Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Caribbean Cruise Week - Cozumel

I awoke bright and early on Tuesday morning, early enough to watch us come into port at Cozumel. We had a 7:00 a.m. scheduled arrival.  One thing to note about keeping track of time on a cruise--at least this cruise. Whatever time zone it was when you left port, you keep that same time zone no matter where we would be.

Sunrise at Cozumel

We were scheduled for our first shore excursion - racing on original America's Cup 12 meter sailboats. Having previously worked for a sailboat builder and following the Cup many years ago, I was super excited about this opportunity.

Upon disembarking the ship, I was taken aback by the other cruise ship, RCCL's Liberty of the Seas, on the other side of the long concrete pier. Wow! What a feeling to be sandwiched between these two giant ships. It made you feel so small. Because you were.

Liberty of the Seas (left) & Mariner of the Seas (right)

Looking Back at the Ships

We were scheduled to rendezvous at a particular place on the pier at our designated time. Since we had an hour or so before the meeting time, we wandered around the shops at the pier. We didn't go into Cozumel itself.

We returned to our meeting location only to find two of our dinner table couples were also on the same shore excursion. Boy oh boy, would we have stories to tell at dinner later that night. Ummm...not quite.

The weather in Cozumel was very windy and overcast. I found out the port had been closed the day before due to severe weather. We wondered how our sailing adventure would be with the strong winds.

The tour host came over and told us the departure would be delayed about 30 minutes due to weather. I think they were hoping things would calm down a bit. So we wandered around the shops again and then met back at the tour area.

With the group assembled again, our tour hosts took our band of thirty or so sailors to another area and began the debriefing about our upcoming excursion. We learned a bit of history of the America's Cup, about the two yachts we would be sailing on - Stars and Stripes 87 and True North IV, and what to expect on our excursion.  Then we divided up into teams and from there decided on what roles we would be doing while sailing. You didn't have to be an active participant but we were definitely into it. Some people would be "grinders" on the big winches, winchers on the small winchers, line handlers - no shortage of duties available.

Finally it was time for our hosts to call the tenders into port to take us out to the boats. We waited as messages were sent exchanged on the radios. We knew things were amiss by the some of the bits and pieces we could hear. We could see the boats tacking back and forth several hundred yards from shore. After a few minutes, it was confirmed that our excursion was being cancelled due to weather. The waves were just too high to safely transfer passengers from the tenders to the yachts. The crews themselves had trouble earlier and that is why we were delayed 30 minutes. Talk about disappointment, but safety comes first.

America's Cup 12 Meter Yachts
At this point, we didn't feel like going into Cozumel itself so we opted to go back to the ship. On port days, the scheduled activities are very limited since most people go ashore. We ended up in one the large whirlpools up on the pool deck and being entertained by several people who were feeling little to no pain. I remember at some point we did have a brief period of rain.

Around 4 p.m., the ship departed for her next port of call.

Tomorrow - George Town, Grand Cayman.


  1. Wow! Those ships are huge!!!
    I love that photo where you are sandwiched between the two ships.

  2. OK that wasn't the best day, but at least the pool was open....back for more chapters tomorrow.

  3. Looks like a great cruise. I've been to Cozumel, but many years ago. Wonder if it's changed a lot? Thanks for taking us along.


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