We were up early this morning excited that we would be docking at one of our very favorite ports, Cozumel, Mexico. We have been here many times and always had a good time participating in one of the many activities available, enjoying the delicious cuisine in many of the local restaurants or just walking along the waterfront of San Miguel.
I was especially interested in going down to San Miguel to see if the waterfront had been decorated for Carnaval.
According to what I have read, Carnaval is the most important celebration in southeast Mexico. When the celebration begins Cozumel comes alive with music and dancing in the streets. In 2012 Randy and I were here and I fell in love with the beautiful, festive and glittery decorations that lined the waterfront. The decorations depicted animals and birds that are indigenous to the country.
At the time I did not know that they were only on display in the month of February during this colorful celebration. The last time we here I asked a local gentleman about them and he explained this to us. Knowing we would be here this year in February, I was excited.
While Randy and I enjoyed our coffee, we watched as the Carnival Breeze, Carnival Dream and the Royal Princess all made their way into port and that was just at the International Pier. “It is going to be a very busy place in town today,” I thought to myself.
Our plans set for the day; we made our way up to the Solarium again this morning to grab a quick breakfast. While enjoying our breakfast we could not help but notice that the skies were very heavy with dark clouds.
We were in no hurry to leave the ship so before returning to the cabin we walked around the pool deck. We were not surprised to see the pool deck empty; everyone would be going ashore today.
We took a van down to the center of town and proceeded to take a leisurely walk. As soon as I got out of the van I looked to the waterfront and was pleased to see that it was decorated. The decorations were different this year. They were all colorful and whimsical depictions of sea life.
The first place we stopped was the town square. There was a large sign announcing that Carnival would begin on February 22, 2017. We were a week too early, oh my.
We continued our walk and each time we saw a restaurant that we had eaten at or place we stopped for photos over the years brought back memories and we found ourselves smiling.
Do I have a favorite restaurant? No, not really. Each restaurant we have visited in San Miguel has its own unique atmosphere and twist on the Mexican cuisine that we have come to enjoy. I must say, though that I find I am drawn to the little restaurants along the waterfront.
To-date we have eaten at Toro’s Place, Tiki Tok, Las Palmeras, Pancho’s Backyard, and two wonderful lunches as part of two tours at Discover Mexico. The first tour at Discover Mexico was called “Tastes of Mexico” where we learned how to make Mexican chocolate; the other tour was called “Tequila Experience by Jose Cuervo”. Both tours were great and the lunch delicious.
More recently we have discovered a small local restaurant within a few blocks of the International Pier called Ernesto’s. The restaurant has a nice area outside that looks over the port, the service is friendly and the food delicious.
We walked the length of the waterfront stopping once in a while to take pictures and talk about past visits. At one point the skies sent spits of rain down on everyone but no one seemed to care. Actually, the rain felt refreshing. We continued our walk eventually making our way to a taxi stand.
The taxi ride to Ernesto’s was comfortable and when we arrived, it just about lunch time. There was one table left on the patio and we grabbed it. The last two times we were here we ordered nachos and beer. Today we decided it was time to order a proper lunch to see how the food was.
We ordered the Plato Mexicano which included one beef taco, one chicken enchilada, one cheese quesadilla, carne asada, rice and beans. We thought this was a good combination of flavors and textures to decide just how good the food was. While we waited for our lunch we enjoyed bottles of cold Sol beer and munched on chips and salsa.
Randy and I split each item to see if we would come up with the same answer to the question. I asked Randy, “So what did you think?”
“I thought it was pretty good especially the carne asada. The meat was so tender,” Randy replied.
Me, I enjoyed everything I tasted. We ordered a slice of Cozumel lime pie with two forks and sat back and enjoyed looking out over the bay and all the boats filled with tourists coming and going. The atmosphere at Ernesto’s is very laid back and the food delicious; we will be back.
We returned to the ship and prepared for the evening activities. First we made our way up to the Diamond Club for cocktails then down to the dining room for a wonderful dinner. We did a great deal of walking today so I was very hungry.
I started with a bowl of French onion soup followed by Roasted Pork Loin for my entrée. The pork dish came with garlic mashed potatoes, braised Napa cabbage, grilled squash and cranberry chutney. The pork was a little dry but otherwise very good.
As I said, I was very hungry so tonight I indulged that hunger with a wonderful dessert. Cream puffs filled with vanilla ice cream drizzled with chocolate sauce and resting in chantilly cream. Yummy! The Profiteroles were just the perfect ending to a delicious meal.
During dinner the captain made an announcement that the crew was having difficulty returning a lifeboat to its proper position on the ship and that we would be in port for several more hours.
With no reservations for this evening, we returned to the cabin and watched as the other cruise ships in port left for their next destination. The lifeboat was just under our balcony so we watched as the crew worked diligently to fix the problem. We were scheduled to leave port at 6:30 PM. The ship finally got under way at 10:30 PM. It is going to be a very swift cruise back to Port Canaveral!
Tomorrow we are at sea.
PS—Today I walked 11,533 steps and climbed 6 floors. Not bad!