Thanks to Feedspot!
First off, let me say thank you to Feedspot for selecting my blog, The Quiet Cruiser, to be among the top 75 Cruise Blogs on the web. It really is a great honor! Check it out here!
Three weeks to go!
Less than three weeks to go to our cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas, so I’m thinking a bit about which ports we’re going to visit, and what we want to do when we get there. I am so ready to get out of town and have some fun that I can hardly wait.
We’re leaving out of Fort Lauderdale this time. I’ve never been to Port Everglades, so this should be interesting. I drove through Fort Lauderdale last year to get to the Port of Miami, and that wasn’t fun because it was pouring down raining the entire time, and I-95 is a bit intimidating as it in in south Florida. We already have a motel booked close to the port, and we’ll be reserving parking soon. I’m hoping to explore some of the beach area of Fort Lauderdale if we have time.
Georgetown, Grand Cayman
Our first port of call will be George Town, Grand Cayman, in the Cayman Islands. We’ve been in Grand Cayman once before, and that time we took an excursion to swim with the Stingrays at Stingray City, and then to snorkel. I loved the stingrays! After what happened to Steve Irwin, I was a bit leery, but they were gentle and beautiful creatures. The boat brought us to a sandbar where the water was just over waist deep, and the guides let us feed the stingrays. It was a lot of fun, and not scary at all.
But talk about scary, next on the tour was snorkeling. Let’s just say that I don’t swim well at all, and deep water intimidates me…a lot! I had a life vest on and blown up as much as it would blow up…I got to the ladder of the boat….and almost got off of it….then it was panic time. Snorkeling did not happen for me. Since that time I’ve gone to Coki Beach in St. Thomas and snorkeled in waist deep water, but I’m still not sure that I can snorkel in deep water. I do know now that I can float, at least.
Exploring the town
This time in Grand Cayman I think that we’re just going to explore George Town. It looked like a cute little town, but we just didn’t have time after our excursion to see any part of it. I believe that we have to take a tender (small boat that takes you from the ship to the port and back) in Grand Cayman, but since we don’t have to be in port at a specific time for an excursion, I think that we’ll first have a leisurely breakfast before we catch the tender.
I think that once we get into town we’ll do this walking tour. All I remember about the town is that it was cute, and that it had a Margaritaville close to the port. I’m really looking forward to exploring more.
Costa Maya, Mexico
Our second port is Costa Maya, Mexico. We were in Costa Maya once before, but I don’t remember much about it because I was sick. I’m thinking that when we were in Honduras the day before, I’d foolishly had a Margarita at the market, and had not considered that the ice was made with the local water, so I ended up sick in Costa Maya and felt awful.
I did see manage to see enough of the port area to see that it was similar to Grand Turk’s cruise terminal. Looking at the shops for a few minutes, I told my husband which souvenir I wanted him to pick up, which he didn’t. Then I went back to the ship, posing with a guy in an eagle costume on the way back. Hope I didn’t get him sick. And that was my last stop in Costa Maya. I went back onto the ship and rested the remainder of the day.
This time I’m really hoping to see more. The port itself seems very picturesque, with lots to do. I want to do some shopping, and maybe some eating, although we usually end up deciding to just go back onto the ship to eat lunch since it doesn’t cost us anything. I’ve read that you can get on a trolley for $3 and see the island that way, so that’s an attractive option.
It looks like there’s an adventure and water park pretty close to the port, but that’s not my thing. There seems to be quite a bit to do at the port itself. I’ve been wanting to see the traditional Papantla flying man ceremony, and it looks like they may have that. They also have a saltwater pool with a swim up bar. Interesting….. I think that’s going to be a day to get some sun and relaxation in. Looks like a fun port to visit.
Our third and last port of call will be Cozumel. We’ve been to Cozumel many times before. It’s not my favorite, and frankly, I’m getting kind of tired of it, but so many cruises stop in Cozumel.
On past cruises we’ve taken a taxi to the town of San Miguel just to shop and sightsee. It’s a very picturesque town, with many shops on one side of the main street, and the Caribbean on the other. What I do not like is that the shopkeepers tend to be very pushy and annoying. I know that it’s their culture, but for me, I’d be more likely to buy from them if they didn’t constantly harass me and try to sell me something. I’m on the quiet side…remember…I’m the Quiet Cruiser… and I don’t like that. What I do when that happens is turn around and leave the shop and never go back. Do they not realize that they are losing sales by doing that? Maybe they gain more sales by doing it, I don’t know.
Once, one of the shopkeepers kept following me and harassing me to come into his jewelry shop. He kept saying he’d give me a free charm “just for coming in”. I kept telling him I was not in the market for jewelry, and was not going to buy anything. Finally, I went in just to get him to leave me alone, took the charm, and left. Then he got mad because I hadn’t bought anything. He may think twice before doing that again. I don’t even remember what that charm looked like, I lost it somewhere.
Mayan Ruins & Chocolate factory
The most enjoyable excursion that we’ve had had in Cozumel so far was a bus tour around the island to the San Gervasio Mayan Ruins and the chocolate factory, with a short beach stop along the way. The ruins are small, no pyramid, but were very interesting, and the chocolate tour was very fun, taking us through a mock Mayan Village, and letting us taste some of the Mayan food. It ended with a demonstration of how they made their chocolate drink, and then a gift shop. The drink, even though it wasn’t sweetened, was quite tasty.
This time we’re going to do something that I’ve been wanting to do for a while. We’re going to do a Dolphin Encounter at Dolphinaris. I don’t think that I’d be comfortable with a Dolphin Swim, but the encounter will be fun and I’ll be in waist deep water, and the excursion includes lunch and drinks (hopefully with filtered ice). Plus you can do other activities like snorkel and paddle board. I’m really looking forward to doing something different in Cozumel.
So, in two weeks we’ll be on the road to fun and adventure. Stay tuned because I’ll be blogging daily from the ship, and hopefully interviewing someone from the Bridge. My dream is that they’ll invite me to see the Bridge. Bon Voyage!