Monday, April 30, 2007

Shear Genius Recap, Top Design Floor Plan Challenge, and The Mexican Riviera!

What do these three things have in common?

Well, all of them will be mentioned in this post, silly!

First of all my Shear Genius recap is up, over on Bravissimo:

Episode Three: Texas Chainsaw Massacre!

You can also check out my two previous Shear Genius recaps:

Episode Two: Roots: the Nexxus Generation!

Episode One: Iron Hair!

Second: all the floor plans are in for the Top Design Floor Plan Challenge, over at :::Surroundings::: Go vote for your favorite! You only have until Wednesday to help pick a winner!

Third: Please let me know about your experiences with Princess Cruise Lines or the Mexican Riviera. Eric and I are taking a seven night cruise on the Golden Princess to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas at the beginning of October and would love to hear any advice.

I have a big birthday coming up this summer (it ends in a zero!) so I thought I should do something fun. Originally I thought I should probably have a party since I've never had a birthday party (since I was a child) and it seemed like about time. But when I thought about how much I hate parties, it seemed like a stupid way to celebrate. Don't get me wrong, I like people, I just don't like big parties. They make me uncomfortable.

So, instead, I decided to go someplace I've never been before and I want to do a little snorkeling, because I love that and I never get to do it. You can't really snorkel in Los Angeles and, surprisingly, the snorkeling isn't very good in London either, which is where we usually seem to end up on holiday. (I did get to snorkel on Oahu last year and loved it!) So, first I thought Caribbean but was worried about hurricane season and the Mexican Riviera was closer and cheaper. Eric suggested a cruise, since that's what he has always wanted to do. So it was set.

We almost took the Norwegian Star because it is 8 nights and goes all the way down to Acapulco but a travel agent friend told us not to take Norwegian so we are taking Princess, which thrills Eric because Princess was the cruise line used for the Love Boat. Anyway, we have a balcony room so we can escape the crowds. Unfortunately we won't get much time in port. I'm planning to snorkel in Puerto Vallarta and Cabo and do a land excursion in Mazatlan. I'd love to see more of Mexico but that will have to wait for another trip.

I've never been to Mexico and I've never been on a cruise. Let me know if you have any tips. Thanks!


Cindy said...

Why did your friend say to not take the Norwegian? (That's the cruise line we were planning on taking, so I am quite curious.)

BTW, love your recaps.



eric3000 said...


I'm not sure. She's a travel agent and she just said not to do Norwegian. I guess her customers have had better experiences on other lines. But it seems to get fine reviews so I'm sure it's not terrible. I think maybe it just feels a little more budget than some of the others. It gets slightly more complaints about changes to the itinerary and other problems. I think it's also geared more for families so if you are taking kids it may be fine. I was surprised by her advice, too, because I read about how great the dining is supposed to be on Norwegian.

Ms. Place said...

I took a 2 night, 3 day Norwegian cruise to the Bahamas and was satisfied. I am curious too, Eric.

As for Mexico, if you haven't been there you will enjoy it immensely. The people have an innate grace and goodness, and I adore the food. Make sure to get away from the tourist spots and see old Mexico, and the tiny villages, and taste authentic Mexican food.

I count my trip there as among my favorites. Was I surprised? Yes, pleasantly so.

Have fun with your big "-0" birthday!

Anonymous said...


You guys will have a great time!

Do you speak Spanish? You'll have more fun in Mexico if you can (at least a bit).

Is it a stereotype to say how kind the Mexican people are? They really are.

Don't go overboard with the tequila. Real tequila down there is rocket fuel compared to the nancy boy stuff passed of here.

I'm serious.

-- desertwind

eric3000 said...

Ms. Place,

I hope to get a little bit out of the tourist areas but we just won't have much of a chance to get too far. We only have three days in port and, like I said, I want to go snorkeling at least twice. I think a couple of the organized excursions get to a couple of little villages (one accessible only by boat) but since we will be going there on a tour I guess that still counts as touristy.


Eric speaks a little Spanish and niether of us drink tequila so we should be good! I'll stick to fine Mexican cerveza!


mumblesalot (Laura A) said...

I love cruising and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. I think you are better off with Princess. I am underimpressed by Norwegian, I won't sail with them again. I didn't know at the time because I got a suite w/balcony (blah) on Norwegian but it is definitely more of a budget ship. First impression of the ship: Tacky, not maintained and dirty. The food was unimpressive and sad.

Celebrity, Century is my favorite ship so far. Having a balcony or a suite with a balcony is what I enjoy. I always need a place that I can happily retreat to.

Bon Voyage for October and happy birthday ahead of time.

eric3000 said...

Thanks! Yeah, I think we'll be happy with Princess, though I'm sad we won't get to Acapulco.

kbryna said...

wow, you're turning 20!!!! or 30!!!

i am afraid of boats so i have never gone on a cruise. my advice is to pay attention to the safety drills! and probably also wear your life-vest at all times! (especially while asleep).

more shear genius recaps please! i LOVE yours the best!

Marius said...

If you love to travel and enjoy Mexican food and culture, you should consider going to other cities in the State of Jalisco. You can spend a few days in Guadalajara, the state capitol. It's the second largest city in Mexico. And it's the home of the Mariachi. From there, you can drive to the beach (Puerto Vallarta). I think Acapulco isn't too far from there.

Anyway, have fun snorkeling, and if you see killer squid, then you better run, or, um . . . swim really rapido. Also, I’ve heard that Puerto Vallarta is very gay friendly, but I’m sure you already knew that. Hope you enjoy your trip.

BigAssBelle said...

well i've never cruised, not yet anyway, because i've only become airborne again in the last six months.

cruises are definitely on the agenda for our once every two months trips. i have lusted after a mexican riviera cruise that lasts 10 days ~ goes a little further south than the 7 day cruises.

but no norwegian? that looked like the best of all of them to me. i was a little put off by carnival and celebrity, thinking they'd be awash in other people's kids and stupid games and activities.

you can be my guinea pig with regard to the cruise line. as to mexico, i went last november and will go again this november, then january of next year because i adore mexico. it is fabulous. i think you will love it.

and isn't that funny? i thought norwegian was a bit better quality than the rest.

mumblesalot (Laura A) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
eric3000 said...


Yeah, Puerto Vallarta is supposed to be one of the top gay travel destinations. I originally looked into just staying there at a resort for a week. If we had done that we could have visited Guadalajara while we were there. But Eric really wanted to go on a cruise so we'll only be in Puerto Vallarta for one day. We will definitely have to go back.


The longer cruise should be nice. I wish we were going farther south but we didn't want to spend too much and Eric doesn't get as much vacation time as I do. Norwegian definitely has some nice itineraries. The problem is, they may push to try to fit in too many ports and several reviews have said they end up skipping some of them because they are running behind. Princess does a cruise that goes through the Panana Canal that I would love to do but that's a little too much for us right now.

mumblesalot (Laura A) said...

The Panama Canal, yes I want to do that cruise. None of my travelling companions can take that much time off.

The link gives an overview of the different lines.

trixie said...

Essential reading.

David Foster Wallace "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again." First published in Harpers Magazine as "Shipping Out."

There are good bilingual editions of the poems of St. John of the Cross. Some of the most homoerotic love poetry ever written. Jesus was totally his boyfriend.

The Mexican nun, Sor Juana, has some nice poetry for the girls.

Spanish is the language of some of the greatest love poetry. Because of negative stereotypes US Americans never think of the Spanish language as one of the great literary languages. There's a reason magical realism came from there. Sorry to lecture but that is one of my (many) pet peeves.

Vaya con Dios mi amigo.