1st time Carnival cruiser (DREAM) complete review & pictorial (from a NCL cruiser)
Day 7: Costa Maya, Mexico
5am wake up call. Are you serious? I just went to bed 5 minutes ago...or at least it seemed like that. I'm so glad we didn't have a day planned that would require some kind of extensive leg or arm muscles to be used because mine had been all used up from the previous few days. At this point I'm wishing that I had done what Kendra's family had done every day after port...nap! But it is what it is and I'm not about to miss a day in port.
We were really unsure of where to go for this port. It was one of the last ports that I really "researched". We had been to Maya Chan already and the service and place is fabulous! However, we didn't care for the brownish water and tons of sea grass there. But oh how I miss their guacamole. It has been the best guacamole I have EVER ate in my life. Nothing has compared to it since then. We have went to Almaplena last December and the place was absolutely gorgeous! We loved the entire day there. I didn't really care for certain parts of the food there, but that was my fault. I didn't pick from the menu and left it up to them. The entrees were excellent and I could have just lived off of those the rest of the day with no problem.
So now, it was time to pick a different place because, well, I like a variety. I had read a lot about the Malecon and the places to go to up and down it. Many people had said that Nohoch Kay was the place to go because of it's location at the end, no vendors allowed there (and would be shooed off quickly if they came), the excellent service provided by the staff and the wonderful owner. I did realize that according to its location, I probably wasn't going to get that crystal blue clear water like I had experienced at Almaplena and it would probably be more like Maya Chan. So, I was prepared for that and just prepared to relax that day (yea right, when have any of you ever known me to "relax"...I'm a go, go, go type of person and I can't sit still for more than 5 minutes). I did find a video of a couple that had rented some bikes and rode up and down the Malecon and the place looked nice and reminded me of many many years ago some of the beach places I have been to when I was in my 20's. So, I figured it would be a nice place to go to in order to pass the day by, which was going to seem extremely short. 7am-2pm was our port day.
The price was $40 for this AI and we paid a $10 deposit with the remaining balance due at the time we arrive.
Our day started with the normal run to the breakfast buffet and of course my newly discovered omelet station eggs. Since I had ate extremely late (the Mexican buffet) the night before, of course I woke up extremely hungry. So I had an omelet, some french toast and went for a visit to the bacon police...who gave me uncooked bacon that squealed at me when I touched them. Ewww. I had to go up for a second visit while they glared at me as if they had just seen me. Who me? That wasn't me. That was my twin sister. It was still completely dark out. Wow, this is the first time this has happened to me. My body knew I wasn't suppose to be up yet and so did the sun. It just felt really weird eating breakfast and starring out at the darkness.
Once we were done with breakfast, here comes Kendra and her family just getting up...of course. So predictable at this point. Brayden was back to being his chipper self (and I'm being nice when I use the words chipper). I do have to tell you that one night we had went to a show and he was in so much pain and laying down during the entire show. A man sitting behind us was asking about him and seen the blisters (he had refused to wear a shirt at that point). He told Kendra about how well Noxzema worked on sunburns. She had told him that she had tried aloe and had went to the store and purchased some sunburn stuff, but nothing was working. He assured her that the Noxzema was the best thing and not only would it pull out the burn and make him feel better, it would heal it up really quick too. He told her that he had an entire tub of if back at his room and if they wanted to, they could follow him back to the room and he would give it to them. Well my daughters bf did just that and put it on him and now he was miraculously healed. Seriously, it worked that quick...over night just about. Kudos to this unknown man who came to the rescue. I will be bringing some Noxzema with me on future cruises and keep some at home although we usually don't burn to often.
So I rushed Kendra and family with their eating and it was now after 7am. I was sitting here thinking this was ok because we had been up since 5am and sitting here at the dock for quite some time and they still hadn't cleared customs...or so I thought. I did not hear not one announcement that morning saying "welcome to Costa Maya...you can all pile out now". I thought this was weird. So about 7:30 we decided started looking over the rails of the ship and we did see people walking down the pier. Not many, but some. It was starting to lighten up a little as the sun was coming up. So we decided to make our way down to see if we could get off.
Yes, as a matter of fact we could. I'm still confused about why there was no announcement...maybe because everyone was (and should have been) STILL SLEEPING because it was dark??? hehe
The sun was starting to come up and it was getting brighter outside.
We went ahead and got off the ship and started the LONG walk down the pier to Costa Maya.
There wasn't a lot of people out and about. I wondered if people had just decided to skip this port since we were there so early and not going to be there long.
I can tell you that people did get off the ship when it was still completely dark outside and I know this because of the pictures we would later see that day that the ship photographer took of them getting off...they were completely DARK!
We started walking and looked back and of course Kendra and family were so far behind us with Brayden even further. That boy does not like to walk (if you haven't guessed by now). He will drag and drag and even sit down at any given point just to try to get you to carry him.
We made it to the port with Kendra and them no where in site. Then all of a sudden here comes the "train" people mover that runs up and down from the port to the ship...and out comes Kendra and family. I screamed "cheaters!" but was happy to see they had made it. I really didn't want another day like yesterday where they were left behind.
All of my other visits to Costa Maya had a "welcome" crew with dancers dressed up and dancing to the music. Not today (or at least not while we were passing by). Yes, it was too early for them too!
As always, Kendra takes every opportunity for a picture with the live "props"
Costa Maya's port is nice. I could probably spend a day there (if I was one of those cruisers that didn't like to get out and see the area and what it's really like). I know a lot of people have ask me in the past if there was much to do there. They have a pool, they have TONS of shops, they have a man made beach in the middle of the port, they have a swim up bar, they have dolphin swims there (which won't even come close to swimming with them at Chankanaab in Cozumel) and some palapa's along a sandy area (that doesn't go off into the ocean) that you can rest at and just stared at your ship while in port. They have a tower that you can climb and get awesome pictures from up there of the port and the ship. So yea, one that is trying to save some money and not go outside the port could do so with no problem. (Those of you wanting to see more of the port can find pictures of it in my Costa Maya links in my signature line). I really didn't take too many pictures this time here. Been there, done that many times and it still always looks the same.
The only pictures I was interested in were that of the "props" with the kids. Of course when Brayden seen this "head" he immediately went running by Sakari and tried to crawl up in its mouth. I swear I don't know this kid most of the time. I had to get him out and tell him to turn around so that I could see his face.
Kendra just HAD to have a picture in one of these stools. She said that her bf's dad always has had something to say about these stools and really liked them. So, she was getting him a picture of it.
Brayden and Sakari wanted in on the fun
The faces everyone was making was completley cracking me up.
You always have to have that one picture of your ship sitting in port between the buildings and by the pool. It's a must and this day would be no exception.
I wasn't sure if I had ever took a picture of the "sandy beach" area around the pool. So it was time for a quick shot of that.
Now we had been told by email that we were to exit the port and go to where the taxi stands are. Do not tell anyone that you are going to Nohoch Kay as you come out and walk to the taxi stand. Well I know from our last time we were here we were required to walk out of the port and WAY down the road to where the Hard Rock Cafe use to be to catch the regular taxis to Almaplena. It's quite the haul, but it was nice out and it wasn't going to be bad this time around. When we went to Maya Chan, we walked right outside the port and our bus was sitting there waiting to take us. This time, I wasn't really sure where I was going.
There were people there asking you where you wanted to go and we decided to tell them and see if they would take us there. They said yes. We purchased "passes" from them and they charged us $3 for the adults and $2 each for the kids. Now I had not read anywhere on here that they had a reduced rate for the kids. So I was kinda shocked to find this out.
We all got in the van and we were on our way.
I was trying to get a few shots of things as we passed them. I had never noticed this boat landscape sitting in the middle section of the road on my previous visits.
This is as you are pulling off the port road and onto the main road.
A few houses along the way...more vibrant colors.
When the driver turned off the road and headed toward the malecon, I could see the lighthouse. I knew we were getting close because (since I do so much research prior to my trips) I had "walked" along this road many times trying to determine just "where" along this road I could locate Nohoch Kay....using google earth. I had seen this lighthouse with each "walk" along the street and knew it was at the opposite end of Nohoch.
We stopped along the way to drop several passengers off here and there.
We were some of the last to be dropped off. We had arrived at Nohoch Kay. Everytime this place was mentioned, I recall seeing this picture.
We walked around the corner and this was the "scene":
We checked in with the staff and were told to go find a seat where we wanted. We headed across the walkway and to a palapa along the beach area.
Looking back at the restaurant:
It was just a little building with some chairs and tables and a little bigger area for dining under the thatched roof area with a sandy floor. I didn't think it was anything special, but this was just my opinion.
There was a bar to the left and in the back was the place where they made all of the food.
The restrooms were located behind the place where they were cooking. This was painted on the door.
The place to wash your hands outside and on the side of the restrooms, where water would flow out of a conch sea shell for rinsing:
Taking a look down the malecon
I have to say, this really wasn't my idea of paradise, or really anything special. I know a lot of people like to come here and it was highly recommended, but I had wished that I would have done a little more research on what to expect.
I know there are a lot of cruisers out there that enjoy an AI where they just sit and relax, have someone wait on them by bringing them drinks and food all day while they SIT AND RELAX. Good food, good friends right? Well anyone that knows me and have read any of my reviews know that I'm not that person. I like to go somewhere that you can be active, explore, see the beautiful water, snorkel if possible, and be surounded by the "beauty" of the landscaping and plush tropical palms. This was NOT that place by far. This is just a sit all day and have people serve you type of place. If that's your thing, you have found your place I suppose.
So we found our spot, right in front of the water. As you can tell, Sakari is already racing to get her shoes off and head to the water before anyone else. It's only about 8am and she's rearing to go already. The kid never stops...and you think I'm bad.
The waitress immediately came up to us and gave us a list of "drinks" and ask what we would like. Um, I um, gasp, don't know...I mean like it's 8am in the morning and you are offering us alcohol already. Something just didn't seem right about this picture. LOL I know it comes with the package but geesh it's early to start drinking. I ended up ordering a Coke Light, which comes out in a can with a straw. They ask if we wanted to order something to eat. Gasp again, I had completely not took this all in to consideration when I had breakfast this morning. Darn. I should have just waited. I was far from being hungry or even wanting something to munch on. YIKES. Something told me I would not get my moneys worth today and I was kinda regretting booking this place at this point.
There was a sailboat in front of us. Sakari climbed up on it and was watching the sail whip back and forth in the wind. She would grab her face every time it hit her face and she would giggle with laughter. A guy came over and said hello (I took this to be the owner) and he looked at Sakari and looked at me and gave me that "get her off of there" look...well glare. I immediately knew that glare, I do it myself. I mean she wasn't hurting anything. She was just standing there and watching the sail go back and forth. But, I told her to get down right away and she was upset.
He really didn't say much other than to ask if they had taken our drinks and I had told him yes and he walked away.
A view of the beach, the sail boats were pretty, but not much to see and not really that breath taking "view" I like.
Sakari was ready to head out to the water of course. It was time to explore for her.
The water was what I had expected, full of sea grass, areas of just sand, and the brownish color due to the sea grass. But I already knew this, so it didn't bother me, but yet I found myself wishing I would have booked another place like Almaplena. I mean after all, it was our last port and our last "Caribbean" day. It's always nice to go out with a bang.
It took me awhile to get use to the water...it's still EARLY and today didn't seem quite as warm to me as the previous days. It was a little windy and in fact, it was the perfect "lounging" day, but I'm not a lounger.
Kendra thought it was a little cold out and she put on her thick zebra print fuzzy pj pants and ended up curling up in a ball after grabbing my Carnival ship towels and fell asleep. Her boyfriend was nursing a headache (or should I say hangover) from the casino the night before.
I finally got use to the water and on goes the goggles. Even though it was sea grass, you are usually going to find "something" in there. Lots of critters live in the sea grass and I was about to find them.
The first thing I noticed was a conch. I picked it up to see if anything was in there and there was.
I yelled for Sakari who had went back up to our spot to get a drink and I brought it over to her to show her. Since she is so interested in animals, I like to give her every opportunity to learn about them. No it wasn't the first time she had ever seen one, we had just seen some the day before as LFK and other various places, but I still show her and she loves the excitement of it. All I wanted to do was take a picture of her holding it...
Along comes the same guy again yelling "You need to put that back in the water!" Um ok...do you think I'm going to stow it in my pocket and run? Really? I'm taking a picture. I probably had one of those "looks" on my face by then and I calmed my voice and said "I'm just showing it to my daughter and taking a picture. I have no intention on keeping it and had planned on returning it to the water once I'm done...but thank you."
So I immediately returned it to the water like a scolded puppy with my tail between my legs and Sakari and I decided to go snorkeling.
This is MOST of what you will see:
We did find a few big crabs, but man are the fast and I was not able to get a picture before they scurried off.
This place (the ocean) was not like any other place I have been too. There was tons of sea grass everywhere, but it was super shallow...like most places you couldn't snorkel where the sea grass was because it wouldn't have even covered your ankles shallow.
But there are some sandy areas here and there and we snorkeled those areas and found some fish. The edges of the sandy area would be shallow enough for Sakari to stand up in when she needed to take a break and then it would slop back down a bit. It was kind of the perfect area for her to snorkel in without her puddle jumper. I stayed close to her but she was doing an excellent job combining the swimming, snorkeling, and resting along the sides when needed. I was really proud of her. We went way out...I mean way out. We seen a few fish here and there, but nothing to really keep "me" too occupied. She was delighted every time she found a fish and would follow it until it would get fed up with her and race off.
Tons of neon fish
Like all of the other places we had been to this cruise, there were tons of these little guys again...
I kept finding some of these, I have no idea what they are. They didn't seem to have anything live in them and thought maybe it's just some type of soft coral or plant? It was very soft and squishy and had a unique form to it.
Sorry the pictures came out a little blurry, I didn't have it on macro at the time.
This was the under side of it
If anyone knows what it is, please let me know. I would like to add to my knowledge base.
At this point, we were about this far out...and I'm standing on one of the many "mounds" there.
Sakari was headed back to the "camp". As you can tell in the picture, the dark areas were the sea grass and you could just walk at about foot deep water. The lighter blue area was maybe about 3-4 foot deep in "some" places.
Back at the camp, Brayden was playing with the sand toys we had brought along and Sakari joined in.
I went down and got some water and showed them how to mix it with the sand and make some of the sand figures
This would become their new "project" for awhile. They would run back and forth from the water to the beach camp and make sand animals.
The staff would continue to stop by every half hour or so to see if we wanted more drinks or some food. I finally decided to order a drink just to try to attempt to get my moneys worth.
After several trips back and forth from the bar people and getting drinks, I decided to go ahead and order some food. They gave me a menu and I ordered a plate of chicken nachos. I had also ask them if they had guacamole and they said they would bring me out some of that as well.
This was the guacamole plate they brought out to me. It wasn't exactly what I was expecting. I figured it would be a plate of nachos and some gaucamole to dip it in. It was lacking the nachos.
As always...NOT Maya Chans gaucamole at all! Sigh.
My plate came out with the chicken platter.
Mmmm yummy, would you look at those pickles? LOLOLOL Brayden was convinced they were pickles and I hear the normal phrase coming from Sakari "I like pickles" meaning she wanted one. I explained to her that they were NOT pickles and that they were very hot. Brayden convinced her otherwise, but he was not the one that was willing to "eat" the pickle. She picked one up and I told her they are very hot Sakari, you are not going to like them and Brayden kept telling her to try it, it was a pickle. Well, mother always knows best and some day she'll learn that Brayden is not the one to listen to. She ate it, her eyes watered up and right when I knew she was about to bolt out a blood chilling scream, I shook my head and told her "Don't you dare! I tried to tell you they weren't pickles and they were hot." She quickly spit it out and grabbed my Coke Light I had ordered for her.
Lesson learned I hope. Mommy would not stear you wrong. Well, unless it was actually something I wanted you to try. Then I might. wink wink
The gaucamole was "ok" the chicken nachos was "ok" but it wouldn't be anything that I would want to order again or rave about that day.
Kendra woke up due to my laughing at Sakari and her pickle and decided she would order something to eat as well. They did not have a very big breakfast since I was on her tail about hurrying up so that we could get off the ship.
She ended up ordering a burrito of some sort. I think it was a chicken burrito. She did not care for it at all. She said it tasted "weird" was her reply.
When they came back out, they of course ask about more drinks...I ordered more.
Now one thing I KNOW I read about prior to going was that they did not allow the peddlers there at the beach and that the owner and staff would shoo them away. This was NOT the case that day. There were several "salesmen" in the area and I'm calling them a salesmen being nice, because they didn't hassel you like most. They would walk up and flash their items and you could shake your head and they would walk away. However, they would do this over and over all day long. Not once did I see anyone shoo them away. They even came up to me while I was placing an order with one of the staff and she just looked at them.
I took at picture of one of the guys that came around very often just to show everyone here that they were in fact there. He had just left our "camp" and was walking around the sailboat directly in front of us. I didn't want to make it noticeable to him that I was taking his picture so I waited until he turned that way.
As you can tell, there were some dark clouds rolling in. It started to sprinkle a bit. I was under the big palapa, but Kendra and them got a little wet because their umbrella that had been placed by "I have no clue" wasn't covering them all the way. It just appeared after we set up camp. So Kendra was having a fit...yes, she melts, or is it floats? I can't remember at this point. As soon as the gripe started, it ended and the rain drops were gone. No biggie. It lasted "maybe" 5 minutes at most and the sun was back out again in full force.
Looking back at Nohoch from our camp:
Getting to Nohoch is about a 5 drive and you could see our "Sparkle-bedazzled" ship sitting in port.
Sakari and I decided to go back out to snorkel one last time. I wanted to go a little more to the right and futher out to see if was anything more to be seen. We walked along the sea grass taking each step very slowly...just in case. Then we made it out to an area that was a round hole opening of sand. It was maybe about 5 feet deep and we swam out over it.
GASP...Sakari was hoovering right over this (which was blending in with a rock)
I quickly grabbed her and put her over to the sea grass area and told her to look under the water. She could see it. I explained to her that it was very dangerous and could sting her and hurt her. I think she listened this time (maybe because Brayden wasn't around to convince her that it was a toy and try to catch it). These Lion Fish really are showing up more and more and at this point I had seen enough of them and in the back of my mind it was starting to worry me that I was running across so many.
We got out of that area and decided to head over toward a different area. Then what do we come across?
There wer 2 of these little guys swimming around. Now these were LITTLE guys. Smaller than the one that was hanging out at LFK. I know it looks big in the picture, but I was zoomed in. They were maybe about a little bigger than my hand. But my thought was if there were a few babies around here, there must be a momma somewhere. Time to move on.
At this point I had figured I had enough of snorkeling for the day. My husband noticed that we were pretty far out but yet standing up. He just had to have a picture. LOL Out he came and told me he was going out really far and he wanted me to take his picture.
I took this as I was walking back to the beach
His caption...I can walk on water I'm that amazing.
One more conch shell was found on my walk back toward the beach. I quickly picked it up, took a picture and hoped that no one had seen me do it. I didn't want to be scolded again.
By the time I returned to the camp, Kendra ask me if I had seen Brayden and he was lost...but she didn't seem to concerned, which of course concerned me.
I started looking around and found him...
Sakari wanted in on the fun.
Oh great, now we have 2 lost children. I guess we'll just have to leave without them.
They quickly jumped up after that statment.
My child no longer looked like a Caribbean beauty, she was pale and white.
We decided to order some more food since I really wasn't satisfied with the last round of food.
I ordered a chicken taco and some chicken quesadillas.
The chicken taco was "ok"...better than the chicken nachos, but a little bland. I'm not sure if it was the soft taco shell or what, but at this point I was hungry and I ate it.
The quesadillas came and they were amazing. I did find something I liked, it just took awhile to find it.
Sakari also liked them and so I ordered her a plate and she gobbled them right up.
I noticed as I took this picture of her eating, there were some canoes in the background. I have no idea where they came from and hadn't noticed them before. I don't know if they were anything that we could use, but I assumed so. But I wondered HOW could one use these? The water was not deep enough to begin with. Most places it only covered your feet and the small areas that it was sandy and deep led to...nowhere.
Now that I look back at a previous picture of the fishing boats sitting in the water and the ship at the dock, they are in that picture. Maybe someone just moved them closer to us.
So shortly after noticing the canoes and we were busy eating our new found delicious chicken quesadillas, we watched a guy walk out and grab a canoe, get in it and start to paddle. He made it about 5' out from the shore line and hit the sea grass. He kept trying to paddle and didn't move. He finally climbed out of the canoe and you could tell it took him a little off guard when he stepped out into such a shallow area.
He pulled the canoe off the sea grass and back in to the water and tried a different direction. Still the same thing but he kept paddling and paddling and going no where. It was kind of hilarious to watch him. It kept us occupied for a good half hour or so. He made it no where. I have to say he had more patience than me. I would have stopped at the first "run aground" area and gave up. But he kept trying and never succeeding. But hey, entertainment is entertainment right? I was glad he kept trying. I was getting kick out of it.
So I think we had done everything there was to do here, which wasn't much to begin with and decided we might as well leave. It was getting to be late...using that term loosely because it wasn't "late" at all...but since we were pulling out of the port at 2pm...it was considered late I guess.
We gathered our things up and headed toward the Nohoch building and told them we would like to leave now. We settled our bill at the bar counter. They said they would call the cab. We sat down at the first set of tables while others continued to walk up and jump in every cab that pulled up. Um ok. Yes, some were cars and 6 of us wouldn't have fit in them, but enough cabs pulled up that we could have taken 2 of them and pulled out together. A bigger cab pulled up and people walking up to the building at that time headed straight for the cab and got in. Um ok again. At this point I was getting a little perturbed because the guy was just standing there and saying every time it happened that "you'll get the next one." Really? There was another couple that came right after us that was also waiting and they ended up getting mad and saying they would just walk down the road and catch their own "darn" cab and took off walking along the building. Now I felt bad because these people were a lot older and didn't seem to be able to "walk" fast or far.
Finally another mini van came and of course others tried to grab it and he quickly walked us over and said this is their cab and we piled in a little frustrated at this point.
By the time we made it to the end of this block, the elderly people were standing at the corner...just standing, looking like they had no idea what to do or where to go. I personally thought it was a bad choice, but that's what they decided to do.
We headed back to the port with a short 5 minute drive and they let us off right where we had been picked up.
We did a little bit of shopping and headed to the pier where we decided Kendra and family wasn't going to pull another fast one over on us...we got on the "people mover" tram and off we went. It saved our legs the walk, not that we wore ourselves out that day or anything.
Everyone must have decided to come back at the same time because there were lines formed outside waiting to get back on the ship. We came to the first line and they told us there was another line we could go to on down and we did. Kendra stayed in the first line and was on the ship and to her room before we ever made it out of our LONG-NOT-MOVING-LINE in the sun. It was HOT and we were getting cranky just standing there.
So my thoughts on Nohoch Kay. Not at all my "type" of place. Now keep in mind, these are just MY opinions, opinions and taste vary, but this is my experience.
It was not exactly what I had expected or hoped for. I did not find the place "pretty", I did not find the place to be anything special.
The service was excellent and they bugged you non-stop for drinks and food. If we didn't want anything, we just simply told them so. We knew they would be right back soon to ask again.
Yes, there were plenty of people walking up and down the beach trying to sell you things. No, they were not told to leave and continued to come back all day long.
OH>>>>>>> I forgot to tell you all mt "peddlers" story. There was a lady who came around over and over trying to sell things and we had told her no several times. So this time around she came back with the huge bubble sticks and was blowing bubbles (using the wind) all over the beach. Of course when they got to our camp, having 2 young children who of course loves bubbles, they started playing in them. They ran up and down the area chasing the bubbles and was having a great time. At one point the lady made the mistake of handing them both their own set of bubbles. I laughed and thought "if this is your strategy to get someone to buy bubbles, you just messed up with this family". They opened them up and started playing and blowing bubbles. I mean come on, they are 5. What kid isn't going to do that. There were bubbles everywhere. Now they were standing a little ways from us (close to the sailboat) and we were just sitting there watching. I noticed the lady say $3 to the kids and pointed over at us. The kids of course walked over to us and "showed" us the bubbles their new friend had given them. They didn't understand what was going on and I played along and said "awww, how fun." LMBO. The continued to play with the bubbles and the lady just stood there. Then finally she looked at me and said "three dollar" and I looked at her and said "no mulla". The look on her face was priceless and it was even funnier to watch her try to coax the kids in to giving her back the bubbles they had been playing with. Let this be a lesson peddlers...don't hand a child something, let them play with it and expect it to be easy to get it back from them. They are children. Make sure you ask the parents first and get your money first before handing something to a child because it will be returned to you only half full. I know, now I'm a bad irresponsible parent, but hey, at that point I was in one of those moods that I was tired of being asked over and over to buy her things.
No, there is not really any good snorkeling here.
No, it's not really the type of place to swim here either. However, if you have little ones, it could be the perfect place because the water is pretty shallow and the water was calm the day we were there.
No, we did not think the food was anything special, but did manage to find something we liked in the end.
No, we did not encounter that "friendly owner service" that everyone talks about. He did not even bother to come over and talk to us other than the time I was scolded for bringing the conch to show my daughter. He never even really acknowledged us during the entire day.
No, getting a cab back to the port was not an easy task, even with the help of the owner who allowed numerous people to jump ahead of us.
If you are the type that wants to just go somewhere and hang out all day doing nothing but eating and drinking non-stop for 1 price, I guess this can be the place for you. We didn't find the drinks to be strong at all, so it would take quite a bit to get you going.
We simply did not care for this place. It's just our opinion. For the amount of people we had in our party, it would have cost us an extra $16 pp to go to Maya Chan and I found myself wishing that we had went there instead. But it is what it is and now I can say I experienced Nohoch Kay and the Malecon and now I can also say I won't be going back. ;)
We did the normal thing, shower, throw the hair up and lets go. I really don't remember the details at this point. I know some time after we pulled out of port Sakari and Brayden wanted to head to the "Camp" and we took them later on in the day.
They were only there for maybe a few hours, with our "phones in the pocket" and for some reason we decided to go pick them up. On the way up there, we were walking threw the door to CC and the phone was ringing. I stopped to pull it out of my purse and the hubby continued to the window to pick up Sakari. When I answered, they hung up. I had seen that it was the camp calling (yes, the phones have caller ID on them). When I walked in, they were explaining to my husband that Sakari and Brayden wanted to leave. Um ok, I have never known my kid wanting to leave any kids club...ever. Every NCL kids club we have been to, she begged non-stop to go to and would cry when she had to leave. I did notice that this NEVER happened this cruise. We would have to actually ask her if she wanted to go there and she would just simply agree. She never had a problem leaving and she never begged to go. Just weird.
So instead of them just leaving it at "she wanted to leave"...which I found out later that she nor Brayden said that....ever, the counselors continued with the negativity and "attitude" that we had experienced during the entire cruise with them. She proceeded to tell me that Sakari (and Brayden) refused to do any of the activities with them. She didn't want to participate in anything. She just sat there and refused. She wouldn't do the projects, she wouldn't make anything, and she didn't enjoy being there. Um ok again. This is not my daughter!! You don't understand, Sakari is my "art child". We don't buy her a bunch of toys for her birthday or for Christmas, we buy her "projects". She gets paint and paint brushes, clay molding, planting flowers stuff, tons of regular drawing paper, finger paints, construction paper, crayons, markers, drawing boards, art easels, sun catchers...and every other kind of art related thing you can think of. Her teachers pulled me aside just a month ago and told me about Sakari's "art" skills. They said all she loves to do is draw and make things. Her "skills" were way above her age level. She goes in to great detail. She loves to draw animals and it's not a typical body, legs, head drawing...it's detailed to the max. She draws pictures non-stop at home of her cruises. She will draw the ship, the port holes, people in the windows looking out, the smoke stack with smoke, the deck chairs, it has the water, she will put whales, dolphins, fish and starfish in the water. She will add the sky and the clouds and the smiling sun. She will draw an airplane, it will even have the runway wheels. That's how much this girl loves to draw. Her teacher told me that some day she would make a good illustrator. They said they get companies that donate paper to the schools and they wanted to donate some to Sakari. They knew it would be put to good use...and it has.
So now this PLACE is telling me that she refuses to participate in the activities. Yea...riiiiightttt! Something just did not jive at all. At the time we were picking her up, they had the tee-shirts lined up on the floor and Sakari was sitting beside hers. They were getting ready to "color" their shirts.
Well it sure didn't look to me like she wasn't participating. They yelled for her to come over and told her she was leaving and they gathered up her shirt and handed it to us. She was UPSET!!! She cried all the way out the door and we would hear nothing but complaining the rest of the night because she wanted to color her shirt. We ask her over and over if she had ask to leave or told the counselors that she wanted them to call us to pick her up and she told us over and over that she did not say that. :mad:
I also have to add that when we picked her up, this is what she looked like...
Yep, that looks like a kid that doesn't participate in activities to me for sure. COMPLETELY ROLLING MY EYES AT THIS POINT. So now the hubby and I are starting to feel a little hot under the collar and I didn't even have a collar on. Kendra was a little upset as well. Although Brayden is not the "activities type of kid" like Sakari is, he did come back with his face painted and things that he had made too during the cruise.
My blood continued to boil the rest of the day. Especially the two ladies that talked to us about Sakari's inability to participate with the "class". These same 2 ladies and 1 other were the same ladies we always seem to catch an attitude from. I do know that the worse ones name was Svetlana. I made it a point to look at her name tag the following day when I reluctantly took Sakari back to the Camp during our final sea day. She had the nastiest attitude about her and the way she spoke to you was just demeaning and degrading every time. She's one of those people that acts like someone who should not be taking care of someones precious child. Some times I write things off to "they're having a bad day", but I'm sorry, this is just not the case with this lady.
We would continue to dwell on this subject for the rest of the night...as much as I wanted to just let it go, I couldn't for some reason. But, I didn't let it spoil the day completely.
More on this subject on the next sea day. :mad:
Sakari took a picture of her and the monkey from the night before since he was still "hanging around" in the room.
A shot of looking in to the mangroves. It was eery and neat at the same time. I'm now picturing a horror movie where jaws comes out at your or some half octopus man eating barracuda snake devours you. There were tons of neon fish everywhere in this area.
So the intentions were to lay down for a couple of hours and get up, go eat, and maybe catch a show.
I believe we slept for about 2 1/2 hours...well at least I did and it was almost 9:00pm. I decided to get up and go out on the deck to see if anything was going on. (I had no idea what time it actually was). As I was walking around, my belly reminded me that it was hungry so I decided to head back to the room and get the rest of the family up. I woke up Sakari and she just opened her eyes and gave me that "really?" look. I ask if she was ready to get up. Her reply "no, I'm tired." So I said "Are you hungry and want to get something to eat?" Sakari- "No, I'm just tired." Ok, now normally at this point I would pull out all the stops and it would work....Me-"Do you want to go visit your friends?" (Now I said this knowing that she never passes up an opportunity for that, but I also knew that they were going to be closing and after our little problem today, I wasn't taking her, but figured it would at least get her up). Sakari "No, I don't want to go there." :eek: I would never in a million years think that she would refuse this and she did. What does that tell you? Something was not right with that place.
I tried to wake the hubby up. He pulled the pillow over his head. Ok, I get it, obviously they weren't going to get up and I was going to have to finish off the night on my own. I do know that Kendra said she had wanted to dress up and get their family pictures taken that night, but I had no clue if they were still doing that. (I found out the following day that they did and they were doing this about the same time I was up and wondering around the ship alone).
So first things first...my belly. I headed back to the deli and got one of their wonderful wraps. That did the trick. I spent the rest of the night wondering around the ship taking most of the wonderful pictures of the glitzy ship that I shared with you in the beginning of my review.
I stopped in for a moment to see what show was playing and once again, it was the same singers and dancers they had all week long at the shows. I only stayed for a moment and decided even though it was a different show, it was still kinda the same, just different music (and theme) and different props. I know people said the entertainment was terrible on the Carnival ships and I actually thought the shows were pretty good...until I had went to several of them and started noticing it was the same people over and over just a different show. It got kind of repetitive and I was tired of seeing them. I guess this is where Carnival does lack, but yet it was something I can deal with. I don't really cruise for the entertainment, but if it's there, it's an added benefit and gives you something to do.
Now I will totally admit, I did not read the Fun Times front to back and I basically did what I do on the NCL dailies. I look along the side column to see what's playing when and decide what I want to do each day. However, on the side with all of the listed times, it would just say something like 9:30pm showtime in the Encore theater. I thought it was strange that it didn't tell exactly what was at the show. Kendra later laughed at me and told me I had to look at the middle of the inside to see the show for the night and what it was about. :rolleyes: I guess the whole thing just read funny to me because I
l;lsksksdkdkwas use to NCL's and didn't pay attention.
Also NCL has all of their shows in the main theaters. I guess I also expected this on any ship. I kept wondering why I didn't see any comedy shows or this acrobat show that I had heard of there. It was always the same singers and dancers. I took out my old Fun Times and noticed they were having shows at multiple different places on the ship at night. THAT'S why I wasn't seeing much of anything. OK, lesson learned. I will read the Fun Times from front to back next time around and pay closer attention to WHERE things are located. LOL
I stopped by the casino for one last spin for luck and actually walked out about $100 richer in about 30 minutes time. Yea me. :D
Since there was no need to get up early the next day I believe I stayed out until around midnight (I know, it's early but I'm out running around by myself and well, I became bored).
So back to the room I went and found the family still asleep and I was about to do the same thing. Zzzzzz