2011 Spirit of the West Cruise Diary and Photos

We've started our cruise diary for 2011 - enjoy!

Below is some information on where the 2011 Spirit of the West Cruise is going. We hope you enjoy the following diary of our trip as we head to the Mexican Riviera. See the map below (or scroll down).

We will sail on the Sapphire Princess - here's what she looks like on the outside.

Sapphire Princess

Below you'll find our basic itinerary and a map of where we are traveling. Go to the Itinerary below (or scroll down).

Diary, Spirit of the West Cruise, 2011

You can also see a diary on Billie and Hugh's web site at www.hugh-mclennan.com. The diary and photos on their web site will be different than the ones on this page.

The following photos will all enlarge if you click on them.

January 4th, 2011
We're in LA

  1. Trying to get ready around here for Harry and Judy - even cleaned the chimney! The horses are in closer and there's still lots of grass, so hopefully Harry won't have to feed right away!
  2. Bunch looks happy in this photo as we told him Harry and Judy are coming!
  3. The next photo is our submission to the art idea contest for the back of the 2011 Spirit of the West Tee-shirt (they didn't use it but we had fun making it).
  4. The 4th photo is Mark locking up the house on the way out ...
  5. Mark, Kathy, Marg, Armand, Hugh and Billie - lunch at the hotel in LA
  6. The view of the pool from the hotel room in LA

January 6th, 2011
Off the coast of Mexico heading south (we've gone 315 miles)

Day 3. Not quite warm enough for swimming yet but we may go to shorts after our presentation for the group. The temp is about 16 degrees C but very calm seas ... smooth sailing.

  1. The busy port of Los Angeles - amazing!
  2. Tugs going and tugs coming ...
  3. Note in the bottom right corner - the Kayaker
  4. Our hallway - it's a long, long way to the other end ...
  5. We got spoiled at dinner the first night when Karen and Jim bought our table a bottle of wine ... in the three figure price range!
  6. A Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve

January 7th & 8th, 2011
Still off the coast of Mexico heading south (we've gone 700 miles)

Day 4. Warmed up nicely! Pool time!! So nice. The conference and welcoming party went over well. First formal night was great - sorry had so much fun we forgot to take photos. The temp was in the 20s and still very calm seas.

  1. Kathy on our nice spacious deck
  2. Our home away from home (note no snow outside)
  3. The coast of Mexico in the distant background
  4. Mark doing a presentation at the conference
  5. Poolside and sun!
  6. The beaches of Cabo in the background - tons of sand.
  7. The bar bill is starting to add up - oh well ...
  8. Tons of sea turtles swimming out in the middle of nowhere
  9. K shows off the new necklass she bought - and your bracelets Jill
  10. Lots of pool time - great sun and great pool


January 9th, 2011
Day 6 - Acapulco, Mexico

  1. Arrive late because of rallies in the city
  2. we were met by armed guards and a navy boat escort
  3. more pool time - we had the pool and pool deck almost to ourselves (others went ashore)
  4. went ashore mid afternoon with no lineups - visited the Museo Historico de Acapulco - Fuerte de San Diego
  5. armour for man and horse
  6. really neat old stage coach
  7. our ship in the background
  8. K visiting with a couple of our group
  9. never sat on a canon before...



January 10th, 2011
Day 7 - Zihuatanejo, Mexico

  1. once again we're met with big guns - mind easing when you see they have time to text
  2. like all ports there is a place to spend money ...
  3. Judy - we didn't buy this but we thought about you
  4. took a water taxi with B & H to Las Gatas
  5. a beautiful beach with the Sapphire Princess in the backgroud
  6. not sure what this is - K took the photo ... some local critter I guess
  7. Jill this is as close to a dog as we've seen so far
  8. M & H snorkeling - my first time ever
  9. Jill and Judy - this is one of the guys that runs the water taxis ...
  10. K wouldn't snorkel but back on the ship she was back in the sun and water (no fish here)
  11. we found a nice smaller pool at the stern - right at the stern! - very nice pool

January 11th, 2011
Day 8 - Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

  1. nice clean port - no VWs, no pressure sales, etc
  2. K took a tour on some backroads to go to a zipline - M went with B & H to Walmart
  3. K with her gear on - the girl that's afraid of heights
  4. zipping along at a couple hundred feet above the ground
  5. nice scenery
  6. K being hooked up behind Chilcotin Rancher Cindy Jacobsen

January 12th, 2011
Day 9 - Mazatlan, Mexico. The day of the group shore excursion to Stone Island. A really great day enjoyed by all - the day we went horseback riding!

  1. The water taxi took us on a sea tour before going to Stone Island
  2. Sea lions sun baking and talking to us
  3. we saw many, many pelicans
  4. huge caves in the rocks where pirates used to hide
  5. M got these plunked on his shoulder - K said good thing it wasn't her
  6. a little different than home but a horse none the less
  7. K laughing as the wrangler smacked Billie's horse on the butt to get it moving ... it did
  8. M on a banana boat ride - just before Jennifer dumped it !!
  9. another dog Jill ... a little more like a dog anyway
  10. looking back on Stone Island and the beach we were on (in the far bay)



January 13th, 2011
Day 10 - Cabo San Lucas

  1. K dancing with a dolphin
  2. M kisses a dolphin
  3. K & M with a trainee dolphin
  4. K swimming with a dolphin
  5. M swimming with a dolphin
  6. Formal night ... as we leave Mexico heading for home

Our Itinerary!         Top of Page

Day before

  • January 3rd - Happy New Year everyone! We drive to Vancouver and spend the night there.

Day 1

  • January 4th - fly from Vancouver to LA and overnight in the Marriott Airport Hotel, Los Angeles, California.

Day 2

  • January 5th - spend the day in LA and board the Sapphire Princess between 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm. 4:40 to 5:30 pm is the Spirit of the West Welcome Reception in the Explorers Lounge. We set sail at 5:00 pm.

Day 3

  • January 6th - At Sea. From 9:00 till 11:00 am we'll be in the Sky Walker's Lounge for an official welcome and possibly the Slide Show of all of our group photos ... maybe even a presentation ... ?? 9:00 to 10:00 pm will be the first under the stars Sing-a-Long - beside the Outrigger Bar.

Day 4

  • January 7th - At Sea.

Day 5

  • January 8th - At Sea. 9:00 to 10:00 pm will be the second under the stars Sing-a-Long - beside the Outrigger Bar.

Day 6

  • January 9th - Arrive at Acapulco, Mexico at 10:00 am and depart at 11:00 pm.

Day 7

  • January 10th - Arrive at Zihuatanejo / Ixtapa, Mexico at 10:00 am. Tender to shore for the day. Depart at 6:00 pm.

Day 8

  • January 11th - Arrive at Puerto Vallarta, Mexico at 10:00 am and depart at 6:00 pm.

Day 9

  • January 12th - Arrive at Mazatlan, Mexico at 7:00 am. Our group will meet at 9:00 am for our group shore excursion (included for all Spirit of the West passengers) on Stone Island. This will be our horseback ride day! We then depart at 5:00 pm.

Day 10

  • January 13th - Arrive at Cabo San Lucas at 7:00 am tender to shore till we depart at 2:00 pm. Formal night and third under the stars Sing-a-Long by the pool.

Day 11

  • January 14th - At sea. 5:00 till 6:00 pm will be the farewell reception in the Explorers Lounge. This will include the announcement of where the 2012 Spirit of the West Cruise will be headed.

Day 12

  • January 15th - Arrive at LA California at 7:00 am ... transfer to airport and fly home at 2:30. Arrive Vancouver at 5:30 pm and spend the night.

Day 13

  • January 16th - drive back home to the sunny Cariboo!

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Here's a route map showing all six of our stops.
The number on the map refers to the day in the itinerary. Click to enlarge.

10 days on the Mexican Riviera
Route Map for the Mexican Riviera
click to enlarge


2011 Spirit of the West Tee-shirt
The 2011 Spirit of the West T-shirt for the Mexican Riviera Cruise!
click to enlarge

Check out our other diary of the 2011 Spirit of the West Cruise
on Hugh's web site at: www.hugh-mclennan.com.

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