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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Cozumel Mexico

Cozumel is a large island of Mexico located on its  east coast near the Yucatan Peninsula
Miles of empty beaches to be had for anyone with a car rental 
The best way to see this piece of paradise? suggestion is a rental and don't be scared to haggle price as the locals enjoy the challenge lol,   For example i picked up a Smart Car for $60.00 tx in with unlimited mileage ( the check oil light flashing at me for the entire drive was an added bonus  hahahahaha)
 So off  i went to the middle of the this sub continental  piece of  land ( which isn't far, as it is only 16km (9.9mi) wide and 48 kms (30mi) long, plus very flat and made up mostly of limestone) to find San Gervasio and the Mayan Ruins with its temples for the Moon Goddess of Ix (meaning female) Chel.(white faced),  she (Ixchel) was also associated with sex, childbirth, disease, beekeeping, planting, water, writing and weaving.    Now do not be disappointed once to the site as these monuments are not huge, but very interesting with

its history and scope of importance to the Mayan culture. As i leave the area i cant help but think how over the 2500 years of Mayan Civilization ( that includes present day Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador and of course the Southeastern part of Mexico) how much history i just walked through. Ok, i jump in the car and  head towards the shore and Cozumel's amazing beaches. Now a cool feature they have here is you can drive on a lane of pavement  (like a golf course
track)  instead of the highway as you motor down gawking at natures best, plus if you like to stop at some of the local surf shops and  maybe have a cold one tehee.  As i return my car in the small town of San Miguel  ( population 70,000+) do walk around and look beyond the usual tourist stores to soak in the heritage of the locals and go up some of the side streets to see some great buildings and views of the Caribbean Sea.  In closing, well worth the visit if you ever get to this part of the world and take in the importance of the Mayan Era and of course the natural beauty of the island.
Stopped in for a local beer .....Bohemia

Cruising 101

Leaving Miami as the sun goes down

One of the best ways to get a "feel" of many countries is to board a ship and go cruising. Now depending on your comfort level here there is a few ways to save big dollars if you decide to hit the sea. A)  First up is to book your trip last minute or keep an eye open on the Internet for deals as the cruising industry want to get you aboard, as this is where they make their money from their captive!.  B)  Next  is to arrive the day of embarking, as most agents suggest a day or two before and that means Friday/Saturday which is higher airfare and of course factor in hotel rooms. I just recently flew on a Sunday (saved $1,000.00 on 2 tickets) and i called the cruise line to say i had a 2 hour window, which they were very accommodating if i was running late......and lets face it their industry is working hard to get some positive PR

C)Also your allowed to bring a case of water or soda aboard for your personal use which comes in handy when you visit your ports of call. D) Speaking of  (again comfort level)  i usually wait to i get on shore to book any adventures as you pay more on the ship for the convenience of having all arranged for you. E) Also make sure you eat before you leave for the day, as its what you paid for on the ship and not on your land excursions. F) Plus remember everything is charged to your room, so i usually put so much cash down on account to avoid any surprises by using a credit card and as we know how that can add up quickly if not managed. For your convenience there are kiosks around the ship to check your balance and status which isn't  a bad idea to do every few days. Finally a note, a 15% gratuity is added to your bar tab and for your Cabin Stewart, Dinner Waiters etc $80.00 is charged to your room account per guest on the third day of your trip for their weekly tip (but personally i give them more as these folks are the real stars of the ship) a heads up on that. G) Be careful of internet plans on the ship, why not wait to get to shore and go to a cafe, buy a coffee and then use the free WiFi. H) Speciality Restaurants onboard can cost big dollars so be aware. I) Exercise Facilities are free but perhaps Spin Class or Yoga is not.....ask!  Now some personal observations about cruising, a lot of the glamor is gone in my humble opinion because of the buffets with its no dress code, how the industry pushes the sale of alcohol drinks, photos, their duty free stores, casino/bingo's etc. But i look beyond that and take advantage of the free nightly formal dinners, Vegas type entertainment, the exciting ports of call and of course the fantastic view from your ship as you cruise the waters of our amazing planet.
Leaving  port as another day is gone