The Caribbean was gorgeous and warm. Back in NYC, it still seems like winter.
The cruise was especially fun because my niece Anna (soon-to-be-eight) and nephew Colin (5) were so excited about every little thing. It was all new to them, and it was fun seeing things through their eyes. Plus, they usually wanted to sit next to me or hold my hand. I love holding their sweet, soft little hands in mine.
Our first port of call was Cozumel, Me
xico. We adults had all been there before, and we had decided to spend the day snorkeling at the Chankanab park. The water was absolutely spectacular -- such beautiful blues and turquoise that were a feast for the eyes. Anna took to snorkeling easily, but Colin decided the mask wasn't for him. He said he likes to breathe out his nose. :-)
After several hours of viewing the many varieties of fish, and after consuming some beer and lime, we headed into town for a bite of lunch before returning to the boat.
The next day, we were in George Town, Grand Cayman. Jenn, Anthony, the kids and I wanted to go to Sting Ray City, a sandbar just 20 minutes out on a boat that is shallow and
frequented by many sting rays. Mom & Dad had been there before and decided to spend the day in town, walking and shopping. Sting Ray City was awesome. The beautiful green water was shallow enough that the kids could easily stand, and of course, the water was so clear, you could easily see through to the sandy floor and see the shadowy figures of the sting rays as they approached. Jenn, Anna and I each kissed a sting ray on its nose -- supposedly giving us each 7 years good luck -- and Jenn and I each took turns holding a female sting ray on our flattened forearms. She was at
least three feet across and actually quite heavy.
The sting rays are used to being touched and fed by the many tour guides, and as long as you kept their gills under the water, they were content to be held.
Our next port of call was Montego Bay, Jamaica, and when we docked, we were happy to see we didn't have to "tender" -- take a small boat -- to the island like we did at Grand Cayman. Also, where Grand Cayman is a very flat island, Jamaica has beautiful mountains that were covered in greenery. A reggae band played music as we disembarked, and Jenn found us a bus to the beach Doctors Cave. Of course, the tour guide on the bus tried to sell us on a city tour or at
the very least a return ride to the boat, but we didn't want to be tied down to a particular time. After all, we're on vacation! We don't want to be on a time schedule, other than the one the cruise ship gave us for getting back before they depart. We rented umbrellas, and the kids loved this beach. The sand was soft and not too hot. Anna got her hair braided, and then Anthony and I rented jet skis and each took a kid. I first had Anna, then we switched and I got Colin. Each one just giggled with glee the whole time! It was great fun.
Jenn found us a cab driver that seemed trustworthy, and he turned out to be a great guy, not too sales-y and very helpful. He took us to a place we could get jerk chicken, and we ate that as well as buying a "young" coconut. We drank the coconut water, learning that it doesn't turn to milk until later in the aging process. Colin couldn't get enough of the water or the pulp.
Our last couple days were at sea, and there were many activities for the adults and the kids. There were many things I would have done if I'd had more time, but I also wanted to just lay on a recliner and read my book, enjoying the ocean views.
There's more to tell -- I met a guy! -- but that's enough for one post, don't ya think?