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Friday, 16 January 04

We had the sit-down, open-seating breakfast and sat with a couple from Great Britain. He was a retired pharmacist whose hobby is digital photography. He subscribes to Janee's magazine!

We reached Cozumel about 1:00 PM and we tendered ashore for our Bicycle and Snorkel adventure. We were advised that the ship would actually dock between 6:00 and 6:30 PM and so we had to either be on board before 6 or wait until after 6:30. We met our two tour guides at the village and discovered that there were only six of us on this tour.

We picked out our mountain bikes from the wagon full they had available and we were given instructions on how to follow the guides. Our dry clothes, camera gear, towels and other supplies were taken along behind us in a jeep. We rode about 5 miles to Chankanaab National Park. There our guides took us to a very beautiful beach. We put our clothes in lockers and got fins and masks from the Dive Shop and off we went!

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Michael's fins may have been a little too big but we got in the water anyway. Michael lost his fin and had to dive to the botom to get it. Janee had some trouble adjusting her mask but the guides were very patient with us and after the equipment timeout, we swam out about fifty yards then we followed the guides about 1/4 mile. The water under us was about 20 feet deep and crystal clear. We could see many beautiful tropical fish and there were divers beneath us. 

After about 45 minutes of swimming hand-in-hand, we had had enough. The rest of the troupe was tired also so we swam ashore and found the lockers.

After a quick shower and dry clothes, our guides showed us around Chankanaab. It is a beautiful park with displays illustrating Myan culture. 

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We got back to the village about 6:00 PM and decided to wait for the ship to dock. We could see it from the village. The Paradise was to take the dock space left by another cruise ship, but that ship did not leave on time as they were waiting for some missing passengers. We heard that four were left behind when it finally did leave. The Paradise sat off shore until about 7:30 PM when it docked. 

We waited at an indoor/outdoor bar called Fat Tuesday, which turned out to be the wildest bar in the village. It is set up like a sports bar and while we waited, we enjoyed beer, frozen daquiri, chips with salsa and watched the first quarter of the Indiana Pacers / San Antonio basketball game on the Spanish version of ESPN. It was played at Conseco so we felt a little like we were at home.

We boarded the Paradise and quickly went to dinner. It was open seating in Elation so we sat at a large table of nice people from Texas. Michael over-ate (a common problem for him) and he felt stuffed the rest of the evening. 

We went back on shore to do a little shopping but didn't stay long, with Michael feeling like a full tick. We reboarded the Paradise and went quickly to sleep. The Paradise left port about midnight to begin the 32-hour trip to Miami. This was by far the best day on this cruise.

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Saturday, 17 January, 2004

Another fun day at sea.  We had the sit down breakfasast with a nice young couple and a very boring gentleman.  Janee promissed him he would be dynamite in a chat room.

We shopped on board ship, attended the debarkation briefing and after lunch (Janee ordered a hamburger for Michael) we took our daily walk.  Then we got a special rum drink in the special tall glass. 

We took a shower and got ready for our last sit down dinner with our new friends. We took some more photos at the table and said our goodbyes. Then, we headed down to the show -- a juggling act, followed by a comedian. The juggler needed a volunteer and so I, in my brilliance, tried to volunteer Michael. The juggler chose ME instead! Here are some pics of me on stage with him. Horrible pice, even in thumbnail, but you get the idea.

Then we did our packing.

Sunday, 18 January, 2004

We awakened at 6:00 AM with the Paradise docking in Miami Beach. Our packed bags were picked up during the night so we had our walking and travel clothes for our carry-ons. We went up to the track and did our two-mile walk. It was about 70 degrees, the last of that we'd feel for awhile!

We had a quick breakfast at the Paris buffet and after our shower waited for our tag color to be called. We were among the first to be called so debarkation was easy. We went quickly through customs and found our bus to Ft. Lauderdale. 

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We got to the airport at 10 AM for our scheduled 3 PM flight through Charlotte to Indy. We waited in a very long line to check in at US Airways and when Michael asked about an earlier flight, we were told we could get on the 1 PM. So we took it!

We ended up leaving very late from Ft. Lauderdale, and got to Charlotte just in time to run from one end of the airport to the other to get our flight to Indy. We just made it as they had been delayed also. The flight to Indy was easy and there were our bags! Our car greeted us by starting right away and since we went from the 70's to the teens for temperature, we were shivering until the car heater became effective.

On the way home we stopped for Steak-n-Shake. Glad to be home? Err... well, sure. :) But we also can't wait for our next trip!

Thanks for coming along with us on this one. :)

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