We booked Playa Mia using Carnival. It was the only way to go there and Kendra had decided last year that it was a "must-do" for her, especially since they were building a kids water park there last year. I'm normally not a "pool" person when cruising. We have a pool, we live in the pool in the summer and I don't cruise to the Caribbean to swim in someone else's pool. I usually head to the beach. However, this was my grandson's first cruise, we didn't know how he was going to react, and thought maybe this would be a good "start" to our day of ports. We were just in Cozumel 5 months ago and did the Nachi thing because we didn't think that the water park was going to be done by December (it ended up being completed a week prior to our cruise). So we knew this was a place we wanted to try out for sure...for the kids.
We made it out of the port and in to a taxi...ready, willing, and available, at your service.
I took a picture of the taxi rates. It was went up since
we were there in December and prior to that. We use
to pay $15 for up to 4 people to Nachi Cocom from
Punta Laguna (which is further away from there than
this port) and I believe Playa Mia is before you get to
Nachi Cocom. We have always paid $15 to Chankanaab
twice before that too. So, maybe this is new or just for
The sign out in front of Playa Mia at the road...I mean ROADS. I risk my life to get a picture of the entrance. LOL I didn't realize it was in the middle of two roads and started walking out there and here comes a truck on THIS side. So they are both 2 lane traffic, not a split road...if that makes sense.
Once you arrive, you will check in at the shack to the right. They will give you arm bands to wear and they are different colors depending on the "package" you purchased. We decided to purchase just the "come and go as you want" package without the food. We brought money in case we wanted food later and had obtained a menu online to see what the rates were going to be for food. I'm really glad we did this...more on this later. So our rate included the entrance and use of the entire facility and all non-motorized sports of course. Then we are informed that the water toys in the ocean are being "repaired" and not out today. GASP! I think my oldest daughter nearly fainted. She was looking forward to this and it was HER main reason for wanting to come here (in addition to the water park for the kids). Ok, well, we will just have to suck it up without the water toys.
Now I do have to say that Kendra was CONVINCED that this would be her favorite port day. I was convinced that Little French Key would be the favorite port. So far, she is minus one on her port. lol
Of course like a lot of places these days, it's all about making money and this place was no exception. When you enter the place, you are walking down a covered mall basically with shops and people wanting to sell you stuff. They did not hassel us or bother us. It was pretty much stop in if you wanted, if not and you kept walking they didn't say a word to us. Kinda nice and not what we are use to at the ports.
BIG, blue, pink, yellow BOLD colors...yes!!! Love it. I love Mexico and Cozumel so much.
Here is a map they have posted out front. It's huge for people that are blind like me. It was just a hassel to keep having to come out to the front to read where I was. j/k I sent my husband to do that. j/k again.
So a little tour of the grounds.
There was a mini pool swim up bar that I didn't see a sole use. So, we'll just get that picture out of the way and done with...not much to it. I believe it was the very first pool they had here at Playa Mia before expanding to the huge pool in the back. But this one is up close to the beach area.
We have arrived to our first destination of the day...the beach. Really pretty. Beautiful palms everywhere for a little shade.
See all of those people in the chairs in the pictures? Well that would continue the rest of the day. BIG GRIN!!
....And Sakari can't wait to hit the beach like always. She's always the first in and the last to be drug out!!!! That's my water girl.
Sakari found her a conch shell in the ocean. It was old and abandoned. Maybe next time you'll find something live in it. She's an animal freak.
Time for Brayden to join Sakari in the water. Do you guys notice anything different about the 2 of them? Maybe one (my child who has the smart mommy) has a tee shirt on after being in the pool all day long the day before (even though she tans like a bronze godess) and the other one (not my child but my grandson with the not as smart as her mommy is) has no tee shirt on??? Yea, well, more about this later.
I love the picture I captured of them between the chairs and down at the beach. I just wish I was a little closer up or had zoomed in on them running down the beach to the water. The kids playing...one with a tee and one without. I also captured my oldest daughter relaxing on the beach.
Oh, I almost forgot...there was a guy walking around when we first got there (well about an hour after arriving) that had 2 macaws and they put them on Sakari's arms to hold. Right when I got ready to snap the picture, he yelled at me and told me if I was to take the picture, I would be asked to leave. Um, ok. Then he proceeded to take her picture...of course. He then told us that they would come back around to let us see it or tell us where to buy it at in a little while. They never did come back. I later had my husband go inquire about it and he was told "we're closed now and you can't get the picture". Way to go photographer....NOT. It kinda ticked me off that I was yelled at for nothing and I had every intention of purchasing the picture. I always bring extra $$ for things just like this. Too bad this place didn't get it after all.
They also walked around with an iguana you could hold. Sakari didn't get to hold that one.
I decided to do a little snorkeling...I had to take a picture of my gear I bought about 3 cruises ago. Pink so it attracts all of the fish...and usually a curious barracuda or two.
The first thing I discovered was a bunch of neon fish. There was a yellow tang here and there, several surgeon fish everywhere, a few French Grunts I believe and some Rainbow Wrasse. I found this little anemone that was really close to the shore line...I mean like about 5 feet from the beach. I was shocked that someone hasn't stepped on him and destroyed it already.
Now these big suckers (fish) were circling me around and around. There was a lot of them. The picture turned out crappy because I was going around and around with them trying to figure out what they were and what they were doing. So, I was stirring up the sand.
This little Rainbow Wrasse was following me around for some reason. Then when I stopped, he went in and out between my legs over and over. It was kind of cute. I tell ya the fish here are curious and they must be use to a lot of people.
Then of course I had to have a picture of: Fish in the water, fish on my leg.
Sakari loves to snorkel. She started snorkeling when she was 3 and goes with us snorkeling at every place we go to. She hasn't learn to put a snorkel in her mouth yet, but I tell you what, she can probably hold her breath longer than I can. All previous cruises I would never let her out in the water snorkeling with me without her "puddle jumper" on. But the water was extremely calm this entire cruise and the places we went to that she begged (as she always does) not to wear it and I gave in. She snorkeled right beside me every time. She has become such a good swimmer and of course the sea water helps with the floating too. She loves to dive down to take a closer look at things.
More exploring...at this point she was trying to catch a fish. It was just too quick for her and it was funny to watch her come up each time with a clenched fist thinking something was in it. She just couldn't accept the fact that the fish were all quicker than her little hand in the water.
Time to come out of the water and fight for a place to sit again. Ugh, such a chore with all these people here.
They had a place that you could get paddle boats and canoes. Kendra and her family decided to give it a try. I was a little worn out from snorkeling so much that I passed on the idea of having to use my legs some more for some paddling. I never did see them come back and the next time I looked out, they were in a canoe.
They have a playground there but honestly, I'm not sure how anyone could use it since it's so hot, which made it too hot to touch let alone play on.
Another area for the "little" kids to play in. Of course with all of the people there that day, I'm surprised we didn't see this place packed.(Just kidding).
We decided it was time to try out the pool area and the water park. The one thing that I had been wanting to see since I knew they were adding it. We had went to the beach first because I knew once we made it to the water park, the little ones would never want to leave and therefore we would miss the beach all together.
There was a building that had the wall of lockers. With so many people there, we probably should have locked our things up but...not. j/k On the end of this building was the bar. This also had the restrooms in it as well...complete with a lady who sat in there with you to supervise.
We had White Russians (the drink, obviously not the people since there wasn't many there), Miami Vice (which I am now completely hooked on and it's my new favorite drink), strawberry daiquiris, pina coladas=Miami Vice again. LOL The drinks were included in the admission, just not the food. We definitely had our fill for sure and our moneys worth between the 4 of us.
Kendra went for 2 at one time and came back saying that this time around that they tasted a little more "watered down". So next time she went up they told her that they have a policy that they do not allow "drunks" at their place and will start watering down the drinks if they are afraid you are drinking them too fast to keep people under control. Well, we are not drinkers and rarely drink (except for when we are on a cruise, out to eat dinner at a fancy schmancy restaurant, or celebrating something...which doesn't come often). So we will drink and if we start to feel a little "tipsy" we stop and convert back to soda. Then go back to the drinks again later. So, we do not fit that category of "fallen down drunken arses" that you'll find sitting at the bar until you can't walk. Put that liquor back in my cup please!!! And they did. Then that was the last one I had or needed. LOL
The hubby and I were cheezing for the camera. Yes, I'm always the one behind the lens snapping pictures, so in order to get a picture of me to prove that I was even there is usually to snap the picture myself.
I almost forgot...I tried the Dirty Monkey a few times too.
Time for the water park. I ask over and over what it was like and for pictures prior to going and it seemed as if no one has really been here. So, now I have my answers. The pool area and the water park in the background=amazing.
The kids were having a blast! (This includes Kendra, which is a big kid as well). After awhile, an employee came by and told us that we were not allowed in the water park with the kids. Um, ok. What if we had a toddler that couldn't go by themselves? Are you telling me that we would not be able to get in the water with them? At first I thought this was strange, then I remember taking this picture below. Yes, Kendra again being a big kid and I have a feeling that is the reason they said this.
It's not like she was actually playing on the slides. She simply went up for me to take a picture of her. However, after she told me they said that, I completely ignored it because I'm not sitting in the hot sun while I watch my child play in the water, not being able to get in and not being able to leave to go over to the pool because she is playing at the water park. Sorry senior.
Ok, so it was time to try out the water slides. Everyone went several times. Everyone liked it, I just didn't like having to climb to the top of the stairs over and over. So, a few times was good enough for me.
On to the pool area. The kids were all game for it because they were ready to actually swim.
If you look at the dark blue area around the pool, it has built in seats that you can just lay there in the pool if you want.
You can see the massage area in the picture below. The lady walked around several times asking if we wanted massages. Once she came by and Kendra's boyfriend didn't realize who she was and couldn't understand her, so he placed his order for a drink. (rolling my eyes really loudly now). It was funny.
My grandson in his puddle jumper. He has not learn to swim yet. A picture of Sisterly love. Sakari decided it was jump time. She would practice this over and over. And here we go again with the ritual of throwing the kids.
There is a bridge led you over to the "hot" tub. LMBO (Which was not "hot"). The little ones decided they would try it out. They were just sitting there talking...for a good 15 minutes or so. Then once again, that same employee came over and told Kendra that they did not allow kids in the hot tub. Now, I'll have you know that before they ever went in there, I was in it and there was NOTHING hot about it. It was in fact colder than the water. After getting out of the so called "hot" tub and jumping back in to the water, the water actually felt like a hot tub. Hmmm
At this point we had swam our little hearts out, snorkeled, some rode the big blue and orange sea creatures out in the ocean that my legs couldn't handle at that point, walked up several flights of stairs only to have a minute of pleasure on the water slide and drank until our little hearts were content.
It was time for some food!!!! Let's head over and see if we can find a place to sit in the dining area. It might be a little too crowded so we had better hurry. Once we got there...I wonder if we'll be able to find any seats? (j/k). I took pictures of the menu.
We decided to order the Nacho's and the Mexican platter and split it between the 3 of us. We gobbled it all up and was very satisfied with our choice.
I don't remember what Kendra and the family ordered, but I know it wasn't the same as us. She tried ours and liked it much better. She ended up get her own plate of Nacho's after trying ours.
Now just making a note...
If you pay for the more expensive excursion here, it includes the meal. The meal is a buffet. We checked it out and it was mostly american-type food: hot dogs, hamburgers...or at least that's what it looked like. They had frieds and some other kind of nachos or something. But, it was nothing like what we ordered and I'm glad we didn't pick that package.
I'm not sure what or who this buffet was for because you seen how many people were here that day. Oh wait, we did run in to a few more people. Out of this ENTIRE dining room, we sat down in the first row, about mid way, toward the buffet. Along came a family and out of all of the hundreds of tables and chairs, they sat right next to us. Really? Invade spaces a lot do you? I just thought it was really weird.
So we still had some time left and decided we would spend it back at the beach once last time before leaving.
Off we went, headed back toward the beach. We found hammocks along the way. Everyone knows you have to stop at each hammock on an island for a "picture opportunity" to take back home and post to make it look like you just hung out on a beach, in a hammock all day while people served you drinks right? The looks are deceiving.
Finally got the munchkins to stop for a minute while they were taking off to the beach again. Of course Brayden plops down to the ground as always. At least this time he is not laying down.
Then we finally made it back to the "crowded beach" and the boys found some "nap" chairs. Don't worry, we didn't allow it to go on too long.
The kids built a few sand castles on the beach. Then it was time to drag the kids out of the water and sand because it was almost time to say goodbye to Playa Mia.
We decided it was time to go and headed for the entrance to grab a cab back to spend an little more time at the port taking more pictures before getting back on the ship.
When we got out front, there were several iguanas walking around.
A cab pulled up within 5 minutes of getting out there and actually had to wait on us since we were busy taking pictures and looking at the iguanas.
We arrived back to the port in about 15 mintues.
Someone looks a little...um...RED. I'm not gonna say I told you so but...I told ya so.This would continue to haunt us for the next few days.
So my final thoughts on Playa Mia.
It was a nice place. Beautifully decorated and landscaped. Bright, bold colors like I like.
The place was HUGE. There's plenty to do. I wish they had the water toys out in the ocean and we are sad we missed it.
I didn't like or appreciate getting yelled at or the several "rules" they implied on us that day, but hey, rules are rules so whatever.
The food was good...not great, but good enough to fill our bellies.
We are glad that we chose to do the smaller package because it allowed us to come and go as we wanted instead of just the allotted time frame the ship has for the excursion. Yes there were others there that day as you can see in my iguana picture, but I'm guessing no more than maybe 20 people there that day including us??? I can guarantee these people were people that took the higher package with the cruise ship because they were not there that long. I believe the ship allows like 3 or 4 hours there and you have to head back. We were there basically all day for a cheaper price. I have to say that if you are in port with a lot of cruise ships, I can't imagine being here. You seen the rows and rows of chairs and the place is huge and will accommodate a lot of people. I can only imagine what this place is liked packed. I sure know I wouldn't want to be there. I've been in port on days that there were 7 cruise ships there. I would head to an AI or Chankanaab on a day like that. However, remember that it is a VERY large place with plenty of ocean front/beach area, plus the water park area, slides and huge pool, plus the smaller pool and everything else there. So, there is enough room to accomodate a large crowd.
So would I recommend this place. Yea, with the exceptions above...a lot of cruise ships. It was a nice day.
Would I recommend it over my favorite place to far (Chankanaab)? No, not even close. We have been to Chankanaab twice for a reason. We have now tried Nachi Cocom and now Playa Mia. Neither compare to our beloved Chankanaab.
Would I go back to Playa Mia? Nope, it's one of those been there done that and I'm checking it off my list now. I strive to go somewhere different every time and that's exactly what I plan on doing.