Friday, January 10, 2014

BIRTHDAY CRUISE


Chuck:  What do you want to do for your birthday?
Me:  We could go out to eat.
Chuck:  Have you ever been on a cruise?
Me:  No.
Chuck:  Would you like to?
Me:  Absolutely!


After checking on dates and destinations, it was discovered that there was no way we could go ON my birthday, so we got as close as we could: leave January 2, 2014. Cozumel, Mexico… here we come! 

Chuck had a friend that was to be in Cozumel the same week, so plans were made to meet and go diving the afternoon we arrived. The dive gear was packed, along with swim suits, shades, caps, short sleeve shirts, and shorts. We were prepared for a warm weather vacation. 


On the morning of the 2nd, we arrive in Miami and board CARNIVAL VICTORY. After getting settled in, we wander around and land on Lido Deck… where we found food, TV, pool, and a waiter waiting for us with a couple drinks. This seems the perfect way to start the cruise.


Hungry, we quickly find the buffet and help ourselves. 

Miami in the background.
Two of our friends, Ed and Deb, booked the same trip. I met them a few months ago when they came to Key West for a visit. It was good to have them along.

Ed and Deb
Most of our time was spent in the dining room, Casino, or enjoying the comedy shows. Turns out it was rainy and cold most of the time, which kept most away from the pools and hot tubs… but it was a little too cool for us too. On the last day, the sun came out and it was very warm. I thought, I will go up to the Adults Only deck and soak up some sun and take a dip in the hot tub… turns out, all 3600 passengers had the same idea. It was so crowded, I made a lap around the deck, didn't find a single chair open. I headed back to the room and took a nap while Chuck enjoyed a lively game of Texas Hold 'Em.



Our best find on the ship, was Sylvia at the Martini Bar, soon to be known as "Sylvia's Bar". She was a hoot! The Mini Martini Tasting was our first experience at Sylvia's Bar, and we had a blast. We shared all eight of their samplings, tasting each to discover our favorite. Mine? Sea Blue, yummy! Sylvia put on a show for us. She poured all eight at the same time, but claimed she could pour up to 12 at a time, and would do that the next time we came to see her. Did we go back? Of course Silly!



Friday was a windy day as we headed south to Cozumel. The seas climbed to 10 - 15 feet, and combined with the winds, the ship started to rock. Luckily, this didn't affect me at all. HOWEVER, this was not the case for everyone on the ship. Just outside the dining hall, we witnessed a young woman making a mad dash for the Ladies room, being chased by a server with a bucket in hand. She wasted that meal! Many of the young ladies were dressed in their party attire, complete with four inch heels. It was quite a sight watching them walk down the halls bouncing off the walls as the ship rocked and rolled. I was fine in my flip flops, and experience aboard heeling sailboats on rough seas. Again, I was fine.


Saturday afternoon, we rolled into Cozumel at 1 o'clock, along with the storm. It was decided the conditions were too bad to go out diving. Chances were great something would get broken, or someone would get hurt. Diving was called off and a new plan was set in place: meet at Woody's for a drink, snack, catch up, and take a stroll down memory lane. I heard many stories of finding treasures in the waters of Key West. Everyone was wearing a Spanish silver coin on a gold chain, part of the treasure that was found by Mel Fisher's crew in The Keys. Jim was a member of the crew, and found 18' of gold wedding chain. He was paid in Spanish silver coins, cool huh? Okay, everyone but me has a coin, but maybe someday. 


Heading back to the ship in Cozumel.
Our room was on the first deck, and very roomy; large bathroom, two hanging lockers, three drawers, a couch and a towel animal with two chocolates every night. The staff greeted us by name every time they saw us. and seemed genuinely glad to see us. That, or they are good actors. 

Did I have a good time? Definitely! Will I do it again? Absolutely! This was the best birthday present I have ever received. Thank you Chuck for making this a birthday I will never forget!




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