Thursday, April 15, 2010

CRUISE--Cozumel, Mexico

Monday, we woke up very excited - our first shore excursion. Papa and I had picked a sub tour that was to go 100 feet below the surface. I had my eye on that tour but right before I signed up, it disappeared and I had to sign up for the backup tour, another underwater tour that went only about 4 feet underwater and was much shorter in duration.

We were pleasantly surprised when we got on the ship and saw the Atlantis tour offered again but I had to wait to receive my tickets before I could go to the excursion desk and do the exchange for the ones we wanted.

Everyone laughed and made fun of me for the "tormenting" (their word not mine) of our travel agent and now I've moved on to tormenting the Excursion Desk and Guest Services with my constant barrage of questions. But hey, if you don't ask, how do you find out. And that are what those people get paid for, answering questions and helping out the passengers. You'll be happy to know, I got my money's worth from both areas!

So with submarine tour tickets in hand, we watched Cozumel approach from the sea. We were actually the one doing the approaching but semantics...

Of course, leaving the ship, my Sail and Sign card was invalid for some reason and it left off an dull bong when I scanned it. You have to scan your card when leaving the ship and then when returning. Since mine failed leaving the ship, they took a picture of me and let me know when I returned it wouldn't work but to let the "gatekeeper" know I was "in the book" with a new picture and I would be allowed back on the ship and would then have to the go to Guest Services (where they would be getting to know me) and be issued a new card. This was a little worrisome (like I needed something else to worry about---not falling off the boat, not MISSING the boat while on an island, not getting arrested, abducted or assaulted some other way while in a foreign country, not getting thrown in a Mexican jail, etc., etc., etc.). Now I'm told my card would not work to get back onboard but oh, have a nice tour of Cozumel.

But we proceeded on. Did a little window shopping and met our tour group for the boat ride out to sea where our sub was docked.

So I am faller, plain and simple. I was a little concerned after reading the description of the tour and that I would have to back down a long step ladder. I can climb up ladders without issue but going down ladders always make my hands sweat and with my bad ankle and back and neck, I was worried about this. I made Papa promise to go first in case I slipped. He could help me or at least break the fall. But like any rat leaving a sinking ship, he got on the ladder and climbed down as fast as he could and was nowhere to be seen by the time I mounted the top of the ladder. Paco though, pictured above, assured me that I could do it. "Just take that first step and it will be fine." And I did and it was.

First, I need to rewind a bit. I had bought a new camera with all sorts of wonderful bells and whistles for my trip. I had had it for three months and was learning light and appertures and speed and all. So excited to put all I'd learned into practice on this vacation and then.....du dum....and on our Sunday Sea Day, du du dum, it just wouldn't turn on again.

It had been starting to act up and I couldn't understand why. I hadn't dropped it or left it in the sun or heat but first it started eating batteries. Take 3 pictures and change batteries. Oh, take 2 pictures and batteries are dead again, huh? Take one picture and then just NOTHING. It stopped working by Sunday night. I was pretty distressed over this but thankfully had brought my old faithful along and that's what I started using in Cozumel and for the rest of the trip (except one foray with an underwater camera in Costa Maya). (I ended up exchanging the camera when I returned home and the new one is fabulous and makes me think the other one was a lemon from the get-go.)

So here I am underwater with an OK camera but it wasn't spectacular and didn't begin to record what our eyes were seeing. The vividness of the colors of the fish were unbelievable.

The top picture is Papa looking our our porthole and then the other 42 people (sans crew) that were on the sub with us.

We had a fabulous time. Although the pictues were subpar, what we experienced and saw with our eyes we will never forget (even the divers!)

And we went a bit below 100 feet underwater:

Papa deemed it the "coolest thing I've ever done in my life." And I beamed!

We made it back to the port area safely and did a little shopping. Then it was time to reboard the ship where my card not only "bonged" again and I was pulled out of line. But after they determined I was "in the book" and ok to come back on board, I beeped in the security scanner and had to be pulled out of line again and hand scanned. FINALLY, I was determined to be safe and let on board where I went immediately to the Guest Services desk and procured myself a new Sail and Sign card that worked without a hitch the rest of the week.

In Cozumel, Cracker and the Weatherman rented a car and took their own tour (no pictures) and said they had a nice time.

DD and SIL and their group hit a private beach and took advantage of the cheap- priced, high-quality tequila.

I'm sure that beach will never be the same?!

The main thing was that ALL our group had a marvelous time in Cozumel and made it back on the boat safely.

That night, Night 3 in the Dining Room, our little group suffered the "effects of tequila" with Cracker and the Weatherman passing on our group dinner. (Although, we didn't know that up front and checked with the Guest Services desk AGAIN to make sure they were back on the boat with us when our worrying got the better of us.)

Tomorrow Roatan, Honduras.


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Tammy said...