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Age: 41

Occupation:Network Administrator

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Norwegian

Ship: Norwegian Sea

Sailing Date: February 5th, 2005

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

Sadly I am back from my cruise. We cruised on the Norwegian Sea from February 5th to the 12th. There really are no words to describe what the four of us felt. Let me sum it up this way, picture your dream vacation and then magnify that by a thousand and you would still have no clue how fun it truly is.

The way that we were treated by everyone on the ship was beyond any expectations that we had. True, the rooms were small, we had kk inside rooms on deck 2. We walked a lot of stairs, which might be the only reason that any of us actually fit inside of our clothes at the end of the cruise.

The food was fantastic! We ate at all the restaurants and loved every one of them. The Barbeque on the pool deck was fantastic. Don’t miss the ribs… Our favorite place to eat was in the buffet, they had so many selections of food that you could never run out of new items to try. The only thing that I ever tried that I did not care for was the gravy on mashed potatoes. I guess I just didn’t like the spices. But, with all the foods that we tried that wasn’t bad..:)

Kevin, the cruise director is a very funny guy and kept the cruise very lively. I want to give a special round of applause to one of the assistant cruise directors. His name is Edwin, but he says you can call him Scotty for short. This guy was all over the place, where he gets the energy I just don’t know. He was always a warm and gracious and very funny guy. We all miss you Scotty..:)

My Brother won a talent contest while on board the ship which qualifies him to maybe win a free cruise and maybe become a performer on a ship. He sang “Friends in low places” I sang “Candle in the wind” which won me nothing but a big case of the nerves….LOL

Ports of call
Our first stop was Cozumel. I had done a bunch of reading on all our ports of call and we knew that we wanted to have at least one day of just relaxing in the sun, so we decided that this port sounded nice for that. We went to Nachi-Cocom beach and we were treated like kings. Like my sister in law said “I understand why we are treated this well on the cruise ship, but why here?” The staff was fantastic. We booked this excursion online and we got more than our monies worth. It was fantastic. We paid 32 bucks to sit in the sun all day and relax. This price included all the drinks you would like and all the food you could eat from 1:30 to 3:30. They greeted us at the desk and walked us to our chairs and umbrellas and started serving drinks right away. They had a great swim up bar and hot tub. It was sooooo cool…; We loved it.

I have never considered myself a lightweight but the drinks they served made me feel like one..:) My brother and sister in law don’t drink alcohol so they had virgin Daiquiris and they loved them. The food was fantastic, but if you have a problem eating really spicy food be sure to have them point out the stuff with habenaros in them…Man are they hot….

It also included an hour of snorkel gear or a kayak. We opted for the snorkel gear and we had a blast. We saw so many different kinds of fish, including several barracuda. Those kind of spooked me at first, but we just floated above them and they never bothered us.

On the way back to the cruise ship we bought Cuban cigars (Because we could)..:) They were enjoyable, but unless I have two hours free again to smoke one I don’t know that I would buy another…LOL

It was a fantastic day and all I can say is Thanks to the people at Nachi Cocom, you made our day one that we will never forget. Your beach is beautiful and the service was fantastic. I will be back for more of your margaritas…

Our next stop was Roatan. We had no plans here for some reason. I think we were overwhelmed at all there was to do here and just brain froze at the thought of it. We ended up just walking off the ship and looking around at the dock. We chose to get a tour of the island and a cab ride to the beach with a gentleman named Jorge. He did not speak a lick of English and his cab was in horrible shape. The car wobbled so bad driving down the road that we thought it may fall apart. It actually made it all the way through the day. My brother speaks a little Spanish and so it got us through this day in pretty good shape. Jorge ran us all over the island and even stopped at his house and introduced us to his family. We thought it was a nice touch. After the tour we went to West End beach. Right next to Tabyana. There was no entry charge, although to get beach chairs was 10 bucks a seat. We had heard a lot about the sand fleas on Roatan so we sprayed ourselves with Deep woods off and none of us even got one bite. The beach and the water were beautiful and we had a nice relaxing day here. On the drive back to the ship we saw some monkeys on the side of the road and we stopped and took pictures with them. They really like grapes so if you see them give them a grape and you will have a buddy for at least as long as it takes to eat it. All in all we had a great time and we really liked Jorge. He made a great day of it..:)

Belize City
This was by far our favorite stop. We booked a tour online with Coral Breeze and we loved every minute of it. The crew are some of the nicest people that we have ever met. We mentioned that we were thinking of coming to Belize to look at retirement property that we wanted to maybe purchase for when we actually get old enough to retire. The captain of the ship said when we decide to come down to give him a shout and he would take us to all the people that we need to talk to about this. He was one of the nicest people I have ever met and the whole crew was equally as nice. We went to Caye Calker and ordered our lunch and then the boat pulled back out and went to Shark/Ray alley. First we snorkeled through the coral reefs and then it was on to the big show. The captain moved a few hundred yards and put the boat in neutral and started gunning the engines. The next thing that you knew, the water was full of Sharks and Sting rays. They were huge and they were everywhere. We were told that the Nurse sharks were harmless so we trusted them and jumped off the boat. It was fantastic! The sting rays and sharks were bouncing off us and pushing against us and seemed to actually like being petted. After about ten minutes the Sharks got a little skittish and swam a little ways away from us and hung to the outside of the group the rest of the time. But not before we got to pet them and swim with them. If you do this tour, bring an underwater camera because no one will believe your story..:)

After the swim with the sharks and rays we went back to Caye Caulker and had lunch. My wife and I had the chicken Burrito and they were great. My Brother and his Wife had traditional Belizian chicken and they loved it too. It seemed to be hard to go wrong on what you chose to eat.

Before I forget, if you like beer then you have to try Belikian beer. It is Belize’s beer and it is fantastic. I wish I could get some here back in the states. After the dive and lunch we headed back to Belize city. We got back there at around 3pm and the last tender back to the ship was around 4:30, so it gave us plenty of time to buy souvenirs before returning to the ship. None of us ever wanted to leave Belize. It was gorgeous and I will be back there as soon as I can. Thank you Coral Breeze for making this a memory that will last forever…

Well, what can I say about Cancun? It is a bit too touristy for any of our likings. We did run into a cabbie there though that made the day pretty darn nice. I will have to get his name from my brother and then I will post it on here at a later time. He met us at the dock and took us for a tour of the sites that you wont see in Cancun. He took us to the areas where a lot of the locals live and they live in conditions that most of us would deem as unlivable. He took us through an area where mostly Mayans live and told us how they rarely get over 5 feet tall. He took us to a roadside stand in the heart of old Cancun and we stopped and bought fresh orange juice that this Mayan lady was making. She would squeeze the juice and then put it in plastic bags and then she would slide a straw into the bag and tie it off. It was the best Orange Juice I had ever had and it was only 1 buck a bag. He took us to a set of Mayan ruins that was at the top of the peninsula and not too far from the cruise ships. It was a fascinating place and we were the only ones there. It was not all that large, maybe 20 buildings, but it was perfect for us to explore. Then he took us to Old Cancun and dropped us off at this old mall. Everyone there bartered a lot. If you don’t like the price just walk out the door and it falls dramatically. Then it was back to the ship….

Our last days on this cruise were very fun even though the ship got a little rough. Thursday night we ran into a bit of a cold front and the water was really rolling that night. We took Dramamine the entire trip, which they hand out at the pursers desk. None of us ever felt sick in any way. We took one a day and we were never bothered with any of the ships motion. In fact I have never slept better than I did on that ship.

We were all sad for the trip to end. None of us wanted to get off the ship. This was the most fantastic week of our lives. For the life of me I don’t know how anyone could ever complain about this cruise line or this ship? I have heard it is not state of the art and there were a few cosmetic blemishes along the way…But, with all that said we had the time of our lives.

I am going to book another cruise as soon as I can and I am running into this problem. I don’t know if I could go on a cruise that is not free style, like Norwegian. I don’t want someone saying where and when I have to eat and with who? I like feeling like I am walking into a restaurant that is not on a ship. I like walking in at any time of the day or night and sitting down to eat. I like coming back from excursions and having the choice to eat in a buffet in Jeans and a t-shirt if I like. I like the choices they give you and I will have a hard time conforming to a button down cruise.

Okay, I have rambled about this enough. Let me put it in simple terms. Norwegian Cruise Lines now has 4 customers for life. We all loved it and we will all be back very soon.

Have fun……. It is going to take a long time to wipe this smile off my face….:)

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