Back from Cozumel, Mexico

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    Feb 11, 2013 4:41 PM GMT
    Returned this morning from our brief 4-day cruise to Cozumel. It was great in every way! Super ship (Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas), wonderful weather, excellent staff, just everything perfect. icon_biggrin.gif

    Here's my partner right after we got off the ship in Cozumel, where you're greeted by an outdoor market. Our ship is in the left background, the foreground ship another Royal Caribbean that docked alongside us. From here we took a free taxi 8 miles into downtown Cozumel, courtesy of the ship.

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    Here's those 2 ships docked next to each other, to give an idea of the size of these monsters. Ours was 160,000 tons, over 1100 feet long.

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    The main pool area of 3 on the ship, one other being for children, the third for adults. It takes several pics to get it all in without a special wide-angle lens. There's also a surfing slide 2 levels above this.

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    The dining room where we had our evening meals. It's actually bigger than this pic reveals, extending far out of camera range.

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    This unfortunate ship docked after we arrived in Cozumel, and departed before we did. Last report is that's it's still somewhere in the Gulf, adrift with engine failure following a fire. They also owned the Costa Concordia that sank in Italy. I don't think I'll take the Carnival Line.

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    Feb 11, 2013 6:01 PM GMT
    Cruising is awesome. I can't wait to see more pictures. Glad you had fun!
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    Feb 11, 2013 7:46 PM GMT
    How was the on-board entertainment? Too bad life doesn't imitate Art!

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    Feb 11, 2013 8:39 PM GMT
    eagermuscle saidHow was the on-board entertainment? Too bad life doesn't imitate Art!


    The entertainment was very good, and too much for us to see it all. Two standouts were an aerial act, evoking elements of Cirque du Soliel, that was stunning. Also an ice show that was actually better than what I saw years ago at the Ice Capades.

    Bottom line, every minute of every day was occupied for us when we wanted it, and kick-back lazy when we didn't. It was the most intensely enjoyable 4 days we've ever had together. And far exceeded my best expectations, since I've been dubious about these mega-ship cruises.
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    Feb 11, 2013 10:53 PM GMT
    yo_mamali saidCruising is awesome. I can't wait to see more pictures. Glad you had fun!

    Thanks! Here's a few more pics. They were always having activities & contests. This was a belly-flop contest, attracting more of the Spring Break-type crowd among the 3600 passengers:

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    Feb 11, 2013 11:12 PM GMT
    Welcome back.
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    Feb 11, 2013 11:24 PM GMT
    Turin saidWelcome back.

    Thanks!
  • rnch

    Posts: 11524

    Feb 11, 2013 11:27 PM GMT
    Southbitch's infantile envy and jealousy of Art_Deco and his bf is truly something sad & pathetic to behold.



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    Feb 11, 2013 11:43 PM GMT
    rnch saidSouthbitch's infantile envy and jealousy of Art_Deco and his bf is truly something sad & pathetic to behold.

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    Oh, gawd, what's he been up to now? I don't see his crap.

    BTW, thanks for the advice guys gave me in an earlier RJ thread as this trip was approaching. Absolutely correct info, Royal Caribbean does charge $.65 a minute for WiFi Internet access onboard ship, which I declined. So we got along with no outside communications for 4 days just fine, too busy doing other stuff.
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    Feb 12, 2013 6:31 AM GMT
    FYI Out of curiosity I checked satellilte internet access rates. I didn't find for cruise ships but just to get an idea it looks like private yachts pay about $5000/month.

    So as to their $.65/minute charge, they're just trying to break even on their $60,000/year internet bill.
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    Feb 12, 2013 2:01 PM GMT
    Great photos Art! Brings back good memories! Glad you had a good time!
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    Feb 12, 2013 2:31 PM GMT
    theantijock saidFYI Out of curiosity I checked satellilte internet access rates. I didn't find for cruise ships but just to get an idea it looks like private yachts pay about $5000/month.

    So as to their $.65/minute charge, they're just trying to break even on their $60,000/year internet bill.

    Thanks, interesting perspective. At the same time, all the meals and entertainment were included free (except specialty foods and alcohol), which obviously cost them much more than satellite access would. Which we already had free for some (limited) television programming anyway. We were astonished at the quality of the stage and ice shows, which must have cost them a fortune, and the food was excellent, too.

    But I'm sure the economics make sense to them. The cruise industry is very competitive, and keeping fares low while providing desirable features must be an art for them, on which they expend much effort. Looking at our older fellow passengers I can't imagine many of them surfing the web, or even checking e-mail. But it seemed like a majority of them did attend the shows, and they ate like horses.

    And for the few who absolutely had to check their e-mail, likely for business purposes whom I'd see poolside with their mobile devices, $.65 a minute could be a reimbursable expense. The ship also had public computers with the same access rate, and I seldom saw them in use, either. I guess just too much else for people to do with their precious time onboard.

    And BTW, I switched my phone to Airplane Mode, to turn-off its cellular and WiFi signals, but leaving it on for the organizer features, and switched his phone off completely. The ship has its own cellular service, for which you pay international roaming charges, which of course apply even if someone rings you. And my partner is always getting calls. But I did want my iPhone available to input new contacts on the go, which I did, and I entered events of interest into the calendar so we wouldn't miss them.
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    Feb 12, 2013 2:40 PM GMT
    ART_DECO said

    This unfortunate ship docked after we arrived in Cozumel, and departed before we did. Last report is that's it's still somewhere in the Gulf, adrift with engine failure following a fire. I don't think I'll take the Carnival Line.


    ycyl?
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    Feb 12, 2013 3:01 PM GMT
    Afterwards said
    ART_DECO said

    This unfortunate ship docked after we arrived in Cozumel, and departed before we did. Last report is that's it's still somewhere in the Gulf, adrift with engine failure following a fire. I don't think I'll take the Carnival Line.

    ycyl?

    LOL! Well, some evidently lose.

    Following some of the cruise ship mishaps of recent years, my concerns were disease, fire, and collision or grounding. To combat the first there were free-standing dispensers for Purell hand sanitizer everywhere, with crew reminding passengers to use them when entering the dining rooms. Most did, including me. We apparently had no outbreaks onboard, and my partner & I remain completely well, 24 hours later. We also had mandatory lifeboat drill, though didn't actually board them.

    The Liberty was launched in mid-2007, and refitted in 2011, so a newer vessel in great shape. The Carnival Triumph that's currently disabled in the Gulf dates to 1999, and just looked tired when it docked near us in Cozumel. It actually was briefly seized in Houston following the Costa Concordia disaster, the result of a lawsuit against owner Carnival. Not a good year for Carnival.
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    Feb 12, 2013 3:13 PM GMT
    Erik101 saidGreat photos Art! Brings back good memories! Glad you had a good time!

    Thanks! Here's a pic of the adult pool area.

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    Feb 12, 2013 4:15 PM GMT
    ART_DECO said
    yo_mamali saidCruising is awesome. I can't wait to see more pictures. Glad you had fun!

    Thanks! Here's a few more pics. They were always having activities & contests. This was a belly-flop contest, attracting more of the Spring Break-type crowd among the 3600 passengers:

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    I weep for America.

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    Feb 12, 2013 4:27 PM GMT
    credo said
    I weep for America.

    LOL! I also weep for Spring Break itself, also with belly-flop contests, and contests with wet T-shirts, and beer chugging, and other nonsense. And a mud-wrestling contest makes me positively distraught. But have you ever seen what they do in other countries? And some of them look just as unattractive as we are.
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    Feb 12, 2013 4:45 PM GMT
    That is a big ship. Royal Caribbean uses my town (Bayonne, NJ) as port of departure. On slow afternoons, I would go to the pier to watch the ships leave.

    Did the cruise have a gay meet-up? Did you go?
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    Feb 12, 2013 5:07 PM GMT
    yo_mamali saidThat is a big ship. Royal Caribbean uses my town (Bayonne, NJ) as port of departure. On slow afternoons, I would go to the pier to watch the ships leave.

    Did the cruise have a gay meet-up? Did you go?

    Royal Caribbean uses Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale as its US East Coast Caribbean port. The even larger Oasis class ships also use it, the biggest passenger vessels in the world, and it's amazing to see them docked there, in a relatively confined inner waterway.

    The Liberty which we took, of the second-largest Freedom class, spends part of the year in the Mediterranean, as well. In fact, I believe Barcelona is now its home port, with Port Everglades used for a briefer period each year. We're already considering flying over to take a Fall Mediterranean cruise on her, and then returning to Fort Lauderdale onboard when she does her "repositioning" transatlantic cruise, returning just a few weeks before our annual November bicycle ride down to Key West that we can't miss. RJer rigsby and his partner planned a similar itinerary a few years ago for their 40th anniversary cruise.

    As for gays, there were 121 of us from the local Pride Center on board this cruise. The Center received a remumeration as a result of booking this group package, and we got individual discounts. We knew dozens of Center members already, and we shared 10-person dining room table assignments together each night. It really raised the "friendliness" level for us, seeing our friends almost everywhere we went on this huge ship, cementing old relationships and starting new ones. We also had a private Pride Center reception one evening, as well as attending public cocktail hours together the other 3 nights at announced hours if we wished.
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    Feb 13, 2013 12:14 AM GMT
    The news continues to feature the plight of this cruise ship, the Carnival Triumph, without power in the Gulf of Mexico. There are currently 5 toilets for 3000 passengers, no A/C, no running water, no refrigeration and therefore limited food. It's being towed to Mobile, Alabama, where the passengers will be brought back to their originating port, Galveston/Houston.

    I took a pic of it I posted above, when it was docked next to us this Saturday in Cozumel. Here's a pic I took as it departed, perhaps the last pic taken of it before the engine room fire. Kinda reminds me of the last pic ever taken of the Titanic as it left sight of land forever.

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    http://www.nbcnews.com/travel/passengers-carnival-triumph-face-extra-day-stranded-sea-1B8325828

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    Feb 13, 2013 1:42 PM GMT
    Typical tourist stuff as soon as you get off the dock. A lot of it tries to evoke the Mayan history of the Yucatan Peninsula. Many buildings, even fairly large contemporary ones in the downtown area, have thatched roofs and natural wood post construction, to recall the pre-Columbian native architecture. We had no time to explore inland, so not sure if just done in Cozumel proper for the tourists.

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    On the way back to the ship with some of our loot. I've GOT to remember to suck in my gut for pics. Or better yet, lose it. icon_redface.gif

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    BTW, the ship docked next to us was having lifeboat drills, putting each boat into the water without passengers, to test the proficiency of the crews and the operation of the davits and boats, and simulating rescues from the water. It was such a drill that killed 5 crew members on another cruise line's ship in the Canary Islands on Sunday, when a lowering cable snapped and the lifeboat plunged 65 feet into the water upside down.

    http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/10/16917861-five-crew-killed-in-cruise-ship-safety-drill?lite
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    Feb 13, 2013 4:23 PM GMT
    The best way through the ship is along the nearly 500-foot-long promenade at the 5th deck. Elevator banks are at each end. This view is over a glass bridge as you exit one bank of elevators. From the bridge you can view the next 2 decks below.

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    This is at the other end of the 4-story-high promenade.

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    The previous pic was taken from a balcony behind the obelisk below, which marks the entrance to an Egyptian-themed lounge.

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    The elevator bank at the glass bridge end with glass elevators, in a 9-story open space.

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    Another view of the glass bridge, showing some of the space below.

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    Shops and cafes along the promenade.

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    The Champagne Bar near the glass bridge. Those curved shells with the bottle cutouts form seating areas on the other side.

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    Feb 13, 2013 4:49 PM GMT
    We had just finished breakfast in the casual restaurant. This area overhangs the ship's stern in a 180ยบ arc, those windows giving a spectacular view.

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    Those windows from outside.

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    Later in the day at lunch, same restaurant. Needless to say we ate like pigs.

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    As we were leaving lunch, the serving & galley staff did a Macarena performance. Note the free-standing Purell hand sanitizer on the top step; they were everywhere.

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    Exiting the restaurant, we passed a chef giving a fruit carving demonstration.

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  • HndsmKansan

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    Feb 13, 2013 4:56 PM GMT
    Looks like a fantastic time Bob! Glad you guys had such a fun trip, very nice... thanks for all the pics.

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    Feb 13, 2013 5:17 PM GMT
    Thanks again for the pics! I was only on one cruise at 15 so it's nice to see how much the ships have changed - those promenades are mind blowing! Don't worry about overeating, that's the point of cruises, and I'd do it myself given the chance, only with healthy choices.

    I'm also glad you weren't on the "Triumph" since the news is just now stating how the elderly and the handicapped are particularly hard hit, particularly since I'd recommended cruising to you as optimal for the old and infirm!