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Mariner of the SeasMariner of the Seas
February 22-March 1, 2009
Mexican Riviera Itinerary

by Joe Reynolds

We flew to Las Vegas and spent three nights taking one day to drive up to Mt. Charleston. It just so happened that they had about 3 feet of snow three days earlier and the roads were clear, but beautiful snow. We spent some time at Caesar’s Palace and in the forum shops. Went to see the Legends in Concert show in LV. We then drove to Los Angeles spending one night in Barstow. We just wanted to drive in the desert.

We stayed at the Crown Plaza in San Pedro and met some online friends at the Acapulco restaurant watching the Sapphire Princess and the Norwegian Star sail out about 4:00 PM. Early the next morning with an excellent view from our room window we got to see the Mariner of Seas backing into its slip.

Boarding was without incident, but when we didn’t get our fourth bag, I inquired. They were holding the bag in security as were some of the other passenger’s bags. They said that x-ray had picked up some suspicious things in our suitcase. Our friends had the same problem. They stated that things like irons were not allowed. My bag was not locked so they could have opened it at anytime. I was never asked to open my bag and give up the alcohol within, but that is what they were looking for.

I saw one man give up a bottle of liquor and say, “Now give me my clothes.” I considered this harassment and would not book Royal Caribbean again, nor would I recommend booking them. I had a Grand Suite with all different types of rocks glasses, champagne glasses, and wine glasses. The obviously expected us to have alcohol to drink in the cabin, but will not sell it on board to use in your cabin. I also could not pre-order gin to be delivered to my cabin ahead of time. In any event I was not made to open the luggage. The security personnel stated that the on shore x-ray tagged the cases as possible threats. They were looking for alcohol and using the iron story as a cover. The female security agent said that my cabin number was not on the list. If she didn’t have my cabin number why was she harassing me. I stated I wanted to talk to this person’s superior and also requested to speak to the captain. I don’t know why they didn’t make me open my case, but they didn’t, and allowed me to proceed. This is the first time I have ever seen a cruise line take alcohol out of checked luggage. They just didn’t take mine.

We enjoyed Cabo San Lucas our first port of call. Saw some whales and dolphins coming into Cabo. We rented a car to drive up Pedregal and viewed some very nice villas. The drive offered some great views. I had to leave my driver’s license at the security gate and pick it up on the way back. By the time we got the car it was too late to drive to Todos Santos so we just tooled around Cabo.

In Mazatlan we went to Stone Island which is kind of a beach stop. I would choose another tour if I went back. Victor’s, Lety’s are two of the nicer places but we were with Punta de Sol. I wished we had just toured the city. It is not necessary to get a tour to go to Stone Island, as it is just a short water taxi ride there. We just had a nice Catamaran ride on the way and viewed some seals, sea-lions, and birds. There is a cart being pulled by a tractor that will take you to the eating places for a small tip.

In Puerto Vallarta we visited the old El Camino Real hotel where we had previously spent some time. It is now called Dreams. They let us in the room to show our friends what a spectacular view it had and its own private swimming pool. We had a nice meal at PiPi’s a very nice Mexican Food Restaurant and toured around the city. Some people had gone to a lot of trouble building sand statues which were quite pretty along the beach.

When we returned to San Pedro disembarkation was very easy and we had previously booked transportation with Zippy Shuttle which worked out well. We did not have to wait in any lines and the people were there at 9:00 AM as promised. The driver took us by the Queen Mary Hotel and also took a picture of the Russian Submarine moored next to the Queen Mary. We spent the night at the Courtyard by Marriott LAX with an easy free shuttle to catch a 10:20 AM flight.

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