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Sunday 01/11/04

Well, here we are, finishing up our first day on our Western Caribbean Cruise!

Our flight was good, leaving at 8am from Indy, arriving early at Charlotte and then getting to Mia right on time. Since we had bought into the Skipper's Club, embarking was super-simple and quick.

Once we were on board, we went to... What else? Eat! We grabbed a quick lunch at the Paris Restaurant (buffet) and it was quite yummy.

After that, we went walking on the track and it was super-windy! I don't mean just windy... It was like I worried that I'd blow right over the side! We finished our walk as the ship pulled out of sight of Miami Beach. Then we showered and went to dinner. Our tablemates are Kay and Dave and Judy and ...her husband. Michael enjoyed his tilapia and I loved my chicken with pesto and pasta.

So we are tired and happy and excited about the days to come!

For this cruise, we got a Verandah cabin, so we had a little porch. That's Michael relaxing on it. :)

The ship's Atrium is magnificent, and I got a few pics of it.

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Monday, 12 Jan 04

Fun Day at Sea! We got up early and had breakfast. After that, we filled out our orders for the shore excursions. This was a good thing to do, because we got to get all the stuff we wanted!

We went walking at abou 10 am and then sat out and read on the deck for a time before cleaning up for lunch.

After lunch, I went to sleep for a couple of hours, whilst Michael went up on  deck to read. Then we got ready to go out for formal night's dinner.

Dinner was scrumptious! Michael had lobster and I had stuffed quail! Tender and delicious.

After dinner, we talked with Susan and Peter for awhile out in the atrium. We were watching the comings and  goings of all of the pretty people in their formal wear. There were photographers everywhere taking pics.

When Michael  and I decided to have our pic taken, I wanted to put on some lipstick first. We went to the cabin and did that and went back. No one was around! All the photographers were off doing other things, all the people were gone. It was like a scene out of Twilight Zone!

So we went back and went to bed!

Here are our waitstaff! and here we are.. and Kay, David, Susan, and Peter, our tablemates for our meals. (This was the first Formal Night; we didn't dress up for dinner most nights! This IS Carnival, after all!) We got along really well with the others. We seemed to luck out with great folks at our table!

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Michael and I missed getting our pic taken by the ship's people on the first formal night, so we took this one ourselves, in the lobby outside our cabin.

Tuesday, 13 Jan 04

We got up today and did open seating breakfast in the Elation Dining Room. Then we went back to the room to ready ourselves for our big tour!

At about 9am, the ship docked out in the rainy harbor of Belize. Because of the reefs, we had to "tender" into the port. This means that we got out of our ship and into these little speedboats which ferried us the 15 mins over to the port. Quite exciting!

Our tour was the Babboon Sanctary tour. Though these creatures are actually howling monkeys and not babboons at all, the locals still call them babboons.

The rain made the bus ride a mess, with the dirt roads turning to mud, the water-mud splashing up onto the windows, obscuring our views of the city.

But that wasn't as much of a mess as we encountered once we got to the site. ;) Our guide showed us lots of plants and trees, leaf-cutter ants and their huge hills, iguanas in the trees, and, finally, the howler monkeys!

Though I was pretty sick with this cold all day, I managed to muddle through it. I think that tonight will be another early night for us, though!

It rained and so i only took one pic in Belize, tried, anyway. This is as good as I could get of the howler monkeys at the sanctuary.

Wed 14 Jan 04

If it's Wednesday, it must be Isla Roatan! This day it is raining again, and I'm still suffering with this cold. After breakfast, we got on the West Island tour, which included a visit to the Butterfly Garden and Botanical Garden. At this port, we were docked, and there were dancers out on the dock. It was a lovely island, but the rain prevented us from taking very many photos.

The tour was good, though we both thoguht that Indy's butterfly exhibit at the White River Gardens is even better. :) After the butterflies, we walked through some rain forest and got the low-down on the various plants and their uses.

The small boats pictured in 25 are the tender boats which took us to shore.

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I got some nice pics in the butterfly park and the botanical gardens. The elephant was actually one of our cabin steward's creations and was not at the park!
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29butterflies6730 30poinsettia6740 31butterflyhat6739
32raindrops6738 33rain6741 34parrot6747

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