Feliz Cumpleanos to me!

To celebrate my 28th birthday, my parents took me on a 7-day cruise aboard Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas to the Mexican Riviera – ole!  

The trip was complete with snorkeling in Chileno Bay in Cabo San Lucas to salsa making (and dancing!) in Mazatlan, and even a Canopy Adventure with over 12 zip lines suspended high above the ground in Puerto Vallarta.  Of course the trip wasn’t complete without marveling over the culinary delights offered by the cruise chefs – and service that never ceases to amaze.

Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas

Cabo San Lucas:

Located at the Southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula, Cabo San Lucas, or “Cabo” as is the popular reference, is home to several distinctive landmarks including El Arco de Cabo San Lucas, “Lands’ End.”  We had the opportunity to view this grand structure while also snorkeling in Chileno Bay surrounded by a stunning array of fish.

El Arco de Cabo San Lucas

After soaking up the sun and enjoying the beautiful waters, it only seemed apropos to enjoy seafood for our first formal night dinner. I chose the lobster ravioli atop a bed of sauteed spinach, complete with a chocolate souffle seeping with an espresso creme anglaise:

Lobster ravioli

Chocolate souffle

Mazatlan, Mexico:

When I saw a “Salsa, Salsa and Margaritas” excursion listed on our explorations activities, of course it was a must-do!  The excursion is presented by Salsa and Salsa by The Dancing Chefs,” Pamela and Maaike. The day started with the table nominating me to be a table captain (it only seems fitting, right?) but what that really meant was not only keeping the chefs in order, but them being able to tell me if I’ve drank too many margaritas (go figure).  We enjoyed learning how to make six different fresh salsas including the Fiery Red Salsa, Tangy Salsa Verde, Oaxacan Guacamole, Pico de Gallo, Mango/Melon Mix Salsa and Tropical Salsa. (For the full recipes, check them out using the hyperlink above.)  Of course we also had the opportunity to make our own traditional margaritas (the key to this is a shot of Controy and lime juice), as well as a frozen strawberry margarita – and they kept the libations coming throughout the lesson…delightful! Following the class, “The Dancing Chefs” taught us some basic salsa, a great way to end the day! Can you believe I got dad to come along?!

Salsa and Salsa Mazatlan

Even if you thought you had enough food, it didn’t seem too long until our next dinner for which I chose a chilled golden apple soup, rainbow cheese tortellini (obviously not too hungry), accompanied by the Dulce de Leche cheesecake:

Chilled Golden Apple Soup

Rainbow cheese tortellini

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake

Puerto Vallarta:

In Puerto Vallarta, Dad roped me into doing a Canopy Adventure with Vallarta Adventures. While I had done a zip line prior in Belize and Labadee, Haiti, no one said it was going to be a day of mini boot camp!  Needless to say, I survived the strenous (but fun!) adventure with a series of 12 zip lines suspended from 90 ft. platforms. Did I mention I had to rappel down 75 feet?

On one of the zip lines at Puerto Vallarta's Canopy Adventure

Striking a pose on the suspended bridge

My big rappel!

Needless to say, my appetite certainly needed to be satiated after this 4 1/2 hour adventure.  I chose the New York Strip Steak finished with mascarpone mashed potatoes and fresh asparagus and the banana and crunchy nut parfait:

New York Strip Steak

Banana and crunchy nut parfait

I think it’s pretty self-explanatory (or visually) that it was a great way to celebrate my birthday and a much-needed vacation. Thanks mom and dad!


2 Responses to “Feliz Cumpleanos to me!”

  1. TheFameFlame Says:

    What a birthday! Good eats, the high seas and action and adventure. You should silhouette that shot of you in the chef’s hat and make it your avatar!

  2. Jim Says:

    Looks like you had a great time on your cruise!

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