Thursday, December 21, 2006

December 2006, Golden Princess Cruise -- Day 6

Thursday, Cozumel

Photo of Golden Princess from the front
Just as the ship's dress code on non-formal nights is "Smart Casual," the Christmas decorations could be described as "Light Elegant." They have not overdone the decorations but what they have put up is very nice and it looks like no expense was spared. The trees, garlands and twinkling lights were the kind you would see in a nice hotel at holiday time. Think Ritz-Carlton. There was also a small but tasteful Menorah for those celebrating Chanukah. It was way too early in the season to expect any Kwanzaa decor.

This Christmas season the Golden Princess has three, seven-day cusises out of New Orleans all with the same, Western Caribbean itinerary. Prior to this the ship spent the fall on the Mediterranean visiting Greek Isles. It got to New Orleans after a seventeen-day trip from Rome. After the New Orleans cruises it heads for Rio for South American tours during our winter. In May it heads for Seattle for summer Alaska cruises.

Today there were nine ships in Cozumel's harbor and room for only one to dock. Ours was not that lucky one. Visiting Cozumel today were Carnival's Inspiration, Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas, Grandeur of the Seas, Legend of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas, Princess' Golden Princess and Grand Princess, Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Dawn and Radisson's Seven Seas Navigator.

Tender boat in CozumelEver since Cozumel's piers were damaged by Hurricane Wilma in 2005, for safety reasons the cruise ships don't use their own life boats for tendering. The shore tenders are local boats, they even use the Fiesta Party Boat, and the whole process appeared to be much faster and more efficient than when the ships use their own tenders.

We stayed on board and enjoyed lunch in the Donatello Dining room followed by a nice nap.

Our next door neighbors were two young ladies in their early 20s -- perhaps sisters. They appeared to have family staying down the hall. Both of them loved to sit on the balcony and loudly discuss life. While using the most colorful language.

An example: after we left Cozumel she told her friend, and anyone else within a quarter mile, about her day ashore. "The guide book said it was one of the top ten restaurants in the whole f--king country," she commented. "It says it's got Mexican food but it was s--t you never heard of. And they brought us chips and three different salsas. I am so not into salsa so I asked for some queso dip and they didn't have any. They didn't know what I was talking about. Can you imagine a f--king Mexican restaurant that doesn't even have queso dip?"

I wanted to yell out, "Is it perhaps because they don't have any f--king Velveeta in Mexico?"

Shortly after 5:00 P.M. we set sail. Tomorrow is a day at sea (we love days at sea). Then we continue the 646 nautical mile trip from Cozumel to New Orleans, the last 100 miles of which is the very slow passage up the Mississippi River.

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