2016 Cruise to Mexico - Another Day at Sea

In our most recent episode of the 2016 Cruise to Mexico Trip Report, we had just enjoyed two good days of shore excursions. Join us now for a fun day at sea!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016 - At Sea

After two relatively early mornings due to our shore excursions, we decided to be somewhat lazy for a change. But not too lazy, of course, because there was still plenty to do, even on a day at sea.

As usual, we hit up our regular Emile’s for the breakfast buffet. There was a more relaxed atmosphere in the seating area. And there was almost no one sitting out by the adult pool, which had become our regular seating place. Apparently, we weren’t the only ones who decided to have a lazy morning. After all, since the ship is going to be just sailing along on the water all day long, why bother getting up early for what you can do all day long?

Good morning from the cruise! Good morning from the cruise!

Actually, you can’t do all of it all day long, because when we got there for breakfast, they were starting to close down some of the serving lines. The same things were available on other lines, but they were consolidating some because of the smaller crowds, ahead of their eventual close of the breakfast buffet. Fortunately, we hadn’t been lazy enough that we missed breakfast entirely. After all, all of these meals were included in the price that we paid, so we might as well not skip one, right? Just to make sure we were getting our money’s worth out of the trip. Which, by the way, I definitely felt that we were.

After breakfast, we went cruise shopping to see if we could find some deals, but there weren’t many to be found. It appears that they don’t believe in marking everything down for the last day of the cruise. A few things, yes, but really not much that we wanted, although we did each buy a t-shirt to commemorate our cruise.

We also went back to the Pixels photo place to check out more of our photos. We decided to get the one from the night before, and we were able to use our card for a free 6x9 photo that we had received for our anniversary. The clerk even told us “Happy Anniversary!” as we were checking out. Just stretching out our anniversary celebration for a few more days. Might as well make the most of it!

There were some clouds at sea. And some of them weren’t always happy-looking clouds. There were some clouds at sea. And some of them weren’t always happy-looking clouds.

Out by the pool deck, they were selling t-shirts and bears to benefit St. Jude Children’s Hospital. So of course we had to get a shirt for that, since all of the profits go directly to St. Jude. We didn’t get a bear, because we really don’t need any more stuffed animals, but those sold out just after we got our shirts. I wanted to tell someone there that we appreciated them for doing that, because we know people who work at St. Jude, and we know children (some of whom are now adults, and some are even family) who have been treated at St. Jude, since after all St. Jude is in Memphis and we are from close to Memphis. But I didn’t figure anyone would really care all that much, so I didn’t tell anyone. They were all too busy selling shirts, anyway, which was good. They had a goal of how much they wanted to raise from the cruise, and they announced soon after we got our shirts that they exceeded the goal. I don’t think our shirt purchases were what put them over the top, but we were more than happy to help out.

Sailing along on the open sea. Sailing along on the open sea. And fortunately the rain passed quickly.

We put our purchases in our room before going back out to roam the ship for a while. This would of course be our last day to roam the ship, so we wanted to make the most of it. We went back out on the Promenade on Deck 3 to sit in deck chairs for a while, and we went back up to the top decks for a while as well. No real purpose, besides just roaming around and enjoying the views and the ocean air.

Just relaxing and enjoying the view. Just relaxing and enjoying the view.

Laura was doing the same. Laura was doing the same.

But you can’t roam on an empty stomach, so we decided to seek out lunch. We had been passing the burrito bar just about every day, but we hadn’t had a chance to try it out, so we thought this was our best chance, not to mention our last chance. There was a bit of a line, but it looked like it was moving pretty quickly. And besides, what else did we have to do? It wasn’t like we were on a tight schedule or anything.

It was there in line that I saw the ultimate example of “Cruise Life”: A guy in front of us was eating food off a plate he was holding while waiting in line to get more food. If that doesn’t sum up what a cruise is all about, I don’t know what does. I hope he didn’t have a heart attack or anything like that.

We each ended up with the same thing: a shrimp burrito on a wheat tortilla. Of course, our choices of toppings differed, because I got guacamole while Laura didn’t. As the server was handing me my burrito, I noticed from his nametag that his name was Iketut, just like our room host. Who would have thought that we would have run into two people named Iketut in one week? Must be a more common name than I thought.

Anyway, we both thought our burritos were delicious! It would have been the best meal of the cruise if all of the other meals hadn’t also been the best meal of the cruise. We were definitely glad that we had stopped there. And if we hadn’t been so full, we would have gone back for another.

Another spectacular view. Can’t see this at home, even if we were to remodel our house to look like a ship. Another spectacular view. Can’t see this at home, even if we were to remodel our house to look like a ship.

However, we weren’t so full that we couldn’t have dessert, so we went to get something from the chocolate bar. Not sure, but I don’t believe they had that every day, but it was really something. All kinds of things made out of chocolate, or made with chocolate, or just chocolate by itself. So many choices, and it was hard to pick just one. Or two. Hopefully all of the walking we had been doing for the cruise was counting for something, because we made up for it with desserts.

Laura checks out the view. Laura checks out the view.

After lunch, we decided to spend some time out in the sun. So we went and got changed to our swimsuits and found some chairs on the upper level of the pool deck. We immediately went and got in the pool, because just being out in the sun made us rather hot. And besides that, the chairs were hot from being in the sun. We stayed in the pool until we couldn’t take any more of the kicking and screaming. And I don’t just mean from the kids. Just as with our previous sea day, some adults should know that in a pool that small and with that many people in it, you shouldn’t try to swim, because you are going to kick someone. And that someone was me. So once we had cooled off for a while, we went back to our chairs.

Unfortunately, our chairs ended up being in the shade of the big funnel. I don’t mind being in the shade all that much, but Laura was wanting some sun, so we moved to a different spot on the upper deck, closer to the large video screen. There, we had a really good spot to listen to the Reggae Boys band. Unfortunately, that wasn’t exactly what we were after.

Hello from the sunny pool area! Hello from the sunny pool area!

The Reggae Boys were two guys who, believe it or not, play a little reggae music. One has a set of steel drums that he plays, and the other has a keyboard, and they have a lot of pre-recorded music as well. Sort of a reggae karaoke, I guess. Except that it is limited to just these two guys. And their main set consists of about five songs. We knew this, because we had been hearing the same five songs all week, whenever we were out in the general area of the pool. Every time we were out there, it was the same songs. And they weren’t actually reggae songs, just songs that they made sound a bit reggae. Sometimes. And this day, we were treated to a bonus as they threw in “Stuck on You” by Lionel Richie for good measure. Nice to have some variety in there.

Interestingly, whenever there was a ship announcement, it would automatically override their sound system, which would sometimes bring about boos from the crowd. I guess they hadn’t heard the songs as much as we had. Sometimes, they would start the song over after the announcement had finished, and sometimes they would just go on to another of their songs.

While Laura was enjoying soaking up the sun, I was watching the people around us, since we had a good view of the area. It was obvious that the alcohol was having its effect on some of them. There was quite a bit of dancing to the music, which was not like Dancing With the Stars dancing. I guess you would call it dancing. And then the pool right below the Reggae Boys was filled with a rowdy crowd. Some of them came up and tried to get some girls sitting near us to go join them, and surprisingly, they went. All of that was just another reminder that I have never really been in the party crowd. Also, there was always a security guy out there watching things. I’m not always sure what he was watching for, but he was watching, so I guess that was a good thing. And he never did have to intervene, so I guess that was a good thing, too.

After we had heard all of the pseudo-reggae that we could stand, we decided to move on to greener pastures. Or actually quieter decks. We made our way up to the adults-only area, where we had enjoyed spending some time on our first day at sea. Once again, we were denied a cabana chair. For a while. Eventually, someone caved and gave up their chair, and we grabbed it.

Moving on up to the front of the ship. And that sun wouldn’t last long. Moving on up to the front of the ship. And that sun wouldn’t last long.

But right after we got to the chair, the wind started picking up. Evidently those people that left knew something that we didn’t know. The wind kept getting stronger and stronger, shaking the chair all around. It sometimes felt like the wind could flip us over in the big chair, although I don’t know if it actually could.

We tried to ride it out, but the wind was stronger than we were. As we were getting up to leave, a lady in the next chair said, “Is there a storm coming?” Instead of saying something smart like, “No, the captain just turned on the big fans to dry off all the swimmers for dinner,” we instead said, “I think so!” as we quickly went on our way. So once again, we didn’t have that much time to spend in one of those nice chairs. We had talked about how nice they were, but we decided that it just wouldn’t be the same to have one at home, because the view just wouldn’t be the same.

Driven inside by the wind and the rain, we decided we still had some time before dinner, so we went to get some ice cream. One time, Laura had seen some strawberry ice cream, but all we could ever find was chocolate and vanilla, which was true for this time, too. Where do they hide the strawberry ice cream on the ship?

We got our ice cream and sat by the adult pool to enjoy our treat. They had closed the roof over the adult pool, so we were protected from the rain. There were several people enjoying the adult pool, including some who must have been from the other pool earlier. They had obviously had their share of drinks, and I don’t mean Coca-Cola. They weren’t necessarily obnoxious or anything, but they were entertaining. Probably more entertaining than they intended to be, actually. They were trying to do things like sit on each other’s shoulders three people high, which I would think is pretty close to impossible unless you have a really strong person at the bottom, or someone who can hold his breath for quite a while. They never could do it, but it didn’t stop them from trying for quite some time. And then there was the guy who couldn’t walk by himself, and he had to be helped to his room. Unlike most of the pool revelers, this was an older man, and it was obvious that he had enjoyed a few drinks too many. We enjoyed our ice cream and our sobriety for a little while longer before going back to our room.

The adult pool with the cover closed was a good place to wait out the rain. The adult pool with the cover closed was a good place to wait out the rain. And good entertainment, too.

It was time to get ready for dinner for the evening. It was of course going to be our last dinner on the ship, and we certainly didn’t want to miss it. Not that we are in the regular habit of missing meals anyway.

Once we got changed, we went back down to check out the shops one more time, and then we went outside to check out the sunset. The sun was going down, and the clouds from the rain of earlier had moved on out of the way, so it looked like it might actually be a good sunset.

Steve in his (un)natural habitat - sunset on a cruise. But it could become natural very quickly. Steve in his (un)natural habitat - sunset on a cruise. But it could become natural very quickly.

Laura at the same sunset, of course, since we were on the same cruise. Even though you don’t usually see us in photos together. Laura at the same sunset, of course, since we were on the same cruise. Even though you don’t usually see us in photos together.

And sure enough, we kept watching the sun make its way down to the horizon. It kept going down, and we kept watching. And I kept snapping pictures, because that’s what I do, I guess. And then the sun dipped down into the water, so it seemed. Laura saw the green flash right as it went down, but I had missed it. Nice to have a perfect sunset on the last night of our cruise. There just really hadn’t been much to complain about on this cruise at all.

Here, Laura enjoys the sunset in question. Read more about it in the earlier post Back From Another Adventure. Here, Laura enjoys the sunset in question. Read more about it in the earlier post Back From Another Adventure.

After that, it was off to dinner. Once again, Danesh was waiting for us when we got there. I’m sure he was actually checking on things in the area as part of his duties, but it always seemed like he was right there when we got there. I don’t think he was spying on us or tracking our movements, but he definitely made us feel welcome.

Our dinner was delicious as usual. And the entertainment was once again good, with the servers singing another song as they had on the previous night. This time around, the song was Gagnam Style, and the staff all had some interesting dance moves. We laughed, they laughed, and everyone seemed to have a good time.

We were more than stuffed by the time dessert arrived, but of course that didn’t stop us from eating more. After all, this was to be our last night of eating like this before going back to real life. So we made the most of it and managed to find room for dessert.

Carrot Cake! That wasn’t an actual carrot on the top. No complaints, though. Carrot Cake! That wasn’t an actual carrot on the top. No complaints, though.

Once we were more than sufficiently stuffed, we bade our farewells to Danesh and to Ed Mar, thanking them for their excellent service during our cruise. Always nice to have a good wait staff, and we had been well taken care of on this cruise. And they still weren’t mad at us for missing a night when we went to the steak restaurant, so that was good, too.

After dinner, we wandered up to the pool deck, where they were showing Zootopia on the large screen. The movie had already started, but it wasn’t quite halfway through. We had seen it in the theater, so we knew what was going on, anyway. Lots of the chairs were taken, but we did manage to find some on the upper level, almost directly across the ship from where we had spent part of the day earlier. Others tried to find some more seats past where we were sitting, but they would always find that they were too far forward and couldn’t really see the screen well, so we were glad to have the seats that we had.

Watching a movie on the ship. Read more about it in Sailing at Night on the Carnival Liberty.

There were a few raindrops falling, but they were just here and there and not really a problem at all. And in fact, we could see the moon rising over the screen, so there weren’t all that many clouds in the area, meaning that the raindrops wouldn’t be around for long. And none of that really distracted us from the movie, anyway.

The movie ended, and interestingly it ended just as it had when we saw it before. Funny how those things never seem to change. Anyway, we weren’t quite ready for bed yet, so we decided to go for one last walk on the walking track. This gave us some good nighttime views of the pool area down below, when most of the people who had been watching the movie had left already. There were still a few stragglers, others who like us were enjoying the evening air or one more swim in the pool. People like us who weren’t yet ready to admit that it was almost over. Or people like us who were still trying to make sure they got their money’s worth out of every minute of the cruise. Because we just don’t have that same experience back at home, far away from the water.

Looking down on the pool deck. Read more about it in Sailing at Night on the Carnival Liberty.

We finally called it a night and headed back down to our room. There, we found that the evening’s towel animal wasn’t actually an animal at all, but rather it was a heart. Which (somewhat sappily) summed up how we felt about our whole cruise experience. It had been good. No, better than that. It had been great!

A towel made out of a heart. Or rather a heart made out of a towel. A towel made out of a heart. Or rather a heart made out of a towel.

With that, we settled into bed for one more night of rolling-on-the-sea sleep. It didn’t take much rocking before we were out, and I’m sure we were dreaming of all the fun we had.

The cruise was winding down, but there is still more of the story to come! Check back soon for more of the 2016 Cruise to Mexico Trip Report!

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Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through Burnsland.com, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.