We had two sea days on the way to Mexico from Costa Rica. On the second morning at sea we went to the Cruise Director’s “Coffee Talk”. Bill especially wanted to attend this one because she was interviewing the ship’s Chief Engineer and Staff Engineer. It was very interesting to hear about their careers and some facts about their jobs on the ship. We were all given the opportunity to ask questions. One person asked the Chief Engineer his favorite place he has sailed to. He quickly answered Antarctica. He said he gets tears in his eyes remembering its beauty.
Our next port of call was Manzanillo (pop 160,000) on the west coast of Mexico. This small fishing village only gets around 16 cruise ships a year. They are working hard to attract more cruise ships and tourists. This port also plays an important role in transporting cargo for Mexico City and is considered Mexico’s busiest port for commercial ships.
There was a visible military police presence guarding our ship’s restricted pier area as we headed into town. We smiled and said “Hola” and they returned the greeting. As we greeted people in their language throughout the town they smiled shyly and greeted us back. Along the Malecon de Manzanillo we strolled along the seaside boardwalk. Manzanillo is known as the sailfish capital of the world, hosting national and international fishing competitions. It has a large sailfish sculpture as its most iconic sculpture.
Manzanillo is a sister city of the U.S. cities of Flagstaff, Arizona, San Pablo, California and Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Our most important goal for today was to get Bill a haircut. He googled barbers and found one a reasonable walk from the ship. The young lady there spoke absolutely no English. We needed to find out if the shop accepted American dollars and how much a haircut cost. Between my limited Spanish and Google translate, we figured it all out. She worked meticulously on Bill’s hair and did a great job. We gave her a nice tip and we all left happy.
We went to see Church Nuestra Señora Del Carmen, a catholic church.
We then decided to walk around the hilly town. Again, we noticed some local police. We felt safe. They are working hard to build up tourism and want tourists to have a safe and enjoyable visit. We walked for quite awhile seeing the homes and businesses in the El Centro part of town. It is very humbling to see the way others live and the poverty they endure.
The fact that we leave there and step back on a cruise ship is not lost on us.
We do believe there are some more resort type areas with much nicer homes closer to the beach areas.
As we were walking back to the ship we saw a car with Oregon license plates!
Next up: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico