Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Cabo San Lucas is located on the Baja Peninsula and has gained a reputation for its stunning scenery, near perfect weather, underwater nature reserve and whale watching.

Cabo was the first tender port on the cruise and the first ever for me. In our horizon the night before was information about the tender and, if you wanted to get off in the morning, it was a ticketing process until announced otherwise. I had an excursion booked in the afternoon, so decided to take it easy in the morning and get off around 12pm which (I hoped) would be after the ticketing was finished and you could just proceed to the A deck where you would catch the tender.

In case anyone is reading and doesn’t know what the tender is, it is where you anchor off shore and have to catch a boat (usually one of the life boats with a capacity of around 100) to the shore.

I was waiting for around 10 minutes while the offloaded the passengers on the tender that had just arrived. To get on the tender, there is a requirement to be able to step (unassisted) 18″ (45cm) and to also go down around 8 steps to reach the tender platform. On the tender there was only a few passengers and mostly crew heading to the shore.

As we were cruising to the shore on the tender, we passed a fishing boat and as we went past, a sea lion jumped on the back. Apparently this is quite common in Cabo! Unfortunately, I wasn’t quick enough with the camera to get a photo.

After I got off the tender, I had a wander around the marina and popped into a shop to buy a t-shirt for my son, a fridge magnet (the collection is building!) and some local treats which I have been giving to my cabin steward and some other staff around the ship. I then went back to the docking area to register and wait to go on my excursion. As I was waiting, I saw a couple of friends waiting to catch the tender back, so asked them to take my shopping back with them to save me lugging it on my excursion and worrying about the chocolate melting. The obliged (thankfully) so I arranged to collect it from their cabin on my return.

So, the tour I had booked at Cabo was originally Snorkel and Sail Santa Maria, but changed it due to the eye infection (I probably would have been OK but didn’t want to risk it). I was now going on a Whale watching tour. Very excited to see some wildlife as I always seem to miss the sightings that others had seen from the ship!

Gopro wide lens photo of the people queuing to get on the tour

Our cruise was taking place on a three deck cruiser and had open deck areas. I opted to sit on the side deck as I could keep myself from the sun when necessary and move from one side of the deck to the other to take photos. Cruising out, I managed to get some lovely photos of Arcadia anchored off port.

We passed the seal and seal lion colony’s basking on rocks by the famous Cabo arch and headed out to find whales. The first sign of a whale is it spouting water which can be spotted from quite a distance, so when spotted the cruiser would head to the area.

I saw a lot of whales! I didn’t get many brilliant photos of them, but will post them below so you can see them. I also managed to get a video which is posted on my Facebook page and can be seen here.

As we started heading back, in the distance we saw a whale splashing around so headed over towards it and managed to see it bridge and a couple of tails of whales – So lovely to see!

Here is a selection of photos, mostly of the scenery.

We then headed back to the port to do the return trip on the tender. When at the ship, it was very rocky trying to get out of the tender which I think was due to the incoming tide.

As we were leaving the port, I was on the deck in front of the gym (brilliant place for photographing the sunset) to see and photograph the sunset. As the sun set, the half a dozen or so other passengers went back inside as it was getting a bit windy.

I stayed up for a further 20 minutes and got to see a couple more whales – that was lovely as it was just me up there!

Next stop on the cruise is San Francisco.


Huatulco, Mexico

After we left the Panama, we headed north in the Pacific Ocean to our first stop in Mexico, Huatulco.

Huatulco is the result of the Mexican Government looking for a resort equivalent to Cancun but on the Pacific coast. There is 22 miles of beaches and around nine bays, most of which can only be reached by boat.

Huatulco doesn’t actually have much of a history as it was only developed in 1982. It has a population of around 38,000 people.

We docked in a small town called Santa Cruz. I opted for a P&O excursion called ‘Land and Sea’.

A view of the walkway to shore from the prom deck on Arcadia

I left the ship and proceeded to the wait point (note that there is a very small gazebo and no sitting area). We were allocated a tour guide and headed off to our coach (it was a bit of a walk and the temperature was around 30 degrees – I did notice that on returning, there were some locals with bikes (the ones with the seating area at the back) to give you a lift back to the ship and were asking for ‘tips only’)).

Once on the coach, we headed to a small market and a place where you were able to taste some typical Mexican drinks (shots) and some (chocolate) with tortilla chips. Passengers were also given the opportunity to try cooked grasshoppers, which is a delicacy in Huatulco.

We spent about 20 minutes at this location, giving us an opportunity to shop (I purchased a fridge magnet to add to my collection). We then headed to a local family run shop where they make and weave their own products.

I purchased a few items from here as presents for some friends at home and in Australia. They had some beautiful tablecloths, but as I am flying back, I was limited on space. We returned to the coach and then headed to the second part of this tour, which was sea based.

Now, as you are all aware, we (the passengers on Arcadia) have been on a cruise ship for around two weeks, we’ve crossed the Atlantic, Caribbean and part of the Pacific sea, and to go on this rather small cruise boat, we were required to wear a life jacket! We were also requested to remain seated (we didn’t as there were photo opportunities from different parts of the boat). I found this a bit strange as we were all seasoned cruisers! Anyway, we proceeded on the boat, out past Arcadia and on a 2 hour cruise to look at around 5 of the nine bays, most of which can only be reached by boat.

It was a stunning trip and I’ll put a selection of the photos up.

There seemed to be quite a few abandoned half built properties that could be seen. The guide said that a lot of people started building and then ran out of money so just left them.

After a couple of hours, we headed back to the Arcadia. I had a wander around Huatulco (it is really small so didn’t take long!).

The above photo of Arcadia was taken from the beach in Playa Santa Cruz where a lot of passengers spent the day swimming, eating and relaxing. I am told that the food and drink is very cheap here and is a nice way to spend the day. They even have a babysitting area for your husband/partner!!

Huatulco is a small town and can also be explored easily independently. There are plenty of tours offered in the area and, as you can see from above, there is a beach, literally, on your doorstep. It is a lovely little town, and we had beautiful weather while there.

It clouded over as we left, so no beautiful sunset.

We have two days at sea before reaching our next port of Cabo San Lucas.