Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Cruisin' Mexico

Because of the propulsion issue, we ended up making two stops in Mexico.
A dolphin experience we watched in Costa Maya, not Cozumel where we did ours.
When I get our disposable camera developed, I'll tell you more about our first stop in Mexico: Cozumel. We started with a dolphin experience where, besides the 'normal' dolphin encounter, you also got a "pull" (hanging on to her fins) and a "push" (using a boogie board and her pushing on your feet... what a thrilling ride!) After the dolphins, it started raining really hard and getting cooler. We did walk around some Mayan sculptures, visit a Mayan hut where we sampled fresh tortillas, and watch our friends come in on their glass bottom kayak adventure. We also had a nice Mexican buffet. But, we ended the day early because of the rain and cold.

Although the cruise line put together some last minute excursions, we decided to not take any in our second port of Costa Maya. Instead, we went with our new friends - Jill and her college-age daughter, Natalie. We first visited the high-pressure shops and Alex bought some sunglasses which she needed. Then we climbed this tower. There wasn't a lot to see, but we could see our ship!

Natalie went back to the ship while Alex & Jill hung out in beach chairs and I visited the tide pools that were right there at our port! I LOVE tide pools and enjoyed exploring these. I found several chitons which are mollusks with hard plates. They are about 2 inches long.

Dozens of shells - probably hermit crabs?

A little bitty sea urchin!!! I believe this is my first in a tide pool. It was about the size of a marble!

This is what I believe is a piece of coral. It was about the size of my hand.
Gorgeous! And so fragile looking! It reminds me of a leaf skeleton.

And, a little striped fish that got caught in the tide pool.

A self-portrait by the tide pools. You can see our ship in the background!

Alex & Jill relaxing by the ocean.

After this, Jill headed back to the ship and Alex and I found two hammocks! We had the BEST time hanging out in these! I could have stayed for HOURS, but we hadn't put on sunscreen because we thought we'd just be shopping for awhile.

Just relaxing! (Alex loves to take angled photos... they do turn out neat!)

And, a zoomed-in view of Costa Maya from our balcony. We took that little red trolley back. You can see the flag that I took a photo of, the yellow tower (behind the orange building) that we climbed, the shops (brownish triangular roofs) where we shopped, the beach (in front of umbrellas) where I looked at tide pools, and right behind the umbrellas were the hammocks where we laid out.

We Were "Stranded in the Caribbean"

Yes, we traveled on one of the Carnival ships that experienced difficulties recently. For Spring Break, we flew to Tampa, Florida to set sell on the Carnival Legend cruise. Our 7-day cruise was to visit four places: Cozumel (Mexico); Belize; Roatan (Honduras); and Grand Cayman. However, after our first stop at Cozumel, the ship just sat there...

We ended up leaving 1.5 hours later and didn't think too much of it. But, the next morning, we learned we were having "propulsion issues" and our ship was not able to go at top speed. So, instead of reaching Belize for our 2nd day on shore, we stopped for a second day in Mexico - this time in Costa Maya which is about 120 miles south of Cozumel.

After Costa Maya, we did make it to Roatan, Honduras for our 3rd day of excursions. Later that day, we were told they were unsure if we'd make it to Grand Cayman or Belize for the 4th day on shore. But, then, we got the disappointing news that we wouldn't be stopping anywhere - we were headed back to Tampa.

Carnival did compensate us for our messed up travels. We received $100 per person to spend onboard or take home. And, we received vouchers for 1/2 off our next cruise! There are guidelines, though... like it has to be 7 days or less and take place in the next 2 years.

Will we travel with them again? Maybe. Alex is eager to go on another one next year with some of her new friends. But, for now, I think we'll wait and see what happens on future Carnival cruises. I hope they get all of their problems fixed quickly!
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