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MITSUGIRLYS FREEDOM OF THE SEAS REVIEW & PICTORIAL

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On ‎5‎/‎6‎/‎2019 at 7:50 AM, bobmacliberty said:

 I think they are classified closer to an inside than an ocean view.

If you are looking to book a Promenade Room you will find them in the "interior cabins" section- not oceanview.   The only interior/promenade room I would ever consider would be the Ben & Jerry's Sweet *Suite".  That's hard to get though. Still, on my bucket list for someday.

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16 minutes ago, fyree39 said:

We'll be on St. Kitts in November.  I have no idea what we'll do there. You're giving us some ideas, though. 🙂

We went to Reggae Beach Bar & Grill for the day.  It was a wonderful beach day with plenty of shade available, great food, monkeys and even goats up on the mountainside.  There were plenty of beach activities and you could also get cheap massages there right on the beach.  It was heaven!  That would've been right up your alley Mitsugirly!

 

Mitsugirly….I was excited to see your review!  If you ever have a need to stay in Puerto Rico again, check out Tres Palmas Inn.  I'm thinking it's in the general area of where you stayed this time.  I would go back and stay a whole week if I could and it was inexpensive. 

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17 minutes ago, Luv06012012 said:

We went to Reggae Beach Bar & Grill for the day.  It was a wonderful beach day with plenty of shade available, great food, monkeys and even goats up on the mountainside.  There were plenty of beach activities and you could also get cheap massages there right on the beach.  It was heaven!  That would've been right up your alley Mitsugirly! ...

 

We've also gone there several times and enjoyed it.  Very scenic drive there, and a nice view of Nevis from the beach.

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Been waiting for your review so happy to have found it Congrats of finishing school I know how hard that is I too am a nurse have worked same hospital for 30 years Love what I do My daughter also is a nurse she teaches nursing program on line We both love to cruise! My majority of cruise also is on NCL but I love the other Line also. mostly book for ports Hubby and I snorkel just about every where we go I have booked on rcl Serenade of the seas southern 11 day trip mostly because its going to Gernada want to snorkel the sculpture park  Please keep doing your reviews Love reading them

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48 minutes ago, legaljen1969 said:

If you are looking to book a Promenade Room you will find them in the "interior cabins" section- not oceanview.   The only interior/promenade room I would ever consider would be the Ben & Jerry's Sweet *Suite".  That's hard to get though. Still, on my bucket list for someday.

We managed to snag this room on Independence.  It came with some lovely perks. 😉

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Great review and love, love, love your pictures!  We are on in seven weeks and I can't wait!  We are staying in Condado for two night pre-cruise.  How did San Juan look overall?  We are hopeful that hurricane recovery continues well and most places are open for business.  

 

Ship looks to be in good condition.  Did you see any of the entertainment?  What shows were on board?  My theatrical daughter loves the shows.

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Thanks so much for posting. We will be on Freedom in July on the other route. ABC islands and St Maarten. But still enjoying all of your report. 

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Sorry, had to step out for an appointment and now I'm back.

 

So we stopped at this "cotton" building place thingamajigy. Like I said, I'm really not into "tours" or historical things but this was part of the excursion...so....here I am. Now if I'm staying on the island, I don't mind doing things like this...but I'll admit, only for the picture opportunity. 😉

 

So our tour guide, a native of course, told stories along the way here about his childhood and growing up.

"This is where I went to school"

"This was my neighborhood growing up"

"I use to come here to play hide and seek"

"I use to climb this tree"

 

In my head, I'm only picturing the things I did growing up and places I visited and thought "Who would have thought that I could do a tour about my life and it would interest people and they'd pay money for it?" Whoodathought?  j/k

 

So, everyone piled out of the tour van and we walked around the place. Hmmm....ok. Some people just got out to stretch and didn't walk around it.  Billy of course got out and sat on his scooter. I almost wished I had a scooter right now.

 

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This was a tree he climbed as a child....just in case that interests you

 

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These "ferns" (as I called it because that's exactly what they looked like) are the kind that if you touch them, they will shy away and curl up. They will wait for a minute and come back out. The tour guide said "Do you know what these do?" I said "they curl up"...I don't think that he liked that I answered. He asks what they were and I said "They look like ferns" he gave me a stern "NO" and said the proper name for them. Ok... Well, I only know about them because they have the same thing in Belize when we go cave tubing. Fern, flower, bush, tree...either way, I knew what they did and what they looked like.

 

 

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Peaches was monkeying around with the hubby... She liked attacking the small children's legs and feet.  I'm not sure the small children appreciated her attack mode.

 

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Now when I see places like this...I think of "this would be a neat place to do a photo shoot". LOL Just the photographer in me.

 

 

 

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Then there's this thing. He told us that he use to climb up inside it to the top. Then the entrance was closed off and there was a way (in the ground) that had a tunnel you could go down in and across to get inside. No way, no how would I have done that. But hey, he was a kid and kids do things like this without worrying. 

 

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So that was the end of this portion of the tour. The next thing out of the kid's mouth was "are we going to the beach now?" I had to say "maybe" and "probably" just to keep them from complaining.

 

 

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Next up was....the rain forest. It was maybe a 10 minute drive from there.

 

We pulled up and everyone piled out.

 

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Bah-nah-naaah (said in my minion voice) Immediately Brayden was hungry and ask if he could eat some.

 

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This was some type of vine with HUGE leaves. He said they will wrap themselves around the trees and eventually make it to the top and kill out the tree. He said they had some type of tree planted in his yard growing up that got these vines and when someone ask why didn't they just pull the vine off or kill it and he said it was better not to ....for some reason. Hmmm, why can't I remember this stuff? I think Dementia is part of my diagnosis these days. 

 

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Then it was game time (even though Peaches and Sakari were having their own game moment, I'm not talking about that).

 

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He would pluck things off the surroundings and had us smell it. We were to guess what it was. I can't remember everything he gave us but there wasn't one person that could guess any of it. I remember one was oregano.

 

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I think he called these elephant ear plants or something. That made me think of going to the fair and eating elephant ears. Ok, I was getting hungry already.

 

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What do you think the name of these palm trees are?

 

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They are called foxtail palms. I should have known they would be associated with an animal.

 

Anyone want to play Tarzan?

 

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Continuing on the path...

 

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The kids were way ahead of us and we knew that they were ok because we could hear Xander (Kia's son) talking and laughing. LOL

 

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Notice those of us that were dragging our feet and walking slowly...me, Kendra and Kia. They kept one of the tour guide "observers" behind us...just in case we got lost from the rest of the crowd...which was highly likely to happen at this point.

 

 

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We finally caught up to the "middle section" of hikers. Who knew how far ahead the front section was. Those enthusiastic little shiznits. 

 

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This lady....she carried her son (no clue how old he was but tall enough to be 3-4 years old, but he could have been just tall) during this entire excursion...on her back! Now, wait until you see the rest of the rainforest tour. I give her mad props! The husband...well he just carried himself! (And we would see her all over the ship and other places in port and that kid was ALWAYS on her back but a few times). She's gonna have to have back surgery before long to correct her posture and slipped disc.

 

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Now time to get to the nitty-gritty stuff. Remember how they said it was a path and some uneven surfaces and it would be up to Billy to see if he wanted to do. THERE IS NO WAY!!! NO WAY IN HELLO that he could have done this walk. We were lucky to do this walk...and I'm not exaggerating. My family hated me after this.

 

Yes, there was a path to start out with and then the terrain got crazy. Up and down and over rocks and trees and ....whatever else was in the way.

 

Here comes the climbing....

 

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I knew after this...I should probably go back to the ship and climb the rock wall because I was going to be a pro at it. 

 

Hubby went first and I was following.

 

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Yea, that moss covered rock above....DOWN I WENT. OUCH! I just knew it. I can't have a cruise, any cruise, where I just don't get hurt in SOME way. I still have a huge black bruise across my right hip and buttocks to prove it. Ugh

 

Ok, so maybe I wasn't a pro and I shouldn't go back to the ship to try the rock climbing wall after all.

 

Up next was this tree. They kept asking us if we saw some type of face. I didn't at the time I was there and took tons of pictures trying to figure it out. Now that I look at it, it looks like a smiling bear...like Disneys Baloo. (Which I'm pretty sure was NOT what they were saying it looked like).

 

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This was the highlight of the rain forest tour for the kids. Peaches just hoped from one person to the next as we traveled and when we stopped. Freeloader!

 

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Kam was not liking this hike. We were climbing and walking up hills and then back down and we were huffing and puffing. Kendra tried to carry her and probably wished that she had that ladies back carrier about now.

 

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We came to a bunch of bamboo. Bamboo is so cool and grows so fast. It's some of the fastest growing plants. It can grow around 3' in 1 day. When the wind blows it makes a sound like music. My dad had a bunch of this growing at his house in Alabama and we use to go out and make fishing poles with it. It made for a good fence along his driveway too. If you ever came home drunk one night and hit the fence, no worries, it would grow back in a few days. Whoodathought?

 

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We crossed several rock beds and creeks...all of which were slippery and/or wet and the hubby was paying extra attention to me at this point.

 

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Peaches would ride on someone until they got close enough to a plant that interests her, grab it and then scurry off.

 

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Obviously, the bamboo polls came in handy. He told us that he came out here and made these handrails himself, in all different areas, to make the tour easier. Wait, easier? What about building a lift chair or how about a conveyor belt? Yea, that would be nice. 😉

 

 

More climbing coming up.

 

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Peaches....

 

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She made it back up with the rest of us and the hubby stopped to pet her. She assumed that meant that this was her freeride for the next lick of the journey.

 

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There were a lot of snails in the rain forest.

 

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Oh gosh...I know this look. I get it from Myla (Kendra's monkey) all the time right before she decides to......

 

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LEAP!!!  And then I was now her ride for a while.

 

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Peaches didn't last long with me before she moved on to Kia...hanging upside down on the journey is much more fun anyhow.

 

 

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VIDEO

 

 

 

 

 

If the video above doesn't work...try this... maybe?

 

 

 

Edited by mitsugirly

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More bamboo and winding trails...up and down and down and up. There was a lot of climbing and holding on to branches to pull yourself up places. I never expected this and pictures a walk in the rainforest similar to that in Belize when cavetubing.

 

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Whew! It was time to rest and listen to the bamboo making music. ♪♪♫♫♪♫

 

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Everyone was hot and couldn't wait to get to the cool mountain-fed pools of water. Then down we go. I hope I don't slip and fall.

 

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More nanners

 

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It was so hot and Brayden decided to pick a large leaf and fan us with it. Shawna did not find it amusing and I told her he was sheltering her from the hot sun because she was a goddess. BTW, the boy in front of her with the orange shirt hung out with the kids the entire time and ended up being somewhat friends after that. I heard him asking B what his "snapchat" name was. lol

 

 

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Edited by mitsugirly

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Not only did the snails like the pretty flowers...so did Sakari and the tour guide picked her one (which she still has).

 

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We came across some huge rocks and they were covered in moss. I thought it was neat...as long as I didn't have to stand on them (they were bigger than me).

 

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Where we are headed....oh boy...more treacherous terrain. Hey, at least we were going downhill.

 

 

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We finally made it back to the van. We kinda did a loop and was so relieved to know we weren't going to have to turn around at some point and go back the way we came to get out. The entire trip the kids and Kendra kept saying "Are we going to have to do this in reverse?" "Where's the water?" Well, the water never came. I guess it was dry season that day. 

 

Billy was still sitting on his scooter waiting on us and at some point wondered if we had been eaten by the lions, tigers, and bears.

 

The hike was an hour long if that gives you any indication of how long we were gone....and speaking of "gone"...my legs were too and I was starting to feel the pain in my butt bone and hip.

 

 

 

 

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Back to the tour van and into the a/c. I pretended to be zoned out so that I didn't hear the kids (and by kids I mean Kendra) saying..."Did you know we were going to have to do that?" "Did you realize that's what walking in the rainforest was?" "Are we going to get to the beach sometime soon?"

 

Off we went, but this time we were driving in the rainforest and I was too tired to take pictures. But, I captured one I think.

 

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Because everyone needs a bridge on the side of the road and not over the road.

 

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There was a lot of houses like this...it looked like rebar sticking up on the roof. I'm not sure if they had plans to build a second floor or if there was another purpose for this. There were A LOT of houses like this...like a lot.

 

 

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Mountains...

 

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I spy something blue (other than the window)...

 

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Just kidding...no swimming yet.

 

 

 

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We arrived at this place and it almost looked like they were setting up for a carnival. The driver said we were stopping and could use the restroom or buy some "goods" from the locals or food or drinks. 

 

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Our tour bus.

 

 

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Ahh, the ocean in the distance...I could hear it and smell it...just not touch it.

 

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They started setting up a table. Could these guys be lunch? (Then I spotted the 4 wheeled buggies...darnit, now I'm never going to hear the end of it from Kendra about we should have done that tour. Who parked these things within their site?).

 

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The bathrooms were all the way at the end. After that long hike in the rainforest, I would have been willing to pay extra for shuttle service. The lines to the bathrooms were CRAZY LONG and no running water to wash your hands.

 

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We stopped to get snacks and some pop. They were fairly cheap. $1 for pop in a throwaway bottle and even the chips were only $1...even big bags.  This place had a singing lady working there with an awesome voice. The hubby told her she should be on American Idol.

 

 

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Oh BTW, it took us 20 minutes to get from the rainforest to this place.

 

 

 

 

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Then we were motioned to "come" if we wanted to go to the lava rocks.

 

Immediately I knew this wasn't looking good...down the hill we went.

 

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Then a rope was thrown down this huge hill and we were told to hold on and climb down.

 

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Kam wasn't liking this

 

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It sure was pretty down there

 

 

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Sakari climbed across and to this rock. The water would come in behind her and splash really huge. We waited and waited for the opportunity to capture the water splashing high above her...with no luck. 

 

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Of course the minute that the water did splash high, someone was walking in front of me and I didn't get the shot. 

 

The next it came, Sakari was already climbing down and coming back.

 

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We spent 15 minutes down there and came back up.

 

Now here's the thing...the "helper" wasn't much help this entire time. He really didn't talk or do much of anything. When it was time to climb back up, he sat at the bottom, on a rock, and.....did NOTHING. He didn't hold the rope for anyone to climb back up or anything. People were struggling and at some point the rope swung and got stuck on a rock above. The hubby took it upon himself to stand down at the bottom and hold the rope tight while everyone went up the rope. Then he came up. He made a comment like "why isn't this guy helping?" and "Why was it necessary for me to do his job?"

 

 

 

 

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26 minutes ago, mitsugirly said:

Not only did the snails like the pretty flowers...so did Sakari and the tour guide picked her one (which she still has).

 

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Please tell me that you don't mean that literally, and that you didn't smuggle that Haliconia off the ship? If you do, I hope that you microwaved it before you threw it away. That is how we have unwanted, invasive and exotic pests are introduced into the United States. 😡

Edited by Coralc

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They prepared the meal, which was supposed to be  "includes, a light local snack of delicious pastries and juice and water bottles."

 

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Peaches was tied to the table with no lead-way to get to the food. If she's anything like Myla, she will take every chance she can to steal food. Well, she did just that. Even though she couldn't reach the food, she is a monkey, with long arms, and she used that to her advantage. I sat and watched unsuspecting people go down the line and get their food, lay their plate on the end of the table to grab something else and up came her long arm, feeling around, and bam! Lunch was stolen. They would look back down and have nothing. It was hilarious.

 

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To my surprise, it wasn't just danishes. They had empanadas! Yummy! Chicken, beef or veggie and they were all DELICIOUS! The pastries were amazing too...especially the coconut ones (which I'm not a big coconut person but these were so yummy).

 

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There were plenty enough to go around several times and I definitely helped myself a few times. Hey, I had worked up quite the appetite.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My mitsugirly cruise review spidey-sense must be strong, because I was just thinking, “Hmm, I wonder if she’s done another cruise lately...” and here I find your trip report! Enjoying your humor and photos as always, and I sure hope that Billy had some much-needed fun on the cruise. 

 

Megan

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We were on the road again around 1:30pm.

 

Goats...

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Look close...there's a horse! Now you can tell it was a donkey but Kendra swore it was a horse and would continue to stick to her story the entire time. Everyone on the bus agreed it was a donkey, but she said horse. So, the remainder of the trip, whenever we'd see a donkey, we'd tell her to "look at that horse!"

 

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Do they actually have palm tree farms?

 

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Do you know the difference between a goat and a sheep? Goats tails go up and sheeps go down. 

 

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Timothy Hill. Now all of the trips we've done, we have never got to stop here (even though we were supposed to) and this time would be no different. We were supposed to stop here and when we got close, the driver asks if we wanted to and everyone said: "No, get to the beach".

 

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I discovered the little round hook things hanging down on the back of the seats were actually flip up cup holders.

 

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We were told that this is the snorkeling area.

 

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Out by that rock sticking up is where the snorkelers go.

 

 

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The driver said we had the option of stopping here to snorkel or going to the beach and no snorkel OR if some wanted to snorkel they would drop the others off at the beach and bring the snorkelers back here together. Well, everyone was yelling "beach" but only a guy in the back and myself said "SNORKEL!'. I mean I have been here several times and found NO snorkeling really yet. Well, anything worth saying there's a snorkeling area here. So, I WAS GOING SNORKELING DARNIT!!!! Especially since there was supposed to be a shipwreck.

 

We pulled up to the beach (Cockelshell) and dropped everyone off that didn't want to snorkel. Kendra got off and was going to put Kam with Billy and the kids (and the hubby) and get back on. Well, she didn't and I guess we left without her. Kia had gotten off (after I talked her into coming along) and we pulled away.

 

No worries though...the van had to go on down the parking area and attempt to turn around and head back...where we would pick up Kia.  THIS PARKING LOT WAS CRAZY! Barely anywhere to park let alone a street to go down. Cars in the way. Cars trying to get by and just plain nuts. I took one look at the beach and it was a sea of people! So so so crowded! Yuck. 

 

Then off we went to the snorkeling area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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So this snorkeling site....

 

We were told that there's a beach club at this location and we are not allowed on their property. So, that meant we would have to park down the street and swim over to the wreck. Now when we seen this place, there's a place to the right and to the left. I'm not sure why, but we went to the right of it, which is further away from the shipwreck. That meant a VERY long swim for us to get to the shipwreck. Oh great.

 

We had to park at the top, at the street on the side of the road, and walk down to the "beach". Well, it was nothing but rocks and I only had my snorkel socks on....ouch! I managed to step on a sharp rock and of course cut the bottom of my foot, which is still healing. Strike 2 for me today. I'm just getting torn up! But hey, it wouldn't be a Mitsugirly cruise if I didn't get hurt in some type of fashion right? As long as I don't break any bones like I have in the past (twice now) on a cruise.

 

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We manuvered our way into the water over all the rocks. It wasn't easy but we did it.

 

We immediately started seeing starfish...like EVERYWHERE! This place is loaded with them.

 

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The neat part about it is that Peaches comes snorkeling with us. She rides on his shoulders or head the entire time and even has her own life jacket.

 

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Three in this picture...they were just everywhere.

 

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Peaches catching a ride.

 

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He dove down and brought up starfish for people to hold.

 

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Peaches would dive down with him and then swim back up and jump on someones head and wait for him to come back up and then swim to him.

 

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I'm telling ya, it was a real struggle for me to get to the shipwreck. I'm getting old and worn and I was already tired from the rainforest hike. Things are going through my mind like "Will I be able to make it there?" "Will I be able to make it back?" The water was a little choppy and the thing I didn't like about it was that he was SO far ahead of several of us and in my eyes, anything could go wrong and he'd never know. That was kinda scary. I tried to pace myself and control my breathing so I didn't freak out. I thought about scuba diving and how I concentrate on my breathing to keep myself calm. Then I'd get a sudden burst of energy and kick like crazy to try to gain some distance.

 

I hate when I feel rushed or rushed to "keep up". I like to slowly go and take pictures. I feel like you miss so much when you are just swimming like crazy.

 

This is what most of the snorkeling looked like until we made it to the "shipwreck". It was either just rocks or sand. Nothing interesting at all and I was beginning to believe this was a wasted trip and wished I hadn't done it. 

 

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I started to see coral and more rocks and felt better about things. It takes my mind off the struggle. But all of this came once we got to the shipwreck area. 

 

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I came around a huge rock (the one sticking up out of the water you could see from the street) and there it was...the...wait...shipwreck? Not at all what I was expecting.

 

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It looked like a set of bones laying there. lol

 

 

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At least there was some coral, sponges and fans on it.

 

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He told us that the ship was actually something like a barge or something like that and it had sank about 80 years ago and was decayed. Yea, I'd say so...it was just like looking at a pile of junk thrown in one spot. The "bones" looking part was neat. But, not at all what I was expecting. I have scuba dived to a tugboat before and snorkeled around shipwrecks and I guess that's just what I was expecting to see. It was kinda neat I guess and something different.

 

I can't seem to find any information on it online.

 

 

 

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I guess it was time to head back and off we went. I was busy taking pictures of the coral around the rock that was located beside the shipwreck.

 

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I look up and they are GONE! Like totally gone! Kia and I were still exploring and swimming toward the group, but they were so far ahead of us (most of them). I tried to snap a picture just to show how far away they were but I ended up with a huge water spot. You can see some people off in the distance and eventually we managed to catch up to them but he was so far gone and back up to the shore while we completely struggled to make it back. I kicked like I had never kicked before and my legs were aching. You have all these thoughts running through your head in situations like this and they were getting the best of me at that point. I wanted to just turn and head toward the beach and walk the beach (rocks) back to the site but I felt better knowing there were others still in the water trying to get back too.

 

 

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I spotted my first sea cucumber on this cruise. It was spotted (which I don't think I have ever seen one with these markings before).

 

 

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I finally made it back to the shore and he was completely gone! Already walking back up to the van but the guy that does nothing but stand there was standing by a huge trash can for us to put our snorkeling stuff in it (I brought my own like always).

 

Everyone was up at the beach but I look around and don't see Kia. Then I look out at the water and she is waaaayyy out there. I made sure I didn't take my eyes off her. I didn't know if she was struggling, something happened, or she was just taking her good old sweet time. When she finally came in, it was the later that was happening. She said she was just looking around and snapping pictures and looked up and everyone was gone. I'm sorry but when you are giving a tour I think you should be responsible enough to make sure all of your people are safe and back to shore before heading off to the van. I was just annoyed by this.

 

Here is a shot of, not only the rocks, but how far away the beach club was from us...then figure at least that distance around to the shipwreck.

 

 

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Walking up the hill and to the road...we finally made it.

 

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I tell ya what...I'm completely worn out from today. I really need to get into shape and lose some weight to be able to keep up with these youngens.

 

So we were snorkeling for approximately 50 minutes according to my pictures.

 

We piled in the van and headed back to the beach to meet up with the rest of the group.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by mitsugirly

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We made it back to the beach and got out of the van and it was so hard to find my family in the sea of people. I could not believe how crowded this beach was or how popular it had became.

 

Finally I spotted them. Just look for the scooter sitting in the sand. It's an excellent indicator of where my family is located.

 

The kids were out playing in the water. I just wanted to rest and float.

 

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My mermaid spotted me.

 

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She was diving and collecting shells. The pink was is so pretty.

 

 

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Sea urchin discovered.

 

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Shawna squeeled and went running in the water. "Ewwww what the heck is that?" It took a while to convince her to hold it "just for picture opportunities so you can show your mom. Now put a smile on your face girl!"

 

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I had honestly had enough of the water and decided to just go sit and relax and hang out with the family.

 

 

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We were only there around 30 minutes before we were told to pack up and head to the van to go back to the port.

 

I guess the place we were at was No Limit Beach Bar.

 

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Getting out of here was a mess. We sat forever. They had to find people on the beach to move their cars for us to fit through and it was just plain crazy. I hope I never have to come back to this particular beach honestly.

 

 

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I was glad to be back on the road again.

 

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Almost there!!! It was 4:45pm at this point.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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