Posted by Rainer Brockerhoff (away):
In an Internet Cafe in Playa de Carmen, near Cozumel, Mexico…

All’s well so far, although the ship itself (the Holiday Dream) is a little smaller than we’d been led to believe. The major problem so far is the high number of smokers aboard, and the fact that there are no non-smoking areas in the restaurants – even though the ship’s manual says otherwise. Also, the restaurants have defined open hours and you have to hit the 15-minute initial window to get any dinner at all; very cumbersome.

The trip itself was very tiring, we had a stopover in Manaus from 3 to 4 AM, and the plane, an Airbus A320, is plainly not designed for longer distances – the bathrooms simply couldn’t cope. We arrived in Havana around 10 AM local time, went directly to the ship, and after waiting for lunch to open we went straight to bed, to catch up on sleep.

Today’s excursion was to the Mayan ruins of Tulum, which were quite interesting. Expect some nice pictures when I get back, the color of the sea at the beach is astonishing, all shades of bright blue into greenish.

Tomorrow we’ll be at sea, then we’re bound to Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Isla Paraiso (which is Cuba, not Panama, as I wrote earlier), then back to Havana on Saturday.

More news when possible…