Island Hopping with Joy: Unforgettable Adventures in the Caribbean

With the contractors poised to pulverize our beloved kitchen, Jim and I knew it was time for an escape. We craved calm turquoise waters and sun-kissed shores, far from the dust and din of a major renovation. And so, we set sail on Norwegian Cruise Line’s Joy, a floating haven promising rest, relaxation, and the ultimate Caribbean adventure. The moment we stepped onboard, the stress of the impending demolition melted away, replaced by the gentle sway of the ocean and the promise of unforgettable island experiences.

Hello Joy

As is our standard practice, we arrived in Miami the day before the cruise, checked into a hotel for the night, and found a place for a nice dinner.

The next day, we loaded the car and headed for the port to board the Norwegian Joy. We had been awarded an upgrade to a “club” level balcony room 11232, boy was it a beauty!

Roatan, Honduras

Our first stop was Roatan, Honduras. It was not our first trip to Roatan but we found an excursion to places that we had not visited before. After a bus ride filled with sobering sights of everyday island life and steep and winding roads, we arrived at Gumbalimba Park. It’s an animal sanctuary spread over a large area with most animals roaming free, a gift shop, and a cafe. The birds were beautiful and the monkeys were everywhere! The monkeys were a little aggressive. They would drop unexpectedly from a tree and steal your water bottle or pick your pockets in search of food. Having a monkey drop on your head is a little unnerving but totally harmless.

Harvest Caye, Belize

The next day we stopped in Belize. The hubster went fishing, which is not my thing, so I just got off the ship and explored the small, commercialized, port area. The shopping area is very clean and secure. It appeared to have some sort of boundary (perhaps a fence) that was hidden well in the vegetation to keep access limited. There was a gate with guards at the entrance. The world was still dealing with covid so masks were required.

Costa Maya, Mexico

Costa Maya is another port we visited on previous cruises. There is a nice little port area filled with shops, actors doing native dances, restaurants, and even a swimming pool. We walked around the area (again, it was secured from the locals and not a true representation of the surrounding area). The shopkeepers here were a little aggressive and willing to negotiate. We don’t haggle over prices often; it always makes me wonder why they don’t just price the item for what they will take in the first place. We did not fall prey to any of the sensational offers shouted as we walked by. We watched the show, checked out a few shops, and headed back to the ship.

Cozumel, Mexico

Our next stop was another frequent cruise port destination, Cozumel, Mexico. Unlike the last two ports, the ship docks right in the middle of the actual town. No beautiful manufactured port area here. The shopping is plentiful, and the food is always delicious. On this trip, we decided to explore a few new places including the Mayan Cacao Company, a tequilla tasting, and a bee sanctuary. We even saw a shaman perform an ancient ritual of some sort (I love that kind of stuff)!

Add Your Heading Text Here

After another relaxing sea day, it was time to head back to Miami. The trip across the Gulf of Mexico was uneventful and we woke up to towering skyscrapers along with the sunrise. We had breakfast, grabbed our suitcases, and headed to the car to begin our journey home…hopefully to a brand-new kitchen!

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *