Day 6 – July 9, 2010- Cozumel
The ship was not due to arrive to port until around 11:00am, and our excursion time was 11:30am, so no room service was necessary. Got up around 9am and worked for a bit and finally headed to Windjammer for breakfast. It really was jammed (pun intended) and tables were hard to find. We decided that a couple of dollars for a room service tip was well worth it to avoid the hassle.
We got off the ship around 11:20am and found our excursion. I had booked the dolphin push/pull/swim at Chankanaab Nature Park which was only about 10 minute away from the pier. We previously did this in 2007 on our own and just did a taxi to get up there and back. Only reason I booked it with the cruise line was because it included transportation which was flexible after the activity and was the same price as if I booked on my own. Another water excursion, and weather was rainy, so no photos.
Got to the park and had our briefings. There were guys passing out iguanas in the waiting area and Suzanne held one and as I reached for my camera the guy said “a picture will cost you five dollars.” Sorry, but I’m not paying you five bucks for a photo with an iguana. Always trying to make money off of tourists. (Some people actually paid it.)
Once the whole group arrived we were escorted in and stowed our things in lockers, given life vests and we entered the dolphin area. The entire encounter was about 30 minutes and included a kiss, hug, flipper hold and a push. Was pretty cool. OK, so dolphins are mammals and wild creatures and should not be in pens for the amusement of humans… I try to skip all of that stuff when I’m having fun.
After the dolphin encounter we were moved to another pen and were introduced to a Manatee. I knew manatees were in fresh water in Florida but had no idea they were in salt water in Mexico. They are as endangered in Mexico as they are in the States. We lined up again on a platform and the handler brought the manatee past us to touch. Apparently they are “trainable” and our four year old manatee was able to “smile” and wave. It was pretty cool to touch one of these ancient creatures.
Weather was pretty iffy with thunder and lightning in the distance so I figured no snorkeling or swimming. We walked around the park for a bit as the last time I was there was in 2007 and they still had a lot of construction. Chankanaab is really a nice place to be with food and beverages too. We were a little hungry so we stopped at a bar for some food. For $8.50 you have a choice of an entrée with beer or soda. The server kept trying to give Suzanne a beer despite her best attempt to order diet Coke. They really do not care how hold someone is for alcohol in Mexico, and since she looks older than she is I don’t think there would have been any problems with her drinking. Fortunately we didn’t have to test out this theory. Suzanne ordered a hamburger until I pointed out that we were in Mexico and could get “real” Mexican food, so she had a quesadilla with diet coke. I ordered flank steak tacos and a Dos Equuis. Our food was really good, and I think it was the best meal we’ve had on the entire trip. My beef was really tender and the guacamole was just wonderful. We also got some fresh pico de gallo and black beans and a couple of tortilla chips (homemade of course.) Cost was $18 ($9/plate) and I gave his $3 for a tip. We headed towards the taxi area and were grouped with another family and sent back to the ship.
At the pier we changed taxis and went downtown for the cost of $7. Another couple joined us for the cab and we were dropped off at Forum Shops by the Punta Langosta pier. (There are three piers in Cozumel and we were at the International Pier with three other ships.) Shopping in Cozumel is typical cruise port stuff but I needed to buy some Mexican vanilla and I wanted to get some gee gaws too.
Vendors had a good day with four ships in town and prices were higher than what I wanted to pay, so rather than deal with the hassle I decided to go back to the ship and try cruise port shopping (which usually is higher priced.) At the port Suzanne bought a little purse which was $2 more after haggling than what I found by Punta Langosta, but I found vanilla for much less. We were back on the ship by 4:15pm or so. It was really hot and humid and we were tired and sweaty. We really need showers.
Dinner tonight was at Chops Grille, which is the extra charge steakhouse on Royal Caribbean International. It was excellent—and I would eat there every night if I had appropriately budgeted. We both had filet mignon and sides were served ala carte. We ordered one baked potato to share as it probably weighed a pound, some steamed asparagus and baby bok choy. It all was excellent but we had leftover potato and bok choy. For dessert Suzanne had an apple pie thing which was divine and I had a fruit mousse thing—which was also excellent. The $25 per person extra charge was “worth it” in my opinion and should not be missed. My next RCCL may have me in Chops Grille every night, service charge and all.
After dinner we changed clothes and went to the production show in the Platinum Theatre. There was only one show at 7:45pm and it was poorly attended. I think the shows on this don’t have many people go to them because there are just so many activities on this ship. The performers are really quite good. This show was again somewhat artsy but they do a lot of contemporary songs so it was relatively easy to follow. When the show was over I went to the jewelry store to pick up my watch (had links removed from the band) and then I went upstairs to my stateroom. We were getting into some bumpy waves and it was windy so ship movement was picking up. Originally I thought about doing tequila tasting at 10pm but did not have anyone around to haul me upstairs and I can’t drink alcohol with a lot of ship movement so I skipped it. Suzanne went off to meet her friends.
Watched a Sandra Bullock movie ( The Proposal?) and was in bed by 1am. Sea day tomorrow, and back in port early on Sunday morning. Boo hoo…