The Perfect Storm: A Vacation Travelogue (Part 8)

We eat a leisurely late breakfast up on the Lido deck around 10:45 a.m. This is my kind of schedule.

Back in our stateroom, we see that today’s towel animal is a lizard. I think. I pose Boris the Squirrel with him on the bed for a portrait.




We are optimistic this time. But Marvin keeps apologizing every time we see him. We try to make it clear that we know it wasn’t his fault, and that there was nothing more he could have done for us than the things he did. He keeps apologizing. We’ve already pre-tipped everyone before we got on board the ship, but we’re going to tip Marvin again before we leave. The poor guy.

Before we head off the big boat to see Cozumel (in the rain), Wayne’s phone rings. Of course, my phone doesn’t ring. My phone still cannot ring. We’re a little unused to any phone ringing, though, since cell service on the ocean is sketchy, but we’re now in port, in civilization. Civilization that sells cheap rum. But I digress.

Turns out it’s Guest Services right here on the ship. Apparently a 6’4″ hulk of a man who looks like Wilford Brimley, complete with a big bushy mustache and a perpetual frown, showing up at your Guest Services desk gets some answers on this ship. The woman from Guest Services asks if they can send us a bottle of wine for our trouble with the puddle. Wayne semi-nicely explains to her that:

a) his wife has diabeetus and really shouldn’t be drinking wine;
b) we don’t even like wine.

This is where Wayne’s bold lack of shame comes in handy, because he wheels and deals to get us a free internet package for the week, which typically costs $85. More than a bottle of wine probably costs. (Probably.) He’s still slathering hand sanitizer everywhere (and I do mean everywhere) as a result of the germ trauma he suffered, but he pats himself on the back for this result.

Now we’re ready to head to Cozumel, so we grab 2 bottles of Carnival water (since we’re no longer allowed to bring our own bottled water on board and must buy theirs), our phones (mine is really just a camera with Spider Solitaire on it), our wallets… and an umbrella. It’s really raining out there.

Because we’ve been to Cozumel 3 or 4 times before, you’d think we’d just skip heading out in the pouring rain to see the tourist traps right off the ship. But, Wayne is a man on a mission. This is his one shot at getting more cheap rum on the ship, in order to avoid paying $16 for a single Skinny Captain on board. We start feeling like drowned rats as we head through the town, with Wayne using his GPS to find that same liquor store he’s visited several times before (“It’s next to a gas station” is only marginally helpful). I swear they’re going to recognize him and call him by name this time.

I can’t bear to accompany him on his illicit journey, so I sit in the covered pavilion amid the shops and start guzzling bottled water. Wayne returns with his contraband, and we empty both water bottles.

Guess what’s in that white plastic bag? A local purchase, perhaps?

Now, whatever shall we do with these empty water bottles?

I take a stroll around the shops while he casually pours rum into our water bottles. I cannot be party to this rum-smuggling operation, though I still find it hilarious. I just don’t want to end up in Carnival Jail when we try to get back on the boat.

I find a shop selling cute, colorful wooden toys (which probably all have splinters in them) and buy a few for my grandson, King Arthur, whose intelligent mother will never let him actually play with them if she knows what’s good for her. Which she totally does.

dscn1904I brought these back onto the ship legally

When I get back to the table, Wayne is sipping some of the extra rum he hasn’t managed to get into the empty water bottles, and he’s smiling. Of course he’s smiling. He’s on vacation and having rum for lunch. And no, it doesn’t affect him at all…

dscn1900Why is he always hugging inanimate objects more than me?

It’s full-on raining now as we head back on board. I’m soaked, and I beg Wayne to let me board 10 or 20 seconds ahead of him through security to avoid the embarrassment of seeing his ass hauled off the ship when he gets caught with “water bottles” of rum in his shorts pockets.

But the line to reboard is long, and most of us are stuck waiting outside in the downpour, so security is rushing people through without much thought (unless you clearly have a weapon, which we don’t). We make it to our stateroom safely, and Wayne stashes his two “water bottles,” grabs 2 more actual water bottles, and heads back out the door, grinning. It’s like a game to him. I can smell the testosterone from clear across the room.

He arrives back at the stateroom about 45 minutes later, with two more “water bottles” and a new straw hat he purchased. His transformation into Wilford Brimley is complete.


2-brimley-1-wilfred-brimley-600x450It’s uncanny…

Between the straw hat and his Duluth Trading “Ask Me About My Underwear” T-shirt, he looks like such a tourist that I can see why he successfully got back onto the ship with rum in his pockets… again. He’s confident the rum will now last him the rest of the cruise. (He is correct. We end up having to smuggle one of the “water bottles” back OFF the ship when the cruise ends.)

As we’re getting ready to leave Cozumel, 6 young folks in a hot tub on the cruise ship next to ours see me on our balcony and wave. I stand up, yell and wave back, and they cheer. Clearly they are drunk if this entertains them.

We skip the dining room dinner, and I continue reading on the balcony while Wayne naps and does a lot of nothing inside the stateroom. When I awaken him around 9:30, asking if he wants to just sleep, he says, “No! I want to get up and DO something!”

So we head to the Lido deck for a bite to eat and he sits in the restaurant using our free internet package to putz around on Facebook for an hour.

You know… stuff he could have done at home. For free. Without paying $600 extra.

Next installment: “This is not a drill…”


3 thoughts on “The Perfect Storm: A Vacation Travelogue (Part 8)

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