Dave and I took a cruise down the coast of Mexico last month. We made a stop in Puerto Vallarta for a couple days. We planned a few activities, a zip line, hanging out on the beach, shopping etc. We were supposed to leave at the end of the 2nd day at 11 pm. We were docked in a small area and I was a bit curious to watch the huge ship maneuver out of the bay. So at 11 pm, we went out to the deck to watch it take off into the Pacific. We waited and waited and waited and waited and we never left. We pulled up some chairs and got out our books and just relaxed on the deck waiting for the engines to start up. After midnight, we realized they were running late and we went to bed. As we were waking up the next morning, there was an announcement that said something like 'Hey, did you notice we haven't left yet? Well, we are broken down, and we are still trying to fix the engine, so quit fussing, settle down and enjoy a bonus day in Mexico!" (Not really their words, but that was the gist of the message)
Unfortunately, we already spent our budget on excursions the previous 2 days and we had nothing else we were really looking forward to doing, so we just spent the day in a panic wondering if Dave should get off the ship and fly home (huge job in our business that was to start on Monday, and now we wouldn't be home until Monday night). We spent all morning trying to get through on the phone lines or e-mail to rearrange home and business problems, along with 3,000 other people that were also trying to get through on the same phone and internet networks. In the end, about 200 passengers got off the ship and headed to the airport. Lots of passengers had a huge mess having to rearrange flights back in Long Beach, and a few people were just screwed because they badly needed to get home on time, but didn't have a passport with them so had no option except to stay captive on a cruise ship in Mexico. We finally settled our lives at home and our business and still had half a day to relax. Dave wanted to sit in the sun and read so I went for a walk around town.
Then I finally found a sight that you don't see in Phoenix. A river running into the ocean. At least they have that.
I finally found a store to wander through - a fabric store. I didn't need fabric, but I always enjoy looking. I started to get overwhelmed with the signage because
b) Measurements in metric
c) Pesos vs Dollars
My mind couldn't figure out if it was fantastically inexpensive, or if the fabric was over a hundred dollars a yard.
There is just too much math in foreign travel!
My cell phone at sea was picking up all sorts of crazy times. I wanted to use my cell phone for an alarm clock, but it picked up a different international time about 3 times during the night and by morning, my phone clock was off by 9 hours.
The roads were confusing. The main street had 10 lanes - two lanes, then a curb, then 3 more lanes, then another divider, then 3 lanes the other direction, a divider, and 2 more lanes. If you are traveling in the far right lane, cars could make a left turn across all the other lanes of traffic, but I couldn't follow the pattern on the traffic lights. I had absolutely no idea when to cross the street as a pedestrian. My system was to wait for a group of local people to gather at the corner, and just walk in the middle of them. On my way back to the ship, no one was at the corner, so I had to figure out the intersection all by myself. The closest traffic signal looked like this:
My favorite store was right outside the ship - waiting for 3000 customers to finish their breakfast in the buffet lines on the ship and come out to buy a bunch of junk at the Flea Market. And yes, we fully participated in this ancient tradition.
In the end, we got an 8 day cruise for the price of 7 . I just felt bad for the people who were supposed to be boarding the ship on Sunday afternoon and there was no ship to board. I'm wondering how they handled 3000 disappointed/angry cruise passengers who were stuck in California waiting for a tardy ship.