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It's been over a month since we took our honeymoon buuuut I'm finally done going through all the fabulous pictures and souvenirs, and I've finally caught up with work SO I'm able to get this post DONE!
In short, we had such and amazing amazing amazing time on our cruise. We flew into Orlando to spend a few days with my brother and his girlfriend before the cruise. From there, we drove to Miami to board the ship.
This was Zach's first cruise experience, and I'd been itching for a cruise since it had been several years since my last one.
Once we departed from Miami, we sailed to Key West. We got to Key West on a Tuesday and the port had only been reopened after Hurricane Irma for two days. Because of this, we did encounter some locals who seemed... a little... bitter, maybe, about us being there.
Zach & I decided at the last minute to rent a scooter on the island (TOTALLY RECOMMEND) and we loved it so much. It made our day in Key West more comfortable and fun. We definitely wouldn't have been able to see as much as we did without the scooter - the island is too big to walk in the amount of time we had!
Because of the scooter, we were able to ride out to the Hemingway house & museum from the port. There is still so much damage and debris, as you can see in the pictures, that a lot of shops were still closed. Next, we rode down to the southernmost point (destroyed from the waves of Hurricane Irma) and had fun walking along the southernmost beach in the continental U.S. The buoy-shaped landmark was being rebuilt while we were there and it has since been repainted by the original artist. You can check that out here.
We ate lots of yummy food and drank lots of yummy beer in Key West. My two favorites were the Original Key Lime Pie Bakery and the Waterfront Brewery. We also went to Sloppy Joe's because of the hype (and because of Hemingway) but we weren't that impressed - it's like every other bar we've been to.
After sailing another day aboard the Carnival Victory, we docked in Puerta Maya, Cozumel, Quintana Roo, Mexico! The port area was lovely but very touristy. We didn't make any excursion plans for Cozumel so once we were done walking around the shops, we grabbed a margarita at Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville and asked where the best beaches were. Our server told us Paradise Beach was nice so we hailed a cab and headed there. It was about a 10 minute drive down a highway that felt more like a midwestern country road. MAN, Paradise Beach was beautiful! If you find yourself in Cozumel, it is a must! For $3 a person you get access to an amazing stretch of the coast with chairs and umbrellas, palapas, a really nice swimming pool, several food & drink carts, restaurants, and servers who will bring your order to you! They ask that you also spend $10 per person on food and drinks which is easy to do because the mojitos were FABULOUS!
Back on the ship, we had great food, met some very cool people, and saw some outstanding Vegas-style shows before heading back to Miami.
Since we didn't do much exploring of Miami before we embarked, we decided to take a bus tour of the city. I'm so glad we did this because it ended up being Zach's favorite part of the trip. We spent the day going all over the place and learning so much about the area. We drove down Ocean Drive, stopped in South Beach to see the Versace mansion, where a scene from Scarface was filmed, gazed at art deco architecture, and stopped at Cuba Tobacco Cigar Co. where they make Bello cigars. We met Pedro Bello and his son who continue the family business in Miami, Florida.
Then, we were treated to some Cuban coffee which, if you've not had it before, is now the only fuel my body accepts anymore (because why have I been drinking what we call coffee for so long and why did no one tell me Cubans do it best?). After this, we stopped at La Colada Gourmet for MORE Cuban coffee and an authentic Cuban sandwich. Check them out on Instagram here!
While in Little Havana, you can stop by the visitor's center for more information- they'll tell you all about the rosters in Cuban culture, too.
A walk by Domino Park was great for a Friday morning, as we were able to watch for a few moments as some locals gathered to play dominos together.
From there, we continued our bus journey over to the Wynwood Walls area. This is, hands down, one of the best places for art that I've been to. It was great to see a space where street art is recognized and not discounted as childish vandalism. You can read the story of this area at the link above, but in short, Tony Goldman rescued this run-down area and brought the art district (along with many hip, unique retailers) here to Miami, Florida.
It's kind of hard to explain but there are like eighteen blocks of warehouses and other buildings that are covered in art. Just image that - 18 BLOCKS! There are also doors and gardens and even a "real" gallery, as well as a restaurant, brewery, and much more in this area.
Hope you enjoyed reading about what we found fun on this trip! What are your favorite things to do/see in Miami, Key West, and Cozumel?