Our next port was Puerto Vallarta, Mexico pop 225,000. We last visited here in May, 2022. It is often portrayed as one of the most beautiful, cultured and luxurious vacation spots in all of Mexico. It was a sleepy, quiet town until Richard Burton Ava Gardner and Elizabeth Taylor showed up for the filming of the movie, “The Night of the Iguana” in the early 1960’s, and put the town on the map.
Lluvia (Rain) symbolizes openness in which the man is receiving what the world offers him with eyes looking up into the rain and enjoying the water falling on him. It represents the people of Puerto Vallarta who welcome locals and visitors with open arms.
The church was built between 1930 and 1940 and has services on the weekends in both Spanish and English. The church is dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe, also known as the Virgin Mary, the patron saint of Mexico.
We noticed when we docked this morning that directly across the street was a Walmart Supercenter and a Sam’s Club. Since we had plenty of time before the ship left, we walked over to Walmart to get a few things. It was so crowded we walked out without buying anything. All the ship’s crew loves to go to Walmart and get toiletries and snacks. With 2 ships in port, the store was mobbed with crew and passengers. The aisles were crowded and the lines long.
We stood on our balcony during the sail away. Once we were out of the harbor, a pilot boat pulled alongside the ship to pick up their pilot who helped guide us safely away from the dock. After getting in the pilot boat they blew whistles in farewell. Our captain blew the ship’s horn several times and the pilot waved to the passengers on the decks and balconies. At one point he took off his hat and bowed low, a nice gesture of goodwill and appreciation for visiting.
The captain said they could see whales from the bridge of the ship. Sure enough from our balcony we saw a whale breach and some whales spouting. They are too quick to get good pictures but it sure was fun to see them. During the winter months, whales migrate to the warm water of Mexico.
Evening entertainment was a comedian. He incorporated his life story into his act. He was born in Cuba and his family escaped Cuba as political prisoners when he was five. He worked hard, went to the Air Force Academy in Colorado, retired as a pilot and serves in the reserves as a Lieutenant Colonel. He decided he wanted to be a stand up comedian working in comedy clubs and on cruise ships.
The next morning our Cruise Director interviewed him on her daily “Coffee Break” get together and passengers were able to ask him questions. As far as we know Holland America is the only cruise line that has these get to know sessions with the crew and entertainers. The Cruise Director has a “Coffee Break” session in the morning and one in the evening that is a “Cocktail get together”.
Something else only Holland America has is a show late at night for all the crew and workers. If the entertainers oblige, and most of them do, a third late show is done for them. By the way, one day Bill asked one of the chefs in the upstairs buffet area what happened to all the food left from breakfast, lunch and dinner. The chef said it was taken downstairs for the crew to enjoy.
We have a wonderful crew of workers on this voyage. They are always smiling, hard working and eager to help. I would say all, or most of them, are from the Philippines and Indonesia. And of course they all speak English.
Next up: six sea days and then Kona Hawaii