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Scuba Steve, we have a problem!

Costa Maya, Mexico has been one of the most interesting ports of call I have been to. The first time around, I was with Danielle almost 10 years ago and we spend the entire day walking around the Maya Ruins and learning why the world would not be coming to an end in 2012. For those of you who may be confused by this, that was the year the Maya Calendar started over. Our tour guide that day sat and explained that the Maya Calendar resetting did not mean the end of the world like so many were predicting. Which may or may not have been a good thing.

On tap for today: scuba diving. Madison recently completed her classroom portion of open water scuba diving certification along with her closed water dives needed for certification so what better time to try it out then while on vacation. Unfortunately she was missing her 4 open water dives and I am not certified yet, so we had to punt- Discover Scuba it was. We were pretty lazy in the morning after a long night at The Fine Line Aqua Show. We decided to eat in the Windjammer Cafe for breakfast. Last year on the Freedom of the Seas this was a great experience. This was the first time we would be eating in the Windjammer this trip. Needless to say, it is probably the last time as well. This is one of the only times the ship felt think there were 6,500 people on it. You know it is bad when they announce every 10 minutes or so to vacate you seat so someone else can use it. Breakfast was okay, but Mini Bites offered better food and less crowds.

By the time we were done, we were able to watch us sail into port. This is one of my favorite things to do on cruise. It gives you a completely different view of the island. Today we were joined in port by the Celebrity Edge and the Norwegian Escape. Just doing some quick math, that meant that an additional 13,000 people, give or take a few 1,000 people, would be descending on the small fishing village of Mahahual in Costa Maya. It was going to be one crazy day at the port.

Madison and I headed up to the Solarium to watch as we arrived at port. For those not familiar with the Celebrity Edge is has a feature called the magic carpet. It is a bar area that overhangs the side of the ship. As we entered into port, the Harmony had to request they lower the magic carpet as we were within 6 feet of it, at least according to the Captain. As we waited to get off the ship, Madison and I decide to get a drink. Some people have their Bloody Mary's and others their Mimosas, we have our Strawberry Daiquiri and Lava Flows. The weather was perfect outside with the exception of it being super windy. The sea was not in a happy mode and the waves showed it. We decided to head to Doctor Dive, our excursion provider, early to make sure we would still be able to dive.

Once the ship docked, we headed out to the port area. There was all sorts of festive activities going on in the port and vendors looking to book you on an excursion outside of the port. Lucky for us, we had pre-booked a third party vendor and only needed to find a cab. We heading out of the port and watched passenger after passenger try and get a cab in the mad chaos of the port. We were directed to the less busy area outside of the port where there were lots of cabs waiting. We informed the driver where we needed to go and we were off. It always amazes me how angry people get when they are on vacation. I am a planner so I know I have been one of those people before, but I am trying to relax. Imagine 13,000+ people swarming your small town all at once, utter madness. Anyway, back to our travels.

Our driver took us straight to the dive shop. We arrived about an hour early, signed our we are not responsible if you die forms and waited for our training. While we waited, we walked along the ocean front and checked out the souvenir stands lining the beach. This was not that bad except everyone tells you they have what you need. Unfortunately, I do not know what I need so it is amazing that they do. We browsed the shops and found a few items of interest and then headed back to the dive shop.

While waiting, we met out guide for the day, Scuba Steve, A.K.A John. He must have drawn the short stray cause he had to deal with us. We went through approximately an hour of training in the office and it was time to scuba dive. We got into the water from the beach and away we went. All in all, I survived. I could say I went down three feet and was a scuba diver. Then he informed us that was just practice. Practice? Seemed really to me. All kidding aside, we practiced several important skills so we made sure we stayed safe underwater. After "practice", we loaded our stuff up, grabbed the GoPro and away we went.

As we headed out it the weather was clear and seas were not happy. At this point neither was Madison, who was not having any part of the waves. After dropping an Australian lady off at her dive site, it was now our turn. We arrived at the dive site, dropped in backwards over the side of the boat and headed down. As we headed down, we used the skills we learned to equalize our ears and soon we were at the bottom. I went to start the GoPro but it turned into a NoPro. Guess the case would have been handy. We were 30 feet down to start and once we established neutral buoyancy we were off. Although not sure I really ever establish it. It was like a teeter totter and doctors exam combo, up, down, up, down, breath in, breath out. We dove around the reef and saw quite a few different fish. We saw some lobster, which I intend to eat later this week, a lion fish, which I do not intend to eat, and a very large stingray, we named him Flash. He was there one minute and gone the next. We continued around the reef for 45 minutes and reached a depth of 45 feet. It was one of the most amazing and peaceful experiences I have ever had. As the our time under water came to an end, we started our ascent back up. As we started to reach the surface, I noticed it appeared to be raining. Upon breaking the surface, yep it was raining. In fact, it was pouring rain. I was going back down. It was much more peaceful and warm down there. We climbed aboard the boat and headed back in. Not surprisingly the beach was completely empty. Not a soul in site, pansies. You're at the beach and already wet, a little rain wasn't going to hurt anything. Okay if I were at the beach, I would have left also. Once back at the land, we grabbed our stuff and headed to the Harmony. Unfortunately since I had a NoPro, I got zero pictures of our adventure. When we got back to the port, we used the Costa Maya Weather gauge to determine what was happening. Based on the wind, I think they replaced the coconut. Madison said it was raining.

We arrived back at the ship and it was still pouring rain. The Celebrity Edge and Norwegian Escape were getting ready to leave port, so we hurried aboard, dropped our stuff off and headed to the pool deck to see them off. I don't know why I like watching this so much, but it is exciting watching these ships leave port. This time it looked like a race. The Escape had the Edge. More bad Dad jokes, I know. After securing a few more Lava Flows and Daiquiris, we headed back to our room to change and get ready for supper. So As I got back to the room, I plugged the NoPro into my computer to see if anything got recorded. Nope, nothing recorded. But I got over 1,000 pictures taken from the time we neared to surface until the time I got back on the ship. Let me tell you, they were award winning photos.

Supper this evening was in the Main Dining room again. Madison and I both asked for the adult size portions of Coconut shrimp for our starter. Madison gave me the puppy dog eyes as she asked for the Surf and Turf- Filet Mignon and Shrimp which was on special for the night. I went outside my box again and ordered the Caribbean Tilapia and as Madison would say, "we had a yoush for dessert."

For some reason, we then rushed over to the Royal Theater to watch a dummy talk for a dummy, only to be joined by a third dummy. Actually we watched the Ventriloquist Michael Harrison. Madison was skeptical at first, but within 30 seconds everyone in the theater was laughing their heads off. His show was quite entertaining and should not be missed.

We then returned to our stateroom as we had an early morning planned in Roatan. Probably the single most anticipated day on the trip for Madison- Horseback riding. And the single most feared day for me- Zip Lining. While I would like to say I went straight to bed, I did not, Madison went to sleep and I stayed up working on a great honeymoon for a wonderful couple in a few months. I love being able to work from anywhere. Till tomorrow.

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