|On board enjoying the Bon Voyage Party|
We found a very nice deal for a large Signature Suite with our favorite cruise line, Holland America, departing from Tampa, Florida on February 17th. Southwest Airlines was having a sale and we got very inexpensive airfare.
We have good friends who live just outside of Tampa, and they offered to host us for a couple of days before we sailed. On February 15th, we flew to Tampa and our friend, Anna, picked us up. She took us to nice places for dinner (Middle Eastern and seafood) and the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg which was also featuring an exhibit of Frida Kahlo art and then dropped us off at the Cruise Port for our cruise which was to set sail at 4PM Friday, February 17th.
|Departing the Port of Tampa|
|Bon Voyage Party on the Aft Deck|
|Approaching the Sunshine Bridge|
|Going under the Sunshine Bridge|
|Sunset departing Tampa Bay|
|Sea View Pool aft at sunset|
|Taking my morning walk around the Promenade Deck|
|Dawn an hour from Key West|
|Key West Port|
|The beginning of US Hwy 1 - The Florida Keys Scenic Highway|
|Everything is pretty much sea level here. Warm in the low 80's F.|
We were at sea Sunday night as we headed to Roatan, Honduras. It was a beautiful sunset.
|Ron enjoying the sunset from our veranda|
|Sunrise on Sunday morning just west of Cuba|
|The Promenade Deck, always popular with walkers in the morning|
|The Lido pool mid-ship|
|Vicki and Ron February 19, 2017 on the MS Oosterdam|
|The mountains of Honduras are in the far distance|
|We had booked an island tour with Daniel Johnson's Monkey and Sloth Hangout. Our driver, Michelle, drove us to Daniel Johnson's home where he has set-up an animal refuge for discarded pets. He now charges admission to insure their economic welfare. You can hold some of the animals. The sloth was so sweet to get a hug from. |
|Feeding a beautiful macaw|
|A parrot who knows how to pick a lock|
|A Three Toed Sloth|
|A Capuchin Monkey|
|My friend looking for a treat|
|We stopped for lunch at Gio's in Flowers Bay|
|Flowers Bay, Roatan Island|
|I had the King Crab with Lobster|
|Flowers Bay, Roatan Island|
|Ron with his Coconut Rum drink at Gio's|
|Enjoying the beautiful view of the ocean from Gio's deck|
We did some souvenir shopping and headed back to the ship. The next port was Santo de Tomas de Castillo, Guatemala. We arrived at the steamy tropical port at 8:00AM on Tuesday.
I had booked a Humanitarian Tour to Livingston and the Rio Dulce . We went up the Rio Dulce to a Mayan school where the children eagerly greeted us with songs and signs and notes written in English. We passed out pencils, erasers and other school supplies we had brought.
|Boarding our river boat from the port|
|The shore along the bay|
|Lots of pelicans - five species are represented|
|Salted fish laid out to dry. This is an important commodity for Livingston.|
|The children (grades 1-3) waiting for us.|
|There are many homes and hotels along the Rio Dulce|
|Heading back to the ship|
|The Port at Santo Tomas de Castillo is primarily an industrial port. The cruise ships that dock here bring important tourist dollars to this poor Central American country.|
|The Cruise Port of Costa Maya, Mexico|
|Carnival has a big private cruise ship port development at Costa Maya. But we passed on this, preferring to book a private excursion to Maya Chan Beach Resort.|
|Our ship as seen from the Maya Chan Beach Resort|
|Maya Chan was a a small private beach with great hospitality.|
Maya Chan Beach offered a rum punch and chips, guacamole and Pico de Gallo salsa upon arrival as guests were provided a reserved seating area, kayaks, snorkel gear, beach games,and floating beach chairs. An all you can eat lunch was served along with an open bar. Massage was offered for an additional fee and I enjoyed a half hour massage.
|Maya Chan Beach Resort|
|My place in the shade|
|The dining palapa where we enjoyed a lovely taco bar lunch|
|Inside the gate entrance of Maya Chan Beach|
|The many colors of the sea at Maya Chan Beach.|
Our ship was sailing at 3PM. Returning to the ship, I enjoyed looking at the incredibly blue sea by the cruise ship port. Beautiful day!