You will be seeing so many new things on this trip! We did everything from a submarine dive, to cliff divers, to volcanoes, to a cactus farm, coffee plantations, wildlife preserve and on to some of the most primitive conditions we’ve seen anywhere. The cruise is truly a unique set of experiences. We loved it!
We got tour recommendations from AJ at the shore excursion desk. He's great! One of his recommendations was to take the Rural Communities and Traditions tour in Huatulco. Thanks to AJ, we saw a whole different way of life. The tour group was split among different vans, all rotating sights so there was no over crowding at any one place. The tour took us out into the Sierra Madre mountains to the homes of real people. We had tamales, cactus salad and cactus tacos, fresh juices, saw how adobe bricks were made, saw real kitchens (not like at home!) and visited a most 'unique' rest room. This tour may not be for everyone, but it was perfect for us. BTW, look for sea turtles as you sail into Huatulco.
Nicaragua was the one port I will remember most of all the places on our cruise. I knew life was different when I saw oxen pulling carts loaded with branches (fencing?). The roads were very poor - worse than in Costa Rica. We passed sugar cane fields, coffee plantations and very thin cattle. The ranchers were out riding horses all along the roads and pastures. The city of Granada was beautiful. The lunch provided on this tour was the best meal of our cruise - absolutely the most delicious food - even better than on the ship. The beer was pretty good too. Now, about the boat ride, we enjoy seeing homes along the water and views of the city across the water. The highlight of the boat trip was the monkey island where monkeys played in the trees above our heads. That was the Colonial Granada and Islets Boat Ride with Lunch. DH did not enjoy this port as much as I did.
Guatemala. Wow! Make that a double WOW! Our guide told us the volcanoes in the area were active. They were! We saw two eruptions on our Colonial Antigua with Lunch tour. What a sight! Things we enjoyed most were the loving attitude people showed toward each other and especially the children, the market with it‘s bright colors, the beautiful sunset over sugar cane fields and the beer we bought from a street vendor. The hotel where we had lunch was also beautiful.
Each of our guides did an outstanding job. They each showed so much love for their countries. They all were unique and very enjoyable. Kudos to whom ever arranged the excursions for Princess.
Note: Please bring bug spray and use it going through the Canal. There were black flies that had a nasty bite. Acapulco was the only other place we found biting insects.