November 2015 - Norwegian Dawn to Caribbean - Western
Our first/ and probably last cruise experience:
Day 1: discover that the bow of the ship is blocked by a "crew only" pool, thus dashing my hopes of getting the obligatory "king of the world" picture.
Day 2: woken by some weirdo pounding on our door. Look through the peep hole to see him turn my "do not disturb" dial to "welcome." He persists with pounding so Andrew opens the door to a stammering buffoon who simply states "they told me the wrong room." Smooth, girl he was probably harassing at the bar. Smooth.
Day 3: Cozumel, Mexico
Tulum Mayan ruins, looks pretty cool, Google it. I personally cannot tell you because our excursion was canceled due to "weather." However, not before subjecting 100+ people on a ferry to rough sea waters, causing roughly a quarter of the passengers to become sea sick. There is nothing like seeing, hearing, and smelling vomit for a solid 2 hours while being man handled by Poseidon himself. To the excursion crew: do they have the weather channel in Cozumel? Do you do this daily for a living? Is this something that couldn't be foreseen? Why did 2 ferries get to unload and proceed as planned, but we did not (one of those ferries arrived 30 minutes after we did but still go to dock ahead of us)?? After all this, I did use the experience for a rather catchy trivia team name that afternoon: Mayan Ruined My Day™
Day 4: roatan island, Honduras
Boy was I looking forward to a beach day after the disaster Cozumel was. Rental car rented, had a flat tire, 5 minutes to fix turns into 20 with no car in sight. Get refund, purchase round trip shuttle to "the best beach on the island." Ride for 30 minutes in incredibly crowed van, get to beach and we are told by some shady looking gatekeeper that the beach is closed. No further explanation. We are then shuttled to the most crowed beach I've ever seen and harassed by locals trying to give me massages or braid my hair. I said "no thank you" every 30 seconds, and this is absolutely not an exaggeration. Growing tired of this beach quickly, we are ready to leave. Problem is, the driver has disappeared. Long story short, after 30 minutes worrying that we are not going to get back to the ship, he reemerges. We quickly book an excursion for the next day to a private island...
Day 5: Belize city, Belize
Wake up at the crack of dawn to hear our excursion has been cancelled due to "weather." It's the rainy season here I've been told, so why do you offer excursions that can't be handled with a pop up rain shower or two? And why do excursions say "rain or shine?" So we go to Belize City and shop among thousands that would make any Black Friday shopping seem like child's play. Happy Thanksgiving!
Day 6: Costa Maya, Mexico
Well played Norwegian. Leave the best port for last so that is what will be freshly in my mind. Fat chance. This port was a cute little shopping area and wait for it...wait for it... WE ACTUALLY GOT TO TAKE AN EXCURSION AND SAW SOME MAYAN RUINS!!! Such a wonderful day, if only our 3 other ports had gone even remotely like this. Our trip would have been an entirely different story. At least I got a couple of pictures for our travel gallery wall. However, why did we leave the best port of our cruise at 2:30 p.m. but left all other ports at 5:30 or later?
Day 7: At sea
I wouldn't expect this day to be any different than what it was: a rainy day confined to the stateroom. I at least finished by book and got packing done early, which was therapeutic because it meant I'd be off the ship in a matter of hours...
So, power to all you folks that love cruisin', but Andrew and I agree it is not for us. I hate the fact that you have one small window of time to see the things you banked on seeing, and if something beyond your doing or control prevents that, oh well. Tough luck. Maybe the next port (ha!)
However, there were a few silver linings: multiple performances by The Second City cast (I've been a fan for many years), people watching at its finest, waking up in the middle of the night and seeing a full moon reflecting on a seemingly endless ocean from my balcony, spending time with my aunt/uncle/cousin, and some legit French toast for breakfast every morning for a week. But, alas, I think my mode of travel will be by air and land. I bid thee farewell Norwegian Dawn.