Limón, Costa Rica

We docked early on a Saturday morning in Limón, Costa Rica a commercial and tourist port on the central east coast. A few Costa Rican tidbits: Costa Rica was “discovered” by Christopher Columbus on his last trek to the West Indies in 1502. Costa Rica may have gotten its name from the bejeweled native people Columbus encountered when he landed here. It may also have gotten its name (rich coast) to fool explorers and pirates as there was no naturally found gold here. Costa Rica has been an independent country since 1838 and a democracy since 1869. Costa Rica’s major…

On Roatan, Honduras

When we’ve traveled to port cities on our own we’ve often come away with the impression that where the port is doesn’t really give you the flavor of a place. To us, Coxen Hole in Roatan Honduras fits that description. The contrast between the cruisers deboarding their fancy ship and the poverty of the port city is striking. Like many poorer areas reliant on tourism we were accosted with a wave of offers to buy trinkets, take private tours and for taxi rides to “anywhere we wanted to go”. We were entertained by “William” who wanted to show us his…

Belize: Top 5

We were not on shore long enough to really judge, nor develop a more exhaustive list. Nonetheless, these lovely people deserve a review. Here are our top 5 things from our day on shore: The aforementioned people. Once the British colony of “British Honduras”, and a mixture of creole, Spanish, British, African and Maya, these folks are lovely. They pride themselves on being a diverse hodge podge of races and cultures. 60% of the populace makes their livelihood from tourism and they act as such. I mean, just lovely. The jungle. 70% of the land of Belize is covered by…

Eying some Maya Ruins

In fifth grade (ish) I did a school project on the Maya. (Yes, Maya, at least according to “Dr Dave” resident anthropologist on board and even more convincingly our Maya tour guides, so I’d take it on good authority). I was fascinated by their piercing/blood letting rituals (male nipples, genitalia and what not), their calendar and astronomy, their ritual of human sacrifice and their ritual of flattening their foreheads and crossing babies eyes on purpose (a sign of nobility and beauty). As such, I’ve always wanted to check some of their ruins and temples out and today was the day….

Are you a cruisah?

It would be way premature to say yes and I’m not sure I would ever admit it even if I were (no offense intended for any cruiser friends out there), however, I was asked the other night if I ever wanted to get off this ship and at present the answer is undeniably no. Sure, we are pretty far south of the median age onboard and things wrap up around 10 pm but let’s be honest, I don’t often see the other side of midnight very often anymore. For my first cruise we chose Viking Ocean cruises. It is a…

One night in Miami

I often make fun of Melissa’s (obsessive) planning, but, well, I shouldn’t. For my fiftieth birthday this year we chose a cruise. I’ve never been on one before so we dove right in with a two week one. I figured if I hated it, I might as well really hate it. But I digress… We launch out of Miami and decided to spend a night (vs. take a red eye in December from Denver with no great back up flights to get us in on time) and stayed downtown. While I’m not sure I would stay in that area for…

Top 5 Things We Liked about Dublin

We had only a brief time in Dublin but there were several things we really enjoyed about our short time there.  Upon reflection, these are the things we liked most: Live music and the Pubs.  Nearly immediately, we embraced the pub culture.  There are so many in Temple Bar, where we stayed, and outside.  The live music is everywhere, from the pubs to the squares to Grafton Street and these musicians are no joke.  Whether they are playing traditional Irish songs, bagpipes, guitars or mandolins or more contemporary tunes the music is everywhere and great to listen to while walking about…