We left Bahia Principe yesterday morning and stopped in an adventure park called Xcaret on the way to Tulum. We were told that Xcaret would be a whole day thing but tourist as we are we thought we could just spend a few hours there. It was amazing.
They had a butterfly enclosure, an aviary for loads of birds, an enclosure for a jaguar and a puma that we didn’t see but we did hear them. There was a play area with climbing things for kids that Stephen and Henry went to but got told off because Henry was too young and Stephen too old to go on, lots of cafés and restaurants. Also swimming pools full of huge turtles, stingrays, sharks and dolphins. The turtles were over one meter long and wide and they were mesmerizing. They had a beach area, a swimming pool play area and they biggest attraction was the underground rivers. It is caves that goes mainly underground that you can swim in and the one we did was about 650m long. So, we put on some life vests and flippers and swam all around them, it was freezing and dark but pretty impressive!
We didn’t finish until 3pm because it was huge. I had told the landlord that we would be ready to pick the keys up in our new Airbnb place at 2pm, he didn’t believe we would make it and he was right. We got to our new apartment at 4.30 and we were exhausted. We walked over 20000 steps and swam for nearly an hour, great workout!
The new apartment is in Tulum and so far, I really like it. We went for a swim this morning in our pool and then took the car to the beach this afternoon. We didn’t actually make it to the beach because of all the fun shops and café’s we found along the way.
It was really busy so tomorrow we are planning on getting there early to get a good spot on the beach and then leave just after lunch.
Today we went to Akumal Monkey Sanctuary. They take care of animals there that have been pets and not wanted any more or they rescue them from places where they are being mistreated.
We saw deer’s, goats, different kinds of monkeys, different birds, snakes and lemurs. A guide, Edwin took us around and showed us the animals and told us all about them. Some of them had really sad stories behind them but some were born there. He took us into the lemurs and we feed them and they sat on our knees. Then he took us into two monkeys that we fed and they jumped all over us and sat on our heads. Henry thought it was hilarious!
I recommend coming here early, we were there at 9 and got a private tour because no one else was there yet.
We have been in Akumal for 3 days now and we love the place we are staying at. It is an apartment from Airbnb and it is located on one of the big resorts here called Bahia Palace. We have a penthouse apartment and it is huge. There is a pool that belongs to five building with apartments but so far, we have had the pool to ourselves. We can use the hotel facilities if we want to i.e. the restaurants, pools, spa etc. but we are quite happy over in our place.
After the monkey place, we went to the beach but we’ll go back tomorrow with some money so we can go snorkelling with the turtles. So, we went home to our pool and practiced snorkelling there instead. Henry is getting so good at it, it is so nice to watch him.
We also have a hot tub on the balcony that we filled with water tonight but it was cold water so hopefully it will warm up by tomorrow.
So far it has been very hot, 33-35 degrees every day but tonight it is pouring down with rain. There are big windows right by the sofa and the jungle just outside so we have just been sitting looking out at the rain and listening to the thunder.
The cruise was actually really good. I didn’t know what to expect but I’m pleasantly surprised.
I don’t know if we would just go on a cruise as the only holiday but it is great if you are perhaps a big family and like to see different things. You always have the dinners together in the evening and you have as many trips on the various locations as you wish.
We went to touch and play with the dolphins, swam with Stingrays, rode a horse up a mountain, swam with turtles and snorkelled around a shipwreck. There were so many things you could do but we obviously chose things Henry would enjoy.
The last two days on the boat we went to Barbados and swam with turtles and snorkelled around a shipwreck. We went out on a boat and they let us off with snorkels and masks at a spot that turtles normally congregate.It was in about 15m water depth and Henry jumped in with his life vest and snorkel and his face was pure joy when he put his head in and saw the turtles below.We had to pull him around as we were a little bit out to sea and there was a bit of a current but he thought it was brilliant.
Stephen was in Barbados 15 years ago with his friends and believes it is still the same!
The last day was a “out at sea” day, so we spent time at the swimming pools. Henry really loved going to the kids club so he was there a few hours in the afternoon and had a pirate party and then after dinner. I’m normally against kids clubs because I don’t think you should go on family holidays and then dump your kids in the club. But Henry really had a good time and asked to go every day. We didn’t let him go as much as he wanted to as we wanted to play with him as well.
Yesterday the cruise came back to Puerto Rico and we had a day and night there in a hotel. We spent the entire day in the swimming pool. Henry went down the slide about 50 times, up and round and down again. Then we flew to Miami this morning and tomorrow we fly off to Mexico to spend two weeks there.
Below are a mixture of pictures from the last couple of days.
Today we went to swim with some Stingrays at Stingray City. It was amazing. We booked the tour for 10.15 and the other tours so far haven’t been that busy. But this one was very busy! We were maybe 50 people all together.
We arrived in Antigua this morning and they took us on a bus ride for about 30 minutes and then they held a quick briefing. After that we went into speedboats for another 10 minutes out in the middle of the sea where they had a platform.
Everybody got into the water and then the stingrays came swimming up to us. These were all wild rays that just go there because they know they get fed. They are huge! It was a bit frightening to start with but as soon as you got use to them stroking around your legs it was fine.
Henry loved it, he is a real water baby.
We all got a turn holding the stingray in the water and for the people who wanted to they could also feed them. They are not scared at all and they just swim around you. I got one that cuddled me from the back, it just slid up against me and put its fins around my body. Henry got to stroke one and he also got a kiss from another (the fin, not the mouth)
We were in the water for about 1,5 hours and I would say that that was enough time to swim, snorkel and play with them.
We loved it and would definitely recommend it for others that come to Antigua!
St Maarten, Anguilla, St Kitts, Antigua, Martinique, Barbados
We are on a cruise through the Caribbean and love it so far.
The first day we went on-board and had a swim in one of the nine swimming pools. Henry loves the fact that there are nine! We had some ice creams and just looked around the ship. It is the first time we have ever been on one so we didn’t know what to expect. When we lived in Stavanger we saw them day in and day out.When we considered it we thought it was the best way to see as many islands as possible.
We flew into Puerto Rico the night before and had a relax in one of the hotels there. There was a taxi strike on when we landed so we had to wait for about 1 hour 40 minutes in a queue before a minibus took us to the hotel. There were so many people waiting and I talked to one lady who had been there for 2,5 hours! Not the start we were hoping for but it was nice when we got there.
So far, we have been to St Maarten, Anguilla and today we are in St Kitts. In St Maarten, we sailed to Anguilla on a small boat and went to see some dolphins. We got to touch and play with a male dolphin that was four years old. Henry loved it! He thought it was amazing. We learned different hand movements to get it to cuddle you, kiss you, dance with you and let you stroke it. Henry talked and talked about it all day and evening. After our little lesson, we had lunch and then we went to play on the beach. Only complaint was that you could not take your own camera into the water and had to buy the professional photos.They were lovely pictures and of course you wanted to buy them, but damm they were not cheap.
Today we are at St Kitts and I went on my own to do some horse-riding in the rain forest. It was really good. We were nine people in total and we all got a nice, well-kept horse. The horses all had cowboy style saddles and it was quite comfortable. They took us up a small mountain, we had a break and then down again. It was a 3 hour long ride and I will hurt tomorrow. Stephen and Henry came and met me afterwards and we went to the beach.
Henry went to a kids class this morning for an hour and Stephen had a relax (researched which beach to go to). Henry loved it, they made crowns and played and he wants to go back tonight. We are going to take him there after he has had his dinner and he can play while we eat ours.
Tomorrow we are going to Antigua and we are planning to swim and play with some Stingrays! This cruise has been great so far 🙂