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Inaugural Caribbean Voyage
December 17 - 24, 2000
Ports of Call
My priority in cruising is the ship and the sea. Ports of call are secondary and I enjoy spending port days on the ship when it is relatively empty. Nevertheless, here is my take on our four Western Caribbean ports of call.
We took the complimentary shuttle from the ship into town and did a little shopping and walked to the Hemingway House. Key West is very, very touristy and appears to be geared towards the cruise ship passenger and his/her need to lighten his/her pocketbook.
Key West, Florida, docked next to the Costa Atlantica
Calica is a gravel quarry and basically a parking spot for the ship and a jumping off point for tours of the ruins of Tulum. There is also an eco-archeological "theme" park, Xcaret, right next to the ship. We treated this a "sea day" and did not leave the ship.
Cozumel is a busy port and we were docked next to the Ryndam, the Sensation and the Ecstasy. The Celebration was also in port at the same time. Melanie had her hair partially braided, then we took a cab ($5) into San Miguel where Margie surprised us and bought Melanie, herself and me matching 6-carat tanzanite tennis bracelets. Life is good!
By the time we got to Grand Cayman, all water-based shore excursions booked through the ship had been cancelled because of the weather and we did not dock in Georgetown, but down the road a bit at Spotts Bay. Melanie was ill by this time, and stayed on the ship with Barry and Margie and I went into town to get my Hard Rock Café T-shirt (I now have 23). Taking the tender from the ship, then a communal "taxi" ride (really a large van) into town, then repeating this journey on the way back and waiting for the return tender to the ship for over 30 minutes not knowing what ship I was in line for was not a pleasant experience. I would like to return to Grand Cayman at some point and spend a week at a resort on Seven Mile Beach, but a seven-hour layover there from a cruise ship is not my idea of how to enjoy a destination such as Grand Cayman.
Grand Cayman Island