RSS Feed

Monthly Archives: September 2015

Royal Caribbean Cruise – Navigator of the Seas Ship

Royal Caribbean Cruise – Navigator of the Seas Ship

I’ve written about the ports of call I visited last month (found here) and now I’m going to share my experience on the Navigator of the Seas ship. This was my first cruise so I have no other experience or cruise line to compare it to but I will say that when I booked the cruise, I was looking forward to the ports and dressing up for dinner but I had just as much fun on the ship’s sea days as I did at the various excursions!

A photo on the ship during one of the formal nights is below. On the 7 night cruises there are two formal nights which are on sea days (Monday and Friday). The hair salon books quickly on formal nights. I read about this so the first thing I did when I got on the ship, after I dropped off my carry-on, was head up to the salon and book my appointments.

_MG_0875We are budget vacationers and knew we wanted to put our money towards the excursions and would be busy with the ship activities anyway so opted for a room without a balcony. We had an interior cabin and I felt the space was not too small. There was plenty of storage (drawers and cabinets). We had 2 suitcases, 2 backpacks and a garment bag which we were able to comfortably fit. Of all the people I have spoken to who have had balcony rooms in the past, they never regretted paying more for it so booking one on our next cruise is a possibility. I don’t feel like I missed out on anything by not having one but it could be one of those cases of “ignorance is bliss”. There are many public places on the ship where you can lounge and also more quieter places on the sides of the ship:

IMG_4631Some of the activities we really enjoyed were the rock climbing and Flowriding:

_MG_0804 IMG_0323BWe had dinner one night at Izumi and our waiter informed us of a sushi-making class that we were able to join. This was so much fun and not advertised but still fills up quickly, so if you have the chance to dine here ask about any classes:

20150821_104205 20150821_112704Of course there are many opportunities to enjoy beautiful sunsets:

20150818_194009My only “unhealthy” but oh-so-yummy meal was at Johnny Rockets. I even had my first and only coke:

IMG_0377Every day you get a “Cruise Compass” which shows the daily activities on-board, information about the ports, weather updates and other helpful information. The little towel origami and a bottle of sparkling wine as an anniversary gift:

IMG_0389I went into this cruise with realistic expectations (the weather may be bad, there may be port-cancellations, etc) and I ended up having the time of my life. This cruise experience exceeded my expectations and I will definitely cruise with Royal Caribbean again!

Advertisements

Royal Caribbean Cruise – Honduras

Royal Caribbean Cruise – Honduras

Where do I began? I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED Roatan, Honduras. This was my favorite port of call. Our excursion was at Tabyana Beach which is located on West Bay Beach on the island of Roatan, Honduras. Several of the pictures and videos I saw of the beach looked like it was always overcast. Imagine my delight when I arrived to this:

Tabyana West Bay Beach Roatan HondurasIMG_0174 IMG_0178I figured with 3 ports of call, I’m bound to have at least 1 port of call with nice weather, well the weather was beautiful for all three! This beach had beautiful clear water, and pretty white sand. I loved the surrounding “jungle” landscape. There is a reef right off the beach! You don’t have to go far for snorkeling. We did an early morning snorkel and were lucky that our group got to see and pet a sea turtle! Unfortunately I didn’t have the camera at that time.

IMG_0199 IMG_0206 IMG_0233 IMG_0236There is no better beach experience for introverts (in my opinion) than going below the water with just your loved one or a few close friends and seeing so many beautiful things in such a quiet, atmosphere. I am sad it’s taken me so long to discover the beauty of this but fortunate that I had the opportunity to experience and discover this new hobby for the first time with my husband. After diving in Cozumel and snorkeling in Honduras, we are officially hooked and can’t wait to bring our kids along for our future underwater adventures. I have also got my best friend on board so I see PADI certifications and a lot of water activities in our future.

IMG_0271 IMG_0273IMG_0254 IMG_0261 IMG_0264 IMG_0304We had a little fish pedicure (just for kicks) lol:

IMG_3704The beach was stunning, the water calm, there was security all over the beach, everything was clean, the people were friendly and the port shopping was the best. And what made me book this itinerary over Jamaica/Grand Cayman? I wanted to do something not everyone else was doing. I am so glad I did! I fell in love with this place and God-willing intend to go back!

ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISE – BELIZE

ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISE – BELIZE

For our Belize excursion we did the Maya ruins at Lamanai and the New River Safari. I think most people who enjoy history and wildlife would enjoy this excursion (the bus ride to the river can get exhausting and does not go through the most scenic/beautiful parts of Belize and this excursion will take all day). For those who aren’t into history or want more scenic options, there are beach and cave tubing excursions as well.

Below are some pictures of the wildlife we saw along the New River:

New River Belize_MG_0581 _MG_0592 _MG_0611The Jaguar Temple at Lamanai:

_MG_0663 _MG_0667What’s left of a Mayan calendar:

_MG_0699The Ball Court (interesting but kind of creepy at the same time):

_MG_0710The High Temple:High Temple Lamanai Belize _MG_0714 _MG_0739It doesn’t look like a workout but it is (you only have a few minutes to climb):

_MG_0742The Mask Temple (I declined a picture next to that creepy mask lol):

Mask Temple Lamanai Belize_MG_0750Some of the locals along the New River:

_MG_0757Did I enjoy this excursion? YES

Would I recommend it? YES (if you enjoy history and wildlife)

Would I visit more Maya ruins/temples? Absolutely!!!!

Royal Caribbean Cruise – Cozumel

Royal Caribbean Cruise – Cozumel

On our Royal Caribbean cruise, our first port of call was Cozumel. We booked the Royal Dolphin Swim at the Dolphin Discovery at Chankanaab Park. What differentiates the Royal Swim from the Dolphin Encounter or the Push Pull Swim is you get to swim with (and ride) two dolphins at a time. The group is also much smaller. There were about 12 people in our group, about 24 in the Encounter and 36 in the Push Pull. The entire interaction is photographed. As with all things purchased abroad, negotiate. We purchased a CD with 73 high resolution photos for $80 (HALF the price). The people around us were paying full price for the CD or purchasing photos by the sheet at around $40. We had read about this so were firm from the beginning.

Dolphin DiscoveryIMG_0831IMG_0839IMG_1004We also had the opportunity to interact with a manatee. After the interaction we were free to stay at Chankanaab Park for as long as we wished (the van would make regular trips back to the ship about every hour). This gave us the opportunity to do some scuba diving! I had read about “El Clavado”, a dive shop that would do “discover scuba” type of excursions. The instructor was extremely patient and thorough. He guided me in shallow waters first.

IMG_0030Chankanaab Cozumel Scuba Diving IMG_0062 IMG_0085Chankanaab Cozumel ScubaIMG_0040 IMG_0049 IMG_0103There was so much beautiful fish, caves and statues to see! The dive shop:

El Clavado Chankanaab CozumeOf course there was more to do at Chankanaab Park! There was a place for tequila-tasting:

Tequila Tasting Chankanaab CozumelIMG_0136 IMG_0137And there were plenty of places to just lounge. I have always been a mountains/nature parks/camping type of person, never a beach person. The few times I’ve gone to the beach have been primarily to spend time with family. I often found laying on the beach exhausting. The truth is, I just was never at the right beach or did the right activities. On this cruise I was able to scuba and snorkel on two beaches and realized how much more enjoyable that was to me! It even made the bits of lounging around enjoyable! I think it’s safe to say this cruise has made me a true beach lover, although I still love the mountains too πŸ™‚ Read the rest of this entry

%d bloggers like this: