2021: Prepare your next cruise trip heading to playa del Carmen


This is in fact a personal account of a trip I took using the Sematur service, departing from Miami through onto Cuba. I’m sharing this as a recommendation of the trip and logged account of the events that took place for my own personal use, given I’m 78 with the onset of dementia creeping in.

Why did I choose to take a 20-hour round trip? Part lost, part bored and mostly a misunderstanding regarding a wink and a wave from a lady that I thought, at the time, was for me.

There is no punchline to the build up of the events leading me to on this trip, it’s far too embarrassing.

Our first port of call, the departure from Miami to Cuba.

Our departure from Miami heading to Cuba

At the time of boarding the ship, I had no idea where it was going such was the confusion with the lady that had caught my eye. It wasn’t until the ship had parted from the dock and the announcement informed us that we would be arriving in Cuba in 10-hours.

After several hours of trying to convince the captain of the Sematur vessel that there were icebergs in Cuba, and he was willing to put all our lives in danger. Alas, my attempts to turn the ship around were ignored owing to the fact the driver was adamant that this boat was stronger than the Titanic and that Mexican icebergs, weren’t as tough as they looked.

Heading to Cuba

I’m not much of a seafaring person, in fact, I’m much of the belief that should we charter the waters that belong to the sea life, that we shouldn’t later complain if we are captured by pirate dolphins and held to ransom.

Six hours had passed since our departure, the time was 20:26 and the sun was setting. I figured to take a look at the spectacle play out across the expanse of the ocean and the clearest view of a landscape I had ever seen in my entire life of living, at least since last week when I visited my sister that lives near Yosemite.

After the sunset, we had a late lunch in the dining area of the Sematur. The menu offered up a mix of delights with veal steak, roasted vegetables, sea bass, and the option of lamb shank. I asked if the chief was able to cook me up a fresh cheese sandwich.

It is now 03:00 and we have arrived in Cuba, current thoughts are this is a very peculiar time to arrive anywhere, nothing is open, and the last drunk has only just gone to bed.

Onwards to Playa del Carmen

10:00 and the captain has informed me that this ship is dropping off the tourists and we go onto Playa del Carmena. To pick up more tourists that are heading to Miami. He gives me the choice to leave the ship here and be picked up tomorrow with the rest of the passengers, or if I would like to head to Playa del Carmena.

I flip a coin and the decision is made, chance, fate, luck and years of coin-flipping practice has set me on a chartered course to Playa del Carmena.

Random casino stop at Playa del Carmen

The time is 16:43 and the ship docks up unexpectedly at Playa del Carmena a city located in Mexico and an ideal location for a little rest and recreation. The staff of the Sematur advised us over the speaker system that we shall be taking a 5 hour stop to allow for fuelling of the ship and to allow passengers to debark and enjoy the sites and spots of the city.

In Playa del Carmen there are four casinos and I’m partial to a game of roulette from time to time which I tend to play online given that online casinos where I live are miles away and online sites provide a vast selection of games. I’m sure you can find more information within this link.

Anyway, I make my way over to the Rivera Casino which is downtown on 10th street in front of the city hall. This place is tiny, but for Mexico, it fits in perfectly. The casino holds a variety of slot machines, Roulette tables, Texas Hold ‘Em and Poker and Blackjack tables. A nice addition was their sports betting section that focused mainly on the horseracing out there.

I took my place at the roulette table and 4-hours later I was $500 up in Mexican peso. With my remaining hour I head back to the Sematur grabbing a fast-food burger on the way back, with a prayer there would be an immediate evacuation of my bowls because of it.

22:15, we set off back to Miami, and whilst the sound of steel cuts through water and the engine churns in rhythmical sync of the aging cogs and warn pistons in the bowel of the ship, I try to drift off to sleep which is hampered with a slight twinge in my own bowels.