Aboard the Seabourn Legend -Day 3

Seabourn Legend
Click for larger pic.Seabourn Legend

Kuki's Daily Ship's Log -- Installment #1 - Day 1 Installment #2 - Day 2 Installment #3 - Day 3 Installment #4 - Day 4 Installment #5 - Day 5

Dinner with Captain Beur went pretty well. I didn't fall asleep at the table. We were joined at the table by a group of four friends from Great Britain. From the place cards I determined one was a Baroness, another was a "Lady" in the official colonial definition of the word. The foursome was very British, and for a moment I thought we had ended up in a Monty Python skit. But before I burst into laughter at the thought, a delightful couple from Texas joined us at the table as well. The food and service were exceptional, and we found Captain Beur to be a most charming host with a delightful sense of humor. At one point, someone at the table commented that the sailing was so smooth it felt as if the ship wasn't moving. The Captain didn't miss a beat when his retort, " I certainly hope it is."

During the course of the conversation we discovered that after 14 days coming from Florida, 80 passengers had disembarked in Acapulco, and there were only 135 passengers on the ship. With 165 crew members onboard this made for an interesting ratio. It also helped to explain why this ship seemed so quiet at night. Although I'd guess with the average age of passengers on this ship approaching the 60 + range, it would still be quiet even if there were another 50 or 60 passengers onboard.

Tonight the showroom was open, featuring the Huber Marionettes. Mrs. Kuki and I found the show quite cute, and entertaining. After the show I paid a visit to the casino to play some Blackjack as Mrs. Kuki headed to bed. The casino consists of 8 slot machines, a roulette wheel and two tables for Blackjack, manned by a staff of 3 very pleasant young women.

Peurto Vallarta
This morning we awoke in Peurto Vallarta, to yet another sunny day ahead. Normally I don't book ship's excursions, but having never been to Peurto Vallarta before, we decided to take an organized excursion in the morning, and signed up for the Mismoloya Beach Highlights tour. This was basically a bus tour, with 16 passengers, a driver, and a guide, traveling in a small bus. Bus tours are not my cup of tea, but our, Jose Isais, made this trip an exception. He was a superb guide, and quite "Kuki", entertaining us while still being informative. He got my attention immediately when he first introduced himself after we boarded the bus. He said, " My name is Jose, but because Jose is such a common name in Mexico, you can call me Pepe." I knew right away I'd appreciate his sense of humor, and he didn't disappoint. He kept me laughing for the entire 4 hours with his stories and one liners. Truly a delight!

Peurto Vallarta surprised me with its beauty and cleanliness. During high season 50,000 additional tourist bodies are added, and it becomes a city of 300,000 people; Not a quaint Fishing village to be sure. Jose told us that unlike a lot of Mexico, Puerto Vallarta has a very low crime rate. 95 % of the local population is employed in industry related to tourism, and they are very appreciate of what tourism has done for their area and its economy.

Up until 39 years ago, the city had a population of 12,000. The boom to the area was sparked when filmmaker John Huson chose Mismoloya as the location for the making of the movie, Night of the Iguana. It was during the making of this film Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton began their infamous romance. Soon after she bought a home here, high in the hills. It wasn't long before many of Hollywood's stars followed, and the locals affectionately labeled the area "Gringo Gully". The growth hasn't really stopped since. Today it an energetic resort city, combining many fine beaches, shopping, a vibrant nightlife, and many restaurants and clubs.

Upon returning to the pier Mrs. Kuki shopped at the craft market located at the pier, while I checked my e-mail at the reasonably priced Internet Cafe next door. We then returned to the ship, and headed to the Sky Deck to enjoy the sunshine and the sail-away from a pleasant day in Puerto Vallarta.

Now that I've had a few days to meet and have discussions with many of my fellow passengers, I'm discovering what a loyal following Seabourn has. Most are past passengers, and most seem quite devoted to the line, and the pampered lifestyle it offers. They enjoy the sedate and intimate atmosphere onboard. As I discussed earlier, many of them are "older", but they seem to be well traveled, and reasonably physically fit. This ship is not well suited to people with mobility problems, and it doesn't seem to attract those who do. More so than other cruise lines which I've sailed, this ship seems to attract people who, from research or past experience, know what they can expect from the ship, and book it for those very reasons. Aside from not being a ship well suited to those looking for activity filled cruises, this ship is also not suited to tall people. The ceilings throughout the ship are low, and even at 6'3" tall, I "banged the noggin" a couple of times passing through some doorways. People much taller than me would have some difficulties sailing this ship.

One interesting thing to note, which surprised me, is that there are smoking sections in the dining room, as well as the alternate restaurant, and all the lounges onboard. Also surprisingly, on this sailing these smoking areas seemed to get considerable use. Being a member of the evil breed, the smoking sections were a bonus. Others might not be so pleased. The only positive for the nonsmokers might be, I never saw anyone smoking in any of the nonsmoking sections, or hanging around doorways and elevators.

Tonight we received an invitation to dine with one of the guest lecturers onboard. We declined the invitation, as I thought I might feel awkward, as I hadn't attended his talk.

With the low-level pace of this cruise Mrs. Kuki and I have been spending an inordinate amount of time together. It's turning out to be like a second honeymoon for us. Very similar to our first, when she slept, and I asked myself why I did it.

The Legend continues tomorrow in Cabo San Lucas, a place we loved when we visited on our first cruise in 1994. I'll let you know if it's changed, and what Mrs. Kuki did to me when she read the second last paragraph.

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