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Old February 18th, 2006, 03:51 PM
cnmiranda cnmiranda is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 260
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-----------Wednesday, Feb 8th, Playa Del Carmen


Today we are in Playa Del Carmen. The temp is approx. 79 degrees according to our hotel's television.
After breakfast we picked up our tender tickets in the Vista Lounge. We boarded the tender at approx. 10 am the tender started going ashore at about 10:15 and disembarked at about 10:30.
Our first stop was the post office! No more room in our luggage! The Princess patter told us of a post office location so we grabbed a ride from a gentleman on a passenger bike and traveled several blocks to the post office. We did not have a box, the postal employee told us the shop across the street could sell us some. So we went to the adjacent sundry shop and an employee gave us a bok for free. We in turn purchased several snacks and such plus tape. At the post office it cost us approx. $33 to send 8 pounds of items back home to Las Vegas.

Next, we continued our ride down to the hotel. The gentleman taking us asked for tips only, so we paid him about $20, spent about 30 minutes with him. The hotel room we rented for the day is the Illusion boutique. We paid a rate of $145 for the day for use of their facilities. I wanted a private shower and such and hubby got to catch up on some more American tv programming. There are hotels you can get much cheaper just in front of the dock. I booked this room through a Cancun online agency, direct room rate was $145 for the day vs. $187 direct. So after checking in to the hotel we headed to the beach. I was hoping it would be a little less crowded but the location was pretty much in the center of all the activity. We paid an additional $12 for a beach umbrella. Swam a bit, read a book After that we went back to the hotel and changed, relaxed and such before heading back to the pier.
On other threads I saw travelers ask if there is any nudity on the beaches. Yes, we had 3 topless sunbathers very close to us. One English speaking couple, a few French speaking visitors, German(clothed) , and Italian(clothed) tourists or crew members? at this spot.
So later that afternoon after leaving the hotel we browsed the shops a bit. I stuck to the stores with priced displayed. Picked up several items...oh no, do I need to go to the post office again?

We got in line for the ship's tender back at about 3:10pm. The tender back took a little longer. Tonight is Italian night onboard in the dining room. I saw someone asked for menus earlier, you can see many of the Princess menus at www.cruiseclues.com. Our Caribbean night menu was the same as the eastern Caribbean menu.

So tomorrow is Cozumel. We have mostly a free day except we will be doing a Princess excursion of semi-sub ride with under water viewing. I really don't want the vacation to be ending so soon. After the incident I have absolutely no complaints. I think the staff this time around is better than all of our other cruises. And I can say the same thing for the natives of all the ports we've visited.
Hope everyone is having a nice week.

-------Wednesday Feb 8th Playa continued.....


Oh yes, for Spa lovers I wanted to add today's spa specials.
Spa Combo 3 for $89
-Rejuvenating Eye Treatment
-European Booster Facial
-Deep Conditioning Hair Treatment
-Scalp, Neck, and Shoulder Massage
-Moisturizing Hand Spa
- " Foot Spa
Choose 5 for $119, choose all 6 for $140

-------Thursday, Feb 9th Cozumel

Hi cruisers! Pulled into Cozumel at approx. 8am this morning. Okay, yes, I am overeating at this point Hubby and I joked this morning because at the beginning of the week all the treadmills were taken in the morning, the first few days after departure. Tomorrow the sign in reservation sheet is empty.

Tonight is the second formal night, so formal nights are Sunday and Thursday at this time. Also the Captain's Circle GTG is tonight. We won't be doing formal night, but will definitely have the farewell dinner tomorrow. The Young Tom Turkey is one of my spouse's favorites.

So this morning hubby and I will tender ashore and hang out a few hours before our semi sub ride at 1 pm. The weather is partly cloudy which is good because I got burned yesterday! With age my complection is becoming weaker I guess:embarassed:

Let's see, have I forgotten anything....

So anyways we are about to leave shortly for Cozumel. This is a first time visit for us. We will probbly hang out on the shore for a while and browse shops, try to call our parents and inlaws.

Regarding cellular service, we are TMobile and have not had service in any port. There was a gentleman using his phone in the 15th floor of the ship yesterday, good cell phone carrier!

I think temps today will be the same in the 70's to low 80's, perfect walking around temps.

Any questions please post here or you can email me at cnmiranda@yahoo.com. We'll be back home on Saturday, I'll be a little busy unpacking and such over the weekend but will try to get to all questions by monday at the latest. Darn, reality check!

Thursday Spa Specials:
-Oxygen Lifting Facial $89 (save $45)
-Ionithermie Slimming Treatment $109 (save $36)
-Aromaspa Seaweed Massage $140 (save $36)
-Chakra Stone Therapy $140 (save $35)

-------Thursday, Feb 8th Cozumel continued......

Tenders took a bit longer today, we gathered our tender ticket in the Vista Lounge and headed down to the gangway at approx. 10:10 am. We made it back to shore at approx. 10:55. Some people commented they had been waiting on the tender boat about 15 minutes prior to us.

Weather in Cozumel was a bit windy today, when it was overcast a light jacket came in handy. We had a shore excursion, the semi-sub, at 1:50 so we just hung out at the pier and had a drink at Fat Tuesday's and did a little shopping. There is no immediate beach access from the pier, you will need to take a taxi to go downtown or to a beach. I believe the best beaches are on the south part of the island. Yes, there is still visible damage from Wilma, you can see where the docking piers once were. Repairs are taking place at this time. There were several other ships in port ... Carnival Elation, another Princess ship, a smaller ship, and I believe a Norwegian Ship?

So we met at the pier at 12:50 for our excursion. There was about a 30 minute delay, the sub excursion before ours had to wait a little bit for a space to pull up to the dock. Once we were onboard the under water viewing was great! We have done one other semi-sub excursion in Maui, this time was much better. Numerous types of fish, a few starfish, and a few sting rays. The excursion lasted approx. one hour.

So after the excursion we got back in line to board the tender. We waited a bit for the first passengers to get on as the boat was a little rocky due to the wind. The disembarkation back to the Grand was approx. 45 minutes.

Formal night - as previously mentioned we did not do the formal night but headed up to the Horizon Court for dinner. There were place mats and silverware on the table, staff members were dressed in suits. Menu items included some lamb and beef wellington, no lobster this time. There was cherries jubilee.

We have only seen one show in the Princess theatre this trip, the comedian/juggler, it was enjoyable.

------Friday, Feb 10th Day at Sea

This morning is the culinary demonstration and gally tour at 10:15 am, we have done this before, highly recommended.

We woke up at 7am. Went to breakfast at the Horizon court. All hopes of dieting are gone at this point so I enjoyed a few doughnuts. Donoughts were never a Horizon court high point for me but this time I must say they were quite tasty. Very fresh and "goey", the way I like it

At 10:55 am we headed down to the Explorer's lounge in hopes of meeting someone that could verify the identities of crew members, but to no avail. We left at approx. 11:15 and went back to the room to read and relax. I used to like the port days the most but I think I am now a fan of sea days. They are soooo relaxing. I just love watching the Law & Order reruns on tv. It was so great to sit in the open air out on the balcony. We also enjoyed some time outside on deck 7. There were no lounge chairs on the ship on this deck this time around. When we took the Golden earlier last year deck 7 was a great place to hang out and relax.

So after some general milling about the ship we headed down to the atrium at 2:15 to watch the magitian Doug Anderson's final magic show. Very enjoyable. Fun tricks. We bought his video!

On our way down to the Michaelangelo dining room we came across a ship's map on display with the signatures of the Captain and main officers. This item was up for silent auction but I don't think anyone noticed because of it's placement next to the library. We did bid on the item and waited next to the map until 6pm when the item closed, there were no competing bidders so we won the auction. We will hang the item up as for us the week was a big life event and a reminder of a personal triumph

Then we headed to the dining room and enjoyed a wonderful last dinner at sea. Our waiters were excellent this entire cruise. I had posted before that I felt sometimes the service was much less personal in the dining room as Personal Choice patrons but this was not true in our case. The crew was definitely the best of all of our other cruises combined.

After dinner we went to a different comedian (sorry I can't remember the name) in the Vista Lounge for a 7:15 show. We met a very nice gentleman who told us that his cabin had been flooded with about 5 inches of water from when the pools water overflowed during the incident. He said that Princess sent him a bottle of champagne. He told his cabin attendant that he doesn't drink and his champagne was replaced by 6 containers of bottled water. He joked because the water on the ship is free So then the show began and the comedian was pretty funny. After that we did go catch the production show in the Princess theatre but left after a few minutes as we decided to just hang out in our room before we went to bed.

The weather this last sea day was gorgeous. We saw a pod of baby dolphins at approx. 10:15 am from our balcony. At first I thought they were fish because they were so small but after seeing them up close I realized they were babies. Oh, if I only had the video camera then. It was beautiful and miraculous.

Does anyone know the name of the little fish that seem to fly along the ship when it passes? It's bugging me terrible to know what kind of fish they are.

Random notes to follow.....
__________________

General comments:

Oh yes, I wanted to mention we had a very enjoyable flight home. We sat next to a Southwest Airlines flight attendant and I traded ship stories and she traded passenger stories, it was a lot of fun.

For transportation to and from the cruise we used Emerald Limousine Service. I did want to use Galveston Limousine whic also gets great reviews but my husband and I spoke to the owner of Emerald in person so we booked with them. No complaints, prefessional service. He waited an extra hour for us to get off the ship upon disembarkation this morning.

General comments:

Do bring a light jacket to wear around the ship. It was cool in some spots such as the Princess Theatre, dining rooms, and the Horizon Court as well as on deck to be expexted.

Our cabin steward was Isaac from the Philippenes. He was great. He made us an elephant towel animal and a much more challenging bunny rabbit with eyes, whiskers, and even pink lips!

Even though the temps were warm in the Caribbean our balcony was sometimes still a little chilly with winds. We did have a lot of rain on the Belize port day, it rained almost entirely that night I believe. As mentioned prior, we have been 4 months without rain in Las Vegas so I loved it!

Do bring sunscreen! I burned pretty bad in Playa even though I was only in the direct sun a little bit. I did go in the ocean when it was cloudy overhead but I burned anyways.

Jeans in the dining room.... yes, there were some. I even saw a couple wear shorts in the dining room on the Costa Maya day in the Michaelangelo dining room. Perhaps their luggage was misplaced.

If there is anything I have forgotten, please ask!
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