Sailing on Celebrity Apex in the Caribbean (Day 5): Cozumel

Somehow we have already passed the mid-point on our Celebrity Apex cruise and have arrived at our third port of call — Cozumel, Mexico.

This island has been a popular cruise stop for many years, and today is no different. We are docked beside Royal’s Oasis of the Seas and Carnival Valor, so it will be another busy tourism day at the terminal. That’s not a problem, though, as it is built and well-equipped to handle crowds.

We can view the crystal-clear, azure waters that hug the coastline from our room, the same waters that have made Cozumel world-famous for its diving and snorkeling. In fact, that’s the tour I’ll be taking today: The Fury catamaran snorkel and private beach excursion. Note I said “I.” Pam has opted to enjoy some chill time aboard the ship, and I can’t blame her: Gathering time for the tour is 7:30 am.

They say wear a mask in the terminal, but it doesn’t look like it’s being strictly enforced. What they do take seriously is bringing anything but water into the country. We each have to pass muster with sniffer dogs on the lookout for any fruits or vegetables.

Fury runs a fleet of boats here, and we are assigned to boat number five. There are probably about 50 of us altogether, and each is handed life vests and snorkel equipment as we board. I pass, because I’m not going to snorkel. I’m just here to report and enjoy the day. And what a beautiful day it is.

It’s about a 30-minute ride to our snorkel spot, and the captain talks almost the entire way about rules and safety guidelines while in the water. He also sincerely thanks us for giving him and his crew their livelihood after the long COVID nightmare that has gripped the world.

Snorkelers report the water is a bit chilly, but they encounter plenty of beautiful fish. Afterwards, it’s on to the Fury private beach for about 90 minutes of toes in the sand and just about any water sports you might desire. Me? I opt for the nearest hammock and watch kids chase iguanas in the jungle behind us while I check my email on the beach WiFi. It truly is another day in paradise.

On the way back, the captain cranks up the music, opens the bar and people are line dancing on the bow of the ship. The captain and his crew do an excellent job of safeguarding the guests while making sure they have “the best day of their life,” the captain’s mission statement for the tour.

It’s pass noon, and once back onboard, Pam and I rendezvous for lunch in Oceanview. She spent time in Eden watching an origami demonstration (a lot harder than it looks, she says) and now we consult the Celebrity app to plan our afternoon and evening.

By this time we already have some favorite places to land, and one of them is listening to the “Next Stage” house band at the Martini Bar. While they usually play a medley of uptempo hits, this time they are catering to the country music lovers. Oh well, still a good place to have a cocktail.

Tonight’s show in The Theatre is magician Jessica Jane. We left disappointed. While it had its moments, the scale of the setting is just not suited for card tricks and other sleight of hand magic. But her bubbly personality did score during the audience participation segments.

Afterwards, we wanted to try the one main dining room we haven’t experienced — Normandie. Featuring French-inspired cooking in an elegant setting, the food I think would make Julia Child proud. Our potato and gruyere tart appetizer was inspired, and Pam — a cheese expert — said the baked brie was the best she’s ever had.

While the music will go on into the wee hours at The Club and Martini Bar, it’s been a full day, especially for yours truly, who had the 6 am wake-up call. Tomorrow we visit our last port of call on this cruise, Georgetown, Grand Cayman. We need to rest and get ready for that.

PHOTOS courtesy Gerry & Pam Barker:

The Fury’s captain oversees a group of snorkelers

Fury boats docked at their private beach on Cozumel

The Cozumel terminal facilities

The Jessica Jane magic show

The potato and gruyere tart in Normandie


Ed. Note:

Celebrity Cruises | Celebrity Cruise Lines (cruisecompete.com)

Celebrity Apex Cruises (cruisecompete.com)

Celebrity Cruise Tours (Expedition)

 

 

 

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