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A Week in the Caribbean Sea

- Christine

Just recently, my family and I had a family vacation — we went on a Carnival cruise and visited the most magnificent and beautiful places that you can imagine. Amongst these places were Cozumel, Costa Rica, and Panama.

Cozumel, Mexico is among the most visited places in the Caribbean when on a cruise. Even after visiting it several times, I still had a blast when I was there this summer. Although the beaches may be beautiful, I didn’t do much of that but did something rather adventurous instead. I visited an adventure park where I got the opportunity to zip line, which is something I had never experienced before. Although the thought of ziplining may be scary when climbing to the top platform, once you repel and are on your way down the screams are actually screams of thrill rather than of fear! I personally wanted to keep on going the rest of the day and would have done so had I been given the opportunity to do that.

Instead, right after the zipline, we were taken by the shore excursion staff to an exclusive beachside location where you have the option to go snorkeling with the group, get in the water, use the pool facilities or just sit back and relax. While in the water you can see your feet perfectly since the clear water is an aqua/turquoise color.

After the beach, a taxi took us back towards the port where all the shopping and dining is. Being that you are in Mexico, the place that everyone enjoys visiting is Sr.Frogs. Sr.Frogs is a restaurant where everyone gets the opportunity to order drinks and eat while having a great time dancing on the dance floor with everyone around you doing exactly the same.

The next stop on the eight day cruise was Costa Rica, where we chose to go white water rafting. Although we had done this before we picked a higher class of rapids and figured that it would be a different experience since Costa Rica was new to us. We also thought that since we’d be out in the middle of rain forests we might get the chance to see monkeys and other wildlife. I must admit that although it may have been more intense than we had anticipated it truly was a worthwhile experience that a family can enjoy together. The only thing I can give you a heads up about is, the water is FREEZING! Once finished the tour guide took us a few miles down the road to a place where we sat and relaxed while having a nice Costa Rican meal. The meal consisted of rice, beans, chicken, and fried plantains which are typical Hispanic/Latin foods.

The final but most breath-taking place was Panama City, where we went to see the Gatun Locks. The Gatun Locks is a set of locks in the Panama Canal which are used to transport cargo ships through the canal. Although there are options to visit another set of locks, these locks are the ones which are visited most by tourists. If you get there at the perfect moment you can see the gates open and the ships pass by, with the water level dropping as they do. Once this process is finished the gates close up again to fill the water which will be used for the following ship. Depending on the size of the ship and how many are before this transaction through the canal may take anywhere between 8 and 10 hours to get through.


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