COZUMEL

Ahhh, the Prime Steakhouse. How do you want your meat cooked? The chefs are exact.

You say rare, and they do it rare.

The atmosphere is quite intimate, but the lighting is not photogenic.

I started with ahi tartare, then Lamb Chops, and THEN chocolate.

A morning pull of the drapes and we are in Cozumel.

Seven ships are in port today, and those only the ones I can see.

Figure from 15,000 to 20,000 passengers hitting the shops. For most wants, the pier stores will provide. If you go into town, the merchants will be more persuasive and may get on your nerves. Most tourists think with the amount of people buying, negotiating will be a wasted effort. Not so. Remember, at the moment you are the customer; the merchant wants an on the spot sale like now. Bargain!

I have no idea how many VW taxis are in Cozumel, there must be hundreds, but this is must more fun.

On Magic, inspection is an every day duty.

By the way, talking about inspection this ship got 100% perfect before we sailed.

Not all left the ship for town. The splash area still dumped water on one and all.

There is a lookout stationed at the bottom of the slides. He radios when the slider splashes down to let the top sentry know the next can get in the tube.

Deck service is prompt

and the Carnival marketing team has come up with a unique drink container.

Some caught up on the news and weather on the big screen which features movies at night.

One thing I’ve noticed is a number of people paste or hang things on their cabin door. It’s kind of fun to see what’s along the hall,

never the less, I wonder if it’s not so much a want for decoration, but a way of locating where they live.

I’ve tried hard to find something to whine about on Magic. It’s the sovereign duty of a travel writer to tell about the bad as well as the good. I finally did.

At the beginning of each cruise, Carnival provides toothpaste, body wash, deodorant, etc., and all are samples of retail products. On Magic there are about eight or nine different items. Included is a small plastic envelope of Q-tips; not a retail sample. They are not full size and “Q” is probably too far along in the alphabet to properly describe them.

When they were used up, I asked my room steward Ovi for a replacement envelope.

“I can’t give them to you. You have to buy them at the store.”

OK, I tried that and couldn’t find any Q-Tips.

As we docked in Cozumel, I asked Ovi again, making it clear, that I really wanted them and he should get them for me.

“You get them first day and no more.” Ovi emphasized.

I went off a bit and doubted that Carnival was so frugal that they couldn’t part with another envelope of 6 mini-tips.

Ovi, scowling, pulled out his phone.

“I’ll have to make a call.”

When I returned to my cleaned cabin there was a tray of goods,

but no Q-tips.

Oh no, here I had been overly stern with Ovi, and it was a miscommunication. I found him, apologized profusely, and explained to him what I meant. I gestured showing cotton at two ends connected by a skinny thingy.

“Yes”, Ovi said, “Q-tips. They won’t let me have any.”

OK, I mean, with the amount Carnival buys, those must cost a few pennies. But factor this in. A Margarita on the rocks costs $10.06. But, of course, that includes salt.

Finally I got a chance to get to the Punchliner comedy club. It was the early show, open to all, including children. Out came John Wesley Austin and blew me away.

Charming, funny, kids and parents and me laughing. Except for the woman next to me. Not even a smile. She probably thought it was supposed to be the art auction.

The Carnival Magic is an amazing ship. Next is the Destiny, amazing plus. When you compare cruise prices, and what you get for your money, there is an easy choice. Carnival Magic.

Tomorrow we dock in Galveston. At 7 AM the ship starts to empty. By 10 AM all will be heading home, except for one. He’s going to keep cruising, no matter how long it takes, until he hits the Jackpot.

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