This trip we sailed from the Cape, on the Carnival Magic, one of the fleets largest ships. We stayed on Deck 6 and Marson was our very helpful and attentive room steward.
Welcome to Belize, Cozumel Mexico, Isla Roatan-Honduras, Costa Maya-Yucatan Coastline Mexico.
We started this trip off with a stay in St Augustine. This is a magical little area with lots to do. Of course, the major attraction is the lighthouse of St Augustine and the outlet shopping mall along the interstate.
This is the ship we sailed on, this shot was taken as she was anchored off shore at Belize, a tender is needed to shuttle passengers to and from shore at this location. (The reason being the coral reef, ships cant maneuver around or above it for fear of damaging the reef, it is one of the world's longest natural reefs and a major natural resource teeming with life, which the balance thereof is very delicate.)
While onboard, we were granted special access to the galley area where the head chef took us on a tasting tour of the nights menu in the MDR. What a treat this was !
This is a top notch operation, everyone knows the dance and it is perfectly choreographed. The galley is spotless and while we were there, they were doing training operations which the maitre de noted was ongoing and around the clock.
Spotless and very organized.
Hey Fellas !
Sunset over the ocean as we sailed toward Cozumel, Mexico.
Cozumel is a wonderful stop we have now done many many times. There are lots of excursions to keep even the most discerning guest happy. From Scuba to snorkel to shopping to really good food, there is no shortage of places to go, or if you prefer, just sit by the bay on the white sands, have a massage and enjoy the quiet lapping of the ocean...
Belize is our next stop, this was by far one of our all-time favorite stops as excursions go. We booked an excursion through Carnival and our guides name was Elvis, this guy was amazing and we still keep in touch with Elvis to this day. He went out on his own soon after we left Belize and now operates https://www.elvislamanaitours.com/
I highly recommend my good friend Elvis and his company. During our hike back to the Mayan ruins site, a group of howling monkeys decided to come see what the fuss was about, i managed, with Elvis's help, to capture a few on camera...
While in Belize, Elvis took us to a cacao factory, this was an amazing educational experience. I wasn't really familiar of how cacao was harvested and the differences between the variations. Standing outside the cacao plant was a Mayan native to illustrate some authentic native rituals and ceremonies to drive away evil spirits.
Between the plant and the refining area, i found this native fella hanging out by the pool (look closely, he's watching an ant crawl up the branch toward him)
As we were leaving the Mayan ruins area back to the river boat, this tree caught my eye, the ribbon like roots were fascinating...
Well, this will be the first of a "few" foreign countries i lose my phone, lol. This time, i leave it lying near a store we were waiting on our excursion to pick us up from. Luckily, the guide was able to call and get security to pick the phone up and hold it for me. I happened to have a step counter on the phone at the time. Apparently she carried it with her while we were gone and logged over 15,000 steps on it. Too bad i didn't get the benefit of that :)
This stop we went to a rum factory and distillery, cacao refiner and candy maker, and while on top of the island, Patti found a monkey to play with.
We toured the city and surrounding area, very interesting indeed. Narrow roads, somewhat minimal utilities and most of the time, the inhabitants would repair the roads immediately in front of their houses. Novel idea..
I captured this very young lady waiting on her mother to pick her and her sister up as they sat by the waters edge very patiently waiting..
This is a picture of the Dream and the Magic anchored as Isla Roatan.
Mud Hole, hmm
We decided to stay on the ship in Costa Maya, Patti had eaten a salad the day before in Roatan, that's one thing new cruisers and old alike should avoid, eating raw food in foreign lands. Our systems are just not ready for such shocks unless we travel a great deal.
I did get some shots of the Costa Maya harbour light and surrounding features.
This was a wonderful trip, and the first of trips where we contacted CCL and requested access for photo journalism purposes. CCL was extremely helpful and we certainly want to thank them for the extension to the press/photographic journalist to post here and in other blogs and articles.
Independent journalism and freelance photojournalists are a growing number everyday and we appreciate companies working with us to provide expanding coverage in the ever growing market of influencers and social media advertising.