Sunday, March 04, 2012

Vacation Day 8: Cozumel
Last time we were in Cozumel we did the dolphin swim thing. It was fantastic! I’d heard that Cozumel is also a great place for snorkeling and diving and that Palancar was the place to go. From my research on the internet, it didn’t seem like there were that many organized trips to that area but I did find one. The bad thing was that our ship wasn’t getting into port until 10am so we could only do the afternoon trip which started at 12:30. No biggie. We got up a bit later than usual, had some breakfast then headed out. We decided to head to the marina with plenty of time to spare so we could figure out where to go. As it turned out it was only a 5 minute ($7) cab ride which made us really early. When I asked the driver to confirm the time I realized that I’d made a big mistake… ship time is an hour later than Cozumel time… we were over 2 hrs early!!! There’s nothing to do at the marina so we stepped right back into the cab and had him drive us back to the port. Ugh. It was a $16 cab ride to absolutely no where.

After a bit of port/trinket shopping we did get back to the marina and met up with our guide. We headed out on the boat with only 6 other people which was very cool… no worries about flipper city while snorkeling. After a 20 min or so boat ride we stopped at 3 different places to snorkel. I have to say that of all the snorkeling I’ve done in the Caribbean it was by far the best! The fish were beautiful and plentiful and the coral was alive! We were also fortunate to have great weather; very clear and sunny. We saw a couple turtles, a barracuda, and dozens of very large starfish. It was great but exhausting. In fact at one point I realized that G had fallen asleep on top of her snorkeling raft, poor baby.

By the time we were at our third stop we’d been snorkeling for about 3 hrs. Of course, we had no idea what time it was but the sun did appear to be dropping. When the guide told me it was 3:30 I was shocked and concerned… I had to clarify with her, 3:30 local time meant 4:30 ship time and we were supposed to be back on the ship at 5pm. Everybody was still in the water and we had a minimum 20 min boat ride, 5 min cab ride than walk through the shopping area and were supposed to be back on the ship at 5! Eeek!!! Time to get a move on.

Obviously we made it back onto the ship and with a few mins to spare but it did make me realize that I need to be more aware of the time and not just depend on the guides. Usually they are very careful but this one definitely was not. In fact, although it was a great trip I would never recommend this particular excursion company to anyone. Although there were two guys in the boat, they kept their distance, so she was the only one in the water with us and she seemed to be far more intent on her own snorkeling and photographing activities than she was with her customers. Again, we were fine. We’re both good swimmers and G was on her raft. But, if there would have been a problem, I’m not sure she would have even known. At one point another woman on our trip, who was probably in her 60s, appeared to me to be having some difficulty with her snorkel equipment so I told her if needed she could hold on to G’s raft. She declined but had to take a few mins to fix her mask and such. Meanwhile the “guide” was probably 50-100 feet ahead of us. I can say that at one point when G was ready to get out of the water I only had to wave my arm at the boat and they were at our side to pick up in less than a minute or so but it didn’t seem good enough to me.

Anyway, after getting ready we headed back to the dining room for dinner where it was more yummy food! Then G hit the kids club and we went to the show, “Love and Marriage”, a comedy thing with 3 couples from the ship being asked questions to see how well they know each other. It was hysterical!

By that time it was 10 pm and when we picked G up she seemed completely fried. I felt bad because I knew we had to get up super early the following day. Bad mama.

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