Day Five: Cozumel

Formal night was hysterical. Everything from pedal pushers to the full dress-up monty. Tons of fantasy photography taken…from on the glass and brass staircase to drops of sunsets or starry skies. The photographer used very flat lighting and was focused on how the hands of the couples were posed…down to the displaying of the big new jewels acquired for this very special occasion. For many, it was a night to remember—down to the hangovers they had the next day. The dinner was as magical as the place could be—with these really nice painted shades pulled over the windows that felt somehow “Viennese” with sappy (albeit) string music to match. The food was very good and beautifully presented. Service with lots of patter and cotton gloves. Thereis a lot of mojo around how cloth napkins are used from tucked around the serving sleeve to protect the waiter from dipping his sleeve in the sauce, to covering plates etc. Did I mention, while I am on the subject of cloth, that there is very little paper used aboard? No paper towels, no little bottles of goodies in the rooms, no wrappings around things. Cloth everywhere which is very nice and very conscious of the garbage that this floating hotel is capable of making. I think land based hotels should learn from this experience…it is much luxe-er and at the same time—much more environmental. They do offer shampoo and the like, just in dispensers in each shower. And little rolled hand towels in the public bathrooms in golden pyramids. Quilted paper mats on the trays with linen napkins stacked high and white.

The water finally decided to move a little and take the ship with it. It got a little rock and roll in the night—with the side of the boat being banged by the water—making listening to the boat—giving a heartbeat along with the hum the machines make to run it. The wristbands came into play to my shock and pleasure that this homeopathic approach really does work. It was rolling even in the shower—. R and I consoled each other to compare it to Amtrack from Philadelphia to NYC or just riding the #1 train to Times Square. Nothing more than that. We had a long chat with breakfast with our friends…surfacing all sorts of stuff that is interesting about the cruise, the boat people and the opportunities at Boisbuchet, France. Here are Boisbuchet's offerings for 2007>> It was fun to talk randomly about the wider world beyond our little plateau and the opportunities for art and ideas.

The boat docked exactly at 11 at Cozumel. K was signed up for a boating and snorkeling adventure which turned into that and a whole lot more (read “open bar” and a bunch of boat people rowdies showing off to each other with drunken antics that included pouring bottles of beer over their own heads). The fish were good. R, A and I went to the town to see the sights. I kick myself that I didn’t dig deeper over researching what to do in these ports. The Cruise companies are in business to make money—and they hype and promote those activities they are plugged into on shore that would appeal to the 80% of their customers—jewelry and diamond shopping, their excursions into the wilds and spa and beauty services onboard. Museums and off beat stuff we like is not money making. We had a nice lunch and walked into the town—away from the endless stores of jewelry, silver, woven colored material and into the land of the painted letter and colored buildings. As we wandered deeper into the town, the color, texture and extraordinary hand lettering and sign painting came to the fore as what to see in Cozumel. Some pretty phenomenal thick and thin scripts, pictures of things to decorate and inform what the company sold or provided services for. We also visited a very vernacular church with stone floors and vitines (like store windows) filled with the statue of the saint in question, artifical flowers and decoration and sometimes accompanied by pictures of the people she/he have saved, toys and children’s objects as thank you gifts. There is extraordinary color and texture everywhere—that the inspiration to come back to Mexico (not on a boat seems appealing just to do a deeper dive into that world.

It seems that part of Cozumel has been hit rather hard by a hurricane as there was a lot of broken cement pilons and according to Kitty, the coral reefs injured in this process. There isn’t a lot of money here—just the flow that comes in from the boats (and are captured by the boats at the stores they set up or have agreements with)—so there is a lot of rubble and decay among all of that that stands.

Love this lettering and the rather basic illlustration of the barracuda combined with the drop shadow SPA reading in a wonderfully asian way. Do you think that the asians way back when came from Mexico (like the Mormons?) and taught the asians how to read and write the correct way? Love the colors and the way they bounce of the terra cotta orange.
K and A’s friends got drunk on shore and came back on the boat buzzed. I guess the drinking age is based on whether you can pay or not. This was shocking for our friends…but illuminating as it doesn’t happen in our world this way. A. is relishing the friends, the hanging out, the basketball and the hot and cold running food. Kitty is also enchanted but I think is sometimes saddened by the people and experiences not matching her romantic and high expectations of what she thinks should be going on.

It has all been very educational and illuminating for all of us, our expectations and their real resolution. More later>>