Why you Should Never Put Inflatables on Water

I mentioned last week that I had a bunch of stories I wanted to tell from my cruise, and I think this is a great one to tell first!

On our cruise, we had three ports that we stopped at (or ports of call, as they’re referred to). Our last stop was Cozumel, Mexico. We did excursions from the cruise ship in the other two ports, so we didn’t want to do a third from the ship. My parents had been to Cozumel before and weren’t really a fan of it. Also, my mom wanted a beach day to just sit and relax by the ocean (Gulf of Mexico technically, but still crashing saltwater). This culminated in booking time at Mr. Sancho’s, an all-inclusive place. They had a pool, lots of chairs on the sand right by the Gulf, a couple of bars, and a few food places that all came included with the main price. On their website, they also had pictures of an inflatable water park for a little extra. My mom did that for my dad, my sister, and myself (she didn’t want to do it).

We got there, set up a couple of chairs, and got into the water for a bit. My dad, sister, and I then decided to try out the water park. It was inflatable trampolines and climbing structures similar to what you see at fairs and festivals. From the pictures, it looked easy and fun (hence why we booked it). However, in reality it was definitely not easy.

I was walking behind my sister and about ten feet out from the beach she goes, “Kim, I can’t touch.” Now, both my sister and I are on the short side, but this drop-off was steep and sudden. The pictures did not show the depth of the water. Also, we had to swim against the current without trying to ingest a mouthful of saltwater with each stroke.

We finally made it to the closest trampoline after a long battle against the Gulf. I’m in decent shape, and honestly, I was incredibly exhausted. It didn’t get any easier. Again, from the pictures, it looked super easy! But in reality, the water was 10+ feet deep, and also there were no ladders. The platforms that floated on the surface of the water were about head-level for me. I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time pulling myself up when I can barely see and when I have no support to give me a boost.

I pulled myself onto the platform and had to catch my breath. I hadn’t even done anything!

I eventually swam to another trampoline because that’s where my sister had ended up. Getting to that trampoline was easier, but climbing up was still just as hard and left me exhausted.

We sat on the trampoline for a while, just trying to catch our breaths and not feel so exhausted. There was a climbing structure that we both wanted to try, but it was even farther out. So I thought it would be a good idea to use the trampoline to help me jump farther so that way it wouldn’t be as much work to swim against the current.

It was a great idea in theory, but implementing it turned out to be MUCH more difficult. First of all, the trampoline was secured and anchored down so it wasn’t going to float off, but it was only barely secured. It still moved with the current, just not in a direction. Secondly, the trampoline was a lot smaller than I initially thought. It was still a long jump from the trampoline to the water because the inflatable came up pretty far.

I attempted to stand on the floating trampoline to get a running start and almost fell right back down. Long story short, the “running start” didn’t help me at all. I barely cleared the inflatable. Whatever. I was back in the water.

I swam toward the climbing structure. As I approached, I saw a rope tethered to the structure to help you start climbing. The end was in the water, so I made a slight detour to grab the rope to help me climb onto the platform (still couldn’t touch). After a lot of struggling, I waited for a good wave and used that to help push me up a little bit so I could pull myself onto the floating platform. Again, I hadn’t even really done anything and I was exhausted.

Anyway, by the time my dad and sister joined me, I was ready to climb. Now, I’ll be honest with you, I’m terrible at rock climbing. I don’t do very well with climbing walls or things like that; so my expectations for this were not that high. However, this climbing structure had a slide, and I thought it would be really cool to slide into the ocean, which motivated me.

I began climbing, and it was easier than expected for me. It wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t as difficult as I had prepared myself for. It took time, and there were a couple of times where I had to stop climbing because of the wind or the current. It’s difficult to grab the next hold when you’re moving because of the wind and/or waves.

Finally, I made it to the top. By the time my sister and dad joined me at the top, we were pretty much done because we were so exhausted. I had seen some people jump off the side of the climbing structure, and that looked fun, but I also wanted to slide. The only solution I found was to climb the structure again. So I did. I slid down the slide, swam back to the platform, and pulled myself back up. It was much easier climbing it the second time, because I had made my path in my head and knew where to grab. It didn’t take me as long, and I wasn’t as winded.

That was all we spent at the water park. We spent most of the day at Mr. Sancho’s, but we didn’t go back to the inflatables. It was so difficult. The pictures didn’t do it justice at all. Don’t get me wrong, I loved being at Mr. Sancho’s and it ended up being my second favorite port. However, you shouldn’t put inflatables in the water that are barely secured when there’s both a strong current and wind. I joked that climbing a waterfall was easier than that because at least I could use my feet to push me up and I was on solid ground.

If you’re going down to Cozumel, I would recommend Mr. Sancho’s. However, now that you know what you’re getting into, you’ll probably think twice about buying the extra pass for the water park because inflatables probably should not go on the ocean.

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