Home > Beaches, Caribbean > Spring Break 2011 – Western Caribbean Cruise

Spring Break 2011 – Western Caribbean Cruise

This post is about my Spring Break trip that I mentioned in the introduction post.  Other than this introduction of it is 100% written from my cell phone so I apologize if there are typos.  I will post the pictures from the trip soon!

Monday, March 14, 2011

I forgot to write yesterday so I will include part of yesterday in today’s writing. For spring break my family and I decided to take a cruise together (I will try to take pictures for the blog along the way).

We took an early flight from St. Louis to Tampa on Southwest Airlines.  After arriving in Tampa, we grabbed a cab from the airport and headed to the cruise ship in downtown Tampa. We boarded our ship, the Carnival Legend, and found our room. The room was smaller than expected but nice. We grabbed a quick lunch and did all the safety checks and set out to explore the ship. The ship is absolutely gorgeous and much nicer than I expected. Just to wrap up the day quickly: dinner was amazing, sweet and sour shrimp were delicious, found out Geoff and I know very little pre 90s tv show trivia but rocked 90s, dad is awful at family feud, welcome aboard show was fun (dancers / singers, comedian, ventriloquist) then a quick snack from the lido deck (buffet area) and then slept wonderfully with the boat rocking me to sleep.

Tampa

Leaving Tampa, Florida

Okay, onto today… Our first full day on the ship and it’s a sea day.

Slept in, right through breakfast.  Then went to lunch, best bacon cheeseburger I’ve had in a long time. After lunch, I walked a few laps around the outside decks and enjoyed the sun. Then I went and checked out an art auction with free champagne. After the auction I just wandered around, grabbed a grilled ham and cheese from the lido and then headed to the room to get ready for the night. Which brings me to right now, I’m going to update the rest of tonight as we go so my writing tense may change back and forth, sorry if it is confusing. Time to get in my suit for the first formal dinner.

Dinner was delicious; they had tough choices on the menu including lobster and duck… I had some of both. The staff also sang and danced to that’s amore tonight at dinner and they were surprisingly good.

After dinner, we went to the punchline comedy show in the firebird lounge. This show featured the ventriloquist and comedy who previewed last night in the welcome aboard show. The ventriloquist is amazing! Not only is he hilarious he was also able to have two dummies sing a duet together including the last line of the song sung by both characters. The comedian was much better tonight than in his quick preview last night. As most comedians, he was inappropriately hilarious and wonderful with audience interaction.

I’m really looking forward to tomorrow; it will be our first port of call. We are scheduled to arrive at Grand Cayman at 7am so I’m headed to bed early tonight. Busy next few days but I’m sure they will be tons of fun. Grand Cayman tomorrow, then Cozumel (Wednesday), Belize (Thursday), and Honduras (Friday). After all that another sea day on Saturday and back to Tampa on Sunday morning. Lots of fun shore excursions the next few days, can’t wait to snorkel and get free drinks, more about that in the next few days. Bedtime!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I’ve been told to go to hell a lot in my life, and today I did. Today, we pulled into Grand Cayman just before 7am. Since we had an early shore excursion booked we woke up really early as in it was still dark outside. When I stepped out on the balcony you could see the lights from the island off in the distance and stars above me. The stars above me were just as bright as the island’s lights, absolutely gorgeous. We all enjoyed a great breakfast on the lido deck then headed ashore.

Sunrise

Sunrise in Grand Cayman

We took a 4×4 Jeep excursion around the island which was awesome. I had been to Grand Cayman once before and did not think that it was anything too special; today’s trip completely changed my mind.

We all took off in the Jeep Wranglers from Seven Mile Beach and headed straight to Hell! I’ll have to add in pictures because I’m not sure how to describe it other than looking amazing like a miniature version of hell.

Hell

Mom, Myself, and Geoff in Hell

After getting the hell out of Hell, we drove off the main streets of Grand Cayman and onto dirt roads in a national park. From the park, we drove out onto the beach where we stopped and looked around for a few minutes. This beach was gorgeous! One of the prettiest beaches I have ever seen! I think it was called North Sound Beach. Soft light brown sand that led into the crystal clear water. This beach was protected by the barrier reef that lines 75% of the island. The reef lies 2 miles off shore and provides the best scuba diving in the Caribbean.

North Sound

North Sound, Grand Cayman

After that we headed to the Tortuga Rum Cake factory for samples of their many different rum cakes and free rum shot samples, all different flavors of rum and all were good. We drove back to Seven Mile Beach and ate a lunch they prepared for us on the beach. The rest of the afternoon we just lounged on the beach and sipped rum runners and red stripes. Seven Mile Beach is very pretty, but not nearly as gorgeous as North Sound Beach.

Grand Cayman

Grand Cayman

Seven Mile Beach

Seven Mile Beach

Seven Mile Beach

Seven Mile Beach

Seven Mile Beach

Seven Mile Beach

Seven Mile Beach

Seven Mile Beach

Quick summary of the rest of the night because I’m worn out tonight. As usual awesome dinner; great food, great company, and great entertainment (the servers danced tonight). I had a French onion soup, jerk pork loin, and hot melty chocolate cake and ice cream (something like that anyway). After dinner we went to the comedy bar again and had a great time.

Tomorrow we are heading to Cozumel and going snorkeling, we are taking a catamaran to the reef. It should be gorgeous day in the sun and water. I managed to have fun all day today and not get sunburnt; hopefully I can do the same tomorrow.

….and to wrap up the day, good news Tucker Max, they do serve beer in hell.

Goodnight!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Super tired tonight so this is going to be a very quick run through of the day. Today, we were in Cozumel and took a sailboat to snorkel at a reef. I love being in the water and swimming with all the beautiful fish so of course I enjoyed it, but it still doesn’t compare to the snorkeling in Grand Turk. I don’t know if I will ever find a place more beautiful than Grand Turk to snorkel.

After snorkeling we pulled right up onto a beach owned by the tour group (fury tours). Open bar on the boat and on the beach. After getting back to port, we walked around the shops for a bit then grabbed lunch and some drinks at fat Tuesdays. After lunch I headed back to the ship and took a nap.

I skipped the dinner tonight at the main dining hall and sat out on the deck for a few hours and watched us pull away from Cozumel and waited for sunset. Sunset was gorgeous but I didn’t have my camera so you’ll just have to believe me. I had a late dinner on the lido deck and then just took it easy tonight and watched The A-Team. The ships rocking pretty good tonight, luckily that doesn’t bother any of us. Although, mom does have trouble walking around when the boat is rocking, this is pretty funny to watch.

Took lots of pictures with an underwater camera today, hopefully they come out well. Heading to Belize tomorrow and going snorkeling again, which is always awesome. I’m really looking forward to our next two stops because I’ve never been to either.

Fountain

Cozumel

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Best day of the cruise so far! Today we were in Belize! I was really excited to be in Belize because I had never been here before and because we were going snorkeling here and it is the second best place in the world to scuba / snorkel / snuba in the world. Only being beat in the rankings by the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

I was amazed how far off shore the ship had to anchor. The reef is so large and shallow that it took a 15 minutes boat ride to get to shore. We first left the ship this morning on a speed boat that took us on our snorkeling trip at Goffs Cay.

Goffs Cay is one of the many tiny islands that lie right on Belize’s gorgeous barrier reef. The island itself is maybe just over an acre in size. The island is gorgeous with a few palm trees, light brown beaches on most of the sides, crystal clear water in various shades of blue that white cap as they rush over the reef, and a wooden dock that is uneven and a little shaky but fits the atmosphere perfectly. The side opposite to the dock had rougher waves that washed over a rocky shoreline that stretched about 75 yards.

Goff's Cay

Goff’s Cay

Family at Goff's Cay

Myself, Mom, and Geoff at Goff’s Cay

I chose to swim out to the reef from the island which was about 200 yards away, others took a boat out to the reef. I quickly saw why Belize is rated the number two diving destination in the world. The reef was gorgeous, filled with colorful coral and beautiful fish. I took tons of pictures so hopefully they come out well. The whole time I was swimming around the reef I kept thinking to myself, wow this is a place I never thought I would be. I was in awe of how beautiful it all was.  The best part of the snorkeling for me was when I was diving down and swimming between to huge pieces of coral and a huge school of fish swam right around on, they completely surrounded me and were just inches from my face. I still can’t believe I had the opportunity to experience swimming in the reef with all of the wildlife right around me, and especially that close to me. I thought that I would only be able to see these beautiful places on television, I’m so happy I not only got the chance to see them in person, but also the chance to swim the through the reef, not just see it from above. After snorkeling, we were able to just relax on the island and in the water before catching a ride back to the ship.

Snorkeling

Snorkeling

Snorkeling

Snorkeling

Snorkeling

Snorkeling

Snorkeling

Snorkeling

Snorkeling

Snorkeling

Snorkeling

Goff's Cay

Goff’s Cay

Goff's Cay

Goff’s Cay

Goff's Cay

Goff’s Cay

Goff's Cay

Goff’s Cay

I ate lunch on the ship then we grabbed a taxi boat to take us from the ship to the port of Belize. The port is a gated indoor / outdoor mall. We noticed quickly that we did not want to leave this gated area, and were actually told it may not be safe outside the gates without being apart of a tour. We shopped for a bit then grabbed some drinks at a bar on the pier before heading back to the ship.

St. Patty's Day in Belize

St. Patty’s Day in Belize

Tonight I had a delicious dinner as always and checked out a few new shows that arrived on the ship today. The shows include two new comedians and a hypnotist. Oh, and I dominated in movie quote trivia.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Wow! Roatan, Honduras is gorgeous! Today we took a bus ride to a resort in Honduras to spend the day relaxing at their private beach. The resort was called Parrot Tree Bay. The resort only had a handful of guests stating with them and we only had a group of 8 people so we basically had the place to ourselves.

Shipwreck

Shipwreck

Roatan, Honduras

Roatan, Honduras

Shipwreck

Shipwreck

Family

My family in Roatan

The resort is so gorgeous I won’t even try to describe it because any description would fall far too short. I took pictures that I will upload but I doubt that they will show how amazing it really is. The resort had condos that are built into a little beach village that had a lagoon pool that wraps around palm trees on the front (street) side. Then there were the condo buildings mixed in with fountains, and tiki hut style buildings for the bar, restaurant, and several more that were not open yet, but will become extra bars and gift shops. All of this sits on the beach mixed in with volleyball courts and fire pits. From there the water started a crystal clear lagoon that stretched the length of the resort and was a little over 100 yards wide. On the other side of the lagoon there was another small section of beach and a sea wall keeping the rough waves of the ocean back with only a few canals leading from the ocean to the lagoon. Very hard to explain but very gorgeous. I’m glad I took pictures to help me explain this to people. Along the beach there were tiki huts for shade, beach loungers, and even outdoor beds.

Parrot Tree Bay

Parrot Tree Bay

Parrot Tree Bay

Parrot Tree Bay

Parrot Tree Bay

Parrot Tree Bay

When we arrived we were given rum punch welcome drinks and told the bar was open to us. I walked around and checked the whole resort out for a while and walked along the beach before grabbing more drinks. After a swim in the lagoon, I found a perfect spot on the beach under a tiki hut to relax and ended up taking a nap. For the rest of the day I just made my way between the beach and the bar while taking an occasional swim. It was a perfect relaxing day.

Parrot Tree Bay

Parrot Tree Bay

After getting back on the ship this evening, I did the usual dinner and shows; always enjoyable.  Sea day tomorrow which means I will be sleeping in and enjoying one last day of relaxation on the ship before heading back to Missouri.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Last full day of the cruise, it’s a sea day. There isn’t too much for me to say about today it was a lazy day I can sum up quickly. Slept in, watched a movie, ate lunch took a nap, walked around, went to dinner, then went to the shows again tonight. Not as busy and fun as some of the other days but it’s good to have a relaxing day.

Have to go pack.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

After getting off the ship we grabbed a cab and headed to Clearwater Beach for the day.  Our flight didn’t leave till late evening so we thought we would enjoy the day at the beach again.  I was able to eat lunch at my favorite restaurant on Clearwater Beach, Frenchy’s Original Café, and take a walk on the beach for a few miles in the afternoon.  Good way to finish up a great trip.

Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach, Florida

Clearwater Beach, Florida

Clearwater Beach, Florida

Clearwater Beach, Florida

Clearwater Beach, Florida

  1. July 15, 2011 at 10:13 am

    Roatan sounds great and loved the pictures of Caymen, I am going there! This is a great travel blog, I feel like I am there on the adventures. Awesome and informative pictures!

  2. December 20, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Mark Evans :

    Roatan sounds great and loved the pictures of Caymen, I am going there! This is a great travel blog, I feel like I am there on the adventures. Awesome and informative pictures!

    How was your trip to the islands?

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