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Travel 2015
   
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Cruise to Cozumel, Belize, and Roatan - from Galveston via Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas

Lake Belton, TX - visiting cousin Jack Berry, trip to Jerome AZ, attending Prescott Rodeo and Parade

Cruise to Cozumel, Belize, and Roatan  

In August we took a Royal Caribbean cruise to Cozumel, Belize, and Roatan.  We had not done in a cruise since Alaska in 2010 and having had to cancel our big RV trip we thought it appropriate and needed!  We sailed out of the port at Galveston and returned to the same port.  Galveston is a very easy drive from Georgetown.  We've done this before, driving down the night before the cruise and staying at a motel in Texas City, very near the port.  This drive was a bit of a new experience as we had just bought a 2015 Prius V the week before.  We learned a bit about hybrid cars during the drive and while stuck in a traffic jam going around Houston.  Overall the Prius V is a great car - we got 41 mpg and paid more in tolls than we did for gas! 

The first stop was Cozumel, Mexico.  Having been there on our previous cruise in 2007, and Richard having SCUBA dived there several times, we did not book an excursion activity.  Instead we just shopped and had lunch at Hard Rock Cafe. 

Our excursion from the port at Belize City had us boarding a bus for an hour-plus ride into the countryside to a restaurant and dock on the New River.  After some brief refreshment we boarded a high speed boat for almost an hour up-river journey to the Mayan ruins at Lamanai.  On the way we stopped and fed a banana to a spider monkey, and viewed iguanas and various exotic birds.  At Lamanai we saw two Mayan temples, a Mayan ball court, and other ruins.  I was very much reminded of Mel Gibson's 2006 violent epic Apocalypto.  After touring the ruins we visited several small shops on the site and had some cool drinks prior to the return boat ride.  Back at the restaurant and dock we had a traditional Belize style meal before boarding the bus back to Belize City. 

On the island of Roatan we had originally booked an excursion to zip-line through the jungle canopy on several lines strung through the tops of the trees.  Unfortunately, due to Richard's recent surgery we had to cancel that adventure and replaced it with leisure sunbathing on a local private island.  We definitely plan to go back and do the zip line in the not to distant future!

The Navigator of the Seas is a very comfortable and well-equipped ship - with a beautiful shopping concourse many stories tall that runs much of the length of the ship.  We played table tennis and miniature golf, and participated daily in the trivia contests in one of the bars, while sipping the drink-of-the-day.  The ship has a 50's style dinner that serves great burgers, fries, onion rings, and shakes!  We also saw some world-class entertainment in the ship's theater.  One of our favorite relaxing activities was to sit in a crow's nest bar on the highest level of the ship with a great view of the pools, and sip a wine, Irish coffee, or other daily special.  We also had to hit the casino a few times just to lighten our pockets - which the slot machines did quite efficiently. 

The weather on this trip was outstanding.  I think we had one day of rain showers but overall there was very little sea and it was typically as smooth as glass.  That's the way cruising was meant to be.  We will certainly be doing it again. 

 

   

Lake Belton, TX  

One of our favorite nearby places to visit is Cedar Ridge park at Lake Belton near Belton, TX.  It's a Corp of Engineer's park with very nice RV spaces - wide and long spaces with extra parking for the truck, and 50A power.  Each site has a fire pit and picnic shelter.  There is plenty of wildlife including deer and turkeys, and sometimes crazy boaters. 

We typically stay here for about four days in the Spring after de-Winterizing the trailer to make sure everything is still in working order - sort of a shake-down cruise.  But we will often come here for a quick get-away in the Fall as well.  Using our National Parks Senior Pass card for a 50% discount the fees total less than $40.