The reason we booked this particular itinerary was because one of the port stops was Belize.  For several years we wanted to snorkel in Belize which has the second largest barrier reef in the world; only the Great Barrier Reef off Australia is bigger.

The cruise ship did not dock in Belize; the ship anchored a couple miles off the mainland.  It was strange to walk off the ship right onto another boat for our shore excursion snorkeling trip.

A tender boat docked right below our balcony:
Our snorkeling excursion would take us to Goff's Caye, a "Gilligan's Island" type island or caye (why is it pronouced "key"?) about a half an hour's boat ride from the ship.  And this was no ordinary boat ride.  This boat had three 200 horsepower motors attached to the back so we were moving at quite a brisk pace...Hold onto your sun hats!

I sat at the back of the boat on the way back from snorkeling.  That's our little island in the far distance...look at the waves those three boat engines created!  On the other boat in the photo were Carnival Glory passengers doing the same snorkeling trip.  Remember: Carnival Glory followed us everywhere.
Goff's Caye off the coast of Belize.  Can't you just picture Gilligan, the Skipper, Ginger, Mary Ann, the professor, Thurston Howell III and Lovie living here in their grass huts?

The color of the water here is just beautiful.  Have you ever seen water this turquoise?  I love this photo showing the white sand of the finger of beach jutting off the island, the turquoise water (as clear as bath water!) and then the darker blue water where the coral reef is.

Though looks can be deceiving here: it was not easy walking in the waters right off the island: lots of pieces of coral in the sand.  OUCH!

DANGER ALERT: Two people got stung by micro-sized jelly fish while just walking in the water.  One was a young girl of about eight years old...Oh, she was in such pain as they treated her.
Did the snorkeling live up to its hype?  Yes and no.  Yes, the coral reef is spectacular with coral in all shapes, sizes and colors.  However, we snorkel to see fish.  Yes, there were opportunities to see many varieties of fish (some snorkelers said they saw a barracuda) but I was disappointed that we didn't see more fish.  It was usually a single fish at a time.  The highlight was a school of about 20 rather large fish gathered around a large piece of what looked like brain coral. 

And the snorkeling was tiring.  The snorkeling was separated into two options:  you could be dropped off on the caye's pier...
A feathered friend sitting on the end of the pier probably searching for breakfast.

and then snorkel from the island or you could remain on the boat and the boat would go back out onto the coral reef.  We chose to remain on the boat, but then you snorkeled all the way back to the island which it took about 45 minutes.  It was windy so the waves were sometimes three to four feet.  But once we got going in the right direction with help of the current, we had a great time.  Well worth the excursion fee.

When we reached the caye there were refreshments and food to purchase (who knew a $2.00 freshly-grilled hot dog wrapped in a soft taco shell could taste so good?) and trinkets for purchase.

For $10.00 I bought this necklace with the shell ornament.
Nothing tastes better than a Belikan beer in the hot Belizean sun!  (It IS good beer and I'm not a beer drinker!)

Since the snorkeling excursion was in the morning (8:15 a.m.!! Boy, we had to get up early!), so we were able to return to the ship, change clothes and take the tender boat over to the mainland.

The shopping area of Belize City is the same as most cruise ports, with the same familiar stores painted the same bright colors of the Caribbean...

So we bought a few souvenirs, stopped for a delicious strawberry daiquiri at "Mamacitas" to get out of the blazing sun...
The pineapple from the strawberry daiquiri was delicious!

And then we returned back to the cruise ship for lunch, all the while gazing upon the most beautiful turquoise water we had ever seen and remembering our visit to Belize...

And when we returned to our cabin, we still had a spectacular view of the turquoise water!

Our day in Belize is over.  Two ports down, two to go.  Tomorrow morning we dock at Isla Roatan, Honduras. 
Until then...



Our first port stop.  This is our second cruise visit to Cozumel, but it has been nearly eight years since we have been here.  As avid snorkelers, it's strange that neither time we've gone snorkeling here in Cozumel even though it is known as one of the best snorkeling areas in the Caribbean.

Hey, we're not the only Carnival ship docking today in Cozumel!  Well, Cozumel is the most frequented cruise port in the Caribbean.
In fact the Carnival Glory followed the same cruise itinerary as we did so we saw her at every port.  It would have been nice to also see other ships, but the Carnival Glory was the only other cruise ship we saw in port the whole cruise.
Twin megaships!  That's our ship on the left.

Cozumel was the only port that we didn't plan a shore excursion.  We wanted to just walk around the tourist area of Cozumel and do some shopping.  You can find good deals in Cozumel: our first trip we bought two nice Movado watches for only $150 each; we still wear those watches today.  During this trip husband was looking for a gold chain.  We did get a pretty good deal at a local jewelry store.

Of course there are many opportunities for typical tourist photo-ops in Cozumel.  To the right as you exit the pier is the "Three Amigos" Flea Market/Cantina:
Outside are oversized pieces of furniture lending themselves for silly vacation photos: here is 6-foot, 2-inch husband looking like he's on the island of Liliput instead of the island of Cozumel...
And here is husband with our new friend, Lamont, looking a bit silly sitting in those "high" chairs:
There was the man dressed up as a Caribbean pirate...
And for a donation you can take a picture with him...

Of course there are the typical Mexican souvenirs to buy:
Stacks of colorful sombreros...
Colorful maracas...
Colorful hand-painted mini-guitars...
Colorful hanging parrots...
Colorful totebags...
Colorful necklaces...
But my favorite sights are the colors of Cozumel itself:

The theme of this post: COLOR.  In Cozumel, it's rare to see black or white; instead plenty of brilliant Caribbean colors whether it's the town, the souvenirs or just the beautiful turquoise waters...

Next port: Belize...the reason we booked this particular cruise.  Until next post, Adiós amigos!



Well, I probably won't be visiting Italy until next fall, but I am continuing to learn Italian through my http://www.learnitalianpod.com/ podcasts.  So I want to continue on with a few words for my fellow Italy travelers:

Colazione                          Breakfast

Pranzo                               Lunch

Cena                                  Dinner

Days of the Weeks:
Lunedi                                Monday

Martedi                               Tuesday

Mercoledi                            Wednesday

Giovedi                                Thursday

Venerdi                                Friday

Sabato                                 Saturday

Domenica                            Sunday



Leaving the Florida Aquarium, we walked across the street to the cruise terminal.  I loved the Aquarium, but by this time, I was starving and my shoulder was in pain from carrying the giant toiletry-items bag which also had two pairs of sneakers in it, the video camera bag and my purse/bag...it seemed like everything but the kitchen sink was in my bag.  I wanted to get to our cabin, check out the balcony, then head for the Lido Deck and THE FOOD!

Check-in was a breeze.  We just had to show our passports and the preprinted FUNPASS and just like that, we were checked in.  After we received our "Sail and Sign" cards,

we crossed over the gangway and boarded the Carnival Legend.

Welcome aboard all the crew told us!

Now, I have read mixed reviews on the decor of this cruise ship, but in my opinion, it is a beautifully-decorated ship!  The public areas have a predominately black/tan/silver color scheme which just speak "elegance".

Here is the lobby with the glass elevators:

The Greek-urn motif was on many of the stairs and balconies in the public decks:

A view of the lobby from our cabin deck:

As the name of the ship indicates, the decor is based on "legends", both real and mythical.

A 150-foot giant mural of the Colossus of Rhodes (considered one of the seven wonders of the world) covers the entire wall facing the glass elevators:

For nearly every breakfast and dinner we ate in the two-story Truffles Dining Room, named for the truffle, the "legendary" food.  What beautiful decor: the murals on the ceiling are patterned after legendary china patterns:

The chandeliers at the top of the poles consisted of dozens of what looked like hand-blown glass lights, each with a twisted curly-cue at the end:

For an extra charge, passengers have the option of dining in the Golden Fleece steakhouse with its glass-domed ceiling.  We did not pay the extra $30 price.  Why pay extra to eat here when the food in the dining room was excellent?  Some passengers like the option...
Even the booths in the buffet-style Unicorn café have beautiful wall murals:
The nightly song-and-dance shows were seen in the "Follies" Lounge.  Here passengers were rehearsing for the final night's gala show.

Comedy and kareoke shows were held in the Firebird Lounge with its Russian motif.  The stairs leading down to the lounge:
I loved the red decor of this lounge.  The "Firebird" name is based on a legendary Russian folktale.  This gentleman sang a lot of kareoke.
Fantastic ceiling lights!
For those disco-loving passengers, there's Medusa's Liar with its wild decor. Large masks were on the wall.                                                                
The "hair" on these masks reminded me of vacuum cleaner hoses!
We won some money; we lost some money playing the slot machines.  Then we discovered those Flippa Winna machines (below where the man has his back to the camera).  You insert a quarter; it flips up to a shelf where there are hundreds of other quarters.  Multiple little shovels push the quarters to fall onto another shelf below where there are shovels pushing quarters (and sometimes stacks of dollar bills) to fall into the slots below for you to retrieve.  It has to be rigged...how can those quarters just hang over the edge like that?  Anyone who's played it will know what I mean.  But it was fun trying to "nudge" the machine to get the quarters to fall... 
The last full cruise day we were at sea so we took the opportunity to check out parts of the ship we hadn't yet seen.  One of the most interesting sections of the ship were the two interior promenades called The Enchanted Forest which lead to the children's/kid's entertainment area .  How clever!  In each walkway the walls are designed to look like a forest of trees; large portholes are between the trunks, and tables and chairs are in front of the portholes.

Continuing down this promenade leads to a promenade on the other side of the ship:

Another view of the beautiful Carnival Legend:

The first full day of the cruise was a sea day.  Tomorrow we dock in Cozumel.  Stayed tuned for our adventures in Mexico.