As we powered along the Mexican coast in a catamaran, the spray from the water a welcome relief in the heat, a small island began to emerge in the distance. Remote, uninhabited, and lined with row upon row of lush green palm trees.
As we got closer we spotted the hammocks in the water, the line of sun loungers on the beach and the whitest sand I’ve ever seen.
It was one of those moments when you quietly think to yourself: I’ll remember this forever.
We’d arrived in paradise, officially known as Passion Island, a 45-minute journey by catamaran from the Mexican port of Cozumel. It was the final stop on our Western Caribbean cruise with Carnival Cruises for Cruise International Magazine.
The island was beautiful, small enough to explore in a couple of hours and extremely well maintained.
It was the perfect tropical island hideaway on which to escape it all for a while. It’s long stretch of beach never felt overcrowded. I could genuinely see myself living out my days there, never returning to the UK, surviving on a diet of fresh coconut and sea air.
There would be plenty of IJ to do too. With a supervised children’s play area, trampolines and basketball nets, I was confident she’d adapt quickly to island life, should we decide to make it our forever home.
I could have spent our time drinking at the small bar in the centre of the beach or shopping in the handful of boutiques dotted across the island. Instead I chose to do nothing except relax and soak up the sunshine.
IJ, who will tell you she can’t exist without the internet, played happily for hours without a computer screen in sight.
If you’re travelling with children, the fact that they can play under the watchful eye of the staff, while you relax a little, is perfect.
There was a slide, craft activities as well as old-fashioned games.
We did enjoy the sea although there was rather a lot of seaweed, which put IJ off initially, but once you get into deeper water it quickly disappears.
And then there were the hammocks, which once you’ve managed to manoeuvre yourself into, you could relax and enjoy the sea air, which many of the visitors did, glass of ice cold beer in hand.
There were inflatables on the water too from which you could dive into the sea, if you were brave enough, which neither of us were.
Instead we relaxed and enjoyed the setting, not quite believing we were really there, until it was time to leave.
Our guide, Alejandro, had somehow managed to remember the names of every single person who travelled with him on his catamaran. That meant when it was time to leave he called each one of us by name.
So reluctantly we were escorted safely off the island and back to our ship.
Had his memory not been quite so incredible, we’d perhaps still be there.