Friday, May 5, 2017

Caribbean Cruise, Royal Caribbean, Liberty of the Seas, Roatan, Honduras, Belize City, Belize, Cozumel, Mexico

I took this cruise a few weeks ago with 7 of my children and it was so great. It was the perfect boat for kids older and younger. It was a great first experience for some of my children who had never been out of the U.S. and got their first "third world country experience". It's such a great education even though it wasn't truly "third world" (Roatan island isn't exactly Honduras) and we always got to go back to our luxury life on the boat. Still, I was so glad that I got to do this with them.

We flew into Houston where, lucky me, I have a sister who lives there. Lolly picked us up at the airport, luggage and all, and we spent the night at her home. She took us to the port in Galveston the next morning, picked us up at the port when the cruise was over and fed us and took us to the airport to catch our flight back. She and her husband, Doug are fabulous hosts and great cooks. In short they spoiled us rotten. Thanks guys!

We had to make a stop at Bucee's just to check it out! The biggest gas station and convenience store in the world. Proof that they do things big in Texas

I don't know if it's because we booked late but we paid for inside cabins and got put overlooking the promenade which gave us a window. You couldn't hear anything so it was very nice. Even the rooms were a little nicer than usual. Did I say I liked this boat? I loved this boat!
The View out our window

The first thing we did was eat at the buffet which we loved. By the end of the cruise it started to feel like we were eating the same foods but that's probably because of our own tastes. We didn't always mix it up

The first day was a boat day and we just relaxed

They had this great splash pad for little kids and this is where Joseph and I spent most of our days. He loved it and could play there for hours. There was a place I could sit and have a good view of the whole area. Kids are usually very good with Joseph and I don't have to intervene but rarely

My son Rick and his wonderful wife Andie

A better view of the splash pad
The other side of the boat was pretty crowded especially when they had activities going on. To get good chairs you had to get them early

The first boat night was a formal night. I do love taking the formal night pictures though they cost a lot. I believe you can't put a price on family pictures

We loved the nice dinners every night. When I suggested that we try the buffet one night, the kids all balked. They loved sitting down together with the different courses

Joseph asked for chocolate cake the first night and they brought him a brownie. He loved it and asked for one every night after that. One time I thought he would be okay with Neapolitan ice cream because he loves it but he wouldn't have it. He wanted his brownie with ice cream 

They had a great ice skating show that was very entertaining

The kids wanted to go play games that night and so we went up to the game room. All they had really that we were interested in was Apples to Apples. It probably didn't matter what game we played, my kids have so much fun together and they are so funny we just laughed all night. It was good for my heart!

Roatan, Honduras

With as many people as we had it was a lot cheaper to decide what we wanted to do and then there is always someone there waiting to take you wherever you want to go at a cheaper price. We had decided we wanted to go to Little French Key which is a private island that has everything beach. The driver told us it would take 50 minutes to get there and then there was no guarantee that we would get in so we decided to go zip lining instead. It was right there almost withing walking distance. We paid $45 per person and the kids said it was their favorite day. We had hired the driver for the day for about $60 total. 

Joseph wouldn't zip line so we just hung out with the guys at the bar:) It was one of the best cokes I've ever had

I sent my camera up with Emerald 

I could blackmail Andie with some of the shots Emerald got:)

Some kind of parakeet I think. It was very friendly 

They also had cool monkeys to hold

This one had a particular interest in Emeralds eyes but it was a nice monkey

Cool parrots we could hold but they pinch a little so with Johnny's long sleeve shirt it wasn't a problem

Andie looks great wearing anything- even a parrot hat

Joseph tried it for about 2 seconds

After zipling the driver took us to the top of the island that had a fantastic view!

John bought a hammock for his room

After the view we went to a public beach that was beautiful

Emerald got some braids

Joseph bought some seashells from this cute, little guy

Rick and I got massages

Then it was back on the boat for a late lunch

Emerald let some of her braids out and I thought she looked gorgeous!
It's a beautiful port

Belize City, Belize
What I wish we would have done in Belize

We wanted to go to the Lamanai ruins which I have been to before and are really cool. Off the boat we could have picked up a tour for about $20 per person but we got there too late. I think it was about 4 hours they needed and we didn't want to chance getting back to the boat late. So we took a city tour instead which I cannot recommend. There was just nothing to see.

You have to ferry in but it doesn't take more than 15 or 20 minutes

We took pictures at the city sign which was within walking distance of the port

We saw one cool fruit stand and our driver said it was the best one in town

Shopping- there is always shopping

My kids liked this t-shirt but nobody wanted to actually buy it so I do what I do and took a picture

Belize City port

Emerald wanted to feel like she was on the Titanic. She got help from a nice ferryman:)
Cozumel, Mexico

In Cozumel you do not have to tender in but you have to walk through what feels like miles of shops before you can actually get out of the port. It feels very government controlled since the last time I was there. Once you get out there are lots of people who want your money and things are cheaper. You have to be careful what you are getting though. We paid about $20 per person for a beach day at a "resort". They had snorkeling gear and lunch was included but what they didn't have was a beach even though they told us they did. It was all rocks. There was a beach next door but it belonged to another resort owner. We made the best of it. 

See that nice beach that isn't ours? Nobody was there the entire time we were.

We did get some cool pictures with an iguana

They had a couple of their own shops, John picked up a much desired Oakland Raiders backpack

Dang John getting tall:)

It was actually pretty good snorkling

Lunch was'nt bad. It was tacos. Joseph decided to shoot some pool instead of going snorkeling. His game consists of pushing or hitting the balls into the pockets. To everyone his own
Back on the boat- The port of Cozumel

I always try and take one reflection picture

The night after Cozumel was the second formal night with lobster

I think Rex and John had 3 each. It was a first for John and he liked it

This is the closest I will ever get to the Titanic

The Promenade

Just one of the boat activities was appearances by Dream works characters

Andie was a star ice skating!

She's pretty good at miniature gold too. Actually she is good at everything!

Okay, I really loved this part of the boat. It was just fun

Megan's a clam? She is a delightful ham is what she is. Very funny

I love my kids!

We kept seeing this Down's boy named Carl I think on the boat. Every time they saw each other, they did a fist bump. I though it was so sweet because it was their own thing. Like they recognized each other

So sad that the cruise is over but back at my sister's house in Houston, its a party! Lolly's Ganache cake and Zoe's chocolate covered strawberries for Megan. Happy 17th Sweetie!