was his. Remember the round balls with the faces? They had some there.
Oh yes... I remember that shop.. on the left.. I went in and fell in love with a bracelet..very $$.. Parrot Pop wouldn't budge. Plus there was Pavlo Real at Quincy Market with many of the pieces.. Stupid me went to an "antique" store and spotted a Bustamante frog..I happened to mention who did it.. went back to buy it and it was gone..drat.. Our visit to P.V. was many, many years ago before cruising.. and he didn't have a shop on the Malecon, but on a side street..
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 10:40 AM
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Default Good News for the Mexican Ports!!

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