Dave and I have been on several cruises over the years, but never by ourselves. We have gone with business groups, with friends and with family. I think a cruise is a perfect activity for a group, there are lots of things for everyone to do so you can stay as busy or relaxed as you want to and then come in the evenings for a nice dinner together. This was a different dynamic to just have the week to ourselves. We had lots of time for sleeping in, for reading, for playing cards, for walking, for watching movies, for just about anything we wanted to do.I had a fascinating book I was reading, 'Gone Girl'. I think Dave got tired of me talking about it because every time I thought I had the plot figured out, it changed and I had to tell Dave all about my new hypothesis.
I am amazed at how huge the ship is. It was larger than any building that I could see in Puerto Vallarta. It seems weird that we can stand on the 12th floor deck and look down at the city we pulled into.
We met some fun people at dinner each evening - a woman that enjoyed yearly cruises with her husband and even went on a cruise with him the first year they were divorced (for the kids' sake I suppose? She finally gave him up as a traveling companion and was traveling with a co-worker this year.) A couple that traveled from Turkey to visit Cabo ( that's a heck of a long trip to visit a couple of short stops in Mexico, and they had an expensive mess to deal with when the ship was delayed and they missed their flights back to Europe), and a young couple who saved their money and wanted to do all the fun excursions that were offered so they took the cheapest room on the ship (they had a tiny room with bunk beds! I didn't even know the ship had a bunk bed option!)
Each evening, there were photographers all over the place offering to take your portrait. We were determined to get one good picture. I am not particularly photogenic so we stopped at all the photo stops each evening - sure that if we took enough, we would get one decent picture that we both could agree on. There is an entire deck devoted to displaying all the photos that the staff takes during the week. After dinner each night, we strolled through the displays of thousands of photos of the ship's guests looking for ours. We finally got a couple that we didn't hate:
Dave was quite sick the day before we left, but was able to get some medical intervention at the last minute that saved him from being miserable all week. He actually felt quite good by the time we got on the ship. The day we got off, I came down with whatever he had the previous week. So we both were sick, but luckily not on the ship. I was so germ conscience all week, I would wash my hands in our room before dinner and walk all the way to the dining room like a freshly scrubbed surgeon. I saw the staff washing and disinfecting the handrails and the elevator buttons all week, but I still was worried about all the germs in the contained space of the ship. And I'm not generally a germ-a-phobe.
We got a good price on the cruise, but if you're not careful, you can quickly increase your ship account.
Prices - $11 to watch a pay per view, $42 a day unlimited drinks (I assume that included alcohol?), $15 for laundry service ($7 per load for self service), $2 a minute for phone calls from your cabin, 85cents a minute internet, very pricey spa services, I was surprised the gym was free, it was pretty nice. $22 for an 8x10 photo, $18 t-shirts at the gift shop. So we went cheap - only drinks that were included on the dinner menu, minimal internet package, 1 load of self service laundry, and then one very pricey "deep tissue massage" at the spa. Dave needs work on his back all the time. He almost always lives with discomfort in his back. It was a very enticing service. He's never had a massage and I warned him he would be creeped out with a strange woman working on his backside. He is ultra conservative about things like that. He came back feeling better, but also exhausted - "There is NOTHING sensual about that! That was painful, but great at the same time."