Friday, December 29

Tulum gallery

I'm still sorting through photos from our family cruise over Thanksgiving. I've just posted a gallery of images from our visit to the coastal Mayan ruins at Tulum in Mexico. Once we shook our tour guide we were able to walk around to explore the ruins and get some nice photos.

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Thursday, December 14

Visiting Haiti

Over Thanksgiving this year our family took a cruise that stopped in Labadee, Haiti. You can see the Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas above next to the cruise line's private beach. We heard crew calling it their private island, but that's not true. It's actually on a peninsula as the satellite images show. If you click on the image and zoom in you can clearly see the pools, putt-putt course and inline skating track on the ship. On the beaches you can make out the cabanas spread along the shore.

Labadee was certainly an exotic stop. They had a couple of nice beaches for swimming, though the north shore was a little treacherous because of higher waves, a rocky bottom and sea urchins literally everywhere.

There were a few old plantation ruins on the peninsula and an old church bell still stood on a scenic hilltop location.

There were a number of vendors selling local artwork, jewelry and wood bowls. We bought a little of each, hoping to put some cash into the Haitian economy. Unfortunately the vendors were extremely aggressive in their tactics and I imagine they scared a lot of people away. The strong-armed hawking grew weary rather quickly.

With Haiti's history of civil unrest it seems an unlikely stop for a cruise ship. There did seem to be ample security and a wall seemed to surround the perimeter of the property. It was an altogether pleasant stop and I'm glad Royal Caribbean is making this effort to help the Haitian economy.

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