Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Give Me Liberty or Give Me Valor- Belize

Give Me Liberty or Give Me Valor
Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Two starfish are better than one... And we saw several. This day was filled with lots of Caribbean sun and waters, an un-belize-able island getaway and yet another afternoon spent at the Lido pools! 

My morning started at 3AM as I was still sick from Costa Maya but the kids too were up very early at 6AM in anticipation of their day in Belize. We all got showered and ready for our beach excursion and then went to get breakfast to eat at our cabin window. I was so sick that I questioned not going with Chris and the kids but luckily I found Zofran in our cruise medication bag and took some of it to help with the nausea. I was definitely not feeling 100% but I was well enough to go out with them and I sure am glad I did. 

Our morning view from our stateroom! 
In the continuance of my nausea we were late to our excursion meeting location and arrived at 7:45AM instead of the ticket time of 7:30AM. We were all frantically making our way only to find out that we would be waiting in the Lincoln dining room for another 40 minutes before getting on our tender boat to Starfish Island. There was a LOT of disorganization in this whole tender process and being experienced cruises we realized this had a LOT to do with the lack of experience in the cruise director but in the end it all worked out. We boarded our tender ship at 8:45AM with our friends from Oklahoma, the Smith family, as the last passengers on the boat so we got excellent pictures and views of the ship and approaching island. Both of the kids surprisingly LOVED the tender ride, almost as much as I did! 

Waiting for our shore excursion to leave! 

The Caribbean Princess anchored off the Belize shore!

Tender boat selfie!

Our cabin was just to the right of the red flag and above the bridge!

The Carnival Valor!

We loved the tender boat ride! 

The Carnival Valor anchored in Belize!

The Caribbean Princess- BEEN THERE, DONE THAT (and LOVED it)! 

We got to Starfish island and it looked VERY familiar. It turns out that it was the same island we went to in 2013 when we sailed on the Conquest on our 2nd cruise. Back then it was called Banister Bay but Chris reminded me that at time they were dredging the eastern part of the island. Tip- This island was very remote and had everything anyone would want in a private island; perfect beach entry, lots of lounge chairs, hammocks, papaya coverings, changing areas and bathrooms, a nurses station, gift shop, a playground, small eating area (lunch was included), large covered bar area (with cushioned seats) and even a Starfish pond! It was PERFECT! This was a Carnival excursion called "Starfish Private Island Getaway with Lunch" and it was $59.95/adult and $49.95 for kids 5+, which meant Luke was FREE! This was an incredible value and I would HIGHLY recommend it!

The official entrance onto the island!

There were 2 excursions visiting this island in the morning!

A view of the island from the tender boat! 

The entrance to the island! 

This was the "bar" tent... LOTS of great drink menu options and were all about $8 or less! 

This seemed like living quarters but I could be wrong! 

Lots of picnic tables to eat and drink. 

The large playground area that was PERFECT for families with young children! 

They also offered Kayak and SUP rentals! 

The Starfish pond!

As soon as we got to the island we went and reserved plenty of chairs near shade (This was my only true complaint as there little, if any, shaded lounge chairs near the entry to the beach. There was plenty near the other end of the island but none near the sandy beach areas). Natalie immediately put on her snorkel gear and headed straight into the ocean. Luke on the other hand saw the playground and was DONE! I explored the island while Luke played on the playground and Natalie and Chris swam.

Natalie had all of her snorkel gear on and was ready to get in the water! 

Luke quickly found the playground!

We made our way to the Starfish pond where the kids spent nearly an hour playing with the starfish. The workers of this island catch these oceanic creatures every morning and place them in their pond and feed them and then release every evening. You could pick up the starfish for 10 seconds and then place it back in the water. It was AWESOME! Shortly after this the kids found the hammocks. I believe Natalie's exact words were "Ahh... this is the life". She spent the majority of our remaining time lounging in those. 

The kids LOVED this!

Luke was excited that HE could do this and with little help!

At one point Luke even picked up 2!

Shortly after the hammocks, Luke decided he wanted to go INTO the ocean. He has never really been our water baby like Natalie was so this was surprising. He got right in and actually liked it and asked Chris to take him further into water. This lasted almost 30 minutes before he got frustrated with the rocky areas of the beach and despite us telling him to wear his water-shoes, he would have NONE of it! I was VERY proud of him for even this much... we're making progress, slowly but surely! 

Once he figured out how to get in without falling, Luke loved the hammocks!

Natalie was a natural!

This was a MAJOR accomplishment and NO FITS! I was so happy and proud!

As the crowds from the various other snorkeling excursions started to arrive at Starfish Island we made our way to the food tent to get our Belizean lunch that was included. This consisted of jerk chicken, red beans and rice, potato salad and Belize koolaid. I learned from other people that if you did not have lunch included in your excursion it cost $10/ per person. The kids DESTROYED the chicken like it was crackers and even went back for seconds. I was still weak from the sickness and did not want to add to the nausea so I took more Zofran and drank a Sprite. 

After lunch we had less than an hour before we had to go back to our tender to take us to our ship so the kids played on the playground while Chris and I relaxed in a make shift gazebo! This excursion was AWESOME and all four of us loved it! 

Merry Christmas from Belize from the Davis Family!


We had the full 4 hours on the island despite the late arrival but had to make our way back to the ship so we all loaded up into the tender boat, Splash Wave, that took us back to the ship. Unfortunately we lost our back row seats so we had to go into the inside of the boat and missed all of the sites but that is OK because the kids were TIRED. In fact, they both fell asleep on the boat ride home! 

This was too cute!

We made our way back to the ship and dropped off our bags and etc. at the room before going to the Lido deck. I was still weak but felt like I could eat bread so I took some back to the room and ate it before trying to nap. The kids got out their iPads and played on them while Chris and I napped and it worked out perfectly. After a brief nap I was feeling much better and opted for some protein at Guy's Burgers. I felt much better with food in me and the rest of the afternoon was much better. 

The kids changed into their swimwear and we spent the rest of the afternoon at the Lido pool decks. The kids rode the water-slide several more times but they each really enjoyed the hot tubs on this afternoon. Chris and I enjoyed them as well and even watched from our deck chairs near by.

Natalie was so confident in her swimming skills by the end of the cruise she was jumping in from the side by herself! 

Plus, in true Natalie fashion, she made a good friend at the pool and they hung out together! I swear that girl can meet a new friend ANYWHERE! 

Luke was LOVING the hot tubs! 

This was the hot tubs looked like most of the cruise!

And this main pool was ALWAYS crowded with kids!
Again, we had 1185/3589 passengers that were <18 i="" old="" years="">

As the sun began to set we called the kids in from the pool and got ready for dinner as they had been in the pool nearly 3 hours. The kids wanted to go back to the Kids Club dinner and we took them to the Ol' Fashioned BBQ meeting place before heading out to the MDR for our own dinner. This worked out VERY nice as the kids ate what they wanted in a more casual environment while we enjoy a very nice and more formal dinner. Tip- This is available every night of the cruise, and to my understanding on EVERY ship (except embarkation night) from 6-6:45PM. Be sure to check the Camp Ocean FunTimes for more details! 

There is nothing like a Caribbean sunset from the middle of the ocean!

This was the meeting place for the Kids Club dinners! 

After dinner we made our way into the atrium where the Ugly Christmas Sweater contest was under way. I read about this activity ahead of time and literally purchased us all 4 of us an UGLY sweater/ t-shirt to participate in this event  but we just didn't make it. It is true what they say... All your worries and cares just SAIL AWAY while on a cruise. I TOTALLY forgot... Oh well! 

At the end of the contest Santa arrived and that was really neat and I wish we would have had the kids with us! While the 100's of people waited to take their picture with Santa, Chris and I took our traditional picture with the cruise director. We were able to talk to him for a bit and we always enjoy that! 

OMG Santa... I know him (or her in this case)!

Chris and I with the cruise director Lee! 

We then went out to the Lido deck to enjoy a nightly breeze before picking up our kids at Camp Ocean. We all grabbed some ice cream and the kids wanted to go to the room to watch a movie so we headed to the cabin. We turned on the cabin TV to find Guardians of the Galaxy playing but within 20 minutes they were both asleep... They had a LONG day! 

Once again, Luke LOVED getting nightly ice cream! 

This was the kids favorite towel animal of the cruise!

Within 10 minutes... they were OUT! 

This was a day full of perfect weather, gorgeous scenery and lots of family fun but this was just the beginning! The next day we would be porting in our Caribbean home-away-from-home, Cozumel! 

Keep Calm and CRUISE on! 

Stay tuned for our day at Chankanaab National Park in Cozumel! 

God is good... ALL the time! 

Click on a link to see our past cruising adventures:
Our Cruise Ship Experiences 2006-present

Carnival Legend- 2016

Caribbean Princess- 2016 

Carnival Triumph- 2015

Carnival Magic- 2015

Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas- 2015

Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas- 2014

Carnival Conquest- 2013

Carnival Conquest- 2006

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