Mitsugirly BREAKAWAYs for a summer cruise: Review/Pictorial

Day 6: Costa Maya, Mexico

DAY 5 on the ship: COSTA MAYA, MEXICO   8-5PM

 

We've been here many times and was looking for something new to do. At first I booked an excursion going to Blue Lagoon. It looked like such a beautiful place and had kayaking and so on. It's also called 7 color lagoon because of the various beautiful colors you will find there. However, I decided to let Sakari pick what she wanted to do. After all, it's all about the kids and their enjoyment while on vacation and I want her to have wonderful memories to look back on when I'm gone.

 

So, she decided she wanted to go to Maya Lost Maya Kingdom right there close to the port...the water park they built a few years ago. Since she has turned into this daredevil lately, she wanted to go for the zip lines and water slides. She promised that she would "do them all". Yea...we'll see about that once she see's just how big and tall they are in person. It's pretty expensive there but hey...whatever makes her happy and has a memorable time I guess.

 

I booked the excursion using NCL. It's the same price as if you pay at the doors so I figured why not. The cost is $99 per adult and $89 for a child. So, a total of $287 worth of fun was thrown out of my pocket for the day. Since it was so close to the port, I knew we would have very little time lost in getting there and back from the port (unlike the Blue Lagoon, which was over an hour drive each way). So, we'd at least get to make the most of our time there and get our monies worth...even if it involved her chickening out and just using it as a pool and lazy river day. Now for some reason when I booked with NCL, the total cost ended up being $267.20. Loving a discount, even if it's only $19.80.

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We scoured the internet looking at pictures and videos of the place (and their official website) and the more I looked, the more I was glad we booked this place. It looked really cool and I knew we were going to have a good time. As the months went by, it was all Sakari could talk about. She asked every day on the cruise "is this the day we get to go to the water park and zip lining?" Well...the day was finally here that I could tell her "YES!"

 

I know a lot of people on these boards don't like the place because it's not your "true authentic" idea of visiting a port and what Costa Maya is like. It's a commercialized place and not the "real deal". But, that's ok. It's our vacation and it's what would make our daughter happy, then I'm going to do it. We've been to plenty of places in Costa Maya including Blue Kay several times (my favorite but has been changing over the years), Nohoch Kay (which I honestly didn't care for even though many enjoy it here on the boards), Maya Chan (popular with the boards and the food and place is amazing...but I don't care for the brown murky looking water) and Almaplena (gorgeous beach and water but didn't care for the food we had). To me, the Malecon is the Malecon no matter where you go...and I honestly don't care for the Malecon other than Blue Kay and I feel that it has run it's course with us now. So....off to do something new and exciting...even if it's commercialized.

Even though there wasn't really a "set time" to get up and get there, we got up as early as we could and hit the breakfast line.

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Pulling into port...

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We were in port with Liberty OTS and Carnival Breeze (my favorite of Carnival but Horizon is too). It would be the first time we have ever been in port with other ships (that I can remember, but I may be wrong) and we got the closest parking spot this time around too. Woo hoo! LOL

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The port at Costa Maya is a beautiful port. They have done so many changes since we first start going there and the entire port has been revamped several years ago. I just love this port and the decor. It's probably my favorite as far as the way it looks.

 

This was new since last time...it would be cool if they did that all the way down the pier.

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The beach at the port. Everyone is always asking about it and I've never really taken a good look at it. I know it's not much and very little space for anyone and it's also not a "beach" exactly nor can you go into the water. But here's a picture of the area (I have more on the way back to port that day).

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Now this port is very aggravating when it comes to trying to get out of it. You used to just walk down, in front of the buildings, all the way to the end and go out. Now you are twisting and turning and it goes back and forth and along the waterfront and every building in the port before being able to get out. I hate it. They really want you to go by everything and buy "stuff". You have every person asking you to come in and buy things and every restaurant trying to guide you in to be seated to eat. I just kept saying "Do you realize we all just ate breakfast?????" Geesh!

 

 

But we finally made it out...

Outside of the port is a turn around area for taxi's/shuttles and so on.

 

It didn't seem like the shuttles were running yet (was $3 pp to use but I'm not sure if that's still the same or not) but our tickets said that included transportation (using this shuttle I'm sure) but it wasn't until 9:45am. I wasn't about to wait that long to get there. That meant an arrival time of around 10am. No thank you.

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So my plans were to just walk there. We've done it before and it's a fairly easy walk...only it was very hot and humid out.

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If you cross over, into the middle of the street, you'll find a sidewalk to walk on. There's several places that are covered and will keep you out of the sun.

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When you get to the end of the street, you will see this...

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Traffic goes around this and heads off either right or left. Once we got there, I looked around like...Hmmm, where do we go now? It's different when you are on the ship and can see the park towering over everything, but on land, I thought you would still see it and you couldn't so I wasn't sure.

 

We stopped to ask a local and he pointed ------>  So right we went down the street. I figured that way but it was just too hot to be guessing at that point.

 

This is what you see when you look right....can't see the towering zip lines or water slides.

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Walking along the street...

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We have arrived...

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Of course as soon as we arrived, a huge bus of people pulled up and jumped out (we are talking huge bus like a Greyhound) and that stuck us close to the end. We waited out in the hot sun and waited and waited. We seen some people with Royal Caribbean tickets and assumed that's who got off the bus. They started having us fill out the waiver form while we stood in line. Then they started taking people from BEHIND us around and into the line right by the windows where you check in. Um...ok.

 

Then before long, another bus pulls up (smaller) and I assume that might have been the NCL bus or Carnival. I did see a few people with NCL tickets, but they were a totally different color than ours and I have no idea what the difference was. I also seen them pull some people up in line and when I turned around and looked behind us, there was no longer a line and we were last. Now wait a minute. I flagged down a worker and showed her we already had tickets and didn't need to buy any. She said we were in the right line and everyone had to check in at the ticket office for wrist bands. Grrr

 

 

Finally we got checked in and entered the park. I know it seemed like forever when we were standing in the sun and heat, but honestly it was probably maybe a 15 minute wait. We just happened to be the ones stuck behind a family of 13...go figure.

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Iguana's were everywhere...I guess this was their park.

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Well this is an interesting flower

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One of the pools

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We decided not to stop at the first pool and head on back. It wasn't very crowded yet...thank goodness.

  

There are several pools in the back and we decided we wanted to be back that way.

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We found a row of chairs with no one in that section yet. We decided this is where we would claim our stake for the day.

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Later in the day people around us would come and go but it never felt too crowded for some reason. Maybe they were all off doing the water park and zip lining.

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This was our view from the chairs.

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It took less than 30 minutes for Sakari to start jumping up and down wanting to head to the zip lines. I had already jumped in the pool to cool down from the walk here and standing in line. So, since I had cooled down, I figured why not. More and more people would be coming in and we might as well start now before it got crowded.

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We headed to the pyramid and knew that had to be the place to go for all the fun since everything seemed to be protruding out of every orifice of it from above.

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Inside this place was really cool and so many things to see. It was just really neat.

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The lazy river comes inside this huge pyramid as well.

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There were so many things to do...different water slides, different paths to go on the zip lines. We knew we wanted to start with the zip lines and then had to decide which zip line to do first. We decided to go all out and just started with the highest and longest. I mean why not? It was time to test Sakari and see if she was really a "big girl now" that had conquered her fears. 

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Now they did say that if you want to do them all, you could do one and go right back up and do the rest. No need to wait in line again. They said it's best to do it that way and get it out of the way.

 

 

They also have a roller coaster zip line...interesting.

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Now they did say that if you want to do them all, you could do one and go right back up and do the rest. No need to wait in line again. They said it's best to do it that way and get it out of the way.

 

 

They also have a roller coaster zip line...interesting.

So let the fun begin....

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Now just a few things...

 

The "rules" that are posted everywhere say no camera's allowed and to lock things up in the lockers while riding. However, the hubby...is a rule breaker, and he said "it'll be alright, we are taking it". They seen us with the camera and didn't say a word. So, it's my understanding that it has to have a way to be secured. Mine is secured with a strap that WILL NOT come off. So, I guess that's allowed. The workers made comments about if we lost it, they were retrieve it and keep it and they needed a new camera anyhow. LOL

 

Another thing is...I was all excited about taking an elevator up to start the zip lines, however...I would find that with each zip line, you are walking a winding circular staircase back up at each platform. LOL I got my workout that day for sure!

 

 

Next, they made us go tandem with Sakari on several of the zip lines. I'm not sure why. They seem to think she would be too light and not make it to the end. I believe she's almost, if not, 100 pounds now. There's probably lighter and shorter adults than her. Do they tandem with others if that's the case? But, she didn't put up too much of a fight about it. Eventually she got to go on her own.

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Great view from above...

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So here we are.... 8 years later....

 

From 3 years old on her first zip line in the rain forest of Belize

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To 11 years old in Costa Maya and concurring her fears of doing it again.

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Oh that staircase....whew

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No hands!!!

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So here is a compiled video of our zip lining. It's about 7 minutes long and has various clips of us on different zip lines. Toward the end, you'll see how you end the zip line....in water. It's a lot of fun. But they take the lines and pull you up....then down and BAM, you get soaked. At the very end of the video is the "roller coaster" zip line. It's pretty cool and I hadn't even heard of this until now. It also ends in the water. The only thing is....you get turned around at the landing in the water, then dipped, which makes your bottoms come down for us girls.  😲    Also, at the very end of the roller coaster "dunk" in the water, my fish eye decided to pop off in the water. The worker retrieved it for me and nothing was harmed thank goodness.

After completing that first round of zip lines, I decided that I had had enough of it. I told Sakari and daddy if they wanted to continue they could, but I was going to sit the rest out. I was tired from climbing and just wanted to get in the pool and relax a bit. The zip lines really did take a lot of time to complete. My guess is maybe 1 - 1 1/2 hours to do all of them in the longest zip line and the roller coaster. I'm not sure how long the other was but I knew at this point, I didn't want to dedicate another hour long to it.

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There's one other thing I want to mention...we ran all over this place with bare feet. There are walkways everywhere, some are hot and you needed to get off into the sand or dip your feet into water along the way, but the texture of the walkways seem to bother my feet throughout the day. By the end of the day, the bottom of my feet were hurting and felt funny...almost like you are walking on stones or rough pavement all day...and my feet felt like they were going to end up with blisters. The only time that I have ever had this "feeling" is when swimming in a pool that is concrete all day and they feel like they will blister up. Now mind you, I have grown up running barefooted as a child...I can walk or run on gravel with no issues. I do not have a tender foot. My feet are not even ticklish. But this place bothered me...which is strange for me.

 

After returning home (and still to this day) the bottom of my feet are peeling. They don't hurt or anything...they are just peeling...just like my arms and back. LOL I didn't get a chance to use the pumice stone on them to remove most of the dead skin after returning because of my accident. You talk about some itchy feet (foot) in my cast now. Sigh!

 

So, my offerings of suggestion to you...if you have water shoes, wear them. LOL If not, you've been warned.

 

Back at our prime pool location we had our server bringing us drinks over and over. It was SO GOOD and ice cold. During the day, they got a little warmer so he would bring cups with ice. He kept us going all day long and was great.

 

Daddy decided to go somewhere and for the life of me I don't remember where, but Sakari and I took off to the lazy river because lazy is exactly what I needed at this point.

 

When we entered, they let us know it was about a 20 minute ride. Ahhhh

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I just love lazy rivers and this one was nicely landscaped and had different things to look at. There were iguanas baking in the sun all around too. They had props here and there, places that shot out water, waterfalls you go under, bubbles under your bottom and so on.

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Then there were the ropes hanging. Oh how Sakari loved these things. She'd stop herself and start swinging around until she'd be going in a circle real fast and then let go.

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A waterfall going into the pyramid....save the eyelashes....aaaaahhhhhhh. There was no going around it.

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An unsuspected water spout that shoots out at you as you are going by...

 

 

Perfect shot!

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I'm hearing some type of tribal music...I'm starting to get worried...oh no

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Why am I hearing the roar of a very big kitty now? I'm scared....Sakari....save me!

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Oh mom...it's just a jaguar.

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There's an area that splits off, you go right or left...I went right and Sakari's water took her left. Oops. I guess I had the more "interesting route" according to Sakari.

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We met back up in the middle...

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She was just having the time of her life. I knew from all the smiles I was getting that day that we had made the absolute best choice to come here during port day in Costa Maya.

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All good things must come to an end....and the "ride" was over. We had a blast and it was relaxing.

Here's a short (less than a minute) video of our lazy river time...

After Sakari and I finished the lazy river, we went back to check on daddy. He had been wondering where we went and we told him we yelled for him as we went by on the lazy river but he was on his phone (yes, they have wifi here).

 

He said he wanted to do the lazy river, but we decided that we were hungry first. We flagged down our waiter and ask for a menu. He said something to the hubby, which he did not understand. We waited and waited and he never returned. Hmmm, that was weird for him.

 

I decided to go to the nearest restaurant, because I was seeing everyone gather in an area with food, and see if I could get a menu. I found a menu sitting on the table and started to walk away with it...going back to our chairs. Half way back to the chairs, someone stopped me and said that "This menu is no good for today. We have buffet"  So wait, the only option is the buffet today? We can't just order what we wanted?

 

The buffet is EXPENSIVE! $25 per person. YIKES! But everyone was hungry and what can you do? We all gathered and went to the buffet. We did find that Sakari was cheaper since she was a child. Thank goodness!

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I do have to say they have A LOT of food...like A LOT! I didn't even take pictures of everything either. There was an entire other row behind all these with breads and goodies and so on. But a person can only eat so much too. I guess the good thing is if you buy it early on, you can eat there all day. We were pretty late to the game, so only ate once.

 

 They did have free drinks: Habiscus Flower Water and Rice water. Now this was interesting....

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We thought the Rice Water was pretty good but after drinking it for awhile, it started tasting like sugar. LOL  The Hibiscus...not so good in our opinion. Of course you can opt to not drink either and go right next door and get pop.

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Everything we ate was pretty good and at least our bellies were satisfied and we had the strength to go on....to other activities.

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Now located directly behind where we were sitting I found some trails. You really didn't find many people back there but the employees would come back there to gather additional supplies for food and such. Every once in awhile you would see people visiting the park walk down that way. I did ask our server where it went and I (think) he said it went over to the other side...which is where the kiddie water park is located.

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There looked to be a huge termite tree up there. I wonder if they are the same termites that you'll find in Belize that you can eat and they taste like mint. Of course I wasn't about to try to climb up there and figure it out...I mean you could fall out of the tree and break a leg or something.

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Plenty of iguana's back there as well.

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Odd flower with the leaves above and the actual flowers draping down below them.

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The hubby decided he wanted us all to go on the lazy river since we were rude and went without him. We all went and had a blast but I did not take my camera this time around (imagine that) because my battery was starting to die and I knew I was going to have to switch to another camera soon. I figured I already had pictures of it so why bother.

 

Then when we were done Sakari jumped up and down and said "Let's go do the water slides!!!" Well, for some reason I decided I didn't want to. I know previously on water slides, they have a tendency to bang the heck out of your back and end up with marks. Plus I'd probably lose a few eyelashes and also for some reason I was being extra careful on this trip not to get hurt. (Imagine that).

 

I motioned for the hubs and Sakari to go on and I was going to go back to our chairs and hang out, use the wifi to post some pics to those back home and also swim. Off they went....

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I'm just hanging out and in the pool and all of a sudden I hear "MOMMY!!!!!' I look around and see this...

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They were all the way up there at the top! GASP! I ran and grabbed my camera and started snapping pictures. I couldn't believe I heard her yell for me from that far away!

 

 

I mean they were at the tippy top!

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Ok, it's official....Sakari is not scared of anything anymore. She's not scared of heights, water slides, zip lining (and her recent trips to the amusement parks here....roller coasters). She was definitely getting her monies worth.

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After doing that water slide, they went back up and tried out the one below it...the green one.

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Then they tried the racing ones. These you go down on a mat.

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However, one thing to know is that when you get to the bottom, remember how I said that you don't have to get mats to go on the ride and they are waiting up at the top? Well....according to the hubby, you have to take them back up if you rode that water ride. So, since they had to go back up there...why not come back down on another water ride? They caught up with me a little while after that.

At the bottom of the water slide...Sakari found these...

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Grand pappy

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I can't believe how close she can get to animals...any animals. They run the minute they see me within 10 feet of them. They watch me like a hawk. If I got anywhere near them like this, there would be no picture.

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Since they were busy riding all of these water slides, I asked if they had went on the one that looks like the "toilet bowl" on the NCL Epic. Sakari knew exactly what I was talking about and said "no, but I want to now". They headed off that way and I went around to try to find out how to get to the end of it to take pictures. I guess you had to enter the pyramid and out a different way to get back there.

 

 

These slides were not working according to Sakari but the landing pool was going and water was coming out of them so I don't know what was going on.

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Now prior to them going on this ride, there was a girl sitting down at the bottom in the pool area on the steps. I thought she was waiting for someone. Then when someone can down he came out of it acting like he was seriously injured. The sat there for awhile and some employees (like park medics) came to check him out. I guess coming out of the "bowl" he wasn't laying back and it slung him and he hit his head pretty hard. I believe the same thing happened to the girl that was sitting there. I know exactly what this feels like. The same thing happened to me on the Epic. If you aren't laying down and have your head back somewhat, it will sling you out of the tube really hard and throw your head back. I want to say the same thing happened to Sakari that time and she refused to go back on it.

 

So we waited and waited until they made sure he was ok.

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I was getting a little nervous about them coming down and no way to communicate with them about the events that were taking place below where I was. I just crossed my fingers and hoped that they laid back and didn't end up with the same injuries.

 

Out came Sakari with a smile...she was going pretty slow so I guess that meant no slinging around or anything. She just kinda came out and plopped into the water below.

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Next up was daddy....I believe he went a little faster and when he plopped out...he went back first. He mentioned there was no touching the bottom of this pool area and I was afraid for his ears...not only going under like that when you land but having to coming out where the water was pouring out of the tube. But he said he was ok and he didn't end up with water in his ears or an infection from this day.

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After they had completed all of the water slides (some several times and over and over) we headed back to our chairs.

 

Almost everyone seemed to be gone in our area and we pretty much had the pool to ourselves at that point.

 

 And some water slide videos...

Here's some pictures of the kiddie water park (Sakari had no interest in it...I mean why would she after all those big water rides).

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We did a little more swimming and then decided to head back to the port. It had been a great day...especially for Sakari and I was really pleased with the place. Sakari said out of all the port days, this was by far her favorite. She just ask me the other day if we ever go back to that port can we go back there. I wouldn't deny her of that now. I know how much fun she had. Next time, we will need Kendra and the gang to go for even more fun.

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Headed out to catch a bus...we were told they run every half hour so you can go back at any time you want. However, toward the end of the day, they would pull up one after another.

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I can't remember if I shared this or not....so if not, here is a short video of the iguana's roaming around and the entrance with some creature in a box yikes...less than 30 seconds...

On our way back to the port...

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Sakari says "Look...it's smiling at us"

 

(Do you see it?)

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I guess you can rent bikes at the port...it would be easy to ride over to the malecon I would think...

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Pictures at the port...(if you want more, you can always look at previous reviews of Costa Maya. I took a lot of pictures previously so didn't this time).

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Here is the dolphin area. I feel so bad that these dolphins are kept in such a small place. I can't believe with their skills and instincts that they don't just jump the wall for freedom. 

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The small beach area at the port

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And then outside the port

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The moon was out already

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Once we got back on board...I bet you can't guess what we did...

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Sakari just can't get enough of the water. Her and her friend Daniel playing in the pool.

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We did run into Daniel once at the water park but never seen him again. I was shocked that they didn't meet up and go on the water slides and zip lining together. These 2 were pretty much inseparable during the entire cruise.

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After awhile, we all (me, Sakari and Daniel) decided to take on the water slides. I figured there wasn't too much of a chance for me to get hurt on those and if I did, it wouldn't last too long because these are baby slides compared to the ones at the water park. LOL