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erby2283

Carnival Legend 11-17-13 Review - with lots of photos!

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This cruise almost never happened for me and I was still reluctant to go as my dog was diagnosed with cancer for a 3rd time in June 2013, and what was supposed to be an easy surgery turned into months of chemo, weekly testing and well, as you can imagine, big time bucks. I decided since the Legend was going to be permanently moving to Australia and I had gotten such a good deal on our balcony, we would stick it out and take this trip and probably forego a cruise in 2014.

 

Southwest started flying out of Charlotte earlier this year so we no longer had to drive to Raleigh to get great rates on flights. However, there were no direct flights into Tampa and I really didn’t feel like flying through Houston and traveling for 8 hours the day before we set sail. So, I decided we would fly into Orlando and rent a car and drive to Tampa. The flight was uneventful and while waiting for our bags, I luckily overhead someone mentioning how incredibly long the lines can be renting cars at MCO. So while my BF waited for luggage, I briskly walked to the rental counter and got all that taken care of before our bags even arrived! FYI – while dropping off the car for our return flight, I noticed the lines to get rental cars was 100x worse than when I was there so I guess I got lucky. Picked out my Chevy Impala and off we went to Tampa.

 

After getting advice here on Cruise Critic, we booked the Double Tree in Rocky Point which overlooks the Bay. I made a reservation about 6 months in advance and was glad I did as it seemed to be completely booked well in advance of our sailing. I had originally booked us 2 double beds and at check-in, she upgraded us to a king and didn't even have to ask for the view! It was beautiful! After check-in, we dropped off our luggage and set out for a quick ride around town. Here are a few photos of our hotel room. The hotel is being renovated but we didn’t hear a single peep! For what I paid, I was really impressed with the accommodations!

 

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Good start erby! It was an awesome cruise for us as well!

 

Sent from my SM-T310 using Forums mobile app

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For dinner we decided to eat at a place very close to the hotel called Bahama Breeze. I ordered Grilled Chicken with Cilantro Cream sauce with mashed potatoes and corn and my BF ordered the Jerk Chicken Pasta. We also ordered the Spinach and Artichoke Dip appetizer and I had a virgin painkiller and some sodas and our bill totaled around $50. The place was packed but we only had to wait a few minutes for dinner. I would highly recommend this place. Service was great, and the food was really very good!

 

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Usually on the embarkation days, I like to be at the terminal by 11. This is the second Carnival cruise I had purchased FTTF so I wasn't too anxious to be there. We had to drop our rental car off at the Alamo located inside in Westin hotel which is located about a mile away from the pier and it was a nightmare. Only 2 guys working the desk and about 10 people waiting to rent cars. I was second in line to return a car quickly followed by 5 more. But people waiting to rent cars were in front of us. We must have been waiting about 30 minutes before the guy at the counter said they had to take all returns back first b/c the cars were blocking the entrance to the hotel. So we lucked out in a sense that we didn't have to wait for those waiting to rent cars to be processed first. We then took the free shuttle Alamo offered to the pier. The driver advised that he was going to drop the others off at NCL's Jewel first b/c Carnival had not yet started embarkation. What? It was almost 12 PM and they still hadn't started embarkation yet?! So we dropped our luggage off and got in line. The line soon wrapped around the sidewalk behind us. While waiting, we met a very nice couple (around my parents age) from the UK. We would run into them quite frequently and are now even FB friends.;)

 

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When we finally got inside the terminal and up the escalator, a woman was advising people which lines to proceed to in order to check-in. When I advised her we were FTTF, she broke apart the line barrier and we stood at the very front of the line with her until the next agent was available (which happened to be right in front of us). We were processed in about 5 minutes and we were on our way to board the ship.

 

As soon as we got on, we went straight to our cabin; a balcony #6285. One crew member did try to guide us upstairs to Lido but once I told him we were FTTF and wanted to drop our carry-on's off, he nodded and we proceeded on our way. To my surprise, our luggage was already at our door! Well, all but one piece of luggage. So we brought all the luggage inside and began to unpack. The final piece of luggage did not show up until 4 hours later. I had assumed that maybe it did not get tagged FTTF like the rest, but sure enough, it did in fact have a FTTF sticker on it so I guess it just didn't get sorted correctly along with our other bags.

 

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After unpacking, it was off for a quick bite to eat and to explore this beautiful ship I had heard so much about.

 

I had read that our voyage would be the first in which the Christmas decorations would be displayed and I was excited about this fact b/c I always cruise in November but I always seem to miss the Christmas decorations by a week or two. I had heard some rumblings from fellow passengers that the reason our embarkation was delayed was so they could put up these decorations. I personally would not be able to validate this statement so maybe someone who sailed the week before could comment if any were being put up during their sailing?

 

I thought the decorations were beautiful and not overbearing or tacky in anyway.

 

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Random pictures of the Legend:

 

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I find this creepy, isn't this the sister ship to Miracle?

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I find this creepy, isn't this the sister ship to Miracle?

 

I'm not sure if they're sister ships (I don't know Carnival's ships all that well). But the top picture is the set of stairs that leads to the teenage nightclub so I think it's supposed to be kind of edgy and the bottom one is the enchanted forest. It's actually really beautiful in person and an awesome place at the very front of the ship to sit and read.

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We sailed away around 4:15 and a few of us who had met on cruise critic, but kept in touch more regularly on another website, had a little get together planned at 5 pm at the Unicorn Bar (another one was planned for noon the next day for those who couldn't make the one on embarkation day). Turns out our meet and greets were held in two different areas of the unicorn bar so we all weren't together in one spot and I didn't get to meet everyone. :(

 

Around 5:45, a few of us went to higher decks so we could get a better view as we approached the Skyway Bridge. NCL's Jewel left 15 minutes before us. Here is a picture (a bit blurry) of her sailing under the bridge.

 

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Then we approached the bridge. It reminded me of when I sailed under the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco (RCCL). One of these pictures is really, really blurry, for which I apologize, but it's a picture of the Carnival tail as it passes under the bridge. You can see how the ship just barely clears.

 

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After we sailed under the bridge, we got changed and headed down to deck 3 to the dining room for ATD. The line to get seated was pretty long when we got there and had to wait about 15 just to get seated. But my BF and I prefer to sit at a table for 2 so we were given a pager and had to wait about 10 more minutes. We were seated right by a window and enjoyed great service by Fernando and his staff tonight, and every night we had dinner. We asked for his section every night and were never disappointed. On Wed night, I asked Fernando what night mac-n-cheese night was going to be to which he responded, "it can be tonight Ms. Elisa!" Sure enough, with my meal, he brought a side dish of mac-n-cheese.

 

Here's where I must apologize to the foodies b/c I am about as plain jane when it comes to food as it comes. I do not eat any sea food and between that and my pickiness, unfortunately, leaves very little for me to choose at dinner every night. Every night for a starter, I have the spring rolls and I usually was able to find some sort of pasta, steak or chicken to eat.

 

For dessert, is there really anything better than the chocolate melting cake? I ordered it 3 times but only the first night was it cooked properly (with it melting inside). The other nights, it was overcooked but still excellent. I even ordered it with vanilla AND butter pecan ice cream! Then one night, I surprised my BF and actually tried something new. I always read about the Bitter and Blanc dessert here on CC but had never tried it, so I did. It was good, and I would order it again since it's only offered on one night but I still love my chocolate melting cake!

 

We walked around the ship a little more and peaked in on a couple shows but decided to go back to the cabin early. Monday would be a sea day!

 

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Edited by erby2283

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love a great picture review!!

 

I was thinking that the Legend looks like the Pride as well so they all must be spirit class ships.

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We were on the week before you so I can verify that they did not start the Christmas decorations until we were getting off - we were off fairly early because I'm Platinum and they were just starting to drag the decorations off. So, my guess it was the reason for the delay in boarding. We boarded way earlier than 12:00.

 

I loved the Legend and wish she were hanging around - I live less than an hour from the port, but this was my first time on her. We really enjoyed our week.

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Day 2 - Sea Day

 

It has been my experience that if you want a good spot in the Serenity on sea day, you have to get your butt up early! We got up around 8:15 and I changed into my bathing suit and headed up to Serenity. There were a few people already out but surprisingly, it was not too busy by 8:30. That WOULD change on the second sea day (Sat).

 

I had been watching the weather like a hawk prior to our cruise and it had called for rain (like 80-90%) every day in every port. But we lucked out on this cruise and the weather was beautiful. Other than sitting on my balcony, there is nothing I enjoy more than this view while being on a ship!!!

 

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Debbie (AKA Poptart) found me quite early and I enjoyed her company all morning! Debbie talked about the Legend having her favorite Serenity area and I have to say after now having sailed 3 Carnival ships, I concur. It's laid out perfectly and has it's own pool. The showers are nice to cool off in as well.

 

I laid out in the sun until about 2 and decided that was enough. Too much sun gives me a migraine and I didn't want to ruin the rest of the day.

 

I grabbed a bite to eat from the deli (a turkey sandwich is all this picky woman eats) and I would eat from here almost every day. IMO the buffet on the Legend not only has a very limited selection, it's not very good. But between the turkey sandwiches and the pizza, I would not starve. :D

 

Tonight was formal night...AKA lobster not for all you seafood eating people. My BF ordered two!

 

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After dinner, I went to the internet cafe to send an email to my mom who was taking care of my dog. What can I say other than the internet at sea sucks....always. But that's not Carnival's fault. Sometimes I wish there was a way for them to actually track how long it takes each page to load and not charge you for that time. One time, it literally took 5 minutes to load a page.

 

After checking in with mom, we went to the adult-only show for the comedian Happy Cole. We had seen him before on another Carnival ship and he's extremely funny. We got there about 10 minutes before show time and there was no place to sit down. Standing room only.

 

After that we headed back to the cabin. I swear I go to bed earlier on vacation than when I go to work!

Edited by erby2283

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We were on the week before you so I can verify that they did not start the Christmas decorations until we were getting off - we were off fairly early because I'm Platinum and they were just starting to drag the decorations off. So, my guess it was the reason for the delay in boarding. We boarded way earlier than 12:00.

 

I loved the Legend and wish she were hanging around - I live less than an hour from the port, but this was my first time on her. We really enjoyed our week.

 

Thanks for verifying the Christmas decorations. I was just glad I bought FTTF!!!!

 

It must be nice living so close to port. If I did, I could take so many last minute cruises at good rates!

 

I play Call of Duty on ps3 and have friends that live in Plant City. Isn't that near Lakeland?

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It is not creepy at all; it is the Enchanted Forest which is a nice quiet place to read a book or play cards

I find this creepy, isn't this the sister ship to Miracle?

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I find this creepy, isn't this the sister ship to Miracle?

 

Yes, the Legend, Pride, Spirit and Miracle are sister ships. It is actually a very cool area of the ship, very quiet.

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Thanks for verifying the Christmas decorations. I was just glad I bought FTTF!!!!

 

It must be nice living so close to port. If I did, I could take so many last minute cruises at good rates!

 

I play Call of Duty on ps3 and have friends that live in Plant City. Isn't that near Lakeland?

 

 

Yes, Plant City is just 10-15 miles from us - between Lakeland and Tampa. Living between Tampa & Orlando makes it nice for us, but getting off work and coming up with $$ puts a damper on my cruising (lol).

 

Seems like lately we've been going out of Port Canaveral for some reasons - but I sure wish I would have taken the opportunity to sail on the Legend before - I really loved the ship - Serenity area was great - we were in an extended balcony on Deck 7 great location. I'd love to cruise on her one more time before she leaves us, but we'll have to see how that works out.

 

I'm enjoying your review!

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I'd love to cruise on her one more time before she leaves us, but we'll have to see how that works out.

 

I'm enjoying your review!

 

The Legend is supposed to be replaced with the Pride which is also a Spirit class ship so we should be ok here. And it will be upgraded before in comes in.

Rumor has it that it will have the Green Thunder water slide!!!

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After months of not being able to make up my mind of what I wanted to do, and with the uncertainty of weather, we decided to go to Paradise Beach with Poptart and her family (whom we met here on CC). My BF and I ate breakfast in the buffet and met Poptart and family in front of guest services so we could share a taxi to Paradise Beach. While walking down to Deck 1, we ran into another cruise critic couple in the hallway, Judy and Mike, who wanted to go to Paradise Beach too! The more the merrier. I’m so glad Poptart was there as she knew exactly where she was going and just led us to the taxi stand and told them where we wanted to go. There were 11 of us altogether so we had to split up. Still, it was nice to share a cab ride and not have to pay the fare by ourselves.

 

When we arrived there was hardly anyone there!

 

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And the pool was just as beautiful as everyone said it was! Later in the day, Poptart and her daughter ordered some food and they brought over a table and set it in the water so they didn’t even had to get out of the pool to eat their food!

 

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There were only 3 ships in port that day so I’m assuming this is a quiet day for Cozumel. We decided to hang out by the ocean for an hour or so and enjoy the view. We order a virgin pina colada and a diet coke. We just sat in the loungers and enjoyed watching everyone swim around and play on all the floats.

 

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After an hour, we moved up to the pool area where Poptart and her family were and Judy and Mike who were at the beach with us, followed a short time later. We all enjoyed hanging out at the pool. It was not crowded at all! When it was time for us to order lunch, my BF ordered the Mexican Platter (I think it was $14.99)

 

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As I explained earlier, I am the plain Jane eater so I ordered a plain chicken sandwich and French fries. My BF even told the waited in Spanish just the chicken (pollo) and bun…nothing else. It was delivered with cheese, lettuce and mayonnaise so I guess “plain” means the same thing in Mexico as it does here at every drive-thru in America! LOL!

 

As you can see, the grounds at Paradise Beach are extremely beautiful and well kept. I never had to use the bathrooms but I heard they were spotless as well! I am so glad we decided to come here for the day. We would definitely come back here again. We took a cab back with Judy and Mike and were on a mission to find a particular brand of Vanilla for a friend back home. The only bottle I could find was a very small bottle and all of them had been opened. Seriously, who would buy a bottle that had already been opened? So, we had to settle for a different brand. But when you can get a huge 32 ounce bottle of vanilla for around $10, does anyone really care what brand it is?

 

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Before we boarded, I stopped to take a picture of my BF in front of the Carnival Legend and Carnival Paradise. There was also another Carnival ship at another pier but I cannot remember which ship it was. It looks like a postcard to me!

 

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One of my favorite things about cruising is sitting on my balcony just watching the water and hearing the waves. On this evening, shortly after sailaway, and lasting into the night, we had a lightening storm. I kept randomly snapping pictures with my camera hoping to catch a flash of lightening in the clouds and after about 9 tries, I was successful!

 

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I would later go up to the Serenity area and lay on one of the hammocks with my ipod, and just listen to music watching the lightening in the clouds. I find so much peace and tranquility during moments like that!

 

I think we skipped dinner in the dining room tonight and ate from the deli/pizza.

 

A few cruises ago, I won $425 on a penny slot machine (on my first $20 too)! I headed down to the casino with my $20 and when I got up to $63, I cashed out. Why chance a good thing, right? I knew I probably wouldn't win like that ever again...lol!

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Loving your review so far, thanks for taking the time to post it. Paradise Beach looks beautiful!

 

You're welcome and thanks for taking the time for your quick post to let me know you were reading/enjoying it.

 

It really takes a lot of time to upload/crop hundreds of pictures and then take the time to write a review. May not be as detailed as most but I post what I can remember off the top of my head.

 

When I am anxiously awaiting for a cruise, I love reading reviews which is why I choose to do one; to return the favor. Always amazes me to see how many people actually read the review versus actually posting a reply/thank you.

 

So thank you to all you who took a moment to respond.

 

 

Sent using the Cruise Critic forums app

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I'm leaving on the Legend on Sunday! You're review is holding me over until then! Sounds like you had a great cruise. Thanks for posting!

 

Have a great cruise!!! I will do my

Best to finish before you leave.

 

 

Sent using the Cruise Critic forums app

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This cruise almost never happened for me and I was still reluctant to go as my dog was diagnosed with cancer for a 3rd time in June 2013, and what was supposed to be an easy surgery turned into months of chemo, weekly testing and well, as you can imagine, big time bucks. I decided since the Legend was going to be permanently moving to Australia and I had gotten such a good deal on our balcony, we would stick it out and take this trip and probably forego a cruise in 2014.

 

Southwest started flying out of Charlotte earlier this year so we no longer had to drive to Raleigh to get great rates on flights. However, there were no direct flights into Tampa and I really didn’t feel like flying through Houston and traveling for 8 hours the day before we set sail. So, I decided we would fly into Orlando and rent a car and drive to Tampa. The flight was uneventful and while waiting for our bags, I luckily overhead someone mentioning how incredibly long the lines can be renting cars at MCO. So while my BF waited for luggage, I briskly walked to the rental counter and got all that taken care of before our bags even arrived! FYI – while dropping off the car for our return flight, I noticed the lines to get rental cars was 100x worse than when I was there so I guess I got lucky. Picked out my Chevy Impala and off we went to Tampa.

 

After getting advice here on Cruise Critic, we booked the Double Tree in Rocky Point which overlooks the Bay. I made a reservation about 6 months in advance and was glad I did as it seemed to be completely booked well in advance of our sailing. I had originally booked us 2 double beds and at check-in, she upgraded us to a king and didn't even have to ask for the view! It was beautiful! After check-in, we dropped off our luggage and set out for a quick ride around town. Here are a few photos of our hotel room. The hotel is being renovated but we didn’t hear a single peep! For what I paid, I was really impressed with the accommodations!

 

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Your room was quite nice and the view was excellent!

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Wonderful review and great pics!

Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to do this... I leave on Sunday and always love to read recent reviews before I leave....

Adds to the excitement!! Great job Erby!! :)

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As I stated earlier, I watched the weather like a hawk the weeks leading up to our cruise and it was supposed to be horrible for us with rain everywhere! The second we boarded the tender in Belize, it started pouring and of course, I forgot my poncho in the room. Not to fear, the rain stopped 5 minutes later. The best part about our tender ride was that in addition to the two Carnival musicians who were sitting right in front of us, the comedian, Happy Cole, was also sitting to our right. One musician even gave me props on my loyalty to my Dallas Cowboys when he saw my tattoo on my ankle!

 

We could overhear the three of them discussing where they were headed to. One musician was heading home, one was headed to another Carnival ship and Happy Cole was headed to a show in Ohio. No one really noticed Happy the whole ride b/c he boarded last and kept under the radar until right before the tender docked and a woman asked Happy if he was in the one of the shows. Happy was trying to convince her that he was just a musician until my BF blurted out “No, he was the comedian!” The look on Happy’s face cracked me up. He just slowly turned to my bf and said, “Really?”

 

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We usually book one Carnival excursion when we cruise; and it’s usually one that is a tour that is far away from port. One that we are in fear of missing the ship and so we book with Carnival b/c we know it’s the safest route to go. We decided on the Altun Ha City View tour which was with Chukka. Last year, Chukka did our Horseback riding excursion in Montego Bay in Jamaica so I knew they would do a good job. We had a ton of people on this tour. I think we filled up 3 air conditioned buses. The first thing our tour guide told us was that it had been raining non-stop the past few weeks and that today was the first day they (Chukka) did not have to cancel a significant portion of their tours.

 

We drove through the streets of Belize and I snapped pictures of some of the nice homes we drove by. (I think people on other tours must have seen a different part of Belize b/c after seeing Roatan, I swore that Roatan was poorer than Belize but many disagreed). These are a few of the pictures of took during our ride through the city.

 

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Our tour guide advised us that they do not believe in welfare in Belize; that you go to school and get a job and that there are enough jobs for everyone. She also said that there is one cell phone company and they charge so much that people complain but at the end of the year, they give back to the community and provide services to schools so they are trying to complain less. We also drove by a new track and field facility they are naming after Marion Jones. Apparently, her mother is from Belize and in an Olympic games, Marion Jones held up a Belizian flag. She also made a donation to help build the facility and the government matched her donation. I just thought it was little, I’m not sure what the word is, but wrong to name an athletic field after an admitted cheater!?

 

I'll get to Altun Ha in my next post :)

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does anybody have the funtimes

 

Sorry, I didn't keep them this time. I have in the past but then I realized I never looked at them after the cruise. :mad:

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Thanks for your photo review...the food photos are especially great. :):):):)

 

I should have taken more but then the migraines started every day and I didn't feel like eating much less taking a camera to dinner.

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After a very long, slow and bumpy ride (about an hour), we finally reached Altun Ha. I had read on CC to be careful of the bugs and since it had rained non-stop the previous weeks, I was concerned about being eaten alive bc mosquitos love me. But I came prepared with 100% deet and wasn’t bothered in the least. However, I didn’t really notice anyone too bothered by any bugs so maybe it was the time of year and we got lucky? It was very hot and muggy!

 

Our tour guide was very knowledgeable in explaining about the different sites. Altun Ha was accidentally discovered during rock quarrying and they quickly realized these were not normal rocks. Since then, they have tried to excavate as much as they could. There really isn’t a whole lot to see, but the view from the largest ruin was beautiful. The one thing I took away was how off base the Mel Gibson movie "Apocalypto" was.

 

You really only get to spend about an hour there b/c the travel time to and from the ruins takes so long. Our guides told us about the shack that would be selling the local chicken and beans and rice (cooked in coconut water) that was located by the bus parking lot so me and my bf stopped in to get something to go. I just got the rice and beans and it was really good and he said the chicken was very good as well! Not to mention regular coke in a bottle!

 

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When we got pack to the port, we did some shopping and picked up a lot of souvenirs for people. Some coffee, chocolate, key chains, Christmas ornaments, coffee mugs, t-shirts. You know, the usual stuff. We took the tender back, tipping our usual $2, and went to drop everything off back in the cabin.

 

As usual, I sat on the balcony with a soda and my book and waited for sailaway and the sunset. It was on this day that I captured, in my opinion, my best picture of the whole cruise. What a gorgeous sunset!

 

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After sunset, we headed down to see Fernando and his staff for a dinner for two. As usual, great service. This was night that I asked what night mac-n-cheese night was to which he replied, "It can be tonight Ms. Elisa!" I will never forget that line from this cruise. He brought a side dish of mac-n-cheese with my dinner even though I didn't ask for it.

 

I don't know what it is about cruising but I am just so wiped out by the time I finish dinner that I have no energy for enjoying the night life on board ships anymore. I used to live for the shows, and comedy and karaoke. But now, it's just back to the cabin and watch tv or sit on my balcony listening to the waves go by. And I'm only 39! Maybe it's because I don't drink. lol!

 

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