As I write this, we have been on the Regent Seven Seas Navigator for just over two weeks. We boarded the ship in Miami to sail around the world in 128 days and nights coming back to Miami. We have settled into our 356 square foot cabin that includes a queen-size bed, sitting area with a desk and 40-inch flat screen TV, balcony with two deck chairs and a table, walk in closet, and bathroom that has a separate tub (which I use for souvenirs) and shower. It is comfortable, but not luxurious and it takes a little continuing organization to keep it picked up.
Holding less than 500 passengers, the Navigator is considered to be a small ship. We think of it as comfy and cozy with all the comforts anyone could want without walking great long distances to do everything. In short, we love it.
After leaving Guatemala we sailed north along the coast of Central America for a full day arriving in Acapulco the next day.
The last time I was in Acapulco World War II had just ended. Mother and a group of ladies (and one husband) from the Crescent Hill Woman’s Club took a train trip to Mexico. I was a child but it made a lasting impression on me. I loved it. I got to paint with Diego Rivera who was doing a mural to decorate our hotel. But that is another story.
This time we sailed into the natural harbor of Acapulco Bay. The Fuerte de San Diego was built more than 200 years ago to protect Acapulco from pirates. Fort San Diego now serves as the home of Acapulco’s History Museum and houses a wide array of exhibits and displays that highlight the area’s culture and history.
We took a cultural walking and shopping hike around the town. It is still picturesque and charming. The hotel Los Flamingos, once owned by Louisville native and movie star Victor Mature still provides spectacular views of the ocean and La Roqueta Island.
Late in the afternoon, a mariachi band came on board the ship to entertain in the ship’s theatre. They were great and so were the tequila sunrise cocktails that accompanied the performance.
One of the really nice things about the dining service on the Navigator is the ability to order, 24 hours in advance, almost anything you want to eat. Well, with more than 40 countries represented in the crew, we figured it would be easy for them to come up with a special ethnic dinner for us and our friends Cathy and Richard. We chose an Indian dinner and it was wonderful. I am sure that the Indian members of the crew hoped there were leftovers to be enjoyed.
Another day at sea followed Acapulco and then we were in Cabo San Lucas, also known as Land’s End. There is a distinctive arched rock formation located at the extreme southern end of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula where the Sea of Cortez joins the Pacific Ocean.
Most of the shops in downtown Cabo are within a block of the marina area and are typical beach shops. We went out to a local restaurant to learn about the process of creating tequila and sample three of Mexico’s finest tequilas. It was hard to keep straight what the differences were. I just knew one was clear, one was pale yellow and the third golden. I did discover that unlike gin on the rocks, “straight-up” tequila is not one of my favorite beverages.
However, the guacamole, salsa, chips, a tortilla filled with creamed shrimp and rice, a taco of pulled pork and black beans, and tiny wedges of a three-layered chocolate cake served along with the tequilas made it all go down just fine. And it replaced lunch for the day.
Back “home” we were invited to sail across the port and visit the new Regent ship, “Explorer.” It is over the top and is a showcase of luxury and beauty and I am going to save telling you more about it until next week when we leave San Diego and head for Hawaii.
Continuing our “round the world” culinary adventure that evening we had a Filipino dinner, once again with Cathy and Richard. It is hard to remember all the good things that were on it. I believe it was even better than the Indian dinner.
The next day was at sea and we continued to go to the morning and afternoon lectures. The lecturers on this segment of the cruise are from Smithsonian, and they are good. One has dealt with “Movie Memories” with lots of old movie clips and stories of bygone stars. The final lecture focused exclusively on the making of the “Wizard of Oz.” I had forgotten that Judy Garland was not the first choice to play Dorothy and that the dog that played Toto had to go on sick leave for three days after being stepped on.
“Jazz Greats” was the subject the second lecturer focused on. Ella Fitzgerald was my favorite, but the ones on Ray Charles and Frank Sinatra were good too.
I have a whole suitcase full of books that I have been plowing thru in our off time. We are still looking for two more people with which to play “Hand & Foot” canasta. On the ship, TV subject matter is limited. Lots and lots of on demand movies whenever you want to watch them. But live TV is limited to CNN, FOX, BBC and MSNBC, plus reruns of the onboard lectures and descriptions of future shore excursions.
For the moment, our last ethnic dinner was a Thai extravaganza. I don’t ever get tired of things made with rice noodles and lemongrass. If Brad ever finds a day when he has skipped breakfast and lunch he is going to order a two-lobster dinner. You can always have all you want of anything you want, and his mission is to run the ship out of lobster. I don’t think I would bet against him on this objective.
The night before arriving in San Diego we were invited to have dinner with the ship’s general manager, Davor Josipovic. He is in charge of everything on the ship except the actual running of it. On other ships this position is known as the hotel manager. We were joined by another couple from San Antonio, Richard and Lana Breakie who were delightful. It seems he was a YUM! Brands franchisee and owned 39 Taco Bells, a bunch of Pizza Huts, and KFC stores. We found so much to talk about that our host Davor, gave up on us after dessert and said good night. We talked until nearly 10:30.
Our last port in North America was two days in San Diego. It was pouring down rain when we sailed in about noon. I was supposed to go on a trolley ride around San Diego and Brad was to go to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park for three hours. The rain was too much to go out so we watched a double feature. (Bet you haven’t heard that expression in a long time). “Pete’s Dragon” and “Florence Foster Jones” with popcorn from Room Service. It ended up being a vacation from a vacation.
Speaking of room service, it is available at no extra cost, 24 hours a day. At two in the morning if you want a steak and a milkshake, just call and they come right along with it as soon as they freshly prepare the steak. Knowing this has not made any difference. We have never done it.
Approximately 150 guests got off the ship in San Diego and a similar number got on as we prepared to leave for four days in Hawaii and a leisurely sail among the South Pacific islands toward New Zealand. VT
Photos by Carla Sue Broecker.