We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us. – author unknown
Freedom of the Seas internet
As promised, here is my blog of day five of our cruise on Freedom of the Seas. Let me tell you a bit about the internet first. I have the regular Voom internet for one device. It may be a bit slower than the internet that you have at home, but it’s pretty good. I’ve been able to write my blog on the computer in the computer room with no problem.
The only thing that I’ve noticed is that if I don’t move the mouse fairly often, it will suddenly shut down on me. It does give me a second to save, at least. So, move the mouse every so often. I’ve learned to save often also. Mostly the computer room has been peaceful and quiet, but today there is a lot of talking going on.
Breakfast in the Windjammer again
Okay, on to day five. It started out in the Windjammer, as usual. We haven’t had a problem finding a table. We normally go to the left where there is a small aisle with tables at the window and tables by the wall. Ronnie is the coffee guy, and we’ve enjoyed getting to know him a bit. He’s always so cheery and loves to stop and chat. It’s people like this that make a cruise something special. And the food in the Windjammer has been very good. The only problem is that no one seems to know where they are going….probably including me. So, keep an eye open when you’re carrying food, because someone may just stop in their tracks, or run right into you. And watch for running children also.
Cozumel – Dolphinaris
We ported in Cozumel at 7 am at the International Pier. Our excursion was a Dolphin Encounter at Dolphinaris which was scheduled to leave at 9:30. We were to meet at the end of the pier. We got there a bit early, so we sat in the shade to wait. It didn’t take long for others to join us, and then we were led to our taxi by a nice gentleman that worked for Dolphinaris. So, that was easy.
We got to Dolphinaris, which was only a few minutes away, just before you get to town. We went in, got our wristbands, pink for dolphin swim and green for dolphin encounter, and were told to wait in the restaurant area till we were called. I really thought that Dolphinaris would be bigger. But we could watch others interacting and swimming with the dolphins from our seats, and I got some good pictures.
You are not allowed to take any cameras with you into the water with the dolphins, and you’re not allowed to wear any jewelry. We left our rings at the ship in the safe. You can’t wear sunglasses, but you can wear prescription glasses. You can wear water shoes into the water if you’re only doing the encounter, but you can’t wear water shoes if you’re doing the swim.
Our group was called soon and told the rules. If you were wearing any lotion or sunscreen, you needed to go to the showers and wash them off. Sunscreen and lotion are bad for the dolphins. There are restrooms where you can change into your swimwear if you need them. We just wore ours there. After that we were put into smaller groups and led to the dolphin area. You can either rent a locker for $15 to store your things in, or you can take them with you to the little hut by the dolphin area. This area is plenty safe, you put your things in a bench that has a lid and no one is walking around the area. This area is free. Save your $15. We had money and passports and phones in there, and they were perfectly safe.
The water is very clear and clean, but it is very cold. We were led into the water with a guide. There were only five of us in our group, so we got a good amount of interaction with the dolphin. His name was GoldenBoy, and he was very gentle. He’s a young dolphin, and full of energy. We were taught about dolphins, the trainer seems to care a lot about them. He explained that the marks on GoldenBoy’s fins were from being playful with other dolphins. Guess it’s like when cats play with each other, they can get a bit rough.
We all got to do our own little bit of having fun with the dolphin, getting kissed by him and kissing him, making him dance, making him wave, dancing with him. They take pictures constantly, but I was warned ahead of time that the prices were ridiculous, and they are. I think that they should include one picture with the package. But I did love interacting with GoldenBoy, he was a sweet and gentle dolphin.
Our package had a buffet and open bar included. I started out with a Miami Vice, which is a Pina Colada and Strawberry Daiquiri mixed together. It was delicious! Probably not a lot of rum, but really good anyway. He got a Long Island Iced Tea.
Kayaking and Snorkeling
My husband decided to try kayaking, so I decided to try my hand at snorkeling. I’ve only snorkeled once in waist deep water, but the water looked pretty shallow in the little closed off lagoon that they have. I was the only one snorkeling, and be warned, it’s kind of rocky in there, not sandy. I got pretty nervous when a huge stingray came right up to me. I didn’t really want to deal with that alone. I was snapping pictures on our underwater camera, but I didn’t know how to work it, and I haven’t looked to see if any came out.
Stingrays – ouch!
Then a bunch of baby stingrays were all around me. I wasn’t in the water five minutes till I felt pain in my toe. I thought that maybe salt water was irritating a blister, but the pain got worse. I got out of the water and looked and I saw a little white stinger sticking out of my toe. I pulled it out right away, but my foot was already in a lot of pain. The lifeguard asked me if I was okay and I said that something stung me. Then he walked away without helping me. The other lifeguard asked me if I was okay, and I said again that something stung me and it really hurt. He told me to come and sit in the bench and watch my husband kayak. Again, no offers of assistance.
Trying to find help
After he was done kayaking I told him what happened and that it really hurt. It’s like firing going up your foot, like a really bad bee or wasp sting. My two small toes were swelling and really red. I went to the shower area to wash it off, then he went to see if they had something to put on it to make it stop hurting.
He finally found one of the staff who washed my toes with vinegar water, which didn’t help at all. You would really think that in a place that has stingrays to snorkel around, they’d have a first aid kit in the life guard area with something to help the pain, like meat tenderizer. The lady who washed my toes with vinegar said it couldn’t be a stingray, that it must have been a really tiny jellyfish that I couldn’t see, but since I had pulled a stinger out, I’m pretty sure it was a stingray. (edit: I was wrong. When looking at my videos later we realized that it was a Bearded Fireworm that stung me. Sorry Stingrays!)
We went to the buffet and had a bit to eat, and I got a cup of ice to put on my toe. It helped a little bit, but not much. One thing about the buffet, the food was okay, nothing to write home about. A little bit of Mexican food, and some hotdogs and burgers. But the birds are all over and you have to watch your food or they’ll be helping themselves. The area is very nice and clean though, and they clear the tables promptly. Guess they have to or the birds will be enjoying your leftovers. They have a soda machine that is included also.
Will alcohol numb the pain?
After that we ran (I limped) back down to the bar and I got another Miami Vice. They’re not huge, but once again, they are very good. I worried a bit about the ice in the drink, but so far no problems with it so it must have been filtered. We told the front desk that we wanted to go back to Freedom of the Seas, and she had us a taxi quickly.
Pharmacy in Cozumel
Once we got back, we looked for a pharmacy in port to see if they’d have something to help my pain. We found a lotion that was for jellyfish and bee stings, but it didn’t help. So, I hobbled around for a while trying to look at the shops, but didn’t get very far. It is a very nice port area with a lot of shops. Some of them are even in a small mall area, and it’s a bit cooler in there. There are restrooms and they are clean. And as usual in Mexico, the shopkeepers try to pressure you into buying. Remember that you can haggle. If you walk away, they are likely to come down in price.
We went back to the ship where I took 800 mg of ibuprofen and looked up remedies for stingray stings. It said to use hot water so I went to the hot tub for a while. Then I got an ice cream cone just because I needed something good. I went back to the room and soaked my foot in a tub of hot water and sat on the balcony, while my husband went back to port for a while.
Second Elegant night
This was elegant night in the dining room and there were lobster tails on the menu. I’m not fond of them, but my husband likes them. I showered, my foot felt just a bit better, although both toes were still red and swollen. We got our usual table, number 115. Now the hostess just says “You can find your way”. It’s a round table near the back right of the Galileo dining room on deck 5. It’s the top layer of the dining room, which has three floors.
Once again we sat with Linda and Judy, and the other couple joined us a bit later. I had a strawberry bisque for an appetizer. You need to try it, it’s like eating strawberry soup, so good. For my main course I had prime rib and mashed potatoes with carrots and broccoli, all delicious. And for dessert I had Royal Chocolate Cake, which is really really good. I don’t even want to know how many pounds I’ve gained so far. Ni is our head waitress, a sweet girl from Bali, and Lina is her assistant, always helpful and prompt.
Relaxing after dinner
After dinner we went to a lounge and sat for awhile and listened to a band play 50’s and 60’s music. There were a lot of people dancing and having fun. Then I needed to go to the cabin and get some tylenol, my toe was starting to throb again. While I was up there I talked to our cabin steward, Alan, for a couple of minutes and got his picture for my scrapbook. I always do a Shutterfly scrapbook after each cruise. If you drive to your port and stop at the Florida Welcome Station on I-95 you can get a coupon for a free one.
Alan’s been a great Steward and always has a funny towel animal waiting for us in the evening. After that we wanted to go and get seats for the headliner show, a ventriloquist named Ron Lucas. I’ve seen him on TV before, he’s been on shows like the Tonight Show with David Letterman and Night Court and he’s performed for Ronald Reagan, the Clintons, and Queen Elizabeth. And boy was he funny! It was the best show so far, we laughed so much. I wish his show could have been way longer. Hope we get to see him again.
Chocolate Covered Strawberries – Royal Caribbean makes good!
After that we got to our cabin to find our Chocolate Covered strawberries with our Bon Voyage message. lol Must have gotten lost on day one. But I will definitely admit that Royal Caribbean has gone above and beyond in answering our complaints of the first day cruising. And I really do appreciate it. It’s great to see that they do listen to their customers, and we will be cruising them again. They do have the best ships that we’ve sailed on. And that was the end of my crazy day. 800 more mg of Ibuprofen, and off to bed.
And lesson learned, no more snorkeling if there are stingrays (and Fireworms) around. If you decide to snorkel at Dolphinaris, wear water shoes!
My next blog will be on Monday after we get back home because today is our last sea day. I’m going to miss it and the people that I’ve met.