Cruise to Mexico and Belize - September 2003

Cruising the Caribbean on the Carnival Elation

Day 1, September 28, 2003:

Terri, Elroy, Rachel, and I departed Galveston at 4pm on our cruise.  Wayland had been nice enough to drive us down there, and we got there about noon.  The wait was in line was painful—a couple of hours.  After finally getting on board, Terri and I hurried to our room (E-14) to unpack.  (Our luggage was already waiting for us.)  After unpacking (and before the ship had disembarked) we had to complete an emergency drill.  (We had to put on our life jackets to complete the drill.  I became an official “helper” to a few people who sat near us.  They thought that I worked on the ship or something.  They couldn't believe that I had never put on one of these life vests before.)  Afterwards, Terri and I went to the deck to watch the boat pull away from the dock.

We went and explored the ship.  At 6:15pm, we went to eat dinner in the Inspiration dining hall.  (Here I had the best chicken I have ever had in my life called Supreme Chicken a la Grecque.)

Later we went to a Game Show where Terri was chosen to play!  She got to 50 points first and won a 14 carat gold plastic ship on a stick.

Later that evening we went with Rachel and Elroy to grab late ice cream.  Terri and I, being the old folks we are, hit the hay at 10:15pm.

Day 2, September 29, 2003:

The water was VERY choppy this day and people were vomiting all over the place.  Luckily Terri, Rachel, and I had seasickness patches on that kept us from having trouble.  It was truly odd to see barf bags taped to stair railings.

After eating breakfast at 8, Rachel and I went to find out more info about shopping at the ports of call.  ~Terri and I had already decided that Cozumel would be our shopping port.  After this seminar, I laid down for about 30 minutes.  I made it back in time to see a seminar about the available shore excursions.  Terri, Elroy, Rachel, and I all signed up to go cave tubing in Belize, and Terri and I signed up to do a kayaking adventure in Progresso.

I then left Rachel to go to a seminar called “Frustrated With Your Hair.”  Only one other lady, besides me, showed up, so we got complimentary consulting scheduled for Tuesday. 

I should probably mention here our old versus new itinerary.  A tropical cyclone hit Progresso, so a change was necessary.

Tuesday in Progresso
Wednesday in Cozumel                      
Thursday in Belize

Wednesday in Belize
Thursday in Cozumel
Friday in Progresso

We all met for lunch, and, afterward, went to the casino.  I entered a slot tournament that Jane’s sister wound up winning.  $500 was the prize.  After this, Terri and I took a nap on the deck, went to the cheese/wine tasting (promptly deciding to leave), and then went to Pete’s Piano Bar for Tea Time.  This was followed by more trivia.

We ran into Elroy and Rachel at the casino and decided to go play spades until time to get dressed up for our formal dinner.  After changing out of our dresses after dinner, we went and saw a dancing/singing show, followed by more Spades (where I must mention that Terri and I beat Elroy and Frances twice).  After this was the Late Show, a very funny comedy act.

When it was time to retire, Terri and found chocolate mints on our pillows and our beach towel was made into a frog.

Day 3, September 30, 2003:

Today was supposed to have us stopping at Progresso.  Instead, it was a sea day.  We did have an emergency stop in Cozumel to let off a lady who had fallen down and broken a hip. 

Our day was:  breakfast, hair consultation (where the lady tried to convince me to dye my hair copper), Brain teaser, trivia, casino, lunch, men’s hairy chest contest, gambling, Bingo, a tour of the galley (which was huge and stainless steel), chips and salsa happy hour, casino, dinner, casino, and a juggling and comedy show.  Bedtime required that we set the clocks ahead an hour.

Day 4, October 1, 2003:
Today was a stop in Belize.  Rachel, Elroy, Terri, and I went Cave Tubing and Rainforest Walk shore excursion after a quick breakfast.  We waited in the Mikado lounge where we tendered to shore.

The Cave Tubing was supposed to be very strenuous—but the only difficult part of it was that I had rented water shoes that were so thin that I could feel every rock for almost three hours.  (A 45 min. walk through the rainforest—the rest was on the tube (except for a few shallow spots.)  The water was quite chilly at first, but eventually our bodies regulated and we were on our way.  (There were military men in camouflage with large guns standing on the cliffs.  That was a bit freaky too.)
The caves were amazing.  At one point we were on the river in pitch black—and at others had just the light from the headlights they provided.  We were able to see bat caves on the ceiling and HUGE stalagmites and stalactites.

We had lunch at a place called Cheers.  The menu was black beans and rice, coleslaw, curry chicken, watermelon, and bananas with caramel sauce.  (This may have been my first time to have curry.  I liked it, but this wasn't the spicy kind.)  Then we had our choice of lemon juice or iced tea. 
We then headed back to Belize City, shopped a tad, and loaded back onto the Elation. 
Terri and I took quick showers and tried to play in the casino, but they keep it closed until the boat disembarks.  We headed up to the deck and took short naps before heading down to play spades with Elroy and Rachel.  We then got dressed for dinner, played more in the casino, saw the ending of a fiddler/patriotic show, and played cards again.  (Terri and Kristy 3, Elroy and Rachel 1)

Day 5, October 2, 2003:
Today was Cozumel.

Terri and I did most of our shopping together, getting some free items and lots of gifts.  Since we thought we had to depart early, we hurried up quite a bit.  We did manage some good deals though.

We got four spray painted pictures for $30.  I got Kris a t-shirt, and Terri and I both got him hot sauce.  I was held up in one of the stores by a Mexican police officer who insisted I speak to him in Spanish.  I was really nervous he'd arrest me.

When we were passing by one of the Carnival’s recommended stores, I got escorted in by the owner.  He hooked me in by the arm and pulled me into his store.  He told us about their free shipping policy, and then told Terri that she could have one of the oriental rugs if he could keep me.  She decided, thank goodness, that I was more valuable than an Oriental rug.  I never thought I'd get bartered for a rug!

After our shopping, we went back to the boat.  (This is where we found out the change of port.)  But we went and ate lunch, played some more spades (Elroy and Rachel 2, Terri and Kristy 1).
We saw a Mexican show at 7:15pm, and I got pulled up on stage to dance with them.  (Mexican men must like women with red hair.)  

Then there was a scavenger hunt…Terri and I gathered everything we could find from our room.  (We had guessed the scavenger hunt would either be “who has this…” or a list of items we would have to go around and collect.)  It turned out to be the items that people currently had on them, and, if you had the item called, you earned a point for your team.  Out of however many items they called, we only missed three of them.  Some woman provided us with a lighter, but we had a lot of obscure stuff like a beach towel wrapper and mint from our pillow.

Elroy was wonderful!!!  They made a guy from each team:
  1. Wear women’s high heels and walk the stage
  2. Dress up like a woman (in 3 minutes) and do their best woman walk across the stage.  (He came in 2nd but secure our win.  We got our 24 carat gold plastic ship on a stick.)  
  3. I must also commend Frances here.  The women's clothes had to come from somewhere, and Frances didn't think twice about ripping off her skirt to loan to Grandpa Schorn.  So she's sitting there skirtless, and Terri was wearing a sweater.  I ask Terri to give her sweater to Frances to cover her legs.  Terri said she was cold and didn't want to give her sweater up.  It took a bit to convince her that Frances's nakedness trumped three minutes of chilly.

Later that night was the guest talent show.  They had a couple of singers, a hula lady, and a woman who could whistle through her toes.  After the guests performed, the cast put on a skit “If I weren’t on the sea, this is what I’d be…”

After laughing a lot, it was time for bed.

Day 6, October 3, 2003:
Today was Calica.  Terri and I signed up for a kayak adventure at Tres Rios in Cancun.  We kayaked up and back one river, but opted to lie in the shade at the beach.  After the kayakers got back, we snorkeled through the 1st river.  The water was very cold at first, but it was a nice trip.  When we were done, we changed clothes and ate the extensive Mexican buffet.  It had an open bar, so Terri and I got soda and virgin strawberry daiquiris. 
We took the thirty-minute bus rid back to the Elation and looked through a few shops there at Calica in front of the ship.  Terri and I reboarded and took showers before heading to the Battle of the Sexes trivia.  We then played in the Casino where Terri and I both won some money on the quarter Wheel of Fortune slot machine.
During dinner we had Baked Alaska for dessert.  We then played more in the casino until the Elation put on a show called “Spin”.  After the show, we went back to the casino.  We saw Elroy win at Caribbean Stud.  He got a full house, which paid $100 plus his bet 7:1.

Afterwards, Terri, Frances, Elroy, and I played spades.  We then went to the Gala Buffet at midnight.  They had gorgeous food carvings and ice sculptures.  Frances saw a display of what she thought was guacamole by the sushi display.  She sat at the table and took a HUGE spoonful.  We see her face turn red, her eyes water, and she starts coughing.  It turned out to be wasabi. 

Day 7, October 4, 2003:
The morning started off with Terri, Rachel, and I playing trivia.  (Actually, the day started off for Terri at the wheel of Fortune slots where she won $56.)  Next was “Win a Cruise” Bingo.  We didn’t win.  I did, however, get another 14 carat gold ship on a stick in a Mind Teasers trivia game.

Then Jane’s family won the horse race for the horse they had purchased and decorated.  We participated in TV/Movie trivia then headed to play spades.

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