Cruise: Day 3
So Jenny and I are off to take our cruise. For various reasons (not least that internet time onboard is something like $5 a minute), I am posting these after the fact. Pictures of the cruise are available here. The full list of cruise posts is available here.
Cruise: Day 3 (Costa Maya)
Puerto Costa Maya is a tiny enclave of buildings somewhat north of the Mexican city of Mahahual. It is also pure tourist trap, quite literally; it was built by the cruise companies so that they could anchor there. Being contrary, Jenny and I hoofed it the (maybe) 2 miles to Mahahual's outskirts, where we got caught in a surprisingly brisk little rainstorm. We sat down under cover at a little outdoor bar called the Cat's Meow. Having been (sick) in Mexico before, we had opted to pack our own lunch (sandwiches from Room Service), which was probably a good idea--or would have been, had Room Service's idea of a "sandwich" not consist of two playing-card sized pieces of bread with stuff between them. We'd have had to order about four each to make an actual sandwich. Nonetheless, we limited ourselves to a couple of Coronas (after determining that the waiter believed limes and lemons were the same fruit) and some nachos.
One of the things we noticed about Mahahual was that there were dogs (stray, not stray, who knows) everywhere. Jenny, being more generous than I, offered a particularly friendly dog part of her avocado sandwich. Now, this was not a fat dog by any means, but he turned up his nose at that sandwich as if he regularly ate off silver--which I found somewhat amusing.
Tonight we also made an amazing discovery. The Maitre d'Hotel does, in fact, exist. We met with him tonight; apparently some hitherto unknown grapevine had informed him that some head waiter had caused us distress. He wanted to know which head waiter. We did not know, but he did promise to look after us. He told us that henceforth, every evening we would be provided the menu for the next night, so that we could approve it or select a specially made dish instead. Our head waiter told us he would provide us stuffed peppers for dinner that night (which otherwise I believe would have been Pojarski-based again). They were tasty. Things are looking up.
Well, yes and no. The captain announces a surprise change of schedule due to a "technical problem" that means we need to stay in Belize all day (good, as we expect Belize to be very interesting), but will mean we go to Playa del Carmen instead of Grand Cayman Island. Oh, and they'll be providing a $75/person "goodwill credit" against our shipboard accounts. So that was the good (mostly). The bad is that they delivered a note to our stateroom saying that our credit card was declined.
This, too, is not unknown when we travel. Bank of America, bless their hearts, occasionally are overzealous in protecting our account. Last time we went to England they froze our account when we bought a cup of coffee in Gatwick airport. (And let me say, cross-Atlantic calls to unfreeze your account are not much fun.) So we figured this was something like that. It wasn't. Princess had taken down Jenny's card's expiration date wrong--despite the fact that we had entered the correct date online and they had a physical card impression. We fixed the problem, hopefully.