Last I left off, we were in not-so-sunny Cozumel.
However, rainy Cozumel is just fine with me.
Especially, just fine for enjoying some tasty beverages at Senior Frogs in port after a successful diving day.
Can’t wait to come back in the fall for the Ironman 70.3, so I had to become the M dot in anticipation! After a fantastic day of diving and drinks, all we really could do was just enjoy another delicious dinner and then head to bed.
Thursday was another early wakeup for Tabyata Beach. While I love diving, I was most excited for this port. Last year I snorkeled here for about four hours and ended up seeing some amazing things!
More lobster friends.
Blue angelfish being just a little coy.
Balloonfish! I see Porcupine fish everywhere but rarely their darker cousins.
Squid! I danced with their pod for a bit and even got to see them shoot ink and swim away… and then get curious again and come back.
We got out around noon to eat lunch, one that I had been looking forward to all year. BBQ chicken, rice and beans, and coleslaw sounds like nothing special, doubly so when it’s dark meat chicken (which usually is a deal breaker for me), but something about it (maybe the ocean air, but probably just the delicious sauce) makes it magical.
We went back into the ocean for what we hoped would be another great snorkeling session, but the seas got rough, and instead, we just got raked over a bunch of coral in the current. Y’all know me. I’m a strong swimmer and I can persevere in just about any conditions. This was bad. When we got caught, all we could do is just hope the surge sent us in the direction where the least amount of pokey and scratchy things were at. I wore my long sleeved rashguard, which saved me from most of it because I aimed my back at the reef, but I wasn’t wearing my long pants so some particularly feisty coral caught my knee right before we found clearer water.
We dried off, got Zliten patched up, and then took our toys and went home. You KNOW it’s a bummer of a day when I don’t spend every last minute in the water. The rest of the day was spent playing cards, seeing a really kick ass aqua show involving high diving, trampolines, and gymnastics (so, pretty much teenage me’s dream, and even 39-year-old me kinda wanted to go play if they would have let me), and another great dinner and bed for one more early wake up.
Friday was our last port, Costa Maya. I actually got myself to the breakfast buffet instead of having my butler Zliten deliver it to my room and found all the veggies (and bacon).
I had zero expectations at this port. I booked a snorkel and open bar tour mostly because I wanted transport to a beach and a place to sit and have some drinkies and it cost about the same as just that. The snorkel tour was predictably terrible with a giant group of mostly newbies (the times I got kicked in the head = much greater than zero), but we went back out after and saw some cool stuff.
These yellow stingrays were everywhere. I’ve never seen so many!
And after two and a half hours of snorkeling, right as I was getting out, I saw something I’d never seen before in about a foot of water. My new camera rocks for getting such a great picture in the silty murky water. After looking it up, it’s an albino mantis shrimp! Holy crap!
I got dragged out of the water since Zliten’s owies from yesterday were hurting him, and we spent the rest of the day on the beach. It oscillated between sun and rain, and we were served margaritas as quickly as we could finish them.
We got super authentic nachos with the local “plastic” cheese. 😛
These fine folks gave us a fantastic massage in the rain. I don’t think I’ve ever been so relaxed. Happy. Place.
And then we spent some time at the pool bar before we absolutely had to go and the ship would leave us there. I had much more fun in Costa Maya than I expected and would definitely consider going back to that same beach next time.
It was fancy night #2, and somehow I have zero pictures of that, but we enjoyed a lobster dinner. This was from last year, but we can just pretend.
Then, we visited theater one more time for the Blue Planet show which was amazing – I was most impressed that the same folks from Mama Mia and some of the acrobats also were in this show as well. Busy performers! We hit the outdoor dance party next in the Solarium and danced and had fun, but my stomach wasn’t feeling super great so I headed to bed well before everything closed down.
Saturday, I slept in until I couldn’t sleep anymore. I think I made it until about 10am.
First on the agenda was hitting the pool. Instead, we ran for the hot tub because it was windy, rainy, and nasty out.
We grabbed a little lunch and then atoned for my sins with a pretty hard (for a stationary bike) 30 minute ride and 45 minutes of kettlebells. These statues we called “flower butts” greeted us before and after every workout.
It was gross and rainy and they actually even closed off the outer decks in the afternoon, and I was kind of over my camera at that point, so please enjoy this (still cloudy but not as nasty of a day) picture from earlier in the week. Instead, we played cards all afternoon. I think we got in 9 games total through the whole week, and I don’t remember the win/loss ratio, but I’m pretty sure it favored my Dad. 🙂 After a while, we tried to go to the ice show, but we couldn’t get seats together, so instead we packed up our suitcases, lounged a bit, and headed out for one more delicious meal.
I was feeling really yucky after dinner but a little lounging in bed made me feel better, so we went to the last comedy show of the cruise. The comic was very good, but I felt even worse by the end of it, and spent the night sweating through my pajamas and then freezing and then tossing and turning and I was not thrilled with the situation in the slightest.
Sunday, we said goodbye to the ship.
…and our nice view from our central park room. The rest of the day involved a very very tired, sick, and whiny me spending 2 hours in line for customs, then about 6 hours at the airport waiting for our flight to Austin. I can’t think of a time when I was more ready to be home from a trip and I was immensely happy we were off for Memorial Day so I didn’t have to drag my sick ass to work the next day.
Even though the last half had a few bummers, I thoroughly enjoyed the vacation, the itinerary, the ship, and I’d go back in a heartbeat. My parents are actually flying back to do it again in September. The ginormous ship did mean a lot more people and lines and crowds in places, but that was balanced out with a bigger selection of things to do and eat than the smaller ships, many places to jump in the pool, and a super nice gym, so it worked out.
I say I’d like to take it a little easier next time, but the thing is – if there’s water with fishies, I’m going to drag my camera rig and swim in it as long as humanly possible. It’s just in my nature. However, next time, I’d like to request some better conditions, less stormy skies, and skip the side of getting sick at the end!