Norwegian Star, PhD@Sea Cruise...Mazatlan

Busy day in Mazatlan...up early to watch as we pulled into port, got off early and wandered around the market for a bit
before taking a cab to the Zona Dorada. Sad to see the old Senor Frogs (site of more than one youthful indiscretion, and a
big part of the reason I no longer drink) is gone. They have relocated to El Cid Hotel. Did a little shopping. Amazingly
difficult to find a counterfit Louis Vuitton belt. I even had one vendor look shocked and tell me such things would be
against the law! I am not an expert on these things, but his stack of designer bags looked less than perfect to me...Finally
tracked one down from an, apparently, less scrupulous shopkeeper.
When I got everything on my list I went over to one of the hotel restaurants and had a cold drink and stared at the ocean for
a while. It was getting hot, and I decided to head home. Got in an open air cab and told the driver to take me back to the
ship. we headed out, and he asked me if I would like to listen to some music. Expecting Banda or Ranchero or something, I
hesitantly said "Sure", and he hit the button, and out comes George Thorogood and the Destroyers, "Bad to the Bone" from
speakers that took up the whole passenger side of the front floor! Awesome! When "Sweet Home Alabama" came on, I decided to
ask the driver, Luis, to take me on a little tour. So we headed downtown to the Cathedral, then out to the lighthouse, all
the while enjoying the wind in my face and classic rock and roll...this just might be the best cab ride I have ever had.
Got back to the ship just in time to lose a Trivia Contest and not earn a crappy prize (NCL's term, not mine). Had lunch in
the dining room and hung out by the pool listening to the band, until we sailed away at 4. Went down for yet another futile
session of Bingo. Back to the Aqua for dinner. Vietnamese Summer Rolls, Tomato Bisque and Sea Scallops on a bed of cheese
grits...all, quite frankly, forgettable. Not bad, just not worth writing home about. I spent an hour after dinner at the
piano bar. This guy is quite good, alternating between piano and guitar, but the setup on the NCL Star, with the piano up on
a little stage, makes any audience interaction nearly impossible, and nowhere near as fun as a real piano bar.
Over to the casino, to deliver the belt to Rinna. Had a nice little run at roulette. Donna, one of the Hostesses bought me
a drink, and we talked about Manchester, where she was born, and Namibia, where she currently lives, between contracts. In
the meantime my numbers just kept hitting. Finally decided it was time to quit. Went up to the Spinnaker Lounge to watch
the NCL Idol auditions. Singers ranged from near professional to truly awful. On a trip down to the cabin I found yet
another tray of chocolate dipped strawberries, so I took them up to Candy, Kat and Maria - I have gone from NBF to FFL!
Candy told me they were her second favorite thing in the world. I am pretty sure I know what is her first favorite...
The actual competition for the NCL Idol was excellent...after winnowing out the goofs at the auditions, the singers who made
the cut were all excellent and a lot of fun to listen too.
After that, one more stop at the Casino, but I wasn't feeling it, so I left at midnite or so, with most of my earlier
winnings intact. Decided it was time for beddy-bye. Early (and long) port call in Puerto Vallarta...
And as I type this I am listening to cadets at the Mexican Navy Base running and singing in cadence...time to go!!!

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