Return to Index for 2008

February 3-9, 2008:
A Cruise to the Western Caribbean



One of the reasons that I wanted Fred to leave the greenhouses was so that we could do some things that didn't fit themselves into neat weeks of vacation. I wanted us to be able to spend a few days in San Antonio, or take a mid-week trip to Florida, or take a cruise when we wanted or when the deals were best. Now that our time is our own, we can do that.

One of the first new things I wanted us to try was taking a cruise. Grant Wagner and I took one in 1991; that was the only one that he or I were ever on. After seventeen years, I wasn't at all sure if even I would like it anymore, and much less sure whether Fred would like it at all. So Greg helped us find a six-day cruise to the Western Caribbean- a cruise that would be representative of those we might take in the future. Not only did he help us find and book the cruise, but he decided that he and Grant would go as well. And, shortly after that, two of his old friends from New York City decided to join us as well.

This cruise will begin in Fort Lauderdale, where we will board the ship on Sunday afternoon, February 3rd. The ship will leave Everglades Inlet about five-thirty in the afternoon, cruise all night, and dock in Key West, Florida, on Monday morning. In Key West, we will leave the ship for our first shore excursion- a kayaking trip on the east side of Key West.

The ship will leave Key West on Monday afternoon, again cruise all night, and dock in Cozumel, Mexico, on Tuesday morning. In Cozumel, we will take the second of our shore excursions- a trip on a "semi-submarine," which is a boat converted so that below decks is one long room with viewing glass along the entire hull, allowing two rows of people to look out under the water to the reefs below.

The ship will leave Cozumel on Tuesday about six in the evening, once again cruise all night, and anchor in the harbor at Belize City, Belize on Wednesday morning. There, tenders will ferry passengers to the Belize docks for the various activities or excursions that they may have booked. We have chosen and excursion that will take us sixty miles inland from Belize City to the Jaguar Paw Resort, where we will try our hand at ziplining through the forest and also take a raft tubing trip through some caves along a local river.

Then the ship will leave Belize City on Wednesday evening, sail through the night, and anchor in the harbor at Playa del Carmen, Mexico on Thursday morning. Here, we will be tendered to the dock to embark on our fourth and last shore excursion- a visit to the Mayan Ruins at Chichen Itza about one hundred and twenty-five miles inland from the coast. The excursion will take all day, and we'll return to the ship in time for its sailing at six in the evening.

The ship will then cruise all Thursday night, all day Friday and then all through Friday night, finally docking back in Fort Lauderdale at about six in the morning on Saturday, February 9th.

As I said, we took lots and lots of pictures and movies all throughout the trip. I won't attempt to put all of them in this album, but I will pick the best and most representative of them. Even so, that will be quite a few pictures and movies that I will organize for you as explained below. The trip was a wonderful one, and we hope you enjoy looking at the pictures of it.


Using the Master Index

We took hundreds of pictures and movies while on our cruise, so I have had to find a good way to organize them so that they are not simply overwhelming.

First and foremost, I wanted to group together all the pictures for the various excursions or specific activities that we did while on the cruise, and this I have done. Second, I have grouped together all the activity sections for a specific day of the cruise. Finally, there were some categories of pictures that all had the same theme but which were not all taken at the same time or on the same day. I thought that fragmenting these groupings simply to keep to a daily organization would not be helpful, and so I have brought these pictures together into their own groups. (There were four of these categories- exterior ship pictures, interior ship pictures, pictures of our stateroom and pictures of all the artwork that was displayed throughout the ship.

The Master Index will be organized with two types of links. First, there will be links that will take you to the album page for a specific day. Each one of these links will have a short list indented underneath it of the activities that we did that day, so that you can go directly to the day that interests you. The other kind of link will take you to one of the special pages devoted to exterior ship views, interior ship views, our stateroom and the ship artwork. I will put these special links in amongst the date links in the order I think it would be best for you to view them. So, I would suggest that you simply use the date links in order and follow the links to the special pages as they occur within the dates; this will allow you to navigate the pictures in the most logical order.

When you get to one of the daily pages, you will see the same familiar buttons at the top and bottom of each page that will take you to the next day (or special page), the previous day (or special page) or back to the Master Index. As I said, I have tried to organize things so that all you should want to do is use the "NEXT" button to go from page to page, but I have provided the other buttons should you wish to use them. When the ship docks back in Fort Lauderdale and the cruise is over, you will want to return to the Master Index so that you can continue on through the photograph album.

Near the top of each daily page, you will also find a set of links that will enable you to jump to a specific activity that occurred on that day, should you wish to do so. Of course, the easiest thing to do is just go through the day in time sequence, activity by activity; you can always scroll by activities that might not interest you. (In case you might want it, there is also a link at the end of each activity section that will take you back to the top of that daily page.)

When you are done looking at the pictures from our Caribbean cruise, use one of the "RETURN" buttons that appear at the top and bottom of every trip page to return to the Master Index and then use the link at the top of the index to return to the Index for 2008 or, if you have been going through the photo album linearly, to continue on to the next album page (which happens to be the page that contains the rest of the pictures from this trip to Florida).

We hope you enjoy looking at the pictures. To access the Master Index, please click HERE.

























(To return to the photo album Index for 2008, please click HERE.)
(To continue to the rest of the Fort Lauderdale Trip pictures, please click HERE.)
Sunday, February 3
(Fort Lauderdale)
Boarding the Ship; Having Lunch; The Lifeboat Drill; Our Departure; Sunset over Miami;
Having Dinner
      Take an Outside Tour of the 'Jewel of the Seas'
Monday, February 4
(Key West)
Docking in Key West; The Kayaking Excursion; Having Lunch; At the Key West Museum;
At the Dock; Departing Key West; An Evening Show
      Take an Inside Tour of the 'Jewel of the Seas'
Tuesday, February 5
Docking in Cozumel; Disembarking; The Semi-Sub Excursion; At the Dock;
Walking Around Cozumel; Departing Cozumel; An Evening Show; Having Dinner
Wednesday, February 6
On the Bus to Jaguar Paw Resort; Our Ziplining Experience;
Our Cave Tubing Experience; Returning from Jaguar Paw; Departing Belize
      Tour Our Stateroom on the 'Jewel of the Seas'
Thursday, February 7
To Chichen Itza; Exploring Chichen Itza; Walking Around Playa del Carmen
On the Tender Back to the Ship
      Ship Decoration and Artwork on the 'Jewel of the Seas'
Friday/Saturday, February 8/9
(Cruising to Fort Lauderdale)
Having Breakfast; A Movie in the Cinema; Having Lunch; Escape Artist Performance;
An Evening Show; Docking and Disembarking in Fort Lauderdale