Cozumel, Mexico - Ship's Tour Tulum and Beach Break
For 09.15 am all guests which need to be transferred to Playa del Carmen were requested to meet to Celebrity Central. What a great construction that you can use it to both directions.
You got against presentation of your tickets - and only against presentation of the tickets... your tour number stickers. That was no allocation to the buses.
Unfortunately Celebrity blew the unique chance to offer the most perfect customer service: Instead of the remark "Please note that inclement weather may cause seasickness on ferry. Please take necessary precautions." on the tickets they could have a nurse there who explained during the waiting time that this was not a conventionally ferry and more sensative persons who had already problems on the cruise ship with the most little movements should have one of the seamovement-pills. And should I call now the weather service and ask if we had inclement weather which might have consequences to the ferry service???
But was also well managed: who lost his ticket got immediately a replacement slip.
No - it' Wedenesday the 13th - so it should be good.
Were these signposts from a private tour company??? According to the tickets the local operator should be International Travel Operator SA de CV. Not mentioned on the signpost and Celebrity either.
One from Celebrity was here to direct the way.
That was by the way the boats which they used for the ferry ride. Experts would know now what you should expect. And those of you who expected a conventional ferry will have a big surprise. By the way the boats of the competitors looked much more cared.
The only advantage: the boat was berthing next to us at the pier. That was why we did not see more from Cozumel but the way from our pier to the pier of the high speed ferry and vice versa.
Better than walking to the public terminal.
You better sit in the rear and in the center. Was much closer to the toilets. The TV-show was for distraction reason.
For safety and emergency we got bags...
After 45 minutes we arrived at Playa del Carmen.
Looked nice the beach next the the passenger terminal.
None from Celebrity to see.
After we were reading all signs from private tour operators we finally found at the end of the street our group. Again no signpost for Celebrity of International Travel Operator SA de CV.
Should be the right one. Here they allocated the guests to the different buses.
Who was Aiomar again???
For the next time we just remember that there was an information booth to book something more private.
In our bus we found out that there were a lot of German speaking guests. I guess the situation in the other bus might be the same: why could not Celebrity offer a public German group??? We could indicate in the internet that we preferred German but accepted English. On the TV-screen and in the printed lists there was no option to ask for a foreign language operated tour.
The lunch boxes for the other groups were transported in the laundry containers to the buses. I hoped that there were only food items inside which did not need any refrigerator...
Opposite is the airport for all who refused to return on the high-speed-ferry. Should be 600 USD incl. VIP-service to your ship...That was plan B of the private tour company which I contacted but on our expense.
Here you get one more number to see the different groups in the different buses.
The buses were very comfortable and well air-conditioned. Who disliked it very breezy should stay in the front.
Let's go to Tulum.
Something has changed for the last two years since we were here... Looked more civilized...
We were pushed in transit through Lapis jewelry Center. I thought, that was not here two years ago. Supposed to the be last toilets in whole Mexico... let's say before your reach the Sites of Tulum.
We did not have so many buses in our memories.
Inside nice and cool.
Here we were informed how Mayan language works as far as we wanted to order a named pendant. But we would loose 20 minutes from our time for the visit as they need it to make the pendant.
The toilets were clean. On the flush did not work properly. Very nice was the complementary beverage dispenser... In hot countries it is extremely important to get back in your body what you lost.
Ahh... we should proceed directly to the cashier.
For those who were too lazy to walk there was a shuttle available for 4 USD. We used it the last time as it was a moddy piste after the rain. Meanwhile the road was tared and it was dry anyway. So we walked.
By the way: that was a clear signpost: bus number and the company. We booked with Celebrity and not with unknown company.
During the walking time from the toilets in the jewelry store and the cashier they must have erected some toilets there.
We had pass anyway as we had a group ticket.
The way we were taken trough Tulum we call in German pig's gallop. We had no time to read any instructions.
We remembered this sign from our last visit. But now we just passed.
Through the wall we had to walk nonstop.
Quickly we were positioned to get explaination from one single point. Katie and Charlie did not understand anything so they looked around by themselves. We followed them few minutes later.
We had luck with the weather.
The beach was still beautiful like two years ago.
Here you can stay a while.
The signpost looked new.
At 01.30 pm we should be back at the bus.
Many were too lazy too walk and took the tractor bus.
And the toilets were not destroyed while we were inside... so no mirage but reality.
Here a chewing gum-tree was growing... (should be a rubber tree... someone who misused the internet... might have translated condom tree).
By the way: next time when we go to Tulum again I will order a German speaking tour guide. If Celebrity would really take care of their customers then they could order us a local German-speaking guide in Tulum.
Looked more like improvisation.
Other companies ordered professionals for their guests.
Before we continued we got some water. The ride should be ten minutes. But unfortunately we had to add seven minutes because three guests were late. We rode and rode and more than ten minutes and then the bus made a u-turn.
When he met another bus of the same company...
he made a u-turn again and continued to the same direction like before all u-turns. They offered the tour every 21 days. How could it be that the guys do not know the way???
Meanwhile it was 02.10 pm and we had not arrived yet. Originally we should leave at 03.00 pm back for the ferry. What kind of beach-break incl. lunch was this???
Finally we made it: Aki'in Beach Tulum.
To make it possible that we can enjoy a little the beautiful sandy beach our departure was rescheduled to 03.30 pm.
It was a shame. Unfortunately we could not enjoy the beach. Before we packed we called the shore excursion desk: No... you only need to take your swim suits with you... Towels will be provided and changing rooms are available. But this was a lie... die tour guide did not know anything about it and let us know that no towels will be provided.
And the changing rooms... who like public viewing...
True changing rooms with hooks and a seat were not available. Showers and toilets: yes...
The buffet was nice but not very rich.
Nothing special you cannot get in Boston or Darmstadt, Germany as well.
The tortilla were so uniform shaped that it was clear that they were not handmade.
One soft drink was free. Alcohol was available to buy.
Massage on the beach was very fine: one dollar per minute. One German tourist mixed up something: he wanted to have some pictures and booked a 5-minute-treatment. The therapist asked another client who booked her already if she would accept a 5-minute-break. After his five minutes he wanted more and treated her like a prostitute. The other male travel-mates were screaming and celebrated the (doubtful) hero and took pictures. The request of the therapist to clear the bank was not attended by him. The group leader had no success either. I hate such habit.
Here we should have stayed longer.
At least feeling the water when we do not have any towels with us.
Was not this place just beautiful?
The crab was fed up to the back teeth when so many photographers came and returned to the sea.
Due to the other tourist my time was extremely short. So I asked Guadalouope from Argentina to let me have the massage while I was sitting so I could see the sea. She asked why and I explained that she can the wonderful sea every day but me just today and therefore I did not want to lie with my face down. I standed all the time next to her and absorbed already her Kharma she was radiating with the other customer. It was as good as the massage itself. Who ever booked this shore excursion: before you see the buffet make sure to book an appointment with Guadaloupe...
At 04.30 pm we should depart from Playa del Carmen... could be a little tight.
We arrived and were driven like cattle through the village. I tipped the driver and kept the tip for our tour guide... So I made sure that he will stop at a pharmacy to buy some pills agains motion sickness. After that he deserved his tip.
An USD-ATM... Should I had known it earlier I would not spend the 6 USD on the ship.
Katie invited all others with a round of pills agains motion sickness. A lot of our cruise-mates appreciated. One thing Celebrity should have taken care of if they use a fast ferry.
On the return journey bags were handed over too. In the last rows there were some half-died bodies...
The high-speed-ferry had also something good: I could transfer my pictures by WiFi free of charge... subject you were close enough to a port...
Die Schnellfähre hat auch was positives: ich kann mit dem kostenlosen WLAN Bilder übertragen... sofern wir in Hafennähe sind...
17.40 Uhr kommen wir in Cozumel an. Um 17.45 Uhr sollen wir an Bord sein.
05.40 pm we arrived in Cozumel. At 05.45 pm we should be back on board.
Ich lasse mal alle anderen vorgehen. Alle anderen Schiffe sind leider schon weg.
I let all others going first. All other ships left already.
I was upset because we were back so late. But we were not the last group arriving at the ferry terminal.
Mich ärgert es, dass wir erst so spät zurück sind. Aber wir waren nicht die letzte Gruppe, die am Fährterminal eintraf.
Oben auf der Brücke wird schon alles für das Auslaufen vorbereitet. Mit einem Schub aus dem Horn jagt man mich in das Schiff.
On the bridge they were preparing everything for the sailing. With a blow out of the horn they get me quickly to the ship.
When I came the second gangway was already stowed away.
Als ich komme ist eine der zwei Brücken bereits eingezogen.
Wir sollen endlich an Bord.
We should finally get on board.
None was behind me on the pier.
Nach mir ist keiner mehr am Pier.
Celebrity was unlucky because we went already to Tulum with Carnival when we called Calica. Therefore we were able to compare. Here our guide explained us how the Mayan language worked and not just as much to order something in the jewelry store... He had a folder with him.
In this folder there were drawings of the appearances around solstice so we could picture it how it was at each single spot. We envied our guide because of the great paintings. He tried to get us some replicats in Tulum but without success. Our Celebrity-guide had only himself with him...
We came in the afternoon. It was not as full and warmer. Our guide took the time to stop at the wall we need to pass and allured the iguanas by feeding them with blossoms.
Then he picked for some blossoms that we had a chance to feed them ourselves.
In total it was much more calmer that the iguanas ran on the grass. One corner of Tulum we had not seen so far and again this time we had no chance to see. Next time again with Carnival and as afternoon excursion from Calica: it was shorter and better...