Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I'm on the Big Ship - Cruise Day 3

Once again back to my room after midnight, the first picture of Day 3 is the towel creature I found when I got back to my room. I opened the curtain to my room, figuring the daylight would help wake me up the next day.

I didn't need the daylight. I woke up when we were docking at our first port of call. As the ship is docking, there is a mini-earthquake that shakes and rattles the ship. That's what woke me up. And when I woke up, I looked out my window and this is what I saw. Maybe some of the people on that ship have pictures of me sleeping.

I had arrived at Cozumel. And so had a few thousand other people. Off in the distance was another Carnival cruise ship and a Royal Carribean ship. And there was the ship I woke up to.

How does a gigantic cruise ship dock? Sure, they throw a rope to the guy on the pier.

Yup. There he is pulling the rope in.

Here's the bow of the Enchantment of the Seas, the Royal Carribean cruise ship that was my next door neighbor.

The water in the Cozumel port was ridiculously clear. In it I could see what was really the cause of the red that I thought was the Little Mermaid caught up in the propellers of the Disney Magic. Under the water there is something called a bulbous bow. It makes these huge ships more fuel efficient, for reasons that may not be well understood. At least they didn't seem to be by the people who were writing the web sites I was looking at. Because the water was so clear, I could clearly see it here, where I couldn't see it in Florida. The bulbous bow of the Magic must have been painted bright red. Or maybe it really did grind up the Little Mermaid. One of those is certainly the case.

The bridge of the Enchanntment of the Seas.

The side of the Enchantment of the Seas. My ship was bigger.

The port facility at Cozumel. See the long empty pier? What's missing? The cruise ships are about to cure that.

Ah yes. There they are. Touristas!

More people exiting the Glory.

This is one of my favorite pictures, for two reasons. One, I've landed in Mexico, but the words in large letters are all in English. And two, although we are advised boldly not to cross the red line--there is no linea roja not to cruce!

Another view of my ship's name.

Again the sign is in English first. You might be distracted from noticing the arrow pointing out the ruta de evacuacion. I also enjoyed that one. We are on a pier. If I decided to run to the right instead of the left here, I would have about twenty feet before I ran off the pier and fell in the water. There is only one route to land and it's not exactly complicated.

Zooming in with my camera, you can see that there are two cruise ships there, and the Carnival ship in the distance is the smaller of the two. But again, my ship was bigger than either of them.

Well, if the signs being in English first and Spanish second didn't convince me I wasn't still in the United States, this gigantic Mexican flag did. Actually, it looks great there like that. I do not know how many Mexicans get to see it from the vantage point of the pier, but they should really be proud of it.

Another sign I'm not in America! Payphones!

Seriously. This is the water next to the pier. It is ridiculously clear. I've seen pools and fishtanks with dirtier water.

I told you my boat was bigger. Although the other boat was pretty big.

One of the first things I saw when I finally made it into the port facility.

I thought this shark looked like Bruce, the great white from Finding Nemo. I've never seen the movie, though.

Burger King. It's how I figured out what the real exchange rate should be. How much a Whopper was here versus in an airport back home.

Baskin Robbins, too. I was such a tourist! I was taking pictures of everything.

This bank was here to help me with my exchange rate math. Actually, it just confirmed the Burger King result.

The directorio for the port compelx.

I left the port complex and wandered off into Cozumel. This guard--on the other side of the fence--was one of the first things I saw. In comparison to some of our other ports, Cozumel really isn't that bad. In the day. In the parts I was in, anyway.

The Barracuda Hotel, in case anyone is planning to stay here.

An interesting jeep, huh?

The Big Boss World Tour, featuring Daddy Yankee, whoever that is.

So while everybody else was on the beach, wherever it was, what I decided to do was wander around Cozumel and go geocaching! A bar with this (no) name was the first cache site. I decided to walk to the next cache and pick this one up on my way back. Unfortunately, I never made it back past this site, so I never did go after the cache in the No Name Bar!

Further down the road there was a restaurant. Fourteen hundred miles from home and what is on the menu?

That's right. Maryland crabs. Crab macaroni and cheese, to be precise. I've never eaten crab meat that way. I probably won't. My mother sometimes puts tuna fish in Kraft macaroni and cheese. I don't eat that, either.

As near as I could tell, this flag was flying over City Hall.

Here's what's playing at the cinemas in Cozumel!

These are the movie posters from inside the shopping center.

This is kind of the Mexican Best Buy. We have a little more selection in our Best Buy stores.

My favorite store, though, was the Mexican version of a Super Wal-Mart, the Chedraui store. It wasn't quite as nice as a giant supermarket here at home, but it was close. This picture does not do justice to these cabbages. They were huge. I would say probably like the size of a volleyball, a bowling ball, or maybe even a basketball.

This cake was a nice looking cake overall, but it was a pretty goopy cake under the frosting. Like you see, it was just out for anybody to cut a piece off of it.

These cheerfully colored containers are full of some blended yogurt drink called Danup. They feature some cross-promotional advertising with . . . Domino's Pizza? Yogurt beverage and pizza? Have some fun. Watch the Danup videos on YouTube.

The beverage selection never ends. This is one thing I don't think I can find in my local supermarket. Five different flavors of Tang.

If five flavors of Tang wasn't enough, you could choose from these flavors of Zuko.

Mexicans love mayonaise. In fact, introduced at the turn of the century to Mexico, they could not get enough of it and had to import mass quantities of it from Canada. A little known fact is that when the Titanic set sail in early May, it was carrying a very large shipment of mayonaise bound for Mexico. When it sank, the shipment was lost. Over a hundred years later, they still pause to remember that day, a holiday they call "Cinco de Mayo."

Now this is something. Nutella and peanut butter, virtually side by side! Separated only by Smucker's Goober Chocolate spread! That would be like a Reese's Cup in a jar, wouldn't it?

Something else we are probably not going to see any time soon in the United States is Barra Negrito with its afro-centric packaging. Brought to you by the popular Bimbo company.

Last up, maybe some Kranky candy for the kids?

Eventually I left the store and walked down the street some more and came across a few planned developments.

A nice plan, but they were not very far along at all.

This was even less developed.

A distant ship of some sort, but not a cruise ship. I couldn't quite make out what it was.

If memory serves, this is my first international geocache! I think I walked about a mile to get to it. I left the medallion on the left, which I found on the Appalachian Trail, took the little blue plane, and signed the log and was back on my way into town.

Apparently people like to drink and they like to do that in Cozumel.

The beach in front of the bar with the sign and the geocache.

After finding the geocache, I decided to take a cab back to the center of town. Victor, the cabbie, supports Barack Obama. He and I engaged in a political debate on the way back to town. I owe Victor a phone call if Obama wins. But I didn't collect his phone number, so McCain had better win. I don't want to let Victor down, after all! This is neither McCain nor Obama. This is Benito Garcia. He did something monument-worty in or for Cozumel, but I forget what.

This is the pavilion in the middle of the square in downtown Cozumel.

Colorful buildings in the square.

The view looking one way on the square.

The view looking a different way on the square.

An arch celebrating scuba diving. A t-shirt I saw in a store said "Cozumel: A nice little drinking town with a diving problem." I can believe it.

I was going to joke that this water in the fountain was the water in Cozumel. But of course, the water in the harbor looked better than this water! While I was in town, short blasts kept ringing out every 15 minutes from a nearby cruise ship. I thought I remembered for sure that my watch was set on "ship time," and that we were not scheduled to leave for almost another hour.

Here's the scuba dude from the statue.

And here is the scuba dudette.

While I was taking a picture of the dudette, I heard a long horn blast. Clearly, the implication was "you have missed your boat, goodbye" to anyone who should be on the boat but was unfortunate enough to hear it from anywhere not on the boat. This is what you do not want to see if you are not on board your ship! My heart began to sink just a little bit when I looked over and saw my boat moving relative to the other boat. It took a few seconds before I saw that it was in fact the other boat that was moving and that my boat was staying put! So the other ship cruised out to sea, which meant that I still had some time in town!

My ship, still at the pier, thankfully!

This is Senior Frog.

These are Senior Frog's companions.

A visiting couple, from some Aussie-accented place, knocked on this monument and said it was made of hollow plastic.

The back end of the statue.

Just another image of the supposedly plastic monument.

More birds. Probably plastic. But interestingly, also part of the now defunct type of geocache called a virtual cache.

I am not able to take sides on which of my flag pictures was best, hence I included them both.

A second view of the flag. It just doesn't do the enormity of the thing justice.

Securidad, indeed!

I took this picture of a vegetarian restaurant for my friend Alex. She is a fan of vegetarian(o) restaurants.

El perro verde.

An old-style cruise ship bench.

If you're like me, you want to know what is in the old-style cruise ship bench.

Here's where you could feel like you were on top of the world--at least until security came and threw you off of the boat because that area is restricted to crew only and is in constant view of the bridge.

I mean, I know it has its place, but it still seems like a bad idea to design a boat this way.

One last look at the Cozumel coastline to the left.

And to the right. The other Carnival ship that I walked most of the way to is anchored way out there.

Here we are, pushing away from the dock.

This picture was way overexposed, but I still kind of like it, so here it is.

Bye Cozumel!

Here's a side view with the other ship in it, showing the end point of where I walked.

This is just about the point on the coast that I took that picture of the beach and found the cache.

This is a close-up of the bar where I found the first cache.

Here's a better look at the other Carnival ship. My ship was bigger.

There's the end of the island, fading away.

Again, how crazy blue is this water?

It just goes on and on, and out we go into it.

Back on board ship, I eat dinner, go to some sort of show, and tonight, get back in time to take a picture of the towel creature before the end of Day 3.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008 

Category: Life

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