Western Caribbean Cruise & Southern Florida   1 comment

Western Caribbean Cruise & Southern Florida

South Beach & The Keys FL,  Cozumel MX, Costa Maya MX, Isla Roatan HN, Grand Cayman MX, &  Everglades FL

Jan. 6 – 16, 2012

 

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This was a fun time with friends!  Our happy little group (Tom & Alana, Rick & Pam and Jim & Marilyn) flew into Miami and stayed in South Beach for two nights and from there did a day trip to the Florida Keys.  Then we boarded the Carnival Glory for a 7 Day Western Caribbean Cruise which included the ports of Cozumel MX, Costa Maya MX, Isla Roatan HN, and Grand Cayman MX.  We cruised a total of 1,860 miles.  When we returned to Florida we did an excursion to the Everglades.   P.S.  Thanks Alana for the use of several of your fine photo’s.

Map picture

South Beach Florida:   South Beach is famous for it’s Art Deco Historic District.  With our hotel being in that district, and two blocks from the beach, we enjoyed strolling and seeing all the sights of the area.  We Kansas people headed straight to the beach and it appears that we headed straight to the food also. 

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The Florida Keys:  The Keys begin at the southeastern tip of the Florida peninsula and extend in a gentle arc south-southwest and then westward to Key West.  The islands lie along the Florida Straits, dividing the Gulf of Mexico to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east.   We had an enjoyable full day of driving and adventure as we traveled the 160 miles from Miami to Key West and back by car.  With the exception of the first picture of seven-mile bridge the rest of the pictures were taken in Key West. 

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Port of Miami:  And thus our seven day cruise on the Carnival Glory begins.

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Cozumel, Mexico and the Mayan Ruins of Tulum:  Our first port of call after a full day at sea was Cozumel where Jim & I had booked an excursion to Tulum. We went by ferry across to the mainland and then drove by bus to Tulum.  The ancient Mayan paradise kingdom of Tulum  was one of the last cities inhabited and built by the Mayans and it managed to survive about 70 years after the Spanish began occupying Mexico.  It dates back to about 564 AD.  The walled city is perched dramatically on 50-foot-high cliffs above the crystal blue Caribbean Sea.   The three walls average 23 feet in thickness, making this one of the most well-fortified towns in Mayan history.   The Maya are well known for their precise calendar and astronomy.  They knew precisely the spring and fall equinox as well as the summer and winter solstice.  Precisely on those days the sun is perfectly aligned so that when the sun rises the light streams straight through the little window in the Tulum Temple.  Amazing!

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Port of Cozumel:  After our excursion to Tulum we toured the Port of Cozumel. 

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Cozumel Highlights:  Tom & Alana saw the oldest Mayan temple in Cozumel, toured the first church on the island, went to the “Discover Mexico Park,”  visited a tequila store,  enjoyed lunch and shopping, and went to a beach.

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Port of Costa Maya, Mexico:  We were greeted at the Port by colorful local dancers.  We did an excursion to the Kohunlich Mayan Ruins and it was an interesting two hour ride through the countryside.  Upon returning to the Port we had time to enjoy the shopping area.

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Kohunlich Mayan Ruins:   From the port of Costa Maya, Jim & I and Tom & Alana did an excursion to the Kohunlich Mayan ruins.  After a two hour bus ride we arrived at the ruins which are situated in a secluded jungle setting near the border of Belize.  The site covers about 21 acres and it contains almost 200 mounds that remain largely unexcavated.  Most of the structures were built from about 250 to 600 AD.  The city was elaborately planned with pyramids, citadels, plazas and courtyards.  Kohunlich is best known for its Temple of the Masks, a pyramid whose central stairway is flanked by huge humanized stucco masks. and was built about 500 AD.  

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Isla Roatan, Honduras:  Roatan lies 30 miles off the north coast of Honduras and is the largest of the Honduras’ Bay Islands.  It is approximately 37 miles long by 5 miles across at it’s widest point.  Located near the largest barrier reef in the Caribbean Sea, Roatan has become a important cruise ship and scuba diving destination in Honduras.  Tourism and fishing are the most important source of income for the islanders.  We thought the rolling hills and lots of trees of Roatan made it a very pretty island.   We just spent the day strolling around and doing nothing in particular.   

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Grand Cayman Island:  The Cayman Islands is a British Overseas territory which is located in the western Caribbean Sea and is situated about 430 miles south of Miami FL.  Grand Cayman Island with an area of 76 square miles is far bigger than the two lesser Cayman Islands.  At our last port of call we all did a tour of the island where we saw Georgetown, seven mile beach, and the interesting lime formations of the town called Hell.   We went to the Cayman Turtle Farm, which is home to 11,000 green sea turtles weighing up to 600 pounds.  There was one less than the day before because Jim ate Turtle Soup.   Lastly, but certainly not least, Alana got to kiss a Sting Ray. 

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The Florida Everglades:  Located in southern Florida the everglades is one of the largest wetlands in the world.  The tour took us to Everglades Safari Park and we glided on an airboat, got up close and personal with native wildlife, and saw lots of alligators.  Jim & Rick ate alligator and thought it tasted pretty good. 

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View album
Fun times with good friends!
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Posted January 31, 2012 by marilynfarmer in Travel

One response to “Western Caribbean Cruise & Southern Florida

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  1. You did a great job! Really enjoyed reading it and I was there!! lol

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