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Give me Liberty annnd an $18 DX Package? I'll Take it! Liberty of the Seas Feb 16-23 Western Caribbean

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So back to yesterday. Following the trivia, we let the kids hit the pools before dinner. The kids really like the splash away bay and would stay there the entire day. 
 

Earlier, Lydia did the cupcake class. She said she had a lot of fun doing that. Here are some pictures of that. We originally did not sign up for this, but got cornered while at breakfast the other day. Lydia promptly exclaimed she wanted to do that as soon as the crew member asked about it. How can you say no after that. We did get it for 30% off at least.

 

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Dinner time. For fun we got all matchy matchy. Here are some pictures of the fam. FD5BF5AC-008B-4097-BDC6-765E8141F962.thumb.jpeg.5e924df425e52b73fc725af80164efe3.jpeg
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This time I remembered to take some food pictures. 
 

Appetizers consisted of, escargot, Roasted Poblano Soup, and the Arugula and Radicchio Salad with Goat Cheese. 
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For entree’s we had the braised beef short ribs, creamy wild mushroom risotto, and the lasagna. I’m still trying to figure out why Heather ordered the lasagna. I’m Italian, and MDR lasagna doesn’t stand a chance against my homemade lasagna. As expected, she didn’t like it. Oh well.

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For dessert, there was some cheesecake, chocolate cake, and a warm apple fritter that Lydia had.

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Following dinner, there were some more beverages and adult time while the kids went to adventure ocean. 
Later that evening was the 80’s music trivia face party which we held on the promenade and was a blast. The cruise director Cory was all decked out in 80’s wear complete with big hair and the promenade was rocking. I pity the people who have those rooms. It’s got to be loud in them when all these parties happen.

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(Getting caught up finally) Wednesday morning we woke up approaching Roatan. For the day today, we had a tour booked with Bodden Tours. We booked their "Best of Roatan" private tour. We had our own driver for the day, and we were able to customize the day how we wanted. The tour base cost is 2 Guests - $40 per person, 3 Guests - $30 per person, 4 or more Guests -- $25 per person, Children UNDER age 5 are No Charge. This cost gets you the driver for the day, and "you are the boss" and can choose what to do for the day. There are many popular upgrades and activites that you can choose to do that you specify when you are booking. Everything is done via a web form then email. Their communication is great, and they promptly respond to your emails to them. We chose to go to Victor's Monkey business and sloth sanctuary, a $5 charge. We also added horseback riding along the beach $45, and then a beach visit. We were originally scheduled for Sol Y Mar for $10 but they recently doubled the cost of their day visit, so we chose west bay beach, still $10. The horse back riding is through http://www.barriodorcasranch.com/ and you make arrangements with the directly and CC victor bodden tours and everything gets set up.

After room service breakfast we headed off the ship. The port area is full of companies trying to get people to choose them for excursions, and is a bit hectic. It was a really crazy day since we were joined by the Norwegian Getaway. We were also joined by a Carnival Ship That I didn't see until we were sailing away later that evening.

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After getting off the ship, and heading through the excursion gauntlet, we awaited our driver among the organized chaos. 

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All of these cars are awaiting their passengers for excursions. Shortly after we met our driver William. He was very friendly and quite informative as we headed off. Our first stop on our tour was an elevated area that overlooks the port. It was great for photo ops. Johnny wasn't in the mood for pictures yet.

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Driving along the beach is allowed in Roatan, and this was while driving on the beach. This is a mangrove tree.

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As we drove along, it was apparent that the cruise port is in the poorer section of the Island. William mentioned that the island has segregated itself by class too. All of the wealthier people live in nice houses along the western side of the island, while the poorer people live in the East. Prices are higher because everything has to be shipped in. He says that the majority of the locals depend on the cruise ships for their income. He told us about his daughter who is in school. All students go to school in either the public or private schools. They all wear the same uniforms and go in shifts. He said his daughter usually goes tot he private school, but will switch to public school depending on money during the low season for the cruise ships. The same is similar for their health care. If you have insurance, you can go tot he private hospital and receive pretty good care. If not, you can go to the government funded hospital, where you will get care based on what they have on hand at the time. He mentioned that many times, the families of the patients will have to go to the pharmacies to purchase the medications that the patients need because the hospital does not have them. 

He believes things will improve for the Island as well because there are now multiple flights coming directly from the States and Canada on major airlines now, so he hopes the tourism dollars increase. If anyone is thinking of buying property there, there is plenty for sale. Ocean front lots run about $1,000,000

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After our drive around the island, we headed to "Victors Monkey Business" which is their own animal sanctuary, complete with other activities including ziplines etc. We were quickly ushered in and waited our turn for as Julie said was "the best day of her life"

The first part of their sanctuary we got to interact with some Capuchin Monkeys. These guys were quite friendly if you had treats for them. They had no problem landing on our shoulders and heads. Julie tried, but he wasn't interested in a selfie.

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We saw a few other monkeys, there were some howler monkeys, and spider monkeys, but they weren't interested in photo opportunities. We passed a Toucan who was more than willing to pose, 

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before heading into a pen to see some Macaws. 

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We got this guy to land on my head......

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Now the question needs to be asked.......

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Yes......yes the colorful chickens have very large talons.....

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Next we headed to the moment we have all been waiting for, which seemed like a lifetime.

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If you thought it couldn't get any cuter. Here is a 26 day old baby sloth sleeping with his mother.

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Did I mention that we got to hold them too? This guy was 11 months old.

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Julie may or may not still be crying.....

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Afterwards, Julie had to ask the sloth if he approved of her shirt (which is a sleepy sloth riding on a Llama). We believe he said yes, but it was taking him so long to nod that we had to get back to the ship before he could finish.

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Sadly, our time with the sloths ended, and we headed through the rest of the park. We met some more friendly animals.

We saw some iguanas, 

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An Amazon Parrot 

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and some white tailed deer. These guys are much smaller that the deer we see in the states. These guys are full grown. They are also a protected species on Roatan.

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Following our visit to the park, we headed to our next stop which was horse back riding along the beach. This was something Heather has wanted to do for a long time. Bucket List Item ✔️

I don't have as many pictures from this because it isn't exactly easy to take pictures from the back of a moving horse.

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After our trip along the beach on the horses, the benefit of having our own dedicated guide became quite apparent. Our plan was to go to the beach for a bit. William informed us that all the other guides had a group chat going. It was at this time that we learned of the third ship (Carnival) was in port as well, and that all of the beaches were very crowded and that finding a place to sit and get chairs etc would be very hard at this point. We headed there to check some out. He showed us one that wasn't as crowded, but there was no place to change, use the bathroom etc so that one was quickly crossed off the list. We went to another spot that had amenities, but would cost $10/pp. This place really didn't have any beach, so there was a quick veto from the kids. After a brief discussion among the group, we decided that our fun buckets were overflowing, so we would head back to an empty ship and enjoy that.

We were quickly whisked away by William and headed back to the port. Overall we had an amazing time there. We highly recommend Bodden Tours if you are ever in Roatan. 

Back at the port we grabbed a quick snack of some amazing tacos for $3,IMG_0316.thumb.JPG.9a55cf8b1516abf6434f2a7cf1272314.JPG

Next to the taco stand was a place touting the benefits of fish therapy. Yup that's and actual thing. People pay money....

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to let fish eat the dead skin off their feet....

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This couple that let me take their picture said it felt kind of wHeird.....

These are the supposed benefits of this.

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I'll pass.....

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Back on the ship, we went to check out the water slides. Lydia and I tried out the perfect storm slides. She was too light to do the other one. I’m wondering if there is an issue with all the water pumps back there. The flowrider has been out of commission all week. With the slides, they were not fast at all. I actually had to push myself out the bottom of them. They were almost painful when you went over each joint in to tube. Oh well, ✔️ those off the list of completed activities. One trip each in each color of the slides then we spent the rest of the afternoon soaking in the hot tubs and drinking rum punches. 
 

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OMG, I am not usually a big fan of animals in captivity, but my son would give his right arm to hold a sloth someday. I'll have to keep that place in mind if we ever get there.

Also, the fish therapy thing does feel weird, but it does make your feet super soft...

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11 hours ago, Ampurp85 said:

 I hate monkeys though....they knew what they did. 

What did the monkeys do?

1 hour ago, Scatmanjack said:

Did LotS ever get Coke Freestyle machines?  Been rumored as 'coming soon' for 5+ years... 🙂

Coming soon😂

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Wednesday evening was Caribbean night, so we all got dudded up in our finest Caribbean wear and headed to dinner. (Sorry about the rotated pictures. For what ever reason, when on the mobile site, if you choose a smaller size, the pictures rotate. We are going through some rough weather right now, and Voom seems spotty and slow) 

The menu:

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Appetizers included escargot, burrata, and the crab cakes.

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Entreé choices included the ahi spiced tuna, and  the roasted beef strip loin.

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We all chose the Grand Marnier Soufflé. (Favorite dessert of the week so far)

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There was a little bit of wandering around after dinner. Johnny and I ended up seeing the parade of room attendants on the promenade. They all were carrying towel animals. One was given to him, which made his day.

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later, we headed to Studio B to catch the ice show Encore, An Ice Spectacular. This was a “review” of musing through the years, from Broadway Musicals to modern pop and rock. I though it was interesting, it started off with Phantom of The Opera, which they must not have a full license for, because they changed the lyrics for the show. 
 

The skating and the choreography was very good. There were plenty of spins, triples, flips, lifts etc. I did feel bad, one skater was having an off night, and just could not land his jumps. The show still was very enjoyable.

Love and Marriage came later. Always entertaining. 

The evening was topped though by accidentally twinning with the cruise director, Cory.

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@emsff02 Its kind of sad. As a child we went on a field trip with monkeys, I was about 8. My best friend, Adam, was playing with this monkey who kept touching his butt, laughing and sticking his finger in my bff ear. Adam caught a bacterial infection and couldn't fight it and passed away. I was 8 so I was devastated and blamed monkey's for their filthiness. Every time I see a monkey stealing peoples goods or digging in its butt it brings up horrible feelings. I just think they are the worst animals and can die in a fire...I said what I said. ...Also I don't know why Hawaiian shirts get such a bad rep👍

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Thursday morning found us anchored waasaaaayyyyyy out in Belize. This is to protect the fragile reef system. Here is a photo to give you an idea how far out you anchor.

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it’s a good 10-15 minute tender ride. The small cruise liner off the bow of Liberty was the Cosat Luminosa. Today on the agenda was the Jungle Trek and cave tubing at Jaguar Paw. One off the tender we were loaded onto busses and away we went. The ride to the site was a good 90 minutes. Our guide was great and kept us entertained and educated throughout the trip. A couple fun facts. Belize only recently became an independent country. Though independent, they are still part of the British Comonwealth. Queen Elizabeth is on their money. Because of ther history under British rule, English is their official language and all of their signage is in English, and school is taught in English. 
 

We traveled through sparsely populated areas to get to the site, but there was still easy to see the difference between the haves and have nots. Our guide told us that there is no welfare problems, so the people of Belize have a work hard for what you got mentality. 
 

We eventually made it to the location of the tour. We were split into smaller groups of 8, provided tubes, life jackets and helmets with lights. We then proceeded on our jungle trek. For this, the walk was quite easy. It’s a wide, mostly flat gravel path. For this excursion, shoes that you are willing to get wet are required. They do rent water shoes at the site if you forgot to bring some. The walk takes about 20 minutes, the guides point things out on the way about the different flora in the area. We didn’t not see any wildlife. During the bus ride we were advised of all the things in the jungle that could kill you from snakes to jaguars with all the usual jokes about running faster that then slowest person, or protecting the guide since they knew how to get you back to the ship. 
 

Once we reached the mouth of the cave, the rafts were lashed together and away we went. We were told that the water temperature is “shockingly refreshing” with plenty of shrinkage jokes thrown in. Being from Upstate NY, we found the water temperature just shy of warm. I am happy to report there was no shrinkage. 
 

The cave system is large and very open. Claustrophobic people should have no problems with this excursion. Inside there are plenty of formations, and there are talks of the history of the Mayans use and beliefs surrounding the caves. After about 30 minutes in the caves you emerge right where you started your trek. After returning your gear you are treated to lunch, which was very good! There is chicken, rice and bean and slaw.

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I had the best beer from Belize while there. (Full disclosure, it’s the only beer brewed in Belize so....)
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The nice thing is the prices at the site for beverages and snacks etc were reasonable. The beer was $6 a bottle. A couple cans of Pringle’s for the kids were $5.

soon after lunch, we boarded our busses back to the port. This ride was much quieter. As our guide said, after a fiesta, everyone wants a siesta. That siesta was quite welcome. Soon enough we rode our tenders back to the ship.

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Once back on board, we got changed and ready for dinner. We went up to the suite lounge for some pre-dinner snacks.

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Tonight’s menu.

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Appetizers consisted of the Goat cheese and Tomato Tart, and the coconut shrimp.

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Entreés were the braised lamb shank and the pappardelle Caronara.

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nothing exciting for dessert.

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Evening activities included some cocktails and then we went and saw Saturday Night Fever. The show was excellent. The singing and dancing was very good. They have a pair of Latin dancers on board that are AMAZING. The male dancer can do some amazing things with his partner. There have been so many death defying flips and tosses that leave you amazed. Dancing is not my preferred form of entertainment, but even I can appreciate skills, and the hard work that goes into achieving that level that they have!

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Thursday morning we found ourselves docked next to Harmony of the Seas. This is my first time seeing an Oasis class ship up close, and they are MASSIVE. I'll be on Oasis next year so I will soon get to experience them first hand. While everyone was getting ready for the day, I did a coffee run and snagged a few pictures. Here you see the famed "gated community" that is a favorite of many user here.

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@Lovetocruise2002 will recognize these shots..

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I tried to get an Aricelli sighting, but alas, she was off doing what genies do!

Once on the dock, that canyon feel between the two ships is really neat.

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We met up with our fellow excursioners, and were whisked away to Chakanaab for our dolphin experience. We had a great time with the dolphins. We got plenty of interaction time. There were kisses, and cuddles and petting the dolphins. We got to do the dorsal tail pull, and the experience where the dolphins push your feet and you end up standing up. Lydia being light and a cheerleader did really well with this, and was completely out of the water! Unfortunately we don't have pictures from that. They don't allow your own cameras because they want you to buy their package. For us, as a group of 5 would have been $275 for the pictures, no thanks. Following the dolphin encounter, we got a brief encounter with a manatee as well.  Lunch and drinks were included in this excursion as well, which was pretty tasty.

After lunch, we did some snorkeling and beaching etc. It was a very fun day over all. 

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These were the dolphins that we met, 

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This is an overview of the area the dolphins are in. They all remain in the middle area which is quite large. There are smaller pens on either side where they do some of the interactions. If you are doing the dorsal tow etc, your experience will be in the large middle area. Helpful hints, wear water shoes if you have them. The platforms you stand on are metal grates, and if you are barefoot, they aren't that comfortable. 

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With our day done there, we headed back to the port. We browsed the shops, tasted some tequila, bought some t-shirts and souvenirs. No matter what side you fall on the political spectrum, this shirt is funny...

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Soon enough it was time to say goodbye to Cozumel.

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