Sunday, April 13, 2014

Caribbean Cruise 2014

Well, we've been home from this cruise for a month now, so I might as well blog about it. We went with my in-laws on a week-long adventure to Cozumel, Belize City, Roatan and The Cayman Islands. Wow! We had so much fun!

We took the red eye to Miami out of Vegas, and barely made our flight.

Seriously. He took this as we heard, "Last call for Harwell" over the PA.
Not a bad view of the city from my window seat.
 That photo was the best part of the flight. I will never take another red eye as long as I live. I should've taken a picture of my eyes. They were firey red. We maybe slept for an hour, and because of the time change, landed at 6:30 AM. I don't know what it is about airports but there never seems to be anything nearby. We wandered around for awhile and found a place to eat breakfast. It was super ghetto but there's really no way to screw up pancakes is there?

We got to get on the boat at 11. We slept the afternoon away since we hadn't slept at all the night before.

Our cruise ship

Ian and Alan played giant chess the first night. Ian won. That's the thing about your dad making a deal that you can get out of being grounded if you beat him in chess. You get good.
Our first port was Cozumel, Mexico. We didn't actually do anything in Cozumel. We took a shuttle across the bay to Playa Del Carmen, and rode a bus to see the ancient city of Tulum. It was absolutely beautiful and amazing to see what people could do with such rudimentary technology. I was blown away.

Ian and his mom on the shuttle.
At the entrance to the city.

Our tour guide, Humberto, was really knowledgeable. I loved listening to him.

The main temple is behind us.

Just chillin on a rock in the shade. It was really hot there.

Yeah, I'd build a city here too.
The first full week we'd spent together in a long time.
The second port was Belize City, Belize. We took another bus ride and went cave tubing through another piece of mayan history. I know a bus ride sounds boring, but the tour guides told us a lot about the history of the places we were. It was really interesting!

One of 8 stop lights in the entire country.
After hiking about half a mile, we got on our bright green tubes and got ready to go.

It was pitch black other than our headlamps, so it was hard to get good pictures.
There was a waterfall in the middle of the cave.

Floating along.

The best part was we only had to give our guide a $2 tip. I swear we spent more on tips than anything else.
I didn't realize there were so many little islands off the coast of Belize. We watched the ocean sunset that night and watch probably a dozen or so islands go by.

We spent the third day at Mahogany Bay in Roatan, Honduras. It was a little island off the coast about 10 miles long. We wanted to snorkel, and after realizing it would cost us $100 to get to the beach in a cab, we decided to rent a car and explore the island. It was my favorite day because I felt like we got a taste of the real island. There was a definite difference between the tourist side of the island and the place where the natives live. It was also the first time Ian drove in a foreign country.

Mahogany bay. The whole island looked like a post card.
A shipwreck out the window of our boat.

Ian cruisin in our little Kia.
Just big enough for the four of us.
On the "native" side of the island.
 After cruising around for about an hour and a half, we went to the beach! I'm not a huge fan of swimming in the ocean, so I stayed on the beach with the stuff with everyone went swimming.

Ian found a conch shell.
 From the shore, it didn't look like there was much to see in the water, so I was content to sit in the sand on the beach. Ian swam back to shore and convinced me to see for myself. Yeah, I'm glad I did. Wow!

Yeah, it was worth it.
Our last port was The Cayman Islands. We spent another day chilling on the beach and snorkeling.

Headed over on the tender.
Welcome to Grand Cayman

"Don't tell Cori about the sea urchins"
 The last day at sea, one of our fellow passengers got sick and had to be evacuated off the ship by the Coast Guard. It was quite the spectacle.

The last day we had a day to kill in Miami, so we rented a Charger and went around town.

Ian was searching for lunch and found an Argentine Panaderia. He got us a bunch of empanadas, just like he used to eat as a missionary. They were delicious!

A Miami sunset from the air.
So, when's the next trip?