Monday, February 27, 2012

Jamaica, Cayman Islands, & Mexico

Hello! I haven't done a post in forever. My life has been so busy and hectic that all my free time was spent on myself. Lots of reflection and thinking, especially with photography. I am making an effort to focus all my attention towards photography and bettering myself. 
I had the past week off from school because of Mardi Gras, because of that I was able to take a cruise to three different countries. When we first arrived at the port I was very apprehensive. I'll be honest, I didn't want to get on. I have never been on a cruise, as a result I was very nervous and had a lot of anxiety. But once I was on and had my stuff settled I was fine. We left New Orleans on Sunday and spent the following two days at sea towards Jamaica. 

Waking up in Jamaica was really weird. We spent 48 hours at sea and that was the only thing you could see outside the windows. At night it was pitch black with no lights anywhere. It was relaxing and nice, but also very scary and almost lonely. There was no internet or cellphone service once the ship left dock so I had no connection to the world whatsoever. Being disconnected and put in the middle of the ocean with no other people around for miles was something I have never experienced.
We woke up at Jamaica and had to go through customs before we were allowed to enter the country. Once in we spent the day at the beach. We had Jamaicans play a variety of pop music on steel drums. Including p!nk, Katy Perry, Adele, Beyonce', and Rihanna. All the people there were so nice and friendly. 
We were only allowed so much time off the boat before it left for the next port. When we went back to the ship some of the military of Jamaica sang for us and escorted us out the port which was very nice to see. All the people we were encountered with were extremely friendly and helpful. It was a pleasure to be able to visit the country and I would definitely want to visit again.

The second stop we made was in the Cayman Islands. The water was crystal clear and bright blue. The pictures were not enhanced at all, the water was that color. We got off the ship and got onto another boat which took us out to the reefs. We snorkeled for an hour and found some really nice shells. After that we got to swim with stingrays on a sandbar. They were 'wild' and we got to hold them and feed them squids. It was very fun. Also a huge change from the "two finger" petting at the aquarium! 
The food was very good and the people were very friendly and nice and showed us many different things with the island.

The whole boat ride through the marina I was blown away by the architecture. The homes there were beautiful.

The last stop we made was in Mexico. I've never been in Mexico but I had the stereotype of it. I have to say, it is a lot different than you picture. But, at the same time a lot of the things I pictured were there. We had a tour of the Mayan Ruins which was amazing and very stunning to see in person. Along with the whole '2012' gist. But the walk from the cruise to the bus there were tourist shops. 
There were a lot of citizens standing on the sidewalks trying to sell you stuff. At first glance it was very sad and humbling to see these people beg from money and try to sell things, but once you walked by it became just plain annoying. They shoved the items they were trying to sell in your face and yelled prices in your face. When you said "no thank you" they became more persistent and would lower the price and follow you. It was scary having all these people in your face that wouldn't leave you alone. Aside from that the ruins were very beautiful.

It was a very enjoyable week and I got to shoot a lot, as you can tell. I didn't intend to have a post with so many pictures but I figured what the heck! When I got home everything was still moving. When you are on the ship you can feel it move because of the waves, and since my body was accustomed to that movement for seven days, I still felt like everything was moving. Which made me sick the first day. But it went away by the end of the second day. That was the only issue I had. 
For those who have never been on a cruise I would highly suggest taking one, even if it's the only one you will ever take. It's a great way to travel while staying safe. Also a nice way to get away for a week! 

xx austin

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