By Jody Reed
… Aboard the ms OOSTERDAM …Boasting both the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean as neighbors, Los Cabos is a nearby and enchanting getaway to refresh your heart and soul. Situated at the tip of the Baja peninsula, Los Cabos is famous for azure blue waters, breathtaking terrain and its notable landmark, “El Arco”, or The Arches. Los Cabos has a wide array of sport fishing, whale watching, golfing, diving and snorkeling. Its proximity to Dallas and the broad tapestry of activities make Los Cabos a premier holiday choice. It can be an oasis for relaxation and serenity, or a getaway for cutting-edge adventure. Whatever whets your palate, Los Cabos gives everyone exotic flora, emerald blue-green water and multi-hued sunsets. The craggy peaks of the Sierra de la Laguna form a backdrop to miles of golden beach, blue water and dramatic red rock formations. Saguaro cactus, palms and cultivated gardens cover the pale gold desert landscape.
Like many of its hotels, the name “Los Cabos” is recent. It means “The Capes”. Two small and very different towns – San Jose del Cabo to the northeast and Cabo San Lucas at the southern tip – bracket a twenty mile seacoast corridor. It’s home to a range of elegant hotels and a broad collection of championship golf courses, which combine the green velvet desert look of Arizona with the oceanfront challenges of Pebble Beach. Picturesque and historic, San Jose del Cabo still looks like the 18th century mission town it once was. Cabo San Lucas, situated where the Pacific meets the Sea of Cortez at a natural stone arch, jumps ‘round the clock with shops, restaurants and nightclubs, the marina and strolling mariachis. For anglers, this destination can’t be beat. Los Cabos is home to world class marlin fishing, with numerous annual competitions. In both towns are places to stay that suit any style and fit a panorama of budgets.
That’s just one of the three lovely ports of call in Mexico visited by Holland America’s cruise from San Diego. The itinerary also showcases Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta, where sizzling hospitality abounds.
Imagine pristine, verdant beaches, centuries-old antiquities and exotic, mysterious ports of call, steeped in history, culture and romantic tales galore. Awaken to a rainbow parfait sunrise guaranteeing vibrant memory insurance for years to come. Rose-hued sunsets meet azure waters, and the day promises a cornucopia of shore excursions you’ll long cherish. On Holland America Line, numerous exploration Speaker Series and folkloric exhibitions generously introduce you to the gems of wisdom of your next itinerary. For this veteran Travel Columnist and sailor, the impeccable service and plush amenities assure repeat guests and a kaleidoscope of tantalizing dreams. The ms OOSTERDAM shines!
A romantic tapestry of original art, antiquities from across the epics, wrap around decks oozing with teak and brass, snug alcoves and spacious, luxurious staterooms create the canvas for this divine vessel. If you have young ones, you’ll be delighted with the Loft and Club Hal, where kids’ adventures abound. The signature of excellence and casual spontaneity imbibe the high-octane nightlife from Broadway reviews to silky jazz, or the alluring classics. After a strenuous day trekking or touring a veritable pirates’ treasure chest of treatments await you at the Greenhouse Spa. I cherished the thermal treatments and organic facials for rejuvenation and renewal.
At any given moment on board, there’s numerous enticing activities shipside…everything from culinary demonstrations to acupuncture, cha cha dancing lessons or Texas Hold ‘Em in the casino. For this Travel Columnist, the cruise offers old world charm and royal service and amenities fit for kings and queens. It’s no wonder they have a high repeat rate. If you’ve never cruised, there’s no better time than now and no finer more magical line than Holland. What a unique legacy to share with family and friends. Next year, I’ll return with my relatives for a nautical reunion.
While ample spa menus and lean options exist, the overall cuisine is unmatched in every venue. This Travel Columnist was delighted with the chocolate mousse and strawberry flambé of the luxurious dining room, a plush, formal area with stunning chandeliers and grandiose paintings. The Pinnacle Grill sports scintillating sea bass with artichoke sauce any gourmand will relish. Heavenly gazpacho and pasta are crafted in The Canaletto restaurant.
REED’S RATINGS: ESCAPE TO A MEXICAN MILAGRO
- ** Sizzling Mexican hospitality and culture in exotic ports of call
- ** Alluring, impeccable service with plush amenities
- ** Divine, succulent cuisine you’ll long treasure
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