Friday, May 4, 2012

Triumph Cruise Day 4 (April 17, 2012)

We planned a slightly lazy morning getting up for Cozumel- we’d just get up when we did.  We ended up waking up around 7:15/7:30 and were pulling into port as we did.  We could see the Legend and the Glory were already there (as well as Mariner of the Seas).  We maneuvered into place, and we found ourself face to face with the Glory’s bridge. It was kind of ackward to be on the balcony in a robe, because the officers were standing right there. …
So we go showered and cleaned up, and headed out for the day.  We were still so full from the night before we SPLIT a banana for breakfast.  Seriously.  For breakfast we SHARED a banana.  (Which was an excellent banana.  Mexico has spoiled me on them. The ones at home don't taste good at all.)  We didn't eat again until almost noon.

I’ll note that again we heard NO announcements saying we could disembark, but it was around 8:00 which was our arrival time. The pier duty free shop that you MUST walk through is insanely long and feels like extortion. You shouldn’t have to go through such a ridiculous shop (the salespeople pushing at you is even worse when you come back.) Puerto Maya also has a TON of shops as you walk through the taxi, and while you need to ignore the sales pitch, at least you don’t have to go in (and thus try to walk around people who are looking.)


We found the taxi’s and I want to note that Money Bar is listed on the taxi-fare thing as Dzul-Ha. The fare is $8 for up to 4 people. We asked for Dzul-Ha, the taxi lady said “you know, no beach, only snorkeling” which is just what we wanted, she got us into a taxi, and sped (not kidding- this is the guy you want on the amazing race) away. The man driving the taxi never told us his name or anything. As we left, we handed him $9 (he didn’t ever tell us a fare at all), but he didn’t count it in front of us, so I only assume he saw us looking at the sign and knew we knew the rate.

Money Bar doesn't have a good beach, but they do have sand, beach chairs, and tables with umbrellas.  You get into the water by stairs (two different entrances) or a ladder at the end of the pier.  We always got in through the stairs, but sometimes it was easier to get out on the ladder. The currents and waves were somewhat strong.
We were at Money Bar by 8:15 (maybe slightly earlier). We walked up to the bar and asked if we needed to rent a chair (I knew they were free, but it just seems weird…so I wanted to verify) and they said no, so we made ourselves at home. We didn’t have any valuables in our bag, so we just left it on the chairs, there were no problems at all- though they did have lockers. I heard at least 75% of the people on the beach mention cruisecritic at some point in time- so that is clearly the way to learn about this spot! There were quite a few Carnival cruisers there, but I didn’t hear anyone else say they were on the Triumph, some may have been.




So early morning, Kevin and I hop in to go snorkeling and well, I still suck at it.  I freak out, as I cannot breathe.  I have panic attacks, and end up putting my mask on the chair and  coming back and just swimming along with him, as I don’t want him in the ocean alone.  We do this for about an hour, and he says there are a good number of fish.   Then it is back on the beach for our first drinks (we stayed non-alcoholic)- a Mango Tango for me and a Limeade for him.  Both were nice and frosty, he said his was a bit too minty.  I don't really drink, and he doesn't drink alcohol while swimming (good policy) or if he is in the sun too much (most people on Mexican beaches disagree...)


After this I decided I would try again.  This time, I did much better, but still not very well.  And the fish were amazing- I had never seen so many! And so many varieties.  What was interesting though is the current had changed directions.  This time, when I got out (after 30 minutes) my legs were  SO exhausted.  Because again I didn't swim the whole time in my mask, I had a quick conversation with another woman and her husband was out there by himself, we decided when he came back, if they were to go out again, we'd send our husbands together!
 
 So Kevin went back into the water with this wife's man, and he said that the fish were amazing.  They went quite far out, so he said it was even better than what I had seen.  I can't imagine how great that must have been- because what I saw was incredible (of course, the underwater camera only ever seemed to capture one fish at a time, and he only took it out with him the first time he went out.)  While he swam, I just chatted on the beach with the woman.  They were on the Glory, and enjoying their cruise.  She agreed with me that the water had been rougher than most cruises, so it wasn't due to the Triumph being an old ship, just the seas being rough.


 So Kevin came back and we decided it was time to eat again.  We had a giant plate of Nachos, I had a "Pretty in Pink" smoothie and he had a "Beachcomber".  No idea what was in those, but they were both fantastic!   All four drinks and the nacho plate cost us $24.   Really reasonable, especially since we had free use of their chairs (and restroom).
 A little after eating we went out snorking again, and this was my best time out.  I decided we should stay where I can stand and I had no problems at all.  If I freaked out, I just stood up, caught my breathe and then started again.  This resulted in me being able to snorkel for much longer periods between freak outs.  Yay!  We'll need to take one more cruise to practice before heading to the Galapagos.

As we were getting out of the water, we decided we would likely pack up, and the skies agreed with us- a short rainstorm came by!  Money Bar has a good covering, so everyone gathered under it, and we found a taxi just outside who would take us back.  This time, the other couple split the taxi with us, so goodness! What a deal!

We did some quick shopping in the port.  We bought a $1 maraca for our SIL who was on the last cruise with us, but home with a newborn now, a shot glass for my Dad's collection and t-shirts for both me and Kevin.  We are terrible hagglers and they were problably the most expensive t-shirts in Cozumel, 2 for $25.
 Heading back to the port, it was a bit crowded and we had a few hours before all on board.  I was surprised so many people were coming back.  The pedi-cab guys will give you a free ride, you only need to tip.

My normal post-port routine is a BLT and a Chicken Fajita wrap from room service, but I couldn't get them to answer the phone.  What a disappointment!  I never got it the whole trip.  I later found out that the phones are a trick.  They have a room service button, but it doesn't work.  You have to dial the number listed in the Fun Times.  Boo.  Hiss.   Here I am before my shower, all yucky from a day at the beach.  Bet the Glory Bridge thinks I'm beautiful!
So I took a shower and Kevin went to do TV Theme Song trivia while I slept.  Then, we went out to the balcony to watch pier runners.  What a disappointment!  This picture was taken 10 minutes after all on-board time!!!!  That is the port building, and if you haven't been to Cozumel before, to get an idea, if you see the picture above of me with the ship in the background, the port curve around toward the ship.  This is a TON of people.  There was no sense of urgency at all to get back on board by most people (or they would have been there 30 minutes earlier...)  The line was still this long at sail away time, and so we left to go play trivia.)
 
This is me on the balcony.  No fun runners to watch.  I made this dress (and my formal night dress)!  So excited to get to wear it.
 See that LONG line?  This is right before sail away time.

 We gave up on the pier runners (we had to- it was time for progressive trivia) and I got some chocolate covered strawberries. I have to buy SOMETHING with my sign and sail card.  This (and 5 more the next day) were the only things on my card. (Since tips and Chef's table all went on Kevin's.)
We did well with progressive trivia, but instead of sports trivia we went and tasted rum cake.  The original and coconut were good, but the chocolate and pineapple tasted way too much like rum.  I think many people find that to be a selling point, but YUCK. 

At this point we headed back to the spot by the World's bar and picked up some sushi.  I believe Kevin had 4 plates.  I had one plate and it was fantastic!

 At this point the whole trivia team went to the piano bar and played Monopoly cards and Quiddler.  Courtesy of the camera timer, we got a fun picture.
 Then two of the couples went to dinner (the third couldn't because unfortunately they don't have Anytime Dining- a downside of Carnival's system.  I wish you could bring in a guest!)  Kevin said he felt badly that he was dressed so casually, but shorts and t-shirt seemed to be a norm.  Because we went with friends, straight from what we were doing, we didn't go up to change.  Anytime does make it a lot easier to be casual.  With late dinner we used to have so much time to kill, he'd always dress nicely.
 After dinner we went to the magic show and got seats in the balcony towards the front. As a result we could see some of how the tricks ("illusions!") worked.  Of course, we couldn't figure all of them out.  The magician was kind of odd.  Anders was quiet and soft spoken, but his show was all sorts of flash and motorcycles and rock and roll.  The Carnival dancers participated in the shows, and it was pretty much the skimpiest costumes I've seen.  They were gorgeously done though.

After the show we went to the piano bar, but it was taken over by a group of people quite a bit older than us who were kind of monopolizing the music suggestions.  We moved over to Karoeke where we met Todd and Ashley from Chef's table, and I sang again.  This time, having learned the rules of Karoeke (sing about alcohol or sex to get a free pass) I sang "Jose Cuervo", which is a song I love.  The low voice of the singer means I can sing almost all of it, sort of well.  She only really holds one note long.  This may become my go to song.

The table we were sitting with were really partying, the waiter kept bringing over more drinks (we never saw anyone ask for them!) and more chits to sign.  They told us they had been drinking since noon (and it was about 10:00) There was no way they had any idea what they were spending.  I said to Ashley, "You'll have a surprise bill tomorrow" and she responded "We'll just have to go home and make more money!"  LOL!  So that explains how people do this! 

At one point in the night two tequila shots appeared (we assumed from someone who was drinking beers on Todd's tab as a "thank you") but no one would drink them.  I told Kevin I was thinking I might (tequila was my drink of choice in college) and told Ashley I would if she would.  She said no way!   Later a few people started telling me I should drink them, and one of the ladies at the table (very drunk... she kept inadvertently flashing people. I think she forgot she was wearing a mini skirt. Thank goodness for undies!) said "no, no don't pressure her!"  Which I thought was sweet.  Once I explained I don't drink just because I don't care to, and I wasn't alcoholic.  She joined in the "drink" refrain.  Then Todd said "there is no way she could even do it."  I turned to Kevin and said "it's like on margarita right?"  And at that time another man came over, saw an unclaimed shot and said - is this for me?  He drank it, so I decided to claim the other one.  I looked at Todd and said "You don't think I could drink a shot? Just one?" and downed it.  Ashley chimed in with "OMG! I could have never done that. Wow"  Which cracked me up, because she was probably on drink 15 or so, and I had done a single shot...   I don't know what kind of tequilla it was, but it wasn't cheap.  I barely tasted it until I was done drinking it, and with just a little lime it wasn't too much of an after taste.   Since it had been quite some time since I had a drink, I went to the bar and and got a glass of water for myself (and one for Kevin) and I felt fine the whole night.  Apparently the lightweight I am I don't get drunk on one shot, and really never felt it at all.  Yay.
The antics of our friends kept us awake until the midnight Burlesque show.  I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn't really worth staying awake for.  The girls were dressed about the same as for the shows (except their thongs were never covered by skirts, as they sometimes, but not always, are in the shows).  Maybe it was just that they were much closer to the crowd?  The magician was the MC and did a trick or too and told some dirty jokes.  Otherwise, meh.  Two men sort of got a lap dance, so maybe that makes it R-rated?  That part was kind of cute. The girls dresses unwrapped to tie the men to the chair.

After this, it was definetly time for bed!

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