We drove the 40 miles down to the Port of Miami to board the Norwegian Epic. We thought it would be a fun Thanksgiving week to get away and “float” for seven days. The process of boarding and getting to our stateroom was pretty straight forward. Once underway we traveled out of the Port of Miami, enjoying the view of the city and Miami Beach. The time was around 5:30 and the reflections on South Beach were beautiful.
We continued out to seq with the next destination being Jamaica. The on-board party was in high gear even with SpongeBob getting into the act for the kids on board. We decided to get a look at the ship so took a tour of the various restaurants, bars and entertainment venues. The ship was almost 1100 feet in length and had 18 levels above sea level, some boat!
That evening we had dinner at the Moderno, the Brazilian Steak House. The salad bar with cheeses and various salads was sensational and the constant servings of the various meats was great. We take our own wine on the ship and are charged a “corkage”. The wine selections are expensive for wines you would buy at the local wine store for under $15.
There are over 20 dining opportunities, so variety is not an issue. the other great feature on the Epic is the entertainment. We enjoyed an evening of “Legends” in concert, very entertaining and another evening of Blue Man Group, a lot of fun. Another evening we enjoyed world-class acrobats and aerialists performing Cirque Dreams while having dinner. All the entertainment was fun.
We had gone on a cruise, another cruse line, several years ago and swore, NEVER AGAIN!! Last summer we took a cruise on Norwegian and really enjoyed ourselves, good food, good entertainment and wonderful accommodations. The port activities were all well organized and fun.
After two days at sea, we arrived in Ochos Rios, Jamaica. We spent some time walking in the town. Upon entering an “outdoor market” (across the street from the real tourist stores) we spent some time talking with the vendors that were of course trying to get us to purchase their items. It was sad to see how poor they were (welcome to the “third world”). They were kind and gentle, but very hard working trying to ease out a living.
The seas were very heavy, not noticeable inside the ship, so we bypassed Grand Cayman, which uses launches rather than ships docks, and continued to Cozumel, Mexico. The days at sea were very relaxing and since our goal was to “float”, worked out just fine. Upon arriving in Cozumel, it was very windy, so we decided to not play golf, our original plan and walk the town.
It was an interesting day with all the old history, hope you enjoy:
Monument of Two Cultures, also known as the Mestizo Monument. It depicts Gonzalo Guerrero who has become a political and literary icon and has been transformed into a national myth. Gonzalo Guerrero, a sailor from Spain, and Fray Jerónimo de Aguilar who had taken holy orders in his native Spain, were shipwrecked along the Yucatan Peninsula with their crew and all were taken as slaves by the local Maya. After years as slaves, Guerrero learned the language and was eventually freed, he married a Mayan and had three children. Mestizo is a Spanish term that continues to be used today in Latin America to refer to people of mixed European (Spaniard) and Amerindian ancestry living in the region of Latin America.
A Spanish explorer found the two Spaniards and returned to Cuba and reported about them. Hernán Cortés returned to the island and tried to get the two to return to Cuba, Brother Aguilar returned, Guerrero stayed. His answer to Brother Aguilar is on the statue above and translated in the caption. As the Cortés forces fought the Mayans, Guerero fought on the side of the Mayan forces, eventually dying in battle.
Cozumel Carnaval (Mardi Gras) is an annual island tradition that dates back
over 135 years.
After visiting the monuments we headed for some of the shops, looking for something unusual or nothing at all. In one store we found two 7 foot metal Christmas trees, both sold. The store owner told us of another location that had 3 foot one. We headed out to find it. How could you not buy it? Oh, they don’t ship it? The owner said to return in an hour and he would have it packet for the ship. Good thing the 7 foot ones were sold!
Back to the ship and having an interesting time getting it through security, we boarded the Epic and said our goodbye to Cozumel.
It was Friday night and after a great steak at Cagney’s we went to see the Blue Man Group. Saturday was a great day at sea where we read on our balcony and just enjoyed the day. On Sunday morning the ship arrived back in Miami to the rights of the city.
Our next trip in January is to New Zealand and Australia for golf, wine and tourism!