Here is another slight diversion from Education. This is about our past week on the Carnival Dream where we visited Cozumel (Mexico), Belize, Roatan (Honduras), and Costa Maya (Mexico).
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We were back on the ship by 9:45. Jan and Mike from dinner were also staying on the ship so we visited with them until lunch time. Our cabin was ready about 10:30 so I ran down there and unpacked. Jan and Mike had seen a manatee the week before so we went to the back of the ship to look for manatees but we never found any. We rested in our cabin about an hour before the safety drill and it really felt nice not to be rushed or feel like we had to go and see everything. After the safety drill we went out to the deck to watch us pull out of the pier but it was so cold we finally went inside. By then it was time to get ready for dinner. We are sitting at the same table with the same dining room servers which are wonderful because we really like them. Mike and Jan are sitting with us again too. Our new dinner mates are Rocky and his wife Joyce and their sister in law, Wanda from Southwest Virginia. Then Bob and Dot and their son Mark are from central Florida.
Day 1 Sea Day
My whole day revolved around eating! I was up early and had an omelet made for me on the Lido deck. When Don joined me around 9am, we went to the dining room where I had a poached egg, sausage, and hash browns. After breakfast we sat out on the deck and listened to the music. By then it was lunch so we tried the salads on the Lido deck before I tried the slot tournament. After the tournament we went to the dining room for lunch. After lunch, it was time for my second try in the slot tournament and each time I seemed to do worse. We walked around the ship before deciding to take an afternoon nap and ended up watching Oliver Twist on TV. Before long, we dressed to meet Captain Quierolo before dinner. We have sailed with him and Pierre the hotel director a couple of times before. After dinner we walked around and had an early night. The ship was rocking pretty good all day and night which is unusual because it is such a big ship.
We were supposed to go snorkeling today but it was cancelled because the water was too rough and the winds were too strong. I’m glad they watch out for safety that way. Plus it was kind of cool outside so I was glad we didn’t have to go snorkeling. Next time we are here though, we won’t book a shore excursion because when we walked the 3 miles into downtown, we saw the place we would have gone. It was only about a 10 minute walk from the ship so next time we will go there on our own. We had a really nice leisurely walk into town and stopped at their 2 department/grocery stores and looked for yarn but really didn’t see any. I guess in the tropics, they don’t knit very much. Then we visited our favorite bar which is called Ambar and saw the old man that remembered us too. His jewelry store moved down the street instead of across the street from the bar, but he came to see us and talk with us. After drinking a couple of beers (coronas were $1 each), and eating Mexican burritos (one plate for $6.50 was enough for 2 of us), we shopped some more. When I had to use the restroom, the only one we found was a pay toilet so we headed back to the bar and had 2 more beers. I figured if I had to pay, I might as well get a beer for it! By then we were tired of walking and headed back to the ship but we took a taxi ($7 total for both of us). We had time for about an hour rest until we had to get ready for dinner. When dinner started, we left Cozumel. After dinner we walked around the ship and watched a break dancing show before heading back to our cabin for the night.
Day 3 Belize
Belize is our least favorite port and if we can avoid this port we will. Of course it is the fifth time we have been here so we sometimes have to be here whether we like it or not. We had to tender into Belize and it takes about a 15 minute boat ride because the ship anchors about 6 miles out from Belize. The only reason we got off the ship was so I could take a picture of Kaeli’s picture in Belize. We walked around the port shops and some of the stuff was higher than the prices on the ship. I noticed that in Cozumel too. Once we tried to walk out of the port area but the people started harassing us as soon as we stepped out. When Don told this guy about 5 times, “no thank you” and the guy kept harassing him, we decided to turn around and go back in the port. Then I saw a wood carver and I wanted to take a picture of him but didn’t want to interrupt him while he was in the middle of carving. He looked up and then I asked if I could take a picture and he started accusing me of taking one before asking and then wanted to argue with me. I just thought he was plain rude! So, I never took a picture and by then, I didn’t even want one. We decided it was time to return to the ship and I never spent a penny in Belize! When we got back, it was time for lunch and then we walked 4 miles around the track before going to the coed sauna. By then it was just enough time to relax before getting ready for dinner. After dinner we watched the movie The Clash of the Titans.
Day 4 Roatan, Honduras
We had a wonderful day in Roatan! At first, it was really cold. After breakfast we walked outside to watch us pull in the port around 9:15am but it was so cold that we put on long pants and a jacket. It was disheartening because we had paid for shore excursion to the Tabyana Beach. When we got ready to get off the ship though, it had warmed up and the wind died down so we went back to our cabin and changed back into shorts. Our ship docked at Mahogany Bay which is different than the last time we came because last time we docked in the town. Mahogany Beach was right within walking distance of the ship so I was sorry I paid $37 per person for Tabyana Beach. When we got off the ship we boarded a bus that took us on a 45 minute drive to the beach and it was a very nice ride. We drove through town and around the island so it was like getting a tour in addition to the beach. The beach was nice and we got lounge chairs which was included in our tour. We sat and enjoyed the beach and then decided to walk down the beach. On our walk, I looked down and saw something that had just washed up in the wave and was wiggling. It was a tiny seahorse! Don picked it up and showed children around us and other adults before putting it back in the water and saving its life. After that we ended up getting a “bucket” of beer (which was really a bag of ice and 6 local beers in the ice) for $20. Later when I got hungry, I bought 2 hotdogs for us at $3 each. We also bought another “bucket” and since they ended up running out of bags, they brought the 6 beers to us in ice but it was in the vegetable drawer of a refrigerator! About 3pm, we headed back to the ship and had time to explore Mahogany Beach. It seemed really nice and would not have cost us anything except chair rentals so next time, we will head to this beach. Some people paid for the chair lift but it was an easy walking distance for us over the bridge. We got back in time to get ready for dinner and then after dinner, we went to the magic show with Mike and Jan. The magic show was terrific and we all enjoyed it. Mike and Jan went to it last week and we didn’t but since they said it was so good, we wanted to see it. It was truly a wonderful day!
We arrived in Costa Maya at 7am but we didn’t get off the ship until 9:30. We decided to walk around the port shops before taking a cab to Mahahual. It was $3 per person on the way there but $2 per person for the ride back. The wind was really blowing hard enough that I put on a long shirt t-shirt. We walked up and down the small fishing village about twice before Don got up enough nerve to get a back massage. It was $20 for an hour and he said it was wonderful. I sat beside them and got a lot of knitting done. After the message we stopped at one place and had a couple of beers (Corona for $2 each) before returning to the ship. When we got back to the ship we had lunch and showered and by then we could watch the ship pull out of the port. We ended up on the Serenity deck (adults only and really nice cushioned lounge chairs) where Mike and Jan were. We spent the whole time visiting until it was time to get ready for the past guest party but we ended up skipping it because I went last week and it is the same thing every ship. Dinner was really nice but I’m kind of getting tired of all this rich food and I’m to the point that I’m not eating everything on my plate (which is actually a good thing since I gained so much weight). We skipped the show since we saw it last week and watched TV in our cabin. It was a better day than I expected because I’m not really fond of Costa Maya but I’m glad Don finally got the massage that he has talked about getting for years when we come here. The only bad thing that happened was that Don got hives on his back again and we think it may have come from the pressure of the massage. I hope they are gone in the morning.
Day 6 At Sea
Today we had a day at sea and didn’t do anything special. Don got up for breakfast and then went back to bed while I sat out on the deck and enjoyed the sunshine while I knit. Unfortunately the pressure of the massage caused his hives to appear on his back and shoulders so I think he was miserable. By the time he got up, he was better and it was time for lunch so we went to the dining room where I met curriculum specialist. I love meeting new people and finding those in education! After lunch we packed which really didn’t take long at all and then we both entered the slot tournament. But neither of us got into the finals. So, we went to the coed sauna again and just relaxed most of the day. Dinner was sad because it was the last night. We really enjoyed our dinner mates and servers. We gave our cabin steward (Bong) a box of SC tea as a thank you gift. After dinner we came back to the cabin and put our suitcases out in the hall and then watched the movie How to Train A Dragon.
First of all, we will never ever (I hope) book a cabin on the back of the ship on the 1st floor ever again! As they prepared for the arrival to the port, the noise was terrible and we were up most of the night. Throughout the trip, it was pretty noisy. It was so noisy that we had a hard time hearing the TV. Of course, when you book it last minute, you get what is left but next time, we will probably leave this alone. We will try to stay in the middle or the front. We went to breakfast by 6am and then went to the Crimson Lounge where we were told to meet. Since we were Platinum members, we were allowed to leave right after the self assist people so by 7am, we were off the ship. I like claiming my luggage because it is like the airport conveyer belts so we quickly got our luggage and was on our shuttle to the hotel by 7:30. Our car awaited us at the Hampton Inn safe and sound. We really had a great deal by staying there because our room was $119 and the ride to and from the ship was free plus it included free 2 weeks of parking. We saved a lot of money doing that!
This week was a lovely week and for I’m glad the weather was sunnier than the previous week. I think we will try smaller ships from now on though because the lines were too long on the Lido deck at lunches and sometimes it was hard to find a table. The smaller ships seem more personal too. We hope in the future to try some Celebrity and Princess ships. I think we would also like to sail on the Carnival Legend which is one we haven’t done yet.
Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).
Original Pictures by Pat Hensley