A Travellerspoint blog

Mexico

Cozumel, Costa Maya and the last day at sea

I walked into Cozumel by myself and wandered along the road next to the beaches - mostly filled with bars, restaurants and kiosks selling all manner of excursions.
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The following day, we strolled around the Costa Maya port area, with its diamond and tourist trinket shops and dolphin encounters and bars. What a difference from our first time at this port! Several years ago, we decided to see the Tulum on our own, avoiding the $100 per person shore excursion fee. We walked out of the port and flagged down the collectivo (local bus) to Tulum and then back again to the port. It was fantastically cheap - a total of $11 - $5 for the bus and $3 each for the entry to the ruins. But (and there’s always a but), when we got back to the port, they would not let us walk in and forced a taxi driver to take us along with the existing fare. So we thought we’d just give the other taxi patrons 1/2 the fare cost. It turned out - we learned this much too late - the two women in the cab had been robbed and the cabbie was taking them back to the ship for free. Had we known, we would have paid the driver, of course. Anyway, it was an interesting experience. This time we just took a few pics in the port area, enjoying the walk around.
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Finished yesterday with a great meal in the Izumi specialty restaurant.
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Today is a lazy day at sea. We’re getting a few things done we’d missed so far, like a milkshake at Johnny Rockets and our free pulls at the casino - Steve won $27! Which partially paid for the pub beer we had afterwards. They don’t have good beer in our free lounge, so it was nice to have a good stout.

We’ll be walking off the ship early to catch an 11am flight back home. It’s been a great vacay and nice to visit with Steve’s family. Also, we had great table mates at dinner and in the lounge, with whom we’ve also chatted around the ship. This is our favourite ship and brother-in-law Jim said the same.

From our balcony, this afternoon. Another beautiful day in paradise :)
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Posted by Deb Godley 11:29 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

Nassau & Cozumel

Well, a bit of a misnomer. We are docked near Cozumel, but we probably won’t get off the ship. It’s a cab ride anywhere and I’m not a fan of Cozumel anyway, having been here many times.

Tuesday afternoon, we strolled around Nassau and ended up having a decent IPA at the Irish pub. We had a great dinner in the specialty restaurant, Chops. I had a 16oz rib-eye that was perfect. Fantastic. The other three all had the 9oz filet, which was done to each of their specifications. The sides and the dessert were also great and we asked for a slower meal so the service was not at all rushed.
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Yesterday was a lazy day at sea and this morning we’ve pulled into Cozumel. Currently, sitting on the balcony with my tablet.
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Posted by Deb Godley 09:58 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

Mexico - Cabo and PV


View California & Panama Canal on Deb Godley's travel map.

April 19

Usual easy morning; played some trivia, watched the ship arrive at Cabo during lunch.

Cabo San Lucas has grown from a small town of less than 7000 when we were last here about 12 years ago by about 10 times, with a population now over 70k. The port talk (on-board guest speaker providing good info - instead of the usual “shop for diamonds where we get kick-backs” sales spiel) explained that over 50% of the employment is related to tourism, with a large deep sea fishing component. This area is, apparently, the best spot in the world for marlin and sailfish. As a result, there are condos and timeshares everywhere, as well as hotels, plus dozens of bars, restaurants and high-end shops (at least high prices). The port talk also suggested we may want to wait until tomorrow and buy our souvenirs at the Walmart in Puerto Vallarta instead of here. We aren’t planning on buying anything, but that sounded like good advice.

In the expensive (but air conditioned - it was about 84 today) mall we took pics of the interesting tequila bottles.

We tendered in after lunch (there is no dock) and walked around the marina - a few kilometres. On the way out from the ship, we were asked a few dozen times if we wanted to go fishing. On the way back, the same people asked if we wanted to go fishing tomorrow. I guess their boats were already out for the day by then :).

We stopped for a free wifi spot, which required, of course, that we buy some beer. While I’m not a fan of the very light Pacifico, it’s not bad with some lime squeezed into the bottle. Back on the ship by 4 and the usual evening - lounge for free drinks, dinner, conversation. We tried a different music group tonight, this one was called “acoustic duo”. Yesterday’s string duo was better.

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April 20

This afternoon we walked to the Malecón in Puerto Vallarta, which is the wide sidewalk that runs along-side the beach. This was somewhat ill-advised as it took almost 2 hours in the blazing sun along a not-very-interesting highway, but we finally arrived and took many pictures of the artwork/sculptures that appear every 20 feet or so. Murphy’s Irish pub supplied beer (a good variety of local craft beers) and free wifi. Then we caught a decrepit bus back to the ship. Not knowing how much the bus cost and armed with only the 12-year-old memory of a $5-for-2 bus to Tulum, Mexico, we boarded, handed the driver a $5 and were welcomed aboard with a chit receipt that showed 7.50 pesos (about 50 cents each). I guess I could have given a $1 instead of the $5. No worries; it was still $15 cheaper than a cab. Hopefully, the driver can use the unintentional tip.

After dinner (a rib-eye steak that was only passable), we are sitting in the Rendezvous Lounge listening to an orchestra playing ballroom dancing music. Very pleasant. At 9 we’ll head over to the theatre to see the magician, which is the featured evening entertainment. We usually skip the “broadway” shows, but enjoy the comedians, magicians and other specialty entertainment.

The internet is too slow for more pics. I’ll try to add more later.

Sent from my iPad

Posted by Deb Godley 20:02 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

April 17 & 18


View California & Panama Canal on Deb Godley's travel map.

My blog posts will be intermittent going forward due to the high price of internet service on the ship. Just not willing to spend multiple hundred dollars for the service. But, from time to time, in ports of call, we’ll find free wifi and try to send off a blog posting.

On Tuesday, after packing up and leaving the luggage with the hotel, we began a quest for a “taco Tuesday” deal. I had read that taco Tuesday was in institution in San Diego and one should not leave the city without having a fish taco for lunch. I had noted the closest likely provider, King and Queen Cantina, and we set off only to find that it was only open for lunch on weekends. Back to the hotel to use the free wifi and armed with a list of three other likely locations in a six block radius, we set out again. At the second spot, we found Sarrana’s with sign out front advertising the $1 fish taco.

With the expectation (unfounded as it turned out) that we would have lunch on the ship, we ordered one fish taco each to try. They were delicious - crispy breaded fish bites, three sauces, fresh lettuce and tomato. Yum. Should have immediately ordered 2 more each. After paying the $2.16 bill :), we headed back to the hotel, picked up our bags and walked the 5 blocks to the pier.

We had received a notice from Celebrity that they were running late and that boarding would not start until 1pm, which is later than we’ve ever boarded. Since we were able to transfer our status as frequent cruisers from Royal because they own Celebrity, one of our perks is priority boarding. As such, we arrived at the pier a few minutes before the appointed hour and found, to our dismay that the priority would not apply until after we passed through security. We also learned that the ship had arrived 6 hours later than expected. We joined the massive line-up. We continued to queue in one line or another for the next 2 hours, finally walking on board at about 3:30. It was the messiest embarkation we’d ever seen and others said the same, including pier staff.

Anyway, first world problems, right?

Celebrity’s Infinity is the smallest ship we’ve sailed and the oldest, but the 2 weeks in dry dock appears to have been put to good use; it feels like it has had a thorough refreshment and is lovely. It is also more spacious feeling than we expected and doesn’t feel at all crowded.

Our inside cabin is similar to those on other ships; nothing remarkable, but enough storage (drawers, shelves, hangers) for all our stuff and, happily, a nightlight in the bathroom (we usually bring one, but didn’t remember this time - it is completely black in an inside cabin with the lights out).

We received invitations to a wine-tasting, an afternoon tea, and a tour of the ship, all of which we accepted. The wine tasting was on Wed and the sommelier was humorous and informative. We sat with a nice group and discussed our thinking on wine and our travels. A nice way to meet new people; I expect we’ll run into them from time to time and have more chances to chat over the next couple of weeks. We learned that Port is only drinkable for about 40 years, so if you are talked into buying an expensive 100-year-old bottle, don’t plan to enjoy drinking it :)

The lounge is open with free drinks (albeit from a short list that contains no good beer) from 5-7pm every day as one of our perks, and is a beautiful, spacious area on the top deck a perfect view of the ocean (well, presumably of whatever is in front of the ship, but so far that’s been ocean :)). On our last cruise, the lounge was tiny - really, really small - such that there was often spillover into the adjoining bar. However, we actually liked that because the forced intimacy made for good opps to meet fellow loungers and conversation was free-flowing within and between the tables. The Constellation lounge here is so spacious, there is no need to share tables. But the view is lovely and the drinks are free, so not really complaining, just noting the differences.

Our dinner companions at the round table-for-6 are very pleasant; two couples from, as it turns out, different parts of Pennsylvania. We’ve had two dinners with excellent food and good conversation. The only lacking in the service area has been the wine steward. She’s very quick to organize your bill at the end of the meal, but it is painfully slow if you order wine by the glass. We are all learning to order from the waiter instead, which is much more efficient.

Enjoying relaxing days, good food, meeting new people. Will try to send this from Cabo.large_E25A9EFC-C..72FBD3042F4.jpeglarge_9B1CDC26-9..2094E664317.jpeglarge_A7EE0432-6..8C8A951EAD8.jpeglarge_346F87DE-B..21DFE53B4D2.jpeg

Posted by Deb Godley 10:41 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

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