My Cruise Vacation
Finally getting my vacation post up. Its been taking me so long because I'm not used to writing this much in a post. I wanted to narrate the trip the best I could so it would be something I could look back on and relive it all over again. With that being said there is quite a bit of rambling, so if you want to just let the photos tell the story, feel free to scroll right past my paragraphs! ;)
Cruise aboard the beautiful Norwegian Jade to:
Belize City, Belize
Friday - 2/5/16
We left after work to drive to the Chicago airport to catch our 5am flight to Houston.
Living in the UP you never know what kind of roads you will encounter so we planned PLENTY of extra time in case we hit a snow storm.
We ended up having clear roads the whole time so we were WAAAY ahead of schedule. The first picture is of us waiting at a coffee stop near Chicago where we killed about an hour before heading to the airport.
We arrived and the airport at 12am and had to wait 3 and a half more hours outside of security until it opened.
We landed in Houston around 8am (Saturday morning) to the sun just coming up. We grabbed some breakfast and then caught our taxi to the port to meet our ship!
Catching our first rays of sunshine at the port. Remember we were coming from zero degree weather! ;)
Picture from on the ship deck while still docked in Houston.
The first thing we did after boarding is eat! I couldn't wait to try the all you can eat buffet. It sure tasted good after traveling for 2 days!
We were tired from traveling through the night but were SO excited to be starting our week long vacation!
The first evening they have a set sail celebration with music and a lot of enthusiastic cruise staff!
The main swimming deck.
We ended our evening with a welcome performance by the cruise staff and then watched as Texas disappeared into the horizon as the sun set.
The sports deck at the back the ship.
Day 1 - At sea
We spent most of the day soaking up the sun and laying out by the pool. Eating ice cream anytime of day was a treat for my sweet tooth! ;)
Such service; one of the workers coming around with fresh fruit kabobs, yummy!
That evening we tried out one of the restaurants on the ship.
With the food being all inclusive, we figured it was a good chance to try some different dishes. I wish I could remember what my appetizer was called, it probably was something I couldn't pronouce! ;) haha! Turns out is was pretty much mini mozzarella stick with some kind of fig topping.
I'm not a seafood person but for dinner I tried Clam Fettuccine, it wasn't too bad!
This was Super Bowl Sunday and there were quite a few super bowl parties going on. After dinner we went to the one in the main lobby for a bit.
I'll be honest, I was only interested in the half time show! ;) The party was complete with typical American food: nachos, hotdogs and wings!
And another sunset to end the evening.
Every night before going to bed, a towel animal with a schedule for the next day was set out by our housekeeper. We couldn't wait to wake up in Cozumel Mexico in the morning!
Day 2 - Cozumel Mexico
Our shore excursion we booked for Cozumel was snorkeling, we took a small boat out to the corral reefs.
I LOVE this photo, so much happiness in one photo,
we were all pretty charged to be on the ocean about to go swim with the fish!
Ok, actually I was probably freaking out inside. If you know me, you know that water kind of scares me (how I decided to vacation on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean i'm not sure! haha).
I'm not much of a swimmer and probably couldn't survive in the water very long even if my life depended on it. Beaches are more my comfort zone, where I can walk in at my own risk and there is no water over my head. Jumping off this boat into the middle of the ocean where every type of fish imaginable lived and not being able to touch bottom was terrifying to me.
I have to say I never actually planned on going snorkeling on our trip, the other girls wanted to go and I didn't want to sit on the ship by myself all day so I figured I'd at least go along for the ride.
GUESS WHAT YOU GUYS?!?!
I actually did it! Huge accomplishment for me! I won't say I wasn't scared though, when everyone else jumped in the water I held back and shook my head deciding in that moment that it was just too scary and i'd rather watch. Somehow they eventually convinced me to get in and i'm sure glad they did!
Getting the breathing down (only being able to breath out of your mouth while clenching onto the mouthpiece) while half panicking was a tad tricky though! ;)
I'm sad I don't have any pictures of us in our snorkeling gear or in the water to prove that I actually did it. I guess you'll just have to believe me! :)
This is Manual, he was the main Snorkel guide and was the leader during out time in the ocean. Such a fun guy!
After our snorkeling adventure we were brought to Playa Mia Grand Beach Park for lunch and to relax on the beach. Not the best photo, but the white peaked tents in the middle is the beach we went to.
Blue skies, palm trees, lawn chairs...this is the life right? :)
Back at the Cozumel port after snorkeling, we had a little bit of time to look around the shops which were set up like an outdoor mall.
Then back to our home away from home for dinner.
Monday evenings entertainment was a magic show by Cripton and Renata Magic.
So many dessert options, always a great way to end an evening
how we ended every evening too! haha)
Day 3 - Belize City, Belize
In Belize we were not able to dock but had to anchor the ship quite a ways off shore and take smaller boats called "tenders" onto the island.
Belize was by far my favorite day spent on our vacation. I was so intrigued by this country and was so happy that we had to take a hour bus ride to get to the Mayan Ruins for our hike. This gave us a chance to get a good look at the country and the way of life there.
Our main tour guide Darren was very informative about his country and was so proud to tell us everything and answer any questions people asked.
Darren said they take good care of tourist as is a big part of their economy.
"Every time you come here you employ 1 in 4 people."
The rest of the images were taken through our bus windows on our way to the Ruins so you'll have to excuse the funny angles or reflections.
Most of the schools require their students to wear uniforms, we saw many students waiting at a bus stop at the end of the school day.
I don't have a picture of it but I thought it was interesting. The only movie theater and bowling alley in the country is at the Princess Hotel and Casino located in Belize City. Darren said it wasn't a place common folk like himself would go though.
The yellow building is a Christian all girls school.
Another interesting fact: There are Mennonites living in Belize who produce the majority of the diary products consumed there as well as are depended on for constructing houses and furniture.
We saw quite a few fruit stands on the side of the road, anyone know what kind fruit that is?
Did you notice that all the signs are in English?
Our tour guide informed us that Belize is the only English speaking country in Central America. Locals do speak Belizean Creole amongst each other but are taught English in schools. Belizean Creole is derived mostly from English so when Darren spoke some as an example we were able to slightly understand what he was saying.
They called these green miniature fruits some type of plums but they tasted just like crab apples to us; very tart.
They sold all types of colorful souvenirs right outside the ruins.
The tour guides told us that we must try out their Coke, as it is made with local brown sugar instead of cane sugar like in the US. After our hike around the ruins we tried it out, I couldn't taste much of a difference myself but it was tasty!
After the ruins we were brought to a beautiful outdoor pool where we were served a traditional Belize meal of rice and beans, chicken in some type of orange sauce, potato salad and cooked plantains. The tour guides told us to not be alarmed by the small portions that they start you with as they don't believe it wasting food.
They relaxed and I took pictures, typical! ;)
Day 4 - Roatan, Honduras
Tenders were needed to get us the to Island of Roatan as well. Brooke and Lydia had planned swimming with the dolphins on the island so Brianna and myself went to see what we could find to do.
After walking around the port in the rain for a bit we decided to go on a taxi ride to explore the island. I didn't feel safe just going with Brianna and myself, luckily there was a young couple from our ship that were also interested so we split a cab with them.
All the photos from the day were taken on my iPhone because I had a problem with my memory card. I was so disappointed, but thank goodness for phones right!
Our taxi driver brought us to a busy town on the sea. I couldn't believe how crazy the streets were! With no sidewalks to walk on, it was custom to walk on the road and have cars honking left and right for people to get off the narrow road.
It was a little nerve racking walking around the busy streets being none of us were familiar with the area. We went into a small shop to look around and when we came out we noticed out tour guide wasn't with us anymore.
We looked around in panic for a minute and then the shop worker told us "he said he would be back in a minute." We weren't too convinced and were starting to wonder what we got ourselves into, he came out a couple minutes later, i'm not sure where he disappeared to but it sure scared us!
Look it their cool delivery vehicles! :)
The last place our tour guide wanted to take us was a lookout spot with a view of the port. He drove us down some dirt roads and through parts of town that looked a bit sketchy to us. We were all in the back whispering and wondering where in the world we were going. At one point the guy (one of the other travelers.....so mad I didn't catch their names) mentioned "ummm maybe we should just turn around now and go back to the port?!"
Instead we climbed higher and when we finally reached the top and I saw other vehicles and people, I breathed a sigh of relief "phew I see other tourists, I think we are safe!"
Locals were selling crafts, homemade goods and souvenirs at the top.
I was so happy we stuck it out and trusted out cab driver because it turned out to be a very cool adventure and the lookout at the end was gorgeous. See the ship on the left? That was our home, and the tiny speck right next to it is a tender bringing cruisers back.
Safely back on our ship we watched at the gorgeous Honduras faded into the horizon. We decided of all the three islands, we would love to come back to this luscious tropical island the most. Maybe next time we would be able to enjoy some of the beaches!
Comedian David Naster was that evening's show.
Day 5 - At sea
The last two days were spent at sea traveling back towards Texas. I'm not sure what possessed me to photograph my breakfast that morning! What a random combination and not really that pretty! opps!
"The great outdoors" was at the back of the ship and where we ate many meals!
We tried out an italian restaurant that night.
The decks were pretty windy, so this was common scene!
Day 6 - At sea
On our last day we had to take a picture with our friend Jassen, he was our housekeeper and was in charge of leaving us our towel animals every day! :)
Such a fun trip!
Anyone looking for a affordable vacation you must check it out! We went through Norwegian Cruise Lines and I would highly recommend them. Great mix of ages aboard the ship and the workers make your vacation that much more enjoyable!
Thanks for following along! :)