Website and Reservations:
We were going to be here from 8am-5:30pm and all aboard was 4:30pm. Since I knew there were going to be 7 ships in port, I decided to book Nachi Cocum for the day since it is an AI and they limit the amount of people there. That way I knew we wouldn’t have to sit on anyone’s lap or share toilet paper. I have read a lot of mixed reviews about this place. It seems like either you love it or hate it. Most people seem to complain about the “hot tub” which isn’t a factor for us. We don’t go to the ports or the beach to go swimming or get in the hot tub. That can be done at home. We go for the beauty of the beach and the ocean and snorkeling. I also read others reviews, which I know can vary GREATLY and take it with a grain of salt and form my own opinion as to whether or not it would be a good fit for our family.
I’ll start by saying we discovered Chankanaab 2 cruises ago. We LOVED it so much that we booked our next cruise making sure that one of the ports would in Cozumel so that we could go back to Chankanaab…and we did. Chankanaab is the most beautiful place ever and so much to do there. I was afraid that anything we found in Cozumel after that would just not live up to Chankanaab, but I knew it was time to move on and see new things…and we did by booking Nachi Cocom. Good or bad, we were still in the Caribbean, we would still be sitting on the beach with a drink in our hands as the world comes to an end!!! Or would we?
We finally made it out of the port and to the taxi stand. We told the driver where we wanted to go and we were in the cab and on our way. We passed Chankanaab along the way sniff sniff and Nachi Cocum was another 5 minutes down the road. For a total of a 15 minute ride. Not bad at all.
If you are wondering the current taxi prices...here ya go:
Pulling in, it was nicely landscaped and they were there
to greet us as we arrived. As everyone had already warned
us, they would be putting a Sombrero on us and taking our
picture for “future sales” later that day. I didn’t mind…
I had already budgeted that in to our expenses because
I knew I would want one for a remembrance of the day
You walk in through the bar/lunch area under the hut. I immediately started taking pictures of course. I would find that this would be a very challenging “picture day” because the sun would come out bright, then it would get cloudy, then the wind would be blowing really hard, then it would be calm. So, I don’t feel that I got the most out of my pictures that day…but hey, at least I got them right?
After you come out from under the hut...you walk in to the pool area. I look out to the ocean and beach area. It was beautiful of course. It was a lot smaller than Chankanaab, but still very pretty and small an intimate can be good.here wasn't very many people there yet. I think we must have been the first group to arrive. I only seen a few people in this area and only 1 family down by the beach under the papalas there. I decided to take more pictures of the grounds as I scope the place out.
Carlos greeted us when we arrived and said he would be our waiter. I remember A LOT of comments on people saying if you go here, make sure you get Carlos because he is WONDERFUL…and he was. He took us out to the beach area to show us where we were going to sit. Hmm, I didn’t realize that we had “assigned seats” and no one had ever mentioned that. I mean I’m sure we could have moved if we wanted (and we eventually did).
So we step down off of the pool area and in to the sand…sink, step, pull, sink, step, pull….Um ok. This was some hard sand to walk in. It’s the kind you really struggle to walk in and you sink with each step. We went on the other side around the pool (in front of the pool area) where the papalas where located facing the ocean and we put our things down. Carlos asks us what type of drinks we would like to get started. The hubby ordered a beer and I ordered a strawberry daiquiri to get me going and prepared for the world to end.
So I guess this would be our campsite for the day...or would it?
What do you think my daughter did as soon as we arrived at the “camp site” ? Yep, you guessed it...headed toward the water.
Once I got to the water, I noticed first that the waves were a little rough (I assumed because it was also windy out too) and then, as you can see in the picture) the sand in the water quickly went down right as soon as you get in. Hmmm, this was going to create a bit of a problem. Even though our daughter can swim, I do not trust her in the ocean unless it is calm (without her floaties). The water was rough. I looked at my husband and told him I really didn’t feel too safe letting her play here by the water because of the drop off. I guess that was one thing I had not asked about prior to going was if there was a gentle decline in the water or a quick drop in the sandy bottom. DARN. This now deemed the beach as pretty unusable to us. Remember me saying we do not go to the ocean to go to a pool? Well, this would be the exception for the day. We really didn’t have much choice. I knew that I wouldn’t feel that she was safe and I also knew that the sand was next to impossible to walk in and I wasn’t going to pull a muscle chasing after her in that stuff.
This picture was taken later in the day when I attempted once more to walk down the beach and try to snorkel from one end to the other. I turned around to take a shot of the sand to show just how difficult it was to walk in because I knew this would be included in my review. Can you tell how deep the foot prints are everywhere here? This is right beside the water. My legs were aching by the time that I made it to the end of Nachi and it's NOT a big place at all if that tells you anything.
So we decided this just wasn’t going to be a good “beach” day for us and packed up our things and went up to the pool to find a spot. But, not before getting the Santa hat picture…You guys thought I forgot right? NOT!
There was plenty of seating…actually your choice of anywhere. We sat down in 3 chairs right beside the bed they have up by the pool and actually used both since there wasn’t really many people around or using the chairs.
What do you all think Sakari did the minute we got up to the pool? Yep, I’m sure you’ve guessed it by now and learned her routine…the more water the merrier she is. You have to drag her out.
Nothing but fun in the sun all day. We hung for most of the day, letting Sakari swim and do her thing. I mostly “people watched” because, well…it’s fun.
Before booking this place, I had read tons of posters saying pretty much that this was a very quiet, mostly adult place with a non-party atmosphere. I felt that every time someone mentioned going with their “family” or “children” there people would jump in and post things like “you should go to Paradise instead” or somewhere else trying to steer anyone with families away from this place. I’m not sure why. We decided we were going here no matter what because the place did not mention it was not “family friendly” and our daughter is pretty quiet and just plays in the water by herself and doesn’t disturb anyone. She is always well behaved (well, at least until she gets around my grandchildren that is then it’s one for all and all for one chaos).
Now…with all of that being said, there was 16 kids there this day and they were rowdy and loud! So…
People have complained on here plenty of times that the hot tub is not hot. Well has anyone bothered to look at the hot tub? It is basically a part of the pool. There is a wall dividing the two with is shorter than the water line therefore the water overflows in to the hot tub and back in to the pool. Of course it’s not going to get warm with the pool water being splashed in to it. Duh…
The day we were there, as I said there were 16 kids there and I’m guessing they were mostly between the ages of 7-14 years old. They were rowdy, splashing and pushing each other in. They were in the hot tub (there is a sign that says ADULTS ONLY at the hot tub) and the adults kept telling them to get out. One gentleman kept saying “Can’t you read? The sign says this hot tub is for adults only, get out!” They did not listen. The staff also told them to get out several times. They would always end up back in there within the next 10 minutes or so. At one point they were all lined up on the wall dividing the hot tub and the pool and just hanging on it with their bellies. They had their legs in the pool water and their arms in the hot tub water and then they would slowly slide in to the hot tub and say “oops” like it was a mistake. They would get out, get back in the pool and do it all over again, and again, and again. Thank goodness I had no intention of using the hot tub. My husband did however and waited until they finally all got out and started horsing around in the pool and he went over and got in the hot tub for a while by himself. He never did mention if it was cold or hot.
A picture of the kids sliding in to the hot tub and sitting along the edge with their feet in while the adults were trying to tell them to go away:
So does Nachi enforce the "no kids in the hot tub" rule? They told them to get out...several times. Did they enforce it? No.
After awhile, some of them headed to the pool and started the splashing and pushing. I had to keep telling Sakari to stay back because I was afraid one of the kids would get pushed on her and take her under when she was not expecting it.
Sakari is a very outgoing, loveable child. She makes friends everywhere she goes and talks to everyone. She tries to play with everyone as well no matter how young or old you are; she will be your friend. She tried talking to some of the kids there that day, but they just brushed her off and snubbed her. I understand…really I do. There comes a point in a child’s life that you feel like you are older and you don’t play with “babies” and that’s fine. I get it, Sakari does not. So sometimes it disappoints her that the other kids will not play with her. But, there were also 2 adults there that day that came over and set in the water by the steps. They said hello to Sakari and she returned the hello back. She had her plastic dolphin that we purchased on board the Star with her that day and it was laying on the sidewalk over by my chair. One of the adults got up and walked over and said “I just had to turn this dolphin up the right way”. Um….ok. (The dolphin was laying on its side and she flipped it on it’s belly so that it was sitting the right way). Then she walked back over to the pool and sat down. Sakari had swam off the steps and then swam back and when she got to the first step to put her foot on it, her foot slipped off and she fell back under water and made a splash getting back up. No, it wasn’t much of a splash. I can splash more than that trying to fill a pot with water to put on the stove. One of the ladys scolded her and pointed her finger and her and said “NO, YOU DO NOT SPLASH!!” and then said to the other “come on, lets move”. Um, she did not splash them and was a good 7’ or more away from them. Are you kidding me? What is wrong with people…a fetish to turn over a dolphin laying on the sidewalk and then yelling at a 4 year old that didn’t splash you to being with? Now you can say whatever you want to me. I can take it, I’m a big girl, but there’s one thing you don’t do and that’s mess with any of my kids. It will bring out the worse part of me…and it did. My mommy instinct kicked in and I’ll admit it, I let out a “Oh h3ll no, you did not just scold my kid for NOT splashing you when she fell off the step”. They continued to walk. I continued to be a little pissed off and then went on with drinking my 3rd strawberry daiquiri waiting for the world to end...and it was only 10:30am. GASP! (I'm not a drinker and only drink when we are on vacation a few drinks or maybe when we go out to eat at a fancy restaurant I'll have 1 drink. But hey, the world was ending so what did it matter).
Sakari decided to come over and sit by me. I could tell that her feelings were hurt. She held out her hand to hold mine and gave me an “I love you mommy”. She does this constantly. She is such a loving child. I could tell things were all better now.
Ok, time to switch things up and by switching things up, I mean I started drinking the “dirty monkeys”. OH EM GEE! THEY ARE GOOD! That would be my choice drink for the rest of the day. (Of course like I said, I’m not a lush and don’t drink often, so I rotated between the drinks and my Coke Light). Service from Carlos was amazing with the drinks. He would be bringing you another drink before your one before that was even gone. He must watch everyone like a hawk to know when you are about to finish the last one. Every time I turned around I had another cold drink in my hands. No wonder I had that many that day!
I layed on the bed for awhile and enjoyed myself while the hubby went to go see about paying for the internet deal they have. You can pay $3.00 for 30 minutes or pay $5.00 for the entire day. We had brought our own laptop (a mini 10") so we were able to come back to our spot and update our facebook status and the hubby catch up on a little bit of emails/work. More on this INTERNET later.
After the hubby had checked his email, he let me have the computer for a little while and I uploaded some pictures to share back home. I have to admit, the Internet speed was ok, but the uploading was slow. It finally worked, but it was slow. The hubby sat with Sakari in the water (playing with her dolphin that had so graciously been turned over by the freakish lady) while I did my updating.
Carlos came around about now passing out the menus for lunch and told us he would return in a little bit for our order. Gosh, everything looked so good and it was a hard decision. I was going to order different things and we could all share each others.
Carlos did take awhile before he ever came back and I actually had to flag him down to take our order after about a half hour passed and we were definitely getting hungry. We ended up ordering the Nachos with guacamole to share, the chicken tacos, quesadilla, some French fries for Sakari and some mozzarella cheese sticks. That should do us!
What is that…another dirty monkey? yep!
So after I was done updating my facebook with pictures and posting my love for my other adult children who were not on this cruise with me. I was done. The hubby came back to place some orders he had received and BAM…the computer dies. Really? I swear I charged it last night. Why did it die like that? Maybe I didn’t have it plugged in. Maybe the battery is getting old. I have no idea. I just know that it lasted all day at Almaplena with no problems so I guess I’ll have to take the blame for this one. Hubby was not happy. He went up to the staff and told them our computer had died and he would have to use their computer after all. They told him “for another $3.00 you can use our computer, but only for 30 minutes more.” SAY WHAT? We paid for the entire day already. What do you mean we have to pay MORE AND can ONLY be on for another 30 minutes? Are you kidding me? What a rip off. He was not happy. I was not happy. He hoped and prayed that his warehouse had received the orders he had sent in for his customers and held his breath on it until we would arrive back in port and have internet access again.
By this time the dirty monkey and the strawberry daiquiris were running through me and it was time to head for the bathrooms. So, lets tour the bathroom facility.
When the hubby was in the hot tub, there were 2 couples that got in there with them. You know the kind that have their boobs paid for and talk like this, like you know, like really like prissy like but like an airhead like you know? Well when I made it to the bathrooms they were in there fixing their hair and doing their makeup. One goes in to the stall and the other decides she’s going to start taking pictures of her with her phone. Really? How old are you? I had quite a few dirty monkeys in me by this time…try that crap on me and…well, we just won’t go there this time around since they didn’t. I gave them the “you.are.so.stupid.and.not.funny.at.all” look and they did their little giggle and then shut up the rest of the time I was in there. Then I took them outside and pointed at this sign and told them to read the bottom line…if they could. (I’m just kidding about this last part, I really didn’t take them outside, but thought this was the perfect opportunity to post this picture and added it in).
In the way out of the facility and headed back toward the bar/pool area snapping pictures.
I figured it would take awhile before our food was ready so I told the hubby I was going to try to go out and go snorkeling. He gave me that “are you sure” look and I was. I did not come here to not be able to use the beach AND not be able to snorkel. I had a review to do and a job to do.
I gathered up my snorkeling equipment and painfully headed out in to the step-sink-pull out sand. I swear it felt like the longest walk ever. I felt like everyone was starring at me thinking “what is this lady doing walking like that?”. Yep, all eyes were on me as I struggled to walk down that long but short beach. Well actually, I guess they were on me because they were facing the beach and that’s just what you do when you face the beach…you people watch.
I snapped pictures along the way...it was definitely a beautiful area.
I made it to the end (or at least what I thought was the end, down by the volleyball nets…yes, I said volleyball net. I would sure like to watch someone try to play volleyball in that sand. LOL) and thought to myself “I think I just might be too worn out to even snorkel at this point”. However, after I weighed my options, I figured getting in the water and swimming with the current back was probably going to be less painful than trying to walk it. So, in the water I went and out to the areas that I could tell were “darker” in the water.
Hmmm….where are the fish? Where is the coral? Where is anything?
I finally found a fish. "Well hello there Mr Fish, where are you friends?"
DONE! Yep, that was it. Nothing to be seen. I would hang my head in shame and drag my butt back to the pool area...but first some pictures along the way.
Now I do know that I read they rent snorkeling equipment here and I’m pretty sure I seen a sign. Um, what for? Did I miss something somewhere? Someone tell me what there is to see here? Do they do a snorkel tour that you go out somewhere on a boat? I’m confused.
I took a deep breath, took this time to reflect on the wasted time and energy trying to get down the beach and then snorkel back…and then decided to take this pano so that I could say it wasn’t a wasted trip.
As you can tell, it was starting to get really windy. I headed back up to our table and shortly after our food was coming. The hubby could tell by my pouty face that it was an unsuccessful trip so it was his job to comfort me by getting me another drink.
In case you were wondering, they do have a hose to wash off your feet right before you go up to the pool area.
Boy this looked like a lot of food! The quesadillas were SO YUMMY. Even Sakari liked them. I wish we had ordered more. There was 3 of them and 3 of us and I know I could have ate 3 myself! The nachos were yummy and I loved that they put cheese all over them. The guacamole was good (not as good as Maya Chan guacamole, but I have come to the conclusion that NO ONE can make gaucamole as good as Maya Chan so I just need to get over it and move on). The hot sauce they had was...well HOT! You could tell the cheesesticks were hand made and they were really pretty yummy as well even though I thought they looked burned, they sure didn't taste like it. Sakari's fries...she has to have her fries. Although this time, she was too busy eating our food instead. The Mexican Enchiladas...heaven. They were so good! They also came with only 3 of them and splitting it 3 ways just wasn't good enough. Once again, I could have had 3 myself. We managed to completely clean our plates (except for maybe all of the fries) and agreed that this was the best Mexican meal we had had at any of the ports we went to this time around. It was a win on the food here. We definitely got our bellies full and enjoyed every bit of it!
I approached one of the ladies at the bar and ask what we needed to do for our ride back. She told me that we would have to tell our waiter when we would like to go back and they would call us a cab. I turned around and there was Carlos. I told him we would probably be ready in about a half hour.
Once I told Sakari that we were going to be getting ready to leave, she had to take another quick dip in the pool to finish out the day here. (Of course)
I packed everything up and we headed for the hut. It sprinkled for about 2 minutes flat and then stopped. But it was still getting very windy out. I headed for the hut about 10 minutes early so that I could take a few pictures of the entrance because I did not get any when we first arrived. But, as soon as we walked up to the hut, Carlos was telling us that our cab was waiting for us. We started walking toward the cab and I was trying to take some pictures and he kept saying “this way maam” like I was to hurry up. He pointed several times and kind of rushed us in to the cab so I wasn’t really able to take pictures like I wanted to. I’m not sure what the rush was for. There was a few other people that were standing there waiting on a cab that could have taken that one before us. It was only 2:30pm and we had plenty of time to get back to the port. This was the only picture I managed to get before leaving.
On the way out, in the cab, I tried taking a picture of the entrance out of the back window of the cab.
So...mixed emotions about this place. Everyone highly recommends it on cc, I however, did not find it "too" special. But that's just me. We did have some difficulty with the place and I know everyone is different. But, I rate things on my experiences and this was my experience and my thoughts.
We didn't like the sand AT ALL. Yes, it was nice, yes it was powdery soft, but it was just too difficult to walk in. I don't like it when the sand sinks and it takes everything out of you to walk in it and your legs hurt. I just don't like it.
The other thing was the drop off in the water made the ocean/beach area unusable for us...BECAUSE of having a little one that loves water and I did not want to chance anything with her. Therefore, we were forced to use the pool only.
The pool was decent and big enough for the amount of people there that day. I did like that it had huge steps all the way across it. That made it nice for sitting on or little ones.
I did not personally use to the hot tub, but I know this has been a complaint in the past about it never actually being hot. Well, it was very obvious to me the reason why...it's attached to the pool and the overflow of the pool going into the hot tub is going to keep it on the cooler side.
Now, the other thing with people saying this is not a "family" place or no kids or it's not rowdy. Well, I would imagine, as with any place, it depends on who's there at any given day. The day we were there, there were kids, they were rowdy (even some drunk kinda out of hand adults here and there but didn't bother anyone) they took over the pool at times and they would not stay out of the hot tub after several attempts of the adults telling them. They were hanging on the side, they "acting" like they were falling in...it was just ridiculous. So I cringe when I see people tell others "It's not a family place, it's not rowdy, it's more of an adult place". YOU CAN NOT PREDICT THIS FOR ANYONE!
The food was EXCELLENT! We loved it all and there was a lot. We were not offered deserts and it was not an "all you can eat" type of deal. The drinks were yummy and for the most part, we didn't have too much trouble getting more.
The snorkeling was pretty much non-existent...unless you do a boat tour or something??? I'm really not sure. I just couldn't find anything.
So would I recommend this place? I guess. It's nice that there's a limit of only 100 people allowed here for the day. So, if you have a crowded port day, that's a benefit of booking here. It's just not the place for us. At least not at the time we went. Would we go back? Maybe. Our daughter is older now and would be ok with the ocean and drop off...but then again, it would depend on the roughness of the water and that's unpredictable of course.