Sunday, September 6, 2015

Summer Vacation

Early in August I went on a 5-day Carnival cruise with my family from Galveston to Cozumel to Yucatan to Galveston. It was a graduation gift for my brother/belated senior trip for sis and me/birthday gift for me since my birthday happened during the trip. Mom, I, sis, brother, brother’s best friend, and brother’s best friend’s mom all went.

Driving to Galveston early Monday morning with sis after she flew in from SLC was lovely. We arrived right on time for the rest of the family to check out of their hotel (they having driven the previous day) and set out to find parking and the port. Mom had special boarding because she’s disabled, so she and Mom-2 split off from us kids, who waited nearly 3 hours in a jam-packed cattle line among coughing and crying children before reaching the boat, a process that effectively put me off cruises for a VERY long time . . . before we even started.

After boarding, we hung out in Mom’s cabin and tried to order room service food since Mom couldn’t walk all the way to the buffet and we were all very hungry after the long ordeal. It didn’t arrive in the hour before our required muster meeting, so we set off cranky for the safety whatever. Every cruide requires passengers to line up where the lifeboats are and listen to a presentation about what to do in case of emergency; this one was broadcast at such a painfully loud volume over the speakers that I plugged my ears the whole time and still heard every word crystal clear.

After over 270 words, I can finally say something positive. When the muster demonstration ended, the little girl beside me wearing pink ribbons in her braids said she liked my hair and I returned the compliment.

We had Monday afternoon to explore the ship a bit, and I grabbed my swimsuit and camera for a single ride on the top-deck waterslide before changing for the evening stage song and dance show preceding dinner. The show was super white and sorta cute, the costumes horrifying, and the choreography painfully awkward. The one POC dancer among 14 was definitely the best and had the most joyfully expressive face throughout each night's performance.

Tuesday was a day at sea, and Wednesday we docked in Cozumel and made our way to the meet point for our excursion. We were very lucky to encounter a bicycle-trolley driver who saw Mom's difficulty with her walker and knew how far the meet point was AND how much farther the distance to our transportation was from there. He took care of our moms and spoke to the tour guide to make sure they could meet us at the curb and walk as little as possible.

Once there, we took a van to an attraction called Discover Mexico, which touts its accessibility for guests with limited mobility. Which was devastatingly misleading. The museum and grounds have low, wide, smooth paths and planks for wheelchair users but require LOTS more walking than my mom could do with her walker. The tour group was too big for us to hear anything from the back that the guide said, and the only available adult wheelchair the facility offered for loan was in use by another guest. They brought out the other wheelchair, but it seemed to be a child's size, and the oblivious guide's confusion as to why a woman couldn't fit in a chair half her size added insult to escalating irritation in the intense heat and humidity.

So our moms ditched the tour and caught a van back to the dock to enjoy the shopping there. The long shopping strip along the pier actually required less walking than the "accessible tour." We four kids stayed longer for pictures, piƱa coladas, and a recreation demonstration of the Papantla flyers performing an Aztec ritual wherein five men climb to the top of an 18m pole, one sits playing a drum and flute, and the other four descend head first in slow circles attached by hand-knotted ropes.

We then went back to the shopping strip at the dock and drank a lot. We were hot and in need of refreshment, and 18 is the legal drinking age, so the boys got to drink too. We took silly pictures and purchased frivolous tourist crap and had a really great time amongst ourselves and later caught up with our moms.

Since this is getting long, I'll put the rest in a "Part 2" post.

No comments:

Post a Comment