10 Year Trip-Part 6

>> Sunday, December 19, 2010

The next day was a stop at Cozumel so we had an early breakfast and headed onshore. We usually ate breakfast at the buffets because there was so much to choose from and the lines weren't that long. Here's Stacy below in one of the dining rooms enjoying his daily double dose of chocolate milk. Who says adults can't have chocolate milk, right?

Stacy had a work connection that gave us all kinds of tips and instructions for doing a cruise right. He ended up being more like a private tour guide and recommended a private day beach club in Cozumel called Nachi Cocom. There were probably never more than about 50 people there so it really felt like we got to enjoy our own private section of the beach and ocean.

The water was beautiful and while I was content to lay on the beach, Stacy did some exploring. He saw plenty of fish and even a little stingray which was enough to send me back up to the beach. The food was great, I finally got my Mexican fix, and I think I could have stayed there another couple days.

Any relaxation that was achieved that day, though, was pretty well erased when we were on our way back to the ship and our realtor texted us to tell us we had gotten an offer on our house that we were trying to sell. The rest of the evening was spent communicating with her and negotiating a contract on our house. Communication on board the ship was tricky but we managed to pull it off and by noon the next day had sold our house from the middle of the Gulf of Mexico! Not a bad way to end a vacation!


10 Year Trip-Part 5

>> Friday, December 10, 2010

We stopped at Progreso, Mexico for the second full day on board. The Carnival Ecstasy docked for the day as well so here's a shot of the two ships side by side. The Pier was a five mile bus ride away from the city, on which our bus got a flat tire. When he just kept driving on the flat we realized why the buses look in the condition they do!

We took a bus tour when we got to the city. Not a super impressive city but shopping and bargaining in the market was fun. Below is one of the "nicest" homes in the city. They call it the "Wedding Cake House" because of it's tiers and latticework.

There were lots of places along the beach to stop for drinks or food so we stopped at this little beach side restaurant for a drink before heading back to the boat.

Back on the boat, every night the dining staff does a different song and dance about halfway through the meal. If they aren't enjoying themselves, they do a very good job faking it! The cruise staff was mostly from different countries, Indonesia, Philippines, Latvia, Ireland, England. We asked our steward a little about his role on the ship and life back home. It seems that most of the workers sign on for 6-9 month commitments, leaving their family at home. Much like the military service, and although they don't get paid much by American standards, their earnings are often enough to care for their entire extended family back home.

Every night there was plenty of entertainment to choose from: musicians, comedians, magicians, dancers, etc... The Theatre shown below was where most of the main events happened. It was a beautiful three story theatre complete with a super swanky chandelier. We certainly didn't feel like we were on a boat when we were in this room. We snuck in at one point to snap the picture below and were quickly told to leave--apparently they were practicing the magic tricks for that night's entertainment so we were seeing too much of the illusion! Ooops!

And of course, as always, waiting for us that night...


10 Year Trip-Part 4

>> Friday, December 03, 2010

The first full day of our cruise was spent on the ship en route to Progreso, Mexico. We spent most of it lounging in the sun and reading. Our room looked out the very front of the ship onto a deck that often felt like our own private deck.

There are tons of things to do on the ship, one of which being a nine-hole mini golf course. Nothing extravagant but it was a fun break in the day.

Dinner that night was more formal and I was surprised by the amount of women wearing formal evening gowns. Guess I missed the memo on how to pack a formal evening gown in a suitcase. I overheard one woman in the bathroom say she brought an entire suitcase full of just shoes. Sheesh!

There were several things that surprised us about our cruise including how much is not included in the "all-inclusive" deal (alcoholic drinks, soda, wasabi sauce for your sushi, etc...) The other surprise was that despite how many times we heard previous cruise-goers say, "Oh, you don't feel the ship move at all," we definitely felt the ship move. There was a rainstorm after dark the formal night and we both felt woozy enough that we were glad we brought Dramamine. We went to one comedy show and called it a night early because apparently "less-drowsy Dramamine" is not all that much less drowsy.

We had a new little friend waiting for us this time.


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