So here we are in Cozumel. I have been here several times. We have been to Chankannab twice (it's our favorite place in Cozumel so far), Nachi Cocom, and Playa Mia. So this time around I really didn't have a LOT of time to do my normal researching (due to schooling) and a lot of nice places were suggested. However, I just couldn't do the research like I normally would. It was getting close to the time to go and with only about a week or two out, we needed to decide and book something.
Now we have friends we met on a cruise we didn't take. I know sounds goofy. We had booked a cruise on the Epic last year and we were on their roll call. We got to know each other really well. Then, I ended up changing my ship to the Dawn. Since we had gotten to know each other (we have similar personalities and humor), they ask me to stay on the roll call and fb page. Our ship (Dawn) was going to be leaving out of where they live and we decided we would meet up then. Then we, once again, changed ships (when I decided I wanted to do the Dawn out of Bermuda and didn't want to sail the same ship over) to the Star leaving out of NOLA. I mean I am a woman after all...I change my mind a lot. I'm always looking for a better deal.
We continued to be friends and talk daily. So, we were meeting up with them in Cozumel this time around. (They were on the Dawn the same week). I was so fricken excited we were finally going to get to meet!!! So they mentioned Mr Sanchos as the destination in Cozumel. I had thought about it, but I also like Paradise. My only concern was that I knew it was going to be a busy port that day with 7 ships in port and was a little concerned with not booking an AI.
So in the end, I just told them to pick where they wanted to go and as long as it wasn't some place I had already been, I was up for it. Meeting up with them was a little more important and I knew where ever we ended up at, we would have a blast with them. So Mr Sanchos it was for the day.
We finally made it to our taxi van and in we piled. It was a $16 trip to Mr Sanchos. Along the way everyone in our van got out at Paradise. I felt a lump in my stomach at that point for some reason. My husband ask me why we weren't getting out and I told him that's not where we were going. He kinda looked at me and said "Why not? I like the way that place looks." Then off we went on down the road.
We arrived at Mr Sanchos and paid the rest of our $$ owed, got our AI wristbands and was escorted over to the AI side.
Of course the first picture I took was the famous pool you see everyone taking pictures of that have the bar stools in the water and backs up to the bar. I'm walking along and looking down at the pool and noticed their rocks in the walk way was a little weird and you had to watch your step. Then Sakari notices what it actually was...stones with water trickling around them into the water.
We made it to the beach area
You could see the water toys over on the PAYG side and of course Sakari immediately notices them. Sigh. I explained to her that it was not for us and we wasn't aloud over there hoping that would tie her off for the rest of the day.
A waiter tried to offer us several different seats, but we kept telling him that we were looking for our friends that were supposed to be here and kept walking around. We looked everywhere and didn't see them. Well, it was still early, so maybe they weren't here yet (even though their ship arrived 1 hr earlier than ours). So we decided to go ahead and find a seat after walking in laps several times and peaking under the palapas at people. I know they thought we were weirdos at this point.
Then we are looking for a close enough spot at the tables that we would be able to see our things while swimming in the ocean. There really wasn't any left. The lounge chairs seem to be take, except for a few, and most of the tables were filling up quickly. We found one in the front row that didn't have anything on it and put our stuff down. There was a plastic table pulled up to it with personal items in the chairs and on the table, but not at ours. The waiter immediately said "these chairs are taken". Um ok, "how do you know?" He said "The family with this table has them." Soooooo.....why is it they have all of their stuff at the other table then??? We sat down anyhow and he said "Well, I guess you're sitting here. You might want to ask the family if it's ok" and pointed to them. I ask the gentleman (which was sitting in one of the lounge chairs as well) and he said it was fine. Actually, later when they would come up from their lounge chairs to eat at the table, there was only 3 of them. Mom, dad and a son. So why they needed 2 tables, 6 chairs and 3 lounge chairs was beyond me.
I decided it was time for a "snack" hehe. I ordered Nacho's and guacamole. He ask about salsa and I told him I just wanted the nacho chips and guacamole dip. The hubby ordered chips and salsa and then we ordered drinks as well. Might as well get this party started before the friends got here.
When my nachos and guac came, it was not exactly what I expected or wanted. I guess when you say "Nachos" in Mexico, it means with everything on it. Here where I'm from, if you say Nacho's you get nacho chips and dip. I spent some time just digging around the chips trying to get to the chips underneath that didn't have any of the stuff on there and dipping it the guac. Yummy to the tummy. I didn't really care for the fake cheese dip and I'm not really a "bean" girl (I don't even order burritos because of the beans). Hubby seem to enjoy his plain chips and salsa on the side (yes, I stole some of his since they were plain).
Getting my morning drink on. Only on vacation can you do this and it be ok in society. Otherwise, you have an alcohol problem. LOL Well actually they teach us in nursing school, when we assess our patients and ask them how many drinks they drink in a certain period, any more than 3 in a week is considered for consultation because they're an alcoholic. I guess after each cruise, I'm considered an alcoholic then. Oops.
Still waiting for the friends to arrive....we decided to head out to the ocean (well, Sakari decided for us of course) for a quick dip and Sakari was searching for sea shells.
I decided to go back up and do another loop of the place looking for our friends. Still, they were yet to be found. Along the way I would, of course, take pictures as I walked. (Part of the buffet they had set up, the bar area with the famous swings you see everyone take pictures at, some of the tables on the AI side.
Exploring some more...to take pictures of course.
Along the way: A building they were constructing over on the AI side. Anyone heard what this will be??? Oh my gosh, I just noticed there was a wifi symbol there.
We knew ahead of time that this place had wifi. We all know what happened at the last place there was wifi. I brought the computer this time too. Yes, I'm forgiving at times and I also like to give people a second chance. This was the hubby's chance. He was looking at me with "are you sure?" look and was real hesitant to go to the dining area to get online. I knew he needed to check in and do some business. I also knew that it shouldn't take as long this time around since the dead line had already passed. He kept saying he didn't want to see me mad at him and he sure didn't want another repeat of our Jamaica day. I told him this is a little different. He didn't have to walk a mile to get to the wifi and it wasn't a huge place that I wouldn't be able to find him. I could see the building from where we were at. "No worries" I said in my "I'm testing you" voice given with a wink...which he would not know how to take that wink...good or bad. Ya gotta keep them on their toes I tell ya.
Sakari and I headed out to the water and he came down one last time...."Are you sure?" LOL
I laughed at him and took this picture. We swam for a little bit and then I decided I needed another drink. I kept running into our server that brought our chips over and he would give me this real concern look and say "Are you ok?!?!" I mean this happened every time we left the table. I was beginning to wonder if I had a mean or hurt look on my face. It was just the tone he had like if I really had something wrong with me.
Sakari took advantage of the swing chairs while I ordered us a round of drinks.
Then we seen this guy coming around...
Another girly shriek came out of this small child sitting beside me and I knew she just had to hold them.
Sorry for the picture quality. I'm taking a picture of a picture, at night, inside the house, with no natural lighting. They don't turn out very good and I can't use the flash or you get the flash in the picture. So it is what it is and it's what you get. The pictures really did turn out good and they are very colorful and bright.
This was hilarious...he had a diaper on. I guess one too many kids got pooped on. LOL
Sakari looked a little uneasy about this one. I think she likes the iguana better. After all, we did see a lot of them this trip.
Still no sight of the friends. I'm beginning to think they stood me up!
Sakari wanted to go over to swim in the pool since it was starring her in the face at that point. So I agreed. Oops, it was a little too deep for her but she jumped right in and found that out.
She didn't care. She's a big girl (which she continues to remind of daily).
"Mommy, watch this, I'm a whale" Yes, yes you are...or at least part fish.
I talked her out of the pool by telling her I needed another drink. LOL It worked and I got my other drink.
We went back to the table and here come daddy...already? LOL He was done. So time for a little more ocean swimming.
Guess who gets to watch Sakari now? It wasn't me. I was going snorkeling. For some reason Sakari didn't want to snorkel. This will be a first. She was perfectly content with staying in the water at the beach (and truth be known, she probably didn't want her puddle jumper on because she's a "big girl" and she knew I would make her wear them where the water was deeper).
Now I don't recall anyone mentioning that there was any snorkeling to be done at Mr Sanchos, so instead of packing the full gear, I only packed my snorkel and mask....just in case. Even if there isn't snorkeling at the place I go, there's always something to see under the water and sometimes you get lucky and find something you haven't seen before. So, what the heck. I did see a few "darker" spots on the water and I did see a bunch of people with snorkel gear on...might as well try it.
Off I went, headed toward the dark areas to see what everyone was looking at. There were some rocks with fish and other sea life, but it kept taking me on down toward the other end of the place. I decided to get out, walk down to the beginning part of the AI side (there's a volleyball net there) and start from there letting the water carrying me down.
I'm sharing what I found that day with limited pictures.
I spotted a red feather duster (or sea worm) and I do believe it's probably the first time I have ever seen one this bright of red in color. Most are a brownish color and the salt water tank I had at home years ago had tons of them. So this is kinda a "first" for me (the bright red).
Someone please remind me to STOP trying to zoom in. It just does NOT work with a point and shoot camera. It's harder to capture the picture, know if you are pointing at the right object, you get 1/2 of fish in the picture, it blurs, and it just never works out for me. But yet, I continue to try it. So sorry for any of the zoomed blurry pictures. That's what I get for trying but I just get so darned excited.
In one of the pictures I was trying to capture the hundreds of little neon looking fish that were everywhere. I like swam into this swarm of them and they were surrounding me. They were really glowing and pretty. I just couldn't prove it on camera.
I did see sea sponges and sea fans out there...so there is more to see than just fish.
OH MY GOSH.... Someone tell me what that long brown thing as the bottom of the sponge picture is? Are there such things are a brown hairy looking sea cucumber? I didn't even notice it until looking at this picture. I must have thought it was just some type of sea grass. But looking at this picture, it looks like it has antennas or something. I'm off to see if I can locate hairy sea cucumbers. Anyone???
Ok, I've been side tracked now...sorry about that. I love when I discover new things...I would just prefer it to be in the moment that it was happening so I can investigate more.
There was this area of what I would normally call a gravel bed, but instead this was a seashell bed. A bunch of sea shells and crushed stuff was along this strip. It was pretty neat and ran along the entire beach. This is where Sakari would collect a lot of the shells we brought back with us for her collection.
I hate when I'm trying to take a picture and the water has me moving at a faster pace than what I want and then my shadow gets in the way. Then I proceed to trying to kick my way back, do a flip, then turn around only to find out what I was trying to get a picture of has already scurried off because I scared them with my water aerobic skills.
A pretty neat looking sea fan...once again, zooming in is not my thing! There were a bunch of anemone around the area...a lot more than I expected to find. They were really pretty when the sunlight hit them. They had a green glowing tip. Hey! That's not nemo!!!!
Anyone see the antenna sticking out of the rock?
Yep, I had spotted my first lobster. Boy was it a proud moment for me. I missed it the first swim by and something told me to come back. At first it was out a lot more, but the more I did my water aerobics, the more it hid. I took tons of pictures and can't really say I'm happy with any of the results, but it is what it is. Of course my zoom feature was failing me again.
So that's my snorkeling adventure. Yes, there's a little bit of snorkeling to be done there. No it's not this great reef or anything, but you never know what you might find. If you have a snorkel and mask, I would bring it. I actually found myself wishing I had brought my fins as well. I would have probably went out a little more and also been able to snorkel a little better.
We headed to the "potty" ...and when I was in there I found something interesting...when I went to reach for the toilet paper, I couldn't find it or the opening. I wasn't really paying attention, but I knew my hands weren't feeling anything normal. When I looked over, I found the toilet paper coming out the side of the holder. I actually liked this. No feeling around of having to pull it down far enough to grab the end. All places should have this! So of course I had to take a picture.
Also, they do have lockers for those that are interested. I don't know how much since we didn't use them, but I managed to get a picture of them.
When I came out, I found a path to the right...I just had to explore it and see where it went. Found the parking lot over on the side. You could see the back of the building they were working on.
At this point Sakari was saying "I don't wanna go in there, it looks scary" but I kept trucking...There was a path...where was it leading? What was it for? I'm thinking "maybe" it was an employee entrance or something instead of them walking in the beachy/tourist area. It came out to a building that was a surf type rental shop and then to the beach.
I have no idea what these wooden things are that I found. I thought maybe where they hang hammocks, but none were there. Some of them didn't have a "bottom" ??
A lot of people were para-sailing today. I really want to do this some day. But I'll have to wait until Sakari is a little older.
We arrived back at the table and decided to check out the buffet. I love buffets and like seeing the items before I get it and picking out only what I like. It's just simpler that way for me. It was all good. I was pleased and FULL.
The people next to us (with the table pulled up to ours) had placed an order with the waiter and he would try to deliver someone else's drinks to our table. They weren't ours and weren't the table next to us. Then he delivered her meal to our table, but yet it was not exactly what she ordered. When he came back and ask her what was wrong, she said she was still waiting on the food. He pointed at the food on our table and she replied it wasn't what she ordered. He was all messed up this day. I remember at one point he ran around trying to find who a couple of drinks went to and never did find them so he offered them to us and we took them.
Sakari tried to make a sand angel i honor of Christmas....It didn't turn out as expected. boo
She got a souvenir from the sand. I bet you all can guess what this meant...yep, she had her excuse to head back to the water where we wouldn't be able to drag her out for some time.
Off she went while I followed in her footsteps. She was much better now and decided to build a sand castle. But she would soon learn that the waves were unpredictable and no matter how far up she moved, the waves followed her.
For the next hour or so (at least it seemed like it), we dove for sea shells and coral for her collection back home. She enjoyed this so much. My hand were constantly full and we definitely got our exercise walking back and forth to the table. I finally decided to grab a huge zip lock baggie that we stored out power cord for the computer in and take it out with me.
When we were diving for shells, there were 2 fighter jets that went by. They would continue to circle for quite some time this day. It was pretty neat to see them so close together moving in the same direction when they turned.
I wanted to take a picture of the beach line. When we went to Nachi Cocom, we did not care for the beach part at all. It was pretty, but it was so hard to walk in when we were there. Plus there was a bit of a dip in the water, which got a little too deep too quickly for my taste with Sakari being so little.
Mr Sanchos had sand that was a little difficult to walk in only if you were going up. It also has a bit of a dip in the water, but either Sakari grew a little since the last visit or she was handling it a lot better. Either way, I didn't feel too bad about it. She definitely couldn't go out too far before it was over her head and she was pushing off the bottom to swim back. I also kept pulling her back because it was a little wavy there that day and it wanted to keep taking you down to the left. But we managed.
The beach line seemed to be a lot wider and smoother than Nachi. The only problem was trying to get up over the hump in the water. It was kinda difficult. I actually helped push a lady up at one point. But once you were up over the hump, it was fine. You didn't sink in trying to walk in the sand.
I think I need another drink...collecting sea shells will make you thirsty. Sakari agrees...diving down and collecting sea shells will definitely make you thirsty.
BTW, all of the drinks we had here today were good with the exception of the strawberry daiquiri. It was WAY too sweet. Like WAY too sweet for my taste. It also left a big red ring on your mouth and made you look like you were smiling all day. I assume it's the same thing as what Sakari was drinking plus the alcohol.
Also, we found that this place makes STRONG drinks. They are probably some of the strongest I have had at any AI or PAYG. They were terrific.
Playing in the sand while mommy finished her drink.
So of course by now, we had figured we were not going to get to see our friends. Either they stood us up or....maybe I misunderstood them and they were on the non AI side (PAYG).
One last attempt to find them and I was done searching. We walked over to the other side to look for them and check that side out. Along the way, I'm of course snapping pictures.
There is a main dining room for the PAYG peeps. I assume that this is what they are building over on the AI side because it was pretty big as well. Maybe they felt like they should have one over there too because it was pretty nice. I loved the bright colored tables and chairs over there in the dining area. They even had a tree over here. Man this side rocks!!
The guy with the picture of the parrots and iguana's came by for us to check them out. I did hear him talking to a person in front of me about the pictures. I heard him tell them that a picture was $12 alone and if you buy the picture and the frame they had it in, then it was $20. Then I heard them tell them ok...$10. So I bought all 3 of mine for $10 each. Sakari is sitting here right now as I type this starring at the pictures and talking about her holding them. She is drawing (because that's all she ever does) pictures of them. I have to say, she's quite the artist at times.
There are shops along the area heading over to the PAYG side. I ended up buying a couple of magnets from this place (my oldest collects them).
There is a small pool on this side too. (The original area of Mr Sanchos before the big pool was built).
There's a massage area over here as well. Ok people....are you ready for this? The FISH SPA! I was like what in the world? I had to check it out. People sitting in there while the fish ate away at their feet skin. Um...ok. I ?guess? it makes sense??? It was just odd. I can't imagine too many people doing this because most people are ticklish, but I sure did see a lot of people going in and out and sitting in the chairs with their feet in the aquarium. I however, am not ticklish and could have done it if there was time. I would be interested in knowing what they charge for it. Imagine coming home to family and friends telling them the fish cleaned your feet.
The shower and restroom area I thought it was pretty neat looking. You walked up all these stairs to it and it was kinda pretty. I was already at the top when I took this picture. Then I had to get one below too.
Notice this side has all RED chairs and tables and of course that's where the water toys are located too.
The pool area. It was a lot smaller than the AI side and it wasn't deep at all. It was only 3' and just the right size to make me feel comfortable with Sakari in it. It was actually perfect for her. It's located right beside the huge covered dining area.
Mommy joined in on the fun with Sakari. Sakari did a face plant in the water. She usually thinks she's a dolphin. Then the jumping started.
Man these drinks are strong. I've been going strong all day long and I think the hubby was a little far gone too. Maybe we should back off just a little. When it comes to the time where you're too drunk to take a picture holding your glass anymore and you have to use your feet...it's time to stop. Take note! (Just kidding, we are not big drinkers and when we start to feel "tipsy", then that's drunk to us lol).
So here we would sit for the rest of the time we had and let the ground stop moving under our feet. I didn't realize that Mexico had earthquakes on an hourly basis. Who knew?
After awhile, I told Sakari I needed to get her "Christmas Santa Hat" picture for the day. She whined all the way to the spot and then did a quick "I'm precious" pose and then ran. Sigh
I gathered what little bit of balance I head and told the hubby I was going to attempt to walk over to the "shopping mall" they had and take a look around. I got the "you can do this babe" look from him and I was off. I managed to get a VERY blurry picture and I debated sharing it, but wanted you to see there was more than just a few stands set up here.
Then I came across this...
Now I know the one is a male peacock and I would assume the other is a female. But, it looked like the same birds my uncle use to have on his farm, which were guineas.
I ran back to tell Sakari about them. It took F-O-R-E-V-E-R to talk her into getting out of the pool and coming with me. I got the "I don't want to leave" over and over and I kept telling her I had a surprise for her. I thought I had regained her trust after the stingray day, but I guess not. She finally came and daddy had to stay. That way she knew she was coming back to the pool area. She loved the Peacock and couldn't wait to get back to tell daddy about them. When we returned, she wanted daddy to come look and of course we couldn't just leave our stuff sitting there while we went around the building, so we seen this as an opportunity to make a run for the exit (the peacocks are right there as you leave) and get a cab back to the port. She wasn't happy about it, but she went.
It was a quick ride back to the port and I thought it went rather well since there were so many ships in port and we did happen to be at the busiest port, there wasn't a traffic jam or anything.
We had a good time at Mr Sanchos. I learned a lesson about not making plans with friends and letting them pick your destination when you had intentions on going somewhere else. I felt that a lot of my day was wasted running around looking for them (even though I didn't post every time I went looking, it was quite often during the entire day that we were here). I could have spent my time worse wisely.
Even though this wasn't our first choice for a day in Cozumel, I'm glad I got to experience it and can check this place off my "to do" list. I probably will not go back ONLY because we have alread been there and I have way too many other places to explore. But, I would recommend it for a nice beach day.
I thought the service was good...our waiter did come around a lot, but then again, I did go up to get my own drinks several times during the day because he wasn't around when I needed a drink ASAP. HOWEVER, I would always pass him on my way to get to drinks at the pool bnar and he would always ask if we were ok. (Honestly I wanted an excuse to go over to the pool, so no biggie). The drinks were good...just watch getting anything that's red because you will end up with bright red lips, teeth and tongue.
I felt the food was good. We didn't have any issues with the buffet and I know a concern is always brought up about the buffet "sitting out" and not "fresh". Well, I know the day we were here it was defintiely fresh and they were always refilling everything (I mean come on, there's hundreds of people there and all of them are hungry so how long can the food possibly sit around??).
The pool (BOTH) were nice. I felt the bigger pool on the AI side was hard for US to use because of my little one and not being able to touch the bottom. The other one was just her size and perfect for children...which I don't mind.
Yes, it was a little crowded, but nothing that you don't get somewhere else and there were always seats someone to sit.
The grounds were pretty and landscaped nicely as well as the buildings.
So...in all honesty...I liked the non-AI (PAYG) side better if I had to pick. I thought it looked nicer over there, there was a lot of shade from the trees, the water toys are over there, nice showers over there, shopping, massages, fish spa and huge palapa for dining. The ONLY thing I would see to complain about for most is the small pool. I really did like it over there.
One thing to note, since I was there, the building they were building is finished and I believe I have read that they might have added another big pool, but after several attempts, I don't believe this has been confirmed or denied and I haven't been able to find any pictures of it.