The Thanksgiving Cruise
In 2005, my sister talked the whole family into going on a cruise to Mexico for Thanksgiving. Ports of call included Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, and Cabo San Lucas.
Getting there was half the fun. I had bought the kids a book about the sound effects a person can make and Tyler had perfected his baby Elizabeth cry. As we were about to take off on our connecting flight Tyler tried it out on the approaching stewardess. She smiled and leaned in close, “I’m not going to have to strangle you am I?”
The cruise had about 2,000 passengers and 800 of these were kids. Everything was overcrowded and sticky. Want to sit in the sun by the pool? Good luck, every lounge was taken and there were splashing kids everywhere.
The ports of call were the highlights of the cruise. In Mazatlan, I remember the crazy bus ride into town (I think this was my dad’s favorite part of the whole trip) we all held on for dear life and were so grateful to arrive unscathed at our destination. My kids were shocked at the houses that many people lived in and realized that we were living well compared to many in our world. I also remember the pollution and how bad it was in Mazatlan.
Puerta Vallarta was beautiful. Rex and the boys went zip-lining and Mom and I went shopping. There was a sea of beggars. As we headed back to the ship worn out from fending off and giving to so many beggars I walked past a woman with two children. I thought about going back to give her something, but I didn’t. This memory has haunted me ever since and I wish I could change my decision.
Cabo San Lucas struck me as the wealthiest of the ports. Yachts and condos were everywhere. The plan for this port was a snorkeling adventure.
Just before the excursion, Rex and I were at the highest point of the cruise ship looking down into the ocean and saw a massive hammerhead shark swimming alongside the ship. We went anyway and were glad we didn’t see any large sea life.
To be continued…
Photo courtesy of Stephanie Klepacki