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October 30 – Mazatlan

Mazatlan had another stroke of irony. I originally planned a day pass at a local hotel, something I’d discovered on a page of things to do in Mazatlan. For $27 each we could take part of the pools, beach, a lunch buffet and have a couple of drinks. When we first thought we were ending the trip in LA there was nothing to cancel. But after we decided to stay on until we had to go home, I elected to do a “Resort Day” — ironically it was at the same hotel! So for $95 each we got a bus ride and the rest of the things 🙂

Nonetheless it was a great day. I swam in the ocean for the first time — I’d dipped my feet in the water on all three major US coast lines, but had never swam.

The rest of the time we sat under a palm front gazebo on the beach

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Our view:

There was also a parasailing excursion and we saw several parasailers

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Leaving Mazatlan that evening I was able to film something I’d wanted to capture previously but hadn’t had the right timing — the exit of the port pilot from the ship. It happens right at the end of this video:

October 29 – Cabo San Lucas

Saturday was a beautiful day in Cabo San Lucas, with a couple of first-time experiences for me. The first: tendering.

How Does Tendering Work?

On many ships, a couple of the lifeboats are used for tendering, which is done when the port is too shallow or narrow for the ship, or the dock facilities won’t handle the ship for some other reason. The boats run a shuttle service from the ship to the smaller dock. The Encore, however, does not have lifeboats for use as tenders. At Cabo San Lucas there is a port-based tender service that I think serves all ships because none of the cruise liners I’ve seen would fit into that port.

Encore was anchored in the middle of the bay since we were the only ship in port that day.

Tendering operations on Encore involve a platform that folds out of the side of the ship at the deck 3 level. The deck is equipped with places to tie off the tender boat and stairs down from Deck 4, which is where security is and is the lowest a passenger can go on this ship. Here’s a quick shot of the platform as we left for shore:

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Several images taken on the way into port:

Senor Frog’s is an inside joke with our family, based on the name our youngest called a local Tex-Mex restaurant when she was little.

I had self-scheduled massages at The Sand Bar (https://thesandbar.mx). This venue is located above the bar/restaurant of the same name. We took a taxi and were early for our appointment, so we had lunch. They had many displays for the upcoming Dia de Muertos observance November 1st.

This is the altar where they enshrine the family members who have passed:

And they had the skeletons and skeleton heads that are part of the celebration

The massages were Out. Of. This. World. The best we’ve had in over a decade, probably.

We did some souvenir shopping after this and went back to the ship. Here is the Sand Bar as we saw it from the ship as we sailed on:

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