Western Caribbean Cruise - Rhapsody of the Seas

We had a great time on our cruise. This is the temporary site until I have a little time to work on it. More pictures also, not everything was taken digitally.

We started on Saturday in the wonderful Philadelphia airport and flew to Tampa, Florida. Once there, we boarded the beautiful Rhapsody of the Seas. It was very similar to the Grandeur of the Seas which we had taken on two previous cruises. It made finding our way around very easy.

Our Cabin Steward, Gene, made us feel right at home. He even made some friends to keep us company. We had some great dining companions and the service was excellent, hats off to Christian and Attilla.

Our first day was spent at sea and we basically vegged by the pool.

Our second day brought the first port of call, Costa Maya, Mexico. This is a new port, built exclusively for cruise ships, the nearest town is a ten minute taxi ride. The port has a number of shops and some Mayan shows, plus a pool and beach area. We did a little shopping and took an excursion to some local Mayan Ruins at Chachoben. We learned a lot about Mayan history.

Next we went a little way north to Cozumel, Mexico. There we took a day long excursion to Xcarat. This is an Eco-archiological park. We had a great time, they have an underground river you can drift down, dolphin encounters, jaguars, an aviary, and lots more. We used Cathy's camera here, so there currently are no pictures (waiting to see what develops).

On Wednesday we arrived in Grand Cayman. Due to heavy seas, we were not allowed to drop anchor on the west side of the island at Georgetown, but were able to drop anchor on the south side of the island. With three other ships in port (there were supposed to be six others) and one small dock for the tenders, it took a while getting off the ship. Cathy took a tour of the island, and I went diving. Unfortunately, I had camera problems, so no pictures, but the dive operator, Red Sail Sports, had a videographer taping us and I bought a copy. Now I just have to find some way to get clips of that on-line.... The water was crystal clear and the dives were great. No wall, but the coral and marine life is amazing, I've gotta go back.

Thursday was another day of relaxation poolside.

Friday brought us to Key West. We had some problems getting cleared by Imigration (the Kim family was not to be found), but we finally got off the ship. Due to the late start and an early departure time, the dives were shallow and short. I had my camera with me and (hopefully) got some great shots of a sea turtle. The viz was only about 20 feet and the coral is very bleached, but I had a good time. I'd like to see the town next time, it looked like fun.

Our time was too short, maybe next time a ten night cruise.