We knew that during the entire cruise it had been calling for sunshine in Costa Maya and we were looking forward to a nice sunny port day finally. I just hated that Carnival only stays here until 2pm. I have never really understood why Carnival does this. I mean they are no different than NCL and have the same distance to "drive back" to the port so what gives??? It's such a waste. I love this port.
Arriving at 7am meant we would be getting up early if we wanted to make the most of the day here. However, we really didn't have anything planned. We (Kendra and I) looked for something interesting to do here and I attempted to find a new place to visit, but wasn't getting the response I was looking for. Someone had mentioned a fairly new place called Shipwreck'd and I was going to check them out. My only concern was the water (looked like most of the other beach clubs with murky brown water and lots of seaweed) and that I had read their snorkeling was a little ways out. I emailed them with no answer. I finally messaged them on the social media site. I finally received a generic answer, which really didn't answer my questions. After messaging them back and telling them who I was and about my reviews (and the possibility of bringing more cruisers there for business with a review because I haven't seen anyone here yet or a review) they messaged me back with...............another generic response. Well, I like someone that answers my questions with a personal response. Let me know that you read it! Let me know you want my business! Show your potential customers you care! I didn't get that.
So...back to Blue Kay we would go. Blue Kay was pretty much unknown to the cruisers when we first went there and although it is located on the Malecon, it is so different than the other little beach clubs around there. It feels more secluded, it's a huge beach, the snorkeling is actually pretty good and in fairly shallow water, the water isn't murky brown even though there is sea grass in the area here and there. The service was friendly and the food was good. We just really enjoyed our day there last time that I knew I wanted to return again.
We had arrived and it was beautiful out! This would be the first picture I took as we arrived at the beach.
Things had changed a little. I definitely didn't remember these weird looking chairs. Who could sit in them? They are so low to the ground, compared to the table, that you wouldn't be able to reach if you were trying to eat. They would probably make good sunning chairs though. But after going back to look at my old photos, I guess they were there and I didn't notice them.
Along the malecon, there were little cabana's for people to rent (2014):
Now they have like a huge "hotel/apartment" type of building there. He said they had just completed it this year. I definitely like the way they looked before.
Now to take a look around the place...
The restaurant/bar area is still the same and they still had the swings up at the bar. The bathroom area..still the same. And once again...no toilet paper in the toilet. Last time we were there, they had lockers to put your things in and lock up. Now, it has been replaced with a cooler for drinks. I'm not sure if they moved the lockers to some other place or not.
They used to have a little hut to rent bicycles but now it was just a place to sell things at instead.
The grounds are still gorgeous of course.
I don't recall seeing huge tables and chairs last time. This is nice. Nothing better than eating lunch under a palm tree on the beach while listening to the ocean.
Some of the palm trees looked as if they had seen better days.
I do feel like the last storm took a toll on things here and there...like the palm trees and some of the palapas.
Now maybe it was just me this time...but I swear there were a lot more palm trees everywhere. I remember it being pretty full and lush on the grounds in front of the beach. If you look at the picture above, it doesn't seem too full right?
I don't know. Maybe it's just me. I just swear I remember a lot more trees and a lot more shade the last time. It just appeared more "open" especially in front of the new building/hotel area looking toward the ocean.
There was a long palapa type of building built and it had some long tables under it. There was a huge family sitting under there and they had music with speakers playing and a lot of food. Think family reunion type of setting. I didn't want to disturb their area or for it to appear as if I was taking pictures of them so I just snapped as I walked by toward the end of it.
At the far end of the beach, you would probably be about 99% away from the crowd, but I didn't see any chairs down this way except for one that looked like it actually belonged to someone. Maybe people that are staying there? There appears to be a lot more shade here as well.
Now, does anyone remember my story about the boat of Cubans that washed up on the shore of Blue Kay right before we had came there in 2014? Well if you don't it was a boat that was built out of various materials, including car parts and it reeked of gasoline. They had built the boat from scratch and escaped Cuba. They were out in the ocean for 9 days and 2 days of that they were just drifting around without food or water. Blue Kay is where they drifted too. The boss gave them food and water (and actually employed 2 of them) after they arrived and were hiding out.
Here's the boat when it arrived at BK:
This is what they decided to do with the boat after cleaning it up. It's now part of the landscaping.
Ok, let's talk about this area along the beach. When we arrived I felt as though something had changed a bit. I didn't remember it being quite like this. We stayed toward the end of the beach and under some palm trees and there were a few "landscaped areas" in front of us but yet we could still see the beach and Sakari playing in the water.
This was our view previously....
Now, this would be our view:
This is the area, tucked behind the trees and a rope looking at it from the beach:
And the ropes...
When I ask about this area, the ropes, the "different" chairs along the front of the beach, I was told that they had "sold out" or "rented" that area to the beach club next door. GASP! So that now meant that if you are at Blue Kay and in this particular area, you get second row seating and not actually on the beach. I thought that was real crappy. However, no worries, you can always move down more and get beach front property if you need it.
Who knows, buy renting or selling off that beach front property, that might have gave them the money they needed to build their new hotel area. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.
So...let's start with the review of our day there.
When we arrived, we immediately went to the chairs shown in the picture with the rope in front of it. There was a chair for everyone there and it was in the shade and we just came to that place first...so that's where we decided to sit. It was in the area that we had sat in the first time and we had no idea what the rope meant or the chairs in front of it aligned along the beach where. But they guys wanted shade, so it was the perfect place.
Of course we put our things down and the kids headed out to the water. The guys headed up to the bar for some drinks and us girls just sat there relaxing. It wasn't long before a guy, with very poor English, showed up and said $7 pp. So I started attempting to talk to him about their pricing. I explained who I was and being on cc and that there is a lot of confusion about their pricing these days. I told him that when I came here last, it was free and you just had to purchase food & drink. Then people started reporting it was $5 with a free drink. Then I told him how others would report it was $6 and some would come back and say nothing was charged. This is very confusing to people and the inconsistency is a turn off. He was having a bit of difficulty determining what to charge from what I could tell. He said "well, sometimes we charge $6 and sometimes we charge $7". Um ok, so how are people supposed to know the charges? You can't just charge some one amount and others another amount. He said he was going to go get his manager.
A guy came back, named Robert, that was very nice. I explained the situation to him like I had to the other guy. We talked for awhile and he told us it would be no problem to stay there and not to worry about it. I ask if he was the owner and he said no that he actually owned another beach club down the malecon, but it was being remodeled and moved at the moment so he was working here (I believe as a manager or something). He was from Germany and seemed to be an asset to Blue Kay because he spoke different languages, with one of them being English and he could translate to the staff. I did ask him about his beach club and took a picture of his shirt and told him I would look him up the next time we were in Costa Maya and if they were open, we'd check them out (and I wasn't lying...I will).
I did look them up online when I got home and it looks like a very nice place.
Before long, the "owner" (I guess but not 100% sure) came over (it was a lady) and introduced herself. I guess the original guy (server?) went and got her. Once again, I had to explain myself, who I was, where I was from and the confusion on the boards. Yes, I threw in the reviews that I do and that I was one of the originals that came here right after they changed their name from Blue Bay to Blue Kay before anyone knew of this place. I did tell her that I have brought plenty of people here from the boards thanks to my reviews and I was here to check out any changes and get answers for those on the boards and of course do another extensive review.
So, the information that I gathered was cruisers are charged either $6 or $7 depending on the season and how busy they are. That's the difference in price. So, what she told me what the with that $7, you get a $2 mat for the chair. So, that brings you down to the original $5 that people reported awhile back as a price (after it was no longer free). They do not charge for kids. So, then you have $5 left over. She said that is applied to your bill of food or drinks. So, basically it's free people...they just want you to eat and drink there...just like we did the first time when they didn't have a charge. The only thing you are really paying is the $2 for the blue mat for the chairs.
I just want to say that I personally think they are totally justified for this charge. When I first came here in 2014, they didn't charge anything. But they are like any other beach club, they are there to make money to stay in business, keep their beach beautiful, make improvements and so on. They do expect you to spend money there. Why wouldn't they? I remember after I did my original review, a lot of people started talking about going there and getting excited about how beautiful it was. BUT...I also remember people coming back (not a lot but some) that gave their mini-review of their stay there and it went something like this...."loved Blue Kay and it was so beautiful there and loved the beach...blah blah blah and we used their lockers and took a walk down the malecon and then we had lunch at _____________" ARE YOU SERIOUS??? That is just RUDE! You use their facilities at Blue Kay, you're using the beautiful beach and probably used their restrooms and such...then you went down the malecon and ate somewhere else? Like that's totally unacceptable in my book. I don't blame BK for coming up with a "fee" to offset this. It's because of people that probably did exactly what other cruisers posted they did that we now have a fee. The $5 is nothing! Spend your money with this place if you are staying there and using their facilities and beach. Plain and simple. Their service is good, their food is good and they are friendly. Why go somewhere else if you decided to come here? I just don't get it. #rantover
Anyhow, the owner told us not to worry about paying the $7. I wasn't looking for a handout or freebie, I was just looking for answers. They told us about changes, new stuff/building, sell off of the beach front, talked about the Cuban boat and so on. We paid for our beach mats and between the 7 of us...spent a good amount of cash there, which is exactly what they want. I would never go some place for free and not spend some money there. Just like when we went to The Money Bar. Although we didn't plan to eat there, we did drink a lot between the 7 of us (in both alcohol and pop).
Ok...so back to the review!
Kendra and I decided that it was time to snorkel. We really didn't have a lot of time here so we needed to get moving.
Sakari decided that she didn't want to go out with us and said she was snorkeling on her own and ran off with her camera in hand. Well then...fine. She's just growing up so quickly.
So here are Sakari's snorkeling pictures she took right up close to the beach.
She always manages to see things I don't....but guess what I would see things she didn't get to see....until I showed her that is.
We found a pretty big lobster and also a lionfish! (Which had a candy cane shrimp...which I didn't even notice that until looking at the picture right now when posting it. How cool. I have never seen one of those either!
Off I went after getting tired of waiting on Kendra to come. Of course she was attempting to sneak away from Kam. Ugh. I guess this is where we are different. I don't sneak away from anyone...if I wanna go, I go. I tell my kid I'm going and to stay with daddy. Like it or not and you won't cry about it or follow me. LOL I don't play those games. Maybe that's why Sakari is so well behaved and structured.
Out I went. There was just too much to see to be wasting time on waiting around. I headed to the sea grass area in hopes to find goodies such as a starfish or something.
For those that don't like the sea grass, think again, you never know what goodies you might find in these areas...such as starfish, turtles, lobster, octopus and so on. I always check them out. Sea grass is not a bad thing!
I seen lots of fish along the way and they were a pretty good size too.
Every so often I would check to see if Kendra got away. Yep, looks like Kendra is sneaking off. Wait, no, false alarm, Kam busted her and she's walking back. Ok, continuing on.
Aww a Goby. I love Gobies. They have the neatest personality and look like they are frowning all the time. I have one in each tank of mine at home and it's funny how I have never noticed them when snorkeling before and this time I would see them.