Monday, June 29, 2015

Do You Believe in Magic... Cozumel, Mexico

Dive In 
Friday, June 19, 2015 
It's time to DIVE IN... in Cozumel, Mexico!

Rise and shine... It's SHIP time! One of the things Chris and I have noticed is that on port days the pools, hot tubs and deck chairs are not very busy and sparsely populated so we planned on enjoying these areas while they were vacant. We both jogged 2 miles this morning while watching the sunrise and then saw the awesome Towel Animal display on all 250 deck chairs in the Main Pool area. This was so cool and they even had large Towel Animals floating in the Main Pool. This is something new Carnival is doing on all their ships on the next to last day of the cruise! Get there early if you want to take pictures as once the guest start waking up and arriving it gets busy and hard to capture the true 250 towel animal effect. 

WooHoo... Another 2 miles jogged at sea! That is over 6 total for the trip!
This is my FIRST time ever to even put out any effort to exercise! 

What a difference a few years and 80 pounds can make! Thank you PLEXUS! 

A view of the Main Pool Lido area with all 250 deck chairs covered in Towel Animals!

Chris getting ready to train for his triathlon but paused for a picture with the large Towel Animals! 

My favorite was the penguin Towel Animal! SO SO CUTE! 

We didn't have our shore excursion until 1:30PM so the morning was ours to spend on this beautiful and glorious ship! After Chris spent 30 solid minutes of swimming and training for his triathlon we went to the aft pool and swam a while and then spent well over and hour in the aft hot-tub by ourselves as we approached Cozumel. We ended up parking at the Punta Langosta pier which is located in downtown Cozumel. During our previous 4 stops in Cozumel we have always docked at the International or the Punta Maya pier which is about 1.5 miles from downtown. This pier was much less touristy and did not offer as many shops and restaurants but it served it's purpose. We did not find free wifi which was unfortunate since we knew it was offered at Three Amigos at the International Pier. Around 11am we decided to go ahead and get off and explore the pier area since we had never been and then get back on the ship for lunch. This worked out well as we purchased all of our souvenirs prior to our excursion and then we could take them back to the room without having to haul them around.

Chris training for his triathlon! Crazy that he was able to swim for 30+ full minutes ALL by himself on a cruise ship swimming pool! Trust me, the chances of that are very slim! That says something about the emptiness of a ship on a port day! 

Chris and I in Cozumel!

Our ship docked at Punta Langosta in downtown Cozumel. 

Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas and Carnival Breeze docked at the International Pier in Cozumel. 

Chris really liked the Mongolian Wok on the ship and as I mentioned in our embarkation post that this area fills up VERY fast with guests during lunch so we were there when it opened at 12PM. This was a great idea as within minutes it became packed, even on a port day! Again, if you plan on eating at this venue get there early! 

As soon as we finished lunch we got back off the ship and made our way to our Sea Trek Helmet Dive shore excursion waiting area. We got there around 12:45PM for our 1:30PM departure and found a worker and asked about the wait. He took our waivers and forms and sent us on with the group that just left. This was nice to not have to wait.

I'm ready to DO THIS!

We got suited up and entered the ocean with our 70+ pound helmet. This was incredibly fascinating and while I was very nervous about the whole situation I entered the water and I was BLOWN AWAY. I have never experienced anything like it in my lifetime. We were able to walk on the ocean floor 25 feet below the surface and see things like coral, all kids of fish and sea life and even a sunken airplane. We held onto to a hexagon shaped rope the whole time to keep level with the ocean floor and not get water into our helmets. We had a crystal clear view the entire time and got to see some amazing things! Wow... God's handiwork impresses me once again! We got to hold a massive lobster, a starfish and feed a large school of fish! We even did a disco dance on the ocean floor before getting out! This was incredible and I HIGHLY recommend it! Be sure to catch our updated shore excursion post coming soon for more info! All I can say is WOW! The company takes pictures and videos for you to purchase and even though we had our own camera we both thought the 51 (seriously, FIFTY ONE) pictures they took of us and the video were worth the $65!

Our camera- This was our dive site! Right beside Margarittaville in Downtown Cozumel. 

Our Camera- Helmet Dive Selfie

Our Camera- The starfish we were able to hold while 25 feet below the surface on the ocean floor.

Their Camera- Yeah I was a little nervous! But once I got down there all that went away! 

Their Camera- Hello form 25 feet below the water surface on the ocean floor! 

Their Camera- This was an amazing excursion! I cannot speak highly enough of it!
Look at the colors just in this picture! 

Their Camera- Holding a HUGE starfish! This was SO cool!

Their Camera- The Davis Family and the Mexican starfish!
(Sounds like a move title huh... be sure to check out the video attached too

Their Camera- Chris holding a sea urchin!

Their Camera- Holding a massive Lobster!
I was so freaked out but it was AWESOME!

Their Camera- Feeding a school of fish!

Their Camera- Goodbye, for now, Cozumel. It's been REAL! 

Our Dive video...
Sea Trek Helmet Dive- Cozumel

Seriously, I cannot speak highly enough of this excursion and this company! The experience was once in a lifetime and easily is one of the best, if not the absolute best, excursion we have done in our 5 cruises. Sea Trek is offered in Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Grand Turk and several other Caribbean ports. The pictures and videos may be an added cost but I personally think it is worth it for this quality of pictures and memories (I purposely noted our camera and their camera so you could see the difference).  Sea Trek Cozumel cannot be beat for an unbelievable island memory! 
After our helmet dive we were given the option to snorkel above the sites we just saw and Chris decided to take advantage of this while I opted to clean up and watch the video and pictures of the experience we just had! I felt like the snorkel would not match up to what I had just seen on the ocean floor but in hindsight I wish I would have taken the plunge and did a little snorkeling. Grand Cayman was such a disappointment that I should have ended snorkeling on a better note but... oh well! 

We spent a little time in a few shops as we made our way back to downtown and our ship! We got back on board and cleaned up before making our way to 80s Name that song. Unfortunately, we did not reclaim our defending title of reigning 80s champions while on the Serenade but we still had fun none the less.

Our call time was at 5:30PM and this was taken from our balcony at 4:45PM. Remember, get back to your ship on time and even better to get there early! 

It's DINNER TIME in Cozumel! 

Dinner was yet another wonderful meal and perhaps the best service we had the entire cruise. We were able to sit at the exact table and have the same waitstaff each and every night despite having Your Time Dining. Norbert, Minggus and Udhana were incredible and we were so lucky to have been able to have them all week. Your Time Dining allows you to come to dinner anytime you wish and we were consistent with going early but that really did pay off! 

After dinner we went back to the room and went into a "food coma" so to speak. We both were so full and laid down and before you know it we had fallen asleep for 45 minutes. The room steward, Esparanza, knocked on the door and we both were in a dead sleep. That nap helped us push through a fully loaded and busy night. We both got some candy from the Cherry on Top candy store (because sometimes you just HAVE to be a kid again) and then watched the Magic/ Comedy show in the Spotlight Lounge. This was performed by one of the ships Comedy managers and it was lame and dirty, especially for a "family friendly" show. I think on Carnival you just have to know going in that sometimes the boundaries might be broken when it comes to this! 

The one and only midnight buffet was at 11:30PM this night and we knew we could not go back to the room because if we did we would fall asleep so we got a deck of cards from Guest Services and went to Red Frog Pub to try one of their in house made ales and play some blackjack. This was a lot of fun and relaxing but I was losing TERRIBLY! We ended up never gambling and if this 2 hours of cards was a sign of what would have been, I am glad we didn't! We ran into James, the Cruise Director, and talked to him a while about Carnival and their plans to change and upgrade as well as activity offerings such as The Quest.,, a hilarious adults-only scavenger hunt that we have seen on 3 of our 5 cruises and have loved to people watch, not necessarily play but watch! By the end of our conversation I was sure I just didn't like him! "" was beginning to get annoying as he would say it on all of his ship announcements and then said it to us before he left! What a loser... I, seriously, could do better! In fact, I think I want to be a cruise director in my next life! Wouldn't that be awesome... Chris can be the on board teacher for all of the 10 american workers on board (HAHA... 10 more like 2) and I can be the Cruise Director! SIGN US UP! 

We made our way to the Mexican Fiesta Buffet which started early at 11:15PM and tried out all of the awesome Tex-Mex like foods as well as see all of the awesome fruit and ice carvings! This is old style cruising as not many ships and cruise lines do this anymore! However, if you are cruising and you see this type of thing offered... DO IT! You will not regret it! Yummy and often extravagant foods plus the thrill of eating them at midnight!  We loved it and wish all cruise lines and ships offered something like this!

Can you believe this is a WATERMELON! So cool! Even if you do not want to actually EAT at midnight, at least go and check out the awesome carvings! 

Again, this is a WATERMELON! Crazy... and kinda creepy! 

Our very own Towel Animal in our room that evening! 

We dived into the pool in the morning, into the ocean in the afternoon and into the food in the evening and we had a great day! Tomorrow will be our last day at sea and we want to make sure we cover all of our bases and see and do EVERYTHING on the Carnival Magic

Up Next... Sea Day #3! 

God is good... ALL THE TIME! 

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