The Mexican Riviera via Holland America Line - Day 2


After a much needed rest, I was awoken with two short but repetative rings on a phone that definitely wasn’t mine. Finding it in the perfectly dark stateroom, I answered it and found a friendly person asking about our pre-ordered breakfast. We ordered scrambled eggs and cottage cheese and fruit and cranberry juice. However, I forgot to mark at what time we wanted it to arrive. Providing the answer, I went back to bed. Easily.

With Catherine still asleep and breakfast scheduled to arrive later that morning, I got dressed in the dark for the gym. I learned from my last cruise in Europe in 2012 that I need to do something about weight gain while on a ship. The first cruise on Celebrity was for two weeks and I went to the gym twice and ate anything and everything because I was on vacation, and it was a tough year. (I Am Single.) This go around, I was hoping I didn’t add too much to my already roundness.

On my way to the gym on the 9th floor is the Lido Market where you’re tempted with the variety of breakfast items. I opted in for fat free milk, charcuterie and cheese and their frittata with jalepenos: some protein to start the day and watch the sunrise. I didn’t bring my Shredz pre-workout or BCAA supplements or have anything for post workout. I should have. We had a full day at sea so I got in an hour of cardio in. Sadly, my new iPhone X didn’t download all of the songs I have and I had very few songs to get me going during this cardio. It felt the AC wasn’t very strong in a place where it should be blowing pretty darn hard. That is one thing I’d like to request my cruise ship to have: awesome AC power in the gym. The gym had a view looking out from the bow and the rising sun. There was not enough cardio machines for the guests also wanting to get a workout in and all of the machines were pretty close together.

Back in our stateroom, Catherine wasn’t ready to start her day so I got cleaned up, had some breakfast that arrived and checked out the tour of the kitchen. Being a Co-Owner of a restaurant in San Francisco and have been in the food and beverage industry for almost 20 years, I was interested in seeing this massive kitchen. We met in the main dining room and were escorted thru the different parts of the kitchen. Unfortunately, not everyone could hear what the guide was saying. I got up close so I could hear what I can. The kitchen was impeccably clean, as it should be. Product was produced in massive quantities – chopped mushrooms, desserts and bread. I was interested in seeing the menu posted, how each station had a document posted that displayed the picture of what it should look like, the ingredients, nutritional facts and more. There were a few boards that outlined the menus for the week and the map of the entire dining rooms were large and overwhelming. Though working for the banquets department of the Hyatt in Burlingame, California, I wanted to learn more. 

Luckily, The Executive Chef came to speak with us and he spoke on how everyone had their own responsibilities, had shifts and that the Pastry Chef stayed in the compartment that was directly above his head. He also mentioned that the two restaurants that are extra have their own designated kitchens. They have different menus and therefore have a different process. He was friendly, informative and appreciative of our business. I think it’s great that so many guests came these tours. For people that have never worked in the food and beverage industry, they don’t understand what goes into serving people, especially when they hungry. Remember those Snickers commercials?
At the end of the tour, we were given a delicious mushroom crostini and what I believe was a crusted quail egg and cucumber in a soup spoon. We exited though The Pinnacle Grill restaurant. It was a rather small and dim space. I do not believe I will be dining there this trip but I am sure it was amazing.

I went back to the room to see what Catherine was up to and we decided to just hang out on the deck in the sun and that’s what we did! After touring a bit more of the ship, we sat by the pool, I wrote yesterday’s post, she read the paper and used her Kindle with virgin Bloody Marys and Diet Cokes at our side. I eventually moved back to champagne and tried their Strawberries and Bubbles cocktail (vodka, strawberries and sparkling wine.) I went back to champagne after that. I’ll stick to what I like. Funny, on the last cruise, all I drank were peach bellinis. I really do like bubbles. Poolside, bubbles were made by kids chasing each other and even a girl wearing a mermaid tail. Tears were made by one little girl. Oh, where are your parents?

After the blog post was drafted and there was space in the hot tub, we quickly gathered our belongings and jumped in. There we eventually met Eduardo and Raquel from Iguana, Mexico. He was a lawyer turned entertainment business owner. Raquel was a school principal. She didn’t speak any English but Eduardo did and we had some fun conversations. He was pretty funny. We also saw Cornelius again and met his friend Arie. Good people.

We then got ready for the Gala evening. All in black and Stella & Dot jewelry, we went to go tour some parts of the ship we haven’t seen yet. I saw some meeting space and we stopped at the Ocean Bar and had another drink. Catherine tried the grapefruit martini and I stuck with what I like. Then we went to dinner and was placed at a table for two on the third floor which is typically scheduled seating, not open seating. We had a special menu with four courses, not three. A corn amuse bouche went down the hatch and I had the escargot with herb garlic butter, Burgundy wine and French bread. The second course was an artichoke and heritage carrot soup with arugula pesto sauce and crème fraiche.  The maple-lacquered duck breast with a corn-cranberry pudding, candied figs, braised Swiss chard and haricots verts was special. And for a simple but delicious dessert, I had the balsamic strawberries with a white chocolate mousse. Everything was delicious again. I ate everything!

Dressed and rested from the long day before, we saw the Billboard Hits show of three singers singing Billoard’s number one hits where Catherine and I got pulled up to dance with them on the floor on the last song. Thanks to the blondie for singing to me often during the show. I love when that happens. Afterwards, we hit up the B.B. King Lounge, listened to the band, had drinks at the Queens Bar, made new friends from Missouri, Utah and Arizona. We had a lot of laughs, met some great people and a lot of beverages. We watched two pianists play simultaneously, danced a bit at the 30-minute club playing OK music and then went back to join our friends at another bar. We were shutting down the ship and it was getting late. Things were SILLY. We eventually said goodnight and went back to our room. Unfortunately there was no food available at that hour and we ordered room service. Within 20 minutes, a quesadilla, Caesar salad and club sandwich and chips appeared. Devoured, we went to be sleep. We will be hitting our first port in the morning: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.


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