Friday, June 24, 2011

If I Could Turn Back Time...(Honeycruise Day #6)

Today we wish we could go back in time. Not only because we had an amazing time with green sea turtles but because'll just have to keep reading to find out.

Today our adventure began in the Grand Cayman Islands, mon. We took a ride to the Cayman Island Sea Turtle Farm. This farm was SOOOOOOOO COOL! We got to hold turtles not once, not twice, but THREE times! We weren't expecting to hold the different ages, let alone swim with them! We held 7 week old babies, 10 month, and 18 month old green sea turtles. The 18 month olds were fast and hard to catch. Once caught they were heavy and hard to hold onto! It was an accomplishment to actually catch one.

While holding the turtles, we learned quite a few things about them.
  • Green Sea Turtles are the largest in the world weighing up to 700 pounds! 
  • Do you remember Crush from Finding Nemo? He's a Green Sea Turtle. 
  • They CAN NOT retract their heads. 
  • These turtles are very gentle/basically harmless to humans. They would rather be friends.

Green Sea Turtles can live up to 150 years old!

This is where the turtles lay their eggs.
So excited!! Very cool experience. (7 weeks old)

Turtles in a half shell...TURTLE POWER!
Loving the colors in this one.
They like their necks to be rubbed. (10 months old)
These big guys were 20 years old. One female was in this tank and she was 50.
18 month olds were FAST and HEAVY!
Turtle! Turtle!
Barely hanging on.

The Turtle Farm also had a Predator Tank, Freshwater Tank, and an Aviary. We spent some time in those areas before doing something we've never done before...Snorkeling in the fish/turtle lagoon! A first for both of us! This was where we wish we cold turn back time. Jeremy was so anxious to get in the water that he forgot he put his iPhone in his pocket. Yup. You guessed what was coming. *sigh* His beloved iPhone drowned. We were very sad  by this didn't ruin our day completely. We've lost all video footage and pictures that we took the previous days. (I would like to add on how badly I sucked at snorkeling in the beginning. For some reason, I just couldn't get the whole breathing with my mouth,  using goggles combo. It did not compute. And when I decided I needed to restart my whole snorkeling experience, that's when I realized my iPhone died. So sad. Anyway, once I finally got it together, snorkeling was GREAT!)

Predator Tank!
iPhone in Pocket.... :(
Although we lost an iPhone, it was still an awesome experience!
Sad that there is no more iPhone

Oh yeah. Almost forgot about our little island trivia! Here are some fun facts about the Cayman Islands:
  • Turtles are the main delicacy.
  • There is no such thing as unemployment. Everyone is able to work. If you don't have a job, it's your fault, slacker.
  • All beaches on the island are public. There is no such thing as a private beach. In fact, they made a national rule that if someone needs to walk through your house to get to the beach, they're allowed to.
  • A full tank of gas will last you 2 weeks on the island.

When we got back from the turtles we decided to do a little shopping. We got talked into buying a coconut and drinking the juice from it. It sounded good and everyone was doing it so we said...sure! Man...that juice was NASTY! Not good. It needed a gallon of sugar to taste remotely good. The smiles in the pictures are fake. We came to the conclusion that brown coconut juice/milk is apparently MUCH better than the nasty crap inside green coconuts.

Bleh! Coconut water...
Our entertainment on the ship tonight came all the way from...are you ready...CHARLOTTE, NC!! He was a juggler that we actually remembered from the last cruise! He is quite the entertainer. Always puts on a good show. Who knew juggling could be so engaging and appealing. (I did.)

When we retired for the evening, we were disappointed when we didn't see a towel animal waiting to greet us in the room.  Every night we get a new animal. And every night we take a picture with it. It wasn't until roughly 10 minutes later that we found someone hanging from the curtains :) Sneaky, sneaky!

Hanging monkey.
Another beautiful day in the books. The Turtle Farm turned out to be a really fun excursion (top 5 things to do in Grand Cayman) and now it's time to have dreams of swimming with Crush and Nemo.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Living in the Moment (Honeycruise Day #5)

Today we woke up to the hazy jungle of Mahogany Bay, Roatán (that's part of Honduras in case you didn't know). The weather started out cloudy but thankfully, it ended up being a beautiful day and one of our favorite stops of the trip!

Welcome to Roatán!

We packed onto a bus and rode roughly 30 minutes to the highest peaks of the jungle. To get there, we rode through the city which gave us the chance to observe some of the everyday life of the locals. One thing we noticed, that we did NOT see coming, was that they had a Bojangles! A little reminder of home. Once we arrived to the treetops, we got harnessed up for our Canopy Tour! It's a good thing we had practice on the zipline before hand. The canopy tour was pretty much the same as ziplining... except BETTER! After getting harnessed, strapped (my junk was more than snug), and secure, we received a quick tutorial on what to do and what NOT to do. We then rode from treetop to treetop overlooking the beaches, rivers, and jungle. It was unbelievable and quite a thrill. The view was amazing. It was mind-blowing when we looked out and realized how much of the island we could see while ziplining in the middle of the jungle. {It was also a workout! I was sore for the rest of the trip!} We landed on 10 different platforms and learned quite well how to break on the cable. Also, the guides were really nice and helpful throughout the entire time. No monkeys on this trip though.

Harness Galore

Ziplining like a pro!

Ziplining like a pro!

Breaking successfully
Canopy Tour was so cool!!!

Once done with the canopies, we headed to the beautiful beach of Tabyana. Wow. What a view! Seriously breathtaking. We've used that word so many times throughout these blogs but that's really the only word to describe these beautiful places. This beach was larger than the one in Cozumel, so we were able to walk more and play in the water longer. We also had "The Decision part II". (That has something to do with Lebron James going to play for Miami for those who don't know) Asha decided to let her hair go curly once again.  Bye-bye straight hair. (All she has to do it get her hair wet and voila! Curly hair.) (I was a little surprised at how fast this process happened. I guess I expected it to be longer than 10 seconds...) Here at Tabyana, they also provided us with free drinks! (calm down, it was just lemonade) The staff there was great too, plus, they had a nice gift shop and live music. One of the best beach experiences EVER!

We never want to leave!

Tabyana Beach, Honduras

Too bad this was our shortest day ashore! So far, it's been our favorite! Our only complaint for the day was being surrounded by annoying people in the morning AND afternoon on the bus rides. They just talked waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much. And the group on the way back was also too loud! We wanted to kick them in the shins. (kidding, kidding)

Tonight we were entertained by the dancers and those 4 bad singers again.  The show was much better, possibly the best we've seen (on a cruise ship) but man...we are not fans of those singers. It's not that they were terrible... they just weren't very good. The theme was New Orleans and they played/sang lots of recognizable songs. They also had very elaborate sets which made for tasty eye candy. 

Another great day in the books. Time for sweet island dreams while we ride the waves and catch some Z's with our towel turtle! Can't wait to wake up for our next stop: Grand Cayman Island!

Perfect towel animal for our next day. Turtles!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Belize It or Not (Honeycruise Day #4)

Today the ship stopped in the middle of the ocean. Turns out you have to ride a boat to get to Belize. Once we reached land, we piled onto a small bus and headed deep into the jungle.

On the boat to head to Belize!

On the bus to head to the jungle!

On the way to the jungle we learned a few things about Belize:
  • Their native language is English.
  • They speak Creole (They add a Hispanic flavor to the English language)
  • They only have 4 major highways.
  • They are under British rule which is why their native tongue is English.
  • Marian Jones is a big part of their nation. She is half Belizian!
Housing in Belize

Bridge Crossing. Only one bus at a time for cation. We had to wait a bit to cross.

School is still in for the Belize people
We're rich! We got our hands on some Belize Money. We had to give it back...

Horseback riding was fun! Asha's horse's name was Ginger and Jeremy's horse's name was Rice & Beans. It was a nice little ride through the jungle. The horses were well trained and kept on the trail for the most part. Most of  the animals were hiding but we did encounter a DEAD armadillo. A jaguar killed it. Crocs, turtles, and monkeys were seen too! (Side Note: So, when you go on one of these excursions, you don't necessarily think or remember that you're in the for real jungle. Like... a good chance you'll see some real life, national geographic, animal planet predators. On that horse ride when they said, "oh, looks like a jaguar had lunch" while pointing out the dead armadillo... not gonna lie, I did some cussing in my head. Whenever I'm in random situations like that, I play a little "worst case scenario". This was my first time EVER on a horse and if a freakin' jaguar popped out, I had no idea what I'd do. One good buck from the horse and I'd go flying off quicker than Ochocinco and his bull riding. So needless to say, I was a little nervous on that part of the trip.)

Ginger and Rice & Beans
Belize Horse Ranch

Here we go through the forest!

Look at those two stallions!

Belize Rainforest

Our guide let us smell some key lime leaves. They smelled so good!!

A storms a brewin'

George rode on a horse too! He was very friendly :)

After our ride we got to experience true Belize cuisine for lunch! Chicken, black beans and rice, and plantains were on the menu for the afternoon. Boy was it delish! We washed it down with a nice cold coke which is sweeter than American Coca-Cola since it's made with natural cane sugar in Belize.

Belize Cuisine. Yummm!

Good eats!
Coca-Cola Ad

We then relaxed in the pool and took a self guided tour through the botanical garden. That self tour lasted about 2 seconds because we got attacked by an iguana that fell out of a tree! That was enough for the both of us so we went back to relax in the pool. (Side Note: We've seen our fair share of horror movies and the the #1 thing learned - at the first sign of trouble, don't keep going. Just go back to where you came from.)

No Bueno.

Iguanas are EVERYWHERE!!!
Relaxin' by the pool.

Dinner on the ship was good tonight! Lamb for Jeremy and pork chops for Asha. After dinner, we went up to the Lido Deck and relaxed while watching the sunset over the ocean. We've mentioned it before, but it's worth mentioning again. There's something very peaceful about being out in the ocean with zero land in sight. Makes you realize how big the world really is. As evening turned to night, it was soon time for bed. Next stop: Isla Roatán!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

¿Habla Español? (Honeycruise Day #3)

We woke up to clear blue water at Cozumel this morning! It's our first time off the cruise ship since Monday! We did some shopping before exploring the Mayan Ruins with our native tour guide, David.


¡Cha Cha Cha!

On our way to the Ruins site, we learned some interesting facts about Cozumel. Are you ready to get your learn on? Here are some fun facts:
  • Houses are made out of cement because of the amount of hurricanes that come though.
  • There are no homeless people. They have housing where you pay rent for 30 years and then the house is yours. They have single housing and family housing.
  • There is only one university on the island and it has no campus. You go to school, and then you go home. Nothing like college in the States.
  • Population is 100,000
  • There are only 4 gas stations throughout the city. Unleaded gas is $3/gallon.

Housing in Cozumel

The Mayan ruins were interesting. It was nice to get a little history in on the trip. We learned that the Mayans were short, smart, and had big hands. We still don't know how they knew everything without technology. We learned that they were very dependent on the moon and astrology. That's how they relied on fertility and our current calendar. FYI, according to our guide, David, the world will NOT end in 2012 (phew!). All the planets will align and the calendar will start over again. The last time this happened was during the time of Noah's Ark. So if you see some crazy guy wanting to build an ark... at LEAST take a listen.

Mayan Ruins Tour
Mayan House

Mayan Road
The fertility statue. Women would camp out at this statue when there was a full moon.

Look at those muscles!

After our dose of knowledge of the Mayan culture, we headed to the white sandy beaches to relax. It was sooooooo nice! We can't get over the blue water!!!!

Ahhhh, paradise!

Cozumel, Mexico

Once our day with Cozumel was done, we headed back to the ship for dinner, entertainment, and of course a nap! The entertainment tonight was MUCH better. "The King of Soul Music", Marcus Anthony (no, not JLo's husband), sang us some sweet Motown tunes and entertained the crowd quite well. It was nice to get a break from the bad singing the night before. We also got a dose of the comedian, Macio. Funny guy. He's done various stand up shows and did some work with Dave Chappelle on 'Chappelle's Show'. (I miss that show)

Unlike yesterday, when we came back to our cabin to find horrible news of our parasailing being canceled, tonight we came to news of free drinks tomorrow! I guess it pays to cruise with same cruise line.

Celebrating free drinks with our towel rabbit!

Tomorrow we ride horses in the Belize Rainforest! AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!