2 days later, I started feeling better and then the rest of the family started heading downhill. Chris first, then Isabel. It has been 1.5 weeks of ick.
Meanwhile, my brother had a new baby!!! Georgia Jeannette Connelly. She is named after my Mom and her other Grandmother. I couldn't go see her for a week, but when I did...ahhhhh. She looks JUST like Isabel as a baby!
So, about that cruise.
I chose to bring my best friend's family on this cruise. Mandi and I have known each other since the eighth grade and I didn't want her nine-year-old son to feel too left out this year while I travel with his sister. He understands that Sierra travels with me to HELP me, but it still can't seem fair to him.
We picked a 7 day cruise out of Tampa on Norwegian Cruise Line with stops in Roatan, Honduras, Belize City, Belize, Costa Maya, Mexico, and Cozumel Mexico.
I have been to Cozumel and Costa Maya before, on a cruise with my family, including Isabel and Ian. That was their first and only cruise.
I wasn't anticipating that Isabel would be emotional about being on a cruise again WITHOUT Ian. It really struck her in the Kid's Club. Isabel returned from it crying because she missed Ian and she was lonely in the kid's club. Logan, Mandi's son, immediately created his own peer group and Isabel felt left out. The staff at the kids club wasn't very helpful in helping her make friends. We didn't put the kids in there much.
I really liked having a balcony room this time, and found it very convenient to have. I have tried to get one for my next cruise in Asia, but it seems like it isn't going to happen... :(
The cruise took off without a hitch and we traveled first to Roatan. The weather wasn't the greatest on this trip, but compared to what YOU GUYS were experiencing, I was still pretty happy.
I booked an excursion to Little French Key, a private island off of Roatan. We were picked up off the ship and driven to the barge that would ferry us to the island.
Due to the poor weather, only our cruise ship made it to the port and we had the island practically to ourselves. I loved the place! It was like paradise on earth. It has lagoons and hammocks and a really well kept zoo. We held MONKEYS!!!
Sierra was able to play with a Jaguar kitten.
After eating and relaxing, we took a small boat out to the reef. They said it was the second largest reef in the world. I kinda believe it! It looked like the fake reef you see at SeaWorld's Discovery Cove. Unimaginable amounts of coral life.
The next day, our ship arrived at Belize City, and we had to take a boat to shore (called "tendering"). It was cold and drizzly that day and we were all freezing. The tour I planned picked us up and carried us off into the Belizian countryside.
The plan: CAVE TUBING
The reality: HIGH WATER DANGER! DANGER! DANGER!
As we headed to the "bridge" over the river, we realized that the "bridge" was actually a rope strung across a river. A river that was quickly rising with all of the rain the past few days.
We were stopped by a police officer who told us "the little ones can't cross, the water is too high." Our tour guide tried to tell the police that it was fine, that we signed a waiver...
I balked. I put my foot down and refused to cross the river. I was a miniature fit.
I try to not be over-protective of Isabel following Ian's accident, but this seemed stupid. I had to tell her that we weren't going and then lightly argue with Mandi that we weren't going. I told her to go ahead and take her kids, but she refused to leave us. Bestie...
We were well taken care of by our excursion company. They sent a mini-van to pick us up and bring us to their ATV course. We did that instead. Pretty sure that will be my first and last time ATVing. My arms hurt and I felt like I was going to fall off the entire time. Even though Isabel cried about not going cave tubing, she LOOOOVED the ATVing.
Follwing Belize City was Costa Maya. I tried to explain to Mandi and Chris that there was this beach... I had been there before... It had fish tacos... and massages... and was off the left of the port.
Last cruise, we saw this guy!!! 5 years old
3 years later!
That is all I remembered...lol. They were not pleased with my lack of planning.
We headed out of the port and grabbed a taxi. The taxi driver knew EXACTLY where I was describing. He dropped us off and we had a wonderful beach day. The kids played in the water. The three adults all got 1 hour massages. We ate fish tacos, ceviche, quesadillas, salsa, ahhhhh. YUM!
Out last port day was Cozumel, that I have been to twice before. For anyone stopping there on a cruise, I can only recommend highly The Money Bar. They have snorkeling equipment, lots of food options, bar service, hammocks, chairs and tables. Perfection. We spent the whole day there eating and snorkeling. Whereas in Roatan the reefs are amazing, the fish are easier to see in Cozumel (probably because the reefs are dead.) The kids did great with their swimming skills.
Overall, it was fun and difficult traveling with another family. There are comprises that must be made every day and that can be tiresome when you want to do what you want to do. The addition of more people, all with different moods, at time started to grate on the nerves. It didn't really matter in the end, because this little boy had a wonderful time!