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Jim Thornton

Age: 73

Occupation:Retired Telephone Engineering Manager

Number of Cruises: 16

Cruise Line: Cruise West

Ship: Spirit of Endeavour

Sailing Date: February 3rd, 2007

Itinerary: Sea of Cortez

This was our 16th cruise and the third on a Cruise West ship. Our cabin (201) was a starboard Deluxe one on the Upper Deck near of the bow of the ship right behind the bridge. The ship has no balconies.

We sailed on a seven-day Whales & Wildlife cruise from Cabo San Luis to La Paz stopping at one other Baja California port of Loreto and several islands for snorkeling, kayaking, and nature walks via zodiac-like boats. The bus ride over to the Pacific Ocean side of Baja was interesting to watch whales but the actual whale watching from small six-person outboard boats (pangas) was the best. My wife even got to touch a whale that was right next to our boat. The mission and museum of Loreto was interesting. The wildlife included the whales, sea lions, dolphins, and numerous sea and land birds.

Next was a five-day Copper Canyon land tour. We flew from La Paz across the sea to Los Mochis then a bus trip to El Fuerte to stay over night before taking the six-hour train ride the next morning. The train starts at sea level and ends at over 8,000 feet up into the mountains that surround the Copper Canyon. The hotels in Los Mochis and Copper Canyon were somewhat primitive – we told not to drink the water, the rooms lacked thermostats, telephones, TVs, coffee pots, etc. The following day after the long train ride, we visited a local Indian school. The hotels in La Paz and Chihuahua were very good – good food, TV, etc.

Now more about the ship -

CHECK-IN - Each time when you leave or re-board the ship, you need to slide your cabin number to one side or the other. There is no need to carry any form of ID with your photograph (driver's license, etc.).

SHIP - This is one of the smaller ships of Cruise West with a maximum of 102 passengers and has four decks and no elevators. There are no cabin keys aboard the ship – thus your room is always open unless the lock your cabin from the inside.

CABIN - Our room was one of the larger – about 150 square feet. There were three drawers, a small desk next to the bed, the TV and VCR combination, and clothes closet. The bed consists of two single beds pushed together and fitted with bedding for a king-size bed. There is space for the storage of the suitcases under the beds and in the closet. The bathroom contains a toilet, sink, and shower. Also, in the cabin was a refrigerator stock with canned soft drinks and bottled water, two pair of binoculars, and a pair of bathrobes.

IN-CABIN TV AND SOUND SYSTEM - A small combination TV and VCR. There was no live TV but the ship had a large collection of VCR movies available. There was two audio channels – one for ship announcements and the other for continuous Mexican music.

LAUNDRY - There are no self-service laundry rooms nor laundry service was available.

DINING ROOM - The Dining Room (on the first or lowest deck) has one open sitting. Breakfast was 7:00-9:30 a.m., lunch 12:00-2:00 p.m., and dinner was 7:00-9:00 p.m.

EVENING ENTERTAINMENT – No evening entertainment.

INTERNET – There are two for-a-fee laptop computers for the passengers use to access their e-mail accounts, etc.

BARS - The Club Lounge (on the third deck) is a full bar. There is no area like a “Crow’s Nest” or Dome.

MEETING ROOM – The lounge was the meeting room, the bar, and the library for VCR tapes and books,

OVERALL OPINION – An enjoyable cruise on a small ship that is able to go into small ports that are inaccessible to the larger cruise ships. But the add-on post-cruise Copper Canyon package was substandard to the previous Grand Circle Copper Canyon tour that we took five years earlier.

FLIGHTS – We flew from Los Angeles non-stop to Cabo San Luis where the boat was docked. And the Copper Canyon tour ended in Chihuahua and the flights out were to either Dallas, Houston, or Mexico City. Then change planes for a non-stop flight back to Los Angeles.


 


 

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