Traveling: Tourists Go to Cancun…Travelers Go To Coba

Exhausted from our climb up the Mayan Temple of Coba

Exhausted from our climb up the Mayan Temple of Coba

When it came to cruise excursions, Cristina and I prefer history to relaxing and imbibing. So when Cristina was presenting me with possible shore excursions, I could see that she wanted to do something with the Mayan Ruins of Mexico. Cristina is always looking for more pictures to share with her geography classes; Coba was the leader in providing us with more scenic opportunities. The ruins of Coba are one of the few Mayan sites that still allow you to climb one of its temples. Of course, I agreed it would be awesome.

Then, after we paid, I remembered I’m terrified of heights and climbing things. This was going to be fun.

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Traveling: Honeymoon Cruise aboard the Carnival Freedom

Last December, Cristina went on a cruise with her mom, sisters, and a certain boy band. Before the ship even set sail, I knew that we were going on a cruise for our honeymoon. I didn’t object too much because our previous plan of doing a road trip through the southeast would be way too expensive with the rising gas prices of the spring. When she returned from her trip, we looked at various cruises. We settled on a Carnival Cruise that would make stops in Cozumel, Costa Rica, and the Panama Canal. For shore excursions we picked Mayan ruins, a tour of a rain forest, and ferry through the Pacific side of the canal. The cruise was out of Ft. Lauderdale, which wasn’t a problem due to the fact that Cristina’s family lives along the way.

Leaving Ft. Lauderdale

Leaving Ft. Lauderdale for our Honeymoon!

After a brief stop in Universal (butterbeer!), we headed to the ship. Being that it was my first cruise, I really didn’t know what to expect except it to be a floating hotel. I was slightly worried I would get really bored due to this being a 8 day/7 night trip. I was never bored once.

So what did we do with our time? Well, Cristina is a Bingo fanatic; thus, we played lots of Bingo. I had quite a few waits but no wins. We did a scavenger hunt. We read a lot either on the deck or on the balcony of our room (which we got as a very affordable upgrade the day before we set sail; and they called us because they knew we were on our honeymoon).

Waiting for Bingo!

Waiting for Bingo!

Shaving for Scavenger Hunt

Pretending to shave for our scavenger hunt

Lounging and reading on deck

Lounging and reading on deck

Some of the best moments were the unexpected moments. On a whim, we attended a cooking demonstration. The theme for the menu was mushrooms something Cristina didn’t like. However, the first course, a mushroom cappuccinos served in an espresso cup, won her over completely. Ever since the trip, mushrooms have become a staple of our diet. One night after dinner we were on way to see the show when we to upper deck to just see the stars. Despicable Me, a movie we hadn’t seen, started to play. Here we were, off the coast of Cuba, under the stars and moon watching a kids movie and gorging on popcorn.

Speaking of gorging, I’m pretty sure it’s required on these ships. Everything before dinner is really just Golden Corral quality but it’s included so we ate up. The best thing I ate during the day was zucchini fritters with shrimp and mussels which easily could have been sold at any festival in the area. Dinner, however, always ranged from very good to nearly great. The best dishes, for my money, were the cold soups. However, the best part of dinner was meeting new friends. The ship did a really good job of matching us up to people near our age. We really hit it off — and if any of you four are reading this let us know if you are ever in the neighborhood!

Some of the yummy Golden Corral quality food

Some of the yummy Golden Corral quality food... not a bad thing!

Dining room on Carnival Freedom

The formal dining room on Carnival Freedom

The only downside was that I decided to catch a summer cold right in the middle of the cruise…actually in the rain forest to be exact. I tried to be a trooper, but in all honesty I was miserable the last couple of days. Yet, the cruise even met that challenge. It’s real easy to be lazy on a cruise.

Will we ever do another one? Well, we already put down a deposit.

Enjoying the Carnival Freedom cruise

Enjoying our honeymoon on the Carnival Freedom cruise