Carribean Cruise - 2013

Trish and Louie Pryor were married two years ago and decided to celebrate by cruising the Carribean. They invited us and, coincidentally the next day, Joyce Maguire (whom I worked for at the City) called to say it was time to go cruising. Trish and Louie agreed that she would be a great travelling companion. So we all booked.



We wanted to be sure we would not get stranded at the roadside so we left a day early and stayed the night near Kemah, just north of Galveston which was the port of embarkation. Trish, Louie, Peter, Diane



Kemah is a "Boardwalk" town oriented toward tourists so we toured it…



We are still in the process of identifying these beautiful plants







Next day we went aboard. We were cruising with Carnival and, given their history, we were not too disappointed with the ship



But the cabins were up to snuff with the obligatory towel animals



We were in three adjacent cabins and we opened the door between our balcony and Joyce's. Unfortunately the door between us and Trish/Louie could not be opened.



We are off



The first couple of days were at sea and we enjoyed Scrabble..



.. And whittling (Louie is very good at it)



.. And chequers - in the bar of course



The rest of the ship was very nicely done up



The hot tub was directly below our cabin which was very convenient except at 3am when the night crew straightened out all the chairs and tables by dragging them very noisily around the deck.



Our first port was Roatan, a "private" island off Honduras



The crew took time out to make repairs on top of the boat



and we found gorgeous flowers as usual



There was snorkling available after we unknitted the equipment. An adequate but not fantastic reef.



The island was also an animal sanctuary with wild monkeys and a lot of cages around the island (which was about a quarter mile around) with birds, jaguars, ocelots, monkeys and other miscellaneous creatures in the process of rescue









Back to the boat.



…With another animal



The next stop was Belize where we had a great trip to some ruins with Joyce. We spent an entertaining hour on a bus



Followed by a tour of local crafts.



The area was a large city with lots of small hummocks that were unexcavated houses



Some very large hummocks that were not yet excavated



and a few that had been excavated





Portrait of the sun god



Of course, we climbed to the top



to get pictures





then on to the next. These large buildings were the ceremonial, religious and ruler's places rather than the small hummocks which were for the regular people.



You will notice this hillside has the begginings of a excavation and looks a lot like the other ones used to before they were cleaned up.



This is a "strangler fig", an epiphyte that latches on to the tree half way up, then drops roots, grows bigger and eventually overwhelms the palm.



Belize used to be British Honduras and the Brits came over to chop down all the magnificant mahogany trees. The locals have lots of mahogany trinkets for sale so obviouly not quite all the mahogany was taken.



Back on the bus for a short while we were intrigued by the symbols. The guide swore they were not Mayan.



To get back to the ship we went down the river on a small boat, seeing lots of monkeys, bats, crocodiles and even iguanas like this one.



Meanwhile, Trish and Louie had sailed off for another beach experience



The final call was in Cozumel. to walk into town.



They have arranged for each ship to have its own set of shops. Very pleasant, but not the same as being able to walk into the real town







Looking over the edge of the pier we spotted a bunch of Gars



The food was extremely good, particularly on the last night






...Even a little dancing



and we snagged a bottle of champagne to celebrate a fabulous cruise…



…back in our cabin with the chanmpagne bucket. No, don’t get any ideas - it was not like that, it was a final toast to Trish and Louie's second anniversary

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