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In late February, 2005 we flew to Houston, Texas. Mark met us, and we all spent a couple days in Galveston before boarding the Grand Princess cruise ship for a week.

From Galveston, we drove to the NASA Space Center for a day touring both the Visitor Center and the actual Johnson Space Center. Before boarding the cruise ship on Saturday afternoon, we visted a museum in a moored offshore oil drilling rig--good preparation for seeing the dozens of drilling rigs that would line our passage through the "fairway" in the Gulf of Mexico.

We managed to visit four interesting ports in seven days: Belize City, in Belize; Majahual, a port built specifically for cruise ships, in southern Mexico, just north of the Belize border; Grand Cayman Island--still recovering from the severe damage inflicted on it by Hurricane Ivan, in September, 2004; and our last port, Cozumel Island.

In Belize we took a "jungle buggy" ride and visited a recently-discovered Mayan cave.

From Majahual, we drove into the interior to tour the ruins of two Mayan cities--Dzibanche and Kohunlich. Earlier in time (200 BC) than the better-known Mayan cities in northern Yucatan, these were probably the highlight of the cruise.

We took a more general tour on Grand Cayman Island, first visiting "Hell," then a turtle farm where the endangered Green Sea Turtle is being raised for release into the Caribbean, and we finished with a look at underwater sea life from a semi-submersible ship.

On Cozumel Island, we had a great van tour to the remote eastern side of the island--with its spectacular waves, and finished up with snorkeling in the calm western waters.

A "picture album" of the cruise is just a click away at Western Caribbean Cruise March 2005.

And, if you REALLY want to know all about a western Caribbean cruise, just click on trip log!