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After a Seven Day Cruise I am Back.

November 13, 2007

<p>I have been away from a computer for eleven days and I feel refreshed. My wife and I took a 7 day Western Caribbean cruise on Carnival Cruise Lines that took us to Cozumel, Belize, Rotan Honduras, and Freeport Bahamas. The next day was to be Costa Maya but was switched to Rotan because of a hurricane. We also were to go to Nassau, but because of the earlier hurricane they had to switch to Freeport.</p>

<p>Cozumel, was fun in the sun on the beach and shell diving. The waters were a beautiful blue, and the sand was a pure white. The thing my wife and in-laws liked was the fact that we had our drinks brought out into the ocean too us. I noticed when we left Port Canaveral that the waters were greenish, and that when we got about 15 to 20 miles out they were blue. And remained that way until we returned to Canaveral. </p>

<p>On the second day we went to Belize, where I became aware that I was no longer in the United States. The area that they recommended you not venture out of was a gated community that was set up primarily for tourist. This area was guarded by police and military. Although the others in the group decided to remain inside the gates, I wondered outside, but not to far. I had to see what it was like, and figured I may never get to see this again. I saw police on every corner, and military everywhere. I did find the people nice, especially the taxi drivers wanting to take me on a tour of the countryside. I decided that a short foot tour was enough for me, besides I had to meet the wife at a set time.</p>

<p>The next stop was Rotan Honduras, and an eye opening experience. From the time we got off the ship we were watched by the police and military. Honduras is a very poor country and it shows in how the people live. The poor live down by the shore and the wealthy live up in the hills. The children helped their parents out when the ship comes in, selling souvenirs right out of their single room shacks.</p>

<p>When we walked through the gates we were met by a heard of taxi/tour Guides, one in particular would not give up on us, walking the length of the strip, wanting to give us the tour of the city. As he walked with us he pointed out to me that the men and women wearing blue uniforms were city hall workers. The ones in the tan uniforms were police, and the ones in camouflage were military. He told me that if a cop stopped a car so you could cross the street, you had better tip him, or depending on the cop you could find yourself in trouble.</p>

<p>After a day at sea we docked in Freeport. Most of the day was spent buying last minute souvenirs, and enjoying the last day of the cruise just walking around the Straw Mall. I watched the local school kids playing Football, (Soccer) while my wife and the others shopped in the straw mall.</p>

<p>Upon arriving back at Port Canaveral I noticed that of all the countries I have been to, the U.S.A. is the dirtiest. Even though Rotan was in a poor country it was not as dirty as most cities in this country. The city of Belize was very clean, and you could tell that the people were very proud of their country, and city. Although I did find two broken bottles while shell diving in Cozumel, the beach and port were immaculate, and the same can be said for Freeport. It sort-of made me sad that the supposed greatest country on the face of the earth is also the dirtiest.</p>

<p>When we were getting off the ship all went very smooth. The one major difference from my cruise to the Bermuda three years ago is now you don’t go through customs anymore you go through Homeland Security. It is pretty much the same; you have to declare the things you bought after 1600 dollars. Only now you must have a passport, and depending on when you got the passport, they either slide it through the magnetic strip reader, or if it has the chip in it, they scan it. In Bermuda you only needed a photo ID, and a birth certificate to get back in the country. So it was a great trip, and I hope I can do it again in two years for my 50th birthday. With that said, I hope we can get this country back on course and back into the hands of the people.</p>

ABA

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