There were five cruise ships in town today, but Cozumel is up to the challenge. Two ships docked near the old town, which boasts over a mile of shopping, and three of us were at the new dock area, where enough shopping to suit us has sprouted, saving the cab ride into town.
A huge catamaran came to our dock to take us on a snorkeling and beach tour. When you are a tourist in Mexico you can never assume that things will be timely or work properly. They often joke about themselves, telling you that you will have to wait a Mexican minute. But the Fury catamaran company knows what gringos want. they have done so well, they have five huge catamarans, one for each cruise ship. The crew functioned as a well oiled machine, handing out snorkels, fins, masks, vests, instructions and margaritas. The sun was bright and the sky was blue, but with the brisk wind we suddenly lost our motivation to get wet. (We hardly dare complain when we watch the weather forecast from home on TV.) Lots of fish swam right up to the boat, so we saw them from above. After all the shivering swimmers got back onboard, we sailed to Fury’s private beach, which was well supplied with beach toys, chairs and powdery white sand. No vendors stopped by to cajole us to buy things we don’t want and the time there passed much too quickly. A steady procession of dive boats sailed by carrying the scuba divers who were headed to the deeper reefs that Cozumel is noted for.
After lunch we returned to the dock area to see what was for sale, but it was the same old, same old, so we didn’t linger. Instead we enjoyed the musicians and dancers dockside that always make us feel so welcome in a port when they come right to the gangway. As we listened to them we could also hear the powerful beat of rock music coming across the water from bars and beach front hotels. Cozumel is a town where you are supposed to be having fun at all times.
The Comedy Club was on our evening agenda. This intimate space seats about 70 and two comedians made us laugh til our sides hurt. Ship board comics always have a supply of cruise oriented jokes - overeating and the sound that air powered toilets make when they flush are regulars. But with the huge size of the Allure as grist for the mill, these comedians had a new topic for their schtick. We noticed the two Carnival ships docked next to us - one had three decks of balcony cabins; one had five. The Allure has eight such decks. So, he made jokes about how the Carnival passengers felt like an alien space ship had landed over their heads when we came in and how we would tow their ship behind us for a life boat. He said that the most popular shore excursion for the Carnival passengers was a tour of our ship. And if any of us misbehave, we will be banished on the Carnival ship as punishment. People are often late for the comedy show, because they are coming from a distant cabin at the far end in a different time zone. One of our favorite spots on the ship is called Central Park - an outdoor area with shops and al fresco dining that is in the middle of the ship surrounded by greenery with cabins above it. The comedian said to make it more real they needed to add muggers and panhandlers. He suggested that the homeless could hang their laundry on the zip line over the park area. He also thought a few birds leaving bird deposits on our heads as we walked through would add to the ambience. And so on.