Summer of 2015 Kickoff: Miracle on the Mexican Riviera, Day 4: Puerto Vallarta

Tuesday, May 19, Day 4: Puerto Vallarta

I woke up at 6:30 a.m. and felt excitement in the air so I stepped out on the balcony and was hit with the first wave of tropical humidity. Ahhh… We were getting closer to Puerto Vallarta and I had to sit out on that balcony. I think Rich was surprised when I then woke him up around 6:40 a.m. 🙂

I was overcome with emotion and began to tear up. This surprised me. Where was this coming from? Was it connecting with my younger self because the last time I’d been in PV was 34 years ago? Or was it connecting with tropical environs, reminding us of our life in Florida? Perhaps both.

But whatever was driving the emotion, lyrics to a song just came to me and I wrote them down. Perhaps, one day, I’ll write a melody for it. But writing today’s report, I’m just so excited and never anticipated this level of excitement over PV. Yes, I wanted Rich to experience it but I hadn’t realized how much PV meant to me.

We threw on some comfy clothes and headed for deck 9 where they were serving continental breakfast on the Lido. We grabbed a quick bite and then walked the Promenade on Deck 3, watching the dolphins swimming alongside the ship, leading us to PV.

Then we headed back to the Lido for a hot breakfast and sat out by the pool. We then refilled our coffee cups and brought them back to our cabin and enjoyed our coffee out on our balcony. We wouldn’t arrive in PV until noon and our excursion wasn’t until 4 p.m. so we returned to our cabin and took a nap. When we arrived in PV, we went up to the top deck and took some photos.

IMG_0167Dolphin splashes in the Pacific outside Puerto Vallarta

IMG_0170Our first sighting – such tall buildings – my how PV has grown!

IMG_0171A military boat greets us (we would notice a military presence at both docks at both ports)

IMG_0173Captain positions us in the Port of Puerto Vallarta (this is all new)

IMG_0174Backing in

IMG_0175Docked in PV – the port side

IMG_0183All new since my last visit

Once docked, people began leaving the ship but we headed for lunch from the poolside grill. We ate our usual burgers and fries with ice tea and then returned to our cabin for an afternoon nap.

At 3:00 we showered and got ready for our evening excursion to Las Caletas, the private hideaway that film director John Huston owned. This was the reason we’d chosen the overnight in PV itinerary – the only way you can enjoy this evening excursion by cruise ship. But because of the recent drug-related violence that has made its way to PV, sadly, the captain informed us that we had to return to the ship by 9:00 p.m. because the gangway would be lifted at 9:30 p.m. (or when the last excursion returned) until the next morning as a precaution.

At 4:00 p.m, we took the elevator down to deck 1 and chatted with a couple in the elevator. They had family in PV and were going to spend the night with them. The last time he’d been to PV was 2 years ago but before that, it had been 35 years!

We made our way to the meeting place on the pier while we waited for everybody to gather. Then our leader took us to the catamaran that would take us to Las Caletas, only accessible by boat. And then the party began and oh boy, do Mexicans know how to party!!

That 45-minute trip to Las Caletas was a wild one, indeed! We traveled so fast, it felt like we left the water a few times with the sides splashing as we smacked back down. There was loud dance music and an open bar and our fellow passengers were downing them as fast as they could. Rich and I found a seat in the back with a backrest, thank goodness, because most seats were benches and I didn’t think my back would survive that.

We each took a margarita (I’d learned my lesson 34 years ago about losing count of the number of margaritas I consumed in PV – lol!). Besides, there was dinner and the trip back – gotta pace yourself. But the guy who’d sat down next to me was clearly drunk. He leaned over and slurred, “Are you two drunkards?” He kept asking that. We laughed (nervously) and tried to ignore him. Then he tried to carry on a real conversation but he was too wasted. He kept repeating, “I’ve heard great things about this place.”

Unfortunately, we would run into him again on the island and then again when we reboarded the Miracle that night. By then, he had sobered up and ignored us. Ha! This always happens on cruises. People make fools of themselves or tell you their secrets (one incident made its way into Real Women Wear Red) and then, embarrassed, ignore you the rest of the cruise. I love it!

Rich offered to switch places with me but the couple next to him wasn’t much better, downing beers as fast as they could be served. At least they didn’t get stupid drunk. I enjoy a drink or two but I really don’t like to be around drunk people!

It was quite the wild ride, and the captain and servers were partying as much as everybody else (okay, hopefully, no drinking but I couldn’t be sure of that) there were times I worried we weren’t going to make it. The captain was flirting with a woman standing next to him and when the boat got really wild, she’d grab onto his chair. I didn’t know what to expect. There were a few prayers being lifted that night. I asked the stupid drunk guy if we were going to be okay, and he reassured me with, “Of course!” Ha!

But we did arrive safely, although the ride back was even wilder in the dark. The music was louder, the dancing was wilder, and the drinking was harder. More prayers were lifted – lol!

Back to Las Caletas – once we landed on the island, we were then led to where we’d be having dinner and Rich will write about that next.

About Kathy

Novelist & Music Producer