Diva's CRUISE DIARY
July 14-19, 2003 ~ Inaugural 5-Night Cruise
by Linda Coffman
scheduled arrival time in Costa Maya was about 1:00 pm, so Lori I
spent a leisurely morning. Our plan was to order lunch from room
service and I would wait for it while Lori went to the spa for her
scheduled pedicure. Our only service glitch occurred when the sandwiches didn't arrive as expected. A call to room service
revealed that they were somewhat overwhelmed and, because we had an
afternoon shore excursion to meet, we cancelled the order and grabbed
Like Carnival Glory,
this was our first trip to Costa Maya and we were impressed with the
facilities for cruise passengers. Nestled on the unspoiled shoreline
of the Yucatan Peninsula, Costa Maya boasts a small beach area
alongside an extensive array of shops, an amphitheater, and even a
salt water swimming pool for the enjoyment of cruise guests. After browsing
for a short time, we set out on our tour. While other shore excursions
centered around beach and water activities, we chose the opportunity
to explore the Mayan ruins at Chacchoben, located near the Belize
ruins at Chacchoben
Our guide spoke
passionately about the Mayan civilization and his cultural heritage
during the one-hour drive to Chacchoben. However, nothing prepared us
for our first glimpse of the fully excavated pyramid-shaped temple. It
is simply amazing that the Mayans built these magnificent structures
in the 10th Century BC, only to mysteriously abandon them two
From the first temple,
we made our way into the rainforest where our guide pointed out unique
vegetation and the foundations of the ancient Mayan city. Viewing two
more temples required climbing rock steps carved into the
hillside... straight up and seemingly into the clouds! It was worth it, though, not only to see the
temple, but also for the tree-top view of the rainforest. After the guided
portion of our tour, we had time to wander independently through the the vast
archaeological site and manicured landscaping before
making our way back to the main pavilion (which includes bathroom
facilities, a snack bar, and vendors displaying craft items) and our
The snacks we picked up
throughout the afternoon weren't much of a substitute for lunch, so
Lori and I immediately went to the Red Sail Restaurant, the casual
dining alternative. Several members of our tour group were there as
well and we all drifted out to the Turquoise Pool terrace after eating
to claim cozy rocking deck chairs and watch the sun set.
With the sun down, it
was time to dress for the evening and check out the entertainment.
Starting in the Ivory Club (jazz), we moved on to Cinn-A-Bar (piano
bar), the Ebony Cabaret (rocking dance tunes), and Bar Blue (karaoke).
Carnival Glory really comes to life at night! We ended our evening at
the Kaleidoscope Bar adjacent to the Camel Casino where a pianist
performed soothing late-night melodies. No matter what their taste in
music, passengers would be hard pressed not to find
entertainment to their liking on this ship.
the Cozumel coast - Passion Island
Shopping! We saved our
gift lists for Cozumel, knowing we would find quality silver items at
fair prices. Ashore early, we made our purchases and found the meeting
spot for our tour departure.
No more walking and
climbing for us... we boarded a bus bound for the dock where, after a
short boat ride, we would be on Passion Island. Part of a natural
preserve, and named for the fact that it was a favorite spot for
honeymooners, Passion Island was cut off from the mainland by a
hurricane in 1988. That quirk of fate makes it an incredible 'private'
island for a day of sun, surf, and serenity.
to Passion Island
Don't plan to spend the
day here if you want action. While an excellent Mexican buffet lunch
and an open bar are included, a maximum of 600 people enjoy the island
and its tranquility—Passion Island isn't a spot to party hardy.
There are no paddle boats, jet skis, or parasailing to upset the
ecological balance. Passion Island is
ideal for relaxation and some recreation. Plenty of great lounge
chairs line the beach, thatched huts and palm trees
offer shade, hammocks sway in the breeze, and, for more active
beach-goers, there are volleyball nets. Noticeably missing are the annoying
vendors found on many beaches, although there are nice souvenir stands
with good buys on silver and crafts. Bring your own snorkel equipment
if you wish as the water is incredibly clear. However, with no reef
offshore, the underwater scenery isn't abundant. It's a day of sun,
sand, sea, and pure pleasure!
Once again Lori and I
opted to dine casually—this time selecting Caesar salads and pizza.
Like her fleetmates, Carnival Glory serves some of the best pizza at
sea and we enjoyed the opportunity to kick back after such a mellow
day at Passion Island.
Before meeting a friend
to go "out" for drinks and jazz in the Ivory Club, we
changed from shorts into casual dresses. By and large, our fellow
passengers adhered to the dress code announced in each day's Carnival
Capers newsletter. One exception was the teenage set and their
wardrobes seem to consist of 'costumes' as much as clothing. To their
credit, most teens on our cruise were well-mannered.
Continued --> Carnival
Glory Cruise Diary (Part 3)
More --> Take the Carnival
Glory Photo Tour
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Glory Cruise Diary (Part 1)