Thursday, April 23, 2015

Carnival Cruise Day 4: Cozumel

Hola! We are back on ship after spending a day in Cozumel. Now Cozumel is a major tourist destination, and there were three ships in port today: us, the Carnival Breeze, and the Royal Caribbean Brilliance of the Seas. So to say that Cozumel is the exact opposite of Progreso would be an understatement. Personally, I felt much safer and a little more relaxed today, mainly because I didn’t feel so out of place and it’s much cleaner. No offense, Progreso.

Today my littlest piggy has turned a lovely shade of purple and blue, with a little red thrown in for good measure. At least I can still walk, although I seem to be limited to only wearing my sandals at this juncture. I tried to wear my cute cruise shoes earlier and they were too tight around my toes.
We ate breakfast in one of the main dining rooms this time and sat with another first time cruising couple and then one of the 4 diamond members on our ship right now, John. This is his 43rd cruise since 2005. Forty-three! In 10 years! I want John’s life.
We had an excursion planned with Playa Mia tours, so once we got off the ship we only had a little bit of time to shop before we had to be at their offices. We stopped by the Pandora shop and Nick let me pick out a couple of new charms for my bracelet. It’s nice not having to pay sales tax. We walked over to the Playa Mia office and after signing our waivers we were put in a cab to head to the downtown pier. Our had docked at the Puerta Maya pier. It was just a few minutes by cab, so after we arrived to downtown we had time to go in another little shop and pick up a couple more things for Kate. We also found a restroom that we had to pay a room attendant a couple of bucks to give us paper towels after washing our hands. I don't know if he was legit or if he just found a free bathroom and decided to claim it as his money-making spot, but we gave the guy $2 anyway.
At 11 we boarded the Aqua Dream II catamaran with several other people and started out to the snorkeling area. I would estimate about 40 people in all on the boat. It took us about an hour and 20 minutes to get to the Columbia Reef, where we were going to begin snorkeling. We used the current to drift over to the Palancar Reef as well, so we got to see two different reef areas.
Hey, we just came from one of these guys. Ours is the middle ship.
I had never snorkeled before, so I was very excited and also anxious. It was pretty windy today, and I thought the waves were big, at least in my opinion. What do I know, being a land kind of girl. I do know that a cruise ship had to skip the port yesterday because of the currents, so perhaps I'm not too off base with my assessment. We were shown everything we needed to know on board, and then it was time to jump off the boat and into the water. I opted to jump in rather than walk down the steps, which was kind of scary to be honest. It was quite a jump! I swallowed my fair share of sea water, which is just oh so nasty tasting but man, is it beautiful! I have never seen turquoise and teal green water before. Simply breathtaking.
It was quite difficult to get your bearings in the water because the surf was so crazy. Nick was having a difficult time because his mask kept leaking. Once I convinced myself to relax, I found snorkeling quite easy and comfortable. In fact, I had more trouble when I would try to stop and stay upright than I did when I just put my face in the water and let the current take me. Our guide stayed with us and lead the way, although I can’t imagine how much anxiety he had because we had a large group and people kept spreading out quite a bit from him, partially due to the waves pushing you all over the place. It would have made my blood pressure sky high trying to keep track of everyone.
The reefs were amazing. It was just like I’ve seen on TV and in movies. Seriously so hard to believe that it was so beautiful right below my feet. I saw one sea turtle and a couple of sting rays among all of the colorful fish, including several fish that I don’t know that I’ve ever seen before. I tried free diving down a couple of times, but I couldn’t get more than about 5’ underwater with the surf being so crazy….and the fact that I was pretty new to all of this.
It was also exhausting, which I wasn’t expecting. Fins are kind of hard to adjust to, and I was having a hard time keeping my feet and legs under the water enough to make myself move. Then once you wanted to stop, like if I wanted to find Nick again, it was very difficult to get yourself upright from a laying position in the water. I would forget about my snorkel here and there and turn my head to find Nick, which would put the top of the snorkel in the water and I’d have to spit it out to get the water out. I think I probably swallowed more sea water than anyone should.
By the time our 45 minutes of snorkeling was up, I was seriously done with the experience. I had literally just said to Nick that I wanted to go back to the boat when it was announced that we were finished and to get back on the boat. Nick had to help push me out of the water on the steps, again because the waves were making things quite tricky to deal with. By this time, my stomach was churning and I felt really seasick. 

We had eaten breakfast this morning in the dining room, but I guess I hadn’t quite stuffed myself as much as I needed to because it was now after 1 pm and I had an empty stomach full of sea water. Not a good combination. By the time I got up on the boat and out of my snorkel gear, I felt nauseas and generally awful. I went to the bathroom on board and tried to throw up, because I really thought I was going to be sick, but nothing ever happened. I could not stop shaking though, both my legs and my hands, and I think Nick was pretty freaked out. He grabbed me a Sprite from the bar tender, but I couldn’t bear to drink more than a few sips. Thankfully it was a relatively short ride back to Playa Mia, rather than another hour like it was to get there, and we were immediately escorted to the free buffet were I managed to eat some chips and refried beans. I couldn’t stomach much else at that point, but just being back on land seemed to ease most of my discomfort.
We hopped in a cab back to the Puerta Maya pier rather than stay with the catamaran group. They weren’t leaving Playa Mia until 3:20, and we had to be back on our ship by 3:30. We made it back in plenty of time and immediately hopped in the shower to get rid of the sea water funkiness we both had going on.
After cleaning up, Nick headed down to the casino bar to participate in an 80’s music trivia game and I went out on the deck to watch sail away and see if we had any pier runners. We didn’t, but it was still neat to watch the ship leave. Since we were parked right next to the Carnival Breeze, I got a really good look at her as we pulled away.
We headed back to the main dining room again and asked for Kamal. He has been so sweet all week and his team are really great as well. I have enjoyed having the same team of waiters every night. Tonight we both had soup for appetizer: I have corn chowder Maryland and Nick has chilled creamy bing cherry soup. We also split an order for frog legs, but I didn’t really like them so Nick ended up eating it all. At least I tried it. I would say they were sort of like chewier chicken, which wasn’t a good texture for me, and I had a really hard time getting past the fact that they were frog legs and they looked like it. I mean, if they had removed the meat from the bone, chopped it up and maybe rolled it into a ball and battered it, I may have had an easier time eating them. I still wouldn’t have cared for the texture though.

For my main course I had fish and shrimp and Nick ordered blackened supreme of spring chicken. I really regretted not ordering the chatueabriand though, so next time it’s offered I will definitely choose that. I, of course, had chocolate melting cake for dessert and Nick ordered a soufflĂ© with a vanilla cream sauce poured inside that was amazing. Pretty much I ate them both. Don't judge - you would've eaten them both too.

We finally had a pretty sunset! I have been waiting for a pretty sunset this entire week, but every evening it has been overcast and disappointing when the sun went down. Today it was actually nice, so we went out on the deck three balcony area and watched the sun go down. We ran into a couple that we sat with at breakfast, so we talked to them about their day in Cozumel and shared stories about ours.
Nick played another trivia game, this time about movies, and I joined him at the very end of it. We still didn’t win though, and then we stayed in the main lounge to watch and participate in a gender showdown type game between the men and the women. We stuck around for the Liars Club, a really funny show put on with our cruise director and some of the cast. By the time that was over and we had finished finding our photos and deciding whether to purchase more or not, I was beat so Nick brought me back up to the room. He went back down and caught part of the guest talent show before he came back up to the room for the night. We only have one sea day left, which is really depressing.

Our towel animal today:
I'm not quite sure what it's supposed to be, but I could tell you when we thought it was as the lights were slowly coming on except that this is a PG rated blog so I'll just let you figure it out on your own.

No comments: