Jenny Hits the High Seas on Olivia — Day Three
The author and expert cruiser reports from Olivia's Western Caribbean cruise.
I don’t know if Olivia plans this or not. But it sure was nice to be able to turn the clocks back one hour when we arrived this morning in Cozumel. I was very happy to see the sun shining as we enjoyed breakfast in bed and got ready for our Fury Catamaran snorkel and beach break excursion.
By 8:10 am we were on the dock and headed for the Cat, which was docked just feet away. After everyone was aboard, we headed out for what turned out to be a beautiful day for sailing. Once at our snorkel destination, we all jumped in to take in the underwater view.
There were all kinds of colorful fish swimming around alone and in schools and plenty of brightly colored coral swaying in the current. I didn’t last too terribly long. Despite the sunny day and the relatively warm water (80 degrees, we were told), I still got chilly and decided to swim back to the boat to nap in the sun. My girlfriend, on the other hand, stayed in the water until the very last second of the forty minutes designated for snorkeling.
Once everyone was back onboard, we headed to a private beach that was all set up and waiting for us. Beach chairs lined the sand and a veritable waterpark awaited us in the ocean – two trampolines, a slide, and some sort of crazy balancing ball type thing. I settled into a comfy chair and, you guessed it, my girlfriend headed straight for the trampoline. She was like a little kid, jumping on the trampoline, sliding down the slide, and generally playing around.
The hour on the beach passed incredibly quickly and before we knew it, we were back on the Cat where the bar was open and the dancing ensued.
Dancing on the Cat
When we got back to the dock, we quickly changed into dry clothes and headed into Cozumel. The last time we were there, we docked quite far away, requiring either a taxi ride or a long walk. Luckily, this time, we were docked right in the center of town. When we were in Cozumel two years ago, we had the most amazing fish tacos and we were determined to go back to the same place again.
After a few false starts, we finally found the place – Viva Mexico. It’s the only second floor restaurant on the strip – as far as I could tell – that had a palapa roof. We climbed the stairs and settled in at the very same table to enjoy the very same tacos we had two years before. They were even better than we remembered.
Cruisers relaxing on the beach
At one point the waiter asked us if we were friends.
“Nope,” I said.
“Sisters?” he asked. “Neighbors?
“Nope,” I said. “Novias,” which means girlfriends in Spanish.
“Novias?” he said with a sweet smile that clearly said, “this girl has no idea what that word means in Spanish.”
I swear it took the guy a full minute to wrap his head around it before he said, “Ah, novias,” with a smile. It was actually sort of cute. (Not a bit offensive if that’s what you were wondering.) I don’t know why he didn’t get it at first. But he certainly didn’t seem to have a problem with it once he did.
We meandered the shops after lunch, picking up a few things before we found ourselves ushered into a funny little shop called the Flea Market Cha Cha Cha. I figured it would be a junk shop of sorts with all varieties of brick-a-brack for sale. Instead it turned out to be a jewelry shop mostly. Half costume and half fine.
Jewelry was certainly not on our shopping list. But I fell in love with an amazing pair of round, diamond cut tanzanite earrings.
“You look,” Israel, the store’s co-owner said. “Look in the Mexican television,” he joked, pointing at the mirror. They were beautiful. I won’t lie. I am a sucker for sparkly things, and these were sparkly. After much bargaining, my girlfriend very sweetly bought them for me.
“A free Mexican Gucci bag for you,” he said, handing me a tiny drawstring pouch to put them it. I laughed and thanked him. But I couldn’t bear to take them out of my ears. In fact, they’re still in.
Shopping and shaved ice
We had just one last thing to do at that point, and we weren’t sure we were going to be able to make it happen. But we did! We found the very same shaved ice stand that we had visited on our last trip. My girlfriend is in love with this crazy flavor they have called Chamoyada. It’s like mango with an incredibly spicy syrup on top.
I was so, so happy we found it. If you’re docked at the downtown dock, you can just go under the pedestrian bridge that goes over the street and you’ll see it there directly on the left hand side. They have lots of good flavors (I opted for the root beer myself), but the Chamoyada is definitely their specialty.
It was finally time to go back to the boat to grab a quick nap and shower before the evening’s entertainment: the Olivia Idol preliminary round. There are some incredibly talented women on this ship. I was very impressed. Eight women sang, with songs that included Fancy, Downtown, Evergreen, Walking on Sunshine, and even George Michael’s Faith. Five finalists were chosen for the finals on Friday.
We followed the show with dinner, which was a little slow and a little off tonight. We sat somewhere differently than we had the nights before. That’s not something I would suggest doing. Best to find a waiter you like and stick with him for the length of the cruise.
We’re headed out for more snorkeling bright and early on Roatan, Honduras. So, until then…