A Special Thanks to CY Photography For My Banner Photos

Monday, November 21, 2011

Anniversary Trip- Carnival Dream

Wow, we had such a GREAT time last week on our cruise! We planned it in March and it was well worth the wait! If anyone is thinking about going on a cruise or trying to decide about a vacation, try a cruise out! I'll post about our ports and activities to help you decide :)

We boarded the Carnival Dream on Saturday November 19th. We arrived around 2:00 p.m. and it took us about 1 hour to go through security, get our sail-n-sign card and board. We were starving so we had our first lunch in "The Gathering"- the lunch buffet area. We walked around the ship and tried to learn where everything was ( I was still finding new places by the last day ;) ) We caught a beautiful sunset that night!

 We found the Sushi Bar on the ship and hit it up every night...it was great!

On Day 2 we were at Sea, heading to Cozumel! So there was lots of Tanning going on :)

Day 3 - Cozumel
We played Putt Putt the morning of the port

Justin and I have been to Cozumel once before on a Princess
Cruise. We rented mopeds and drove down to a beach so we decided to repeat. For $30.00 we rented a Honda moped/scooter and drove around for 1.5 hours. We made a stop at a bar/restaurant! It was beautiful, endless water and authentic Mexican food. We had Pico, taco's, salsa, chips and 2 drinks for $23.00.

After eating we continued driving seaside and even passed a HUGE lizard, it had to be 3 feet long! We eventually had to make a turn to head back to the ship...or so we thought :/ . It was very UNCLEAR on how to get back to the ports so we ended up in downtown Cozumel where NO ONE knew any English...even a public official. We were extremely nervous and wandered around for about 30 minutes until we spotted some other tourists! They waved us down and we stayed together as a group...we finally found someone to give us directions and it took about 20 minutes to get back. Luckily, no one ran out of gas...2 of the couples were in the red zone...SCARY!
When we made it back we went to drop off our Moped and the guy tried to tell us we scratched it and he wanted more money from us...UGH! Seriously?! So after 15 minutes of arguing we finally got our card back (he kept Justin's Sail-n-Sign card as collateral)
It was awful...we will not be renting those again in he future...as we got back on the boat we noticed big posters warning you about renting those things...wish I had seen them before!

Day 4 - Belize

We decided to do an excursion (through the ship) in Belize. Some people had told us that there wasn't much to do outside the port so we needed to do one. I'm SO glad we listened!
The Ship can't port on a dock in Belize so you had to take Tender Boats (15 minute ride) to get on the land. Since we did an excursion, we took a boat directly off the ship and to the snorkel site!! Talk about turquoise water, amazing!

We were about to snorkel for an our and the space was big! If you look to the far right of the water there was a brown line in the water where the reef was. On the other side of that line where the water is a navy color- It drops to 1600 ft! On our side it was 15-20 feet of beautiful reef and lobsters, sting rays and of course tons of fish!

 It was really neat, we talked to a local the 30 minute ride to the snorkel site...he told us about average income and living styles for the people of Belize. The currency exchange is 2 to 1, so 20.00 in USD is 10.00 in Belize. He makes $24,000 USD a year, so only $12,000 in Belize. He works about 1 hour from the Cruise ports and says he normally stays in the city 2 or 3 days out of the week b/c gas is $12/gallon! He says he lives comfortable but very SIMPLE compared to US people.

After the hour of snorkeling we took a 10 minute ride to a private beach for a beach break! It was beautiful..We ate a lobster tail, cole slaw, fries and a burger! The locals free dive up to 70 feet or so for these lobsters! They were amazing.

This is as we left the island...very secluded!

We got back on the boat around 12:30 and went directly on a tender boat to Belize. Every port has 'port shopping' which is pretty much the same thing everywhere.  A million "Diamond International" stores and "Del Sol" stores...along with liquor and cigar places. Belize had lots of knock-off pocketbooks and sunglasses. There were thousands of purses to choose from. We decided to go through the terminal to the market of Belize where the locals were - BAD IDEA. As soon as we went through the gate we were bombarded by people. Ugh! Now I like my personal space, and they crossed the line. We were followed by a young man trying to get us to do a horse and buggy tour. We only told him no 5 million times. I was getting really annoyed and he just kept on. After we pushed him off by trying to buy some gifts for the girls, we were offered some "green green". SERIOUSLY!? We ran back to the terminal...lol. I don't advise going out of the ports. Not worth the stress or the stares. Moral of the story : plan to spend the money on an excursion in Belize, because there is not much else to do there.

This is half of the trip..I'll make another post with the second half :)

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