The next day was a day at sea. One event was an opportunity to hear from our captain, Captain Mark Rowden. Jeremy, the cruise director “interviewed” the captain who talked about his time during the pandemic, his employment path over the years, and some information about the operation of the ship itself. Very interesting and a nice man.
Dinner that night was our last Gala Night and they FINALLY served filet mignon and lobster. I don’t like seafood so lucky Bill received two servings of lobster. We shared a table with a couple from upstate New York. He was complaining that his wife had booked an excursion tomorrow in Cabo San Lucas. The excursion included riding a CAMEL on the beach. He was even less happy when he found out during dinner the excursion began at 7:00 AM. The look on his face was priceless. He was actually a good sport and his wife, Bill and I had a lot of fun teasing him. We told him we were going to find him at dinner the next day to learn if he and the camel survived. Unfortunately we never crossed paths with them again.
Our last port, Cabo San Lucas, turned out to be our favorite of the cruise. They saved the best for last in our opinion. Cabo San Lucas is located at the tip of Mexico’s 1,000 mile long peninsula called Baja California. It is located at a beautiful bay where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean.
Because of this meeting of the sea and the ocean, the water in this area is known to be rough. This port is also a tender port, meaning the water is too shallow for the ship to enter so the ship docks off shore and small boats, known as tender boats take you to the pier.
I have read on numerous blogs that sometimes it can be tricky, even downright dangerous, to step from the ship onto the tender boats if the water is rough. Imagine trying to step from one boat to another as the boats rise and fall with the waves. And you have to do that going and coming back! I will admit I worried about it a lot. They have crew members to help you and the advice is to step only when they tell you to step, not when you want to step. Also I get seasick easily and I worried about the 20 minute ride over in the small tender boat. So what happened? It was fine both ways. We were blessed with relatively calm water that day. All that worrying for nothing.
Built as a beacon to welcome tourists, the 65 foot Tequila Lighthouse is very nicely decorated in front of the tequila distillery, with a large lighthouse tower above the building. We took these pictures outside.
Second was to add to our hobby of finding geocaches (described as a global hide-and-seek game). This one was located in a coffee shop. Another easy find. We saw a bicycle taxi and a bus with destinations written on the windshield.
The third errand was to get my free charm at Diamonds International. Many Caribbean ports give you a free charm at their Diamond International stores. A clever way to get you in the store and hopefully buy something. The man working in the store asked if I had ever been given the charm bracelet to go with the charms. So he gave me a bracelet to go with the free charm! Nice man!
We slowly walked back towards the ship and debated stopping to get a cold drink or wait until we got back to the ship. The line at the pier for the tender boat was short so we decided to go back. We got on the waiting boat and it was a quick ride back to the ship. Along the way we saw a fishing boat with a huge sea lion grabbing the back of the boat, hoping to be thrown some fish. It was hilarious to see but unfortunately it went by too fast to get a picture. Here is a picture provided by Holland America.
We enjoyed our balcony for the afternoon, especially when we were leaving Cabo San Lucas and passed right by the famous stone arch, El Arco, that Cabo is known for. Our cruise director had told us there are two famous beaches there. One is named Lovers Beach, so named because of the calm waters on the Gulf of California, perfect for fabulous snorkeling. On the other side is Divorce Beach. It is named Divorce Beach because of the jagged rocks and formidable waves from the Pacific Ocean, bringing forth images of lovers’ quarrels.
We loved Cabo San Lucas!
The next day was a day at sea as we headed towards our final destination, San Diego. When we left Cabo San Lucas and entered the open waters of the Pacific Ocean, it was like someone had flipped a switch. It became cold, windy and the water rough. Up until this part of the cruise, the water had been calm. So calm I rarely needed Dramamine, and on cruises in the past I had to constantly take it. Only one morning did I not feel well at breakfast and took one Dramamine tablet which took care of it. Now it felt like the Arctic! We tried to still use our balcony, but it was just too cold.
May 11th was disembarkation day, our cruise was over. Holland America handled the customs in a new way. We were given a time to report to a room on the ship. Five customs agents had boarded the ship and each person went to an agent with their passport. No searching of suitcases, no asking what we bought or were bringing into the country, no filling out forms. In fact we were told to leave our suitcases in our cabin during this process. It was a quick and smooth disembarkation and re-entry into the country.
We had booked and prepaid through Holland America bus transportation to the airport. Our bus filled quickly and our driver left the port and headed to the airport, a mere three miles. It became apparent fairly soon that our driver did not know where he was going. He missed the turn and went back around and made another wrong turn. This second wrong turn took him to a gate where the arm raises to get your parking ticket. I heard him saying, “Oh no, oh no”. To make matters worse if he made it through the gate, the bus was too large to continue on. The “No RVs or buses” made that clear. I was beginning to wonder if we would make our flight!! Fortunately a security guard came over and raised the arm and led him through an employee parking lot. Whew!! At this point a woman, thankfully sitting at the front of the bus and well acquainted with the San Diego Airport, directed him to passenger drop off. When we got off, the bus driver said he had never driven to this airport before!! Next time we will take a taxi!
We had an uneventful flight home, flying from San Diego to Minneapolis to Orlando. We had just enough time to use the restroom in Minneapolis before boarding the second plane. In Orlando we sent a text to the place we had left the car, they came and picked us up and took us to retrieve our car. By this time it was after 11:00 PM so we had an easy drive home with little traffic. We had gotten up that morning at 5:30, so it was a long day.
Many thanks for following along with us. Until the next adventure.
Bill and Diane