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Progresso, Mexico

The night before we docked in Progresso, we found tickets in our cabin for the excursion we had booked. With an all day excursion to the Chichen Itza Mayan ruins ahead including a 2 hour drive each way, we had little time for breakfast so we hit the continental breakfast being served in the buffet area. It wasn’t much but adequate to start the day. After breakfast, we joined the other first time cruisers in trying to find the right elevator to get to deck 0 which we didn’t even know existed prior to the docking announcement. We did find it though and managed to help a couple of other lost souls along the way. Getting off the ship was fairly easy. They scanned our Sign and Sail cards then ran us through a photo op on the gangplank. We stepped off onto the world’s longest pier (5 miles long!) and walked a short distance to where buses and tour guides awaited us with signs. Once we were lined up, the guide took off through the marketplace and we scrambled to keep up while ogling all the exotic goods around us.

Carnival Triumph, Me, and George at Progresso

The buses appeared very well kept and modern. They were thankfully very well air conditioned. My one gripe about them would be the seats. They are soooo small and close together. There is no leg room, the seat belt dug into my hips, and there was nowhere for my elbows to go but into my seat mate. I truly felt like a sardine. It’s a good thing I was traveling with a very good and close friend. At least they had pockets in front of us to hold our water, etc. We brought our own filtered water bottles, hats, sunscreen, mosquito repellant, wallets, Sail and Sign cards, driver licenses for ID, and camera with us.  I fell asleep in the tight quarters and slept half the way there. Bernie fell asleep on the second half.

We stopped at a little tourist trap just before arriving at Chichen Itza. There we were able to use the restroom, buy drinks and munchies, and gawk at souvenirs. Getting back on the bus, we were handed our sack lunches for the day and ice cold bottles of water. They were actually very tasty and hit the spot right then. I saved my bottle of water for the trip back to the ship later.

We quickly arrived at our destination and as soon as we were all off the bus we were chasing after the tour guide and his sign again. It was sunny and in the 80s. The tour was pretty interesting and standing in front of the pyramid was awesome. I had written a school report on the Mayans in 6th grade but actually being there was somehow much more complete for me. We clapped our hands and listened to the reverberation which sounded like the howl of a wild animal like a jaguar. Bernie and I both got our pictures taken in front of it to claim the virtual geocache there. How cool is that to claim a geocache in a foreign country?!

Chichen Itza Pyramid Virtual Geocache

The tour guide showed us the ball court which always reminded me of the Harry Potter game Quidditch with the rings mounted vertical instead of horizontal like basketball. The ball court is much larger than I imagined and the rings are much higher than I could ever throw. There was some talk about the leader of the losing team being sacrificed after the game. Tough fans!

Chichen Itza Ball RingChichen Itza Ball Court

After showing us the warriors pyramid where human sacrifices were done, the wall of skulls (with a live iguana on it), and a few other buildings, we had about an hour to walk around on our own to explore, snap pictures, and shop the many vendors setup around the grounds. Flutes, jaguar calls, and T-shirts seem to be big business there. When the hour was up, everyone headed back to the bus. A local came up to us and escorted us straight back to our bus for a tip. Tips are very popular both on cruise ships and in Mexico. Even the lady in the bathroom that hands you a paper towel gets tipped!

Chichen Itza Warriors TempleChichen Itza Wall of SkullsChichen Itza Vendors

Another 2 hour ride and we were back at the marketplace out on the pier near the ship. Looking around had to be quick so we could get back on the ship in time before it sailed. There was an ambulance next to the gangway taking a passenger off the ship who was too ill to continue the cruise. There were a couple of gangways to get back onboard. Be sure to look for the shortest line when you get there. To get back on the ship, you have to show your Sail and Sign card and ID. Then you put everything you are carrying through a scanner like the airports use and step through a people scanner. Take your hat and sunglasses off.

Once onboard, we went to our cabin to drop our things off then went out to go check the photo gallery for our formal dinner pics and Progresso debarking pics. We checked out the ship’s store where I scored a “Cruising the Caribbean” T-shirt on sale and postcards for my family. I’m very big on sending postcards to share my experiences with those I love. Since Bernie was there with me, I saved some money by not having to buy her a postcard for a change. LOL. We then went for the oh so necessary ice cream cones before getting ready for the show that night and dinner after. Others were out on deck at the sail away party up on Lido. It must have been quite a party. The ship was bouncing all over as we sailed on. We got a taste of rough seas all that night. Walking down the halls became an adventure in itself and sitting down did not escape the rolling waves. We took our ginger capsules and wore our Sea-Bands to keep from getting sick. They worked!

As we had done previously, we stopped in the Capitol Lounge to get drinks and listen to the musician there until show time. The show was excellent again. It is different every night. Dinner in the dining room was also excellent. We checked out the karaoke in the Del Rio Lounge. Yuck! One girl was OK but the rest stunk. We left after a very short time. Back in the casino we got to hear the good country band again. It’s fun just sitting there watching the drunken partiers dancing as the other casino guests plunked coin after coin into the machines.

Back in our cabin for the night, we watched a bit of news on TV. I don’t know why the news comes from Florida for a Texas ship. No luck finding the Malaysia plane yet, eh? We continued to wear our Sea-Bands to bed that night. I yelled at Bernie to stop rocking my bed all over. She yelled at me for the same thing. Finally Zzzzz…





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