Thursday, July 5, 2012

Cruise Adventures: Almost Drowning in Grand Cayman and Getting Molested in Mexico

We are back! Our cruise was mostly fun, but not exactly what we expected. As you can tell by the title, some crazy things happened in port. While we were on the ship for our days at sea we found ourselves kind of bored and super thankful that I thought to bring the laptop and movies. While there were lots of things to do on the ship, most of them before the afternoon involved paying extra for bingo or exercise classes. I guess most people just stay by the pool all day. We didn't even try to go to the pool because there was only one pool and it was TINY and we had 2500 people on the ship. Plus, we were already getting our fair share of sun at port. We are not really pool people. Needless to say, we ended up watching movies and sleeping a lot due to boredom.

The food was also a huge disappointment. There was only one meal I really loved; the Lasagna Bolognese. Everything else was just okay or pretty disgusting. My friend (and fellow blogger) Jen went on the exact same cruise a few weeks before us and said that the food on our ship (Carnival Paradise) was the worst cruise food she has ever had (she has been on a lot of cruises). So, I guess we had bad luck on the food aspect.

Lasagna Bolognese

On to the juicy parts you have been waiting for....

We left the Tampa Port during a Hurricane. So, the first day at sea was hell. Dramamine saved me. When we arrived in Grand Cayman, the seas were still a little rough. We had booked a snorkeling excursion. Our excursion had two stops the Kittiwake sunken ship and a reef. The first stop was at the Kittiwake which was pretty far out from shore and the waves were quite big. I grew up swimming in a pool and have been to the beach many times (on the gulf...few waves). I have not ever truly been in the middle of the ocean/ gulf/ sea and I have never been snorkeling. I thought it would be no big deal and I would be able to do it easily. The snorkeling trip was supposed to be for beginners to moderate snorkelers. Well, apparently the waves transformed it into an expert snorkel.

I jumped straight in off the boat into the water and was immediately pulled away from the boat by waves and currents. On top of that, I was not used to the dive fins they gave us and they started pulling me under and coming off of my feet at the same time. Then, I was slapped in the face by a huge wave. The panic attack started. Luckily my Husband was right there and got me to not really calm down and helped me try to float a little. It was still too much since the waves were so big. I was trying to breathe, but I kept inhaling salt water instead of air because the waves kept hitting me too fast. Plus, the currents had carried us quite a bit from the boat. Luckily the tour guide realized I was struggling and threw me a lifesaver. After a bit of a struggle and the longest 10 minutes of my life, I was back on board and able to breathe. While I was the only person that had to be rescued, almost everyone came back to the boat immediately after jumping in because it was so rough. Yikes.

Luckily I got over my newly founded fear of drowning and jumped in at the 2nd site (it took me 15 minutes of sitting there before I decided to get in though!). The water was much calmer and it was only 15 feet deep (versus the previous site that was about 80ft). It was a fun experience and I wished the whole snorkel trip had been there. I spotted a few small fish and some cool reefs.

Molestation in Cozumel, Mexico...

I had several friends recommend Senor Frogs. They said it was a cool place and one friend even said you get lots of free shots while you are there. After shopping for a few hours, we found a VERY scary cab to take us downtown. The cab trip made me appreciate why people say NEVER TO DRIVE IN MEXICO. They drive like madmen! I couldn't believe that there weren't any accidents. Anyhow...we went to Senor Frogs. We walked in and it was loud, but seemed fun. We ordered a yard of frozen deliciousness for me and a Dos Equis for the Hubby. We were then given balloon animal hats. I had instant disappointment when I looked at the menu. There was almost no Mexican food! It was all American crap with fajitas and enchiladas added as an after thought. We ordered the enchiladas (which weren't very good).

As we were waiting on our food a female employee walked up to us and asked if we wanted a shot. I said NO and she mumbled something and said "boobie" and grabbed my right boob. Then, she blew a whistle, walked to my right, poured a shot and almost shoved it down my throat. She then walked behind me and grabbed both my boobs from behind and giggled/ fondled them for a very long minute or so. I was in complete shock and just sat there not knowing what to do. Then, she did the same thing to my Husband (only his nipples were tweaked) and told him "that will be $14". All of this happened in really fast. WTF? He paid her and we both just sat there for a few minutes looking at each other and not knowing what to think or do. Eventually I started cracking jokes. Needless to say, I do not recommend Senor Frogs in Cozumel!

By the 4th day on the cruise ship we were extremely into the habit of things and enjoying a spoiled life of food whenever we wanted it, lots of comedy shows (our favorite on-board activity), free room service, cute towel animals and being pampered. The cruise seemed to end quickly after that. When we arrived back home I discovered that I would have "sea legs" for awhile after cruising and was nauseous for a few days. Now I am back to normal, and back to work. : (

Things we learned on our first cruise:

*Do not waste the money on a "soda sticker". You will not use it much and it is definitely not worth the price. Just take your own 12 pack and you will be set. If you do buy it, don't buy it for everyone in your family. Just one person.
*You can sneak booze on pretty easily
*Take lots of magazines, books, movies, games and entertainment. You will be bored at times.
*The Carnival TV pretty much sucks. Some channels are in other languages, there is always international soccer. They have movies, but they are generally kids movies & crappy ones at that (I suffered through a few minutes of Marmaduke). 
*Pack lots of Dramamine. It costs almost $1 a tablet on board and you will need it routinely if you are like me.
*Tampa customs is a joke and you can basically get anything through...not that we did, but they hardly even looked at us..not to mention our luggage. 
*Always eat lunch (if possible) and definitely dinner in your dining room. The food is way better than the buffets. 
*When ordering food, keep in mind that you are on a ship that does not have access to fresh food daily. This may just be our ship again, but a lot of the fruit was nasty and the seafood was not very fresh. 
 *Don't drive in Mexico. As a matter of fact, avoid leaving the port if possible.
 *If on an excursion in Grand Cayman, DO NOT Wait for them to call your excursion onboard. All you do is take a boat over and wait another 30 minutes. You could take the boat over to port on your own & shop for two hours (in the case of our excursion) before your excursion.

Sorry for my rambling...I hope you enjoyed it! Here are a few pictures from our cruise: 

A friend decorated our room for our 5 year anniversary!

Our snorkeling boat in Grand Cayman

Cozumel, Mexico

Senor Frogs pictures..the molesters arm is in the middle left picture

towel monkey

Hubby & myself at sea
If you have talked about your cruise experience, feel free to leave your link in the comments and I will check out your post. 


Lin said...

How fun! I've been wanting to go on a cruise for year but am a total chicken butt when it comes down to it. Sea thanks.

Love all your photos & your tips. I never really thought about the fact that they can't get fresh food on the ship all the time. At least I know to carry some Pepto with me if I ever do end up on a Cruise :)

Lauren said...

Sounds like a blast still can't get over your Senor Frog story LOL :-)

LesleyfromWI said...

Your story had me laughing but this does not sound like a blast. I hope you had some fun but look at the bright side, you have a great story to tell!

Asha said...

I cannot believe your almost drowned!! And I am shocked by what that crazy lady at Senor Frogs did to you. Oh My! The one in Nassau wasn't nearly that eventful haha!

Kasee said...

I'm so sorry that you didn't have a better time! I loved both of the cruises I took on the Carnival Spirit! We were never bored, but with 4 kids boredom just equals a breather. I can totally understand how an adult couple that's not into gambling could come up short on activities. And I think I'll pass on visiting Cozumel. Try the west coast of Mexico ... we just visited Cabo San Lucas in April and loved it!