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Old January 22nd, 2008, 02:37 AM
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Bloggers Cruise – Day 3- Cozumel – Jan. 21

The seas remained quite choppy throughout the evening and night. We were told a weather system has been following us south, and the ship has been bounced around a bit. No doubt some passengers have been feeling the effects, but many others were just taking it in stride. Just before retiring to the cabin last night, around 1 A.M., I poked my head into the disco, piano bar, and several other lounges, and they were all quite busy, with people singing, dancing and having a great time. This is where Carnival separates itself from some of its competitors; it’s night life.

When we awoke this morning tied up at the International Pier in Cozumel the skies were cloudy and dark. Rain was falling, and it appeared to be socked in for the day. As mentioned earlier, I had the ship’s golf excursion booked, and showed up at the appointed spot hoping I’d be told to go back to bed. The golf pro onboard allowed everyone who had booked to vote on whether we’d take our chances that the weather would improve and head for the golf course, or we could cancel and get full refunds. After some brief discussions we cancelled and returned to our cabins.
For information purposes, I have played the golf course in Cozumel before, and it’s a surprisingly nice golf course. If you are a golfer, and have the opportunity to play here, you won’t regret spending the $155.

All of the water going ship’s excursions were cancelled today due to high winds and weather. Aside from the disappointed passengers, I can’t imagine what the total dollar values lost to the local economy today is, as well as revenue to Carnival.

The rain let up for a short time around Noon so we headed into the town of San Miguel ($6 per taxi from the pier) to simply stroll around, with no desire to purchase anything this time around. By 1:30 the rain was picking up, and it was either go into one of the many bars in town, or head back to the ship. We chose the latter.

The island of Cozumel has a population of 80,000 people and 109,000 taxis. The price to get from one taxi to the next is nothing, so if you were to walk from one taxi to the next you could see the entire island free.

With a couple of bad days of weather I think it’s likely the Freedom’s food budget has been eaten out of business. With down time due to weather I think a lot of people have become like me; eating machines.

Even when I’m still feeling full from breakfast, I automatically get in line as soon as there’s an indication that the lunch buffet is about to open. And while I’m eating lunch I’m already thinking about what I’m going to have for a snack later in the day to tide me over until dinner, and what flavor pizza I’m going to take back to the cabin for a slice before going to sleep.

Breakfast and lunch from the buffet is the norm for us, rather than going to the dining room. In the first few days of the cruise I have noticed that in both the indoor and pool-side buffet dining areas trays, soiled dishes and cutlery are sitting on table tops much too long before being cleared. Too often you can see passengers clearing their own tables to have a clean table to sit and eat.

The buffet lines are quite well organized, and the way they are divided, in sections, I haven’t found long wait times at any of the various stations. Breakfasts are rather standard breakfast fares, but lunch selections are quite varied.

The Freedom has made several changes to its buffet station selections. The small Chinese food window on the starboard side has been changed to offer Mexican dishes. The Chinese menu was felt to be too similar to the Mongolian Grill section of the buffet, so has simply been included there.

The station pool-side amidships now serves a Tandoor (Indian) menu. Along with the International and traditional American buffet lines, where selections change daily, and the Deli window, there is a significant variety of foods offered.

The Carnival Liberty, Freedom’s sister, was sitting next to us at the pier today. Their exteriors are identical, making you feel you’re seeing double walking down the pier to return to the ship.

I tried to log on for internet service today, and oddly, in my cabin I was picking up the Liberty’s Wi-Fi signal. I couldn’t log on to my account through their service because part of the log in information is your name and cabin number. I’m assuming picking up the Liberty’s internet instead of that of the Freedom must just be a glitch caused by my cabin location on the ship. The Liberty left at 6 P.M. (Freedom is in port until 10 P.M.) and “Voila? my internet connection was back.

Even with today’s visit to Cozumel being a literal washout for many passengers tonight even at dinner there’s a very positive energy amongst everyone.
It continued after dinner when I popped into the middle of the Battle of the Sexes game that John & Heidi were running.

The crowd was having a BLAST, and very involved. The highlight had to be a “guest? in the audience- “apparently? a trucker from Georgia talking about the Waffle House, and hashbrown potatoes. The schtick is hard to put into words, and highly likely a bit of a set up, but the “guest? was so good the audience was rollicking, and Heidi was laughing so hard tears were running down her face.
The game was followed by a comedy/juggler, Goronwy Thom, who was also very entertaining. And from the showroom everyone headed up on deck for a big deck party…. And finally a beautiful evening, with a bright full moon.
Tomorrow morning there’s a Q & A session for all the Bloggers with John, Heidi, as well as Roberto and Stephanie (who are assisting with the technical side of Johns Blog). Rumor has it that this Q & A will be broadcast live on John’s Blog.
It should be very interesting because tomorrow is also John’s birthday. No doubt there’ll be some antics in celebration of the event.
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