Sunday, April 29, 2012

Caribbean Cruise 2012

As much as I enjoy Arkansas, I sure wish I were back cursing' the Caribbean! We got back from a wonderful week last Sunday and have way to many memories and pictures to share. We went with our friends the Edwards on a 7-day cruise out of Miami with stops at Cozumel, Belize, Roatan Honduras, and Grand Cauman.

Hope you're ready for photo overkill !! I should have broken this into multiple posts, but too late...

We left Miami and enjoyed an afternoon on the ship exploring. We quickly found the 24-hr pizza and ice cream stations. Oops.




Day 2 was spent at sea. It was a beautiful and hot day and we sailed along Cuba for most of it. The day was spent flying down the waterside (I even went--I think baby boy loved it--apparently it was against ship rules for me to go.) reading, journal writing, eating, napping and simply enjoying being together and away from work. Our first formal night was this evening and we had fun putting on our fancy clothes and eating fancy dinner (and desserts!!)





baby bump...or food bump...your call :)


Day 3 was our first port, Cozumel. We had a great day planned to go across on the ferry to visit the Mayan ruin Tul and tour it with a great guide. Due to bad ferry timing, we had to cancel the tour and spend the time on Cozumel instead. We made a quick new plan and visited a Mayan ruin on the island, drove to several beaches and snorkeled (part of the time during a tropical rainstorm). We could not believe how clear the water was and how colorful the fish were.


 In front of the San Gervasio Fertility temple...we don't need anymore blessings from the fertility gods right now, we already have clearly been blessed


 with the Edwards!  So glad they could come!! 



hey there, mr. fishy



Day 4-Belize
In the words of the locals it was in-Belize-able!! We had heard a lot about it being a sketchy 3rd world country, but despite what we had heard, we were blown away by the kindness of the people, the laid back feel, and beauty of the country. In belize the wives and husbands actually parted ways, and the wives worried that we would return at some point to them. The guys headed on a plane out the a great reef off the coast for a 2 tank scuba trip. I couldn't go due to being pregnant. Belize is known for its scuba and did not disappoint. Luckily colby was able to go being that he left his scuba certification card at home! A neighbor saved the day and went to our home and sent a photo of it to us. They saw sea turtles, colorful fish and coral, eel, and even a 6- ft long shark. Colby was brave (or stupid, depending who you ask) and actually touched the nurse shark!

Lurana and I had our own adventure and went on a cave tubing trip. We took an hour bus ride out to the jungles, hiked 45 minutes across rivers and through the jungle, until we got to a long cave with a river through it. Headlamps on, we floated through the beautiful cave and put through the rain forest. We did it primarily to be part of an organized group while our husbands left us, but ended up truly enjoying it and wanting to do it again. I highly recommend it!

 Glad this didn't turn out to be our last photo together--right before we split ways in Belize



 Coming out of the dark cave and out into the jungle


 The reef from the airplane

 Survived, and loved it!!


Day 5- Roatan, an island off the coast of Honduras. We were blown away by the beauty of this island and can understand why so many retire here. We had a great stay here. We took a taxi to the West End and went snorkeling at Half Moon Bay. We saw eel, lobster, flat fish, hundreds of variety of fish, jelly fish and an octopus. On our second trip out, the water got rough and most of us ended up with some type of battle would from our fight with the coral. The worst past was Jared discovering his pockets of his swim trunks, which initially had their drivers licenses, ship cards and cash, only had $20 remaining after we got out. Thankfully we made it back to the ship as our taxi driver pulled a quick one on us and claimed he broke down and we would have to pay a lot more for his friend to take us. Luckily we were able to work it out and get back safely. Because we had to be on the ship by 3, we had an afternoon to sit out on the deck and enjoy the ocean view and breeze.



 eel...

 and jelly fish...

 and octopus...oh my!

the remains from the pocket...we now call the "donation" the honduras stimulus package 2012

Day 6- our last port, grand cayman. Once arrived, we scratched our plans to reef hop and snorkel and opted to go swim with the sting rays. This was a great decision that none of us regretted. It was an unreal experience to touch, feed and hang put with the rays. Our boat took us snorkeling after the sting rays. When the trip ended, we skipped the drop off at 7 mile beach and went back to explore the 75 year old ship wreck of the Cali. It seriously was so neat. It was about 50 yards offshore and 20 ft deep and maybe 50 yards long. The shipwreck itself was breathtaking and it was fun to see all the coral and fish that now live their. There were some huge fish that in the distance looked like sharks! Eek! Luckily they weren't. Since we didn't have to wake up at any specific time the following day, we lived it up that night--too much food, comedy shows, card show, dancing and more food...

Jared and Lurana kissing the sting ray--apparently this wins you 7 years good luck



okay, this picture doesn't give our (our meaning the girls) "shark scare" much justice.  I guess it did look like a fish...

Wreck of the Cali


Day 7- final day and day at sea. We slept in a bit then spent the day out on deck on the slide, reading, napping, playing mini golf and trying to get tan since I had worn SPF 50 all week. We had a great morning but had our afternoon interrupted by a rainstorm. We stayed out as long as we could but eventually went in.




All in all, it was a great week with too much food, perfect conversation, memories not to be forgotten and an overall perfect trip. My belly grew and I'm not sure how much was from the food and how much was the baby... :)

Congrats to the perhaps 3 of you who made it to the end.