So recently, my husband and I went on our first cruise!
On this ship....
We set sail from Mobile, AL
to Cozumel and Playa del Carmen, Mexico!
We went with 3 other couples, all family:
Hubby and I
Karen and Glynn, also first timers
John and Sharon
Lynn and Van
Those pictures were taken on Elegant night, the second night of the
cruise, after a day at sea. Let me tell ya, if you are thinking about going on a cruise, do not stress out about this night. Although, fancy dress is recommended, there was a lady sitting near us with jeans, a plaid shirt and cowboy boots on! But how much more fun to dress up a little? I mean, really, how often do you have the opportunity?
The cruise line has photographers taking pictures all the time, the problem is, most of them are upwards of $20.00 per photo! We bought a few, but not many! Here are two of those:
The boarding pass tells you that boarding starts at 12:30, but if you want to park in the cruise line terminal, I suggest you get there earlier. We were boarded by 11:30 and that included checking in, and not being the first group to board. The cabins are not quite ready until around 1:30pm, so they send you up to the Lido Deck for the first of the many food opportunities. We ate lunch, then went up one deck to lounge around until we could go to our cabins and unload what we carried on board. Here are few pics that show our first couple of days at sea:
This is the Romeo and Juliet Lounge, aka 'break dance' lounge, which is a whole other story...
The sea....how gorgeous is this?
Forget me, this is a pretty good view of our cabin
The first day at sea, lounging on the Verandah deck
We were able to use our cell phones until we hit international waters, late on the first night we sailed.
After the day at sea, we woke up close to Cozumel, Mexico! We had decided to do an excursion here, one that Lynn and Van had done in the past. The excursion we went on was the Deluxe, Sail, Snorkel & Beach Party. It was a 3 1/2 hour excursion. Let me tell you that if we had waited even two months before going on a cruise I would have burnt to a crisp, even with sunscreen!
We disembarked at Cozumel, and boarded this catamaran:
Our captain on board:
We went snorkeling in clear waters that looked like this:
Then went on to a secluded beach with lounge chairs, tables with thatch umbrellas, and inflatable water toys!
See that big inflatable slide off to the left? I climbed that and it is not as easy as it looks! Took a lot of upper body strength and apparently showing parts of my anatomy whenever my swimsuit bottoms shifted! Yeah those parts! My husband could have kept that to himself. At least there weren't that many people behind me. After getting back, we went back on board the ship and ate lunch, changed, and went back ashore to do a little shopping. The only thing is that I would have loved to see a little more Cozumel and a little less touristy Cozumel. The problem with that these days is the unrest in Mexico and we were fairly safe where we were. Here is Cozumel as we were leaving:
By the time we returned from our excursion there were 4 cruise ships docked! Busy place!
We set sail for Playa del Carmen, or technically, Calica which is an industrial suburb of Playa del Carmen, if you will. That is how it was described to me by Van. We decided to forgo an excursion here, and instead opted to take a taxi into Playa and shop and go to the beach on our own. This was perfectly fine I think because two couples of our group had been here before, and knew the 'lay of the land'. If we had been on our own, and being our first time, I think we would have opted for an excursion. The area of Playa del Carmen that you go to has a multitude of shops, even a Starbucks! There were designer shops mixed in with souvenir shops, local restuarants mixed in with chains. For the most part it was a pedestrian zone, so you did not have to contend with traffic. The only vehicular traffic we saw were an armored car service (like Brink's) and a police vehicle. We did some shopping, then went to a gorgeous beach, played in the surf for a couple of hours, then ate at a local restaurant (promising free margarita's with the purchase of food) and took a taxi back to Calica and the ship. All in all, it was an excellent day! Here are pictures from Playa del Carmen!
Carlos and Charlie's restaurant (we heard about this prior to leaving on the cruise, but did not have a chance to eat there this trip. There was one at each of the ports of call.)
Looking down the pedestrian road we walked with shops
Kenneth deciding which sombrero to purchase
A gorgeous chapel
The aforementioned Policia
The beach, the surf was a little rough, but great exercise jumping waves
All of us at the local eatery
It was a great cruise. Plenty to do on board on your days and nights at sea. We went to two musical revue shows, a comedy show, a couple of lounges, the casino, and just lazed around on deck in lounge chairs in the sun! Food was always plentiful! Our favorite thing was getting a soft serve ice cream before bed every night! This was usually after midnight, but before 1 or 2 a.m. We had an oceanview cabin with a nice picture window, fairly spacious, better than we had imagined. The only down side to the window was being up at the crack of dawn, but that is ok, we got our late afternoon naps in! After a day or two, you pretty much got the lay of the ship, and did not stay as lost as on the first day. Now we are planning our next cruise, just trying to decide if we want to go to the same places or try something new!
Last pictures, sunrise and sunset on the ocean are beautiful!