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All Things MOBILE – 9th September

Cruising from Mobile, Alabama to the wonderful Western Caribbean

Did you know that Mobile was home to the first Mardi Gras celebration in the New World, back in 1703. This was long before Mardi Gras was celebrated in New Orleans!   Mobile is a wonderful Alabama city filled with great history and amazing attractions, including several state-of-the-art museums that people from near and far come to visit.

Cooper Riverside Park & Bragg Mitchell Mansion

But as Alabama’s only saltwater port, it has also become a very embarkation port for cruises to the Western Caribbean.  And, thats where this weeks Cruise Deal is taking you to….

The Caribbean coast of Mexico is steeped in history.  The Mayan’s arrived in the region around 2,000BC, and the area was transformed into a thriving civilisation.  Although the Mayans civilisation fell after the arrival of the Spanish to the region, their legacy and impressive architecture remains.

On the 19th April you will fly to Mobile, Alabama and enjoy 2 nights in the city to explore the sights that Greg and Gary spoke about on today’s show.  Embarkation day brings you on board the Carnival Fantasy for a 7 night cruise to Central America.

Carnival Fantasy

After your ‘fun day’ at sea you arrive at Costa Maya, Mexico.  Located on a peninsula along Mexico’s Caribbean coast, about 100 miles south of Playa del Carmen, feels like a private island created from scratch expressly for cruisers.  The biggest attraction here is Chacchoben.  Located in a jungle setting roughly an hour or so from the port, it is an interesting and worthwhile outing.  Chacchoben (the Mayan word for “red corn”) dates to around 350 A.D., but was largely unexplored until 1999.  You can ascend the steep stairs of “El Gran Basamento,” the only structure available for climbing. What’s also special is that the site has not been fully excavated.  Alternatively you can visit the small fishing village of Mahahual – a quirky and eccentric fishing village with lots of character and an abundance of beach clubs

Costa Maya

Mahogany Bay is Carnival Cruises’ private resort on the island of Roatan in Honduras.  Here you can relax for the day and enjoy the facilities and the beach.  Shore excursions are available if you want to explore the local area also.

Just off the coast of your next stop, Belize City; is the Belize Barrier Reef – part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef system, second only is size to our very own Great Barrier Reef.  Watersports are exceptionally good here, with snorkelling and diver trips on offer.  Belize also made up part of the Mayan civilisation, so opportunities to visit the ruins of Lamanai, Xunantunich or Altun Ha will be offered.

The island of Cozumel lies just of the coast of the Yucatán peninsular in Mexico.  This is one of Mexico’s favourite playground, with beautiful beaches, turquoise waters and bars a plenty.  You may choose to enjoy a boat ride through Xcarat Park, swim with the Dolphins or simply sip Margheritas at one of the local watering holes.  The Mayan ruins of Tulum are also a popular choice.

Tulum, Mexico

If you only visit one example of Mayan architecture, then this is the one.  From the port of Progreso its just a couple of hours drive to the famous Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza.  Once one of the largest Mayan cities in the empire, and dates back to 750AD.  The city was one of the richest and most powerful regional capital controlling north and central Yucatán.  The central pyramid (known as Temple of Kukulcan) is one of the most recognized and widely visited pre-Columbian structures in present-day Mexico.  If you are ”Mayaned’ out by the time you reach Progreso, then the nearby town of Merida is picture-postcard and well worth exploring.

Chichen Itza, Mexico

You have another full day at sea to recover from all the sightseeing and fun of Central America before you arrive back in Mobile, and your flight home awaits.  Or does it?  Extensions are simple from Mobile, so why not add New Orleans to your holiday – located just an hour away!

So, flights from Australia, 2 nights in Mobile and an 8 night cruise onboard Carnival Fantasy – a 10 night fly, cruise and stay package.  And a stunning price to go with it – $3,499 per person!  Spoil yourself with an upgrade to Ocean View cabin for just an additional $99pp