One would think that a trip which has been planned for well over five months, one would have prepared a little better then this monkey.
We are driving down the highway, just passing the 45 minute traffic jam, after already being about 20 minutes late getting on the road... and I suddenly remember "Oh no! I forgot my bathing suit" Mr. Grumble bear was not amused.
So we did a little calling around, stopped off at a few places, but seriously, come on! Its late November who in God's name is going to have a bathing suit? So, I called the Big Boat Hot Line... asked if they carried bathing suits on board. "Oh yes, we carry them, however its not a very large selection" We decide to just wait till we get on the boat and get one. Problem solved all is right with the world. (or so we thought)
We make it to Galveston, right on time! Yey!! We see the boat, its huge, again there was rejoicing! Located the Parking lot A. Paid our $45 and off to park we go. Super, found a spot, easy peasy Japanesy. Until we hear "HEY! YOU! BRING CAR OVER HERE!! (Very scary Russian Parking Lot Troll Man) brought car over to the correct parking spot. Once again, all is good.
Effortless boarding, easy, super fast no problems! Yey!
We get on to the boat... thoughts; Interesting, Weird, Interesting, Whats that smell.... the colors are going straight to my head. Seriously, this boat looked like it was decorated by a deranged clown on some serious acid trip, with a fetish for weird buildings.... Interesting indeed. Thank God I am color blind, oh wait, I'm not. Aw well, its only 4 days.
We get to our room... Was very nice. Spacious, pretty wood decor. Untouched by the deranged acid tripping clown. Melissa is very happy! Was kind of cool... it was a bunk bed type setting... felt like we were in camp!
We drop our things off and head for the food. It's about 3:30PM the boat is set to set sail at 4:00. We get our food and sit to eat. The Captain comes on and explains there is going to be a boat drill in 15 minutes. We continue eating. Another announcement, the safety boat drill will commence in 5 minutes. We continue eating. Announcement stating by this time we should have retrieved our life-vests and be making our way to our muster station... Thoughts; Oops, we need to go get our life-vests. So, we start to mosey on down to our stateroom, when we are greeted by this Eastern European Gwyneth Paltrow (look alike) crew member.
GP: "Why aren't you at your muster station??"
US: "We are heading there now"
GP: "Where are your life-vests??"
US: "In our stateroom?"
GP: "You have NO time to get them now, come with me I will take you to your muster station!!"
We follow her through the boat, she points to a common gathering place
GP: "There, you go in there, that is your muster station."
We walk into "our" muster station, and was greeted by another not so friendly Eastern European crew member
EECM: "Where are your life-vests?"
US: "They are in our stateroom."
EECM: "Well, you must go get them, you can not be at your muster station without your life-vests, go get them."
So, we walk down the stairs to our stateroom, we get to our hallway, and we have decided that we would like to just stay in our stateroom, and skip the whole boat drill. We get to our room and we notice there is a red "checked" key card in our slot, we are debating on whether or not we should take it out and just go in, when one of the little Philippine's tells us to go to our muster station.
US: "We need to get our life-vests"
P: "Don't worry about it, the drill is almost over, go ahead up to your muster station."
So, off we go, back to our muster station.
We get to the top of the boat, and are walking into our muster station, we are once again greeted by the same not so friendly Eastern European crew member. She is very angry that we do not have our life-vests... and she says so, and tells us to go stand by the wall as the Captain is giving further instructions on our next move.
With the boat drill over, our bellies full, we decide to check out our stateroom, just chilling hanging out, Brent would like to take a bit of a nap, since he has been up all night etc. etc... so, I let him sleep. I go for a walk around the boat. Was prefect timing as well.. The sun was going down, I took some pictures of the sun-set. Was very pretty... I grab a quick little snack and head back to the room. We hang out there for a little while, and then decide to go wondering around.
We catch an entertainment act... dancing and signing, was very weird. It was like watching the Disney Channel rejects... I found it funny, Brent found it most annoying. :) Was great. A comedian was up next and he was offensively funny as hell.
Before heading back to our room, we decide to go check out the bathing suits. Walking around the little shop, I was discouraged. I was told they had a select amount of suits to purchase on the boat, but unless you are a 250 pound man... there is nothing for you. I am a little panicky. Unsure of what I am going to do about a swim suit in Mexico.
We decide the only option is to be one of the first people off the boat and find something on the way to the snorkel guide. I let it go - no need to get all stressed when you are on vacation!
The next day was really great. We got up, had breakfast in our room, walked around the boat, and then lounged at the back of the boat for a while, just hanging and chatting, listening and watching the people around us. We have lunch and do some more people watching. We decided to go ahead and do some drinking ... I am really interested in this Monkey looking drink.... go I get one! Finished it, I wanted another one - took it back to the bar and ordered a new drink to put in my new little Monkey body holder thing! However, I was not aware that I needed to keep the little plastic cup that was given to me... and was yelled at by this Croatian woman working the bar. Over a little plastic cup! At one point I thought she was going to toss me over board or make me go dig it out of the trash.... but in the end she just gave me another one....(HA) I honestly do not think I will be traveling to Eastern Europe in my life time. They all hate me! We decided we would go to the "dinner" tonight. This is where you go to eat that's not a buffet. We get dressed and walk to our dinning room.
They have assigned seats with 4 other couples. Now since we didn't attend the first night's dinner, we are a little behind on whats going on. The other couples seem to know one another from some place and so it was a little uncomfortable at first (Brent & I being shy). We order our food and chit chat with those around us.
Our food comes... the portions are VERY small, and we are wondering how in the heck we are going to get full... The food is good, its just there isn't a lot of it. It looks more like something made for a picture. We notice the other dinners at our tables were quick to determine, what you have to do is order more then one meal!!! Some of our table friends ordered Lobster & Steak... etc. Great knowledge for any Cruise traveler.
Dinner is over and we have decided we would like to see a Comedy show. So, we walk around the boat and watch people, before making our way over to the show. It did not disappoint. We make it back to our room and watch a bit of TV before going to sleep... we have to be up early and the first ones off the boat if I don't want to swim naked!!
If you read nothing else of this blog, make sure you check out this story.... (best one)
We arrive in Mexico, beautiful day. The sun was out, the temperature nice! We rush off the boat and into Cozumel, looking for a shop that will sell a bathing suit I can wear. We go to this Surf shop and we are in luck.... I go to the one wall they have for girl suits and start pawing through the rags. Brent goes off to find another store in case I don't find anything I like in that one (as they were all two piece). I find a couple that I could possibly tolerate for the snorkeling tour - I ask the girl if there is a dressing room where I can try these things on... she shows me to a little door and opens it. I walk in... Now, at first appearance I thought this was a storage closet as there was a latter, some boxes and some other misplaced items laying around. However, there was a mirror - really what more do you need? So, I begin to undress and try on the suits... I am in the process of trying to figure out how the heck the top portion of the suit works.... when the door opens. Me, forgetting I am in a storage closet in Mexico, butt ass naked turns around to see who has just opened the door.... So, there is a Mexican man, in Mexico who has a nice image of not only my ass but the whole front part of my body holding some ridiculous top portion of a bathing suit, looking at him like he was an alien from another planet...
He stood there for a good 5 seconds, (I stood there for perhaps a little longer) before uttering some incomprehensible words and shut the door. I was modified! I just put my clothes back on and went to the register and bought the damned thing. I of course relayed my amusing story to Brent... and a lot of laughter was had!
We make it to the marina, where we met Rosa. We waited around for our other boat travelers having a beer and some Mexican chips. Was good (and it was 10AM in the morning). We all plied into the boat and off we go - out into the deep blue sea! This is a lot of fun! The water was a little choppy, but once you were in it, it was great. The tour we selected took you out to 3 different spots. a 10 feet deep spot, 25 feet deep spot and then to the drop off.
I seen some really cool fish, a black one with yellow dots, some that looked like bumble bee's at one point there were these ones fish (no idea what kind) that would swim in and out of all of us, and I made it my mission to catch and if not catch at least touch one. This was not an easy task! In the end, I did not get to do either... they were to fast. I was swimming along the coral reef when I noticed just past the reef there was a dark shadow. I swam to get a better look... I freaked out and swallowed about 5 gallons of sea water... as I am chocking and trying to get my mask off I am asked if I am OK... (clearly not, as I am gasping for air and struggling with my stupid face mask, it is now tangled in my hair.....). I tell them what I just saw, and they take a look... I am freaked out. When he comes back up to me, he has a HUGE smile and is giggling - he tells me to calm down and to put my mask on. I did just this. He said for me to follow him... hesitant I did so... and what I saw, made me once gain chock down some sea water .... from laughing. What I had thought to be an Octopus was nothing more then a tree trunk with all its roots exposed! Classic. I also got to see a sting ray, a sea turtle, a school of barracuda's and a school of Grouper fish. The last part of the tour was the drop off, and by this point I had to pee so bad my bladder was screaming.
Pee in the water you say.... Yes, I had this thought was well and believe me I tried very hard to pee in the water... I just couldn't relax enough to do so... couple of reason's for this: One, I was in very, very deep water wasn't sure what was below me, there were people around me and I wasn't sure if my pee would be like this yellow cloud around me for all to see, and most important, I thought that a shark would be able to smell it and then come eat me. Yes, I am serious... all these thoughts made it impossible for me to pee in the great big ocean. Needless to say the 30 minute boat trip back to sure was not pleasant. We are pretty damned beat after swimming in the ocean for a couple of hours. There is a nice thin layer of salt covering my body, in my ears, my hair looks like it got into a fight with some alley cat and lost, I am tired and I feel a little sunburned.... We get back to the Cruise ship, take a shower and recount the day... my back is starting to get a little tender. I look at Brent's back and its starting to turn really red! We both then realized we just spent a good 2.5 hours in the water with our backsides pointed to the sky... and no sunblock! My god! Also, my two feet.... I don't know what the problem was, but I came out with two little round circle where the skin had been rubbed off by the flippers on the tops of both of my feet on my third toe. Painful! So, not only was it impossible to lay on my back, but I really couldn't lay on my front either, as my two little perfect circle skinless toes would touch the bed!!! We are both pretty miserable... and we were a site. Every once in a while a random owwww would escape us.
The Sunday was pretty uneventful we played cards, talked and ate while the ship headed us home. We attended a few of the entertainment shows and really just tried not to cause to much pain from the sunburn.. and my god! we were sunburned.
Monday, we got back to Galveston we were a little worried about customs as we bought a WHOLE LOT of liquor on the boat and wasn't sure if we would be able to bring it back into port... but there was no problems! It was a lot of fun.