Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Happiest Place On Earth, Part III

Third stop on the Happiest Place Adventure: Cozumel/Playa del Carmen/Tulum.

So as the ship pulled into the dock at Cozumel, I was watching CNN, where the topic of the morning was the H1N1 virus. They were going on and on about how awful things were in Mexico City, and saying that perhaps Americans shouldn't go to Mexico. There seemed to be a general panic on CNN, but we weren't worried. We were already in Mexico, for one, and for two, Mexico City is a LONG way from Cozumel.

Our fellow cruisers weren't worried, either, because none of them had bothered to watch the news and the whole Swine Flu Insanity was just getting started. They'd been far too busy with cruise activities to bother with CNN. (We didn't tell them to run to their stateroom televisions, either.) Another reassuring sign: the U.S. Coast Guard parked alongside us.

The crew waved to all the kids disembarking the Disney ship, which thrilled the kids to death. We heard more than one kid ask something along the lines of, "Hey, Mom, are those REAL AMERICANS on that Coast Guard boat?"

I think most people on our cruise headed to the various bars, beaches, and resorts on Cozumel. We opted to take the ferry across to Playa del Carmen, then catch a bus headed for Tulum so we could tour the Mayan ruins. Of course, we soon learned that the ferry between Cozumel and Playa del Carmen is frequently referred to as the Vomit Ferry. While we were fine, we did see several folks go for the barf bags, and one poor kid was still giving up the better part of his breakfast after we docked in Playa del Carmen. (Don't linger near the bushes at the top of this hill, should you visit in the near future.)

Thankfully, he seemed fine before we boarded the bus for Tulum. Though it took nearly two hours to get to Tulum from Cozumel (ferry-walk-bus), it was well worth it. The sun was out, the sky was clear, and the ruins weren't crowded at all. I've been to the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza before, and was told Tulum wasn't as good, so I was prepared to be underwhelmed.

This is NOT underwhelming:

Best of all, the ruins at Tulum are perched high above a beach! After we toured the ruins and got a crash course in Mayan culture, we took the stairs down to the beach and swam for an hour. I waded into the surf with my camera to take this shot:

I tried to wait out Speedo Man before taking a picture. Really, I did. I finally gave up and figured the beautiful scenery balanced out the not-so-beautiful Speedo Man.

Once we were back onboard the Disney Magic a couple hours later, we went to our room and were tickled to find that the room attendant had put my sunglasses to good use when he'd come to clean:

And though I couldn't get a picture of it, just after dinner we hit a highlight of our cruise: fireworks at sea. I nabbed this photo from Disney, because to leave fireworks out of the blog due to my cruddy nighttime picture-taking ability would be a crime:

Tip of the day: Pack Bonine if you're prone to seasickness. Chew one an hour or so before you get on a boat (or the Vomit Ferry.) It works.

Tomorrow, in Part IV: Eat Your Heart Out, Gilligan!

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