Last week we went on a cruise to Mexico with my mother and all three kids. We chose an “entry-level” cruise, since we didn’t know how the children would enjoy life at sea (i.e. debilitating seasickness, terminal boredom, lack of thirst for adventure and/or pillaging).
The ship departed from New Orleans, which has a lovely new cruise terminal. We boarded about 20 minutes before the lifeboat drill, and afterwards assembled on deck to watch the ship leave the dock.
Our first full day was spent at sea, plodding due south across the Gulf of Mexico. That night was the captain’s dinner (aka Fancy Night), which is actually a pretty good idea – it gets the dress-up night out of the way when you’ve only gained a pound or two. The last night on the ship is “muumuus and caftans” night.
On the second morning, we docked in Progreso, Yucatan, Mexico, and left the ship to explore the Mayan ruins at Dzibilchaltun. Say that five times fast.
The ruins were unexpectedly awesome.
The city once held up to 40,000 residents, but was eventually abandoned (not conquered). Archaeologists discovered it in the 1950s. The main plaza is surrounded by large stair-step structures and originally featured a stucco floor:
Dzibilchaltun is also home to a sacred cenote, where Jensen demonstrated her Jesus impression:
On Day 3, we visited Cozumel. Cozumel is many things – the words “touristy” and “hot” come to mind.
It’s also beautiful.
Our excursion for the day consisted of snorkeling with, and then interacting with, stingrays at a preserve. The preserve is home to about 50 stingrays with clipped barbs. All baby stingrays born at the preserve, about 40 a year, are released into the wild.
It turns out that when you are holding fresh pieces of ballyhoo in knee-deep water, the stingrays turn into large, slimy cats. They would head-butt our calves and rub themselves over our ankles. Creepy, but kind of cute.
After learning about these creepy-but-cute critters, we relaxed by the shore before re-boarding the ship:
Day 4 was another day at sea, and on the morning of Day 5, we docked back in New Orleans. That was August 1 – Tyler’s 10th birthday.
For his birthday, Tyler requested dinner at the Acme Oyster House, and I was only too happy to oblige. We spent the night in the city and drove back to Tallahassee on Friday.
The kids had a GREAT time on the cruise. I think they will definitely be up for more at-sea adventures. They loved exploring the ship, and eating, and watching the after-dinner shows, and eating, and the big water slide, and did I mention eating?