DAY 3; Cozumel, Mexico
Our 1st port of call! We woke up and had breakfast. The ship at this point was so much easier to navigate after wandering the day before. It was 1hr behind ship time there. We had set up an excursion to Nachi Cocom Beach Resort. We docked and it was very quick and easy to disembark. We took our ship cards and DLs. They kept announcing to bring a photo ID. We left the passports in the room safe. The odd thing was we never needed to show our DLs to get back on or off the ship in any port. I guess it was kind of a failsafe measure.
We are on the dock and there are plenty of chances for Carnival photos to be taken with an assorted cast of characters and signs. Even on the dock I finally felt that I was indeed in another country. It was very cool. We walked through a long duty free shop which you had to. Liquor, liquor and more liquor mixed with everything else you pretty much could find in the ship’s shops for pretty much the same prices. We exited into a “tourist trap” of shops and it was GREAT! Again this was not like going to the beach in the USA and hitting gift shops. This was colorful, fun, and I am not the shopper. It was clean and until you actually went into a store the vendors pretty much left you alone. We were not mobbed or hassled at all. Some of the shops seem to be in every port. Del Sol, Diamond International were the main two. We wandered the shops, and made some mental notes of things to buy on the way back to the ship. We made it to the end and walked out of the area and that is where the city of Cozumel became real. Good ole city traffic, people yelling for us to come to their stores, horse carriage tours REALLY wanting you to go with them. We walked the street some saw some the local street food and decided to go to the beach.
We went back in the terminal area and there was a taxi stand and lines of taxis waiting. A sign gave rates and Nachi Cocom was $15. Off we went. We book this outside of Carnival. It was a day on a strip of beach, beach chairs and our own palpa, all the drinks we wanted and full lunch. I will try and get pictures up. We got there and it was good that I had read reviews beforehand. One thing common to all the reviews was the front gate area left much to be desired, but inside was beautiful. It had stormed that night so the water was a bit dark, warm and calm though. The sand did not get hot even though I think it was more crushed shells. We made a deal to drink some here since it was included. Drinks that we heard of but never had, daiquiris, pina coladas, rum punch, sex on the beach and so on. We each had 4-5 over the course of the day, plus a supply of bottled water. We met some other Carnival cruisers though from different ships. There were 3 docked that day. Lots of fun, we had some authentic Mexican food which was great. Carlos was our waiter and we were never without drinks or food. We ate right on the beach under our palpa. This was a vacation. My wife sunned, and I stayed in the water for a few hours. At Nachi Cocom, you could rent jet skies, go parasailing, go snorkeling, all for extra costs. The beach was awesome for us. We spent the day and had a blast. When we wanted to leave, Carlos called us a cab and back to the terminal area with about an hour before the ship left.
We bought some $1 handmade maracas, some shirts, found two actual pairs of Oakleys for $20 total on the tower of glasses. This was the also the biggest place for the coupon book our tablemates bought. I think she got 5-6 free jewelry pieces, a couple of totes and what not. We walked back through the duty free long shop and back aboard. It was a great day. We watched the ship leaving port and then on to dinner. After dinner we retreated back to the room and just sat on the balcony under the moon.
Thoughts of Day 3;
We called it a complete success and had a great time. Our first port of call was more than we thought and we had high hopes. The navigating the ship was almost automatic now. Our wait staff at dinner truly learned us and had coffee and soda waiting for my wife and I without asking. Things just seemed to click.