Tuesday, December 16, 2008
In the Gulf (of Mexico) - Without Pirates
In the Gulf (of Mexico)
I am writing this from the Gulf of Mexico, in the middle of a 5 day budget cruise – it was one of those $250 a person deals. I have barely had a weekend off in months and had never been on a cruise, so it was the thing to do at that price.
It’s the Carnival “Ecstasy” and is one of the smallest, but nice enough for what I needed – time to sit and watch the world go by -- at 15 knots. Everything happens SLOW, which is actually nice. It’s what a vacation should be like.
When we left Houston Saturday it was blustery and cold. It was beyond windy in front of the ship. The wind breaks on the deck are a necessity. We finally cruised into warmer air the second day out.
It took two days just to get to Cozumel, leaving Galveston about 4 pm Saturday and getting into Cozumel about 10 am Monday – slowed by “strong wind and current” according to the shipboard announcement. I had been to Playa del Carmen and Cancun before but had missed Cozumel in my many trips to Mexico in the last 30 years. We were one of three cruise ships at two different docks. The Carnival “Glory” was in the next berth. It looked impressive with its balcony suites –a lot more than our ship. If I do this again I want a balcony suite! It is a small balcony on the side of the ship connected to your room. They look very comfortable.
It’s an amazing mix of people onboard – all colors sizes and shapes, mostly people from Texas taking a break with family. Lots of kids, teenagers and assorted families. The vendors at the end of the dock in Coz were not too assertive and if you wanted you could rent a bike or a car to look around.
Progresso is the next stop. I discovered in Cozumel that my Verizon 8830 Blackberry World Phone does work – I was able to even check my bank account on the Internet while standing in the shopping square. Lunch was one Margarita too many. Fortunately it was a short pier walk back to the ship.
People have had a lot of stories about cruises that had gone bad due to storms, etc. But ours has been smooth. The crew hails from 53 countries.
I had never heard of Progresso, Mexico until this voyage. Will check it out today. I can either send it using my Blackberry phone as the Internet connector or via the ship wireless. The ship’s wireless is pricey - $20 for thirty minutes of Internet time.
More from the Gulf (the one without pirates) later…