What a gas, a Christmas Cruise with family.  We left Phoenix Arizona December 18, 2005 for Houston Texas to board the Norwegian Sun on a cruise around the Caribbean.  Joining us are our kids, Angela and Marcus, David's mother Pat, his sister Diane and family Kevin, Brad and Julie, and his brother Mike and family Linda, Matt, and Cory.  Brad's fiancé and our soon to be niece Megan makes it fourteen of us to get in trouble on this eleven day Christmas adventure.

12/20/2005  Cozumel, Mexico

The weather does not seem to want to cooperate this trip, as it is chilly, cloudy, and raining so far.  We elect to visit the beach club Playa Mia.  The island has been leveled by hurricane Katrina this October, stripped of all vegetation and few hotels are open.  Jewelry deals in silver are amazing, the vendors are hungry.  Santa does some shopping here!

Cover from the rain.
Margaritas in the ocean!

David, Angela, and Marc get caught in a downpour while shopping downtown San Miguel, the only town on the island.  Rain water running 6 inches deep in the street just soaking all of us.


12/21/2005 Belize City, Belize

Main pyramid at Alton Ha.
Marc with jungle friends.

Many ruins indicate that Belize was originally inhabited by the Maya Indians.  Their civilization reached its height between 300 A.D and 900 A.D., but thereafter collapsed and many of the people migrated.  Even though Columbus sailed near the region in 1502, the first recorded European settlement was established in 1638 by shipwrecked British sailors.  We elect to visit the Mayan ruins at Alton Ha, about 35 miles north of Belize City.  

We avoid most of the rain today suffering only cloudy skies.  The cab driver takes us to a restaurant on Bird Island in the city for delicious lunch of fresh fish.


12/22/2005  Roatan, Honduras

Roatan is the largest of eight islands that are collectively known as the Bay islands.  In port only for 5 hours here and as it was raining, we elect to visit the town of French Harbor, where we are docked.  David buys a bottle of rum to try at the local grocery store.  We are adopted by a little one by the name of Joshua who acts as our guide.  Local beer is consumed in the misty rain.  Weather is not cooperating and cutting into our beach time.


12/23/2005 Georgetown, Grand Caymen

The great adventurers and stingray hunters!



The family as a group charter a boat and visit world famous Stingray City. The rays live in three to six feet of water on a natural sand bar located just inside the fringing reef, making conditions perfect for viewing these amazing southern stingrays in their natural habitat. Unfortunately, JoEllen is not feeling well this day and stays on the ship.

Angela, David, Marcus and Suzie the Stingray

Niece Julie with friend


This is one experience that should not be missed when visiting Grand Caymen. There is nothing like the feeling of several rays rubbing up against your legs.

On the ride back to shore, the crew offers to tow us behind the boat. Uncle Mike and Nephew Matt are up to the challenge. This is Matt trying not to drown!

12/24/2005 Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Jamaica lies approximately 90 miles south of Cuba and a little over 100 miles west of Haiti in the Caribbean Sea.  The island is 146 miles long and 51 miles north to south, it is the third largest island in the Greater Antilles after Cuba and Hispaniola. Jamaica has been called the island of springs because the abundant wealth of tropical vegetation. There are reported to be 3000 different species of flowering plants of which 827 are indigenous and 500 varieties of fern.

David, JoEllen, Angela, and Marcus hire a van with Earl as our driver for an adventure to Zion, The birthplace and final resting place of the King of Reggae, Bob Marley. The drive to the mountain village of Nine Mile is beautiful, traveling through Fern Gully on winding, narrow roads to an elevation of 3000 feet. The people in the mountains are a different sort from the Ocho Rios peoples, not near as pushy and much more friendly. We have a wonderful tour of the "Graceland" of Reggae with our guide "Crazy". We end the day with lunch at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville and a swim in the pool at the bar.

David feeling no pain at Margaritaville
Angie at Margaritaville pool

12/25/2005 at sea

Christmas is a sea day, another day for family time.

Cory, Uncle Mike, Aunt Linda
Megan, Julie, Brad, Uncle Kevin, Aunt Diane

Matt and Grandma Pat

Marc, Angie, David, JoEllen

12/26 Nassau, Bahamas


Nassau will romance you with its style, pastel pink colors, the clip clop of hooves as horse drawn carriages meander lazily down the narrow streets.

Our last port on this cruise, we awake to a wonderful day, lots of sunshine.  We head to the beach on Paradise Island where the resort hotel casino Atlantis is located.



Windy but very warm. We end this day with a meal of cracked conch and conch burgers at a local restaurant in town.

JoEllen, Angela, Marcus, and David on the dock before boarding the ship after a fun day playing at the beach.

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