S: Hutchins Family Norwegian Star Western Caribbean Cruise December 2011
FC: Western Caribbean Cruise December 2011
3: Dinner and Shows
5: Sea Days | During the sea days, we hung out at the pools, enjoyed the warm weather, and on the last day, played a very involved, but exciting kidnapping game. Micah and one kid we met, David, were the kidnappers, and Rachael, Annah, Talah, Sarah and I were the FBI. Some people switched teams later and Micah used other kids we met to be his helpers while I did the same for my team. Even kids I barely knew were my "Secret Spies". The game lasted for 2 and 1/2 hours-- I've never played a game that was so much fun! We spent a lot of our time at the pool and hot tubs-- either soaking in the hot water, or playing on the two slides. The pool deck was also very nice for reading. A 1/4 of a mile running track wound around the outside deck and Mom, Rachael, Sarah, and Becka enjoyed exercising on it. Becka
6: Food,Food | and
7: more | Food
8: Roatan Our first stop on Tuesday was in Roatan. We had already arranged for a rental company to meet us with 2 cars. They were there when we arrived, and we drove on the island toward the beach. We rented 2 parking spaces in a dirt lot and walked over to Bananarama Beach. We went snorkeling, and it was here that the kids (Jonah especially) realized how much fun snorkeling was! Annah was the only one who did not like it, and was panicky to get back to the shore. I don't think she was expecting to see so many living things under the water. There were schools of blue fish, large fish with aqua designs, and many other types, as well as coral reef. After snorkeling and playing on the beach, we returned to the cars and drove back to the main town location. We parked again, and walked around downtown. We stopped in a fruit smoothie shop and Rachael translated for us as we ordered some mango/banana/pineapple drinks. We walked around some more and got to experience some of Roatan's culture and people. At the end of the day we returned the cars and headed back to the ship.
16: Family fun
20: Belize City Our second stop, on Wednesday, was Belize city. This was the one port of call in which we had to be tendered from the ship. The tender ride was about 20 minutes and was quite hot and crowded. We walked thorough the tourist shop area first, then once we were past that we entered the area where the locals sold things to tourists. Becka bought 3 bracelets with the idea of giving them as gifts to friends at a later date. We walked around Belize city and bought some sodas for $.65 in a local grocery store. On our way back to the ship, while going back through the tourist section, Annah decided to have her hair braided so while she was getting that done, the rest of us looked around the shops. Hannah bought a little purse made out of gum wrappers, Talah bought some "good luck" dolls (as they called them), and Sarah bought a ring. All of the kids had $20 to spend at the different ports. We returned to the ship after the long tender ride back. Out of the 4 stops, it was really our least favorite as there were not many options outside of paying for an excursion to the ruins, which we may have done if there weren't so many of us. We did, however, enjoy seeing the local people and some of the culture.
26: Costa Maya Our third port of call was Costa Maya and this was one of our favorite stops. We took an open air bus to the beach and sat at a table where we could use the beach and go snorkeling. The water turned out to be too rough, so we walked along the sidewalk and visited the shops. We ordered a bucket of Coronas that were good, although not very cold. Marc and Jonah decided to get a massage,and with the exception of Rachael, the rest of the girls decided to get their hair braided. Becka and Talah were a little surprised at how tight they pulled the braids. The area had really grown since we were there in 2006. Micah and Rachael started playing games with some of the local kids in the water and they knew enough Spanish to make it work. They were sad to leave them.
34: Cozumel In Cozumel we rented two Jeeps, one of which had a missing "J" that Micah affectionately named "eep", and even set up a Facebook account for. We spent the day driving around the island and stopping at different shore side locations to enjoy the beautiful views and get pictures. We stopped at a restaurant and attempted to snorkel in the same place that Marc and I snorkeled in April but the water was too rough, so Marc dug in the sand with the kids and some of us did some reading. The Jeeps were a lot of fun and Rachael and Jonah each got a chance to drive them. The outer part of the island is very beautiful and undeveloped with only a few small restaurants scattered around. They were doing some construction on the road to widen it, so I imagine they will be doing more building in the future but we were able to enjoy it in it's uncrowded state. On our way back toward town we stopped at another restaurant that we have been to before where you can snorkel right across the street, and the water is always very calm. It is the place that has the roll of fence with a school of yellow fish that are always eating something off of the fence. We felt something stinging us slightly while snorkeling which made some of the younger kids want to come back in, but Marc stayed out with Rachael, Jonah and Micah to find the fence and fish. We ordered some Margaritas at the restaurant and the kids ordered some lemonades and sodas. We also tried their guacamole and chips, which were very good.