Thursday, November 29, 2018

Royal Princess in Cozumel, Mexico

Hello from cloudy and rainy Cozumel.

Before I talk about what we could have done and what we eventually did, I need to be firm in this statement: DO NOT TAKE FRESH FRUITS OR VEGETABLES OFF THE SHIP IN COZUMEL!!!

We had the typical note in the Patter about it and we received the verbal notification while on the ship more than once. But people never listen. I tried to warn the couple in the buffet who were taking bananas off the ship; I've warned people over and over: DOGS WILL BE SNIFFING EVERY SINGLE BAG LEAVING THE SHIP.

Save yourself the embarrassment. The dog will catch you and you will get the stares from the rest of the folks behind you waiting to get out of port. Just look at the bags of fruits and vegetables already confiscated by the time we left the ship.
All by 11 this morning
Okay, enough of my public service announcement and back to today. We could have experienced any number of those things we’ve done in the past. (All photos, unless otherwise noted, are from previous visits.)

Today we could have:
*Taken a ship excursion to Playa Mia. Transportation, beach activities, some water toys, lunch, and unlimited drinks. If the waves are too rough, they close access to the water. So nope, don't want to chance it.
*Gone to a tequila tasting. You'll learn everything you’d want to know and come back to the ship quite happy. (Sorry, no pics on this one. Hubby and son-in-law went and came back very cheerful but without any photos.) My choice of alcohol is not tequila, so mark that one of the list.

*Had our first-ever visit to Passion Island, a private island off the coast of Cozumel. No such luck as bad weather caused those tours to be cancelled today. 

*Spent the day at the all-inclusive Nachi Cocom. Great views... 
great food, and delicious, strong, and unending drinks. The food comes in multiple courses and the portions, while delicious, are huge. Just not that hungry or thirsty today.
*Taken the ferry over to Playa del Carmen. With this wind it would have been a rough ride over. After last week's long and rough ferry ride to Dry Tortugas, it would be best not to risk it.
*Headed to the Tulum Ruins like my daughter I did last time we cruised together. Too much walking for hubby so take that one off the list.
*Gone snorkeling in the cenotes (underwater caves) with the stalactites and stalagmites and bats, but not today. 
Besides, last time I went I got caught in a flood. One flood a week is my limit.
*Gone snorkeling with turtles in Akumal Bay...
but last time I got caught in a storm. This was a ship excursion that definitely should have been cancelled. Or at least revised. When your tour guide takes you into the water when the sky looks like this you know nothing but trouble is headed your way. So thankful I was a strong swimmer.
*Stayed on the island of Cozumel and headed to where we’ve been going these last few times - to the Money Bar. More nice views and superior snorkeling. But with the weather as it was with a bit of “chop” (a term Captain Nick Nash has used several times over the past few years) conditions wouldn’t be ideal and could even have been somewhat challenging. I’ve already been there twice this year so I was okay to skip it. (Not really. If the weather was great, I would have been there.) It's such a good snorkeling spot that the snorkel boats drop off there, too.
Or we could stay close and hang out at our favorite place right near the pier, Pancho’s Backyard. Over the years I’ve spent countless hours at a table there with my computer open and fingers flying across the keyboard, all while looking out at the ship. While I didn't bring my computer today, we did sit there watching people,
Nice people viewing today, as usual.
drinking sangria and rum punch,
One sangria and two rum punches were consumed today.
and eating banana leaf wrapped tamales.
Oh so good. So glad they were still on the lunch menu today.
We also watched filming of a Carnival-Univision show called La Gran Sorpresa, The Great Surprise. According to Univision, “La Gran Sorpresa” uses the power of travel to reunite families who have been separated by illness, distance or borders. 

I'm not sure who this surprise was for, but we watched a concert of someone who appeared to be a popular singing star in Mexico. There were a few dozen pre-pubescent girls screaming and cheering. Truth be told, some of the girls had already hit puberty and were dressed so scantily that I didn't dare take a picture during the concert itself. While reality shows make things look seamless, I can tell you from this experience that it took no fewer than four takes of each song to get all the camera angles and the right amount of screaming girls. Afterwards all the girls waited for the singer to come out to see them, but he went a different way. I felt a bit bad for the girls. There was quite a bit of down time between the takes where they just had to stand around waiting to start up again. It took a full hour to film those three songs and then the singer just took off on the girls when the filming ended. 
Setting up the stage beforehand
It was another good day. It was the last port of our Caribbean cruising year and tomorrow will be our last sea day as we make our way back to Port Everglades. Boy, this week has gone by fast.