Before we get any further, I have to make amends. During our 3rd day at sea, we received a gift basket from our friends back home in Ontario, John & Di. Some of you might remember them, John is the one that’s a little rough around the edges and Dianne is the cute one! Anyway, we called them as soon as we were ashore to thank them but somehow I missed adding it to the blog. On the Tuesday of our cruise, Barb & I went back to the room to dress for dinner and there in the room was a beautiful fruit basket awaiting us. The basket contained fruit, cheese, crackers and wine! Needless to say, we were a little late for the 5 PM social before dinner! Thanks John & Di….
Back to Thursday, we had a nice time in Grand Cayman and the boat has set sail for our next stop – Cozumel, Mexico. This is our shore excursion that we have been anticipating the most, we swim and ride with the dolphins! Barb is a little anxious, she normally does not do this type of an adventure – touching fish.
The walk from the ship to the tour group forces us to walk through the liquor, beer, smoke and jewelry shop that must be about 1/2 a foot ball field long. The crowds make the going slow but we survived to the end only to line up for the dolphin tour. The whole pier is a shopping mall of touristy stuff and a couple of bars so while we wait, we wander around window shopping and my other favorite Olympic sport, people watching. There was a couple groups of historical Mexican warriors in complete dress posing with anyone for pictures. We took a couple of pictures of others then one of the ‘warriors’ stepped up and took our picture – it was a fun moment. Soon enough, our tour guide was gathering us all up and we were off to the dolphin swim. The other tours we have taken load us onto buses but here, we were put in a cab and sent on our way. Different from the other tours in Montego Bay or Grand Cayman, we did not get a running dialog on the area or other information to entertain us – just a cab ride! The ticket price included a cab ride back to the terminal building, again no dialog. I tried making a crack about the drivers but the cabbie no compendia!
We pull up to the dolphin building and after some ewes and awes, we get a locker key and change into our bathing suits and gather for our water safety training with the dolphins. We’re given PFDs and goggles and follow the trainer down to the enclosure. As soon as the trainer is in the water, his/her dolphin comes right over for a snack. We get further instructions from the trainer about what we will be doing with the dolphin and where we should keep our hands and where not to touch the critter. There is about a dozen of us in the water with the trainer and he starts sending us out into the deeper part and sends the dolphin out to us to start our awesome experience. I’m not going to go into the details here because the pictures tell it all.
After our fun time, we select our pictures that they have of us with the dolphin – oh, I neglected to mention that we were not allowed to take our camera with us and we understand why. Not only because we then have to buy theirs but it would really slow the event down if everyone was taking pictures while standing waist deep. So, here we are standing in their ‘photo lab’ viewing our pictures on a computer and trying to be economical by selecting the best ones. A sales guys supposedly gave us a great deal so we bought the complete package – all the pictures on a CD and a DVD movie of our entire group with the dolphin – what the hell, it’s only money! And it was an exciting event. We made the deal and were given our ‘ticket’ and our photos would be ready after we changed. Oppsss….. Houston, we have a problem! After being advised that we should NOT take our credit cards ashore, we locked them up in the room safe and took cash everywhere with us. I had cash but not enough to cover the ‘ticket’ and the ship was too far away to get there and back in time. There was a couple of gals from the Plantation that were visiting their Mom & Dad and were on the cruise. The four of us were on this excursion together and we were to have lunch with them. So, with hat in hand and the saddest eyes we could muster, we sought them out to borrow enough cash to pay for our picture package. Between them they had enough to add to our stash and all was good. After lunch, we took a cab back to the pier where I virtually ran back to the ship and our stateroom to pick up more cash we had there and hustled back to these very generous ladies to repay them so they could do some shopping! Whew, getting through the gauntlet of booze and jewelry was touch and go but I made it and all were happy. We were going to hit The Three Amigos bar for a beverage after all that but the lines were forming so we thought we’d be better off to get aboard and have that beverage on the boat. What a day. It looked like a neat place – and that was before we saw some of the pictures on Facebook – but we were warned by the cruise director that some people have been known to over indulge and were last seen on the pier taking a picture of the ship as it sailed out of the bay! Anyway, we made it aboard and found a nice spot for a beverage without fear of being left behind!
There was a party on board that night and of course, we couldn’t stay away…. here are some candid shots of us having fun!
The next day we are at sea as we make our return to New Orleans to end our first cruising adventure. It was great and we can’t wait to do the Hawaii cruise in January 2014. Hope all is well there and come on back to read about our Mardi Gras fun here at the Plantation.