Sunday, March 29, 2009

Honeymoon Part 3- Mazatlan

Our second port was Mazatlan! We didn't book a shore excursion through the ship in this port, we decided to just venture off and do our own thing.

I woke up that morning to the balcony door closing. Nathan got up to take pictures of the boat docking. I can't give you too many details about it, because I went back to sleep- but judging by the pictures it looks like it's quite a job!

Those are some big ropes!

After I finally got my lazy butt out of bed and got ready for the day, we went upstairs and got some breakfast and then walked out on deck and took pictures of the city.

See those buildings way off in the distance in the picture above? We took a taxi from our ship all the way over there to those resorts. Our taxi rides in Mazatlan were a bit of an adventure- talk about crazy taxi! It was fun though, and a good way to see the city.
We spent a few hours out and about, shopping and playing at the beach. The weather was PERFECT for the beach. It was nice and warm, and the water was so perfect. Usually when I go to the beach the water is a bit chilly but not in Mazatlan! I'm glad we decided to go to be beach bums here, the next day in Cabo everyone was talking about how cold the water was and how they were freezing their butts off.

Nathan enjoying the fabulous beach conditions. We spent a lot of time in the water, because it was so nice.

Ahhhh! So relaxing!

We had to take a picture of this, we thought it was so funny. It's the K-mart special store down in the golden zone in Mazatlan. The shopping would have been absolutley awesome if we had, had more money. There were really great stores in the golden zone like Daimonds International and another Del Sol- they were fun to look around. We bought another plate for our collection and found a spoon for Nathan's mom in a shop that was a little more in our price range.

This is a picture of the ship from our taxi. The way the driver was driving I was worried I might never see it again! haha

We finished the day watching the sunset as we sailed away from Mazatlan and headed off to Cabo San Lucas.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Honeymoon Part 2- Puerto Vallarta

Our first port was Puerto Vallarta on our 4th day. I wasn't too sure I was going to like it when I walked out on my balcony and could see WalMart and Sams Club when we docked. But it turned out to be really beautiful and a lot of fun. We spent the morning doing a little shopping at some shops right near the pier. We bought me some new sunglasses, because I left mine at home. Then we stopped by the coolest store, Del Sol. Everything in the store changes color in the sun! Most of it is black and white inside, but once the sun hits it-WHAM-awesome colors. My favorite thing was the nail polish! I had to buy two bottles- it was just too cool. Since Nathan is really into ceramics, we stopped by a few ceramic shops. We found the most gorgeous plate at one of the shops and decided that we were going to buy a new plate from every port.

After our little shopping excursion, we went back to ship for lunch and went and a took a dip in the pool. It was nice, because most of the people were off the boat exploring the city, so we had the pool practically all to ourselves. The water was pretty cold, so we wound up moving our party over to hot tub. It was really fun and relaxing.

Later in the afternoon, it was time for our very first shore excursion! I was excited because this was the one that I got to pick. We went on the sunset horseback excursion. It started with an hour long bus ride which wasn't super pleasant, because I don't think our bus had air conditioning. But we had the most awesome tour guide- Tony. He was soooo much fun, we just loved him! He helped to make the hour go by pretty fast. Once we got to the ranch, they got everyone on a horse.

This is Nathan and I our horses Pancho and El Mexicano

Nathan looking sexy in his riding helmet.

Me on my horsey.

The area where we were riding was really pretty. We crossed this creek a few times at different spots and apparently my horse was really thirsty; he always had to stop and get a drink. It was kind of funny. Nathan and I both wished that our horses went a little faster. We were on beginner horses so they moved at a nice steady pace. They did pick it up a bit when we got closer to the ranch again- they knew it was time to go home and eat. We were excited to eat too.

We had really yummy homemade chips, salsa, and guacamole as an appetizer and then some really delicious Mexican BBQ for dinner. They finished off the meal with some tequila shots-Nathan and I naturally declined- everyone thought that we were either crazy or underage. Nah, we're just Mormon. =p

After we ate dinner, we got see a really cool show performed by "local youngsters."

This guy could do AMAZING things with that rope. It was neat to watch.

And this little guy is like 10 years old and a Mariachi singer. I was so impressed- he was so cute and his voice was amazing.

This 6 year old boy was so adorable! His act was to make his horse dance to the music. It was really neat.
On the bus ride back to the ship, we had to take a ten minute pit stop because someone had left something at the ranch, and they were bringing it to the bus. Little did we know, the items forgotten were pictures of Nathan and I. We hadn't brought any cash with us, so we couldn't purchase the pictures that they took of us on our horses- but a secret someone in our group new we were on our honeymoon and paid for the pictures for us. It was a really awesome surprise- it was cool that a total stranger would do something so nice.
Our stay in Puerto Vallarta was totally fun and romantic!

Honeymoon Part 1- The Boat

Our cruise was so fun!! We can't wait until we're able to go again- we're hoping to go on another on in a couple years to the Mediterranean. The Mexican Riviera was a blast though! Here are some high lights from the boat.

This is the first shot we got of the boat as we were trying to find our parking. We spent 7 days and 7 nights on the Carnival Pride.

Here's Nathan checking out our amazing stateroom. It was a pretty decent size for a cruise ship, and it had a ton of storage space. We had a bathroom, closet, couch, little table, bed, night stands, tv, etc.

When we got to our room, we excited and surprised to see it was decorated for us. One of Nathan's co-workers, Thea, had called in advanced and ordered us honeymoon stateroom decorations. They were so fun! We kept them up the whole time, and even brought some home with us.

Nathan enjoying the bed!
Me, takin' a break before dinner to read the next day's "capers." The beds were really pretty comfortable except for what we termed "the butt crack of the bed." Our king was actually two twin mattresses put together, so every now and then we would roll over the crack. It wasn't too noticeable though.

A mirror picture snapped while we were getting ready for dinner one night. There was a dress code for the dining room, so we usually had to change clothes before dinner time. No shorts in the dining room, and guys are encouraged to wear collared shirts. Two of the nights were formal, so we hit up the buffets instead of going to the dining room, because Nathan didn't bring any dress clothes, and we're too cheap to rent him a tux on the boat.

He cleans up pretty nice, doesn't he? That's my man!

Our favorite part of our room was the balcony! It was so nice to be able to have nice private space to sit and enjoy the views of the ports and the ocean or a beautiful sunset. The breeze off the water was so refreshing, and it was cool to leave the curtains open and wake up every morning to an ocean view. This is Nathan enjoying some root beer out on the balcony before we even left port in Long Beach.

One not-so-fun thing that happened on our balcony was our little camera mishap. While taking these very pictures that you're looking at, we were passing the camera off to one another when it slipped out of our hands and fell to ground, putting a pretty little kink in the extended lens. I was so sad, because this was only our first day at sea and we had just broken our camera. Lucky for us, the ship had just about anything you could think of on board- so we had a very nice selection of new cameras to choose from. We weren't really planning on buying a brand new digital camera, but how can you experience the Mexican Riviera without a camera to share the experience with your friend and family?!

Another thing that we liked to do, was walk out on the deck or the "Promenade." I think that was probably one of Nathan's favorite parts. If we could get where we were going by walking outside, that was always the option he would choose- even at night when it was windy and freezing outside! It was really fun though- one of those experiences you can't really have anywhere else- kind of romantic. =)

Every night with our turn down service, we got one of these little guys. The towel animals were pretty impressive. We looked forward to the end of the day so we could go back to the room and see what animal we got! Then Nathan would put his sunglasses on them and we'd have a little photo shoot. It was silly, but fun!

Super cool sting ray.

The night we got this monkey were kind of upset at first because we thought they had forgotten to make us an animal. He was hanging from the ceiling by our mirror! It took us a minute to find him since he was sitting on the bed.

This is a picture of the doors to the dining room. I wish I had remembered to bring the camera to dinner one night- the inside was really beautiful. Our scheduled dinner was every night at 6:00 in the dining room- but we didn't always eat there. We spent a lot of time up on the Lido Deck at the Mermaid Grille. It was full of amazing buffets for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And when it wasn't meal time, if we got hungry, there was always the 24 hour pizza and ice cream bars. We had ice cream all the time, just because we could. We even had it after breakfast one morning. The night before we arrived in our first port, there was a midnight Mexican buffet too. Oh! AND there is 24 hour room service too. On the first formal night we opted to spend the evening in our room and had dinner delivered while we watched the sunset. If you're a lover of food, like we are, I highly recommend a cruise. You'll love it.

Here is a picture of the glass elevators in the center of the ship. I thought they were so cool. The details and decor around the ship were just so cool. There's no way I could try to describe it all and possibly give it justice.
This is a snapshot of a couple of the shops that were on board. There was a ton of jewelry, and sunglasses, souvenirs, and "cruise wear."

The stair case at the Butterflies Lounge! We love the song "Big Girls" by Mika, so we got a kick out of the fact that there was A Butterfly Lounge on our ship.

There were butterflies absolutely everywhere! It was kind of over the top- but that's what makes it so fun. And in honor of the Carnival Pride Butterflies Lounge- I must post the song! haha

This is the starry night cafe- it was designed to look just like the painting. It was really neat!
We eventually found our way down to the casino, where we said good bye to about $60 throughout our time at see. Those slot machines are addicting! We had a couple big wins, but wound up putting all our winnings back into the machines. That's how they get you! We had a blast though- I got really easily excited when we would win anything. And the slot machines gave us an excuse to kiss eachother- for good luck of course!!
There was so much that we didn't get pictures of too. Like the Taj Mahal- where they had shows every night. We saw a couple of musical like shows and a ventrilaquist act. It was a cool theatre.
We also took part in a "treasure hunt" where we got a map, and had to follow clues all over the boat to find different letters and numbers. We had to unscramble the letters to discover the secret code and put the numbers into an equation to figure out the secret number. We were pretty confident that we were going to win- and we were soooo close. They actually drew our map out the box!! We had unscrambled the letters and got the correct answer, but the answer to our equation was a little off. = (
We still had a lot of fun looking for the clues though.
I'll try to post more about the honeymoon later this weekend!