Sapphire Princess Day 29

Written by Safarigal
April 3, 2024

Puerto Vallarta

April 1st, 2024

When I checked Facebook first thing this morning, there was a post from the Emerald Princess group showing that the Panama Canal was going to be closed, and we would not be able to transit the canal. Our new itinerary would be posted as soon as possible. Oh no! We are due to fly home from Fort Lauderdale, and I was looking forward to sailing through the canal again. But if it was closed, so be it. Hopefully they will have rain again soon and traffic can get moving through the canal once more.

Then I noticed the date. April 1st. Could this be an April fool’s day joke? I read further, and indeed it was. Phew! I am usually fooled on April 1st. Why should this year be any different?

Panic over, we got ready to go ashore in Puerto Vallarta. We hadn’t booked a tour, and had decided just to explore the town on foot.

The first thing we noticed is that there is a very large building. Really this is the first time that there was a large cruise terminal.

The terminal also had an assortment of shops in an attached mall. There was a large duty free shop, packed with every kind of tequila. We also knew that that we were back in tourist ports, there was a Diamonds International shop right as you got off the ship.

I liked the umbrella display in the mall.

It is about a 3 mile walk into the old town, so we decided to just stay in the port area instead of venturing too far afield.


We were looking for an ATM, but failing to find one at the terminal we went to the nearby Walmart. Sure enough there was an ATM there, and so were half of the crew and passengers from the ship. It was crowded. My Veuve Clicquot supply is running dangerously low, so I thought we could restock, but alas they didn’t have any. But at least we were able to withdraw some Mexican pesos.

We walked back to the ship for lunch.

As it turned out there actually is an ATM in the cruise terminal, so there is no need to go to Walmart. However, there was no Veuve Clicquot in the duty free shop.

We spent the afternoon at the pool at the back of the ship, but we did seem to be awfully close to the parking lot!

The dock is in a large bay, so we had a good view of the town from the pool.

After a lovely afternoon by the pool, it was time for the sail away. The opening from the bay to the open ocean is quite narrow, and we watched the staff captain edge us out very carefully into the open waters.

Once out of the bay we were treated to watching a couple of whales splashing around in the water. I wish we had a camera with us with a lens so that we could have got good photos – there is a whale tail in the foreground of the photo!

Life is good when you can sit on a sun lounger, sipping away at a pina colada, watching whales.

We had an excellent dinner at the steakhouse restaurant. It was a shame that we were just about the only people there, the food is so much better than in the main restaurants. And, they have proper wine glasses. I was tempted to try to sneak one out to use for the rest of the cruise in the main dining rooms, but my purse isn’t big enough.

For the first time on this cruise, my Medallion App has been correct. It shows that our next port is Cabo San Lucas. Yay! Mind you it has been showing Cabo for the past 29 days. I know it means the Cabo stop which is our first port of call on the Emerald Princess, but it was nice to see that it was accurate for the first time. It’s sort of like the fact that an analogue clock is correct twice a day. If you wait long enough, things do sort themselves out.

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I love to share my adventures with others, and hopefully give them some insight into what to expect on their own exciting travels. I hope reading my blog will be a useful resource, and inspire others to follow their travel dreams. As a travel advisor, I get great pleasure out of being able to help folks fulfill their aspirations by translating my experience in safari adventures and ocean voyages into memorable travel experiences for them.