“Viva Mexico” 20th Anniversary Cruise: Day 4, Puerto Vallarta

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

What we forgot to mention is that the day before while sitting out by the aft pool, enjoying our Tequila Sunrise, we wrote a song together. Kathy had written one the night before and we started expanding on it until it became a separate song. As you may recall, she wrote “Palm Fever” on last year’s cruise to Puerto Vallarta just as we were pulling into Banderas Bay, watching the dolphins frolic in the sea.

On this cruise, we arrived in Puerto Vallarta early in the morning so there was no approach like before. Knowing that we would have a long excursion, we chose a more substantial breakfast. From room service, we ordered a bowl of Raisin Bran for each of us, and we shared a breakfast sandwich with coffee and juice. We took our coffee out on our exposed verandah. Before booking a mini-suite, verandah visibility was a concern for us. But we found we were so busy enjoying the ocean, we were unaware of the 3 decks of cabins above us.

Except then one morning the woman in the cabin directly above us called down to say, “Hey, I see donuts. Bet you didn’t know I could see you, did you?” Actually, yes, we did. So we said, “Oh yeah, we were in your cabin on our last cruise.” What we really wanted to say was, “Sure we did. We just didn’t expect some moron to actually talk to us.” Thankfully, we never heard from her again. 🙂

We sipped our coffee, took photos, and enjoyed the Mariachis and the parrots.

Then we were off on our PV excursion. We met our excursion group at the dock just off the ship for the Viva Tequila, Mariachi, and Beach Lunch excursion. It was hot, humid, and we were thirsty. We waited too long for our trolley, but when we boarded, they offered us each a bottle of water. We sat next to an Asian couple from the Bay Area, and enjoyed our chat with them. People always ask, “Why did you leave the Bay Area for Las Vegas?” Long story.

We headed off for a thorough tour of PV via an open-air trolley, especially Old Town where we passed interesting sites such as Fiesta Americana where Kathy stayed in 1981. It still looks good, although the area around it is so crowded, you can barely notice it unless you were looking.

Our first stop was Viva Tequila a tequila museum and showroom. We received a small complementary tequila. We purchased 2 more Margaritas for sipping on our tour. We then were led through the museum where we learned everything about the history and making of tequila, tasting a little on the way.

Then we had the official tasting in the theatre, where we learned how best to appreciate and sip tequila. Then we saw a fantastic live show with mariachis, dancers, singers, and rope twirlers.

At the end, we received our certificates as official tequila experts. Then it was off to lunch at Mangos Beach Club where we had rolled tacos, another Margarita with new friends who shared our table, Melanie and Johnny from Phoenix. We had an enjoyable time with them, and Melanie bought the drinks.

Then we walked across the beach to the water’s edge and waded into the beautiful water of Banderas Bay up to our knees. Thrilling!

It was then time to return to the ship via our trolley. We went straight to our cabin and rested.

We tried to order room service, but we couldn’t get through on the phone. So Rich went up to the Trident Grill which was serving the Smokehouse BBQ and got 2 brisket sandwiches with fries and a slice of pepperoni pizza.

We enjoyed our meal in our room and then watched a great movie, “33” about the rescue of the Chilean miners in 2010.

The weather today was hot and humid, reminding us of Florida.
The best thing today was the tequila.
The worst thing today was waiting for our trolley in the sun without water.
The funniest thing today was the photo of Kathy with a Margarita and a glass of tequila in each hand (those photos are private but friends can email us for the password).
Today we tried Mango’s Beach Club for the first time.
And the result was a great location and the Margaritas were delicious but the tacos were a bit cold. The beach and company was awesome.
The most magical moment today was Kathy seeing the town of Puerto Vallarta again after 35 years, and Rich seeing it for the first time. On our last trip, we were on a private island.

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About Rich Eckardt

Byzantine Catholic Convert. Knight of Columbus. Celebrant of the Divine Office.