I was very excited when we rose this morning because we were going to be visiting one of our very favorite restaurants in the Caribbean, the Wet Lizard in Belize.
The morning started off warm with partly cloudy skies and the promise of temperatures rising into the mid-80s. I stepped out onto the balcony and watched as the Carnival Splendor was making its way to port.
We docked early in the morning but since we only wanted to get off to have lunch we decided to enjoy a nice breakfast in the dining room and then return to the cabin so Randy could catch up on his email.
Like so many Caribbean islands there are so many activities to participate in. There is cave tubing, scuba diving, touring the rain forest and visiting the beautiful Mayan ruins.
We have been to Belize so many times that on one visit a tour guide on a boat we were traveling on to a private island beach told us that if we came here five times we would be citizens. So, I guess we are citizens. On these visits we have rented a cab to take a rather scary tour of the city and outskirts and visited Mayan ruins.
But, no matter what we choose to do while onshore we always stop at The Wet Lizard restaurant to enjoy their absolutely delicious cucumber salsa and bottles of cold local beer.
One of the really fun things to do at The Wet Lizard is make your mark that you visited. The grandchildren thought that was great run. One year I made sure that the Delicious Divas left a mark. Each time we return we look for our names and leave them again.
By 10am the skies had become thick with dark clouds and a steady rain started to fall. We made the decision to spend the morning relaxing at the Solarium Pool until the skies cleared.
The pool area is done in an Egyptian motif with plain columns etched/painted with hieroglyphs. The pool and pool area are large and include a bar and café. One unique aspect of this area is the retractable roof that can open during sunny days and close on raining days. It never opened on this trip but we did see the roof open on a cruise we took on the Jewel of the seas.
Once settled I opened my book and just relaxed. At one point the sun popped out of the clouds and we were heartened that we would indeed make it ashore. It was not to be. Ultimately, we resolved to stay on the ship and have a nice lunch at the Windjammer Café. I had a lovely lunch of creamed chicken with vegetables, sliced tomatoes, carrots and mashed potatoes. The dinner was very nice and very filling.
The afternoon passed slowly with me looking longingly at the sky to see if the sun would come out; it was not to be.
The air inside the Solarium was warm and inviting. I noticed that no one was going into the water and decided to walk over and to the pool steps and lowered my toes into the water and was pleased that the water seemed warm. “I will definitely go swimming once I finish my book,” I said to Randy. As it turned out however, I was so close to finishing my book that I never left my chair unable to put it down.
It was time to return to the cabin to prepare for the evening. But first, I stepped onto the balcony and was surprised to see the Carnival ship almost totally hidden by a thick fog.
By the time we settled into our seats at the dining table I was not very hungry so I chose a cold soup and simple salad for dinner. The dominant conversation during the cocktail hour and dinner hour was how soaked people had gotten returning to the ship on the tenders.
After hearing about the trials and tribulations some of our tablemates had on shore I was very glad we had remained on the ship. Wayne and Mary had a very scary experience. They had signed up for a river cruise. They were in a group of about 30 in a small aluminum boat with no cover when the skies opened up. Everyone was given a poncho to wear but the rain was so hard it did not help. Then the sky turned even angrier with lightning strikes all around the boat. They both recalled that it was very scary indeed.
Mike and Mary Gail faired a little better. They were on a tour of the Alta Hun Mayan ruins but faired a little better. Mike said they managed to be on a bus or inside a building during most of the rain and lightning.
We ate our dinner quickly as we had been invited to a Crown & Anchor Reception at the Shall We Dance Lounge. While we were standing in line a photographer asked if we would like to have our picture taken with the captain. “You can never have too many pictures with the captain,” I replied and struck a pose.
I always like these events. The captain and several other members of the executive staff say a few words and give everyone a heads-up on future plans for the Royal Caribbean fleet of ships. The event usually ends with members of the Crown & Anchor Society being recognized and rewarded for their loyalty to the Royal Caribbean cruise line. Several people were recognized with one woman having accumulating over 2,000 nights. When I heard the number I was blown away. At this point Randy and I have accumulated 298. We have a long way to go.
After the presentations we were treated to a performance of several numbers by entertainer Jimmy Hopper who has been described by one critic as, “Freddie Mercury meets Andres Bocelli”. He did have a beautiful voice.
Well, today had been an interesting day. We returned to the cabin to relax and prepare for our next port-of-call.
Tomorrow we arrive at Costa Maya, Mexico.