For our final stop on Friday we went to Cozumel, Mexico. This was the one Eric was most excited about because he got to choose the excursion for this port. He chose an ATV tour through the jungle naturally. I wasn’t so sure about this one so I didn’t know if I was going to love this port but let me tell you I was so wrong. I totally loved it! We got there pretty early so we had some free time to walk around and enjoy the sights and shop a bit. After that we met up at a resort hotel and waited for our group and tour guide to show up. We then found out that it was their off season and that only one other couple was coming, so we pretty much got a private tour! AWESOME! Once they showed up and we signed our lives away we hopped on a bus and drove out to the edge on the city where the ATVs were parked. After sporting some pretty attractive head and eye gear and being given pretty much little to no instruction on anything, we were off driving 50 down the main road in little ATV things behind our tour guide. We then got into the jungle and boy did it get bumpy. Those cars can go through anything! We were hitting anything and everything and rocks of all shapes and sizes. At first it was not my favorite and I was so sure about it (especially since Eric was driving, really fast, and with one eye since he lost a contact). After awhile I got use to it and Eric got better at driving and then it became super fun. We were able to stop at a Mayan ruin and learn a little bit about the history and culture and stopped for some pictures. We then kept driving got to stop at two different beaches for a break, some shell hunting, and some prime photo ops. After that on the drive back we got to drive along the beach B E A UTIFUL! You would have to be there it was gorgeous. It was nice too because since there were only a few of us we got a lot more freedom and time to do whatever we wanted. We spent about 2 hours driving around and stopping and then headed back to the hotel on the bus. They then provided lunch for us, chicken fajitas yum! After that since we booked the excursion through the hotel we had access to use their facilities the rest of the day free of charge! They had a private beach access and a couple of pools that were awesome! It was a perfect ending to a very dusty dirty day to take a dip in the beautiful water. I think this was almost my favorite excursion just because everything that was included and jam packed into just one tour. For only being able to do one tour this one was perfect and included everything I could have asked for. We got the jungle aspect, the ruins, the beaches and a little bit of everything I could have wanted. Oh yeah haha and at the end we toured a tequila factory. Not that we did much there but it was kind of interesting and I know the other couple loved it since they walked out with a bunch of bottles haha. Oh and don’t worry on our walk back to the ship we managed to find a few treasures to take with us! Over all, the trip was amazing. It wouldn’t have mattered what we had done or where we had gone in the long run I don’t think. It was just so nice to take some time away from everything with no computers, work, cell phones, or anything to distract and just be together. Sublime!
Thursday, May 17, 2012
On Thursday for our next port we went to Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. I was way excited for this port and for a good reason. It’s beautiful! I was also excited because I got to pick the excursion for this day. I choose swimming with stingrays and a snorkel stop. We went through a local place rather than Carnival and preferred it that way. It was fun to get more history about Cayman Islands and meet more of the local people. I didn’t realize that Grand Cayman was still owned by the British. I had just assumed like Jamaica that it had gained independence but we learned a lot about the island which I thought was cool. We even got to go by and tour the governor’s house and see the hotel that all the British queens have stayed in. We then got to hear all about why its tax and duty free. I had always known that it was tax free and had heard parts of the story why, but we got the full information about the British army that crashed on the island and how the natives saved all their lives and as a reward the queen proclaimed that they would be tax free for life. How cool is that? Granted that is the short version but I loved learning all that new stuff! Once we got on our boat to go out we only had a few other people in our group, which was nice. It made it a lot more comfortable and almost a private tour. It was so amazing once we got to the sand bar. I can’t even tell you how cool it was to be standing there with 30 stingrays swimming all around you! We got to feed them and hold them and everything. It was awesome. Then after that we went a little farther out and stopped to do some snorkeling. It was so beautiful and fun! I could live in that water! After the excursion we headed back to shore and had some extra time. We grabbed some lunch and then hit up a few shops. We were so tired we didn’t really do any successful shopping haha but it was fun to just look around. After that we headed back to the ship and got ready for formal night number 2! We had our first formal night on Tuesday which um….well we forgot to get pictures of our full outfits the first night so we don't have them, but for night number 2 we went all out. People on Carnival are really casual so we kind of felt over dressed, but oh well I think we looked awesome!
Did someone say sunburn?
On our way back to shore one of the guides randomly just jumped out of the boat and brought up a star fish to let us take pictures. It was awesome.
7 years good luck!
Needless to say it was awesome. I'm waiting for the underwater camera pictures to be developed from the snorkeling. I'll post those once I have them.
Here is our formal night wear.
Looky what Eric surprised me with! Real Saphires :P
Wednesday we had our first port which was Montego Bay, Jamaica. We started getting nervous for this one after talking to everyone on the boat the first couple of days. We hadn’t booked an excursion for this port, we just planned on having a beach day, but everyone said this was a bad idea. Apparently with where we port if you want to get anywhere worthwhile in Jamaica you have to drive up to 2 hours and apparently there is a lot of crime so everyone says to stay away from local taxis. So at this point we felt it would be better to book an excursion through Carnival so that we could ensure that we were on a little saver transportation and in better locations. We ended up just booking a cheap beach tour. We got on a bus and took and 1 ½ hour drive through the island. We had an awesome tour guide; she was super hilarious and made the experience all that more fun. She has officially dubbed us jamaricans and taught us the necessary lingo to fit into Jamaica. Like Irie, yeah mon, and NO PROBLEM! She took us to the Jimmy Buffets restaurant where there is a private beach access which was nice. The water was so gorgeous and warm it was so fun. They served us lunch, and after a few hours we loaded back up and headed to see some cliff divers. They were seriously amazing! We then got to stop at a few places to shop. We didn’t get very much, but I got a dress, and Eric got this really cool cane. After that we headed back to the boat. It was fun to see some of it, but over all Jamaica was just pretty dirty and full of people trying to sell you weed at every corner. Ha ha works for some people, but it was just not up our alley. I’m glad we got to go once, but I’m not sure we would ever go back to Jamaica.