My biggest yet completely arbitrary complaint on the cruise is I couldn’t get my passport stamped in either city. They simply just don’t do it. I asked several times to no avail. I so wanted a stamp on my passport to show I was now officially a world traveler and it was ruined by the tourist industry being so reliable! lol Damn hippies. Heehee Seriously though, I was rather disappointed.
The cruise went to Mexico via Cabo and Puerta Vallarta. One day in Cabo and two days in PV. The boat itself was kind of an odd configuration of gaudy and tacky all in one. It made for fun conversation and fodder for several of the on-board comedians though. Speaking of, I got to see the ghayto-fabulous Kathy Griffin. She was funnier than ever with a routine totally geared toward ripping gays and their sexual proclivities. I think I busted a seam I was laughing so hard. Of course, the boat had a dance party planned every day. Some were Tea dances and others were just dances. Some were costume style, others were just based on the style of music. Beyond the parties, there were a variety of comedy shows. Dixie Longate and Miss Richland 1981 were both in attendance. The trifecta would have been complete if Miss Coco Peru had been on board. Lest I forget, Deborah Cox was on board as well. Kathy was the highlight for me, but all of the shows were very good.
Cabo was somewhat depressing. I didn’t see the whole city obviously, but what I did see made me sad and angry. Unless you go for the fishing or ocean expeditions, you probably won’t enjoy it. Well, unless you stay on the boardwalk which is lined with restaurants, shops, and high-end brand name stores. The rest of the city appears to live in abject poverty. The moment we stepped off the boat we were bombarded with ‘vendors’ practically begging for sales of tiny and or useless trinkets. I admit it was a big shock. Children coming up and asking to sell chic-let gum was saddening. The vendors weren’t shy about telling you they needed the money either. We aren’t talking 3rd-world conditions but the level of poverty was a total surprise. Overall, I came away feeling the city had a veneer of commercialism spread thinly over a population in poverty.
Puerta Vallarta was a thriving city. It is obvious a huge component of their economy is tourism but it didn’t have the depressing feel of Cabo. It wasn’t just an attempt at a city wrapped around a port of call. The landscape and scenery were very appealing. The city had a tropical feel that was very relaxing. The gay section was remarkably large and seemed pretty well accepted. We saw local couples walking the streets and holding hands. No one batted an eye. The streets were all cobblestone which made for some interesting taxi rides. Over all, it was beautiful, friendly and inviting. And while it had an element of poverty, it was much more in line with what I would consider normal for any city. It was funny seeing so many guys of the boat going into the local “pharmacy” for medications you can get w/o a prescription there. heehee. We only had time to visit a couple of the local bars. The Lanoche had a simple yet beautiful roof top deck. The bartenders were ‘very’ friendly. If you happen to go that way anytime soon, say hi to Louis and tell him Moby sent you.
Overall, it was a great experience. For PV, I think I’d just fly in next time and stay for an extended weekend or even a week. I didn’t get to see near as much as I wanted. As mentioned, I got totally homesick on the way back but I am glad I went.