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Cruise #5 : 2/14/03 - 2/24/03
 

 

We truly must have loved our 2002 cruise, given that we decided to repeat it in 2003.  Almost down to the same week of the year.  Same cruise line, same ship, same itinerary.

We are starting to get into a rut.  This was our second trip to Princess Cays and Costa Maya, and our third trip to Grand Cayman and Cozumel.  There just isn't anything like white sand beaches, warm water, lots of sun, and a few drinks.

Hollywood Beach Resort
Grand Princess This was also the first time we repeated a cruise line.  In a word, we LOVE Princess.  We foresee ourselves cruising with Princess for quite a while.  The ship offers 6 restaurants, 4 pools, countless hot tubs, a full-fledged arcade, 2 theaters, virtual golf, 9 hole miniature golf, and 14 lounges.

Ok, I didn't think last year's entertainment could be surpassed, but I was wrong.  This cruise had the "Most Laughs Ever."  Each night we had some kind of comedian.  Either stand up, magician, or ventriloquist comedian.

Costa Maya
Departure Cozumel
Grand Cayman And yes, if you were wondering, we say it every year, BEST CRUISE YET!

Cruise number 6 is scheduled for this October.

Cruise number 7 is June, 2004.

  Watch the fishies.

 

Hollywood Beach Resort

 

February 14, 15, and 23, 2003
Click for 5 megapixel image Looks awful doesn't it ;-)  Tough living.  Can you believe people actually live here.
Click for 5 megapixel image Hollywood Beach Resort from the beach.

We stayed here before and after the cruise.

Click for 5 megapixel image Nick's is a fine drinking establishment.  Besides potent drinks and good music, they also server their world famous jumbo shrimp.
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Click for 5 megapixel image The boardwalk.  This boardwalk goes for miles.  Most of it is lined with condos and hotels.  

However, for the half mile or so along the Hollywood Beach Resort you find many shops, restaurants, fine drinking establishments, and some of the oddest people on the planet.

Click for 5 megapixel image O'Malley's

Rich's and my favorite drinking establishment.

Click for 5 megapixel image Captain Bob.  This guy was playing at O'Malley's back in September when we were here for the Dolphin-Jets game.  To our delight, he was here again.  He plays classic rock such as Eric Clapton, Jimmy Buffett, Lynyrd Skynyrd, etc.
Click for 5 megapixel image Unfortunately the day the cruise ended - a very sad day - the weather was not quite up to South Florida standards.  

So the wives and kids took a taxi to Walgreen's to buy Monopoly.  They played for hours.  Mild mannered Lisa won both games.  Something is very wrong with that ;-)

Click for 5 megapixel image Here Ryan is focused on defeating his Mom.

 

 
 

Departure

Sunday February 16, 2003
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Click for 5 megapixel image HEY!!!  Hey buddy!  

Where you going?  

Don't forget to pilot our ship out.

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We were among the first 30 people on the ship!  We rushed right to the pool, started having fun.  

The day seemed to fly by, muster drill went off without a hitch.  Then the sun started going down, and it seemed to be time to set sail.  And yet we did not budge.  We watched every other ship leave port, and we just sat there.  

The captain finally came over the PA system and announced that we were waiting for passengers whose flight from New York was delayed by snow.  We waited two hours for two people!  How cool is that?!  

We love Princess! 

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Grand Princess

 

February 16 - 23, 2003
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Click for 5 megapixel image Gee, who are these people?

Lisa, Jeff, and Karen.

Lisa is standing on a higher step than Jeff, trying to maintain her illusion of Big Bad Mama.

Grand Princess has 3 galleys.  We were happy to tour the galley that serves the 2 dining rooms. Lots of gleaming stainless steel, even the ceiling.  Make you wonder if they ever have food fights.
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Grand Princess tour below. The photo above shows the liquor bottles all locked up!  Stay away, Karen!  
Click for 5 megapixel image Stained glass decorates the 3rd floor Grand Princess atrium ceiling.  

We noticed this on our last day, of our second cruise on this ship!  Makes us wonder what else we have missed.

Click for 5 megapixel image Promenade bar.  One of our favorites.  Piano or stringed instruments are playing in the background making this lounge a relaxing environment.

Plus, they serve espresso.  Gotta have our lattes!

Yep, that is a glass elevator.

Going up?

Or is it down?

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Painted Dessert Southwestern Restaurant

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Pools

Click for 5 megapixel image Neptune pool sculpture.
Click for 5 megapixel image Lotus pool located by the spa on deck 15 forward.

Adults only, except from noon to 3.  Nice.

Lap machine is tucked between the two hot tubs.  A little loud, but made a heck of a current to swim against.

Click for 5 megapixel image Pretty.
Click for 5 megapixel image Calypso pool on deck 14 midship.  This pool has a retractable roof (see next picture).

Other cruises, they close the pools at night.  Not here.  You can swim late if you wanted.  Nice.

Click for 5 megapixel image Here is the roof.  

Reminded us of "The Safe" (Safeco Field, where the Mariners play).

Click for 5 megapixel image Our favorite pool.  Located deck 12 aft, this is always adults only.  No screaming, no splashing.  
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Click for 5 megapixel image A very long hall way.  See if you can find your cabin.

 


Cozumel

 

Friday February 21, 2003
Welcome to Cozumel.

That is a very important pier.  It is probably the most important walk way on the island.

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It leads directly to Carlos and Charlie's.

 

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Cozumel 2001

Costa Maya

 

Thursday February 20, 2003

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When we opened our window, we looked right over at this ship, so close we thought we could reach out and touch it.

This photo was taken from our mini-suite balcony.  About 30 feet next to us was parked the Royal Caribbean Monarch of the Sea.  

We could have thrown some food over to them.

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Royal Caribbean's Monarch of the Seas in the foreground.  Grand Princess in the background.

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Welcome to Costa Maya, a mall carved into the jungle for our enjoyment.

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The Benders!  Such a CLOSE KNIT family.  See Jeff, way off the left?  And Lisa is in the center, doing her best to worm her way under that lady's umbrella (it was raining).  Ryan and Rich seem to like each other off to the right side of the photo.

 

Who ARE those four strangers in the middle of the photo?!  

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What would it take for you to hold a small little cigarette in your mouth while a Mexican swings a string with a rock at each end attempting to smack the cigarette?  

 

I'd cover my privates, too.

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On your mark.

Get set.

GO!!

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He danced around and stomped and banged his rocks by himself for awhile.  It sounds silly, but it was pretty cool.

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We told the Mexican authorities to watch out for the Benders.  We warned them that the webbed feet Yankees would be trouble.  

Here you see Jeff attacking this harmless innocent carefree nice little bull.

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The jungle.  

It looms up behind the shopping center like a wild... um... jungle.  

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Dance anyone?

Quick Time Movie of Mexican Dancers.Quick Time Movie of Mexican Dancers.

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Touching scene; son and dad.

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Lou and Jeff on the pier.  

Now, Jeff is TWELVE!  And he is just as tall as Lou.  That's scary.

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Monarch of the Seas bails.  No, not water.  Cozumel.

 

Costa Maya 2002


Grand Cayman

 

Wednesday February 19, 2003
Click for 5 megapixel image Celebrity welcomes Grand Princess to Grand Cayman.
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snorkeling

 

Grand Cayman Sunken Ship
Click for 1536 by 1024 image The fish came right up to us!
Click for 1536 by 1024 image It sure helped that the guys on the boat were throwing fish food into the water.
Click for 1536 by 1024 image These fish weren't colorful, but they were BIG.
Click for 1536 by 1024 image Here is a metal chunk of the sunken ship we were snorkeling over.  The ship was blown up years ago so it wouldn't be a hazard to boat traffic, so now the pieces are strewn about.
Click for 1536 by 1024 image The striped guys were my favorite.
Click for 1536 by 1024 image Almost dead center in this photo is a chunk of orange fish food.  We accidentally swam right over to where the food was, and had to back away because it was as crowded as a mall at Christmastime.
Click for 1536 by 1024 image Another cool chunk of ship, with striped fish.
 

Coral Reef in Grand Cayman

Click for 1536 by 1024 image This coral reef looks like mold on a slice of bread.
Click for 1536 by 1024 image More mold.  With fish.
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Click for 1536 by 1024 image There is a strange aqua colored fish just right of center in this picture.
 

Cozumel Palancar Reef

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Click for 1536 by 1024 image Look for the turtle, a little above and to the right of dead center.
Click for 1536 by 1024 image See the turtle?  Escaping!

The diver had captured him and held him up for all the tourists to see.  I was happy when he set the little guy free.

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Click for 1536 by 1024 image Dead center of this photo looks like another boring blob of coral.  But it's actually a huge school of fish that were just sitting there.  
 

 

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