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“Ahoy, Mommy!” said the pirate

By Tara Zandra | March 23, 2011

Alternate title: Land!

Today started out beautifully because we were docked in Puerta Vallarta. Finally! We had a very early excursion so we were up and out of our room by 8am. When we got on land and I saw a mall across the street, I told my family that I was done with boats and this was where I would live now. Sadly, we were simply walking from one boat to another, but this one was a pirate ship!

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Yep, I booked us on an excursion run by pirates. The kids thought the ship was pretty neat and I liked the fact that we were assigned our own personal pirate.

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First we were all given our life jackets and told safety measures and then the boat left the dock. We had a two hour journey ahead of us so the first order of business was breakfast which was served below deck. We had a choice of a hot meal or cereal and there was fruit on the table as well. When we were done, we went back to our seats and the other half of the passengers went downstairs. Now the pirate crew entertained us which was as corny as you’d expect but still fun. Once everybody was done with breakfast there was another little bit that involved children feeding their mothers baby food; thank goodness we had nothing to do with that! Next up was the pirate show. Now this was, um, bad. It made no sense and was poorly acted but whatever, it’s not what we were there for so it really doesn’t matter. Towards the end they engaged in sword play which was pretty interesting though.

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We finally arrived at our destination and at this point, our family was going to split up because Daisy did not want to snorkel and I was looking for any excuse to get out of it. The pirates were giving two different sets of directions depending on your chosen activity, and there was talk of jellyfish, the boat was rocking madly, and, well, I had a full blown panic attack. I looked to the ocean but it seemed to be spinning in circles, everything was going black and I could only see two pin pricks of light, and I could not breathe normally. But I was responsible for a small child so I was desperately trying to get ahold of myself. I probably would have failed and I’m not sure what would have happened but after about 5-minutes Chris and Tabitha came back declaring they were not going to risk the jellyfish and they were staying with us. I was able to sit down and put my head down until the world came back to normal. It didn’t take too long and I’m still not sure why it happened at all. It was the worst feeling in the world to me and thinking back on it makes me feel anxious all over again.

So that aside, we were on to the next part of our adventure. There wasn’t a dock so we had to take a small speed boat from the pirate ship to shore. But even then it only took us to shallow water not all the way. When I first was helped off the small boat and set foot into the sand, I was quite surprised as it wasn’t sand so much as small, sharp rocks. They really hurt and I was concerned because we had to leave our shoes on the boat. But as we got onto the actual beach out of the water, the rocks smoothed out into regular sand. It was still pretty rough at the water’s edge though.

The pirates had set up chairs and umbrellas for everyone so we found a good spot and the kids immediately took off for the water. Chris was handed a cerveza by yet another pirate and we were finally able to kind of sit back and take it all in. We were on a private beach that was very secluded and it was fantastic! Weird to think we were still at the exact same ocean as home though.

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Chris took Tabitha out kayaking and then came back and took Daisy. Both times they went over to the snorkeling area and apparently they saw a ton of fish who were practically jumping out of the water. I didn’t feel comfortable enough to go kayaking with a child and of course, if I went with Chris that meant leaving our kids on the beach without us which wasn’t an option.

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In between the girls’ turns at kayaking, I took both girls on a banana boat. That was quite the experience. I put Daisy in front of me because I wanted to be able to hold onto her lifejacket; Tabitha sat behind me. We were pulled by a speed boat and it was really a lot of fun. Definitely something out of my comfort zone but I would do it again if I had the chance.

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When we got back to the beach, the girls played in the water and sand again and then Chris took Daisy for a second banana boat ride.

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At this point it was time to start packing our stuff up and get our ride back to the pirate ship. It was bobbing something fierce and I had been in the hot sun for a couple hours so when they took us below deck and served us tortellini Alfredo, I had to take my trusty Dramamine again. Seriously, I’ve never experienced any motion sickness in my life; I can even read in the car, but apparently boats are not my friend.

So I grabbed a water and went back upstairs. Thankfully for the ride back the pirates had put up a canvas covering so we were shaded. Once everyone was aboard and had eaten, the pirates led us in dancing. I joined in and suggested the same for Tabitha only because it was going to be a long 2 hours if we sat and did nothing. After a bit that all calmed down and Daisy settled down on me and promptly went to sleep. The pirates continued to entertain us with quizzes and dances and so forth. Eventually I had to pass Daisy off to Chris to get some feeling back in my arms. Soon enough we were back in port and I took a few moments to get pictures of our ship since it was really the first time I got to see it from the outside.

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At this point, it had been a long day for us and we knew we wouldn’t be going to dinner that night. We kicked back for a little bit, I even took a nap. I think Tabitha went to hang out in the Edge and Chris took Daisy to teach her shuffleboard. When she got back to told me all about it and said she would teach me how to play.

We grabbed food to eat in the room and then we put Daisy into her PJs to go to the kids club because it was Pluto’s Pajama Party. I should have followed her with a camera and I feel bad that I didn’t. This was the event she was waiting for as it is heavily touted, though with Goofy, on all the promo videos for the cruise. All she wanted was to do this pajama party so for her, this was a dream come true. She even got to bring home a pillowcase as a souvenir that she can color with fabric markers.

After that activity, Chris took the girls to the Walt Disney Theatre to see Toy Story the Musical. I opted to skip it as I really didn’t care and instead spent the time in the room journaling. I still saw the show on the TV because they broadcast whatever is going on in the theater so you don’t have to miss it. I also took a long walk around both my deck and the deck below while our room was being made up for the evening. It was very peaceful and enjoyable to just wander around.

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Once everyone was back in our room, sleep came rather easily for everyone that evening.

Topics: Life, Disney Cruise |

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