Tejano Legends Cruise 2014
Photos by Ramón Hernández (Click on pictures to enlarge image)
Tejano music lovers take heed.
March 20 just marked the first day of spring for this year and December 21 will mark the first day of winter with January of next year expected to be a brutally cold winter.
According to www.accuweather.com, the average January temperatures in the northeast and northwest United States where pockets of Americans of Mexican descent have settled range from a minus four (-5) degrees in North Dakota, four degrees in Minneapolis, nine degrees in Milwaukee, 11 degrees in Denver, 12 degrees in Chicago, 16 degrees in Indianapolis and 17 degrees in Boise, Idaho to perhaps one or two days up in the low to middle fifties.
However, thanks to the brainchild of Alejandro “Al” Duarte, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel in the way of a cruise to Cozumel, Mexico where the daily high and low temperature in January averages a steady 81 degrees.
For those who book a sailing date of Monday, January 13 to Saturday, January 18, that means a welcomed relief from snow blizzards, icy roads, shoveling snow and dressing in several layers of clothing to keep warm.
And instead of having to wait until next March to get a dose of Tejano music at the fan fair, the Tejano Music Awards in June or the 10th Annual Tejano Music Convention in August, five-time Grammy award winning Flaco Jiménez, Grammy and Latin Grammy award winning Michael Salgado, Grammy Award winner Max Baca, Grammy nominee David Marez, four-time Grammy nominee Hugo Guerrero, Grammy nominated Jonny Martínez and Gary Hobbs. Also Tejano music living legends Anselmo Martínez, Grammy Award winner Rubén Ramos, Grammy Award nominees Jimmy Edward and Joe Bravo plus two of the hottest bands, Grammy nominated Aviso and Calle Seis, which is made up of several Grammy nominated musicians have already committed to perform.
It is also being emceed by two-time Grammy winner Raulito Navaira. No wonder this cruise has been billed the Tejano Legends Cruise, but this line-up of la crème de la créme could also easily have been labeled as the Tejano Grammy Artists Cruise.
The weather may be dismal, depressing and gloomy or it may be snowing when you leave home, but you’ll feel a tad warmer when you get to Galveston will you will board the Cadillac of all cruise companies, Carnaval Cruise Lines. And forget all that negative publicity over one measly unfortunate isolated incident. After all, comedians have to make a living too, enough said. Once onboard the floating city, there’s plenty to do.
While you may have started out Friday morning with “brrr,” once out in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico, the next morning and the warm sun hits your face and you trade your snow boots for sandals or flip flops, you will go “aaah.” And don’t be surprised if you wind up having breakfast next to one of your favorite Tejano stars.
Speaking of food, there will be an abundance of gourmet meals with everything from escargot (snails) to frog legs and alligator being served in the dining rooms – not to mention scrumptious mouth-watering steak, seafood and desert choices. As Rocky Hernández would say, “no ombre, shut up.”
Those that chose comfort food will have the option of the 24-hour buffet which features various ethnic food choices, so there’s no way for anyone to be on an empty stomach; and it’s all included in the price of the cruise.
To pass the time away at sea, there’s an onboard casino, ship’s store, miniature golf, water rides, a swimming pool, hot tubs and water rides plus a theater that feature Las Vegas-type shows.
The first port call will be in Progress, Yucatan which women will find to be a shopper’s delight since sun dresses, blouses, bathing suits and sandals can be purchased for as little as two to five dollars. As for souvenirs, one can buy eight high-quality cotton tee shirts at the rate of eight tees for $20 at the local flea market. With prices like these, there’s no reason to stock up on clothes, souvenirs and novelty gifts.
As for the local food, there’s burritacos, salbutes or cachetadas plus exotic fruits such as ataulfo, manila and manililla, which are all in the mango family.
Spending the day in this port city is one option since tours to Merida and the Mayan ruins are also available at half the rate offered by the cruise line. But don’t get too tired. Save some energy to dance the night away to the music of your favorite onboard Tejano artist/band; and it’s going to be a short night. As you sleep you will segue from the Gulf of Mexico into the Caribbean Sea. Early risers will be treated to a beautiful sunrise as the ship arrives in Cozumel that morning. Again, there are more options as to what to do with your time on this luscious and still fairly raw Caribbean island.
By the end of the day, one will have turned into a red-neck Chicano, have a red sunburnt face or a red nose from all the booze they drank and most will get some last minute shopping in the many stores in the portside terminal.
Putting this photographer’s normal humble personality aside, I can honestly say that I took hundreds of awesome travel photographs during my previous cruise to Progresso, Yucatan and Cozumel, but how can you take a bad picture when the sea and skies are blue and everything is so bright and vivid that the colors just seemed to burst out as fireworks.
For more information go to www.cruiseconnectionlive.com, or call (214)383-0122. Everyone should also be aware that there are no ties between the 2014 Tejano Legends Cruise and the 2012 Tejano Cruise. This Cruise is focused on giving our clients an honest and exciting show. CCL is also offering Allianz Insurance to insure the safety and happiness of all their customers.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is not ‘hype,’ but based on actual experience with the photos to proof it; and don’t forget that besides credibility, a picture is worth a thousand words