- 7 years ago
- Wedding: August 2011
Hi bees! I’m baaaacccckkkk!
We actually got back from our cruise yesterday, but finally had a chance to sign onto the ‘bee this morning. I was having withdrawals!
I did a poll a few weeks ago asking a lot of you if a pre-wedding moon still counted as a honeymoon, and a lot of you said no. But, I really think that doing our honeymoon a few weeks before the wedding really relaxed us and got us mentally prepared to get married. I definitely think it still counted as a honeymoon, and I definitely recommend doing it before the wedding if you can.
We decided to do a 7-day cruise to the Mexican Riviera with Carnival. Originally the three stops were going to be Cabo, Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan. The Mazatlan portion got cancelled, unfortunately, because of drug cartel issues. They replaced that stop with another day in Cabo. So we had two straight days to visit Cabo.
Here’s a quick recap for ya’ll. **I will put up pictures VERY soon!**
The Carnival Splendor:
This ship is beautiful. It’s so well appointed and has so many things to offer on the ship for leisurely activities. There’s mini golf, board games in the library, a big screen on the main deck that plays movies, and two pool areas. Fiance and I decided to make the ‘adults only’ pool our homebase, because it was really secluded and calm. The family pool was just WAY too busy for our taste. Screaming kids does not equal a relaxing time.
The shows are Vegas-quality. There were explosions, light shows, amazing dancing and singing, and the costumes were beautiful. The first show was an homage to Mexican heritage with classic dancing mixed in with some more current songs a la Gloria Estefan, etc. The second was called VROOOM, and was a history of rock performance. It had Elvis songs to KISS to Madonna. It was a blast!
The food was awesome. The breakfast/lunch buffets were adequate and were always replenished with warm foods. The dinner was fantastic. We decided to the ‘your time dining’ because we had no idea what our schedule would be like. I loved being able to order whatever we wanted (2 of some things, even!!) and not worrying about the price. The one complaint I had, was that since we were only 2 guests, we were sat next to other couples, at about 6″ distance between tables. It was too close for comfort and hard to enjoy. The service was OKAY, at most.
The comedy shows each night were our favorite parts of the cruise ship. Each night there was a comedian performing, and they had a ’18+’ performance that was at night for the more raunchy comedians. Fiance and I went to those ones, and they were SO funny.
To begin, I want to be fair and let you all know that I was oblivious to the fact that it would be MISERABLY hot in Mexico in July. But for some reason I didn’t do my research and was quite surprised to find that it was 105 and very humid in both Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta. Fiance and I live in Oregon, where it’s a high of 80 every day. Both of us were sweating like pigs, and it really hindered our experience at both locations.
With that said…
– Cabo San Lucas: As mentioned, we had two days here. We decided to ‘wing it’ and not book any shore excursions here. This was because a) we’re broke, b) we got some good advice on what to do/see here and c) because I was told that you can do activities on shore with the locals if you do decide to do a glass bottom boat tour, etc.
So day one, we got off the ship and tendered to the shore. Again, blown away by the hot weather, Fiance and I were already pretty sweaty and miserable. So we made our way into one of the markets and did some shopping. I lovvvveeee haggling, so Mexico was my kind of place. We got some sun dresses, Mexican vanilla, jewelry and Tequila. After the market, we began walking. We really wanted to go to Cabo Wabo, because a lot of our friends recommended it. Well, it’s at least a 1/2 mile walk to the restaurant, with no shade. So we were VERY relieved to find it after feeling like I might pass out. After lunch, we walked right back to the tender ship. I just wanted to relax by the pool.
Day two, we basically went back for some items that we weren’t sure if we wanted to buy, but decided to go back for. We had a fantastic lunch at a restaurant that offered 7 beers for $10 and relaxed in the shade with a view of the marina. I’d say this was the highlight of our Cabo portion! We then went back to the ship for air conditioning and free food :).
– Puerto Vallarta: DISCLAIMER: anyone who loves this city or is from this city, please do not take offense to this review. It has nothing to do with you, it’s just my honest review.
So, we had one day in this city and I wanted to do something similar as Cabo, but with a little more aim. We were told by friends to take a taxi into the downtown area, because it’s a little more aimed at tourists and is cleaner. When we were dropped off in downtown, we were greeted with a TON of construction. They are putting in a new block along the beach, so the beach is completely blocked and off-limits. So we started walking and visited the shops. Because this area is tourist-oriented, we noticed that the prices are super inflated. For example, in the Havaiana flip flop store, all of the sandals started at $45 per pair. Here, they cost around $22. No thanks…what a ripoff. There was a leather store that the owner runs himself, and he hand-makes leather goods. His prices were fair, but we weren’t looking at buying any leather at the time.
Bored with shopping, we stopped for lunch at a great restaurant located above the leather shop. It had a great view of the water, and because it was high-up, it had a nice breeze going through the place.
After lunch, we got a little lost. I really wanted to go to Senor Frogs, because I’ve heard about their famous margaritas. Little did I know, the walk ended up being a 30 minute walk with no shade, to a Senor Frogs T-SHIRT STORE!!!! Fiance and I were so upset….mostly at ourselves. It was just so hot and we were so thirsty and irritated.
We ended up in a really bad part of town and were followed by some really skeptical looking gents, and got a cab as soon as we could. We got a little shaken up by that.
Mostly, my experience in Puerto Vallarta was ruined, because of how DIRTY this city is. There is garbage all along the sidewalks, stagnant water in the cobblestone roads, and just the people in general were of bad hygiene and were very desparate to sell goods on the street.
Lesson learned – we’ll do Shore Excursions the next time we visit a country like Mexico…we would have had a lot more fun, and would have been worth the money.
With less than two weeks to go, Fiance and I are as excited as ever to get married, and are relaxed during this hectic time.