By The Editor
When you think about it a cruise ship is a floating version of Las Vegas, at least that was the way we viewed Carnival Miracle on our recent trip to Mexico. Our ship offered much that is available in sin city including hotel accommodations, excellent restaurants, snack foods 24/7, elegant dining, and large choice of bars and lounges plus entertainment including Vegas styled shows staged in a large theater. Also comedy shows in intimate lounges and, oh yes, the piano bar
All of this while on our way to exciting ports of call like Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta.
To learn how all this functions so well we met with Hotel Director Stewart Howard. Along with Captain Rocco Lubrano and Chief Engineer Marco Scolaro he is responsible for what takes place aboard Carnival Miracle. Originally from England, Stewart Howard has been with Carnival for 25 years and now responsible for the 900 crew members. They are truly international since every continent is represented among them. Most are professional and have made what they do their Carnival career.
We also met others of the Carnival team including Yuro Zelimir Dencic who is Bar Operations Manager, Originally from Croatia he has been with Carnival many years. We also had an interview with Ashok Mandyam, Food Operations Manager, who has been with Carnival since 1993. Originally from India he personally took us on a tour of the kitchen and explained how the food is obtained and processed.
Most helpful as we learned about Carnival Miracle was Sharon Tomik, Guest Services Manager.
What makes a cruise special for most people is the way they are treated while aboard ship. And this treatment of course, centers on the members of the ship's crew guests are likely to meet and be in contact.
Rarely ashore in this age are people recognized and greeted as polite and courteous as aboard a cruise ship. Ship's guests are always met with a friendly smile, and after just one day are greeted with your name by the cabin steward. This is all possible thanks to the training crew members receive and as a result become true professional at whatever their assignment.
Most crew members sign contracts for six months, then have two months off before returning but not necessarily to the same ship.
One evening we ascended to the very top of Miracle to dine at Nick & Nora's Steakhouse. This provided us with a memorable dining experience. On two levels the restaurant offers the finest in prime beef as well as exquisite service and extensive wine list.
Our adventures ashore started at Mazatlan which is one of the oldest cities on Mexico's west coast. It seems that our trips to this fascinating place are spaced one decade apart. The first was when we flew from Los Angeles to spend a holiday at one of the resorts along the beach. From there we wandered far and wide into the interior. Next trip was aboard a ship that was hosting an International Food, Wine & Travel Writers conference.
This time we were guests of Julio Birrueta, director of the Mazatlan Tourism Board, who arranged our motor tour. As we moved from the ship through the old town we were amazed on how much had changed in ten years.
In recent years international tourism to Mazatlan has climbed consistently and is now considered one of the top winter destinations worldwide. Young millennials have discovered Mazatlan as they search for new sea and land adventures. As we moved through Nuevo Mazatlan there was much new growth and new construction.
Our destination was Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay Resort & Spa where we toured the legendary facility and then moved to The Bistro Restaurant where its exhibition kitchen shows a classic Mexican menu. Our hosts were Julio Birroeta of Mazatlan Tourism, Yubel Sanchez of Sinaloa Tourism and Yibran Jesus Flores Ontiveros, Groups and Conventions Manager for Emerald Bay Resort. We opened with Sushi & Sachimi and then followed with the mango fish fillet while admiring the lush tropical scene surrounding us.
At Emerald Bay think luxury at every level.
As we returned toward downtown and our ship we noted that the City was hard at work to bring out the true beauty of the coast line and beaches.
Graphic Design by Impact Graphics