Note: This post was originally written on Thursday, February 2nd.
Today was not awesome. Today sucked. If I could have gotten off the boat and gone home today, I totally would have done it. I know that’s not what you expected to read here. It’s not really what I expected to write. But it’s the truth. (And, I thought seriously about toning this down, but in the end, this is exactly how I felt that day.)
Today was our first day in Cabo San Lucas. We got up around 8 am and headed up to the Beach Blanket Buffet to eat breakfast: one grumpy sick daddy, one grumpy mommy, and three grumpy, tired kids. While we were eating, we could see Lover’s Beach in the distance and people parasailing near our ship. We decided we should try to head over to Lover’s Beach and also look into parasailing.
After breakfast, we packed up our things for our day trip and headed to the Buena Vista Theatre to wait our turn for a tender. Cabo doesn’t have a pier, so the cruise ships have to drop anchor a ways out in the open sea and then you take a small boat (called a tender) into shore. Of course, everybody and their brother was trying to get off the boat, so it took awhile. While we were waiting, Lia was having an epic meltdown. (She’s good at those.) I made a run for our room to get her gockie and made it back just in time.
We boarded our tender and headed toward shore. During the 7-8 minute ride, we saw a whale AND a couple sea lions. I was surprised to see a whale so close to the harbor, but there it was. Once we got onto the shore, we had to go through customs. We came out right into a small area of Mexican shops with TONS of Mexican men standing around shouting at you to use their services (water taxi, tours, parasailing, etc).
We walked to a bench and started putting sunscreen on the kiddos. A man dressed up as a clown was making balloon animals and the kids wanted one. I said no, but while I wasn’t looking, he shoved balloons into their hands. I had to tip him then and, of course, the kids worried about the dumb balloons all day! So fair warning, tell your kids ahead of time not to take anything that someone hands them.
We decided we wanted to go parasailing, so we headed toward the guys at the end of the line (we were told by the guy at the information desk that they would have the best price. Whether or not that’s true, I don’t know). Every person we walked by was shouting and trying their best to convince us to use them or buy something from them. It was very overwhelming, coupled with the fussing and fighting of five tired people.
We finally made it to speak with Vicente, who informed us that it would cost $50/person to go parasailing, but that he would do it for only $30/person. Of course, I didn’t have that much cash on me (note to self… next time bring more cash!). And they have a 10% fee for using credit cards (government mandated I was told, though I’m not certain I believe that). He was really pressuring us to do it and the kids would not stop fighting. We ended up walking away because it was too much chaos! Now I see why it costs so much more to do the excursions lined up by the cruise… at least you don’t have to haggle!
The kids were already melting down and we hadn’t even done anything. We stopped in a small cafe to get a muffin for them to share. They liked the muffin, but it didn’t help anyone’s attitude. We finally decided that we just needed to do SOMETHING so that today wouldn’t be a total bust. So we went back and signed up for the parasailing. I didn’t pay for Lia because I figured she wouldn’t do it. She gets scared pretty easily. She kept insisting that she wanted to do it though.
We took a water taxi out to the parasailing boat. (FYI – you have to tip EVERYBODY. Water taxi out there = tip, water taxi back = tip, the guy who put on your life jacket = tip, somebody helped you out of the boat = tip. Bring a lot of $1 bills!). We shuffled from the water taxi into the parasailing boat and then waited our turn.
Josh and Ava went first. Of course, Ava wasn’t scared at all. She was shrieking with delight. When they came back down, she said she loved it. Lia decided she really wanted to go and she even let the guy get her strapped up. Max and Lia both went with me and neither of them were scared. If you’ve never been parasailing, it’s really not scary at all. They let you go up slowly, kind of like letting the string out on a kite. I expected it to feel exhilarating, like a roller coaster ride or something. Instead it just felt like you were hanging out at the top of a ferris wheel or a front porch swing. It was fun though!
After we went parasailing, we decided to head back to the boat to grab some lunch. I knew the kids wouldn’t eat Mexican food and I would just end up wasting my money on food they wouldn’t eat. So we hopped on the next tender back to the boat. We had already missed the lunch buffet, so we grabbed pizza, hot dogs, chicken strips, burgers, and fruit from Deck 9. We ate quickly with the hopes of heading back to shore and making the trip over to Lover’s Beach.
The kids, however, were getting grumpier by the minute. We decided they should probably just have a nap instead. Max fell asleep. Ava fell asleep. Lia would NOT go to sleep. No matter what I tried, she just would not sleep. Josh finally took her out for a walk. They played shuffle board and laid in sunbathing chairs. When they got back, I tried again to get her to nap. She ended up waking up Max and Ava because she was screaming so loud. P.S. The Pirate Party was tonight at 9:45 pm, so the nap seemed even more necessary today of all days.
We finally turned on some cartoons for the kids for a little while, got dressed, and headed to dinner. The show tonight was the movie War Horse, which didn’t really seem like something we would want to see, so we skipped it completely. We headed down to Animator’s Palate for our Pirate themed dinner. All the crew members were dressed in pirate gear. Most of the guests were donning some sort of pirate attire. On the table were Pirates in the Caribbean bandanas for everyone. I knew about pirate night before we got on the cruise, so I brought along all of our pirate gear.
Carlo, our head waiter, had ordered Indian food for our table for dinner. We did order appetizers from the Pirate menu, and I had a crab cake and some super tasty grilled pineapple. Josh also had the pineapple. He didn’t make it much past the appetizer though. He started feeling really sick again and headed back to the room to go to bed. Carlo brought me a giant bowl of grilled shrimp to eat along with my dinner. I have no idea what exactly dinner was, but we had white rice, fresh tortillas, and shrimp in some kind of spicy-but-still-tasty sauce.
For dessert, I tried the banana crepes (which I didn’t like, but then again I think crepes taste funny) and some rum-soaked chocolate cake (which was good, but a little dry). We ate dinner quickly so we could make it to the Pirate Party before it was over.
We headed up to Deck 10 so the kids could watch the show. We missed part of it, but I believe the premise is that Captain Hook is ruining the party/show and Mickey flies in (zipline style from above) to save the day! The show ended with fireworks and a HUGE buffet. There was an entire line for desserts, another for tacos and chips, one for giant turkey legs, and another for crepes.
I had promised the kids they could get a dessert from the buffet, because of course I hadn’t thought ahead to how busy it would be and how late it would be. They ended up not liking anything they picked except the chocolate chip cookies. I had some guacamole and chips. And then we all went to bed and crashed.
Now, I’m sure you’re sitting here wondering what was so bad about our day. Really, I’m just tired. And unfortunately, we got stuck on late dining. Late dining starts at 8:15 pm and we’ve been getting done eating every night around 10:30 pm. The kids have had a REALLY hard time adjusting and instead of sleeping in, they are just losing a couple of hours of sleep every night. And then we spend half the day napping to make up for it.
So, I’ve really felt like we are not really getting a lot of value out of this (very) expensive trip. Now, I’m not blaming Disney. I know they do their best to put everyone who requests it on early dining. We just didn’t get so lucky this time. (Added later: I was kind of grumpy that day, if you couldn’t tell 😉 We did have a good time on our cruise and I’ll be blogging about the good, the bad, and the ugly once all the daily updates are finished. P.S. Tomorrow turns out much better!
Note: This post was originally written on Thursday, February 2nd.