Mariner of the Seas – Day 5

Brenden Schaaf / September 20, 2009

August 20, 2009
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

We got into Puerto Vallarta before 8am (well before I woke up, in other words).  It was quite steamy once again with very little breeze.  I tried unsuccessfully to tap into a wifi signal from the balcony and gave up after trying again from the 12th deck while Heather lounged in the sun.  I quickly retreated to the library due the heat and finished the last episode of The Staircase that I had with me.  The Staircase is a documentary film about a murder case in North Carolina earlier this decade and the first DVD had 4 episodes…so now I’m wishing I had brought the other DVD with me on the trip.

DSC03443Prior to going up to the 12th deck, we had some breakfast at the Windjammer and Heather signed up for some spa treatments later in the afternoon.  We then decided to try our hand at a trivia competition in the Schooner Bar.  This one was “tri-bond” trivia where the question consists of 3 things and you have to figure out what they have in common.  For example, the host might say “maiden, tag, brand” and the correct answer would be “name.”  We won the contest by getting 18 of 20 correct (only one other team showed up but they had 6 people and only scored 15 correct) and we were awarded some luggage tags for our efforts.

Café Promenade features snack-type foods like small sandwiches, pizza, and desserts.  There is also a Seattle's Best Coffee and Ben & Jerry's with food/drink items for purchase.
Café Promenade features snack-type foods like small sandwiches, pizza, and desserts. There is also a Seattle's Best Coffee and Ben & Jerry's with food/drink items for purchase.

We had a small bite to eat in the Café Promenade (a great concept that makes the Mariner stand out from some older ships).  Café Promenade is open all day and offers sandwiches, desserts, water, coffee, pizza, etc.  It’s all “free” if you forget what was paid for the cruise!

In the afternoon, Heather decided to head ashore to do some shopping in the markets (not at the nearby Walmart or Sam’s Club!) before we head back to sea for two days.  Although in hindsight, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the goods at the traditional market and those at the nearby Walmart both came to Mexico together inside a common shipping container from China.  Such is life these days.

She returned in time for her appointment at the Spa for a facial and massage.  The massage, she reported, was the best she had ever had and she also remarked that the massages at sea are always better than the ones she has on land, so they staff in the Shipshape Spa is apparently very good at what they do.  Heather dutifully reported that she had skipped buying the $125 collagen and about $150 in other products that were recommended so that, I guess, was my gift!

Walmart & Sam's Club in Puerto Vallarta
Walmart & Sam's Club in Puerto Vallarta

The My Time Dining worked like a breeze at our standing time of 6:45pm.  We arrived right on time and were promptly seated in the same section as we had been seated the night before (very near the 5th floor dining room doors) at a 2-person table.  I had a lamb t-bone and Heather had some stuffed pasta and a very nasty cauliflower cake.  In all fairness, the waiter tried to warn her that the cauliflower cake was not that good and he was right.  I didn’t believe that it was so bad and took a big bite myself…there was nothing redeeming about this entrée unfortunately.

After dinner it was off to the 80s themed show, Pure Energy.  This show was 100% unchanged (other than the cast members) from last year but still was great.  Heather remarked that when they start doing 90s retrospectives she will be sad!  The singers on this cruise are the strongest group of singers we have seen on any cruise and the dancers managed to put on a strong performance even though the ship was rocking a bit more this night.

After Pure Energy ended near 10pm, we stopped by the room for a short stay before we headed off to Studio B for The Quest.  What happens at The Quest stays at The Quest but suffice it to say that this is the one event that is not to be missed on any Royal Caribbean Cruise.  This particular performance was no exception and the setup in Studio B was great.  It was standing room only and we enjoyed a couple drinks before and during the show, which only enhanced the mood.

It was after midnight when The Quest was over so we headed back to the cabin for some sleep.  Looking forward to tomorrow night when we set the clocks back an hour and get back the lost hour from a few nights ago.

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