The ship landed at the port of Honduras at 7:00am and I was able to watch the sun rise on the landscape of the country from the patio of my suite. We had breakfast on the terrace of the ship, reveling in the light that rose above the water.
Prior to arriving, Oceania cruise requested all activities be booked on the online reservation account, making it very easy to find my way to go kayaking and swimming. My favorite thing about this specific cruise trip was the allotment of time at each port- after arriving at 8:00am on land, everyone on the ship had an entire day and afternoon to explore. The ship wasn't set to depart until the evening and this provided a wonderful window of time not to feel rushed.
I rented a clear bottom kayak and went with the guide off the shore to look at the reefs. The water was a shimmering, beautiful blue green, the wind pressing against my skin, smelling like salt from the sea as I paddled against the water from my kayak.
The following day we arrived in Belize. Or, I should say, we docked with the anchor in the middle of the sea, a few miles out from land. The thing about Belize is that the water depths are so low close to shore that all cruise ships are required to dock at a certain distance to prevent hitting land. Once I was ready to leave the ship for Belize I waited in the very brief line to be taken on a boat to the shore. After arriving, I negotiated a tour with a guide, delighted by the colors of the water and the city. The city tour involved being driven around in a van from the early 90's and observing the juxtaposition of abandoned houses and mansions along the water. I rode in the front passenger seat of the van with the A/C blasting, and a window lever that was jammed. The guide was a dark skinned native Belizean and spoke in very proper English with a hint of accent. Belize was influenced by being colonized by the British and I could hear the slight enunciation of British tone with a creole twist.
Near the end of the day on the drive back to the ship I observed the landscape of a city building itself back up again: the fruit stands owned by families, the turquoise walls with palm trees, the flags from different countries: A Canadian flag, a Chinese flag and various others. It was a true melted blend of culture by the ocean, an island unto itself.