Cruise on Holland America's Amsterdam
Mexican Riviera/Sea of Cortez, 02-14 Dec 10
This was a 12-day cruise out of San Diego with stops at La Paz, Loreto, Topolobampo, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas.
First of all, our admiration for Holland America (HAL) has not diminished. The crew was excellent, the 10-year-old ship clean and ship-shape, and the food very tasty and well presented. With just 1440 passengers, ~1100 of whom had previously sailed with HAL, it was easy to find your way around the ship and meet the same people for conversation.
Mexican Sunset near Mazatlan
We took a few more tours than usual but avoided the Copper Canyon train trip out of Topolobampo. It required a 4AM departure with a return near midnight. Our tour limit is 4 hours. Our most "educational" tour included a tequila distillery but, after several samples, I forgot what I had learned.
"A wonderful bird is the pelican, its bill can hold more than its belly can."
The only port of call where there were real touches of the "Old Mexico" was Loreto. Regrettably, we were told that it will be the next to be developed as yet another major tourist centre. Development destroys what many people come to see. We don't travel to buy T-shirts and .925 silver jewelry. We hardly recognized Puerto Vallarta, a city we last visited in 1986.
Cobblestone street in Loreto
Interior of a Loreto hotel built in the 1700's.
Eleanor talks to street vendors in Loreto.
Entrance to Puerto Vallarta Harbour