Norwegian Star, PhD@Sea Cruise...Puerto Vallarta

We pulled in to Puerto Vallarta around 7:300, and I was off the ship by 8, wandered out the front gate and grabbed a cab to the Malecon. A beautiful day, couple degrees cooler than Mazatlan. Stopped in to Glam for some breakfast. Quite a treat. After I ordered a guy came up to the table with a tray with bowls of roasted tomatos, peppers, onion, cilantro, etc, and proceeded to toss them into a molcajete and whip up salsa, about as fresh as it gets. Excellent. As my machaca arrived, across the street the palantla (sp) flyers started climbing their pole. So I sat in the open air cafe, soaking up the sun, while eating an outstanding Mexican breakfast, complete with fresh home-made salsa and watched them perform, and wondered how life could get any better, and then the Carnival Splendor sailed into view...yep, life is sweet.
After breakfast, I continued my walk, found a refrigerator magnet, and finally decided to head back to the ship for lunch, as it was getting a bit warm. After yesterdays hard rock cab ride, I was wondering what I might find today. Turns out I get the cabbie with Tourette's...seriously, nice enough guy, and he took me the long way, up into the jungle a bit for some scenery, but by the time we reached the dock I was twitching...
So, back on board I grabbed some wings at the Blue Lagoon, and a bowl of Won Ton Soup, then went up for a well deserved nap. About 3 or so, I wandered up to the pool, hung out with some friends, and listened to the band (Xcite from Trinidad...they are pretty good, and mix up the island sounds with some pop tunes).
I had every intention of eating in the main dining room, but as I passed the Soho room, I just decided I needed to check it out. Incredible! The Soho room is the Norwegian Stars "hip" eatery. The room itself has giant portraits of the coolest people in the world, from Sinatra, Hendrix and Jagger, to Marilyn and Farrah, to Bogey and Connery. All in false color or pixellated black and white or negative. Very nice. The food was probably just equal to Cagney's Steakhouse, but the presentations were very creative. I started with a Tuna Tartare appetizer. It was brought out on a plate with an inverted martini glass. The glass was filled with mesclun and various other greens, and on the base of the glass was a cylinder of chopped tuna with a little sour cream and red and black caviar, with chili sauces drizzled around. The waiter set the plate down, grabbed the tuna with french spoons, ran it around the base to pick up the chili, then lifted the glass so the greens sprung out, filling the plate, and set the tuna tartare right in the middle. Very slick. The Vichysoisse was served in a large bowl with three strips of smoked salmon rolled up and sitting around the shallow edge. Good combo! And the lobster was outstanding...huge, whole lobster, split and served with new potatos and shredded root veggies. I just love tearing up a whole lobster, getting all that good claw meat and coral. YUM. For dessert, I was undecided. I asked the waiter about the Tempura Chocolate Cake, and also what the flambe of the day was. Decided on the flambe, apple crepes, prepared at the table. Outstanding, and I am not really a crepe lover. As I finished them off, the waiter brought me some of the tempura chocolate cake also, and insisted I give it a try...yep...a piece of chocolate cake, battered and deep fried, then covered in chocolate and carmel sauce...took two bites, but I was really to full to appreciate it.
After dinner, back up on deck to hang out and talk, waiting for the Mexican Fiesta Sailaway Party. We pulled out about 9:30, by which time the party was in full swing. I got volunteered to help the bar staff in their mixology demonstration (there is a downside to being BFF's with the Cruise Staff). They were spinning full drink trays and juggling bottles, and then teaching some of us to shake a drink and our booties simultaneously. Fun. Then the obligatory conga line around the deck, ending with some limbo, and then some crazy group dancing which consisted of a lot of hand waving and hip thrusting. it all ended with the band singing "Jump In To The Pool", at which time, yes, the cruise staff and all the guests who cared to, jumped in the pool together. I was so sweated up from the shaking and dancing, I went for it. What a blast. Probably close to 50 people, most NOT in bathing suits. At least on wardrobe malfunction that will, I am sure, be edited out of the video. I will say, it would have been nice if they had some towels stacked around, but, alas, I finished the party in wet pants. Oh, well...
As the party was winding down, the group I was sitting with decided it was time for Karaoke, so we headed down to the Carousel lounge to finish the nite listening to the singers. About 1am, I finally had to throw in the towel. What a great day.
And now, this morning, it's back to school...actually we are starting with the behind the scenes tour of the ship and q&a with the Captain and Staff...I am really looking forward to it. One of the reasons I love cruising is that I am fascinated by the sheer mechanics of these behemoths. So...TTFN

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