Mitsugirlys STAR end of the world/pre-Christmas cruise detailed review & pictorial

Day 5: Roatan Port Day 

Hmmm, where to start. I’ll start with the usual. Get up, get ready, get moving to breakfast. We watched the Star pull in to port and we were the only one there. I’m not even sure if another ship can dock there? I don’t think so.

 

The water there is always so beautiful and you can see right through it when you are pulling up. I noticed they had a HUGE Christmas tree in port and I also knew I wanted a picture of it before the day was over when we returned.

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We booked Maya Key with NCL for this day after reading several remarkable post and pictures from these great informative people here on CC and I just knew that my daughter would love this place (because of all of the animals). I just had no clue HOW MUCH “WE” would love it as well. This place is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! We don’t find a whole lot of places that we visit that make us say “we will come back here” (only 2 places to be exact that we have said this about), but this is one of them…so make that 3 now.

 

I have to say that, once again, we never book with the ship BUT this island can ONLY be made available with the cruise line! I guess you use to be able to do the tour on your own, but they stopped doing that and you now HAVE to book with the cruise ship in order to go there. So, that’s the reason we did it.

 

We were to meet at the dock at 8:15am. We cleared customs quickly and as soon as you get off the ship is where they were meeting at. We were one of the first to get there (of course…I’m prompt). I think we waited around for a good ½ hour or so for everyone to finally get in line that had booked the excursion. They put arm bands on us and we all piled in the boat that was going to take us there. The boat was full, but we didn’t find it uncomfortable full if you know what I mean. The boat is right there at the dock, so no walking a long distance or anything. It’s right beside the Star.

 

The welcome committee was there dancing for us when we got off the ship.

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We circled around the Star and BOOM, we are at the island. They said it was a 3 minute ride and I think I blinked maybe twice and we were there. That made it super nice.

 

When we got off of the boat, they gave a quick talk about the island and what all it has to offer. They told us they would be doing a “tour” with the animals and it would take about 45 minutes or so to do the tour. We decided we wanted to make the most of our short 4 hours that this excursion last and we would just walk around and look at the animals first instead of doing the tour.

 

Then came the dreaded announcement…when to meet back on the boat to take us back to the ship.,,are you ready for this? They said “You can come back to the dock any time you would like to go back to the ship. We will be running every ½ hour up until 3:30pm”. Um…did I just hear that correctly? Seriously? We were going to get to stay all day????? YIPPEE YA WHOOOOO!!! My day was just made and I was definitely about to make the most of our day there! I think my husband had to grab my hand to keep me from jumping up and down from all of the excitement. If only it was like this on all of the ship tours, I just might book more often and NCL would get most of my money. ARE YOU LISTENING NCL? Give us more bang for our buck with longer times.

 

So we were off and running. I think most people headed toward the beach area. We headed toward the replica Mayan Ruins to take some pictures hopefully without people in them. As we walked toward that way, the grounds were beautiful and it had lush landscape. Man I’d like to hire the people that work there for my yard. It could use some sprucing up with all of the colors they had there.

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Notice they have different clocks around the grounds to keep track of time. They have a clock for each cruise line and what the cruise ship time is. Our time never changed this entire cruise. Both the ports and the ship were on the same time which was nice to not have to worry about that. However, a Carnival ship was there too and they were on a different time than us and the island. I thought this was a nice touch for Maya Key to do.

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Along the walk there were macaws and parrots in the trees just hanging out. One of them could talk and Sakari loved it. I’m just grateful that she didn’t walk around squawking like a bird the rest of the day (she has a tendency to do this, we just throw her a bone and she stops...or is that her doggie days? They all run together after awhile. I have to admit, she does a great impression...arms flapped out to the side, neck out, butt out and she has the "walk" down pat!)

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My husband and daughter spent some time here. I of course wanted to get the day started and started walking off waiting for them to get the hint. :D

So finally my family caught up to me (after I was able to get some pictures without them walking in to the frame…by the second day, I had my husband trained that when I stop, he stops behind me. He knows I’m about to take a picture. I have complained for years that I swear he throws a body part in to every one of my pictures on purpose. It was hilarious to see him come to a dead stop the entire cruise when I stopped. I think I got to a point that I was actually testing him. He passed! LOL).

 

This was the first building we came to. You could go inside to see Mayan "things". I'm not up to date with all of this stuff and what the "terms" are for it. I have never been much of a "history" buff...I just knew that the world was ending tomorrow and I was about to make the most of my day here...come on. Look, snap picture, walk!

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Yes, we climbed all the way to the top (like it's really high...not).

 

"Don't jump, don't do it, you have so much more to see today. Just don't jump" "Ok, if you do, just know I'll be snorkeling solo today" What? Don't judge me, he would have said the same thing. (Love you bunches hubby). <3

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This is the "ball court". No I did not take the time to read the signs on it, I took the "lazy" way out and remember reading about it here on cc.

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You see that arch at the top? Yea, well I really wanted a picture looking through it and I completely didn't notice it when I took the picture. I never did "find" it. I guess that's what I get for "rushing".

 

Steps little enough for the munchkin to climb. This is the main reason that we have never really did the ruins yet and probably won't for many years. She is just too little. Does she have enough energy to climb the real ones? YES! Most definitely. Do I? Probably not. But would I completely freak out with her going up the real Ruins...um yep. So, we will definitely wait for that one.

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Inside the building...(I was a little shocked that they don't have someone in there watching people).

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The steps that you come down to make it out to the beach/grounds where the animals are.

Do you notice that my daughter is carrying something in her hand? She found the most colorful feather that must have been from one of the birds. She loved this colorful feather. She didn't have the feather for long...you will find out why later.

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More critters hanging around. I kind of spooked him when I was walking down the stairs so I didn't get a good picture of him when his head was turned toward me. I can't remember what these are called at the moment but I remember reading up on them. 

So on to the animals...

 

For those that don't know, this is an animal rescue center.

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More petting to be done. He was so trying to lose some fingers that day.

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Yep, he took off with Sakari's Macaw feather. She was so disappointed. Notice how it says "Least Concern" at the bottom for the Monkeys? Yep, that about sums it up. They had no concern for Sakari's feather she was saving.

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Go ahead, pet it. I dare ya...pet the nice alligator.

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More monkeys. He must have taken one too many feathers from little kids. He was in a small house.

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This big cat was not impressed by my husband AT ALL. My husband thought he was being cute. "Here kitty kitty kitty". She raised up and showed her teeth. He said it again. She quickly showed him who was boss and the hubby quietly walked away with his tail between his legs. She wasn't playing or having any of his "monkey business".

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We only found 1 iguana walking around today. I'm sure there has to be more at this place. He didn't seem to want to play with us either.

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I just happen to look up and noticed this...

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Is that a termite nest? It looks just like the one (also in Roatan) that was along our cave tubing hike we did the last time we were here. Yes, we ate them that time around but I didn't see anyone around here offering samples. I tried to find someone. I really did. I needed some fresh breath on this hot day and a Roatan termite would do just the trick! But, no luck. Darn.

 

The area that you are walking along viewing the animals:

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The sun was bright that day and this area is absolutely beautiful. They take really good care of the grounds (as noted previously with the lush greenery and such) and they had this entire place completely raked. Every bit of sand was raked (until we all came along and stepped on it). But it was definitely a little slice of Island Paradise!

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What are these? We found them just laying there like that. (No doubt someone's little mini-me gathered them all up and then was made to leave them there by their parents)...but what are they? Sakari's way of saying she wants something is..."I like those. I wish I had those." Yes, that's what she said here too. I told her not to touch them "They are a family" and that seem to work out well as she stared them down walking away slowly. :D

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...walking right along the water, past all of the animals and I dead stop in my tracks. Um, are those monkeys in the trees just hanging out? With no cage? Nothing separating them from us other than a small little stream? Do they not like water at all? What do they do when it rains? They all go inside the little house on the land there? It was kind of a different experience for sure. I believe they were howlers monkeys...although I don't recall ever hearing a "howl" the entire day. I guess they were pretty content then right?

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Right past that is the pier that you walk out to snorkel on.

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It was time to finally pick our spot for the day. We grabbed some chairs from a stack and put them where we wanted them under the tree. Plenty of shade or sun for whatever your little heart desires. I prefer the sun, but the hubby had some red shoulders (not as red as they normally get on most of our cruises, but a little red) and decided the shade was going to be "our spot" for the day. It's ok, I stayed out in the water 99% of the time anyhow...which I always do.

Of course Sakari couldn't wait to let us settle in before she was off and in to the water.

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The water felt great and it was crystal clear as you can tell from this picture...you can see her entire body in the water.

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One of the Maya Key employees was walking around with one of the monkeys on his shoulder. He was letting everyone know that in 1/2 hour he would be over in front of the "Monkey Land" aka running free on their own prime beachfront property area...and that he would give the kids a chance to hold the monkey if they wanted.

 

Well, last year we did the zip lining with Victor Bodden and afterwards you get to hold the monkeys. Sakari was bitten by one of them. Yep, she still remembers that and said the monkeys are mean. She decided not to go over to hold the monkey.

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If you think you are going to see anything from the beach area water...think again. All you will find are little itty bitty fish:

Wait...what is that sound? Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it, no wait, back up...yes, it's a plane!!! It was flying low too! I loved it. It was almost a mini-Maho Beach from St Marteen. WOO HOO. I could deal with this. There was a landing strip right "next door" to this island so the planes fly in real low. I never really heard them coming until they were right up on us and I tried all day long to get a video I believe with no success. I guess that gives me another excuse to go back. :D

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After this, we decided to go snorkeling. This was the moment I had been waiting for, talking about prior to the cruise, read about, and hurried my family around the grounds for...the moment had come.

 

However, I'm going to make you guys wait until tomorrow (which is officially today since once again it's after 2am in the morning) to get the AWESOME snorkeling pictures that I took at this AWESOME snorkeling site. :DWOW! That's the only way to describe it...it's that FINDING NEMO WOW.

 

I am going to share with you some more pictures from around the grounds there. I actually took these toward the end of the day before we left as some "last minute in case I didn't get them 10 times before this one" shots. So, they may be random. You guys like random right? It keeps you on your toes.

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Can you see the big black bird? They were everywhere making noise. What is it about the Caribbean birds and the way they sound? Why don't we have birds like that? You hear this sound and you know you're in the Caribbean.

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The dock that our boat was at:

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There she is...just 2 eyelid blinks away

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In this building you will find a HUGE gift shop/store and also the restrooms

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When you first walk in to the restroom part, it is all open and you will find the lockers here. I did not see anyone using them. Then from there, you go in to either the men or womens restroom. The restrooms are really nice, very spacious, and very clean. 

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I am going to leave you tonight with my little creation that I made that day for everyone back home...in the cold, some with snow...this one's for you. :p :D

 

Meet Sandy the sandwoman. As Fergie always says "my humps, my humps, my lovely lady lumps"

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ARE YOU READY FOR SOME SNORKELING??? I thought so. Here we go.

 

We weren’t at the beach for long before I was twiddling my thumbs, trying to hold back the excitement of wanting to hit this reef I had read about at the end of the pier. There were a lot of reports about how good the snorkeling was there, but I have yet to see any snorkeling pictures to be able to determine for myself what “their” definition of “good snorkeling” was. I know we each have our own thoughts of what is good and it varies. But I just wanted to see some pics! No one has ever provided pictures and when I ask for pictures, I never really got much of a response other than it was GOOD.

 

We gathered our snorkeling equipment (we have our own) and headed down the long pier, that was right beside the beach where our stuff was at, and I could hardly contain my excitement. The water was clear along the way and I spotted a few fish that looked like trumpet fish or something with a long nose swimming on the top of the water. I tried several times to get a picture of them, but they were quick. This is the best one that turned out.

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When we made it to the end of the pier, there were several guys there (that I assume are the “guides” if you need it) and they hang out there all day watching the snorkelers, telling them “where” to go, and helping you with getting your gear on. They also come armed with dish soap to rinse out your goggles before going in. What a nice touch. I know that people have mentioned that they are out in the canoes during the day watching out over everyone, but I did not see them in the canoes at all that day. The canoes were tied up along the side of the dock.

 

As I started to enter the water down the ladder, one of the guides was coming up out of the water with this:

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Everyone around took this opportunity to takes pictures of it. Do you notice that he is laughing? Well, it's because it was dead. I was wondering how he was just holding it like that and it wasn't trying to get away or pinch him. Ok, you got us. Nice trick.

 

As you go in to the water, the guides tell you to follow the bottles in the water. That will take you where you need to go along the “path”. I didn’t know where it was that I needed to “go”, but we listen to him and followed the path slowly as we took everything in. The bottles were just plastic soda bottles that were tied down in the water and some of them had a big red plastic ball up at the top (so you could see the path from the top of the water as well and tell where people were at). I'll point out the bottles in some of the pictures when I get to them. There are just so many I don't feel like digging through all of them to locate them on my host site.

 

Alrighty then...here is what you will see when snorkeling. If anyone knows the name of any of these fish, please let me know. There were some that I had never seen before and I am unable to name them.

Damsel Fish                                                                                                                                 Blue Tang

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Plenty of Rainbow Wrasse there:                                                          schoolmaster snapper:

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The coral here was absolutely beautiful!!!! It was everywhere and so many different types of coral. I'm not up-to-date on my coral species so forgive me I don't know the names:

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Rainbow Wrasse                                     Blue Tang swimming by the coral...she turned on me right as I snapped the picture 

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There's a stoplight parrotfish here...he looked a little banged up and had a boo-boo on his head that was swollen. Too bad I didn't have my first aid kit with me. hehe

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Gorgeous coral I have never seen snorkeling anywhere else before:

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Stoplight Parrotfish:                                                                                                  Brain coral

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Parrot fish                                                                                             Foureyed Butterfly Fish:

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Blue Tang and a redtail Parrot fish (in the juvenille stage):           surgeon fish:

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Blue stripped Grunt fish trying to hide from me under the coral:

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There were a bunch of little white, black, and yellow fish beside this coral. I'm not sure if you'll be able to see them in this picture. I have no idea what type of fish:

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There were a bunch of little white, black, and yellow fish beside this coral. I'm not sure if you'll be able to see them in this picture. I have no idea what type of fish:

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Yellow and black stripped fish I have yet to figure out what they are on all of my snorkeling adventures and more coral.

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Then we get to "where" we are going...I had no clue...if I could have gasp in my snorkel, I would have. It was the FINDING NEMO DROPOFF! (I find this funny because right at this moment, my daughter is watching Finding Nemo on t.v. and I'm typing about it). Well, we have now experienced it. It just...drops off! Off to no where but the beautiful deep blue sea. Wow. Very beautiful but yet kind of freaky in a neat way.

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In this picture you will see one of the "bottle" markers that I was talking about.     Damsel fish

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Yellowtail Parrotfish (initial phase (young)) with a Yellowtail Damselfish.              Sea Fan

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Bermuda Chub

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Sakari had the hang of things and kept pointing out all the fish:

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The reason they have bottles for you to follow the path is because if you get off the path (which we did by mistake after we hit the open water) is that the coral comes really close to the surface and you can get yourself in to situations that could bang you up and harm the coral. You can see in this picture that it's pretty close to the surface. Some gets closer but it can be a sticky situation to get out of if you are not careful of your surroundings.

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Huge Blue Tang                                                                                       Juvenile Beaugregory    

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Stoplight Parrotfish in the terminal stage                                                                                         

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This is the first time I had seen one of these white sea urchins...needless to say I was SUPER excited:

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Enough of snorkeling FOR NOW (meaning I have a lot more wink wink). The hubby and munchkin had headed back while I SLOWLY continued to explore on my way back (truth be known, I didn’t want to get out or leave this underwater paradise), but figured I would go back too. By the time I made it back and climbed up the ladder to get out…they were nowhere in sight. Nowhere! I mean they had removed their equipment, walked down the long dock and were back at the “campsite” gone. How’d they do that so quickly? Maybe I went slower than I thought.

 

 When we had first arrived, they told us that our cruise ship time for lunch was going to be between 10:30 and 1pm. So, we were getting pretty hungry and decided it was time to head for lunch.

  

They had a “lunch line”, which there wasn’t many people there when we went and it was under a small roof structure:

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They had the jugs filled with unsweetened tea or water to drink.

 

Their lunch consisted of the following:

 

House Salad (which consisted of lettuce, green pepper and carrots only. I guess their "house" didn't grow much there on the island)

 

Baked BBQ Chiken, which was really good.

 

Fried Sea Bass <----you talk about good! YUM!

 

Coconut Rice and Beans, also very tasty.

 

Fried banana chips, I didn't find these too terribly good. Not bad, but just not as tasty as I thought they would be.

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There is a nice dining area with nice chairs under the umbrealls right where the food and bar are located.

 

Also, I just wanted to mention...the arm bands they have on you when you head here were marked off with a marker as you go through the lane for food. Maybe it's not an "all you can eat" place. I'm not sure. I do know that we had more than enough to get full either way.

Sakari eating with her friend from the ship:

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I know this place use to be called Fins and Flippers, but their cups said "Anthony Key Resort". I'm just wondering if they use to be called this too? Or these cups were donated by someone? Or this is their aka name? Anyone know?

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After going back to the “camp site” someone found a caterpillar and gave to Sakari to hold. She loved it.

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Time for some more swimming and beach time because we all know you can't get enough of that!

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Mommy knew that she wanted to head back out and snorkel some more. This is not the place you go to and snorkel and call it a day. You have to do it more than once...it's just that good. I knew there were definitely more pictures to be taken!

 

Daddy decided to stay back at the beach with Sakari and I headed off down the pier once again for more adventures.

As I was walking along the pier toward the end, they had put the dead lobster on display for everyone. I had to take another picture.

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Back in the water I went. There weren't very many people in the water at that time (not that it was crowded or a lot in the water the first time around, but when I mean there wasn't hardly anyone, I mean there was two other people).

 

Azure Damselfish:                                                                                   Blue Tang:

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Another blue tang:                                                                            The bottle markers to stay on the path:

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This is what happens when you try to change the settings on the camera to see if you can improve the quality of the pictures (since you really don't know if they are turning out or not until you get back to the ship and download them on to the computer and see them on a bigger screen). It was a COMPLETE FLOP! After taking a bunch of pictures, I noticed the green tone and decided to put the white balance settings back to auto I think it was. I just thought I would share with you one of the horrid pictures that I took to show you what a struggle I had learning this camera. (I know by the looks of most of the pictures, it looks like I knew what I was doing with the settings, but I'm admitting it, I took hundreds and hundreds of pictures and I'm only picking out the best of course. There were a lot that didn't turn out because I had no idea what I was doing LOL). Ok, there! I said it. I sucked at learning the new camera. hehe

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I look back at all my old snorkeling pictures from the 80's and 90's when you use to have to buy those horrid disposable cameras and all of the pictures would turn out green like this. I'm so glad they have affordable cameras out there that does a much better job now.

 

Foureyed Butterfly Fish:

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This is the red balloon marker that you can see from the top of the water that I was talking about:

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Stoplight Parrotfish and a ocean surgeonfish:                                                       Schoolmaster Snapper:

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Redfin Parrotfish                                                                                   Another white sea urchin:

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Black with red prickly sea urchin                                                    Stoplight Parrotfish and a blue fish playing

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A really beautiful and colorful Stoplight Parrot fish-final stages. LOOK CLOSELY. I watched this fish for awhile. It was gnawing at the coral and then the little fish around it was taking it out of his mouth. You could see him open his mouth while they removed the food. I thought it was cute and I had never seen one of these fish do this before. It was like a mother feeding her (what seem to be adopted) children.

Another Stoplight Parrotfish (although these fish are so common and you see them everywhere when snorkeling, I just love the colors so much I always take tons of pictures of them.) For those of you that don't know it...if you are really quiet, you can hear the fish biting the coral. They have teeth and you will hear the chomping sound of them eating the coral.

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Orange spotted filefish                                                                     Damsel fish

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harlequin Bass

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When I was almost done snorkeling and headed back to the dock, I came across this sticking out from under a huge piece of rock/coral. It was kind of freaky looking and I stared at it forever taking pictures. It never came out and it was just plain weird looking. Anyone have any idea at all what this could have been????

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I was trying to take a picture of this blue and yellow fish darting back and forth and then noticed there was another red and black sea urchin hiding in the rocks. I thought the colors of the rocks and coral around here were kind of unique and had to take a picture even though it didn't turn out too clear.

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As much as I hated it, I knew I had to get out and say goodbye to this awesome snorkeling area. The family was waiting for me back at the beach and we hadn’t even visited the pool yet for pictures or taken our “Santa hat” pictures. I s-l-o-w-l-y walked back down the pier knowing that I would never get to return to this awesome place (well, at least this visit anyhow) and noticed that the beach area had almost cleared out. Where did everyone go?

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Time for our Santa hat picture to send back home to the family and friends via facebook:

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We washed off our snorkel gear (they have water spickets to do this by the chairs) and packed everything back in to our bags and headed toward the pool.

  

The pool and pool area was very nice too (at this point, I don’t think I could find anything not nice about this place). There was plenty of room to sit down and relax while we let our daughter swim for a while. She was busy jumping in and swimming to the stairs over and over and over. You would think this kid wears out but she doesn’t. She can go until 2am in the morning just like me.

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This was one happy kid today. 

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We stayed for about 45 minutes or so and then decided to head toward the boat to go back.

As we were walking toward the boat dock, we noticed a different area we hadn’t explored yet. It was the area where you do the shark, stingray swims and where they had the sea lions. Now I knew prior to going that they would not let you swim with the sharks or rays unless you were an older age (I think it’s like 12 years old or something). So, I had completely forgotten about this part. So we went over to check things out.

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For some reason I didn’t see any of the rays or nurse sharks. I’m not sure how deep the water was there, but nothing was in sight. The area kind of reminded me of the dolphin swim place at Costa Maya. It was really small (probably smaller than Costa Maya’s was). We kept walking and seen the sea lions. They looked like they might have had a busy day and were sleeping. Not once did they notice we were there. There were 3 of them in sight.

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We walked back to the boat dock (sadly) and decided to go ahead and leave at 2:30. There was hardly anyone left on the island, which is normal for us...we stay until the end everywhere we go.

Walking back to the boat, I’m reflecting on things I forgot to mention earlier.

 

The pool is 4’ deep. There is also a smaller pool that backs up to it (I assume for little muchkins). We did not go in it and neither did my daughter…since she’s a big girl and all and she won’t think twice about telling you that.

 

There was absolutely NO NO-SEE-UM’S there the day we were there. I know this has been a complaint from passengers and I have ran in to them at Costa Maya when others haven’t, but for our day there, nothing! Nothing at all. We didn’t even use spray either. We encountered NO bugs. Just animals…which we were happy with!

 

I did manage to see another iguana that day. When we were headed to the pool, you walk across the lunch patio area. There are tress growing up in the patio and they have holes around them. The huge iguana took off in one of the tree holes and hid. I couldn’t get a picture fast enough. Darn.

We were there with the Carnival Legend and met a nice lady there (Lisa) who was by herself since her husband had taken a scuba tour. She was afraid that she would be stuck on the island alone. She quickly made friends with another lady that we made friends with from our ship (the one my daughter was playing with all day and hung out with at the kids club during the cruise). Whatayaknow…she was a Nurse too!!! So we had our “Nurse” talk.

 

Would I recommend this place to anyone? What do you guys think? HANDS DOWN BEST PLACE EVER!! It ranks right up there for us with Chankanaab and Sapphire Beach in St Thomas. We loved it, we WILL return some day.

On the boat to head to the port we go with smiles on our faces I continued to snap pictures along the LONG 3 minute, blink twice boat ride.

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Look, she's smiling at us! Happy to see us return??

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We (well my husband) decided that he wanted to look around the port (for what, I still don’t know because we’ve been to this port before and there really isn’t anything there that we would want. It’s pretty small). I remembered that I wanted to take a picture of the Christmas tree before we boarded the ship.

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The tree was so huge I couldn't even fit it all in the picture. Now that's my kind of tree!

 

We wrapped things up and called it a day in Roatan and headed back to the ship to get showered, dressed and to grab a “snack”. I’m pretty sure I walked and snorkeled off a good 5 pounds this day, so I needed to keep up my 7 pound gain status and eat some more!

We hung out for a while watching the ship pull out of the port, then dropped Sakari off to play with her friends around 7pm.

 

We did manage to stop by the NCL consultant desk and purchase a future cruise certificate. One can’t go wrong with those. Buy the certificate for basically $150 and you get a cert for $250, saving $100. Now I know that’s not how they explain it, but those are the facts. So NCL terms: “You will see a charge on your OBC for $250 and then you will see a credit for $100 on your OBC”…um it’s the same as saying “You pay $150 for a certificate that is worth $250. ;) Got it, will use it…BUT WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!! THERE’S MORE!! I don’t know if this is something new they started with NCL or if this was also JUST on the Star, but if you applied $100 to the casino, they gave you an extra free $25. Um yes please. I had planned on spending $100 in there anyhow…why not get an extra $25 to spend. WOO HOO! Nice added touch NCL. I was loving it. The only “catch” for US, was we did our on board as a cash account, so instead of them charging the $100 to our room card, we had to give them $100 cash (directly to the casino) along with the coupon from NCL for the “special $125 to do the deal. Most would just go there and hand them their room key card and they would just take the $100 from it. No biggie for us.

 

Now, I had wondered the entire cruise…where is the magician show? Where is the comedian? Well, in todays daily I noticed that there was going to be a comedian tonight and I didn’t want to miss it. I also knew that it was going to be a busy night because tonight was also the White Hot Party….but what’s this? In the daily there was something called the “White Night” in the Atrium with the staff. I had never heard of that before or seen it. Is this something that only the Star does? Or is this something that NCL just adopted? I had no clue but I do know that I wanted to find out what it was.

 

Then we hit the Stardust theater for the 7:30pm show with David Naster. This guy was HILARIOUS. He’s more than just a comedian though. He has done documentaries, written books (he has one about the Healthcare workers which I would love to read), among other things.

 

Here is a little about him:

 

He grew up in smart-alec family teaching him how to survive with humor. David went to college to study Psychology. He decided he would rather make fun of people than help them. That’s when Naster began making people laugh for a living, having no idea how laughter would help people in ways never imagined.

 

31 years later - Naster’s ability to make audiences laugh is compared to Robin Williams and Red Skelton. When Bob Costas needed to replace Billy Crystal for his annual charity event - he hired David Naster. Naster is an expert of the benefits of humor and laughter. His philosophy; You Just have To Laugh is endorsed by such people as Larry King, Dr Bernie Siegel and founder of Southwest Airlines Herb Kelleher.

 

David’s first two books, “You Just Have To Laugh through Tough Times” and “When Work Gets TOUGH – You Just Have To Laugh” were voted “Best Humor” award of 2007 and 2008, by the Association of Applied Therapeutic Humor. An international organization made up of doctors, nurses and health-care professionals.

 

David’s latest book, “Is there Laugh after Death” is a sincere and groundbreaking approach of offering humor in grief. The stories are hysterical and help heal a grieving soul.

Nobody does what Naster does. Nobody! He’s an author, keynote speaker and philosopher. Naster is a rare blend of quality entertainment and true inspiration. He is funny without cursing. He motivates without preaching. David’s philosophy is: “Making people laugh is wonderful. Teaching them how to find the humor in tough times and laugh is why I’m here.”

NCL picked a winner with this comedian for sure.

We completely enjoyed his show (and we have a lot of humor in our lives…that’s how we cope with a lot of the stress and things we go through in life especially now) and my husband really looked up to this guy. He just had to meet him and shake his hand.

 

After the show, he was outside the Stardust selling his books and the Master Blaster (if you go to the show, you will learn what this is) and my husband ask for a picture with him. He was happy to do it!

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Sakari and her friends were having a “Pirate Parade” tonight around the ship. We managed to catch them along the way all chanting and marching around the ship. She loves the activities at the kids club…always something fun and exciting to do.

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The children had “partners” for every event they did and this was always her “partner”. We joked with her about holding this little boys hand and told her “Isn’t it time you brought him home to meet your parents if you are holding hands already?” She said "I have to hold his hand mom, he's my partner." I guess she didn't find it amusing.

 

We then decided to head to the Atrium to see what this White Night party was and everything was all decorated in white of course and people standing down below while the staff lined the upper half and the stairs. They were singing and dancing. They had Bernado, which was one of the chefs on the ship and he sang his little heart out! He really got the crowd pumped up and going and you could tell he loved what he was doing. They had another singer that was the Sanitation Manager on the ship and he was really good to.

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Everyone getting "Foot loose"!

We stayed for a while and then headed to our room to change for the White Hot party. We LOVE the white hot party and we couldn’t wait! They were having it in the Spinnaker Lounge. I know we had a complete blast on the Epic in the Bliss Ultra Lounge inside…the best white hot party I have ever been to. On the Pearl this year, they had it out on the pool deck and although we had a blast, it was different because you didn’t “glow” with the black lights because they were only located under the roof of where the band and white hot staff was at. So, I just knew this would be great and hopefully as great as the Epic was.

 

We changed and headed for the White Hot party….party on dude!

White Hot Party time.

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When we arrived the party was starting and people were dancing. The party had not “officially” started yet because the “White Hot Dancers” were not out there with their angel wings on.

Finally they arrived...

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Now…my next complaint…When the White Hot dancers came out, (this is not the complaint part), they took over the stage and did a choreographed routine. They were great and did an awesome job. Once that was over…most of them disappeared. There were a few that remained and got the crowd back up and dancing and they were only there for maybe 1 hour and then they were gone….gone….never to be seen again gone. Um…ok. I just want an experience like I had on the Epic. The dancers stayed with us all night. They kept the crowd pumped up and going strong. They went around and put the angel wings on the passengers and shared turns. They pulled us up on the stage to dance with them. They pulled people out of the crowd to dance. They knew how to party. They knew how to get everyone going. This, this was a little pathetic. What was going on? Where did they all go? I see a few staff members that were there for a little while dancing some line dances but it wasn’t the same. Now I know these people have multiple jobs on the ship and maybe some of them had to get to their “other” jobs…but geesh have some staff out there getting the crowd going….and stay the entire time. That’s what makes it fun!

 

The lights were pretty cool they had going in there:

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My husband, being the dork that he likes to be, wanted a picture with the lights on him for a "facebook" profile pic...do you know how hard it was to get the camera to fire IN THE DARK, WITHOUT THE FLASH, AT THE PERFECT MOMENT THAT THE LIGHTS HIT HIS FACE BECAUSE THEY WERE MOVING??? It wasn't happening the way he wanted. This was the best that I could do.

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We danced and had a great time. There was a lot of line dancing going on…and of course I only knew the normal dances from years gone by; the macarena, the Cha Cha slide, YMCA, electric slide, cupid shuffle and so on. Now there were all the new fads out like Gangham style, wobble, Dougie and a few others that I knew the music, but didn’t realize there was an actual dance to go along with it. LOL We both tried to watch, then other times we tried fit in. Sometimes it worked out well, other times I was stepping all over the hubby. (Maybe because I was doing the wrong thing, maybe because neither one of us decided we knew our right from our left that night) LOL But it was still fun.

 

I worked up a sweat and headed outside for some air…and I haven’t mentioned this yet, but our cruise director…PEDRO…is the absolutely BEST CRUISE DIRECTOR EVER! He was everywhere and so nice and talkative. I was running in to him everywhere we went and he always stopped at talked. He reminded me of Silas on the Epic (who we swore was cloned because you would see him going one direction on the ship and then 5 minutes later he was going that direction again…how did he make it back without us seeing? It was non-stop running). Pedro was no different. But, this night was different. We spent quite some time outside talking. I learned about the different ships he had been on, what he did and didn’t like. We talked about his work and family. He said he had become best friends with Silas via email and they talked daily even though he had never met him, but filled in for him before. He was such an outgoing guy and definitely in on every function the ship had going on.

 

Now, back to the White Hot party. Things seem to be dying down a little and not as many people were dancing. Here comes the next “You pissed us off a little” portion of the night. My husband went up to the D.J. (a lady this night…didn’t catch her name but boy was she rude and a snob!) and ask her to play some 50 cent music. She was ignoring him at first and then when she finally answered she was kind of talking to him in the rude manor where you talk to someone but yet you are not directly looking at them. Her reply was “well, I’ll play what I got and I don’t know if I have anything with that. I have to play what people will get up and dance to.” I mean it was said in a very nasty way. My husband said “well, I guarantee if you play it, people will get up and dance” and walked away. About 4 or 5 songs later…no one was dancing and I said “I think it’s time to leave” and on came 50 cent. Guess what???? Everyone got up and started dancing! The dance floor was crowded! So, since we had requested the song, we had to stay and dance. Hmmm, glad you were able to dust off that LP record once again and play it Ms Snob DJ. After that song was over, we decided to go ahead and leave. Of course on the way out my husband stops by the both and says “See, I told ya people would get up and dance if you played it”…she completely snobbed him and turned her head. REALLY? Wow. She was beyond rude. I have to say, this was the very first time I had encountered ANYONE on the NCL staff being rude. EVER!

 

On the way out the door, I stopped by the table that had the melting angel something or other ice scuptures. It was hard to tell what they were and there were only 2 of them.