Before the cruise, I went online to see which excursions were available for our boat. I found several interesting, but had concern over if we had time for more than one at each port.
Paddle boarding, kayaking, a beer walk, and a hike/bike combo topped my list. When Jay hurt his ankle during our sea-day, he said that the biking would probably be a bad idea. Given all the walking done to the breweries and the weighted pressure from the paddle boards, I suspect this was due to his lack of interest. We ended up booking the other 3, and left our schedule open to other potential adventures.
Half Moon Cay is an island owned by the Carnival corporation, and is mostly staffed by the ship’s crew. As our kayak guide explained, a handful of people have a couple hour (each way) commute by boat from another island, but mostly the crew disembarks first to set up shop.
With no way to port on the island itself, the cruise ship ran tenders all day. I had no clue what that meant until one of the seasoned travelers in our group filled me in; its basically a smaller boat shuttling too and front the island.
I don’t mention this as an exercise of my vocabulary, but rather because it shaped our morning. Despite a later excursion time, our tickets required us to meet in the large theater at 8:30. The ship didn’t arrive on time, so we had to wait a bit longer than anticipated. The staff tried to keep us entertained with trivial, but both Jay & I found myself more bored than we’d been the entire vacation.
There were, however, a couple of benefits to this. I used the time to run back to the room and grab a beach bag with towels, sunscreen, and a carbonated beverage. When I sat back down and opened the beverage, it spewed all over me. Once again, i returned to the room to change clothing.
Once we finally got off the ship, our first excursion was a kayaking trip into a cove. Jay and I snagged a tandem outfit, and paddled together like champs. We frequently had to stop to allow the others to catch up with us. The kayak also had a glass bottom, but I didn’t see much in the way of sea-life.
We paddled out to a predetermined location, where our guide had us get into the water and walk out a piece. He then informed us that the water we were standing in was filled with sharks and jelly fish. After having a good laugh at all the girls freaking out, he informed us that the kinds of creatures near us weren’t dangerous.
The lemon sharks are most common in that area, and we saw a couple off a bit in the near distance. The jelly fish are a type that are safe to pick up and only sting a bit if touched. While Jay was brave enough to pick one up and touch it, I made him piggy back me over the landminds of jelly fish on the ocean floor.
At the last minute, we signed up for a Sting-ray excursion. While we were waiting, we reapplied sunscreen. Some random dude walked up and asked if his wife could borrow our sunscreen. Their bottle ran out and she needed to reapply. He thanked us profusely and even offered to buy us a drink to say thanks.
Turns out, they were booked for the same outing, and we chatted with them on the bus ride out. He and Jay enjoyed laughing at me, when I yelled every time a stingray touched me. I wasn’t necessarily scared of them, but definitely startled. I finally became brave enough to feed one, holding the bait in my enclosed hand as she sucked it out.
A young handicapped girl also joined our group. She too was a bit skiddish around the stingrays, but didn’t let the opportunity pass her by. I shared my personal philosophy with here. Being brave isn’t about not being scared, but rather being scared and doing it any way.
Jay and I only purchased 2 professional photos on the cruise. Both pictures were taken on this excursion. In hind-site, had I know that waterproof cameras were so inexpensive, we would have purchased one to take on the trip. The first picture is of us with our guide and a baby stingray.
The second is of Jay and I kissing a sea cucumber. Its supposed to be good luck, but she wasn’t able to tell us which end was which. I sure hope I got the mouth end!!
Before returning to the trip, we headed out to the beach just to hang out. The water and temperature were both perfect. After enjoying the ocean, we dried off on the beach chairs with an frosty beverage. Our buddy Misael from the Majestic Lounge had a tray of Miami Vice cocktails so we both enjoyed one before calling it and getting back on the tender boat.