Cruising the Caribbean: Teens & 20s writer recounts recent vacation

By Alley Morris
Times-News correspondent

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The beach at Mahogany Bay in Honduras was one of the stops on the seven-day Carnival Magic cruise. [Alley Morris / Times-News correspondent

The beautiful places in the Caribbean will take your breath away.
A seven-day cruise on the Carnival Magic allowed families to visit four ports in the western Caribbean. Carnival offers cruises leaving from several ports, with Port Canaveral, Fla., being a popular sailing point. Approximately 2,500 vacationers left Port Canaveral at 4 p.m. April 14.
Brenda Tice, of Selah, Wash. excitedly boarded the ship at 11 a.m.
“Our family cruises each year. This is our second cruise on the Carnival Magic. We enjoy the familiarity of the ship and can easily maneuver around the decks. Our favorite activities, while onboard, are the shows each evening and the casino. Dining on the Magic is always a fun experience. The waitstaff feel like old friends by the last day,” Tice said.
Day one and day six are “at sea” days. This allows families to enjoy the amenities onboard the ship. The Carnival Magic has two twisting water slides that leave children and adults squealing with excitement. In addition to the water slides, there is a water play area, two pools and six hot tubs for cruisers’ enjoyment.
Food is amazing on the ship and there is always something to eat. The 24-hour pizzeria and ice cream machines are favorites of the guests. Each night, the cruise offers dining in the two main restaurants, at the buffet, and by reservation, at the Prime Steakhouse. There is a Guy Fieri Burger and Pit BBQ dining locations on the ship, as well.
For entertainment after sunset, guests are presented shows in the theater, comedy clubs and pubs. Children can enjoy movies by the pool and for those who want late-night fun, children up to 11 years old have the Night Owl Club where child care is offered as an amenity. Video games, snacks and movies are all a part of the club. A casino is available for the adults while the children have a choice of top games in the arcade. There are clubs for children 12 to 14 years old and teenagers under 18. When it’s time for rest, the staterooms are comfortable and can accommodate small families in one room.
One of the historic ports that my family and I visited was Cozumel, Mexico. At this port of call, several families visited the Cacao Factory and learned how the Mayans came to make their own chocolate. They used many different ingredients to make their chocolate special.
The factory tour guide led the families to a statue of the Fertility Goddess, Ix Chel. Mayans believed that once a couple was married, they were to travel to visit the statue to start a family of their own. The statue is important to the Mayans and their culture, just like the Mayan calendar. Some people may remember that in 2012, people claimed the world was going to end. Well, that was because the Mayan calendar ended and there weren’t anymore original Mayans to carve a new calendar.
Our next stop was the port of Belize. This is a tender port, meaning that the cruise ship docked in the middle of the ocean and cruisers had to take boats to land. Many travelers stayed aboard at this stop due to the concerns of high occurrence of crime outside of the planned Carnival excursions.
Once we departed from Belize, we headed to Mahogany Bay, Roatan, Honduras. At this port, families had to opportunity to get off the ship and explore the shops and beach. At the beach, there were canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards to rent if you wanted to cruise down the river. On the beach, there were tubes you could use, a space to snorkel, and a place to just sit back and relax.
Our last stop on the cruise was Costa Maya, Mexico. At this beautiful port, there were many different shops to visit and interesting things to see. At the center of it all, there was an area with chairs for people to lay out on, a giant pool with a swim-up bar, and a volleyball net. There were even flamingos to see. There were so many exciting things to explore, but not enough time to see it all. With the last day of our cruise a sea day, families started to pack their things and say goodbye to their new friends.
On April 21, all of the guests started to depart from the Carnival Magic for the last time. We left with lots of new knowledge and new memories.

Alley Morris is an eighth-grade home-schooler and a Teens & 20s writer.

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