Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Monday, Nov 14, 2011, Huatulco, Mexico

We were scheduled to sail in at 8am, so we decided to walk the promenade deck  (two days in a row, so we could watch the sail in).  The city is fairly small with a population of only 4000 and is divided into what seems like two areas.  The port area and the main city area with them separated by about a 5-minute taxi ride.  We put in a good hour-long walk and watched the ship dock.  The docks are clearly new as the area reminds us of Costa Maya where it feels like a port area designed specifically for the cruise trade. 

There is only one dock and we were the only ship in port.  Right as you get off the pier there are beaches to the left and right, along with shops.  It is about as convenient as you can imagine if your interest is getting off the ship and dipping your toes in the warm water.

After a light breakfast, we gathered up our stuff and decided to wander around the area.  

As is typical, you are immediately stopped by folks trying to offer you various tours, taxi rides, seats at the restaurants, and attempts to entice you to enter their shops.  We wandered around and came across this small, covered, but open air church.  It was quite beautiful.

We then wandered around by the beach and decided to sit down at a table and umbrella and have a beer.  It was really pleasant with the breeze coming in from the ocean and lots of people watching. 

After that, we re-boarded the ship in preparation for our afternoon tour that was scheduled to leave at 12:15.  We were doing the Mexican cooking demonstration.  They warned us to make sure that we bring water and towels as it can get really hot.  We walked to the vans which took us (14 people plus the ship’s escort ) for about a 5 minute ride into the city and a restaurant for the cooking demonstration.  They greeted us with a hibiscus tea.  They had a grill set up outside with chairs so we could watch the chef prepare an appetizer and main dish.  

Both dishes started with a salsa that was extremely simple to make (basically throw the ingredients into a boiling pot for about 5 minutes, remove and toss into a blender with some chicken stock).  The appetizer was served on chips, but what they did was to throw the salsa into a pan and cook for a few minutes, then toss the homemade tortilla chips into the salsa to be thoroughly coated.  The entrée was a leg/thigh of chicken in a different salsa.

After the demonstration, we went inside to a long table and they served us the appetizer, entrée, and a dessert of our choice.  They also offered beer, water, or soft drinks.  Bottom line was we “loved” the appetizer (several of the folks at our end of the table wanted even more) and thought that the entrée was “ok”.  After lunch, we returned to the ship.  This was probably not an excursion we would recommend as our expectations in learning to cook Mexican dishes exceeded what was delivered.

For the evening dinner, we visited Prego again.  On the previous visit, we talked to the Asst Maître d’ who offered to help us choose a pasta sampler plate on our return visit.  We set this up and it was wonderful.  Each of us had three different pastas and we shared them family style.  After the wonderful dinner, we went to the headliner show, which was the concert pianist for an encore performance.  On the way out, we stopped by the Hollywood theater to check out the score of the Packers/Vikings game, which Green Bay was winning handily. Go Pack!!

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