Jamaica, Grand Caymans & Cozumel Cruise
Seven Day Cruise out of Galveston
August 14-21, 2011

This was a great Summer vacation, right after the summer college sessions and before the fall college session started.  This year we originally planned for 13 attendees but Derek Montz and his friend Benji Romero had to cancel literally days before the trip.  Attending was Johnna, Keith, Megan and Taylor Montz; Lilly Trosclair (Megan's friend); Fenwa Akamo (Taylor's friend); Frank Than (Taylor's friend); Kiera Brown (Taylor's girlfriend); Tommy and Alla Trest; Masha Tolkacheba (Alla's daughter).

Like all cruises, everyone eats too much.  While the Ship Captain did not join us, we sat at the Captain's Table. Frank and Fenwa seemed to have a competitions at dinners where they would order three meals and eat all of them. On most occasions we all had two deserts at dinners along with eating other deserts and cookies during the day.  Many dinners, Keith would get four sushi slices as an appetizer from another location on ship and bring it to the formal dining.

When we were at sea, there was plenty to do with the pools, exercise gym, gambling and evening shows.  The time always seems to go by too fast.

On all of our Shore Excursions, we did not do any booking on ship as it is always twice or three times the cost of booking locally after going ashore.  Plus by booking on shore, you can always get more destinations.

Sunday, August 14 - At Sea

1 Fenwa, Frank, Johnna, Kiera, Megan and Lilly standing on the deck at the Galveston port.  
2 Masha, Alla and Tommy standing at the same location. 
3 Keith at the same location.
4 The dock as we pushed off of it.
5 Old Galveston Strand Area as we launch off of the dock.
6 Kiera and Johnna sitting on the deck chairs as we pull out into Galveston Bay.
7 Dinner: Masha, Alla and Tommy
8 Dinner: Johnna, Keith, Megan and Lilly
9 Dinner: Lilly, Fenwa and Frank
10 Megan, Lilly and Masha

Monday, August 15 - At Sea

1 Tommy on the Deck with the glassy sea in the background.
2 Standing on deck 11 in the front of the ship looking down towards the ocean.
3 Standing on deck 6 on the back ship looking at the twin screws propelling.  The slight brown haze is engine smoke.
4 Megan and Lilly sitting on deck chairs on deck 6.
5 Keith sitting at the same location on deck 6.
6 Dinner: Masha, Alla and Tommy
7 Dinner: Keith and Megan
8 Dinner: Megan, Lilly, Kiera and Taylor
9 Dinner: Taylor, Frank and Fenwa

Tuesday, August 16 - At Sea

1 Dinner: All of us.
2 At the Comedy show in the Punchliner Comedy Club Lounge.

Wednesday, August 17 - Montego Bay, Jamaica

We did a custom tour of the City of Montego Bay. After exiting the dock, we found a driver who would take us all around the city.

1 Looking off of the ship down at the port area.  The building in the right is the customs area that we exited, which had shopping.  After the building, were cabs, vans and buses to take tourist to see Montego Bay.
2 Same place on ship, looking to the left towards Montego Bay City
3 Driving up into one of the wealthy areas, this photo is of the poor area where people will become squatters to eventually own the land.  The houses are built out of concrete slab and walls along with cinder blocks.
4 Street corner area.
5 Local strip center shopping building after the street corner.
6 One of the very nice homes with a family of goats in front.  Many residents have goats which only will come to their owners.
7 Same home shown in #6 with other homes in the area.
8 Two security officers in front of one of the nicer home areas.
9 All of us at the Richmond Hill Inn, which sits high on a hill overlooking most of the City of Montego Bay.
10 Keith in the beautiful den's bar area.
11 Johnna sitting out over the patio and pool area which looks down towards the bay with our Cruise Ship in background.
12 Same location as #11.  Kiera and Taylor.
13 Same location as #11.  Frank, Fenwa and Taylor.
14 Taylor, Fenwa, Frank, Lilly and Megan at a fruit stand we stopped at to try some Sugarcane and other local fruits.
15 The road leading up to the White Witch's House with golf course on the left.  ====  WIKI Reference.
16 The whole group outside our tourist van, Juta Tours, at one of the free beaches near the airport.
17 Same location as #16 which shows the beautiful turquoise water and a plane coming into make a landing.
18 Megan, Masha, Lilly, Johnna, Alla and Tommy on the shop alley next to beach.  Margarita Ville is the last on the right.
19 Taylor, who wore Jamaican colors the whole day, at one of the shops after putting on one of the Jamaican hats with hair.

Thursday, August 18 - Grand Cayman Island

We got off the ship and went into the shops area where we booked a snorkeling tour of the Island's back cove bay.

1 The whole group of us at the Port after being water taxied into the dock.
2 Our water taxi showing the Carnival Conquest in the background.
3 Tommy, Alla and Masha on the fishing boat taking us out to snorkeling.
4 Front view of the fishing boat: Tommy, Alla and Masha below.  Taylor, Kiera, Johnna, Megan and Lilly on top.
5 At our first of two stops.  Johnna standing at the stingray stop.  There were 20 to 30 stingrays who are completely tame.
6 One of the very large stingrays passing under our boat.
7 Keith and Tommy sitting in the shade of the boat interior.
8 At our second stop where everyone snorkeled.  The water is about 12 feet deep.  Tommy is already out and the barrier reef is the distance which holds off the ruff sea.
9 Fenwa talking to Frank as he is getting into the water.
10 Megan and Lilly standing next to two of the pirate figures at the duty free shops at the port.
11 The whole gang at dinner.

Friday, August 19 - Cozumel

Like previous trips to Cozumel, we rented Jeeps to tour the island, stopping at our favorite beaches and some new ones along with driving around the entire island going thru the city.  Tommy and Keith had scuba fins, masks and snorkels where they were able to go out into fairly deep water at one of the beaches.

  First Stop is the free beach Mr Sanchez's formerly called Playa Palancar.  Each year it is more commercial.
1 Megan and Lilly
2 Our table next to the restaurant bar.  This year, they added a fresh water pool and jet skis.
3 Megan holding up two Parrots.
4 Tommy and Alla in the water at the beach.
5 Tommy and Keith about to go snorkeling.
6 Megan and Lilly in the shallows.
7 Masha in the shallows.
  Second Stop - A large lava rock that was honey combed with sharp edges that went right out into the water. 
8 Alla and Tommy on the beach area before the very large lava rock that protrudes into the ocean.
9 The very large lava rock with the water shown beating on it.  This was probably six feet above the water.
10 Keith standing on the start of the rock with a lagoon shown (right side) and a water tidal pool that had dug into the far side.
11 A view to the left side of the lava rock area.  Notice the sharp edges that are prevalent to the whole area.
12 Tommy filming the lava rock.  Our cars are in the background along with a tourist shops selling trinkets and drinks.
  Third Stop - Coconuts Bar and Grill  http://thisiscozumel.com/content/view/446/79/- (Note: A very nice, small, 3 story and secluded motel is next to it).  This Restaurant sits on top of a very large lava rock which was filled in by cement and then decorated extravagantly with all sorts of vegetation.  On top, there are exotic parrots and other birds, aquinas, lizards along with the house cat and two small friendly dogs.

A funny thing that happened here was when Alla was in the restaurant, she walked past two men talking in Russian who were not saying very nice things about staying at Cozumel.  Alla was offended and called out to Masha in Russian to come and see the views at the cliff side.  The two men were completely startled and realized their conversation was not private.  They said nothing to Alla and immediately became silent.

13 Lilly, Megan, Taylor, Fenwa and Frank about to get out of the jeep to go into Coconuts.
14 Alla walking up the stairs to the Restaurant.  Masha and the scene from #13 in the background.
15 Tommy facing camera.  Keith with his back turned, taking photo of Frank, Taylor and Fenwa.
16 Lilly standing by sign pointing the way up the concrete stairs.
17 Beautiful white Parrot in the Restaurant.
18 One of the restaurant pet chameleon lizards.
19 Lilly pointing at woman's bathing suit top, which I guess is what the place is named for.  You can figure this out on your own.
20 Frank and Taylor at the cliff area of the restaurant looking out on the gorgeous views.
21 Keith standing at the view to the right at the cliff area of the restaurant.
  Back at Port
22 The Carnival Conquest on the left and the biggest cruise ship in the world, "The Allure of the Seas"

Saturday, August 20th & 21st - Day at Sea

Miscellaneous Photos.

1 Tommy and Alla on deck
2 Tommy and Keith on deck.
3 Keith and Johnna at dinner.
4 Frank and Fenwa at dinner.  As usual they had three dinners but this time only one desert.
5 At night, near the pool where they show movies at night on the big screen shown.
6 Around 10:00pm on Saturday night, we entered a corridor that goes for hours out in the Gulf where other ships will pass and on each side are oil rigs.