Assessing Cruise Ships and Cruise Lines -

 

I've always been a large fan of cruise ships as a means of angling travel. Though I actually do much more fly-in and lodge-based trips for pleasure or story assignments, I enjoy the notion of throwing my bags in a cabin, venturing out for the high seas, and letting other well-trained folks do the job for me. Being an aside, I actually do know that lots of of my colleagues are anti-cruise ship, go-it-alone, wilderness junkies- however not me! There are lots of wonderful islands like Bonaire and Roatan which can be visited by cruise ships, where in fact the props of the ship's engines or the thousand or more people unleashed on the port-of-call have simply no impact on the fishing habitat. That is even true for Key West harbor, where inspite of the huge number of ships docking there, the world's best large permit fishing is mere miles west of the Harbor! You can find ports-of-call like Belize where in fact the ships lay offshore on anchor and tenders transfer all the passengers. This arrangement minimizes the impact of the ships on the habitat even more.

 

There's a large caveat concerning meaningful and enriching activities onboard many cruise lines during a trip to sea while en approach to a flats fishing destination. Most traveling anglers certainly are a fairly sophisticated group who will discover the inevitable bingo, gold-by-the-inch sales, poolside hairy chest and dating game competitions, ridiculous. Our ship - the Carnival Valor - reached an all-time activity low-point when (without asking) red, white, and blue cruise passenger teams were created alongside daily competitive games เกมยิงปลา drummed up through the loud speaker.

 

For enough time being, it's likely that the days at sea on a lot of the more modestly priced cruise lines are best spent avoiding these mindless activities. Things change for the better on the mid-priced cruise lines like Holland America. On a southern Caribbean itinerary that individuals enjoyed couple of years ago, the ship offered hands-on cooking classes, art lectures on the Dutch masters, in addition to music ensemble performances tastefully tucked away from any hubbub. Predicated on other cruises we've taken, it's safe you may anticipate that the greatest priced cruise lines have much more tasteful activities and venues.

 

Caribbean Flats in the Wake of a Tropical Storm -

 

Our itinerary on the Valor was ideal for shallow water anglers: Grand Cayman, Roatan, Belize, and Cozumel. All of these ports of call have fishable and viable flats. Although we chose July as a cruising weather month which was statistically more storm-free than August or September, the odds did not play within our favor. Just a week ahead of the cruise, an effective tropical storm began a westward track throughout the Caribbean Sea towards and into the Yucatan peninsula area, our intended fishing grounds. On the particular boarding day of the cruise, the ship's captain decided to stick to the itinerary, but it absolutely was clear to me that our path would take us into the freshly churned wake of the storm.

 

Although our first evening and the following day at sea gave us a tiny bit of breathing room, our actual turn from the western tip of Cuba into the Yucatan channel took us into the turbulence of the storm's back end. Of course, the Valor is a huge and able ship, so safety was never an issue. Even as we headed southeast towards Grand Cayman, the squally effects of the storm were over by enough time we sat right down to dinner while sunlight set on our first trip to sea.

According to the weather channels on our cabin's television, the aforementioned storm was forecast becoming a hurricane after it crossed the Yucatan and fed on the warm Gulf waters. My concern about the current weather since it affected the upcoming flats fishing was not what the storm would bring, but alternatively what it had left behind.

 

Book Early- Book Wisely -

 

If the planning maxim, " the fishing trip begins the night time before", is valid for tomorrow's angling, then surely arrangements for the traveling fisherman begins months before. What this means in actual practice is that I attempt to book fishing guides at every port of call at least six months ahead of the ship's arrival date. It's also crucial for cruise ship-based anglers to coordinate agreement involving the ship's arrival and departure times versus the island time the guide is using: there can be considered a one-hour difference in the western Caribbean.

 

For my trip on the Valor, I could succeed in booking fishing dates in Belize and Roatan, but the smaller number of flats guides in Grand Cayman and Cozumel islands in addition to their availability, our circumstances, and prices of guided trips made self-guided flats fishing and other forms of angling more of an eventuality. Because I'd visited "GC" many times before, I knew where you can go and since I'd lived in Cozumel for per year, a potpourri of already-known self-guided options awaited me there.