Best Place to Find Beautiful Molas

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#1
Virgin Islands
164 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
We had a wonderful visit to the San Blas islands a few years ago and brought home some gorgeous molas. I would like to go back but that is unlikely so I am looking at the Panama Canal cruises (notice a few do stop there for a few hours, but of course not in the real heart of the small islands where folks paddle up to you in a dugout canoe to sell their creations). Anyway, I'm wondering what other stops have a good selection of molas...Colon has a bad rep generally but does it have any good vendor markets? How about the place on the west coast where many cruises are now stopping? Anyway, I would greatly appreciate recent info on this. Thanks.
#2
Florida
5,263 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
I have only stopped at the Cristobal pier, (I'm sure the Colon 2000 pier would have something similar) they have a very nice vendor area set up on the pier. You need not be concerned about shopping in this area, only dangerous to your wallet. There were Molas for sale, I really don't know about the price or quality.... hope that helps you a litte
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#3
73 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
Looking stupid here - but what is a molas?
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HAL Westerdam - Alaska 9/06
NCL Pride of Aloha - Hawaii 4/08
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#4
Georgetown, TX
1,078 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
Originally posted by Cologal49
Looking stupid here - but what is a molas?
Molas described on Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mola_%28art_form%29

I didn't know either...
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drosphot, bka dropshot, with poor typing skills...

What I'm doing:
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What I've done:
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#5
Orlando
3,339 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
Originally posted by drosphot
Molas described on Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mola_%28art_form%29

I didn't know either...
Learn something new each day.
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When my days on a cruise ship (Carnival 60, Celebrity 14, Royal Caribbean 3) exceed my days submerged in the Atlantic & Arctic (423), I win.
Up Next:
June 9-26, 2016 - Land Vacation Europe

Past cruises:

Celebrity Silhouette -
March 15, Western Caribbean, Labadee, Montego Bay, Stingray City in GC, Cozumel. Carnival Victory (4) - Sep 14 - Singles cruise Key West, Cozumel East side Carnival Legend (7) - Mar 12 - Roatan zipline, Maya Chan, Wet Wendys, 9B cabin,
Carnival Destiny (5) - Nov 11 - 1st Plat cruise, Ochi Bobsled, Carnival Dream (7) - Feb 11 - Scuba in Coz again, 100% Agave in CostaMaya, Cave tubing in Belize, Missed Roatan due to wind, Celebrity Solstice (7) - Nov 10 - Back just to enjoy the ship, Orient beach, Celebrity Solstice (7) - Jun 10 - El Morro, Scuba in Secret Harbour USVI, Le Galion beach St Martin, Carnival Freedom (8) - Sep 09 - Scuba in Cozumel, Zipline in Costa Rica, Embera village in Panama, Carnival Glory (7) - Dec 08 - Arawak Cay, Coz again, Fell in love with CostaMaya, Goffs Caye Belize Carnival Sensation (3) - Aug 08 - In-laws 50th anniversary, Yellow Bird Booze Cruize again Nassau, Carnival Sensation (3) - May 08 - Snorkeled with the sharks Stuart Cove's, Nassau, Carnival Inspiration (5) - Mar 08 - Muyil, Akumal, Yal-ku, & Cemetery Beach, Grand Cayman, Carnival Inspiration (4) - Nov 07 - 1st trip to Cozumel, Paradise Beach Tom, Carnival Sensation (4) - Sep 07 - Freeport taxi mafia fiasco, Arawak Cay, Nassau, Royal Caribbean Sovereign of the Seas (3) - May 01 - Cruising, rough seas and pregnancy didn't mix, Carnival Fantasy (3) - May 98 - 1st cruise where I wasn't crew, Yellow Bird Booze Cruize Nassau, SubRon 14 (423) - 1983 to 1987 - Holy Loch, Scotland.
#6
Boquete, Chiriqui, Panama
1,193 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
The pier at Cristobal has a great Indian craft market . . . and if you are doing the "Shaping of Panama" tour, it stops at another great craft market at the old YMCA in Balboa - lots of Kuna selling molas. On that same tour, on the walking tour part in Casco Viejo there will be a number of Kuna selling molas as you walk by.

Regards, Richard
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Richard Detrich - Port & Canal Lecturer & Author
#7
Orlando
3,339 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
Originally posted by Richard in Panama
The pier at Cristobal has a great Indian craft market . . . and if you are doing the "Shaping of Panama" tour, it stops at another great craft market at the old YMCA in Balboa - lots of Kuna selling molas. On that same tour, on the walking tour part in Casco Viejo there will be a number of Kuna selling molas as you walk by.

Regards, Richard
What price range are we talking about for a decent (but not museum quality) mola? Thanks in advance.
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When my days on a cruise ship (Carnival 60, Celebrity 14, Royal Caribbean 3) exceed my days submerged in the Atlantic & Arctic (423), I win.
Up Next:
June 9-26, 2016 - Land Vacation Europe

Past cruises:

Celebrity Silhouette -
March 15, Western Caribbean, Labadee, Montego Bay, Stingray City in GC, Cozumel. Carnival Victory (4) - Sep 14 - Singles cruise Key West, Cozumel East side Carnival Legend (7) - Mar 12 - Roatan zipline, Maya Chan, Wet Wendys, 9B cabin,
Carnival Destiny (5) - Nov 11 - 1st Plat cruise, Ochi Bobsled, Carnival Dream (7) - Feb 11 - Scuba in Coz again, 100% Agave in CostaMaya, Cave tubing in Belize, Missed Roatan due to wind, Celebrity Solstice (7) - Nov 10 - Back just to enjoy the ship, Orient beach, Celebrity Solstice (7) - Jun 10 - El Morro, Scuba in Secret Harbour USVI, Le Galion beach St Martin, Carnival Freedom (8) - Sep 09 - Scuba in Cozumel, Zipline in Costa Rica, Embera village in Panama, Carnival Glory (7) - Dec 08 - Arawak Cay, Coz again, Fell in love with CostaMaya, Goffs Caye Belize Carnival Sensation (3) - Aug 08 - In-laws 50th anniversary, Yellow Bird Booze Cruize again Nassau, Carnival Sensation (3) - May 08 - Snorkeled with the sharks Stuart Cove's, Nassau, Carnival Inspiration (5) - Mar 08 - Muyil, Akumal, Yal-ku, & Cemetery Beach, Grand Cayman, Carnival Inspiration (4) - Nov 07 - 1st trip to Cozumel, Paradise Beach Tom, Carnival Sensation (4) - Sep 07 - Freeport taxi mafia fiasco, Arawak Cay, Nassau, Royal Caribbean Sovereign of the Seas (3) - May 01 - Cruising, rough seas and pregnancy didn't mix, Carnival Fantasy (3) - May 98 - 1st cruise where I wasn't crew, Yellow Bird Booze Cruize Nassau, SubRon 14 (423) - 1983 to 1987 - Holy Loch, Scotland.
#8
Boquete, Chiriqui, Panama
1,193 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
What price range are we talking about for a decent (but not museum quality) mola? Thanks in advance.
Like any piece of art you are looking at the quality and intricacy of the work, as well as the size and time involved. You can find nice molas in the $20-35 range which are great to frame, use on pillows, or whatever. And you can pay $500 or more for larger, "museum quality" molas. When buying a mola turn it over and look at the back as well as the front, looking at the quality of the work.

Regards, Richard
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Richard Detrich - Port & Canal Lecturer & Author
#9
Orlando
3,339 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
Originally posted by Richard in Panama
Like any piece of art you are looking at the quality and intricacy of the work, as well as the size and time involved. You can find nice molas in the $20-35 range which are great to frame, use on pillows, or whatever. And you can pay $500 or more for larger, "museum quality" molas. When buying a mola turn it over and look at the back as well as the front, looking at the quality of the work.

Regards, Richard
Perfect, thanks. Looks like I know what souvenirs I'll be bringing home from this trip.
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When my days on a cruise ship (Carnival 60, Celebrity 14, Royal Caribbean 3) exceed my days submerged in the Atlantic & Arctic (423), I win.
Up Next:
June 9-26, 2016 - Land Vacation Europe

Past cruises:

Celebrity Silhouette -
March 15, Western Caribbean, Labadee, Montego Bay, Stingray City in GC, Cozumel. Carnival Victory (4) - Sep 14 - Singles cruise Key West, Cozumel East side Carnival Legend (7) - Mar 12 - Roatan zipline, Maya Chan, Wet Wendys, 9B cabin,
Carnival Destiny (5) - Nov 11 - 1st Plat cruise, Ochi Bobsled, Carnival Dream (7) - Feb 11 - Scuba in Coz again, 100% Agave in CostaMaya, Cave tubing in Belize, Missed Roatan due to wind, Celebrity Solstice (7) - Nov 10 - Back just to enjoy the ship, Orient beach, Celebrity Solstice (7) - Jun 10 - El Morro, Scuba in Secret Harbour USVI, Le Galion beach St Martin, Carnival Freedom (8) - Sep 09 - Scuba in Cozumel, Zipline in Costa Rica, Embera village in Panama, Carnival Glory (7) - Dec 08 - Arawak Cay, Coz again, Fell in love with CostaMaya, Goffs Caye Belize Carnival Sensation (3) - Aug 08 - In-laws 50th anniversary, Yellow Bird Booze Cruize again Nassau, Carnival Sensation (3) - May 08 - Snorkeled with the sharks Stuart Cove's, Nassau, Carnival Inspiration (5) - Mar 08 - Muyil, Akumal, Yal-ku, & Cemetery Beach, Grand Cayman, Carnival Inspiration (4) - Nov 07 - 1st trip to Cozumel, Paradise Beach Tom, Carnival Sensation (4) - Sep 07 - Freeport taxi mafia fiasco, Arawak Cay, Nassau, Royal Caribbean Sovereign of the Seas (3) - May 01 - Cruising, rough seas and pregnancy didn't mix, Carnival Fantasy (3) - May 98 - 1st cruise where I wasn't crew, Yellow Bird Booze Cruize Nassau, SubRon 14 (423) - 1983 to 1987 - Holy Loch, Scotland.
#10
Virgin Islands
164 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Richard: thanks so much for the good advice. I am thinking we willl try a taxi to the old YMCA and find the crafts market in the area, and hopefully still have time to take the tour to visit the Embera people, who we had not met on our previous visit to Panama & San Blas. You are a fine resource for all of us. My molas from that previous trip are treasured and like the other board commenter, I agree they make great gifts to bring back to friends.
#11
Boquete, Chiriqui, Panama
1,193 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
I am thinking we willl try a taxi to the old YMCA and find the crafts market in the area, and hopefully still have time to take the tour to visit the Embera people,
Just a question, how long are you going to be in port, and where . . .

The Embera trip is 8 hours . . . and getting around Panama City, especially in the afternoon around 4PM when everyone is getting out of work, can be a real zoo and take lots of time . . . if your port is in Colon it's a good 1.5 hour drive each way across to Balboa to the old YMCA . . . don't want to mislead you . . . so a lot depends on where, and how long you will be in port ????

Regards, Richard
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Richard Detrich - Port & Canal Lecturer & Author
#12
Orlando
3,339 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
Originally posted by Richard in Panama
The pier at Cristobal has a great Indian craft market . . . ..
I meant to ask:
Does the same apply to the Colon 2000 pier? I think that's where the Carnival Freedom will dock next month.
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When my days on a cruise ship (Carnival 60, Celebrity 14, Royal Caribbean 3) exceed my days submerged in the Atlantic & Arctic (423), I win.
Up Next:
June 9-26, 2016 - Land Vacation Europe

Past cruises:

Celebrity Silhouette -
March 15, Western Caribbean, Labadee, Montego Bay, Stingray City in GC, Cozumel. Carnival Victory (4) - Sep 14 - Singles cruise Key West, Cozumel East side Carnival Legend (7) - Mar 12 - Roatan zipline, Maya Chan, Wet Wendys, 9B cabin,
Carnival Destiny (5) - Nov 11 - 1st Plat cruise, Ochi Bobsled, Carnival Dream (7) - Feb 11 - Scuba in Coz again, 100% Agave in CostaMaya, Cave tubing in Belize, Missed Roatan due to wind, Celebrity Solstice (7) - Nov 10 - Back just to enjoy the ship, Orient beach, Celebrity Solstice (7) - Jun 10 - El Morro, Scuba in Secret Harbour USVI, Le Galion beach St Martin, Carnival Freedom (8) - Sep 09 - Scuba in Cozumel, Zipline in Costa Rica, Embera village in Panama, Carnival Glory (7) - Dec 08 - Arawak Cay, Coz again, Fell in love with CostaMaya, Goffs Caye Belize Carnival Sensation (3) - Aug 08 - In-laws 50th anniversary, Yellow Bird Booze Cruize again Nassau, Carnival Sensation (3) - May 08 - Snorkeled with the sharks Stuart Cove's, Nassau, Carnival Inspiration (5) - Mar 08 - Muyil, Akumal, Yal-ku, & Cemetery Beach, Grand Cayman, Carnival Inspiration (4) - Nov 07 - 1st trip to Cozumel, Paradise Beach Tom, Carnival Sensation (4) - Sep 07 - Freeport taxi mafia fiasco, Arawak Cay, Nassau, Royal Caribbean Sovereign of the Seas (3) - May 01 - Cruising, rough seas and pregnancy didn't mix, Carnival Fantasy (3) - May 98 - 1st cruise where I wasn't crew, Yellow Bird Booze Cruize Nassau, SubRon 14 (423) - 1983 to 1987 - Holy Loch, Scotland.
#13
Boquete, Chiriqui, Panama
1,193 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
I meant to ask:
Does the same apply to the Colon 2000 pier? I think that's where the Carnival Freedom will dock next month.
Unfortunately, no. The best thing at Colon 2000 pier is that there is a big Super 99 grocery store . . . unless they've recently changed things, no Indian vendors. Some stuff in stores . . . higher priced, and not as much fun as buying directly from Indians.

Regards, Richard
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Richard Detrich - Port & Canal Lecturer & Author
#14
Virgin Islands
164 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
We are on the Seaborn Legend and the ship's website says their tour to the Embera village is 6 hours. Our total time in port is shown as 10 hours. So I was hoping that would be enough time for both. Is it far to the craft market in Balboa from the ship's docking place in Fuerte Amador?
#15
Florida
5,263 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
It's fairly close distance wise, about 8 miles. You probably should allow about a half hour of travel as you would have drive down the causeway and through Ft. Amador.
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"If the phone doesn't ring, it's me!"
"Is it ignorance or is it apathy? ... I don't know and I don't care!"
S.S. Badger R/T from Manitowoc June 02
#16
Boquete, Chiriqui, Panama
1,193 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
We are on the Seaborn Legend and the ship's website says their tour to the Embera village is 6 hours. Our total time in port is shown as 10 hours. So I was hoping that would be enough time for both. Is it far to the craft market in Balboa from the ship's docking place in Fuerte Amador?
Yes, I think it is doable since you have 10 hours and are in Amador. The YMCA craft market is 10-15 minute drive from Amador by taxi.

Enjoy! Regards, Richard
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Richard Detrich - Port & Canal Lecturer & Author
#17
Orlando
3,339 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
Originally posted by Richard in Panama
Unfortunately, no. The best thing at Colon 2000 pier is that there is a big Super 99 grocery store . . . unless they've recently changed things, no Indian vendors. Some stuff in stores . . . higher priced, and not as much fun as buying directly from Indians.

Regards, Richard
(Continuing to hound you, sorry )....
So what would be the closest/most convenient to reach craft market from Colon 2000 ? Taxi to Cristobal, etc?

Thanks again
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When my days on a cruise ship (Carnival 60, Celebrity 14, Royal Caribbean 3) exceed my days submerged in the Atlantic & Arctic (423), I win.
Up Next:
June 9-26, 2016 - Land Vacation Europe

Past cruises:

Celebrity Silhouette -
March 15, Western Caribbean, Labadee, Montego Bay, Stingray City in GC, Cozumel. Carnival Victory (4) - Sep 14 - Singles cruise Key West, Cozumel East side Carnival Legend (7) - Mar 12 - Roatan zipline, Maya Chan, Wet Wendys, 9B cabin,
Carnival Destiny (5) - Nov 11 - 1st Plat cruise, Ochi Bobsled, Carnival Dream (7) - Feb 11 - Scuba in Coz again, 100% Agave in CostaMaya, Cave tubing in Belize, Missed Roatan due to wind, Celebrity Solstice (7) - Nov 10 - Back just to enjoy the ship, Orient beach, Celebrity Solstice (7) - Jun 10 - El Morro, Scuba in Secret Harbour USVI, Le Galion beach St Martin, Carnival Freedom (8) - Sep 09 - Scuba in Cozumel, Zipline in Costa Rica, Embera village in Panama, Carnival Glory (7) - Dec 08 - Arawak Cay, Coz again, Fell in love with CostaMaya, Goffs Caye Belize Carnival Sensation (3) - Aug 08 - In-laws 50th anniversary, Yellow Bird Booze Cruize again Nassau, Carnival Sensation (3) - May 08 - Snorkeled with the sharks Stuart Cove's, Nassau, Carnival Inspiration (5) - Mar 08 - Muyil, Akumal, Yal-ku, & Cemetery Beach, Grand Cayman, Carnival Inspiration (4) - Nov 07 - 1st trip to Cozumel, Paradise Beach Tom, Carnival Sensation (4) - Sep 07 - Freeport taxi mafia fiasco, Arawak Cay, Nassau, Royal Caribbean Sovereign of the Seas (3) - May 01 - Cruising, rough seas and pregnancy didn't mix, Carnival Fantasy (3) - May 98 - 1st cruise where I wasn't crew, Yellow Bird Booze Cruize Nassau, SubRon 14 (423) - 1983 to 1987 - Holy Loch, Scotland.
#18
Orlando
3,339 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
I think I found the answer myself here on CC: http://www.cruisecritic.com/ports/newport.cfm?ID=119

...Although Colon has the best shops and restaurants, Cristobal Pier gets high marks for its lively crafts market and folklore shows. But, regardless of where a cruise ship docks, visitors can experience both places, as the two cruise terminals are within easy reach -- and a $6, roundtrip taxi ride -- of each other....
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When my days on a cruise ship (Carnival 60, Celebrity 14, Royal Caribbean 3) exceed my days submerged in the Atlantic & Arctic (423), I win.
Up Next:
June 9-26, 2016 - Land Vacation Europe

Past cruises:

Celebrity Silhouette -
March 15, Western Caribbean, Labadee, Montego Bay, Stingray City in GC, Cozumel. Carnival Victory (4) - Sep 14 - Singles cruise Key West, Cozumel East side Carnival Legend (7) - Mar 12 - Roatan zipline, Maya Chan, Wet Wendys, 9B cabin,
Carnival Destiny (5) - Nov 11 - 1st Plat cruise, Ochi Bobsled, Carnival Dream (7) - Feb 11 - Scuba in Coz again, 100% Agave in CostaMaya, Cave tubing in Belize, Missed Roatan due to wind, Celebrity Solstice (7) - Nov 10 - Back just to enjoy the ship, Orient beach, Celebrity Solstice (7) - Jun 10 - El Morro, Scuba in Secret Harbour USVI, Le Galion beach St Martin, Carnival Freedom (8) - Sep 09 - Scuba in Cozumel, Zipline in Costa Rica, Embera village in Panama, Carnival Glory (7) - Dec 08 - Arawak Cay, Coz again, Fell in love with CostaMaya, Goffs Caye Belize Carnival Sensation (3) - Aug 08 - In-laws 50th anniversary, Yellow Bird Booze Cruize again Nassau, Carnival Sensation (3) - May 08 - Snorkeled with the sharks Stuart Cove's, Nassau, Carnival Inspiration (5) - Mar 08 - Muyil, Akumal, Yal-ku, & Cemetery Beach, Grand Cayman, Carnival Inspiration (4) - Nov 07 - 1st trip to Cozumel, Paradise Beach Tom, Carnival Sensation (4) - Sep 07 - Freeport taxi mafia fiasco, Arawak Cay, Nassau, Royal Caribbean Sovereign of the Seas (3) - May 01 - Cruising, rough seas and pregnancy didn't mix, Carnival Fantasy (3) - May 98 - 1st cruise where I wasn't crew, Yellow Bird Booze Cruize Nassau, SubRon 14 (423) - 1983 to 1987 - Holy Loch, Scotland.
#19
Boquete, Chiriqui, Panama
1,193 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
$6 is an outrageous price to pay for a taxi within Colon . . . but, I'm sure, like taxi drivers anywhere, they take whatever they can get. Be aware that the Cristobal port Indian craft market is only open when there is a ship at Cristobal.

Regards, Richard
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Richard Detrich - Port & Canal Lecturer & Author
#20
Orlando
3,339 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
Originally posted by Richard in Panama
$6 is an outrageous price to pay for a taxi within Colon . . . but, I'm sure, like taxi drivers anywhere, they take whatever they can get. Be aware that the Cristobal port Indian craft market is only open when there is a ship at Cristobal.

Regards, Richard
Is there a website with the pier schedule there?
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When my days on a cruise ship (Carnival 60, Celebrity 14, Royal Caribbean 3) exceed my days submerged in the Atlantic & Arctic (423), I win.
Up Next:
June 9-26, 2016 - Land Vacation Europe

Past cruises:

Celebrity Silhouette -
March 15, Western Caribbean, Labadee, Montego Bay, Stingray City in GC, Cozumel. Carnival Victory (4) - Sep 14 - Singles cruise Key West, Cozumel East side Carnival Legend (7) - Mar 12 - Roatan zipline, Maya Chan, Wet Wendys, 9B cabin,
Carnival Destiny (5) - Nov 11 - 1st Plat cruise, Ochi Bobsled, Carnival Dream (7) - Feb 11 - Scuba in Coz again, 100% Agave in CostaMaya, Cave tubing in Belize, Missed Roatan due to wind, Celebrity Solstice (7) - Nov 10 - Back just to enjoy the ship, Orient beach, Celebrity Solstice (7) - Jun 10 - El Morro, Scuba in Secret Harbour USVI, Le Galion beach St Martin, Carnival Freedom (8) - Sep 09 - Scuba in Cozumel, Zipline in Costa Rica, Embera village in Panama, Carnival Glory (7) - Dec 08 - Arawak Cay, Coz again, Fell in love with CostaMaya, Goffs Caye Belize Carnival Sensation (3) - Aug 08 - In-laws 50th anniversary, Yellow Bird Booze Cruize again Nassau, Carnival Sensation (3) - May 08 - Snorkeled with the sharks Stuart Cove's, Nassau, Carnival Inspiration (5) - Mar 08 - Muyil, Akumal, Yal-ku, & Cemetery Beach, Grand Cayman, Carnival Inspiration (4) - Nov 07 - 1st trip to Cozumel, Paradise Beach Tom, Carnival Sensation (4) - Sep 07 - Freeport taxi mafia fiasco, Arawak Cay, Nassau, Royal Caribbean Sovereign of the Seas (3) - May 01 - Cruising, rough seas and pregnancy didn't mix, Carnival Fantasy (3) - May 98 - 1st cruise where I wasn't crew, Yellow Bird Booze Cruize Nassau, SubRon 14 (423) - 1983 to 1987 - Holy Loch, Scotland.