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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Celebrity Summit Christmas Cruise - [Day 3] Best of Cozumel

Day 3 of our cruise was Christmas Eve. We arrived in Cozumel bright (errr cloudy) and early at 7:00 AM. We docked at the International Pier with the Adventure of the Seas.


We sailed on Adventure of the Seas for our second Shinglebells Christmas Cruise. It's also the first cruise that I blogged about!


We headed to the Cosmopolitan Dining Room for breakfast as soon as it opened at 7:30 and were greeted by a friendly face - Dipo, our server at dinner! He sat us at a table by the window in his section.

I ordered the Greek Yogurt Frittata with a side of turkey sausage. The frittata wasn't what I was expecting - I thought it would be a little thinner. It tasted "healthy" (as in not really good), so I just made myself eat it so that I wouldn't be hungry later.


Aaron ordered the Vanilla Flavored French Toast. It looked like a much better selection.


After breakfast, we headed back to the room to grab our bags and excursion tickets. Aaron kept tapping his Seapass card on the door, but it wasn't opening. Eka was in the hall next door and told us that he hadn't been able to get in, either, so he had called the electrician. Most likely, the batteries were dead in the card reader.

Our shore excursion group was scheduled to meet at the end of the pier at 8:15, and it was 7:40. We explained to Eka that we needed to get in our room ASAP so that we didn't miss our excursion. Aaron's dad asked us if we wanted to wait in their room, but I suggested that it was important that we stand in the hall to put the pressure on. Eka felt the pressure. We heard him make at least four calls, "The guests are here. They need to get in. This is urgent. Emergency."

The electrician showed up, but he wasn't able to get us in our room, either. He explained that he needed to be on the inside of the door to fix the lock. Only Security had the physical key to open our door. Eka explained that he had called Security, and they told him to call Guest Services, and then Guest Services told him to call Security - it was a lot of back and forth.

At this point, it was 8:00 and the clock was ticking. I was trying to think if we could go without our bag, but our shore excursion tickets and IDs were in the room, and both were critical for our time in Cozumel. I suggested that Aaron's parents go ahead of us so that they could let the tour guide know that we were about 10 minutes behind them. (And if we weren't, at least they could go on the excursion if we were stuck on the ship.) They agreed to go ahead, and we waited in the hallway with the electrician.


Finally, at 8:05, security arrived and was able to unlock our door. Aaron and I made a mad dash into the room to grab what we needed, then bolted down the stairs.

We were very lucky because we ran into two very helpful people. After we got to deck 2 on the forward stairs, a lady at the bottom told us that we needed to go to the midship stairs to get down to deck 1. Then once we were midship, a man by the elevators told us that we needed to take the elevator down to deck 1. Thank you, fellow passengers!

As we walked off the ship, Aaron said, "I bet my parents aren't even there yet." "Oh, I know they aren't - there they are right ahead of us!"


Full speed ahead!

Speedwalking to our excursion didn't stop me from taking a few photos.


Once we got to the end of the pier, we had to find our shore excursion group. It was a little tricky because there were a lot of excursions. I was nervous that our excursion had already left, but after a bit of asking around, we found Mario, our tour guide!

We booked our shore excursion, "Best of Cozumel," through Celebrity. The tour was operated by Aviomar AdvenTours.


We also weren't the last people there. One other family arrived after us. We were (almost) at the back of the line, but to exit the terminal, we all turned around - which meant we were (almost) at the front of the line!

Check out this funny corner detail... a cookie for you if you can pick out what Aaron and I were laughing about.


We were directed to this awning where we all boarded Taxi Vans which would be our transportation for the tour. Since we were at the front of the line, we got to ride with Mario.


Our first stop was the Mayan Bee Sanctuary.


Our tour of the Bee Sanctuary started with a ritual by a Mayan shaman to wash away our nervousness or negativity. Mario explained in advance that it's not a religious ritual, and we are allowed to take photos and videos.


The Mayans believed honey is sacred, and bees are sacred.


Really as soon as we arrived at the Bee Sanctuary, the rain became a heavy downpour. Luckily, Aaron and I were both prepared with our rain jackets. However, we had intended to bring the Celebrity umbrella from our stateroom with us, but forgot due to the chaos of being locked out of our room.

The tour guides with Aviomar AdvenTours were prepared, and passed out the blue umbrellas for everyone to carry.


We then headed to the cenote where the Melipona bees build hives in hollow logs. Cenotes are sacred water networks. There are over 6,000 cenotes interconnected throughout the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.



The Melipona bee (Melipona beecheii) is a stingless bee. Rather than stinging, the Melipona bee bites when it feels threatened or is under attack. The Melipona bee's attack produces a pheromone which when secreted, stimulates all bees in the nest to attack.

Since the Melipona bee nests primarily inside trees, its nest is sturdy and serves as protection from predators.



Because it was raining, we did not encounter many bees flying around. I imagine that on a sunny day, you'd see a lot more bees out and about.


The beekeepers raise the Melipona bee in wooden boxes which allow them to move the honey with minimal impact to the bees.


After learning about the bees and their habitat, it was time to taste honey!


Honey from Melipona bees is used for its medicinal benefits. Stingless bees make honey with chemicals that prevent microbial and fungal growth.


We tasted both honey from European bees (pictured below), as well as the Melipona bee.



We also tasted cough drops made from the Melipona bee honey.


After the tour, we were given time to browse the gift shop which included a wide variety of products made from honey.



They also had a variety of Aztec Sun Stones. The store keeper explained to us how to use the Mayan calendar.


Aaron was also interested in the obsidian knives. It's made from very fine volcanic glass, and can be used to create very precise cuts. They are a little brittle, though, so may be fragile to transport back home.



These would make for cool souvenirs, but we had absolutely no leftover luggage space, so would not be buying any souvenirs.




Mayan Bee Sanctuary umbrella model caught in the wild -


And look! It's me! Looking like a Plucky Ducky. I always pack a rain jacket, because if it rains, I'm happy I have it, and if it doesn't rain, I'm happy that I didn't need it.




After 20 minutes of shopping, we loaded back into our taxi vans, and headed to the next stop -


The Mayan Cacao Company!



The Mayan Cacao Company is not a museum, but an interactive location to explore the origin and history of chocolate. It's located right next door to Playa Mia Beach Club, and you can visit on your own for $15/adult or $9/child.

They also have a Chocolate & Margarita Workshop for $45/adult ($38/child), and a Chocolate Workshop for $39/adult ($32/child). You can book in advance on the Mayan Cacao Company Website.


Our tour started in the Reception Area where we learned more about the Mayan calendar.


The campus was very nice and well-kept.


There's more than just chocolate. There are also many plants and herbs.


We watched a short video about the history of chocolate in the Gallery, then made our way to the Kitchen where we were served corn tortillas with sikil pak dip (ground pumpkin seeds, oil, garlic, and cilantro) and roasted habanero salsa.



The Mayan Raise Farming Table -




Our next stop was the Auditorium to taste chocolate and view a chocolate-making demonstration.



At the end of the tour, we were given the opportunity to purchase chocolate drinks from the bar.



Aaron and I both went for the Chocolate Margarita.




It's basically a chocolate milkshake with a lot of tequila in it.


Very tasty!


We then perused the gift shop where they had chocolate tastings.


Overall, we really enjoyed Mayan Cacao Company. Aaron said that he could have spent more time there. Maybe in the future, we'll come back for a Chocolate Margarita Workshop!


We got back in the vans and headed to Barriecito for the tequila-tasting part of our tour.


We were led up a very steep ramp to a room upstairs for our tasting.


We learned that tequila, similar to champagne, earns its name from the region it is from. Tequila is made in Jalisco. Otherwise, it is known as "agave liquor."


We tasted three varieties - silver, jimaca, and a coffee version. The samples were very small, so no need to worry about catching a buzz.


Back down the very steep ramp, we had 15 minutes or so to browse the gift shops where there were more samples.


As an architect in the U.S., I find the grade of this ramp comical.



There was another tasting in the main room which looked to have larger samples than our upstairs tasting.


The last stop was shopping. The taxi vans pulled over on Avenue Rafael E. Melgar to shop at Los Cinco Soles. You could walk down the street and check out other stores, but this was clearly the store that was connected to the tour. It's pretty common for tours to have an arrangement with different gift shops for their "shopping" section of their tour.


I actually really liked this shop. It was very large and curated with colorful objects.





There were many home goods. This would be a great place to go to outfit a colorful kitchen.



Pancho's Backyard, a restaurant, is adjacent to the store.


Lol at this step ramp. This would be so difficult for a wheelchair to navigate.



The Cozumel Trolley Tour departs near here -



Aaron's carrying my Brevite camera backpack, and I was relieved to learn that it really is waterproof. The fabric made me question it, and I did scotch guard the backpack when I got it in April, but this was my first time putting it to the test. Water just rolled off of it. Great bag!



The Virgin Scarlet Lady was docked at Punta Langosta.



After our shopping excursion, it was time to head back to the ship!


The International Pier has a big Margaritaville.


We had some time for Aaron to model in front of the ship.


And a shot with me!!!


The Celebrity Gangway Sign.... is this a thing yet? Is it catching on? We want full credit when it does.





So I couldn't choose just one rope shot...






After returning to the ship, we headed up to the Ocean View Cafe for lunch. It was during the "late lunch" hours, so there weren't a lot of offerings. Unlike other ships that we've sailed on recently, the Summit doesn't have a lot of quick-grab food options outside of the buffet. There is a grill by the pool deck with hamburgers and hot dogs, but even that has limited hours.


It was time for everyone to return to the ship, so after lunch, we headed up to our stateroom to watch for pier runners. There were many late passengers, but they were all taking their sweet time walking to the ship. There was an officer down by the gangway who was shouting for people to pick up the pace, but no one seemed concerned that they would be left.

I follow Captain Kate on Instagram, and she recently made a Reel about pier runners and whether or not a ship will leave passengers behind in port. She explained that they do everything they can to not leave guests behind, but if you're running late, it's a nice gesture to show some hustle and run/jog/speedwalk to the ship if you're able because everyone is waiting on you.



Finally, some runners!


I received an invitation to go the the Helipad for a Captain's Club Sail-Away event. The invite was only addressed to me, so I wasn't sure if I could bring Aaron or his parents.


Aaron's parents decided to go watch sail away from the Sky Lounge, and Aaron went with me. No one even asked to see my invitation, so I think I could have easily brought Aaron's parents along, but you never know!


It was a bit wet and windy, but they were serving drinks and playing music!


This helipad is not like the helipad on the Royal Caribbean ships that you can go on at any time. The railings appeared to be removable. I saw some people leaning on them, and I thought, "I wouldn't do that if I were you!"



The water is so blue!


The Carnival Paradise was docked at the Carnival Puerta Maya pier.


They had a blue drink and an orange drink. I think the orange drink was a sunset something-or-another. Also, we got much better bar service for these free party drinks than we did at most other venues on the ship. Maybe that's because it was a special event.


Is this an AMF???



You can see the Puerta Maya Pier -


Away we go!




We waved goodbye to the Adventure of the Seas!





Wow - three ships over at the Carnival dock.



As we sailed away, the wind started to really pick up.

Helipad Sail Away

At which time, the party ended, and the crew cleared the helipad.

Helipad Sail Away

That was a fun opportunity! As we exited through the theater, we saw the magician practicing, and he jokingly yelled at us to get out.

As we walked by the shops which had just reopened (closed when in port), Aaron realized that this was the perfect opportunity to get a look at the pre-owned Rolex that was unveiled last night. We had gone for the unveiling, but there was some sort of drawing taking place at the same time, and everyone was crowded in the store, blocking the Rolex case.


Aaron started his watch collection hobby after we returned from our Encore Christmas Cruise. He lost his watch when we were in St. Thomas, and in his search for a replacement, he became very interested in watches.

This is just a picture of a watch that I liked because of the green face. If you want a more interesting watch discussion, talk to Aaron.



While we were out, we decided to stop by the Martini Bar. We learned that we could get faster service by queuing up at the lower counter at the end, rather than sitting down at the bar.





Then we headed back to the room where we found that Eka had left us some surprise flowers for our room lockout debacle -


Aaron and I watched us sail from the balcony before getting ready for "Elegant Chic" (a.k.a. less formal Formal) Night.


I then used my tripod to take some getting-ready shots so that I could check "use the tripod I packed" off my list and also show off the handy dandy travel mirror that Rachel gave me last year.


As I was getting ready, things got rocky. The ship was swaying significantly. We hit a wave a little hard, and I heard a crash behind me..... so much for the flowers.


Tonight's Elegant Chic attire -


Unfortunately, the ship's rockiness was really getting to Aaron's mom, so she wasn't able to join us for the evening.


This evening's show was Magician Ben Price. He's a Canadian magician, mentalist, and sideshow entertainer. He did a lot of slide-of-hand card tricks which were cool, but also a little difficult to follow from the balcony. It seemed like some of his tricks would be better-suited to a more intimate setting than a theater show. He also complained about a baby that was crying, and he got visibly frustrated with the children who he chose to help him with a trick on stage. All of the upcoming shows listed on his website are for the Virgin Scarlet Lady, so perhaps he's more used to an adult-only crowed.


After dinner, we went to the Grand Foyer for Officers Holiday Caroling.



I got the Escarole Radiccio Treviso Salad with apples and pomegranate. It was one of the better salads I had. I liked the berry dressing.


For my entree, I got the Shrimp Scampi. The shrimp on the ship was consistently good, and I liked the noodles with the white wine garlic sauce.


Aaron got the "Celebrity's Signature" Beef Strip Loin. I didn't take notes for Aaron tonight, but when I asked him if he remembered anything about it, he said he thinks it was fine.


For dessert, Aaron got the Phyllo Dough Tulip which he said was very good. It was light with a lot of fruit and citrusy - not too sugary.


I got the New York Cheesecake which was a good smooth texture with the right amount of sweetness. I'd order it again.


Also, Dipo brought us his recommended dessert, the S'mores Pie. I thought the presentation was funny. It was chocolate pie with a graham cracker crust and toasted marshmallows on top - the ingredients of s'mores, but missing the melty gooeyness.


Less people came to the dining room tonight which could have been due to the rocky seas, or maybe they were avoiding Elegant Chic night. Whatever the case, our dining team seemed much less stressed and actually had time to stop by our table and chat a little.

After dinner, Aaron and I went to the Sunset Bar before calling it a night.


  1. LOVE Day 3; Sucked that it rained. Last time we were in Cozumel, a tropical storm was approaching and we got hit by one of the outer bands. Do you know if Cozumel still has that AWESOME miniatrue golf course? I'm already getting ready for your day 4 review. On our last X cruise, we spent every evening in the ICE MARTINI bar before dinner. I wish July would get here soon so I can tell you about our X Constellation Italy, Croatia, Greek and Turkish cruise;

    1. I'm just glad that we hadn't planned a beach day! I had no idea about the mini golf, so I did a little digging, and it looks like it closed awhile back -