Cruising – Not for All

As part of my duties as an instructor, I chaperone a student cruise. The 2014 Student Cruise was on the Carnival Ecstasy, with stops in Key West and Cozumel.

I have been on two previous cruises and was not impressed. This go-round was particularly un-impressive.

1)  I’m not a fan of the buffet – I did have to eat from the buffet on the first day of the cruise. I managed to not die of hunger, however I also did not return. The buffet aside, dinner in the main dining room was decent.

2) Service – I was extremely disappointed in the customer service that I experienced on the ship. 80% of the staff were flat out rude, it was very sad.

3) Fitness facility: the workout studio had carpeted floors ….

4) Stop 1: Key West. I want to go back! Did not have enough time there. Walked into the Oldest House in Key West – which was really neat. Looking forward to going back and exploring a little more.

5) Stop 2: Cozumel. The water in Mexico is AMAZING. I have truly never seen anything like it. The excursion that I took was the Mayan Ruins of Tulum – Sun and Fun Tours did a wonderful job and Angel was the best tour guide that I have ever had. His passion and love for the culture could be felt. He was extremely well spoken and knowledgable about the Mayan people and culture. It was the best part of the trip for me.

All in all – I made the best of the trip, however I would not rate it as one of my top travel experiences. If I never go on a cruise again, I’ll be just fine.  My next stop will be 3 nights in Key West …


Island Hoppin

I recently returned from a 7 day cruise in the Caribbean – the Carnival Victory hit the islands of St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, and St. Maarten. While I have determined that cruising is not for me and I’m more of a 4 days on an island-explore on own-go at own pace-kinda girl, it was an experience that I have learned from and unfortunately get to repeat next year. (Taking students on a cruise is “an integral part of the travel curriculum” and since I am the only professor in the travel curriculum…well you get the picture).

Speaking of pictures – here are my favorites! I tried to narrow it down as best I could…My goal was to try and capture the islands in both the scenery, the people, and just random details that make-up the island as a whole. Given the way I was traveling (via tour bus with lots of other people) I’m mostly happy with what I came up with. Enjoy!

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