Our first port stop is Costa Maya, literally the Mayan Coast. The Mexican government has leveraged Mayan ruins and white sand beaches to create a perfect tourist infrastructure on the islands off the Yucatan coast.
After disembarking, Fearless Leader led us past the shops and vendors to a bus stop. For $2.00 each plus tip we boarded a Greyhound-type bus and headed to the beach. He then trooped us past Senor Frog's Bar and Grill where we plopped down under umbrellas on padded deck chairs. The Lawyer negotiated massages ($20.00 for 45 minutes) for those who wanted them. Staff from Senor Frog's came out with cheap libations. There followed a morning of sun bathing, drinking beer, snorkeling over the reef, with occasional interruptions from locals selling silver jewelry or food.
In the heat of the afternoon and the intensity of the tropical sun on our Casper-the-ghost bodies, we re-boarded the bus and then went shopping. The shops are arranged in a horse-shoe configuration with a saltwater pool/bar in the middle. Because of the shape, you see the same vendors twice. Many fellow passengers shopped for jewelry, Cuban cigars, tequila, and other souvenirs. My cabin-mate, The Plumber, bought sculptures made from shark bone.
After walking down the pier back to the boat, everyone cleaned up and dressed formally for dinner. We got some good pictures of each other! Then some of us enjoyed the night's entertainment on the boat, its casino, or lounging around the outdoor pools and hot tubs under the almost full moon.