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I will be updating this page regularly until it is complete.  Thanks for your understanding!

Our Singles Sunday School class at Olive Baptist Church got together recently and went on a cruise to Progreso and Cozumel Mexico.  It was an awsome time!


Pictures from Progreso

Postcard of Pier Early morning approaching Dock Approaching Dock Tub Boats give a push
All ready to go Monument Macay museum Note Sure
Monument at the end of Paseo Montejo Linda Gary Cathedral of San Idelfonso
Doug Rachia Right side of Pier Left Side of Pier
El Castillo, the main pyramid at Chichen-Itza Rachia Right side of Pier Left Side of Pier
Heading back to the ship Wait, the ship wasn't in that last shot.....    



Progreso, Yucatán Mexico

The Yucatán is one of Mexico's most tranquil and safest states, with a climate resembles that of Florida or Cuba. Yucatecans are good, tranquil and hospitable people who have strong roots and traditions. They take pride in their city, known as "The White City", not only for the predominance of white limestone as a building material, but because of its streets, plazas and parks that are cleaned daily. Progreso, part of the Mexican state of Yucatan and located on the peninsula's northwest coast, is an up-and-coming port of call on Western Caribbean itineraries. The city's appeal is primarily due to its relative proximity to Mayan ruins -- such as the famed Chichen Itza, along with other less-discovered archeological sites that include Uxmal, X'cambo and Dzibilchltun. Also, there's easy access to beaches and the city of Merida.


The famous Mayan pyramids of Chichen-Itza are over 1500 years old and are located only 75 miles from Merida. The name Chichen-Itza is a Mayan word: CHI (mouth) CHEN (well) and ITZA (of the Itza tribe). Some believe people were occasionally thrown into the nearby cenote as sacrifices, and those who survived were believed to be seers.
The main attraction is the central pyramid, El Castillo del Serpiente Emplumado, which means "Castle of the Plumed Serpent". The plumed serpent is a popular deity in various Mesoamerican cultures.
As the most famous of the Mayan pyramids on the Yucatan peninsula, Chichen Itza has been studied extensively and is the most popular Mayan ruin in Mexico. Much has been written about it.  If you are up to the challenge, inside you will find a narrowly enclosed staircase that leads to a chac mool, an altar where offerings to the gods were placed. Climbing to the top of the pyramid is no longer allowed.


Just beyond El Castillo you will find a large ball court where Mayan men played a game called pok ta pok. Anthropologists believe that the object of the game was to hurl a ball through a ring that was mounted on a wall, seven meters above the ground.  There is a certain mystical energy about the ball court that begs to be experienced first-hand. One fact worth noting is the repetition of the number seven, which was sacred to the Mayans. There were seven players on a team, the rings were seven meters high and if you clap your hands or shout in the court, the sound will echo exactly seven times. There are carvings on the stone walls that depict the ball players (some of which are remarkably intact) and after the captain is beheaded, seven serpents grow out of his neck.

But the true mystery behind the ball court at Chichen-Itza is the Mayan prophecy that on Dec. 22, 2012, the great warrior serpent Kukulkán will rise from the ground beneath the playing field and end the world for good. Even if you're not one to believe in predictions, it's still exhilarating and eerie to stand in the middle of the court, close your eyes and imagine.


Mérida, Yucatán Mexico

Mérida, a city of about 1 million people, is a wonderful mixture of colonial city and cosmopolitan destination.  Because of its tranquility and cleanliness, Mérida has become a popular place for families from other Mexican states. Many people have moved here from Mexico City, where crime, pollution and overcrowding are ever growing problems. Crime is not tolerated in Mérida, and it has the distinction of the city with the lowest crime rate per capita in Mexico.
The Spaniard Francisco de Montejo founded Mérida on January 6, 1542. When the Spaniards arrived, Merida was a large Mayan city known as T'ho, situated on what is now the Main Plaza. It was conquered by the Spaniards, who dismantled all the pyramids and used the huge stones as the foundation for the Cathedral of San Idelfonso (1556-1599), the oldest cathedral on the American continent.  The Cathedral, situated on the east side of the Plaza, is only one of Mérida's many interesting sites. Directly across the Plaza is the Palacio Municipal (1735), Mérida's Town Hall.



For centuries, geography made it difficult for the Yucatecáns to communicate with the rest of Mexico. As a result, architectural and cultural influences from Europe, the Caribbean and New Orleans were as strong or stronger in the growth of the city. To this day, the people who live here consider themselves Yucatecáns first, Mexicans second. If you look carefully, you will see tshirts and bumper stickers proclaiming Orgulloso Yucateco, Yucatecán Pride.


Pictures from Cozumel

Postcard of Cozumel Cozumel from the Ship Cozumel from the ship Carnival Ship Holiday
The cruise ship Norwegian Pearl was docked beside us City Street
Kelly, Gary, Linda, Rachia, Bridget Big Smiles!


Race Fantastique

Group Photo Sue, ready to dive Tina, ready to dive Linda and Bridget
Kelly Kelly and Rachia    
Team 2 Team 1 The Winners! Team Photo  
  Bridget Linda Tina
Bridget Rachia and Sue Sue Kelly


3 Reef Snorkel


Group photo before Doug, Jamie, Erica, ? On the boat going back to the ship
Jamie Erica Gary Doug


Cozumel, Mexico

The first Maya settled in Cozumel 2,000 years ago. However, during the classic period 300-900 A.C.- a time when priests were at the top of the social hierarchy in the Maya world and life revolved around religious ceremonies – Cozumel became one of the most important sanctuaries in the Yucatan region. Cozumel derives its name from the Mayan words Cuzam (swallow) and Lumil (land of), which form the word Cuzamil (land of swallows). The Mayan word changed with time to the Spanish name of Cozumel. The Mayans believed the island to be a sacred shrine.
Religious pilgrimages were common to the island especially from women who were either pregnant or wanted to get pregnant. They pay homage to the goddess Ix Chel, the deity of the moon, pregnancy and childbirth. It was a tradition among the Maya People in general to make the trip at least ossnce in their lifetime to the shrine of this goddess By 1200 D.C, in Middle America there existed an important long distance trade in which Cozumel was a key link.
A year later Hernán Cortés visited the island. Cozumel was the first site touched by the army of Hernán Cortés in what is now Mexican territory, becoming the starting point for the conquest of Mexico. It was on this island that the long, drawn out domination of the Yucatán started and was carried out. Between the arrival of Cortés in 1519 and the year 1524 when the conquest culminated, there were no large-scale confrontations between the Indians and the Spaniards on the island.
The Mayan ruler of Cozumel accepted their domination peacefully. The conqueror proceeded to destroy many of the Mayan temples. By the time, Cortés left Cozumel, the ancient civilization lie in ruins. At the same time, an outbreak of smallpox killed thousands.
As the Spaniards became more familiar with the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, they realized they did not have to stop-over in Cozumel, excluding it as a port of call for Spanish ships. At the same time, as an immediate effect of the conquest, Mayan trade was nullified and the cult of the goddess Ix Chel suppressed.
The islanders, deprived of their principal economic activity, were forced to depend only on agriculture for their survival.
By the decree of the King of Spain of July 15 of 1583, Cozumel became directly dependent upon the Yucatan church. Between 1519 and 1570, the island's population dropped from 40,000 to 30. By 1700 it was finally uninhabited.
Although several pirates used Cozumel as a base of operations in the 17th century, including the notorious Henry Morgan and Jean Lafitte, the island was not resettled until 1848. England and Holland pirates came inside the land to capture Indians and Spaniards as slaves.
During the caste war, refugees fled to the island. The mestizos founded San Miguel on the west coast and the Mayans settled at El Cedral. From mid-19th century to the beginning of the 20th, Cozumel´s economy boomed and it become an important port.
The depression (1930´s) seriously affected the island economically, it bounced back during World War II putting Cozumel on the map. The U.S. built an air base for planes hunting U-boats in the mid-Atlantic and an airport was built.
Drawn by the clear waters, frogmen came to train and returned home with stories of magnificent underwater vistas. Jacques Cousteau's declarations in 1960 about the richness of the coral reef surrounding the island made underwater enthusiasts aware of Cozumel's existence.
By 1970, Cozumel's population quickly growth to 10,000 and today the island boasts a population of more than 75,000.



Carnival Ship Holiday

The Carnival Ship "Holiday" is the oldest ship in their fleet.

Future use.


Areas of Interest

Four Winds Dining Room

Each night we gathered together at 6:15 PM for dinner at the Four Winds Dining Room.  The dress was casual.  As anyone that's ever been on a cruise will tell you, the food was spectacular.  Every night the menu would have a selection of new items that were only available that evening along with the rest of the entrees that were always available.  The meal was served by enthusiastic and professional waiters which made the entire dining experience most memorable.  Our waiter (Martin) was particularly fun, we all looked forward to dinner each night.

Group Photo Sue, Rachia, Doug, Kelly Tina, Erica, Sue, Bridget Bridget...
Tina, Susan, Sue Erica, Sue Sue, Rachia, Doug Jamie, Rachia, Doug
Julie, Susan, Linda Gary, Jamie, Susan, Susan, Glenn Susan, Glenn, Gary
The waiter Martin and his side kick Ericas Birthday
Erica's Birthday celebration! She was surprised, thought we forgot
Fruit dishes Shrimp Cocktail Escargot
Lobster & Shrimp Pork Chops Shrimp Baked Alaska




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