Cruise Week! We boarded the Royal Princess for a week cruising the Western Caribbean. With stops in Grand Cayman, Roatan (Honduras), Belize City (Belize) and Cozumel (Mexico) we had a great week. The daily rundowns are with each day.
First a few random cruise thoughts. For those who have cruised, this is not news. For those who haven’t cruised however…..
Food. There is a lot of food on a cruise.
Service. Marvelous! An example. I don’t think our room steward ever slept. Whenever we left our room, there he was, within a few doors, asking if we need anything. He would tidy the room 3 times a day, whether it need it or not.
Entertainment. More shows (and good ones) than you can see. Going on in different parts of the ship simultaneously.
Size. These ships are enormous! Royal Princess is 141,00 tons, 3,650 passengers, 1,350 crew. That is on crew member for every 2.7 passengers. The Allure of the Seas, 235,000 tons. To put this into perspective, the Battleship Bismark was 49,500 tons and Titanic was only 46,000.
I think a lot of the tonnage is food.
Restaurants. There are several restaurants on board that would be a fine as any restaurant we have ever dined in. There is also a buffet. Think of the largest, best buffet you have ever seen and then triple it. There must be 150 items for breakfast and dinner. And good food, unlike most buffets.
More on the service. One morning I was walking along at the breakfast buffet and I dropped a piece of bacon. I bent down to pick it up but it was too late. One of the staff already had it. If you finished a plate, it was gone from the table within seconds. Unbelievable.
I think it is better (certainly cheaper) to do off ship shore excursions. The ones we got from Princess were fine but the ones on shore were as good and half the price.
The day we board the Royal Princess. We couldn't board until 4:00 pm so we just spent a few hours around Fort Lauderdale.
Then onto the ship where we got settled in, then went up on deck to watch the sailing. Very exciting. But, of course we had to take some pictures around the ship first. There is a lot of that in the coming days.
Welcome to Grand Cayman. We purchased our shore excursion from Princess and all went well. We toured the island, saw some Iguanas, stopped at a turtle refuge/rescue center and the then boarded a catamaran and headed out to Sting Ray City.
Sting Ray City is a sand bar about a mile or so from shore where there are hundred of sting rays. First the crew anchored the boat and then they jumped into the 5 foot deep water. Everyone else followed. I hadn't planned on going in but I figured if I went home without doing this, I would regret it so in I went.
We were only one of many boats there and the crew grabbed a ray and held it up for everyone to get up close and personal with while they took pictures (for sale later of course). We didn't buy their pictures but this was definitely the highlight of the day for me. The water was 80 degrees (F) and I really didn't want to get out when the time came. If you ever get the chance to do this, I highly recommend it!
Roatan, Honduras is an island off shore of (go figure) Honduras. We found it to be much prettier than Grand Cayman. We bought a bus tour from a shore vendor at half the Princess price. We toured all over the island stopping at a monkey/parrot refuge, a rum factory and several local "shopping" areas run by the locals. In all of these places, the locals are very poor and the children help in the shops. They even drum on cans hoping for a handout.
Last stop was a private beach where we could relax and get a drink. Then back on the ship.
This evening in the main theatre, it was the Lou Gazzara show. Lou Gazzara was a finalist in season 2 of American Idol. Guess what? The man can sing!!! Great show.
On to Belize and Belize City. We booked this shore excursion from Princess and again the excursion was really good. The weather this day however was not. It was a rainy, wet trip up the Belize River. We did see lots of wildlife including pelicans, herons, a crocodile, a stork, Black Howler Monkeys, bats and other things.
Then it was off to the ruins at Altun-Ha. This is a Myan ruins dating back to 900 BC. Of course there are lots of facts available but not enough space here. Then back to the ship.
Last full day of the cruise. For the record, I could get used to this. Waited on hand and foot, unlimited food anytime of the day (with no cooking or clean up) and different sights every day. Oh well. Just more pictures around the ship because you haven't seen enough of those. And one last sunset.