November 05, 2019

Saturday Nov 2 - Puerto Vallarta

We arrive in Puerto Vallarta about 25 minutes late, the ship is quickly cleared by local authorities and 90 % of the passengers soon are off the ship.

The captain's forecast, actually Royal staff in Miami, is for thunderstorms all day. Presently the sky is a little hazy but quite sunny.

I decide to check out the mall across the street. Of course most names I am not familiar with, but a few are universal around the world like Radio Shack, McDonalds, Burger King and Pizza Hut.  I actually decide a Subway sandwich for lunch would be a welcome break. Yes it was!

I have neglected to finish any of the audio books I brought with me, fortunately I am able to renew from here. I have switched to Libby, an app that interfaces with most libraries.  Much easier to use than going to the individual library sites. Thank you Robert.

With message and data service I spend part of the day communicating with my children about upcoming events. Yes I am old enough to remember when it was prohibitively expensive to talk by phone with someone in the next town. Communication with a passenger on a ship, or a person in another country was reserved for extreme life or death matters, not planning parties and juggling schedules.

By 3:30 it is getting a little cloudy. Maybe the captain will get his thunderstorm yet. We will see.

Over a third of the passengers are from countries other than the US, a much larger number than I usually see.

Apparently one couple didn't make it back to the ship. They were paged three times in the last half hour before the ship sailed. I hope they are having a good time.

A very unusual occurance in the Diamond Lounge this evening. A very heated argument built between two passengers, one from the US, and the other from Brisbane, Australia. Something about each's involvement in Vietnam. Intervention by respective wives, ship staff, and other passengers separated them before anyone was hurt.

Time to leave the lounge, I join Chuck and Janice for dinner.

The seas are calm as we head for Guatamala. No it never did rain today. Royals weatherman has a near perfect record of being wrong.

Nov 3, 4 - Sea days

It is a 2 day run to our next port of Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala. The skies are partly cloudy, but the sun is bright and hot. The humidity is high, just like Florida is much of the year.

I have an invitation to an unnamed event on deck 8 by the forward elevators. There is not much there, I will learn later, but I suspect it is something in conjuction with me attaining Pinnacle in Crown and Anchor, Royal's loyalty program.

The top tier ceremony isn't until tomorrow, and I don't get the additional benefits until my next cruise in December, but I am getting closer.

I try to listen to a book this afternoon to only learn I have permission to listen to the books that I just renewed, but the files are not on my phone. A glitch caused by an erroneous setting when I renewed the books in out last port. I will fix at the next port when I have cell service again.

The 5:00 reservation is indeed part of becoming a Pinnacle level. A reception for me  and the other three new Pinnacles on the bridge with the captain and most of the officers, champagne, and presentation photos. No, I don't keep the acrylic block yet, as it will be presented again tomorrow morning at the top tier event. I did get to hold it for a minute though.

Only a few of you will see the humor in this, but the celebration cake was in the shape and appearance of a pineapple.

The entertainment tonight is an Elvis impersonator. Probably one of the better of many I have seen.

Skies are clear and the seas calm as we sail into the night. There is a nice view of the setting sun from the windows in the Diamond club.

The top tier event involves nearly half of the passengers. 27 pinnacle, 291 Diamond plus, and 359 Diamond passengers. I am one of 4 passengers being honored for having attained the level of Pinnacle. The first since this ship left Europe 2 months ago. Again I hold the statue and certificate just long enough for pictures, but at this point it is official, records indicate that I am a Pinnacle.

By noon time the wind has increased to over 25, and seas are increasing to 2 to 3 meters. Despite stabilizers, the ship will pitch and roll.  For the first time since I left Miami over three weeks ago the staff is warning passengers to hold onto railings.

We pass a northbound cruise ship about 5 miles off our Starboard. I think a Celebrity ship but it is too distant to see clearly. Cruise ships and commercial ships are relatively infrequent in these waters.

The Elvis impersonator is doing a matinee show today. Steve Davis, the cruise director has done an excellent job of scheduling many activities. Yesterday there were five football games for the sports addicts to choose from. So far all the lectures I have heard before, but that shouldn't detract from the fact they are made available.

By dinner the ship is rolling pretty good.

I learn more about the altercation in the Diamond Lounge several days ago. The Australian has been instigating trouble with a number of passengers over multiple dsys. Both male and female passengers have been his victims. Royal has been actively investigating each instance, and I will not be surprised if a passenger is disembarked prematurley. So far verbal warnings from the staff have been ineffective.

The entertainment tonight is a comedian/juggler.

Because of tides and currents, we will arrive in port about 5:00 AM, but will not be cleared for disembarkation until 8:30. Royal's weather forecast is for rain.