2019 World Cruise - Day 13

Tuesday 01.15.19 - Huatulco, Oaxaca, Mexico

Details from the Princess Cruise Lines: Day 11 - 15, January 2019 Dress Code: Smart Casual 30 °C / 86 °F Sunny Gangways are Located on Gangway Forward Arrival: 7:00 AM All Aboard: 2:30 PM Huatulco Nine bays bordered by 36 golden-sand beaches form the beautiful Las Bahias de Huatulco in the state of Oaxaca. Welcome to Mexico's newest resort on the Pacific Riviera. Huatulco is a tropical Eden with crystalline waters, coral reefs, and uncrowded beaches. Inland, the rugged coast range is thickly carpeted with rain forest and coffee plantations. While Huatulco is still in its early stages of development, travelers may note that the resort has a different feel from other destinations on the Mexican Riviera. That's because large areas of Huatulco have been designated as an ecological reserve. Huatulco is located in the state of Oaxaca where the foothills of the Sierra Madre del Sur Mountains meet the Pacific Ocean.

We started off the day with a few pics as the sun began to rise on us anchoring off at the pier.

Our friend Steve, shot this video from the breakfast buffet dining area:

We walked off the ship, ready to enjoy our third port of this once in a lifetime cruise.

This is our second visit to the beautiful city of Huatulco, Mexico. On our our first visit, we hired a tour guide, Enrique, with Live & Explore Huatulco Tours. He was so good last time, that it seemed like a no brainer to book with him again. I am so happy he was available. In our email discussions he remembered us and would offer a different tour than what we had before.  
He met us at the pier and drove us first to see a cocoa tree & a waterfall. We made our way through the city and up the mountain.  This is a beautiful drive.

For the second stop, he took us to visit his friend, The Orchid Lady. She runs a second generation garden on the lawn of her family's home.  This is such a neat stop that sadly many tourists do not get to see.  She has hundreds of plants and utilizes all types of items as pots, like an old basketball, or soda cans cut in half.  Her flowers are gorgeous and she gives a great tour.  Her two grown children are now helping and hopefully will continue her legacy.

She requests a photo with every guest and puts it on her wall of visitors
Lovely flowers and our tour van

Our next stop was to Finca Don Gabriel, which is part hotel, part museum & part restaurant.  Another great find by Enrique!  This place sits near the top of the mountain so you can see the whole valley below.  All of the food is cooked fresh to order.  After we placed our order we got to do a tour of the hotel, and if we ever return for a longer stay this is where I am staying.  Great rooms with gorgeous valley views, nice pool, and excellent restaurant.  This place is perfect or some R&R.

Once we toured the whole facility, it was time to eat! Shelly & I shared the Plato Oaxaqueño. This phenomenal sampler platter included 8 different scratch made items. It was hard to decide on which part we like best. There was a cheese enchilada topped with a magnificent mole sauce; a Oaxaca cheese quesadilla; a bean & cheese sope; a chile relleno; a sweet pineapple tamale; plus cecina, tasajo & chorizo.  Looking back on this really has me craving Mexican food!
Plato Oaxaqueño
Cecina (pork marinaded in a spicy sauce), Tasajo (cured beef), Chorizo (pork sausage without the membrane), Quesadilla (tortilla with melted Oaxaca cheese), Sope (thicker tortilla with bean paste blended with avocado leaf and fresh cheese), Enchilada topped with Mole (chocolate base sauce with many different herbs and spices), Chile relleno (poblano pepper with egg white and cheese), Sweet tamale (pineapple tamale with corn husk)

This was all served with fresh made corn tortillas.

This place was fantastic and well worth the drive up here.  The food is authentic, fresh, and so tasty.  They served it with a habanero salsa, which Shelly fell in love with.  We asked if we could get some to go and they found an old Gerber jar to put some in. 

Throughout our travels, Shelly & I like to collect shot glasses, hot sauces, & license plates from the various places we visit.  Here is a couple photos of what we have so far.  Yes, I made that hot sauce cabinet.

I Love finding vintage license plates

So, after lunch, Enrique drove to junkyard, told us to wait in the van while he went in to get us a license plate.  Now, that is service!

I shared my love of food and especially local food with Enrique, so he offered to take us to his favorite taco stand.  It had been a couple hours since we had lunch and a taco would be a perfect snack. You know it's good when locals are packed around the cart.  We got a total of 6 shrimp tacos and 3 drinks for only $6.30!  Eating in Huatulco is so cheap, where else can you feed 3 people for less than seven dollars?  
She cooks everything fresh, and has a couple tables setup with her own sauces.  The shrimp was crispy and the flavors were phenomenal.  This is the absolute best tacos I have ever had.  We found out not many tourists venture to food stalls, because so many are fearful that the food won't be safe.  I watched her whole setup and she is very clean and all the food she kept fresh.  Once she sells out then she is done for the day.  Next time you are in a foreign city look for a street vendor with a line and give them a try!

Crunchy beer battered shrimp topped with cabbage mix, green and red salsa, and pickled red onions.
Cucumber & Apple Agua Fresca


After our scrumptious snack, Enrique wanted to take us to a spot where we had an outstanding view of our ship and could get some pictures.  I love the landscape of this photo:

#comebacknew #pacificprincess

Sadly, our terrific tour came to an end and we said goodbye to Enrique. I took a few more pics of the pier on our way back to the ship.
Best Huatulco Tour Guide, Enrique!

Once we were back on board, I organized all the photos, then we changed clothes & went up for Nibbles. Tonight was Shelly's favorite, herb marinated goat cheese.

When we finished there, it was time to head to dinner in the main dining room.

It's becoming a regular thing that we find a bowl of jalapenos waiting for us every night. 

When nothing on the menu really grabs me, my “go to” app is the shrimp cocktail.  The shrimp is always good and I like the cocktail sauce they use.
Shrimp cocktail
an American classic with horseradish-spiked cocktail sauce

Another “go to” when the other items don't interest me, is the Caesar Salad.
Classic Caesar Salad
crisp romaine lettuce, caesar dressing, parmesan cheese and herb croutons

For my entree, I took a chance & chose the crawfish crockpot. Sometimes the seafood dishes can be a little disappointing, so  I wasn't sure what to expect, but this was excellent. Surprisingly, it was loaded with lots of seafood, that blended well with the rice. 
Cajun-Spiced Crawfish Crockpot
authentic gulf coast recipe with black mussels, bay scallops, shrimp and tomatoes baked in a puff pastry, creole rice

Shelly started with some light and refreshing, cubed watermelon soaked in a citrus cream sauce.  Dinner is always so elegant!
Iced Watermelon with Honey-Citrus Mascarpone Cream
infused with fresh mint

She also ordered the featured salad with balsamic vinaigrette.
Medley of Tender Greens with Trio of Cheeses & Pecans
choice of homemade and low-fat dressings

She said the best part of her entree was the braised cabbage. The roast beef was overcooked & drowning in gravy.  The braised cabbage is slightly sweet with a slight tang taste.  
Austrian Specialty - Wiener Zwiebelrostbraten (Viennese roast beef with onions)
braised sirloin steak with crispy onions, pan juices, red cabbage and roast potatoes

Luckily, dessert was an enjoyable course.

I had some delightful vanilla ice cream with pieces of brownies in it.
Fudge brownie ice cream
Shelly had the yummy cookies & cream ice cream.

Tomorrow is another sea day, so since there was no need to get to bed early; we sat & visited with our table mates before returning to our room for the night.


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