The Traveling Steve's

Cozumel and the Chocolate Factory!

Our final port-of-call on our seven day Sky Princess Cruise was in Cozumel, Mexico. DOS and I have both been here several times over the years, and in my younger “pre-DOS” days in the late 1980s, I loved going to the beautiful beaches there, and taking the party boat Fiesta for a booze-filled afternoon. In fact Cozumel was one of the original port-of-calls on my very first cruise on the tiny Veracruz Cruise Ship (via the now defunct Bahama Star Line) back in 1987, and got me hooked on cruising for life!

Now that I’m older, and hopefully wiser, DOS and I took a non-beach shore excursion in to a chocolate and wine tasting room in Cozumel!  While technically the tasting room was on the beach, we sat inside in air-conditioned comfort for the excursion, but still had an oceanfront view.

Cozumel was quite busy the day we were there with a couple large Carnival ships in port (The Carnival Breeze and The Glory), as well as The Celebrity Apex, and our beloved Sky Princess.  We docked at the newer of the two cruise ports in Cozumel, Puerta Maya, which is filled with the typical port shops, bars, and restaurants, although in a newer and modern port-friendly setting.

After breakfast on the ship in Sabatini’s, DOS and I debarked the ship a bit early prior to our 11am shore excursion.

Like all the ports except Belize on this cruise, it was nice walking straight off the ship to the dock below, without the need to tender to shore.

We walked around a bit in the busy port shopping area, and took a few photos before we met our shore excursion group.  We walked over to the Three Amigos, but unfortunately we didn’t have a third amigo to get a photo taken with, and one amigo had to take the photo of the other amigo! LOL!

We also took a walk down towards the beach, which like the port shopping area, was in a gated community so it was just fellow cruise passengers and crew allowed there.  We met a really nice family from Alabama that were on the Carnival Breeze. The father offered to take a couple photos of us, as he saw us struggling to get the sign in with this selfie.  We had a nice chat with the family and their two teenaged sons, and like us, they were having a wonderful time on their cruise, with this being their last port stop as well.  

We then headed over to meet our tour bus for the trip to the chocolate and wine tasting event.  I don’t know what DOS or I expected, but this shore excursion was absolutely wonderful and fun!  I kidded DOS as we had to first sign a waiver before heading out for the excursion, to which DOS remarked to the group leader “I have to sign a waiver to go taste chocolate?”  ??? A sign of the times even in Mexico; he said there are nuts in some of the chocolates we would be tasting and some people are allergic to them.  No worries, at least the form was in English!

No autographs, please! ? DOS signs a liability release waiver for our trip to the chocolate tasting!

We then had a short 10 minute drive to the beachfront chocolate tasting room.  In a much smaller sense, it reminded me of a cooking excursion we had done years ago in Leon, France where we assisted the group with making a 3 course meal, or even a wine tasting room like on our recent trip to the Napa Valley.

Here we were just making and having servings of chocolate and wine, but unlike in France or Napa, we were in a Mexican tasting room overlooking the beautiful beach and clear blue ocean.

Beach area directly beside and in front of our tasting room shown in the next photo.
Our indoor chocolate and wine tasting room overlooking the beach. It was nice and comfortably air conditioned and our small group of 20 (2 people per each grinder station) made for a fun and lively event!

The Señora hostess, Lucy, gave us a warm greeting, and was assisted in the event by two younger Señoritas who kept us laughing as well, with “ooohs” and “aaahs” as we learned about how chocolate was made.

We were first served a Bailey’s or similar liquor as a welcome greeting before we got on with the chocolate making and ultimately sampling the various chocolates and red wine.

Grinding the cocoa beans was a lot harder than it looked!
We were making a 60% Cocoa bar, so this was the sugar added to the chocolate
which is then made into a ball. I think DOS added way too much sugar!
Steve (UNO) looks concerned with our chocolate-making process!
Here’s the ball, and the sugar doesn’t show any more!
It seemed like a lot of sugar to add, but it absorbs into the chocolate.
After placing our flattened chocolate ball in a small mold, we each then signed our creation with a unique signature before putting in the freezer for 20 minutes.
We singed it: UNO
And DOS, but of course! ?
We look like two kids that won the prize at Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory! ??
Ahh, the presentation of the red wine to be served with our chocolates. Not our chocolate creations mind you, but a series of different chocolate bar samples we were served.
Nothing but the finest Mexican red wines to go with our chocolates! ?
DOS said the wine tasted like “Two Peso Charlie!” LOL!!!!
And we finished up with some delicious chocolate cake!

After the chocolate and wine tasting event, we took the shuttle back to the port, and browsed thru the shopping area before getting back on the ship. We have enough Cozumel souvenirs at home already, so we just bought a couple caps, which we normally do in each port.

Back on board, we had once again a late lunch, followed by a short nap. In the evening our shipboard Concierge Host hosted a Mexican-themed sail-away party in the Concierge Lounge from 5 – 7pm. In addition to the normal nightly hors ‘dourves, the Concierge had it spiced up quite a bit with huge margaritas and some Mexican food as well.

We’re not margarita drinkers, but it was the liveliest pre-dinner cocktail hour we’d had all week in the Concierge Lounge, with most people getting at least a couple of the over-sized margaritas. I stuck with a brewski and DOS a red wine, while we all kept re-arranging chairs to fit more people in a big oval shaped configuration. It was definitely a fun and lively pre-dinner evening!

After the cocktail party in the Concierge Lounge, DOS and I went down to the Club Dining for dinner, followed by a nightcap in Vintages, the wine bar on level 5 adjacent the Plaza. We saw a couple of our shipboard friends from Baltimore, and joined them at the bar for a glass of vino, shortly before Vines closed for the night.

As Vines was located adjacent to the Piazza, and Tony Delaney was still playing music there, DOS and I stopped by for a bit before heading up to bed. I always end up there each night anyway as I like getting a small panini or mini croissant sandwich at the International Cafe there.

I’ll close out this post with a few seconds of music by Tony, where he’s singing the beautiful song “Hallelujah”. Thanks Tony, that’s one of my favorite songs! Good Night from the Sky Princess!

3 thoughts on “Cozumel and the Chocolate Factory!

  1. Jennifer A Lavandowska

    Hi Steve and Steve! Love your blog! Quick question – my husband and I are interested in doing the chocolate and wine tasting and I was wondering if you could share the name of the location you went? It looked fantastic!

    Thanks!
    Jen

    1. Steve Uno Post author

      Thanks Jen! We booked this as a shore excursion on Princess, but I googled this and several other lines stop there as well. It’s called Chocolate and Piñata seaside workshop, and is located on Stingray Beach, maybe a ten minute drive or so from the port. Our group met at the port and then drove us to the chocolate workshop. You will love it! Different than the usual booze cruise and snorkeling excursions. Have fun and thanks for writing.

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