Monday, December 1, 2008

Cruise Day 3: Cozumel

When we got our room assignment on deck 2, Rob was rather upset. He liked being on deck 7 last time, but decided this time he'd rather save the money and take the chance of being on deck 6. I didn't care too much really. Once you close the door, all the inside cabins are the same. Deck 2 meant it was uphill to dinner, but downhill after dinner. Our room was close to the elevator and stairs, easy to get to in case of an emergency. Yes, it was often a long elevator ride up to deck 11--pools and Windjammer Cafe--but I didn't mind.
However, at our first port, we learned of a few drawbacks. We could hear the engines slowing down (there was a constant low-grade noise from the engines) and doing stuff to pull into the dock, and we could hear a lot of banging from the ropes and gangways. Although our cabin was an inside one, our room/stairs was near the rear gangway (which is on deck one), and people started lining up early, making it difficult to get to our cabin, although it was easy to get an elevator going up, LOL. Once we waited for the early crowd to get off, it was really quick for us!

The captain actually backs the ship into the port!

Some large yacht in the port, called "The Mexican III"

This is the bow of the ship. The flat area at the front is the helicopter pad, and you can walk around on it. The round windows are all cabins, some of the cabins are very oddly shaped.

We decided to take another catamaran cruise and snorkel in Cozumel. This time, it was a bigger one, holding about 90 people, and included time at a private beach club. There was also Mexican beer and margaritas after the snorkeling.

The snorkeling area was just up the coast a little, about 100ft? off shore. It wasn't a 'reef' like we had envisioned, it was more like just what we think the bottom of the ocean looks like. This was one of the first fish we saw---a barracuda!

When I looked down, I thought the bottom was just brown. Then it all swam away!There were large structures---coral or rock? and often there was a fan shaped thing growing from the top, waving in the current. There were lots of these yellow and black fish. They'd be so close and you could reach out, but just as you try to touch one, it'd swim away! Rob let the air out of his safety vest and dove down several times. He said it was very deep.Although this snorkeling was fun, it was very different than in St. Maarten. Here, we were close to shore, but it was very deep, so you were always floating (we had to wear the safety vests, and they weren't very comfortable). There was also quite a bit of boat traffic, so the water was a little rough, and I had a hard time keep afloat (but I don't sink. Even taking all the air out, I don't sink!). I kept getting water in my mask, and down my snorkel, and after awhile, I got a little nauseous from swallowing salt water.

After the snorkeling, we all got back on the boat and had a little cruise down (up?) the island. This was fun. The crew said that in Mexico, you don't get drunk, you just get 'confused' so it was alright to drink lots. They also said that tourists get 'the runs' because they get 'confused' and instead of drinking the bottled water, they drink the 'Mexican water' (and he held up a bottle of clear liquor---I couldn't see what it was though). I tried the margaritas....very strong! Mixed it with Sprite then, LOL. Rob said the beer was a little watery.
The company has five catamarans and owns this private beach club.This picture, below, is just to the left of the one above, and the catamarans pull up close to the beach, a little to the right of the above picture. On shore, there was a barbeque and bar, but Rob hadn't brought any money. There were a couple souvenir booths, and tons of beach chairs. We grabbed a floaty mat and swam out. It got deep quickly, about 15 ft from shore and I couldn't touch (the catamarans don't come all the way to shore, and they said it was waist deep. Well, not MY waist!). There was also quite a current! We floated over to the trampoline and bounced a bit, then over to the iceberg. Rob tried climbing, but gave up very quickly! Some how we floated away from it, and it was quite a job getting back to shore! There were kayaks too, but they said you had to stay close to shore (in the buoyed area) or you'd get taken away on the current. Coming out, I got bit/pinched/stung by something. It hurt only for a little bit and I didn't swell or anything. The man braiding hats says there's nothing on the beach that bites....It was a beautiful day! We walked down the beach and collected some shells/coral.I have this plant in my front hall! You could rent ATVs and go around a small loop path; mostly sandy. Didn't look too exciting to us.

One the cruise back, there was more drinking, and dancing. It was hilarious. We were sitting on the lower deck, at the back. On the front deck, they were dancing. By looking through the lower level to the front, we could see the dancers from about waist down only. They were mostly older, chubby, slightly 'confused' white women line dancing to a hip hop (?) song with instructions. It was so hysterical, I took some videos!

Another shot of the front of the ship. Our deck is the bottom row of large round windows--those are actually about five feet high.

This is one of the piers in Cozumel; this is the one we were at. The yellow building is the shopping area--souvenirs, jewelry, etc. Pretty much the same in every port.
In the upper left corner of the picture below, you can just make out the Disney ship. Apparently it is about three miles between the two piers. I think we were at the International Pier, but I don't know. The maps they give for the different ports are not the best, from a geographer's perspective. A compass arrow would have helped, and a distance scale!

Another resort on the Cozumel coast.

We had to be aboard by 3:15pm. I don't remember what we did when we got back....shower, eat, rest....oh yeah ;)

The headliner show that night for us was at 7pm and was "The Pride of Las Vegas: Tony Tillman". He was a singer, comedian, dancer, who had been the opening act for Bill Crosby for 10 years. He put on quite a good show. Then it was dinner. After dinner, 10:45, was a "70s Song Tribute" on the Royal Promenade. We watched a bit of it on the TV in our cabin, and had a somewhat early night. Our towel creature that night was a little elephant, and it was really cute the way his ears wiggled from the vibration of the ship. I videotaped it, but it doesn't show up too well. Plus, I've been trying to upload a video of the drunk white women dancing, and it's not working. I have never been able to upload a video. Anyone know why?

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