2016 Panama Canal Cruise
March 29 - Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
This cruise ship had around 1900 people on it. Most people that you pass during the cruise are remarkable in some respects. Some are not. One couple that we noticed were what we called "the dancing couple". We had seen them on the dance floor doing intricate steps. They looked to be in their 60s, quite agile and very serious. We sat with them at breakfast on the Lido deck. They live in Iowa and love to dance up to a point of entering contests and winning a few. They were very personable and not so serious on a one-to-one basis. We enjoyed talking with them especially after I learned that they are cyclists. It was interesting to learn that she grew up in Wisconsin and told us that she had classes in Norwegian in high school. What other state would teach Norwegian in high school?
Our dock was a few miles from the main area of Puerto Vallarta. We teamed up with several others and took a shuttle van into the city. The van dropped us off at the start of the Malecon, a half-mile long boardwalk that goes past most of the town's attractions along the beach. The weather was warm and the sky was clear.
We had been to Puerto Vallarta about 30 years ago and were amazed at how much it had changed. We tried to find the hotel that we stayed in but it either disappeared, we didn't recognize it or was too far away. So we just enjoyed our stroll on the Malecon. We noticed several sculptures along the way that were erected in the early 2000s. We passed dozens of shops and restaurants. We visited Our Lady Of Guadalupe Church with its wonderful architecture and famous crown. We walked through the main plaza and out on the Los Muertos Pier. We walked on the bridge over the Cuale River into the Romantic Zone which is filled with cafes, restaurants, shops, boutiques, art galleries and a great variety of nightclubs. We saw people parasailing being towed by high speed boats and were reminded that some in our group did that when we were here before.
When we turned around and started making our way back, we realized that it would be pretty late for lunch on the ship if we returned to it now. So we stopped at the Cheeky Monkey, a restaurant that was mentioned in our ship's literature. We sat upstairs in its open-air space and had a good view of the Malecon and the ocean beach. I had coconut shrimp while Ann had chicken. Corona was only $1 per bottle, so we had our fill.
A taxi with a friendly, chatty driver took us back to our ship. Ann decided to go swimming while I used the terminal's wifi. As usual, we went to happy hour and then to dinner. I had atermelon soup, shrimp Provençal and a bananas foster sundae. Ann had empanadas, salad, pasta and a sundae. We did our laps and went to the night's entertainment, Mick Lazinski, another comedian.
This is how we got here: