The 2015 group photo
The 2015 Spirit of the West group photo!
click to enlarge

2016 Mexican Riviera Cruise Itinerary, Diary and Photos

Below is some information on where the 2016 Spirit of the West Cruise is going. We hope you enjoy the following diary as we head to the Mexican Riviera. See the map below (or scroll down). We will sail on the Crown Princess - below is a photo showing what she looks like.

See the map below (or scroll down).
Go to the Itinerary below (or scroll down).

You can also follow us on the cruise by going to the
Princess Webcams and click on Crown Princess.

This year's tee-shirt
Billie in this year's tee-shirt
click to enlarge

Alsace Wine Route in France   Emerald Princess in the Mediterranean

Below you'll find our basic itinerary and a map of where we are traveling. Go to the Itinerary below (or scroll down).

Diary, Spirit of the West Cruise, 2016

The following photos will all enlarge if you click on them. (coming soon)

January 7th & 8th, 2016

January 7th
Hugh got his guitar from over size luggage - ready to play.

Princess Cruises here to meet our group at LAX. Phil, Pat, Murray, Billie, Sig, Kit, & Hugh

Karen meeting some folks that came in from Alberta. Brenda & Roger Watters with Hugh.

From what we've heard everyone has made it this far ... off to dinner in LA.

Murray Stauffer & Carolyn Guhl visiting with Billie and Hugh at breakfast.

January 8th

Hugh with Gary & Vicki Hetrick waiting for the bus to the cruise ship.

Mandy & Scott Whiteside, Shawna Erickson, Sandy & Gord Farr waiting for the bus.

One of the busses loaded up and heading for the Crown Princess and Mexico!

Audrey Daines & her daughter Joanne Wallace entering the welcoming party.

Jim giving Richard & Sharon McNiven their 2nd year denim shirt and their name tags

January 8th

Bill and Lynn Craig at the welcome reception.

Connie and Alvin Nikkel at the welcome reception.

Qwen Jacobson & Bonnie Speers at the welcome reception.

Marjory & Jon Herrick at the welcome reception.

Almost everyone showed up at the welcome reception.

January 8th

Paula and Paul Bill.

Lorne Reay, Bev Ohms, Brenda & Roger Watters.

Hugh welcomes everyone to the 15th Spirit of the West cruise!

The slide show - that's Bonnie & Larry Speers on the screen and behind it.

Harold Hopp talking things over with Jim.

January 8th & 9th

Shawna Erickson, Peder Lodoen and Sandy Farr.

Maxine & Russ Peake and Audrey Daines and Joanne Wallace.

Carmen & Don Howard with Ron & Renie Hanson.

San Diego from a great lookout - the Crown princess center left

The Seeley Stable Museum in Old Town San Diego.

January 8th & 9th

A Wells Fargo stage coach in the Seeley Stable Museum.

The beautiful Crown Princess - one of the biggest we've been on.

Alongside at San Diego beside the SS Midway aircraft carrier.

Bonnie and Larry Speers at the dining room table.

Marie Knipelberg and Elmer Shukalek at dinner.

January 8th & 9th

Bev and Murray Ohms.

Ron & Renie Hanson.

The Spirit of the West Cruise band - Don Howard, Ed Peake, Hugh, and Reg Evans,

A tad cool but a great attendance for the first sing-along.

Harvey & Katy Kosinski with Harvey and Shirley Canning.

January 11th

The Mexican Navy escorted us into Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

The is the day of our group tour so we all tendered in together.

The Crown Princess in the background as we tender into Cabo.

A Sea Lion hitching a ride and looking for handouts.

Boarding the catamaran for our group excursion of fun and sun.

January 11th

The crew handing out drinks as we head back towards the Crown Princess.

A boat load of squatters ... pelicans ... in the harbour at Cabo.

A number of people geared up for snorkling (included in the group tour).

Quite a few in the water and quite a few to still get in.

Everyone is in and following a guide across this pretty little bay.

January 11th

Shawna Erickson took these five photos with her underwater camera and gave them to us - thanks Shawna!!

January 11th

Karen getting hosed off - Mark still in the ocean.

Drying in the sun & enjoying a drink on the upper deck.

Lunch buffet style right on the catamaran & they served us all.

A pelican hitching a ride on a boat into the harbour.

All in all a great day with the group in Cabo San Lucas!

January 11th

Don Howard, Ed Peake, Reg Evans, Lorne Reay, Marie Knipelberg, and Hugh.

A little cool outside after dark but all enjoyed a great show.

Karen & Jim and Murray & Caroline just 2 of the couples on the dance floor.

We have no idea who put that on Bill Craig's hat - any guesses.

Billie joins the cruise band for a song to harmonize with Ed.

January 11th & 12th

We think Mark's hat looks way better here than where it usually is.

Diane and Ed Peake watching everyone disembark in La Paz.

Kathy and Mark did a horseback ride through some magnificent country.

This ranch out of La Paz was about 10,000 acres in size,

and had been in the same family for 500 to 600 years.

January 12th & 13th

Rancho El Cajon not only had gorgeous and huge canyons,

but miles of beautiful beach as well - great surf today.

With not much for fencing the horses & cows could be anywhere.

Their host drove them back to the ship along the Malacon.

On the tender heading into the city of Loreto, Mexico.

January 13th

Loreto, Mexico in the background behind this breakwater.

Mexican dancers entertaining cruise ship passengers in a town square.

This hotel in Loreto was quite a place - better inside than out.

Looking at the ceiling in the courtyard - the bottom of a swimming pool.

The courtyard - magnificent. Beauty & antiques everywhere.

January 13th

The hotel was called "Hotel Posada De Las Flores Spa.

Harvey and Shirley Canning - Shirley stopped to dicker with a Mexican.

With over 90 in our group you could see someone at every corner.

Loreto was very nice & clean - they even stopped traffic for people to cross.

The Crown Princess anchored out off Loreto, Mexico.

January 13th

An Egret just about to take off from a boat at the dock.

Billie, Hugh, Peder Lodoen, Karen & Jim outside the Crown Grill.

Reg Evans and Billie just before dinner at the Crown Grill.

Murray Stauffer with Karen outside the Crown Grill.

Jim & Karen bought dinner for the 5 time S of the W cruisers.

January 14th

Everyone gathering for the group photo and wearing their 2016 Spirit of the West Tshirt. The ship photographer took the photos but Mark's sister Jill was there to entertain him and to take photos as well. That's her to the right of the ship photographer with the camera and these are her photos.

January 14th

Talk about a sea of blue and a smart looking bunch of folks!

Hugh interviewing Don Howard (left) and Russ Peake for a future radio show.

Billie, Hugh, Jim & Karen making the final plans for the 2017 cruise.

Don, Reg, Lorne, Ed, Marie, and Hugh heading up the sing-along.

Larry & Bonnie Speers and Murray & Bev Ohms on the dance floor.

January 14th & 15th

Clint & Darlene Millar two of a bunch of folks on the dance floor!

Another two were Rick & Anna Paquin dancing up a storm.

Bill & Lynn Craig with Billie & Hugh when they gave Hugh a break.

We noted the horse heads on these two gates when we were in Puerto Vallarta.

Kathy and Mark went horseback riding with their guide Thomas.

January 15th

Mexican saddles that were actually quite comfortable.

Lots of parrots in the trees on the outskirts of Puerto Vallarta.

Thomas on "Splash" leading the way into the jungle then up a mountain.

Fresh bananas growing on the side of the trail - some were ripe.

The avacados growing above the trail were the size of grapefruits.

January 15th

The Crown Princess looked pretty small from up on the mountain.

Here's an example of the trails as Kathy rides around a switchback.

There were quite a few cows - Brahma, Angus, Coriente, and Swiss.

They all looked pretty healthy and slick, too.

Fresh papaya, too. Fresh fruit appeared at almost every corner.

January 15th

A lot of river riding and in sparkling and very clean water.

There were lots of birds, too. Here a hawk sat right above the trail.

Although way out of the tourism area this was quite a clean place.

Some of these saddles need an little TLC but the tack room was pretty clean and tidy.

Back on the Crown Princess and overlooking Puerto Vallarta.

January 16th

Hugh, Ed, Reg, and Don entertained for one and half hours.

Walter Wolbert told the audience a joke.

Ed Peake had arranged that the group be allowed in the conference room.

Larry Speers also had everyone in stitches.

Shirley Kutschinski joined in with Ed's guitar and Ed played harmonica.

January 16th

Scott Whiteside read a poem he had written that morning (it was good). Read Scott's poem here!

Over 70 people joined in to watch the jam ...

in a room that was supposed to hold about 40 people.

Gwen Jacobson (left) won the contest & Shawna Erickson was the answer.

Karen and Billie dancing to the music in the atrium prior to the photo shoot.

There was a contest around the group slide show - everyone submitted photos before the cruise and the contest was to identify one person that appeared in three different segments of the slide show. Shawna Erickson appeared in her segment, her brother Scott's segment and her parents, Sandy and Gord Farr's segment. Gwen Jacobson studied hard and came up with the right answer.

January 16th

After dinner on formal night people were able to get their picture taken with Billie and Hugh outside the dining room. The following photos are from this photo shoot.

The line up for photos.

Kit Davidson & Sig Aasebo

Carmen & Don Howard

Jean & Doug Hogbin

Renie & Ron Hanson

Harvey & Shirley Canning

Marie Knipleberg & Elmer Shukalek

Darlene & Clint Millar

Jon & Marjory Herrick

Pat & Phil Brewer

Judy Torrie & Margie MacKenzie

Caroline Guhl & Murray Stauffer

Vicki & Gary Hetrick

Irene & John Romaniuk

Harold Hopp

Mandy & Scott Whiteside

Sandy & Gord Farr

Shawna Erickson

Mandy, Shawna, Gord, Sandy, Scott

Sharon & Richard McNiven

Betty & Wayne Sutherland

Helen Flaig, Dorene Rouse, Alice Turlock

Alice Turlock

Karen & Jim Bell

Lynn & Bill Craig, Karen & Jim

Lynn & Bill Craig

Kathy & Mark McMillan

Gwen Jacobson

One more jam - this time Lorne joined again.

Jim at the farewell party - giving out door prizes

January 17th

Everyone had a good time at the farewell party - some ready to go home other wishing they could stay on the ship. Everyone had a good time on the cruise though, and the number of folks (over 30) that signed up for the 2017 cruise proved that. Goodbye hugs came from every direction as people left the dining room for the last time on this cruise. In the last photo Hugh gets one more interview for a future show - this time from Harvey and Shirley Canning of 100 Mile House. In the photo Hugh is looking up wishing the airport announcements would stop :-) ... why the nerve of them while he's doing an interview!

January 17th

Here is the list of door prize winners at the farewell party:
$100.00 credit for next year from Cruise Vacations
Bill Craig, Phil Brewer, Edna McKenzie, Paul Bill, & Jim Cruikshank
Two Weekend Passes for the Kamloops Cowboy Festival
Judy Torrie and Shirley Cruikshank
One year subscriptions to Saddle Up Magazine
Ron Hanson, Kathy Reimer, & Alvin Nikkel

For more photos see the Spirit of the West support crew,
Mark & Kathy McMillan's, web site diary page at:

Everyone wants to know - where is next year's crusie off to ... ?? Well unfortunately we don't have a lot of details yet, but we can say that it will be to Alaska in June of 2017. We can also say that it will be on Holland America! Details will follow soon.

Our Itinerary!         Top of Page

Day 1

  • January 7th meet the rest of the Spirit of the West cruisers in Los Angeles. Overnight at the Marriott Airport Hotel.

Day 2

  • January 8th Board the Crown Princess in time for lunch. Sail away at 4:00 PM. Our group will have a Welcome reception in the Sky Walkers Nightclub right after the muster drill.

Day 3

  • January 9th 7:00 AM arrive San Diego, California. Spend the day and depart at 4:00 PM. From 9:00 PM till 10:00 PM there will be a group sing-along and concert at the Horizon Terrace overlooking the Terrace Pool.

Day 4

  • January 10th A sea day. R & R !!

Day 5

  • January 11th Arrive Cabo San Lucas, Mexico 9:00 AM. This is the day of our group outing - on a Catamaran! The tour includes lunch and sites like Lover's Beach, Sea Lion Colony, and Cabo Arch as well as snorkeling. The ship Departs at 5:00 PM. Sing-along tonight.

Day 6

  • January 12th 7:00 AM arrive La Paz, Mexico. Maybe a beach day ... snokeling ... touring ... Depart 5:00 PM

Day 7

  • January 13th 7:00 am arrive in Loreto, Mexico. Maybe a beach day ... snokeling ... touring ... Depart 6:00 PM.

Day 8

  • January 14th A sea day. R & R !!

Day 9

  • January 15th 8:00 AM arrive at Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. A beach day? WalMart? R & R? Depart 5:00 PM

Day 10

  • January 16th A sea day. R & R !!.

Day 11

  • January 17th A sea day. R & R !!. From 2:00 to 3:00 PM there will be a group Farewell Reception in Skywalkers Night Club.

Day 12

  • January 18th 7:00 AM arrive Los Angeles, California. Fly to Vancouver and connect to Kamloops - home tonight. :-(.

Top of Page

Here is a map of our route and a photo of the 2016 T-shirt - click on them to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.

2016 Mexican Riviera Cruise
The 2016 map of the Spirit of the West Mexican Riviera Crusie
click to enlarge

2016 Group T-Shirt
2016 Mexican Riviera T-Shirt
click to enlarge

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