The main attraction for sailing out of Tampa is access to the Western Caribbean – our favorite itinerary – and Cozumel in particular. We’d done several different shore excursions in the past (remember the Cozumel scene in Real Women Wear Red?) But his time, we decided to relax and just see what we felt like doing.
After checking on the cats, we ordered room service breakfast – a pot of coffee, orange juice, Raisin Bran, and a couple of Danish. This would become our regular breakfast. All arrived quickly, except for the coffee cups. We called back and they were delivered pronto. We enjoyed our breakfast out on the Verandah, enjoying the varied shades of blue water. We saw the Millennium (the “Millie”) pull in (pictured below), and sometime that day, the Destiny and Elation arrived.
Around 10 a.m., we got off the ship to explore the shops in the Puerto Maya pier area. The first thing that got our attention was a restaurant/cantina called “Three Amigos” – we made a note to return there for lunch.
We browsed a few shops. At one, we bought some Tylenol (the stairs on the ship were aggravating my knee). We’d considered buying some Bengay because I forgot the Icy/Hot but our Spanish wasn’t good enough to feel comfortable with buying this particular brand.
In another shop, we thought it fitting that we purchase a cross on this side of Mexico since we had done the same in Ensenada. Then we stopped to listen to 3 Mariachis sing “La Bamba” – we offered up some cash and then continued exploring the area. We noticed Pancho’s Backyard and had heard good things about them, but something about Three Amigos caught our attention so we headed back for lunch.
We found a table overlooking the gorgeous azure waters of the Caribbean, ordered a Margarita for each of us, and guacamole with chips.
Then Rich ordered a steak burrito and I had the fish tacos – all delicious and enormously filling.
The service was fabulous – there was both canned music and live music (those same Mariachis strolled over and sang to us). One of the waiters pointed out an iguana on the rocks, and all in all, we had a fabulous time. Mexico is our favorite non U.S. country.
We sipped and enjoyed the view for as long as we could.
We made our way back to the ship, soaked in the jacuzzi on the Serenity deck, and then took our afternoon nap. But right before our nap, somebody knocked on the door and when I opened it, he said, “Room service.” I told him we hadn’t ordered room service. And he offered a tray of yummy desserts and an “apology” card for forgetting the coffee cups at this morning’s room service breakfast. Wow! That was a first for us on any cruise line or hotel, for that matter.
Dinner and Sailaway
Because we love sailaways so much, we decided we should eat dinner as soon as the Elation Dining Room opened at 5:45 – all passengers were supposed to be back onboard by 6:30 for a sail away time of 7 p.m.
We were seated next to a couple from Erie, PA and this was their first and probably their last cruise. They were definitely not into it. Like so many, they had chosen a short cruise to “feel it out” but while that may give you a bit of an idea what a cruise is like, you really need a 7 night cruise to get the full cruise experience. We’ve been on both and there is definitely a difference in the activities and atmosphere.
Anyway, after last night’s boring dinner, I chose to order off the “always available menu” – steak, baked potato, caesar salad – all delicious! Rich ordered from both – the navy bean soup from the night’s menu, the salmon and baked potato from the other menu. And when I told him how yummy the hint of anchovy in the caesar salad was and offered him a bite, he then ordered his own salad. It was that good! Service was wonderful – this is one thing Carnival does really well!
So full, I didn’t order dessert but Rich ordered the apple pie ala mode, and of course, we ended up sharing the entire thing – at his insistence, of course. After the first bite, I was happy to oblige.
After dinner, we headed back to the cabin, broke out the champagne and enjoyed another gorgeous sailaway from Cozumel, enjoying the rest of the evening in our suite. This is Heaven!