Sunday, 13 March 2011

Jan 17 - Manzanillo

We had a buffet breakfast this morning at BBB and then walked around deck 4 with the Parsons and the children. There was a lot of energy and excitement for our first Mexican port of call. We had time for some board games at Diversions when the announcement came that we had arrived early at Manzanillo. Yippee!!! It was a cool but sunny day, perfect weather for port adventures. We had a very early lunch at Parrot Cay then walked off the ship in search of the friendly Paco, our guide for the private tour that we had organised.
He was ready and waiting with our red van and a welcome sign! All 20 of us squished into our little red van and off we went! We started with a quick tour of the city, and to be honest there wasn’t much around the port itself. We drove up to the mountain to get a bird’s eye view of the city as well as the exclusive Las Hadas resort, a beach side golf retreat with an Arabian theme complete with its own marina. En route we saw iguanas on trees. Paco stopped for us to take photos, and what I thought were a few iguanas turned out to be MULTIPLE iguanas. They were everywhere!
The Wonder, docked at Manzanillo, Mexico

Off the ship ready to go!

Our welcome sign being waved by Mei to hurry the stragglers!
The gorgeous school children lined up to greet the passengers. You can spot our little red van in the back ground amongst the big buses...
Inside the van
Iguana! If you look carefully you can see more behind and below
The beautiful view from the top
Part of Las Hadas
Our mountain journey ended with a visit to the flea/craft market by the beach. It was fun browsing through the various stalls with their colourful wares. We were the only ones there for a while before a bus load of Disney passengers turned up. We took the cue to leave and stopped at the restaurant next door for a snack by the beach. We let the children run down to the water but warned them to stay dry as we were about to head to another beach.

Jonah exploring and shopping on his own...
Puffer fish in the water
Puffer fish in the shops!
Selling fruit by the beach
The girls with their new head bands

and shell bracelets
The boys with their new toys
Where we stopped for a snack
Our view of the beach

Taking the instructions to stay dry very seriously!

Our next beach stop did not disappoint. Paco had taken us to a beach front hotel to let us use the facilities. There was a shallow pool overlooking the beach right next to a shaded area with our own table. The beach was deserted. It truly felt like our own private oasis. We ordered iced coffees and the staff surprised us with frappuccinos! They were absolutely delicious and cheap as well. In the meantime, Paco had gone to fulfill our order of churros. He returned with a boxful!!!
The afternoon flew by and sadly it came time to go. Paco once again obliged us with a quick shopping stop before taking back to the ship. Manzanillo for me was one of the most enjoyable port. It was so nice to be able see things in a small group and really enjoy the beauty of Mexico in such a relaxed and fun way. Paco made it that much better by making it logistically so easy. We only paid US$300 for ALL of us and he even provided drinks. We were only to happy to give him the gratuity that he well and truly deserved. Yes, we did have to squash into one van but it added to the sense of adventure!
Where we stopped for a swim
The pool, the beach and the shaded area
An empty beach
The girls enjoying the pool
The adults relaxing
Enjoying the shade
Australia's next top model?

Enjoying eating on the sand
Time to pile back into our little red van
A quick photo with Paco before boarding the ship

Some sights of Manzanillo

We had dinner onboard and then watched Circurious, a show put together based on circus acts. The individual performers were actually very good but I thought they tried too hard to fit them into a theme/story which made it rather forced. And the narrator was not that good! It was still entertaining nonetheless and we went to bed tired but content.

A bizarre act where she "disappears" into the ball

This guy was an amazing dancer

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