So last week Sarah and I went on a cruise with some of the guys in my band. We were very fortunate to be able to get away into the warmer climes of the Caribbean, and extremely fortunate not to get overrun by the pirates that lurk said waters.

This was the first time that either of us have gotten to go somewhere “tropical”. In fact my passport has only been stamped once, and that was for entering Canada for crying out loud. So after shoving off from the port in Miami we set our faces to the south and the adventures that awaited us.

After a long and somewhat uneventful day on the ship spent “laying out” and playing shuffleboard (Hoopes and I swept Schneck and Scott) we got to disembark onto Grand Cayman Island. Though we saw no actual offshore holding companies our morning was pleasantly spent in search of a private beach with Scott and Leah. We meandered for quite a while through residential areas until we came upon a hidden little gem of a beach. There were only a few other people that had found this area, so we felt quite fortunate. This is me on some of the sharp, sharp rock outcroppings that flanked our beach.


Next up was Isla Roatan off the coast of Honduras. We were tempted onto shore by wild tales of monkeys and chickens roaming freely. Sadly we saw no monkeys, but Sarah did get a few items of handmade jewelry. Now Roatan has been described as a “developing” area for tourist attractions. We definitely found that to be the case. In fact I was struck with how similar it felt to the slums of Merida, Mexico I had been to a few times on mission trips. Vendors hawking their wares, kids playing in garbage, roaming mutts rooting around in alleys; these were things I didn’t expect from a stop on a cruise vacation. Yet I am incredibly glad we stopped there. We fat, lazy, assuming Americans need to get out of our comfort zones once in a while to see the needs of less fortunate cultures. It makes me sick to hear some people here complaining of being poor: the “have-nots” in this country with their cars, roofs over their heads, and cable television. There are only the “haves” and the “have-more’s” here. After Sarah and I got back onto our luxurious boat we went to dinner where we couldn’t even eat half the food they put on our plate. The rest of the day was rather depressing.

At least there was a spectacular view:


The next day we stopped in Belize and went snorkeling for the first time. Whenever I see a commercial or pictures of people snorkeling it look so touristy and lame, but actually doing it was a lot more fun that I had imagined. My favorite was diving far down to see the coral and the tiny life down there, then coming up and blowing the water out of the snorkel with that funny sound. I spent half my time doing this and the other half dodging the local that was trying to sell me nose-candy.


I think it was around this day that we started playing Mafia. Mafia is kind of a card game you play with a bunch of people where the object is to root out an element… you kick off certain… you… oh just click the link and it will explain it better than I could. We played a variant where you have a Sheriff and a Nurse. I highly recommend this game to anyone who likes to sniff out a ruse :)

We were supposed to go to Costa Maya, Mexico the next day, but the threat of hurricanes was too much for our ship, ironically named the “Valor”. So we went to Cozumel, Mexico instead. This ended up being our favorite stop, and man oh man would Sarah just not stop talking about how she wants to move there. Our time in Cozumel was basically spent at the beach (or playa… hey!) with its crystal clear waters and colorful marine life. Lounging around on the beach was really how we wanted to spend this vacation (see the soapbox a few paragraphs above), and Cozumel offered this in spades. We might just have to go back there sometime.


By the next day, spent at sea, we were ready to go home. I think all we really did was play a little Mafia and watch the blinking red dot which was our ship move slowly back to Florida on the monitor. As we neared Miami we kept getting more and more excited about going back to autumn and the mountains. Vacation is always wonderful, but getting back home is even better.