Monday, March 7, 2016
We visited Cozumel (an island off of Mexico), Grand Cayman, and Montego Bay, Jamaica and every port was seriously incredible! We already knew the excursions we wanted to do in each port- so we wasted no time getting our tickets!
Little backstory: 11 years ago while we were on our honeymoon, our cruise director was talking (then) about all the exciting things to do in the ports we were going to (on that cruise)- but she ALSO mentioned like a million times so many awesome things about a place called Cozumel (a place we were NOT going on that trip) ... she spoke of it so much, I told John that I was making a mental note about Cozumel and that I hoped one day we could go there since it sounded so amazing! Well over the years we'd heard even more about Cozumel and felt even more compelled to go there some day.
We've heard that it is the number one place on the globe to swim with dolphins and the only place in the world that offers an "extreme dolphin adventure" and so much more... so when we were booking a cruise in the Caribbean- you KNOW that Cozumel was one of the first ports we'd choose!
We also chose Grand Cayman based on similar reasons: hearing about the Stingrays on the Sandbar- Yep, that had our name all over it! And Montego, Jamaica- well that was another easy choice! With that itinerary locked in- we knew we had nothing but fun adventures ahead!!
We always approach our vacations with a few simple "rules"... Wait? Rules for vacations? Aren't there no rules? Of course we have no real rules, more like our philosophy, but saying rules makes it sound official...
Pollard Rules for Vacations:
1. Have fun, like crazy fun!
2. Do something we've never done before. (be adventurous and try new activities, even if a little scary)
3. Do something exclusive to where we are. (activities not offered anyplace else)
4. Try new foods. (eat something exclusive to location, or just new)
5. See number 1 again
Having this philosophy or mindset has really helped us create so many unforgettable memories that would never have been possible if we just did normal everyday things on vacation- plus our vacations would all seem the same in distant memories. Instead each vacation is distinct, vivid, and extremely memorable!
Mindset for new adventures, check!
Do you want to see everything we did?
Since there is so much to share, I will do it like last time and post each day separately (it's easier to read in sections, and its easier to edit, add pics and videos, and keep things organized too).
What a super fun day!
I can see why Cozumel is world renown for offering the best Extreme Dolphin experience in the world. Unlike Cabo, the dolphins are in their natural habitat (the actual OCEAN) but are still in captivity. The facilities are really awesome. They had over 25 dolphins (including a brand new baby dolphin) that were all wanting to play! Our dolphin was Helen. The dolphins have so much ocean space, you really can't see the perimeter of the fences- it's huge! In order for people to get in, you must walk out on a long pier and climb down a ladder. It takes you to a "platform" to stand on for the initial encounter activities (kissing, doing tricks, etc)... then to do the rides, you are told to swim (one person at a time) out to the middle of the ocean (no markers) and turn around. The trainer then tells the dolphin to go get you. It is so deep, you can't see the bottom (even though its turquoise clear Caribbean sea) it's THAT deep! It just turns into shadows below you! Funny, even though you know it's supposed to be fenced so the dolphins can't get out (therefore you believe that sharks can't get in) you can't help but for a second think, while you are out there waiting- "I hope there are no sharks, eek..." then when your dolphin shows up in the shadows (they have that scary dorsal fin) you're thinking.. "you have a bottle-nose right?" haha!
Dolphin Push/Pull... YEP! TWO rides!!
The first ride is really fun! The dolphin swims up, sticks out a fin, rolls onto her back, you grab her fin, climb on her belly (belly-to-belly) and she rolls more and you grab her other fin. She takes off across the top of the water (while she is upside down- belly up) and your holding on and it is crazy awesome FUN! The second ride is even MORE incredible... This time, you hop on a boogie board, swim out to the 'hopefully-no-shark-zone' by yourself again. This time she comes up behind you, you have to keep your legs straight out and still (no kicking of course), she nuzzles her nose into the bottoms of your feet to tell you to 'get ready'.... then she pushes you on the fastest ride ever where you're practically catching air and screaming with laughter!!
Meet our new friend Sergio! He was hilarious and he introduced us to a million fun-flavored tequilas! We don't even drink, we don't even like tequila- BUT we bought 2 bottles to take home- because it tasted delicious and we had a good time! Did you know they make coffee, chocolate, and caramel flavored tequilas? We sure didn't! We've tried 1921 Crema De Tequila (which is a Bailey's flavored tequila recommended by Oprah) before in Mexico and it is delicious, but this guy had so many fun ones!!