We’ve been back a little over a week from our cruise to the Caribbean, but sometime during our drive back from New Orleans I was hit by either a bus or a cold, not sure which. I’ve really felt bad, didn’t feel like posting, so I wasn’t able to do this while everything was fresh in my mind. Actually, very little is fresh in my mind, at any time, but here we go 🙂
We got away on Saturday morning (Jan 21st) around noon (had to wait for Kate to get home from her shift at the hospital), and headed south. The weather was favorable, so we were able to make pretty good time. We drove as far as Jackson, MS, and found a room for the night. They gave us a suite for only twice what we’re accustomed to paying – sweet! 🙂 (suite?)
We got to New Orleans with several hour’s cushion but went ahead and got our car parked at the storage place and then were shuttled over to the cruise dock area. No problems checking in, everything went well. No delays, no problems. The ship departed a little ahead of schedule and we were off, down the Mississippi toward the Gulf. Now, unless you were a geography major (do they actually offer that as a major?), you might think that we’d be pretty close, and it would only take us an hour or two to make it down to the deep water. Wrong, buffet-breath! We were on the river a full 6 hours to get to where the pilot boat met us. One of the other passengers said they were awakened by the comings and goings of the little boat so he knew just when all that took place. He said they dropped off the pilot and then the small boat headed over toward a cruise ship that was waiting to make the up-river transit.
We sailed all night on Sunday (22nd) and then all day Monday, crossing the Gulf, heading toward the Yucatan peninsula. We rounded the tip of the peninsula sometime Monday night and docked at Costa Maya on Tuesday morning (24th).
I did get to see one neat thing while we were crossing over to Yucatan – I heard a couple of passengers talking about ‘flying fish’, so I went out to the railing and stood there for awhile, watching the water. I didn’t know quite how to ‘pre-focus’ for these fish, because I didn’t know if they were the size of water buffaloes or maybe the size of minnows. Anyway, I was gazing down and saw something that looked like a dragonfly, skimming just above the water. Then I thought, “Hey, wait a minute! There are no dragonflies way out here!” So, I watched for a few seconds and it skimmed along and disappeared into a wave. I kept watching and soon was amazed to see about a dozen of them take flight at once – a school of fish had become a squadron of fish, flashing silver in the sunlight. They sailed along, maybe a foot above the water, then all of them disappeared into a wave and disappeared, just as the other had done. Wow!
As we were transiting the Gulf, we mainly just enjoyed the shipboard experience – the warm breezes, getting to meet lots of nice folks, going to the various restaurants for our meals. There are a few ‘premium’ restaurants where you have to pay a cover charge above what you paid for the ‘all-inclusive’ cruise. We went to one of those, Teppanyaki, and enjoyed the Benihana-like fun of group dining while an oriental comedian
chopped and cooked our meals. Lotsa fun, but maybe a little pricey. I took the opportunity to start telling some of my old jokes, and they seemed to be well-received. I guess these folks didn’t get to hear many jokes back home 🙂
We made it out to the topside hot-tub one time, probably would have done it more, but unfortunately Kate was saddled with a fuddy-duddy on the trip and it was hard to get him to participate. Dang!
This photo of Kate turned out particularly well, even though I took it with my Android phone in low light. Yes, she IS pretty! 🙂
So, we docked at Costa Maya next morning and strolled off the ship to see what treasures we might find at the dockside establishments.
We managed to find Senor Frog’s Palace of Nourishment and Hydration. We indulged in some local food – I believe they called the dish NACHOS. Tasty! Of course, we had to try the local health drink, Tecate. Also tasty! 🙂 A traveling artist, I think his name was Renoir, asked if we would care to have a caricature done. I thought caricature was some kind of acupuncture, but I said, “Sure, why not?” It might have been the Tecate talking 🙂 We had a BIG time at Senor Frog’s establishment! Later we strolled around, I bought a hat, Kate shopped, but didn’t buy much.
Well, that’s a WRAP, for now. I’ll continue my story in the next installment.