Summer of 2015 Kickoff: Miracle on the Mexican Riviera: Final Day and Final Thoughts

Saturday, May 23, Day 8: Long Beach

I didn’t take any notes for disembarkation day but we got up around 6:30-7:00, showered, dressed, and went to the Lido for a quick breakfast. We then did our final packing and brought our bags to the dining room to await priority disembarkation, as part of FTTF (“Faster to the Fun”). FTTF normally costs $60 per party but it was included as part of our booking through Rich’s employer.

We were off the ship by about 8:00 a.m., made our way through customs, and on to the parking garage where we retrieved our Jeep. We stopped in Baldwin Park for gas and Barstow for a quick bite of lunch and were home around 1:00. It took normal than longer because we got caught in the “L.A. to Vegas” weekend traffic, especially on a holiday weekend. We normally are travelling the opposite direction on our SoCal weekends and it didn’t occur to us, we’d be getting in that dreaded traffic returning home from the cruise.

We really needed this cruise and a whole week away from everything. We were so excited by the cruise that we had booked a second one on Princess. And while we had a big blast of fun, one cruise a year is probably enough for us. We’ve cancelled that Princess cruise and are focusing on our summer trips to SoCal and fun around our new backyard hot tub. But when we cruise again, we’ll probably return to Princess.

Here are some of the highlights:

Best Bites/Sips

  • The steak, Caesar salad with anchovies, Tuna Tartare at Nick & Nora’s Steakhouse
  • Small bites at Taste
  • Huevos Rancheros, Mac n Cheese with Fried Chicken, and Coffee Cake and Coffee-flavored muffins at Sea Day Brunch
  • Olives, meat, cheese in salad bar
  • Soft serve ice cream at Swirls
  • Butter Pecan ice cream in the dining room (to die for!!!)
  • Burgers and hot dogs from the Grill out by the pool
  • Baked potatoes in buffet and dining room
  • Cocktails and snacks at Alchemy Bar

Best Service

  • Antar from Nick & Nora’s Steakhouse
  • Nenad – Dining room head waiter

Best Moments

  • Returning to PV after 34 years and Rich’s first
  • Las Caletas – wild boat ride, relaxing on the beach
  • Swimming in Cabo
  • Dining poolside onboard ship
  • Falling asleep to the motion of the ocean
  • Watching the ocean from our stateroom balcony

Honorable Mentions

  • Nadi, room steward
  • French fries from the Grill
  • Cookies from Horatio’s buffet

Less than Best

  • Pizza – we’d raved about this previously – couldn’t get enough of it – but this stuff was terrible. Tasty cheese but way too thin and floppy
  • Danish – like day old store bought – terrible!
  • Our one meal in the Main Dining Room (shrimp was limp)
  • Baked potato and creamed spinach in Nick & Nora’s Steakhouse
  • Every breakfast except Sea Day Brunch
  • Desserts (except ice cream and cookies)
  • “Shows”
  • Fellow passengers (the late night/late morning party hearty crowd was on board this cruise, far more than our 3- and 4-night cruises, which surprised us)

About Kathy

Novelist & Music Producer