In my last post, I told you the horror story that was my journey to the cruise ship for spring break. If you haven’t read it, here’s the short version: I missed the boat, cried, flew to Mexico and got on the boat. Despite those inconveniences, my spring break turned out to be an incredible experience.
As mentioned in the last post, my friend and classmate Jasmine did most of the planning and organizing for this trip. There were 8 of us ladies in total, all Engineering students at A&T, split into two cabins. Our ship was the Norwegian Dawn from the Norwegian Cruise Line.
The first stop was in Costa Maya, Mexico, which was where the three of us who initially missed the ship in Tampa embarked. After checking in and changing into our swimsuits, we headed back to the port to walk around and take pictures. We didn’t actually leave the port, because we were terrified of getting left again. It was honestly a miracle we left the ship at all after that experience.
The port in Costa Maya was nice, warm, and had WiFi. What more could you ask for? I tried some white chocolate with tequila in it, which was amazing. We kept our time off the boat brief, so I don’t have too much to say about this stop.
The next port, Roatan, Honduras, was my favorite out of all the destinations. Unlike in Costa Maya, we actually went further than 100 feet away from the boat. Getting a taxi was quite stressful, because everyone was yelling at us to choose them. We ended up choosing the guy who said, “I can take you anywhere you like! I can give you anything you like, including me!” Seemed like a good deal. (He also offered us the cheapest price). We took a 25 minute taxi drive to West Bay Beach, and on the way got to see so much of the island up close. It reminded me of Guyana in many ways. The beach was beautiful. The water was pretty clear, and it was such a hot day. Our taxi driver waited inside the resort building at the beach until we were ready to go, which was convenient.
Next up was Harvest Caye, Belize, an island that is owned by Norwegian Cruise Line, which explains why there was not much to do or see besides the beach and some tourist attractions. Some of the other girls chose to pay for the parasailing excursion, but that was insanely expensive so I passed. Instead, my friend and I walked around the port, took some cute pictures and got scammed into buying a drink after trying a free sample. (In our defense, it was so good!) The drink was a little stronger than we expected, so we made our way back to boat to grab a ridiculous amount of German breadsticks (Laugen) and our swimsuits so we could hang out on the beach. We ran into the rest of the group and all ended up in a pool where we met a bunch of other college students at a swim-up bar. Another friend and I ended up heading back to the ship early. Black clouds appeared out of nowhere, and we didn’t want to get caught in a storm.
Our last stop was Cozumel, Mexico, and it was one of the places I was most looking forward to because it was the only excursion I had booked. We (Jasmine) found a beach resort that had a transportation + open bar + buffet + beach access package for a reasonable price. We had purchased tickets the week before, so when we got off the boat, we just found the Playa Mia table and they had a taxi take us to the beach. It was raining when we got off the boat, and pretty cloudy throughout the day, so that was a little disappointing, but we still made the best of it. We got on these giant water tricycles in the water and rode around in the ocean. It was so much fun, but very exhausting. We also kayaked, which was quite a work out. I was a little nervous for both activities, but when I asked the man who asked us to sign waivers if there was anything we should know before we get out onto the water, he shook his head. The little sticker on the tricycle did mention that if you fall off the bike and have to be rescued, you’d be charged $100.
There was also an inflatable obstacle course in the water that you had to swim (or float in a life vest) to. It seemed like a good idea from the beach, but once I got out there I had second thoughts. You had to climb onto this inflatable (and very unstable) ladder, then down the other side onto what was essentially a blowup mattress in the ocean that lead to a trampoline volleyball station. I climbed the ladder, made it to mattress and trampoline, and crawled back to the mattress and threw myself back into the ocean because the next steps were either a giant slide or a hamster wheel. Neither option sounded like a good idea. I swam/floated back to shore.
The last day of the cruise was a sea day, so we spent it eating as much as we could (especially all the expensive seafood) and enjoying the hot tub and pool. Many of my favorite moments on this trip took place on the boat. We celebrated my friend’s birthday at a nice dinner and then karaoke. This was one of the many moments in which I was glad to not have WiFi, because while we definitely stole the show, the whole world probably didn’t need to see us passionately screaming the lyrics to My Boo (by Usher and Alicia Keys), In da Club (by 50 cent), and Birthday Cake (by Rihanna) to a very confused crowd. But like I said, we were the stars of karaoke that night. We went to a white party, but the music was awful (WHO ACTUALLY LIKES EDM???), and the afterparty, where it was equally awful but we were entertained by the dancing (or dancing attempts). We promised that we’d spend the last two nights on the ship turning up before our spring break was over, but what had happened was…we fell asleep. Twice. We said we would lie down for a short nap before going out, and when I woke up at 9:45pm, everyone was knocked out, so I went back to bed. I have absolutely no regrets.
Leaving the ship for the last time was hard. We knew we were heading back to the brutal cold back and lack of unlimited food in Greensboro, and which made it even harder. (When we got back to Greensboro, it was actually snowing). However, after spending 7 days together in extremely tight quarters, we all looked forward to our own beds and bathrooms. This trip was such a wild adventure, but it was fun and spent with some pretty cool people. I’m glad that I was able to be a part of this experience.
As far as future adventures go, I’m retiring from the game for a little bit, due to both a lack of funds (those unplanned hiccups were expensive and my account is overdrawn by uhhhh a lot) and exhaustion. I’m staying home for the next 5-10 years, I promise.