Cozumel, Day Two (Aug. 5, 2011)

Slept with the curtains open so we could wake up to sunrise over the Gulf.* Massive clouds shrouded the sun, turning pink as it rose. The water is a mesmerizing midnight blue, and it's been surprisingly calm and glassy. Staring out the window of the gym, it looked as if the boat were skating on top of the surface.

Grabbed a plate o' fruit before heading back to the Serenity Deck. It was a full morning of reading, napping, soaking in the hot tub, napping, staring at water, and napping.

Ate a light Caribbean-style lunch, then went to a pitiful little affair that tried to pass itself off as a wine tasting. Note to self: check the wine list prior to paying. If Woodbridge white zinfandel is on the flight, run. Like the wind. The chardonnay was so bad, I couldn't stop taking tiny sips, trying to figure out if the bouquet were more like dirty socks or high-school-cafeteria-floor-cleaner fumes.**

Back to the room to dress for "Elegant Night," then to a pre-dinner Just Rock music revue in the Mikado Lounge, a production filled with such show-stoppers as Billy Don't Lose My Number and Endless Love. The thin-voiced, pompadour-sporting lead singer was unbearable. Had it not been for an ABBA medley (complete with silver wigs and white bell-bottomed jumpsuits), the experience would have been a total waste of time.***

Dinner was, um, interesting. Doogie and his friends had clearly done a sizable amount of drinking throughout the day, and they ordered a staggering amount of food. Two and three appetizers were brought to each person, and five at our table ordered second plates of lobster, shrimp, and mashed potatoes. It was nauseating. Crass innuendos were dropped throughout the meal, everyone spoke loudly and often, and while sharing plans for our upcoming day in Cozumel, the A&P teacher informed us she would be "to'e up from the flo' up." Klassy. I'm not sure who was more annoyed, us or our knowledgeable yet patient waiter Marcus. I'd rip out my pinky nail if we could score a private table next time.****

At least the food was fabulous: I had filet of basa with sun-dried tomatoes over a potato galette, strawberry bisque, and a plate of fruit.***** And on the bright side, we returned to the room to find our towel animal was a monkey.

Tomorrow will be better. Brad and I have decided to skip the pre-planned excursions to wander about the island on our own. All I want to do is watch a few birds and find a dive restaurant where we can eat some real Mexican food.

Brad's footnotes:
* For some reason, I thought we were in the Gulf of Mexico the whole time. I learned the next day that somewhere in there we crossed the arbitrary-ish line into the Caribbean.
** It really was this bad. And it started about 20 minutes late, leaving us to stare at full wine glasses that we weren't to touch. The assistant maitre d' led the course, and she kept scolding the room with comments like, "This is not a wine PARTY. It's a wine tasting. You are here to learn." And then she wouldn't teach us anything. She would read notes — so slowly that most everyone in the room lost interest within minutes.
*** The ABBA didn't do much for me, for the record. I do like "Super Trouper." They began singing this song, but curiously cut away from it, just as they approached the bridge, which is the best part. My bigger issue with the show was the male lead's tendency to punctuate the end of his numbers with the word "rock!" All well and good if you're, say, David Lee Roth. But dude was not just a gigalo.
**** The crassness included the invention of the term "Hanging Sally," which I personally found funny. And -- SPOILER ALERT -- we scored a private table the next night, and Jenn, being a big, fat liar, still has the same number of pinky toenails she started with.
***** I had lobster and shrimp. One course. A total of five people at our table ordered second entrees of lobster. I didn't hate our dinner companions, but this needless extravagance was a nail — a pinky toenail, why not? — to the chalkboard of my sensibilities. I can't stand gluttony, in general, and from Americans in particular.

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