Thursday â€“ Third port of call: Belize City, Belize
At Belize, the ship does not dock, but rather drops anchor in the ocean. We could take boats to Belize city, but we opted for excursions. Reid was going scuba diving, and the boys and I planned to go to an island so we could do some swimming.
The whole process of getting off the ship, onto boats (tenders), is not very much fun. Those scheduled for excursions were to meet in one of the large restaurants while they organized you getting off the ship. Things were very loud with all the announcements, people were squeezing in and out of the restaurant, we had to wait about an hour before it was our turn.
Sounds like Reid had a wonderful time at the scuba lesson. Heâ€™s been wanting to try scuba diving for a while now, so it was great to have the opportunity.
The boat ride to the island with Michael, Ronnie and I took about 15 to 20 minutes. I liked the fellows operating the boatâ€¦ a couple of young fellows from Belize. They were lively, and lots of fun. The island wasnâ€™t very large, had lots of chairs available for our use. We arranged ourselves a nice spot under some trees and Ronnie and I ran off for a swim. Michael lay out in the shade and promptly fell asleep.
Ronnie and I had some difficulty with the sand. We found it to be quite sharp, and had to wear our sandals while swimming. It was great to be in the ocean, though. After about an hour or so, Ronnie started to get anxious that the boat had gone back to the ship without us. Indeed, it was nowhere to be found, but I figured they were running folks back and forth from the ship to Belize city. They were there as promised, though, when it was time to leave. Michael woke upâ€¦ the sun had moved, and his whole right side was very burned (right ear, right arm, right leg).
We were back on the ship by early afternoon. I would have liked to go to Belize City on a tender, but everyone was quite tired (I canâ€™t blame Reid, after scuba diving), so we spent the rest of the day relaxing on the ship.
I only met a few locals from Belize. Those I did meet were great. I hadnâ€™t realized Belize was an English speaking countryâ€¦ huh, an English speaking country in the middle of Central America. I think it might be fun to go back there one day. Iâ€™ll have to keep that in the back of my mind for a future vacation (sans children). Lots of scuba diving for Reid in Belize!
Friday â€“ Last port of call: Cozumel, Mexico
We were docked at Cozumel (thank goodness, no tenders!!) Reid had another scuba lesson scheduled for the morning. Michael was supposed to go to, but found his burn hurt quite a lot so it was best he didnâ€™t go. I decided to wander around the city. (The boys wanted to stay in their cabin.) I really enjoyed Cozumel. Unlike Costa Maya and Santo Tomas, there was a whole city to explore. I wandered around for a few hours and even bought dad more brandy.
Back on the ship, while waiting for Reid, I took Ronnie swimming. I really liked the hot tubsâ€¦ but found the pools too cool for my taste (they were about 78 degrees F). But I couldnâ€™t wimp out â€“ Reid wasnâ€™t around to play with Ronnie, so I had to tough it out. Itâ€™s funnyâ€¦ Ronnie spent 20 minutes trying to get used to the hot tubâ€¦ first his toes, then his feet, then his ankles, and so on. I was the same way, but in the pool rather than the hot tub. Michael joined us as well, to soak his poor burned leg in the nice, cool pool.
Reid was back on the ship by early afternoon, after another successful scuba lesson. I think he enjoyed Belize a little more. But that may be due to the fact that they were all amateurs and couldnâ€™t go out in very deep water.
I was anxious to go swimming in the ocean again, so Reid and I went out, hopped in a cab and went to a beach. It took about 20 minutes to get to the closest, large sized beach. And guess where the boys were? Yup, you guessed it. They didnâ€™t want to come, so they stayed in the cabin. (Did I mention Reid bought the Power Book? Guess what the kids were doing?)
Ronnie really regretted not coming with us when he saw the pictures of the trampolines and â€œrock climbingâ€ inflatable slide thing in the water. Reid and I didnâ€™t try the slide (it looked impossible to climb!) but we bounced on the trampoline. He found that the water really dampened the bouncibality (is that a word?), but I found it more than adequate. I screamed every time I bounced. We only spent about an hour on the beachâ€¦ it was late afternoon, we had both gotten tired, and we could see a storm rolling in. In fact, it was pouring by the time we got back to the dock. (The whole week was a little cold and rainy)
Saturday â€“ Day at sea, back to New Orleans
We woke up Saturday to find the ship rocking quite a bit. We were back in open ocean. The waves were much higher going back to New Orleans. I think we actually enjoyed the ship rolling. A very unique experience. None of us were sick at all â€“ although we brought gravol just in case.
We spent the day pretty quietly on the ship. Didnâ€™t go swimming, but did enjoy just relaxing.
Sunday â€“ New Orleans and home
The ship pulled in bright and early Sunday morning. We opted for the â€œleave early, carry your own bags outâ€ departure. We had to really, our flight was at noon, and if we had NCL take our luggage for us, we would have missed our flight.
Despite being Canadian, we had to go through US customs. I hadnâ€™t expected that (if we were in an airport just stopping in the US, I donâ€™t think we would have had to go through customs). It was completely uneventful, despite honestly telling them that I was bringing food with me.
The flight back to Buffalo wasnâ€™t uneventful. It involved the flight in New Orleans being late, Michael getting sick on the plane, running all out in Charlotte to make our connecting flight, and spending over an hour waiting for our luggage in Buffalo. (We KNEW the luggage made it on the plane in Charlotte this time. Michael and I saw all 4 of our bags being loaded on the plane out the window) But Buffalo had had more flight problems, and there was luggage piled up, from days before, everywhere. Tons of it.
Once we got our luggage in Buffalo, we drove to the border for an extremely easy border crossing (I donâ€™t think he even asked us if we were carrying alcohol!). We stopped by my parentsâ€™ place on the way back to Toronto (they fed us!) and didnâ€™t get home until 11pm. School and work the next day, ugh!
Monday â€“ Toronto
OK â€“ I know Monday is not part of our vacation, but I have to mention a very interesting thing that happened to Reid and I. While at work on Monday, the building swayed back and forth, back and forth, all day. It felt as though I were still on the ship. Reid had the same effect in the basement. I was fine by Tuesday, but the effect lasted until Wednesday for Reid. The boys didnâ€™t notice a thing!!