MITSUGIRLYS BACK TO BELLY SUN CRUISE review and pictorial
Day 7: Cozumel
Day 6 on the ship: Heading to Costa Maya Mexico
FRIDAY: Our day in Cozumel, Mexico.
I set the wake up call for 7am. Can anyone guess what happens next? I bet you can...I'm up at 6:45am.
On our way out the door, we noticed this:
There seems to be something missing. Yep, someone stole our decor off the door. Sakari was completely bumed, but I knew this was a possibility when I put it up there.
We ate at Moderno this morning and headed up to the deck to watch us pull into Cozumel.
Meanwhile the goof balls were having fun and didn't realize I was snapping pictures of them. She loves her daddy so much.
We headed down to the Stardust Lounge at 8:30 to meet up with our excursion group.
Yes, believe it or not, I purchased my second SHIP SPONSORED excursion this cruise. YIKES! I know it's so unheard of for me...but hey why not.
I have been wanting to go to Passion Island for several years now. I loved the pictures that I have seen people post on here and when you hear "That's where they filmed one of the Corona Commercials" you know that it has to be beautiful there right??
So I knew I had to at least try this place out...if not only just to tell people "Hey, I've been there...now what???"
It seems as though for years, Carnival was the only cruise ship I could find that had an excursion here (well, I'm sure there's others, but didn't research much in to it) and they did it by the Twister boat, which looks like it could be fun...but I'm not sure with a small child. No need to get whiplash right?
I tried to figure out the best way to do it on my own, but it seemed like it's very time consuming. Book with someone after getting off the ship...walking to where they are. Getting in a taxi/car to take you to where you then have to get on a boat to go over to the island. It really didn't appeal to me. I would much rather just get off the ship and get on the boat and just take me there darn-it!!! I don't like to waste time.
So...we booked with the cruise line.
We met at 8:45pm and got our wrist bands.
They announced that the catamaran would be a little late, possibly 10 minutes or so. So we waited....
I have to say that all of the announcements over and over while sitting in the lounge...they really push selling their water and have a table set up with staff to purchase it from. I have yet to see anyone actually buy it though.
When it was time to go, we got off the ship and headed down the dock. Of course you always have to stop for the "picture" from the great NCL photographers.
Well would you looky here...here comes the Epic! I was super excited to see her. I absolutely LOVE this ship. She was the first ship we sailed on when I started cruising again (and my husbands very first cruise) and I love everything about her. The entertainment, the casino, her beauty and decor, the water park...I just love her. I know there's a lot that don't and the poor Epic has been under fire about her "hat" since she was built. But hey, it gives her a look of her own! I'm all for being your own person...be the leader, not the follower! hehe
A look at the Suns "rump"
This would be the boat that takes us over to Passion Island. It was docked right there on the pier next to the Sun. Not far to walk at all and that made it nice. We didn't even have to go into port...winding our way around all the vendors in the 2 story complex.
Pulling away, I was able to get a few more shots of the Sun docked.
Before we took off, we were told that it was a little wavy out today and it might make for a little slower ride on the way to the island. We were going against the waves and the wind.
By then the Epic was "pulling in"
On the way (leave it to me to pick the wrong side), they closed our plastic blinds right after I snapped this picture and the water was splashing everywhere.
Epic still pulling in. She is going to look massive next to the Sun.
It was about a 20-25 minute ride to the island.
The island looked beautiful with powdery soft sand and we got off the boat.
Glancing down the beach, I just couldn't wait to pick our spot for the day.
Looking toward the opposite side of the island where the boat docks.
The guides from the boat told us as soon as we got off the ship that we would walk over under the trees and he would give us a quick "low-down" on the day and where everything was at. He also warned us about the "photographer" guys that will line everyone up to take pictures. We were told that if we didn't want our picture done to just tell them no and keep walking.
Well, the people ahead of us did just that and they actually started yelling at them...to the point that they said "hey lady, GET BACK HERE!!!" It was really rude like and kind of took me back a second. We decided at that point that we wouldn't stop and instead of staying in their hearding line, we walked AROUND them and of course got yelled at (yes I did this on purpose after hearing how they talked to the other people). We just kept on walking and didn't look back.
We made it to the spot where "the speach" took place. They had the cutest little "pineapples" there. It didn't realize pineapples grew in the sand like that. Can you see them?
Now THIS is what I'm talking about!!! I could look at this all day (and I would...well kinda).
This would be where they want you to stop and have your picture taken.
They said this is the exact spot where they filmed the commercial.
Can you tell I'm not paying a bit of attention to "the speach"?
There's just too many neat things to take pictures of...you can hold down my attention to boring talk.
FINALLY the talk was over and we scattered like someone had just stepped on fire ants. The gun went off and the racers started the race...off to find the perfect spot for the day.
We passed the showers
This looked interesting...if only it was closer to the water!!
Of course our late arrival left us with no beds. Others beat us to them. We decided to just put our things down at a table under a palapa. Now do you notice anything about this area?
It's really far from the water as well. Geesh. See this is the type of thing I don't like when going somewhere. I like there to be areas that are very close to the water both in the shade and the sun. I don't like to have to walk a mile to go to the water and I sure couldn't let Sakari play there while sitting in the shade. You are pretty much forced to sit in the weird S chairs in the sun the entire time if you go down there.
There was a playground directly behind us and I was hoping that Sakari might make some use of it and we would be able to see her at our table while relaxing.
We were informed that this was an AI...all you can eat and drink all day long!!! YES!!! So this was the AI that I was talking about when I thought it was the free lunch you get on our excursion with Shark Ray. I guess I'm kind of glad it ended up being this place instead since we would be staying her all day instead of just enough time to eat like at shark/ray.
This was the dining area under the roof. They served food all day long and as much as you wanted. They had 2 bars here as well...or your server would get anything you wanted for you.
The playground area:
I guess I'll start the day off with the Passion Island drink. Let's get this party started. Throw caution to the wind and forget about what time it is. Drink, eat and be merry. We are on island time!
The weird thing I didn't like was that you had to walk so far down the beach to get to all of the beds and chairs and tables (from the boat dock). The area around the boat dock is very beautiful and I wished that they had chairs and loungers down there.
The other problem is that the restrooms are back the other way and can be quite a walk depending on where you decided was your spot. I'm glad we didn't go "too" far.
Before long Sakari was having a fit about heading down to the water and I knew I couldn't hold her off much longer...but yet I wasn't sure how we were going to do this. I sure didn't want to sit in the sand in the sun the entire time.
We grabbed a couple of beach towels and headed down. She couldn't wait to get in the water.
I have to say, it looked pretty "icky" to me. It was real wavy out instead of calm and there was a lot of seaweed. I know you can't control this and it's a mother nature thing...but not exactly what I had pictured in my mind when coming here.
The beach looked lovely and you could tell that they kept it clean and raked. We did see them doing more work to the island, but it was just the water that was a bit of a turn off for me. They had a bunch of hammocks out in the water. They looked very inviting. However, one toe in the water and YIKES!!! It was freezing. I tried my hardest to get in up to my ankles and it just wasn't working for me. As much as I wanted to make it out to the hammocks and just hang out, it just didn't feel worth it to me.
Sakari however was determined to go out there. Since it was so rough in the water, I insisted on her putting her puddle jumper on. I wasn't about to risk it and sure wasn't going to ruin my day by going after her.
Of course once she got out there, she couldn't get in them. I'm not sure I could have gotten in them myself without getting knocked over by the waves.
We seen the water toys out in the water. They looked like they could have been a lot of fun and it was a great opportunity to be able to use them for free...but once again, I wasn't getting in this cold and wavy water to try it out.
But you know Sakari would attempt it.
Of course she couldn't do it by herself and started swimming back. The water was just so churned up it didn't look inviting at all.
I yelled for Sakari to come out of the water so that we could go back up to our table. She got about waist deep and screamed. Then came out of the water crying and holding her leg. Oh no...what now.
This was her leg:
She cried all the way back to the table and every time I looked down at her leg, it was getting worse.
By the time we made it back to the table, it was now all the way around her leg and was swelling. Oh just great...are there jelly fish here today? I know that they told us that we could go over and look at the "Lagoon" on the other side of the island, but we would not be able to swim there because they have jelly fish there AND crocodiles!!! Really? If they are there, then they are probably here as well right?
Jorge, one of the tour guys that came over on the boat with us immediately noticed her crying and came over. I showed him her leg and he said it was from the fire coral. He explained how they were out there and when the water gets rough and turned up, sometimes their tentacles get broken off and they float in the water and people get stung.
He went over to the buffet and brought back vinegar to take away the sting and a tomato to take away the itch. He explained to Sakari what to do and how to use it. He promised her that if she didn't scratch it, it would be gone in about an hour. The key to not scratching it would be to use the tomato every time instead. She thought this was quite funny to be putting a tomato on her leg but liked that it worked. She still talks about it and would use this as a teaching tool on another excursion we did the following week. (I'm glad to see she was not only paying attention, but understood why it was being done).
She cried all the way back to the table and every time I looked down at her leg, it was getting worse.
Jorge was worried and kept checking in on us all day. Sakari was pleased that he did tell the truth about it going away. It was gone within an hour and there was no trace of anything happening by the time we left. Sakari decided that she was not going back in that water for the rest of the day!
A few selfies
So since you can't swim in the ocean for fear of being stung...what else is there left to do for a child? EAT OF COURSE!
I had to go get Sakari some food, since she was now disabled and all...
"Our" spot for the day
Part of the childrens area. They had hammocks to lay on in there.
They also have an area to play some hoops
The beach that could have been, but never will be now.
I really love using the tilt shift feature on my camera so you will find pictures all during this review using this feature. It just looks neat to me, even on the ground (but works out better from a distance). I also liked using the "soft" focus to when it comes to the palm trees. It just looks dreamy.
Although this place didn't have the traditional Mexican food that I oh so love when I'm in Mexico...the food was still very good and we ate all day and they had nacho's, guac and pico.
Daddy "claims" he had to use the restroom, only he didn't return for awhile. (Remember how I like to do this?)...well, I figured out why he wasn't returning...he found the food as well.
Sakari's leg was all better now and she was ready to play.
We headed into the playground and she started with the trampoline.
There is a lady who works in the playground. They call her "The nanny". She pretty much works all the arts and crafts and has tons of things inside the little hut for the kids to do.
She pulled out a picture for Sakari to paint on. (Now remember what a good artist Sakari is...don't judge her by that...she's terrible at painting!!! lol Then again, so am I).
Jorge taking her up to the nanny to find her something to paint.
The nanny getting her set up
Meanwhile, this is what I'm doing...
I was relaxing there for quite some time and enjoying it.
I was also taking pictures as I laid there too. LOL (Well, come on now, you guys know me...if I seen an ant crawling across the hammock I would snap a picture).
Meanwhile...I see something out of the corner of my eye run across the playground and it wasn't a child.
Sakari had no idea what was going on right in front of her.
However the nanny did. When I said something to her, she said that it was a mommy raccoon and she had babies over in the playhouse...um say what? And they let children play in here??? Yikes! Just what I needed...to have my child stung by fire coral and bitten by a raccoon.
Of course Sakari, lover of all creatures until the bite or sting her, says "awww, how cute" (she says this for everything even if it's the ugliest monster looking creature ever created).
Then she went back to her drawing.
I'mmmmm thinking it's time for some morrrre food.
...and possibly some more drinks??? Sure why not. There's one thing about this island...they will load you up with drinks and before you can finish one, they are bringing you more. The ONLY problem I had was I normally like frozen drinks. They didn't have frozen drinks.
The blue drinks...ewwwy, very sour.
Some of the shops. I did not bother to go to any of them.
Me wondering off...saying I was headed to the restroom...and doing my thing.
Here are the restrooms. They have the mens and womens together in the building, but separate entrances.
There was some talk...well someone that was supposed to be on a Carnival excursion to here posted a review on TA saying that they had a peeping Tom at the restrooms and really raised a stink about this alleged allegation. They claimed they were in the restroom and it was dark in there. They said that they looked up and seen someone looking in the window behind them with a camera or something like that.
Now I'm not really sure since I've been there about this. I had something TOTALLY different pictured in my head about the restrooms.
If they did have a peeping Tom, they no longer peep. The windows are boarded up.
The bathroom is not at all "dark"
I mean the entire place has an open roof with plenty of light.
I'm just really not sure. I mean yes, I guess they could have boarded the windows up after this incident, but it was just way different than what I had pictured (which was more like an outhouse shack type of thing, dark and dingy, small and a little more accessible from the outside.) But whatever. You don't have to worry about it now.
There are 2 openings to come in the the restrooms and then the restrooms are on either side. I must have gotten turned around when I came out because I then managed to get myself lost. I was just busy taking pictures along the way and didn't actually notice that I was never coming to our spot until I came across the boat dock area. LOL Silly me.
I managed to make it back to the hubby and it was time to revert back to drinking some soda. I think the few icky blue whateveryoucallit sour drinks did me in.
I looked over to find Sakari and she was no where in sight. The panic in me set in. "Where is my child?" "Why are you not watching her???" Jorge was close by and said "Don't worry, the nanny took her to get some food" LOL My child just ate, but hey, if she wants to eat again...she's on vacation and I don't have to pay for it. (Just in case you are wondering...our table, directly behind our table: maybe 2 feet, then the lunch are beside it...they are all together. Nanny didn't run off with my child and she could be seen from where we are at. Of course I go into complete panic mode and never give the hubby a chance to speak).
The nanny set up a picnic table for her to eat at. I think she was enjoying this "service" of her own.
I walked over to get her picture. I wanted it as a keepsake and to see what a....fine job she did? yikes Like I said, painting is NOT her thing.
Before long, we decided to pack up our things and take a walk. We would walk toward the boat dock in order to leave, but had plenty of time for exploring along the way.
I wanted to go check out this lagoon they were talking about. They said it was really pretty...just don't go in unless you wanted to be lunch to the creatures over there.
I didn't think there was much to see. They had some guys working on some speed boats over there, but it was far from being pretty to me.
This is where you will find the sign for Isla Pasion. I really pictured this to be different too. You always see everyone taking their picture with this and I just expected it to be out front somewhere on the other side when you enter the island. It was just in an odd place. It had fake grass in front of it and didn't look as nice in person and what you see in the pictures. LOL
Sakari practicing her photography skills (hilarious at first because we posed forever and she just kept saying "It's not working"...only later to find out she was recording.)
They had what looked like a church over there
The workers were building something here.
I thought it was so beautiful over here. There was just something about the unspoiled nature of the area. There wasn't any chairs, palapas, tables or anything over here. Just the few buildings.
Honestly, I would have been 110% happy with coming to a beach that looked just like this with nothing on it. It makes for a beautiful beach and surroundings and I could just hang out all day right in that spot on the beach under the palm tree with nothing to sit on but my towel.
It was obvious that they must do weddings there.
Our boat was waiting at the dock for everyone and we decided we would just sit here in the beautiful sand, on the beach, under the palms, all alone, until it was time to leave.
When it was time for everyone to go, I noticed that everyone was meeting back in the same area (right past the statues) and they were all talking...for quite some time. I was enjoying the peace and quiet and the last thing I wanted to do was get up and walk all the way over there to hear another speech. Nope, I would stay right where I was and forgo that part. Hopefully they weren't taking roll call.
We took a few last pictures before leaving this beautiful area.
Then you could see the crowd start to move in our direction. We decided it was time to beat the crowd and head straight for the boat.
They did give us then when we first arrived. However, like I said, we didn't even go to the shops. Anyone know what they give you for "free"?
We were back on the boat (meeting time was 1pm) and we were to pull away at 1:15pm.
Since we had waited in that area, we were second to get on the boat and I immediately told the hubby I wanted upstairs so that I could take pictures on the way back. He gave me "that look" and I assured him it would be fine since once we started moving, we would have air to cool us down.
Mom and child selfie
We pulled out right on time and stirred up the water even more. Take that you fire coral.
A few last pictures of the island as we were pulling away.
Daddy was happy to have some air coming his way at this point.
Those two are at it again...
The angry water from the day was still beautiful
This was fun to watch but I didn't realize I still had my camera on tilt shift, so it made the picture blurry in the areas I wish it wouldn't have. That'll teach me.
When we got closer to the port, everyone noticed that the Epic had pulled in right beside the Sun and they all jumped up for pictures. Of course everyone from down stairs started coming up to our territory for the same reason. I'm pretty sure the boat got top heavy at that point. LOL
Would you look at the difference in size??
It almost looks like the Sun got a new hat and shades.
And a few added "layers" on top.
But you don't really realize just how much bigger the Epic is until you come around back and see this...
We headed down the pier to the ship. Of course we were VERY early back (as you always are when you are on a sponsored ship xcursion).
They had a sign up for everyone welcoming you back...however, there would be no party since we weren't actually leaving port until 5pm and all aboard wasn't until 4:30pm. Sigh** I always love the welcome back party, but it is what it is. (You could tell the sign was for Epic, but a girl can dream right).
Guys riding their bikes for a tip
I was kind of surprised at just how many people were on the pier coming back at such an early time. But then again...remember the "type" of cruise we were on with a "much older" crowd on board.
My final thoughts of visiting Passion Island:
It was a beautiful place.
The sand was powdery soft and the landscape was spectacular.
The food was good, even though it wasn't an authentic "Mexican" meal like I like. I did get hooked on their salsa and chips...once again, I don't like tomatoes but could eat this salsa all day. I actually told the hubby when we were there that if I had this salsa every day it still wouldn't be too much for me. :p
There were plenty of seats...there just might not be the seats you want if you are not the first to arrive (the beds if you want to relax). But you definitely had your choice of tables to pick from and plenty of the S chairs out by the water.
The childrens play area and the nanny were a nice extra added touch, which in our case...was really appreciated that day. Otherwise, I'm really not sure what Sakari would have done for the rest of the day. She's like me and always has to be doing something and can't just sit still.
It's a fairly short ride over to the island.
All you can eat and drink included in the price!!! What more can I say? I love these type of excursions.
A wonderful staff and very helpful (especially when Sakari was hurt they went out of their way to help her and comfort her).
Always making sure that you had plenty to drink and filling you up before you were even done with the last. The service was EXCELLENT and VERY FAST!!!
The bathrooms were nice and loved the way they were decorated. They had someone cleaning them and restocking them constantly.
There just isn't enough time spent here. It's such a short day...especially for the price. I can never understand why they make you go back so early on any of the ship sponsored excursions.
The water being turned up and sea weed all over down by the water. (Of course no fault of Passion Island or the excursion itself). It just happened to be the day we were there maybe?
Getting stung by the fire coral. Again, could happen anywhere and probably due to the water conditions.
Only having 1 set of restrooms located a bit of a walk depending on where you decided to sit at.
Having everyone walk so far from the boat dock when the area around there was so beautiful.
The very rude and pushy photographers at the beginning of the island.
The lagoon area was just ugly and of course couldn't be used.
The whole "speech" at the beginning. I mean come on, there's really no need to tie up our very limited time on the island by a long drawn out speech. Welcome us, point in the direction of the restrooms, tell us what time to be back on the boat. End of convo. It's not that hard!
So would I go here again? Nope, I sure wouldn't (but I knew this coming here). I just wanted to experience the place and put a ✔ next to my list of things done in Cozumel. Of course I also wanted to tell everyone that I had been to the Corona commercial island too. :D It was beautiful, but just not my "paradise" that I'm searching for. Chankanaab still remains my favorite place out of every place that I have been to in Cozumel so far (Chankanaab, Playa Mia, Mr Sanchos, Nachi Cocom, and now Passion Island).
A "Did you know" fact about Passion Island. We were also informed that Passion Island is in fact NOT a part of Cozumel or considered Cozumel. So I can say that we went to Cozumel AND another place while here...does this mean we visited 5 places on this cruise? :D
We returned to the ship and I know that a lot of people on here talk about how nice the ship is on port days when everyone is off of it. You have the whole place to yourself. Well, I figured we were pretty much going to get to experience this today since it was so early.
We headed to the room to drop our bags off and found the VIP treats.
Of course they want you to purchase a FCC. We decided not to get one this cruise and would pick up and few on our next cruise the following week instead.
We decided to not even get dressed and spend the rest of this time by the pools.
We headed to the main pool for awhile. For some reason, I completely forgot to take pictures while here and this was the only picture I got.
The water was very cold when we got in and I didn't stay long. Therefore, Sakari was forced to put her puddle jumper on and I was forced to hear the whinning about what a "big girl" she is and didn't need it. Nope, this momma is not about to go back in the freezing cold water to save you if needed. You will wear it.
We decided shortly to head over to the kiddie area. That would give Sakari a chance to take her floaties off and we would relax for awhile.
But once we got there, we decided just spending time in the hot tub sounded a little more relaxing.
Daddy didn't want to be left out of the fun and decided to join us.
Now the ship is a little old and it's not perfect, but we really didn't see very much that needed repaired. This would probably be the most we seen the entire cruise.