Western Caribbean Cruise 2013!

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We are leaving on a cruise tomorrow and I could not be more excited!! I have been to Cozumel, but the other ports we will visit are all new to me! I am so excited to visit some new countries with my husband. I have only ever cruised on Carnival and despite some bad press recently, I love Carnival. Their focus on “fun” is right up my alley as I consider myself both a  fun and fun-loving person. In addition to the ports, I am looking forward to the delicious food, relaxing on the boat, and playing mini-golf on the deck.

Quickly, let me rewind a bit and say that I never thought I would enjoy cruises. I actively avoided cruises and lobbied against them (without ever having been on them) when they were proposed as vacations. I typically am a bit more adventurous, enjoy planning my activities or being spontaneous, and overall just being in control of my time. I thought cruises did not involve those qualities, but I could not have been more wrong. Cruises actually embody all of those things, allowing cruisers to be flexible with their plans and do whatever they want with their time. The best part is, you can see many destinations on a budget, all while enjoying great food and cocktails!

I finally got talked into a cruise during grad school when some girlfriends of mine wanted to go on a spring break cruise. I loved it. While I would definitely not do a cruise for every vacation and I do still prefer flying somewhere and completely creating your own itinerary, I think cruising is great if you are looking for a combo package of relaxation and adventure, and especially if you are on a budget. My husband and I like doing them when we want to go somewhere international, but want to save some money.

I will highlight a few things I am hoping to do at each stop! Our preferred method to save money is to not book the excursion, and just find a person at the port to take us on the same activity. We find that you can usually do the same activities at a much lower price with the added bonus of usually being in a smaller group (or if you are lucky, a private tour)!

Cozumel: I’ve been here before, but my day in Cozumel was limited to a day at the fun beach with lots of beachy cocktails and a visit to Senor Frog’s. Do not get me wrong, we had a great time! This year, I am hoping Alex and I will either go to the beach and do some water activities, such as kayaking, snorkeling, or paddle-boarding, or visit Mayan ruins. I think it might be fun to rent a Jeep and do it all! We shall see!

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Spring Break cruise 2009
With my best friend Meryl at Senor Frog's
With my best friend Meryl at Senor Frog’s

Belize: In Belize, I would like to walk around the town, visit a Mayan site, and/or go to the Bacab Eco Adventure Park to do some hiking or kayaking.

Xunantunich Mayan ruins
Xunantunich Mayan ruins

via Mayan Ruins Weddings

Isla Roatan: This is the only stop we booked an excursion for. We opted for a beach excursion, where we will be taking the Magical Beach Flying Chair to the beach. There, we will get chairs, floats, and snorkel equipment. Hopefully we can see some pretty sealife! This was a short stop at port, so we thought relaxing on the beach would be a good choice.

The Magical Beach Flying Chair
The Magical Beach Flying Chair

via Carnival

Grand Cayman:  Here, Alex and I both want to swim with the stingrays! I think it will be such a cool experience and hopefully not too scary. I would also like to visit the Turtle Farm, but I am not sure if we will be able to do both. I really cannot think of anything better than holding a baby sea turtle!

Swimming with the stingrays
Swimming with the stingrays

via http://aquaviews.net

Sea Turtle Farm
Sea Turtle Farm

via JJDivers

I will post photos and a recap after the cruise. I am looking forward to sharing our experience with you! One day til sailing! See you when we get back!

Have you been on a cruise? Where are your favorite cruise destinations? What is your favorite cruise line? 

Do you have any favorite recommendations from any of the places we are visiting?

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