We were really unsure of where to go for this port. It was one of the last ports that I really "researched". We had been to Maya Chan already and the service and place is fabulous! However, we didn't care for the brownish water and tons of sea grass there. But oh how I miss their guacamole. It has been the best guacamole I have EVER ate in my life. Nothing has compared to it since then. We have went to Almaplena last December and the place was absolutely gorgeous! We loved the entire day there. I didn't really care for certain parts of the food there, but that was my fault. I didn't pick from the menu and left it up to them. The entrees were excellent and I could have just lived off of those the rest of the day with no problem.
So now, it was time to pick a different place because, well, I like a variety. I had read a lot about the Malecon and the places to go to up and down it. Many people had said that Nohoch Kay was the place to go because of it's location at the end, no vendors allowed there (and would be shooed off quickly if they came), the excellent service provided by the staff and the wonderful owner. I did realize that according to its location, I probably wasn't going to get that crystal blue clear water like I had experienced at Almaplena and it would probably be more like Maya Chan. So, I was prepared for that and just prepared to relax that day (yea right, when have any of you ever known me to "relax"...I'm a go, go, go type of person and I can't sit still for more than 5 minutes). I did find a video of a couple that had rented some bikes and rode up and down the Malecon and the place looked nice and reminded me of many many years ago some of the beach places I have been to when I was in my 20's. So, I figured it would be a nice place to go to in order to pass the day by, which was going to seem extremely short. 7am-2pm was our port day.
The price was $40 for this AI and we paid a $10 deposit with the remaining balance due at the time we arrive.
Now we had been told by email that we were to exit the port and go to where the taxi stands are. Do not tell anyone that you are going to Nohoch Kay as you come out and walk to the taxi stand. Well I know from our last time we were here we were required to walk out of the port and WAY down the road to where the Hard Rock Cafe use to be to catch the regular taxis to Almaplena. It's quite the haul, but it was nice out and it wasn't going to be bad this time around. When we went to Maya Chan, we walked right outside the port and our bus was sitting there waiting to take us. This time, I wasn't really sure where I was going.
There were people there asking you where you wanted to go and we decided to tell them and see if they would take us there. They said yes. We purchased "passes" from them and they charged us $3 for the adults and $2 each for the kids. Now I had not read anywhere on here that they had a reduced rate for the kids. So I was kinda shocked to find this out.
We all got in the van and we were on our way. When the driver turned off the road and headed toward the malecon, I could see the lighthouse. I knew we were getting close because (since I do so much research prior to my trips) I had "walked" along this road many times trying to determine just "where" along this road I could locate Nohoch Kay....using google earth. I had seen this lighthouse with each "walk" along the street and knew it was at the opposite end of Nohoch.
We were some of the last to be dropped off. We had arrived at Nohoch Kay. Everytime this place was mentioned, I recall seeing the fish picture.
We walked around the corner and checked in with the staff and were told to go find a seat where we wanted. It was just a little building with some chairs and tables and a little bigger area for dining under the thatched roof area with a sandy floor. I didn't think it was anything special, but this was just my opinion. There was a bar to the left and in the back was the place where they made all of the food. The restrooms were located behind the place where they were cooking. The place to wash your hands was on the side of the restrooms, where water would flow out of a conch sea shell for rinsing.
We headed across the walkway and to a palapa along the beach area.
I have to say, this really wasn't my idea of paradise, or really anything special. I know a lot of people like to come here and it was highly recommended, but I had wished that I would have done a little more research on what to expect.
I know there are a lot of cruisers out there that enjoy an AI where they just sit and relax, have someone wait on them by bringing them drinks and food all day while they SIT AND RELAX. Good food, good friends right? Well anyone that knows me and have read any of my reviews know that I'm not that person. I like to go somewhere that you can be active, explore, see the beautiful water, snorkel if possible, and be surounded by the "beauty" of the landscaping and plush tropical palms. This was NOT that place by far. This is just a sit all day and have people serve you type of place. If that's your thing, you have found your place I suppose.
So we found our spot, right in front of the water. As you can tell, Sakari is already racing to get her shoes off and head to the water before anyone else. It's only about 8am and she's rearing to go already. The kid never stops...and you think I'm bad.
The waitress immediately came up to us and gave us a list of "drinks" and ask what we would like. Um, I um, gasp, don't know...I mean like it's 8am in the morning and you are offering us alcohol already. Something just didn't seem right about this picture. LOL I know it comes with the package but geesh it's early to start drinking. I ended up ordering a Coke Light, which comes out in a can with a straw. They ask if we wanted to order something to eat. Gasp again, I had completely not took this all in to consideration when I had breakfast this morning. Darn. I should have just waited. I was far from being hungry or even wanting something to munch on. YIKES. Something told me I would not get my moneys worth today and I was kinda regretting booking this place at this point.
There was a sailboat in front of us. Sakari climbed up on it and was watching the sail whip back and forth in the wind. She would grab her face every time it hit her face and she would giggle with laughter. A guy came over and said hello (I took this to be the owner) and he looked at Sakari and looked at me and gave me that "get her off of there" look...well glare. I immediately knew that glare, I do it myself. I mean she wasn't hurting anything. She was just standing there and watching the sail go back and forth. But, I told her to get down right away and she was upset.
He really didn't say much other than to ask if they had taken our drinks and I had told him yes and he walked away.
A view of the beach, the sail boats were pretty, but not much to see and not really that breath taking "view" I like.
Sakari was ready to head out to the water of course. It was time to explore for her. The water was what I had expected, full of sea grass, areas of just sand, and the brownish color due to the sea grass. But I already knew this, so it didn't bother me, but yet I found myself wishing I would have booked another place like Almaplena. I mean after all, it was our last port and our last "Caribbean" day. It's always nice to go out with a bang.
It took me awhile to get use to the water...it's still EARLY and today didn't seem quite as warm to me as the previous days. It was a little windy and in fact, it was the perfect "lounging" day, but I'm not a lounger.
Kendra thought it was a little cold out and she put on her thick zebra print fuzzy pj pants and ended up curling up in a ball after grabbing my Carnival ship towels and fell asleep. Her boyfriend was nursing a headache (or should I say hangover) from the casino the night before.
I finally got use to the water and on goes the goggles. Even though it was sea grass, you are usually going to find "something" in there. Lots of critters live in the sea grass and I was about to find them.
The first thing I noticed was a conch. I picked it up to see if anything was in there and there was. I yelled for Sakari who had went back up to our spot to get a drink and I brought it over to her to show her. Since she is so interested in animals, I like to give her every opportunity to learn about them. No it wasn't the first time she had ever seen one, we had just seen some the day before as LFK and other various places, but I still show her and she loves the excitement of it. All I wanted to do was take a picture of her holding it...Along comes the same guy again yelling "You need to put that back in the water!" Um ok...do you think I'm going to stow it in my pocket and run? Really? I'm taking a picture. I probably had one of those "looks" on my face by then and I calmed my voice and said "I'm just showing it to my daughter and taking a picture. I have no intention on keeping it and had planned on returning it to the water once I'm done...but thank you."
So I immediately returned it to the water like a scolded puppy with my tail between my legs and Sakari and I decided to go snorkeling.
MOST of what you will see is in the picture below...sea grass.
We did find a few big crabs, but man are the fast and I was not able to get a picture before they scurried off.
This place (the ocean) was not like any other place I have been too. There was tons of sea grass everywhere, but it was super shallow...like most places you couldn't snorkel where the sea grass was because it wouldn't have even covered your ankles shallow.
But there are some sandy areas here and there and we snorkeled those areas and found some fish. The edges of the sandy area would be shallow enough for Sakari to stand up in when she needed to take a break and then it would slop back down a bit. It was kind of the perfect area for her to snorkel in without her puddle jumper. I stayed close to her but she was doing an excellent job combining the swimming, snorkeling, and resting along the sides when needed. I was really proud of her. We went way out...I mean way out. We seen a few fish here and there, but nothing to really keep "me" too occupied. She was delighted every time she found a fish and would follow it until it would get fed up with her and race off. There were tons of neon fish too.
ike all of the other places we had been to this cruise, there were tons of these little either trunk fish or puffer or...I'm really not sure, but they are cute and crack me up with their little pucker lips.
I kept finding some of these werid octagon shaped things, I have no idea what they are. They didn't seem to have anything live in them and thought maybe it's just some type of soft coral or plant? It was very soft and squishy and had a unique form to it. Sorry the pictures came out a little blurry, I didn't have it on macro at the time. The under side of it reminded me of a flower with layers.
At this point, we were pretty far out...and I'm standing on one of the many "mounds" there like I'm standing on the top of the water.
Sakari was headed back to the "camp" and I followed soon after. There really wasn't much to see out there.
Back at the camp, Brayden, my grandson, was playing with the sand toys we had brought along and Sakari joined in. I went down and got some water and showed them how to mix it with the sand and make some of the sand figures. This would become their new "project" for awhile. They would run back and forth from the water to the beach camp and make sand animals.
The staff would continue to stop by every half hour or so to see if we wanted more drinks or some food. I finally decided to order a drink just to try to attempt to get my moneys worth.
After several trips back and forth from the bar people and getting drinks, I decided to go ahead and order some food. They gave me a menu and I ordered a plate of chicken nachos. I had also ask them if they had guacamole and they said they would bring me out some of that as well.
The picture below was the guacamole plate they brought out to me. It wasn't exactly what I was expecting. I figured it would be a plate of nachos and some gaucamole to dip it in. It was lacking the nachos. As always...NOT Maya Chans gaucamole at all! Sigh. My plate came out with the chicken platter. Mmmm yummy, would you look at those pickles? LOLOLOL Brayden was convinced they were pickles and I hear the normal phrase coming from Sakari "I like pickles" meaning she wanted one. I explained to her that they were NOT pickles and that they were very hot. Brayden convinced her otherwise, but he was not the one that was willing to "eat" the pickle. She picked one up and I told her they are very hot Sakari, you are not going to like them and Brayden kept telling her to try it, it was a pickle. Well, mother always knows best and some day she'll learn that Brayden is not the one to listen to. She ate it, her eyes watered up and right when I knew she was about to bolt out a blood chilling scream, I shook my head and told her "Don't you dare! I tried to tell you they weren't pickles and they were hot." She quickly spit it out and grabbed my Coke Light I had ordered for her.
Lesson learned I hope. Mommy would not stear you wrong. Well, unless it was actually something I wanted you to try. Then I might. wink wink
The gaucamole was "ok" the chicken nachos was "ok" but it wouldn't be anything that I would want to order again or rave about that day.
Kendra woke up due to my laughing at Sakari and her pickle and decided she would order something to eat as well. They did not have a very big breakfast since I was on her tail about hurrying up so that we could get off the ship. She ended up ordering a burrito of some sort. I think it was a chicken burrito. She did not care for it at all. She said it tasted "weird" was her reply.
When they came back out, they of course ask about more drinks...I ordered more.
Now one thing I KNOW I read about prior to going was that they did not allow the peddlers there at the beach and that the owner and staff would shoo them away. This was NOT the case that day. There were several "salesmen" in the area and I'm calling them a salesmen being nice, because they didn't hassel you like most. They would walk up and flash their items and you could shake your head and they would walk away. However, they would do this over and over all day long. Not once did I see anyone shoo them away. They even came up to me while I was placing an order with one of the staff and she just looked at them.
I took at picture of one of the guys that came around very often just to show everyone here that they were in fact there. He had just left our "camp" and was walking around the sailboat directly in front of us. I didn't want to make it noticeable to him that I was taking his picture so I waited until he turned that way.
OH>>>>>>> I forgot to tell you all mt "peddlers" story. There was a lady who came around over and over trying to sell things and we had told her no several times. So this time around she came back with the huge bubble sticks and was blowing bubbles (using the wind) all over the beach. Of course when they got to our camp, having 2 young children who of course loves bubbles, they started playing in them. They ran up and down the area chasing the bubbles and was having a great time. At one point the lady made the mistake of handing them both their own set of bubbles. I laughed and thought "if this is your strategy to get someone to buy bubbles, you just messed up with this family". They opened them up and started playing and blowing bubbles. I mean come on, they are 5. What kid isn't going to do that. There were bubbles everywhere. Now they were standing a little ways from us (close to the sailboat) and we were just sitting there watching. I noticed the lady say $3 to the kids and pointed over at us. The kids of course walked over to us and "showed" us the bubbles their new friend had given them. They didn't understand what was going on and I played along and said "awww, how fun." LMBO. The continued to play with the bubbles and the lady just stood there. Then finally she looked at me and said "three dollar" and I looked at her and said "no mulla". The look on her face was priceless and it was even funnier to watch her try to coax the kids in to giving her back the bubbles they had been playing with. Let this be a lesson peddlers...don't hand a child something, let them play with it and expect it to be easy to get it back from them. They are children. Make sure you ask the parents first and get your money first before handing something to a child because it will be returned to you only half full. I know, now I'm a bad irresponsible parent, but hey, at that point I was in one of those moods that I was tired of being asked over and over to buy her things.
As you can tell, there were some dark clouds rolling in. It started to sprinkle a bit. I was under the big palapa, but Kendra and them got a little wet because their umbrella that had been placed by "I have no clue" wasn't covering them all the way. It just appeared after we set up camp. So Kendra was having a fit...yes, she melts, or is it floats? I can't remember at this point. As soon as the gripe started, it ended and the rain drops were gone. No biggie. It lasted "maybe" 5 minutes at most and the sun was back out again in full force.
Getting to Nohoch is about a 5 drive and you could see our ship sitting in port.
Sakari and I decided to go back out to snorkel one last time. I wanted to go a little more to the right and futher out to see if was anything more to be seen. We walked along the sea grass taking each step very slowly...just in case. Then we made it out to an area that was a round hole opening of sand. It was maybe about 5 feet deep and we swam out over it.
GASP...Sakari was hoovering right over a Lionfish (which was blending in with a rock). I quickly grabbed her and put her over to the sea grass area and told her to look under the water. She could see it. I explained to her that it was very dangerous and could sting her and hurt her. I think she listened this time (maybe because Brayden wasn't around to convince her that it was a toy and try to catch it). These Lion Fish really are showing up more and more and at this point I had seen enough of them and in the back of my mind it was starting to worry me that I was running across so many.
We got out of that area and decided to head over toward a different area. Then what do we come across?
More danger=a barracuda lurking in the area. There were 2 of these little guys swimming around. Now these were LITTLE guys. Smaller than the one that was hanging out at LFK. I know it looks big in the picture, but I was zoomed in. They were maybe about a little bigger than my hand. But my thought was if there were a few babies around here, there must be a momma somewhere. Time to move on.
At this point I had figured I had enough of snorkeling for the day. My husband noticed that we were pretty far out but yet standing up. He just had to have a picture. LOL Out he came and told me he was going out really far and he wanted me to take his picture.
I took a picture, as I was walking back to the beach, of him. His caption...I can walk on water I'm that amazing.
By the time I returned to the camp, Kendra ask me if I had seen Brayden and he was lost...but she didn't seem to concerned, which of course concerned me.
I started looking around and found him...burried in the sand. B marks the spot.Sakari wanted in on the fun.Oh great, now we have 2 lost children. I guess we'll just have to leave without them. They quickly jumped up after that statment.
My child no longer looked like a Caribbean beauty, she was pale and white.
We decided to order some more food since I really wasn't satisfied with the last round of food.
I ordered a chicken taco and some chicken quesadillas.
The chicken taco was "ok"...better than the chicken nachos, but a little bland. I'm not sure if it was the soft taco shell or what, but at this point I was hungry and I ate it.The quesadillas came and they were amazing. I did find something I liked, it just took awhile to find it.
Sakari also liked them and so I ordered her a plate and she gobbled them right up.
I noticed as I took this picture of her eating, there were some canoes in the background. I have no idea where they came from and hadn't noticed them before. I don't know if they were anything that we could use, but I assumed so. But I wondered HOW could one use these? The water was not deep enough to begin with. Most places it only covered your feet and the small areas that it was sandy and deep led to...nowhere.Now that I look back at a previous picture of the fishing boats sitting in the water and the ship at the dock, they are in that picture. Maybe someone just moved them closer to us.
So shortly after noticing the canoes and we were busy eating our new found delicious chicken quesadillas, we watched a guy walk out and grab a canoe, get in it and start to paddle. He made it about 5' out from the shore line and hit the sea grass. He kept trying to paddle and didn't move. He finally climbed out of the canoe and you could tell it took him a little off guard when he stepped out into such a shallow area.
He pulled the canoe off the sea grass and back in to the water and tried a different direction. Still the same thing but he kept paddling and paddling and going no where. It was kind of hilarious to watch him. It kept us occupied for a good half hour or so. He made it no where. I have to say he had more patience than me. I would have stopped at the first "run aground" area and gave up. But he kept trying and never succeeding. But hey, entertainment is entertainment right? I was glad he kept trying. I was getting kick out of it.
So I think we had done everything there was to do here, which wasn't much to begin with and decided we might as well leave. It was getting to be late...using that term loosely because it wasn't "late" at all...but since we were pulling out of the port at 2pm...it was considered late I guess.
We gathered our things up and headed toward the Nohoch building and told them we would like to leave now. We settled our bill at the bar counter. They said they would call the cab. We sat down at the first set of tables while others continued to walk up and jump in every cab that pulled up. Um ok. Yes, some were cars and 6 of us wouldn't have fit in them, but enough cabs pulled up that we could have taken 2 of them and pulled out together. A bigger cab pulled up and people walking up to the building at that time headed straight for the cab and got in. Um ok again. At this point I was getting a little perturbed because the guy was just standing there and saying every time it happened that "you'll get the next one." Really? There was another couple that came right after us that was also waiting and they ended up getting mad and saying they would just walk down the road and catch their own "darn" cab and took off walking along the building. Now I felt bad because these people were a lot older and didn't seem to be able to "walk" fast or far.
Finally another mini van came and of course others tried to grab it and he quickly walked us over and said this is their cab and we piled in a little frustrated at this point.
By the time we made it to the end of this block, the elderly people were standing at the corner...just standing, looking like they had no idea what to do or where to go. I personally thought it was a bad choice, but that's what they decided to do.
We headed back to the port with a short 5 minute drive and they let us off right where we had been picked up.
So my thoughts on Nohoch Kay. Not at all my "type" of place. Now keep in mind, these are just MY opinions, opinions and taste vary, but this is my experience.
It was not exactly what I had expected or hoped for. I did not find the place "pretty", I did not find the place to be anything special.
The service was excellent and they bugged you non-stop for drinks and food. If we didn't want anything, we just simply told them so. We knew they would be right back soon to ask again.
Yes, there were plenty of people walking up and down the beach trying to sell you things. No, they were not told to leave and continued to come back all day long. They were very annoying.
No, there is not really any good snorkeling here.
No, it's not really the type of place to swim here either. However, if you have little ones, it could be the perfect place because the water is pretty shallow and the water was calm the day we were there.
No, we did not think the food was anything special, but did manage to find something we liked in the end.
No, we did not encounter that "friendly owner service" that everyone talks about. He did not even bother to come over and talk to us other than the time I was scolded for bringing the conch to show my daughter. He never even really acknowledged us during the entire day. People talk about how "friendly" he is...but I just didn't see it or witness it. In fact, I would go as far as to say he was kind of rude with his encounters with us.
No, getting a cab back to the port was not an easy task, even with the help of the owner who allowed numerous people to jump ahead of us. Another disturbing moment (after moment after moment).
If you are the type that wants to just go somewhere and hang out all day doing nothing but eating and drinking non-stop for 1 price, I guess this can be the place for you. We didn't find the drinks to be strong at all, so it would take quite a bit to get you going.
We simply did not care for this place. It's just our opinion. For the amount of people we had in our party, it would have cost us an extra $16 pp to go to Maya Chan and I found myself wishing that we had went there instead. But it is what it is and now I can say I experienced Nohoch Kay and the Malecon and now I can also say I won't be going back.
I can't personally recommend this place based on MY experience...from beach to water to the owner to the food. :(
**I believe I have read that the owner is no longer there and has been replaced now**