Caribbean Cruise 2020
My wife and I just returned from our first cruise, which we spent aboard the Royal Caribbean ship, Liberty of the Sea! As first time cruisers, we probably made a lot of mistakes, and we could have saved a bit of money if I had just followed people’s advice about getting a travel agent instead of navigating it all by myself.
Whatever the case, we had a great time. Although Liberty of the Sea is not the biggest class of ship’s in the Royal Caribbean fleet (that honor goes to the Oasis-class, whereas Liberty is a Freedom-class), she’s nevertheless a really big ship. How big? This big…
And the interior is equally impressive.
And while a the ship is certainly important for a cruise (along with the ship-board activities and abundance of delicious food) the reason we went on a cruise is for the destinations. Our cruise was a Western Caribbean cruise leaving from Galveston, Texas, and making its way first to Cozumel, Mexico, then to Grand Cayman, and finally to Jamaica before returning to Galveston.
For our excursion in Cozumel, Mexico, we chose to take the very long drive to the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza. Although we only got to spend an hour there before having to head back on the very long return drive and ferry ride to Cozumel, we were not disappointed. The Chichen Itza ruins are impressive, and photos do not even do it justice. But here’s one of the photos I took anyway.
At Grand Cayman, we picked an excursion that started with a semi-submersible voyage around the reef, then went on to a driving tour around the island. I did not get many good pictures from the semi-submersible tour, but on the island tour we stopped by a sea turtle sanctuary, which was pretty neat.
We also went to Hell. That’s right–Hell. Hell, Grand Cayman, is an actually location, and its official name, since some joker decided to name it that after the strange rock formations that are nearby.
The last port of call was Falmouth, Jamaica. We picked another driving tour for Jamaica, and specifically one that included a jerk chicken lunch and rum tasting. True Jamaican jerk chicken is really good, and although I am by no means a rum connoisseur, the rum we tasted range from “wow, that burns!” to the yummy coconut and coffee flavored varieties. We also stopped at an overlook that provided a scenic photo opportunity.
But, sadly, Jamaica was the last port of call, and the last two days of the cruise were spent at sea. Most of the ship-board activities were not to our taste, being things like cake-making classes, trivia contests, and karaoke, but we did catch some good shows, and spent most of the time just relaxing and enjoying the view of the great expansive ocean.
We also saw a pod of dolphins jumping and playing as the ship passed them by, but we didn’t get any pictures. The dolphins were moving too fast for us to even attempt to take a photo.
In short, we had a great time, and the worst part of the whole vacation was leaving the ship on the last day (and I’m not kidding–leaving the ship was a mess with all the lines, and the waiting, and more lines, and more waiting, etc.). We definitely plan go on another cruise sometime in the future, and next time we’ll probably use a travel agent.