Traveling is something that my family has had the luxury of doing my whole life. I have been to twenty-three states and three different countries. My family and I have done everything from snow skiing on the majestic mountains of Colorado to touring the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington D.C. The one trip, however, that stands high above the rest is a family vacation on a seven day Carnival cruise.
The summer before my senior year, our family sailed on the Carnival Conquest Cruise ship to the western Caribbean. While on board, I met many of the ship’s friendly staff who were from other countries. I learned a great deal about other cultures by interacting with them. I also befriended teenagers from all around the country. The ship had something for everyone to do and although being on board Carnival was endless fun, my favorite part was the ports of call.
Our ship docked in Montego Bay, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, and Cozumel, Mexico. We shopped at a craft market in Jamaica, where the crafts and jewelry were indicative of the Jamaican Culture. Many of the crafts were handmade from native woods. Jewelry was hand strung and the Jamaican women were fond of hair braiding. The Jamaicans’ “love of life” mind set was contagious. Even though some of them are struggling to get by in life, their positive attitude is inspiring.
Cayman boasts of the world’s greatest snorkeling, and I must say, it is very true! It is impossible to even begin to describe the clear blue Cayman waters. We spent a day snorkeling and sightseeing through the streets of Grand Cayman. The architecture was very colonial and most of the buildings were white. The streets were so clean and community pride was evident. Jamaica and Grand Cayman were both an experience due to the fact that they drive on the left side of the road. Crossing the street was a challenge.
The white sandy beaches of Cozumel are so beautiful. It is so much different than the beaches I visit near my home. Cozumel is filled with high end resorts and great shopping. Since I live near the Texas-Mexico border, I had a very different idea of Mexico. I now realize that just like the United States, Mexico boasts a wide variety of scenery and culture.
Cruising with Carnival has opened my eyes to what the world has to offer. Until lounging on the deck, I never had an accurate grasp of the vastness of the ocean. The Gulf of Mexico is a small body of water compared to other oceans, and to look out and see nothing but water is mind boggling. I never realized how much I enjoy experiencing other cultures. This trip has definitely advanced my passion for traveling. Seeing the world is at the top of my bucket list.
Dear Reader: This page may contain affiliate links which may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Our independent journalism is not influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative unless it is clearly marked as sponsored content. As travel products change, please be sure to reconfirm all details and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.