The Big Easy is a salute to New Orleans. I couldn't believe how much energy the performers brought to the stage and the production values that are invested in the show: pyrotechnics, dynamic lighting, multiple sets and costumes. The ten-piece band is even blocked into some of the scenes and everyone has a rollicking good time. You've got to see the "House of the Rising Sun" scene with it's dancing bats, explosions, and aerial vocals.
The jazz show band: piano, drums, bass, guitar, trombone, two trumpets, and three saxes, give a memorable performance whether in the pit, on stage, or in the lounges when the theater is dark. There's even an opportunity for karaoke cruisers to sing with the band.
The Nouveau Steakhouse is worth every bit of the $30 surcharge. Climb a glass staircase above the grand atrium and you enter the dining room below a glass-paneled ceiling at the top of the ship. It's the most exclusive space on board. The food is not cooked before you sit down and More
the service is impeccable.
They've added an adults-only pool area at the back of the Lido deck with basket-weave cabanas. There are two new water slides, one that launches you vertically by dropping the floor away.
The cruise director, Stu Dunn, is a hoot. He is a fountain of funny stories and a master at finding new ways and reinvigorating old ways for cruisers to have fun on board.
We took a Mexican Riviera cruise: Manzanillo, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas, and Ensenada, but the Spirit is relocating to Australia. Less
Took a dusty ATV excursion an hour's drive north of town into a dry wash. Lots of off-road fun. You can walk all the way around the harbor and rent a kayak at the beachfront hotels to paddle your way across the channel to Lover's Beach or any of the snorkeling sites near there.
The free bus ride from the ship drops you off at the intense, northern end of Lopez Mateos, the main tourist drag in town, near Hussong's and other bars. The shopkeepers there work the sidewalk hard to hustle customers into their stores. For a more relaxed experience, skip the bus and walk toward the tall Marina hotel, at the southern end of Lopez Mateos. There is finer shopping and fine dining here with thinner crowds.
Puerto Vallarta proper is an easy and inexpensive bus ride from the ship or you can pay $5 for a taxi. The Malecon is an interesting, sunny walk in front of beach-front luxury hotels and condos. For great views of Banderas Bay climb up to Casa Isabel for lunch.