bullet   Cruise journal continued...

(Mark says...)
Me again.  Ok, it's official, seas are usually not this rough.  We talked to someone who has been on a few cruises and she said the was pretty rough and windy.  I hope it calms down for tomorrow.  It will be nice to walk on land again.  Last night we had dinner with a couple from Biloxi, Mississippi.  The were very nice.  Their names were Adrian and Cindy.  He was from England, had the accent and everything.  He worked for NCL at one time in one of the casinos.  Tonight is the big formal captain's dinner.  I think I'll get the lobster.  Better go for now.  Lots more to talk about tomorrow.

(Jen says...) Nov. 16th, 2004
Well I can stop wondering if we are in the ocean!  At about 1:00 AM the occasional listing of the ship as we rounded corners of the Mississippi became outright rocking and rolling due to high winds.  Apparently we have 12-15 foot swells, which have both Mark and myself 'seasick'.  Mark feels 'funny' in the head, and I feel yucky all over.  It feels as if I have been on a swing for 24 hours or an amusement park ride.  YUCK.  I wonder how I would feel if I weren't taking medicine.  Hopefully I can sleep it off tonight and things will be calmer as we enter the Yucatan Strait.  We may be late for Cozumel in the A.M. and I will certainly have lots to write about tomorrow night. I had Beef Wellington last night (It's 12:00 AM now) and I am sure I would have enjoyed it more if I weren't so nauseous!  I also had mushroom bisque.  Yummy!  Well, gotta go.  PS, did walk  on the deck today and lay out in a beach chair.  Chilly because of the wind, but I do feel better in the open air.  The ocean is so deep a blue color...and so powerful.  I didn't last long at the captains dinner.  Enough to take a picture, eat some food, grab some bread, and go back to the stateroom.  Mark stayed for dessert.  I am not alone though.  There is evidence of seasickness everywhere...yeah, gross!

Today was wonderful.  Got up and went to have breakfast.  While walking on the deck, I noticed the heat and the sun.  Also, the boat was definitely more calm.  After we ate, we laid on deck for a while.  The back to the stateroom to get our bag ready for shore.  Alas, again I fell asleep for an hour.  I seem to be tired ALL the time.  Noticed Cancun earlier in the morning, and now saw Cozumel, with its capital San Miguel coming in to view.  Mark and I caught a cab to Paradise Beach after checking off the ship and getting towels.  The drive was fun, about 10 minutes.  Palm tress with coconuts!  The beach is beautiful!  Blue green waters that I dreamed of seeing.  We laid out for a while, then got into the warm ocean waters, which was a joy.  So easy to swim and float in, though it's salty.  Then we had lunch.  I had a chicken breast fillet with cheese and bacon and fries, Mark had nachos supreme which had beans, cheese, meat (beef and chicken), guacamole, and sour cream.   After forcing oneself to eat while seasick, it is so nice to eat because you are hungry!  It tasted excellent!  We then went back to swimming,  Mark went snorkeling.  I didn't want to. W then took a cab back to San Miguel to the main shopping area...a bunch of stores all along one street.  We started on one end and worked our way to the other.  Silver, diamond, nic-nacks, talevera, clothes, so much to see and buy!  We bought some stuff for the kids and ourselves, and it was getting dark so we went back to the ship, which was due to leave at 7:00 PM.  The tour from Tulum was 30 minutes late though, so we left a little late.  We ate a yummy supper with chicken, and noodles and sat at the back of the ship waiting for the ship to sail away.  The prediction is for 8-10 foot swells, but hopefully I will sleep well and not feel it!

Mark and Jen in Cozumel, posing in front of the ship.

(Mark says) Nov. 17th, 2004
We've done so much in the past  two days.  I don't know if I can get it all down on paper. I'll give it a try.  We got in to Cozumel late due to, yet, you guessed it, rough seas.  We couldn't go as fast due to the rough water.  We got in at noon which was 2 hours late.  They bumped out the departure time so we got enough time in port.  Cozumel looks like a busy little town when we pulled up.  Lots of little stores up and down the main drag.  We had the day planned at Paradise Beach which was a 15-20 minute drive south of town.  The cab drivers are very nice.  I couldn't imagine driving on those streets.  Narrow, lots of traffic, and pedestrians, bikes, buggies and horse drawn carriages.  I don't know how they do it.  The beach was nice.  We swam a little and then had some lunch at the restaurant there. There were a couple of parrots there.  There was a big inflatable "iceberg" in the water.  I managed to climb up it (not easy) and slide down into the water.  After lunch I decided to go snorkeling.  It took a little while to get used to, but it was fun.  Then it was back to do some shopping.   It kind of reminded me of a big strip mall.  Lots of stores and a lot of them were "versions" of the same store, only blocks away.  Not sure why that is.  Lots of people pushing hammocks, blankets, and jewelry on the street.  Got back to the boat and watched the rest of the people come down the pier before we left.  We docked in Roaton, Honduras, at around 12:30, just 30 minutes late.  Not bad.  Roatan definitely looks much less commercial than Cozumel.  We got off the ship and all the buses were waiting to take us to our various destinations.  We were going to do the canopy tour and the to Tabyana Beach.  NCL had the rights to that beach for the day.  They may own or run it, I'm not certain.  The canopy tour was cool.  We were in a harness zipping on a cable from tree to tree in the rain forest.  We saw some birds, an iguana, and quite a few bugs.  Not nearly as bad as MN in the summer.  After that we got back to the vans and went to the beach. Very cool place.  We had food and went to the beach.  I went snorkeling again.  I saw many more fish that at Cozumel, maybe I'll describe them later.  Jen wants to write, or go eat, not sure which.  On the way back to the ship we stopped to take a nice picture by a scenic look out.  The hills looked like small mountains. Reminded me of Jurassic Park.  More later.

(Jen says)
Honduras will probably be one of my favorite ports ever- a destination that I certainly would go back to- and hope to even!  The people who live there are very beautiful.  Their faces are full of expression, and guileless, it seems.  I read of the internet that it is a poor country, with many beggars and horrid conditions, and very sad.  Certainly the people are poor- but the didn't seem sad to me.  The island itself is such a contradiction to Cozumel.  Commercialism has not struck here.  We were the only ship port, and the town is so quaint.  Houses on stilts, palm trees everywhere, green water.  Just lovely, if not primitive.  In Honduras we went on the canopy tour. (Note, the ship rocked and rolled again last night, but more experienced cruisers are still saying it is unusual!)  I had to sign a waver saying I am in good health, not pregnant (oops!) and the company not liable for falls or accidents.  The tour itself is on 11 canopy lines 10-30 feet high, above the trees (so it doesn't seem so high) and between 100-600 yards long.  Some fast, some slow.  Your break is your hand, with a leather glove that you press down on the line.  SOme lines you had to bread a lot, some they told you not to brake at all or you would be stuck between trees, pulling yourself in.  At the end of each zip line you had to disconnect and re-connect to the next.  I had such fun!  I was never even afraid of the heights, speed, or anything.  The group we were with were such people.  The 30 minute drive to the tour was beautiful.  The hibiscus grows like dandelions!  Realty is selling like crazy, and big houses or foreigners are going up fast (made from all concrete).  Our driver on the home pointed out the different flora for us, and a few animals too.  After the canopy tour we went to Tabyana Beach, a lovely beach with soft sand and green waters...aqua like the color of Ethan's eyes.  There was a delicious BBQ, and spaghetti and fruit so perfectly ripe and juicy it was amazing!  I even tried my hand at snorkeling, which I gave up on.  I panic when I get under water and see fish and the sand so far beneath me, so I want to stand up, but it's almost impossible to tread water with fins on.  So I gave my better mask to Mark and play in the water while he snorkels.  Then it's time to go home.  I hate to leave Honduras.  I loved it here.  But on to Belize!