My Cruise in the Caribbean: Grand Cayman, Honduras, Belize, Cozumel

I am so excited to be creating this post! This is my fourth cruise, and cruising every year is something I look forward to so much, I'm excited to be able to share all about it. 

We got into cruising four years ago when Matt's parents invited us to go with them, and I fell head over heels in love with the experience, and have went on a different cruise every year since. 

Cruising in my opinion, is an awesome way to travel because you get to see the world, but you don't have to stress over the hotels and food and's literally all done for you. 

The traveling all over the world and getting to experience once in a lifetime adventures (last year in the Dominican Republic we literally slid down natural waterfalls into pools, and ended up jumping off of a 15 foot cliff into the water) is obviously my favorite part of cruising, but I also love being out on the ocean, participating in all of the different cruise activities, and they have formal nights that you get super dressed up for, which I also really enjoy. 

You get to know the staff of the ship, and you have all this amazing food at your will whenever you want it, and you can choose how you spend your days, whether it's lounging by the pool all day, partying in the bars, or attending all of the different comedy shows and performances. 

Cruising is always the highlight of my year each year, and this year was no different. Some people will only cruise with a certain cruise line; i.e. Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Princess, etc. But Matt and I don't really care so much about what company we sail with, we just always look to go places we've never been and see who can take us there. 

So this year we sailed with Carnival out of their port in Miami, on their ship called "Magic," and the vacation didn't fall short of the name. We sailed for 8 days around the Caribbean, making four stops along the way: Grand Cayman, Honduras, Belize, and Cozumel, Mexico. 

So our first stop was Grand Cayman. We booked an excursion at this stop, which is basically when you pay to do some activity at whatever stop you're going to. The excursion we booked was to swim with sea turtles, and of all we did on our trip, this was my favorite.

The sea turtle adventure took place at a rehabilitation center in Grand Cayman, where they actively work to keep the sea turtles from being poached and becoming extinct. Because of this center, not only are the turtles in this area no longer on the endangered species list, but there is also no longer any issues with poaching on the island at all. 

We got to see all sizes of turtles, from the huge 80 year old turtles, to the little babies I'm holding in the pictures above. You could also swim with the turtles but I have a little water phobia and my head going underwater for an extended period of time really just doesn't interest me 😅 

You could also feed the turtles, which was pretty hilarious to do because they move so slow, that a lot of the time if they had to exert any effort at all to eat the food, they would just say "screw it" and swim off. Also, if you've never heard what a sea turtle sounds like when they're coming up for air, youtube it, that had us cracking up. 

There were also Iguanas running around all over the place there, which Matthew thought was so funny to throw food at people's feet and watch the Iguanas run at the food and the people freak out. Can't take him anywhere. 

Aside from the turtles, they had beautiful spots to just sit by the water, or in the shade, as well as a nature trail that was super relaxing. If you go to Grand Cayman and you're looking for a very relaxing but cool excursion, or you're looking for a good excursion for your kids, I highly recommend this sea turtle one. 

Next stop: Honduras. We didn't see any excursions we were super interested in doing at this stop, so we decided just to have a beach day here. 

I obviously don't want to talk negatively about any place we visit, as these are people's homes and I am incredibly grateful and lucky to have been able to visit and been welcomed by them. But I also want to be honest in my own experiences with things.

With that being said, Honduras was my least favorite stop on this trip. Now, Honduras has 5 districts (I think), and we only visited one, which was Roatan Island, so maybe there are other spots in the Honduras I would have enjoyed more.

While we're on the subject, that is one thing in my own experiences that I have enjoyed more about cruising with Royal Caribbean as opposed to Carnival. Royal always gives you pamphlets the night before you dock at a new stop, that has all kinds of facts and information about the place you're visiting. Carnival doesn't do that, so any information I report is just from memory recall from talking with locals. So I think Honduras has five districts, but I could be wrong. I could also google it, but don't feel like it so... anyway.

Although Roatan Island was beautiful, the locals were extremely frustrating. They would hound you constantly trying to get you to purchase something from them; massages, necklaces, shells, whatever. I understand that, as they're trying to make a living, but when you're in the water trying to enjoy yourself and they're standing at the shore line yelling at you from the sand, it's too much.

We couldn't step one foot out of the water without at least 4-5 people surrounding us trying to get us to buy something. They also will not take no for an answer, so there is no relaxing in this area.

At one point this guy had his pet monkey on his shoulder and I got to pet it and shake hands with it, but then even this guy told me if I gave him ten dollars he'd let me take a picture holding it. It was just never-ending. He also tried to get me to give him my sunglasses.

Like I said, this stop was beautiful, I had a great time just hanging in the beautiful water with Matt, but if you're looking for a relaxing beach day, this ain't it.

Our third stop on this trip was in Belize! I was SO excited to go here, as we had booked an excursion to visit some of the Mayan Ruins, and that's always been on my bucket list.

So we drove 2 hours from the east side of the island to the west side to get to the ruins, which I always love to ride through the places we visit, because it's the best way to see the culture.

A lot of people will get off the ship and just stay in the port that the ship has created for tourists, so it has all the shopping and private beaches, but I don't like to do that because I don't feel like you get to really see the culture of the places you're visiting.

Anyway, we drove 2 hours through the island to get to the ruins, and then floated briefly on a raft to cross the river to get to the historic site. We had to hike about five minutes before coming upon the ruins, and they were nothing short of extraordinary.

We had tour guides who walked us through the ruins, explaining how they got there, what they were for, etc. The guides had a lot of belief in the spiritual aspect of the ruins, and verbalized the importance of us being granted the opportunity to visit such a monumental place.

They then took us up to the top of the ruins, which involved hiking along narrow paths until getting to the highest point. Which by the way, the ruins we visited just happened to be the second tallest ruins in existence, so that was intimidating.

When the guides explained how to climb the ruins, and detailed the importance of staying close to the wall as the pathways were incredibly narrow and it had been raining so the chances of slipping were high, I thought "no problem."

But I have to be honest and tell you that I got about halfway up this thing and had a full on anxiety attack. Now, one might think to themselves, if heights give you anxiety then why would you choose to climb this ruin?

But keep in mind that I have skydived, zip lined, jumped off cliffs into water, etc. and NEVER had an issue like this. Do I get a little nervous in these experiences? Yeah. Is it more fun than scary to me usually? Yeah. So I genuinely did not think I would have a problem.

But I got partially up and realized very quickly that I had made a mistake. I don't know if it was a mixture of the heights, and the rain, and all of the people, or what, but I couldn't move. I turned and put my face against the wall, and literally could. not. move.

I knew logically what I needed to do, so I immediately began my deep breathing which was helping, and I feel like if given some time I could have gotten my chest to stop hurting, caught my breath, and taken in my surroundings. Unfortunately there was a line of people behind me pressuring me to move, and the girl in front of me noticed something was off and very intelligently said to me, "are you scared of the heights?" Which sent me in to full blown panic mode.

Now not only was I afraid, but I was embarrassed. So I started crying. My chest started hurting more. My legs were trembling, hands where shaking, it was awful. Thank goodness for Matt who grabbed my hand and had me keep my eyes on him, or I wouldn't have gotten down.

There was a part where I had to detach from the wall to cross over to the steps by the ledge, and I got so light headed my legs almost gave out from under me. Luckily, they did not, and I made it down, with Matthew managing to take a couple pictures of the gorgeous views that I never looked up and saw.

Once we were down on the ground, the guide continued the tour, and actually mentioned that they believed if you experienced any type of vertigo or dizziness while on top the ruin, it was the Mayan spirits deciding that you weren't worthy of being in such a sacred place. So I guess this visit to Belize just solidified my infinite peasantry 👌

So while this trip may not have been the most positive experience for me, it was really cool to be able to experience, and I would absolutely recommend visiting them if you haven't. If you're scared of heights I would not recommend climbing them, but to each his own.

Overall, Belize was my third favorite stop, because aside from the ruins, I just really liked the country. The locals there all live and breathe by the phrase, "Hakuna Matata" and say it frequently. The tour guide also talked about it being a place of magic, and explained that to be there you had to have an open mind. In the picture below, this is a mountainous range that the people refer to as, "the sleeping giant." They believe that in the legendary Jack and the Beanstalk story, when Jack cut the beanstalk and the giant fell, Belize is where he landed, and that this is what is left of him. In the picture below, the far right is his head, where you can see his nose, and then the rest of his body all the way to the left, which is his feet. Belize was full of magic and stories like this, which I just really loved.

Our last stop on the cruise was Cozumel, Mexico. We have actually been to Cozumel in the past where we booked an excursion, so this time we just decided to have a beach day.

Now in the name of honesty, I will say Cozumel is not one of my favorite places. It is very, very dirty. There is a lot of trash everywhere, people are very dirty, places you go inside are very dirty. And the water is very rocky.

However, somehow on this trip we managed to find an absolutely beautiful beach to relax at, and ended up staying at this beach all day, turning it into my second favorite stop on the cruise.

The beach we went to was called "Paradise Beach" and it was about ten minutes from where we ported. It was free to get in, and we just walked down past all of the resort chairs and this beautiful boardwalk, to a spot where no one was, beneath some palm trees, and hung out by ourselves all day.

If you like to be around people there are a lot of beaches you can go to that you can sit in a chair and get drinks and food delivered to you, but that just really isn't my thing. I'm actually kind of an introvert, so I'd much rather be off by myself.

A couple years ago when we went to Cozumel, we booked an excursion to tour the island, which was cool because we got to see the culture. But like I said, it was very dirty, and so I was more impressed with this beach we found than I was with the sights last time.

So that was our cruise! After our stops we had about two more days of sailing, in which Matt and I just lounged around, attended shows and participated in the different events that were happening on the ship.

Overall I had an absolutely great vacation, and of all the cruises I've been on, this one I don't think was my favorite, but honestly it was probably my second favorite. This ship was pretty big and I prefer smaller ships because well you know, less people...and also I feel like you get to know the crew more which I like to do, considering you spend so much time with them.

If you have never cruised before you should really look into it. This was our cheapest cruise yet, only costing both of us around 500 dollars, not including excursions. So basically we travelled to four places in the Caribbean for what you would pay to go to the beach.

If you enjoy cruising or just traveling I hope you enjoyed my post! If you've never been cruising or have any questions about anywhere I went, comment below!

I also saved the videos of our trip to the "travel" highlights on my instagram (@kneee_xx) if you want to see more!

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