We’re back! I’ve taken the liberty to upload most of our honeymoon photos (leaving some duplicates out). I have a few favorites, largely involving tropical landscapes. There are some great ones of Ponzi peppered in the mix as well. I’d probably have a few hundred more snapshots if we weren’t sick for four days – which would have included more trips to Mayan ruins. Check out the turtles from Honduras, the Belize sunset, and the warm farewell from Guatemalans. Of course, please ignore the fact that I completely misspelled the word “Caribbean!” Nevertheless, we had a fantastic time – and would certainly recommend Regent cruises for anybody. I think we were the youngest couple aboard (by a complete generation, easily).
We had a flightseeing tour over Guatemala scheduled for the day – but early this morning, Ponzi’s body forced us to change our plans. She slept her way through most of the morning hours while I watched Pirates of the Carribean (Dead Man’s Chest) for the first time. No pirates in these Carribean waters now (that I can find)! Today’s excursion would have taken us to Tikal:
Although this region was home to Maya communities as early as 600 BC, Tikal wasn’t established until around 200 BC. By 500 AD, it’s estimated that the city covered more than 18 square miles and had a population of close to 100,000. The great temples that still tower above the jungle were at that time covered with stucco and painted with bright reds and greens. By the 6th century, Tikal governed a large part of the Mayan world, thanks to a leader called Caan Chac (Stormy Sky).
I’m disappointed that we weren’t able to view more of Guatemala’s amazing landscape. After lunch on the Regent Seven seas Voyager, we ventured down into the port’s shopping pavilion. Ponzi and I walked up and down the aisles, seeing thousands of trinkets and unique crafts alike. My dad would be proud of my vastly improved bargaining and negociation skills; as a child, I couldn’t bid a merchant lower to save my wallet. Price on the coffee grounds was set in stone (so to speak), but I found $6.00 more than fair for a pound of pure Guatemalan coffee.
I think the biggest gift we received today was from the population of Santo Tomas de Castillo. As we were preparing to set sail, dozens of local taxis and shopkeeps lined themselves parallel to our ship – to the tune of hundreds of vehicles and random Guatemalans. The cars started to flash their lights and sirens, dancing ensued, and everybody was waving us good-bye. It was an awesome sight – very heartwarming, and quite memorable. I can’t wait to share the video!
If you’re going to take a cruise, make sure you book a room with at least one full window and a balcony for two – otherwise, it’s simply not worth the cost. I’m not one for the great outdoors, but you simply can’t beat the views from any private cabin – no matter which direction you happen to be facing.
For our first cruise, Ponzi booked us in a closet with a small porthole – and it was quite uncomfortable. Our other two cruises (including this one, our honeymoon) have been in upgraded suites. 350 square feet may not sound like much, but it’s a perfect size when you’re looking for a home away from home.
I think what surprised us most about our Regent Seven Seas Voyager room was that it came complete with iPod speakers (a full dock from Logitech). We were offered an iPod to use, too – but Ponzi had already brought her own. How’s that for an extreme level of personalization? It’ll likely be twenty years before cruise ships come with Zune ports, I’d imagine. This ship’s a rockin’ – and if you come a knockin’, maybe you should use our doorbell instead? On second thought, this is our honeymoon – and we probably shouldn’t be bothered at all. What am I doing online again?!
We have our own butler! I’m not sure what this means, though. I think we can ask him to bring us odd things at seemingly random times? “It’s three in the morning – where’s my freshly-pressed cranberry juice?” He asked us a zillion questions up front, but that’s only to make for a seamless experience on the open seas. Regent is spoiling us. I’m gonna call our butler again and ask him if he’ll come back and change the channel for us.
The one thing we’re missing: dress clothes. Thank goodness the ship has its own clothing store, which will most certainly have attire proper for dinner dress. “Informal” isn’t my kind of informal, by the way. Ponzi is using this as an excuse to buy an entirely new wardrobe. Guess it’s never too early to start planning for our next Seattle summer, eh? We’ll likely find a few cheap threads on shore, too. What I really need right now is a keychain (mine broke).
We’re at sea all day – which is fine by me. We’ve scheduled couples massages for each day we’re not docked, which we’re totally going to need after returning from our planned excursions. Ponzi’s got us going kayaking, hiking, flying, drinking, dining, and walking a million miles in comfortable shoes. I’ll do my best to take as many photos as possible. So far, this trip isn’t turning into a “Maui” – and that’s a good thing. And in other news…
Well, so much for free WiFi. Our travel agent from Vacations to Go told us that there would be free access available from the ship’s library, but it’s apparently closer to 35 cents a minute (ouch). I’ll just give Pluggd another plug for having kept us plugged in on our Alaskan adventure a few months back. The climate is certainly warmer in southern Florida!
Our experience with Regent has been superior to this point – far exceeding our expectations. The security line was non-existent, and despite not having our cruise passes with us, we were checked in swiftly (manually, as the computer system was down). We were welcomed aboard, guided to the theatre for admission, and promptly handed our suite keys. Five minutes later, we were having a casual lunch on the top deck – where Ponzi asked about the WiFi. The waiter noted that someone would be along in a moment to help with that. Imagine our mutual confusion when someone came along to pour some white wine – which we didn’t want or need. “WiFi” sounds a lot like “white wine” in context, eh?
While the Internet access certainly is not free, I’m able to get online from the comfort of my own bed in the Penthouse. Awesome! We haven’t even left port and already I can tell this is going to be a spectacular experience – as every
moneymoon honeymoon should be.
Ponzi couldn’t take another week of cold, wintery weather – so we’re blasting off to the Carribean for the next couple of weeks for our honeymoon. If you email me between now and then, I likely will not respond. Internet access will be quite limited (as you can very well imagine), but we’re cruising on a six-star Regent ship:
Following closely in the wake of the Seven Seas Mariner, the new 700-guest Seven Seas Voyager is the world’s second all-suite, all-balcony ship and the second to feature a restaurant operated by Le Cordon Bleu of Paris. There are four main dining venues, surprising for a ship of her size. The Voyager also features some of the highest space and service ratios at sea, and her suites are the largest “lead-in” suites in the industry.
We’re flying across the country in a few hours, as our port of departure is somewhere in the great state of Florida. This will be quite a journey! Allegedly, the ship has free WiFi in the library – so I should be able to blog daily updates. If you’d like to track our adventure, here’s where we’ll be (and when):
- Thu Dec 28 – Flight to Florida
- Fri Dec 29 – Fort Lauderdale, FL
- Sat Dec 30 – At Sea
- Sun Dec 31 – Progreso / Merida, Mexico
- Mon Jan 1 – At Sea
- Tue Jan 2 – Roatan, Honduras
- Wed Jan 3 – Santo Tomas de Castilla, Guatemala
- Thu Jan 4 – Belize City, Belize
- Fri Jan 5 – Costa Maya, Mexico
- Sat Jan 6 – Cozumel, Mexico
- Sun Jan 7 – At Sea
- Mon Jan 8 – Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas
- Tue Jan 9 – Return to Seattle
This will be our third cruise – and the first time we’ll be celebrating New Year’s at sea? I never imagined our honeymoon in the Carribean, but I’m looking forward to seeing a few ancient ruins throughout. Gotta find some sunscreen / bug repellent lotion!