Why Cuba, you may ask. Why not, I answer! Honestly, and many people on this cruise have said the same thing - in today’s climate, we just don’t know how much longer we will be allowed to visit this country. As you may know, I’m always up for an adventure. That being said, let me tell you what’s happened so far during the first three days of our cruise, and no, we have not yet seen Cuba!
I’m not blaming the cruise line - traveling to Cuba comes with its own set of rules and regulations. Long before we set sail, but well after I paid for the trip we were informed that one off the three cities we were supposed to visit in Cuba would not happen due to damage at the port. The ship would not being able to dock there, so they substituted Cozumel instead. Not happy, but still excited to be going to Cienfuegos and Havana. We figured Mexico would be a fun beach/snorkel day and moved on.
Our sail date finally upon us, we arrived at the ship a little later than I would have liked - a combination of transportation being late and getting stuck in traffic - figures, right? We went to our cabin right away to get acclimated and found a notification from the cruise line saying the tour we chose in Havana had been canceled, but they would gladly substitute another one. Just as we got to guest relations to find a tour that still had availability, their desk closed for the mandatory muster drill! What next?? After a lengthy conversation with shore excursions and guest relations, we were able to sign up for a cultural tour in Havana, have a nice dinner, and see an even nicer sunset!
Day 2 - a day at sea. Nothing but relaxation by the pool, time to delve into a good book and watch “Guy” from Chicago win the Belly Flop Contest! Another lovely dinner, and these two travelers hit the sack by 9:00 pm. Old habits die hard!
Day 3 - Cozumel. Mexico truly is one of my favorite places to vacation. It never disappoints, and this day was no exception. We got off the ship and walked around for a bit, then made our way to the pier for our snorkeling tour.
The boat ride to Parque Nacional Arrecifes de Cozumel was swift and refreshing. We stopped at two reefs and had the opportunity to see a variety tropical fish. If you’ve ever gone on one of these tours before, you know the margaritas flow freely after the snorkeling, then the dancing, and so on!
We stopped at Senior Frog’s for a quick snack (no more margaritas) before heading back to the ship and a little down time until dinner.
One of my favorite things about cruising is the variety of interesting people you meet. We ask to share a table at dinner rather than sit alone - tonight we dined with two other mother/daughter couples from Arizona and Puerto Rico and a married couple from Connecticut. None had ever been to Cuba before and were just as curious as we were.
As we left the dining room, the maitre d’ called us over and asked if we were in cabin 9XXX - I felt a fear rising up within me… “Yes, why?” I asked, “Did I do something wrong?” “No,” he replied, “I just wanted to make sure everything was to your satisfaction. We were told you had some problems and wanted to make sure everything in the dining room was to your liking.”
“Everything was outstanding!” I replied, thinking maybe that lengthy conversation with guest relations was a little too lengthy!
Tomorrow, a day at sea, lots of relaxing, trivia games in the Schooner Bar, and on to Cuba!