With my beach bag packed in anticipation of a relaxing day on a beach where the kids could “frolic” in the water I stared at the rocky shoreline of Costa Maya and my HEART SANK! Where was the beach? I put on my happy face and followed chuck and the kids into “Mexican merchant heaven” If you could buy it anywhere in mexico you could buy it here!!! Wow it was hot! Africa Hot! Mexico hot, I guess. Chuck decided right there and then that HE would be returning to the ship….the pool……the bar! There goes my happy face. What the heck am I gonna do here with 3 whining hot kids. Well first I send them over to the pool in the center of “town” to cool off! Then I flag down my SIL, Donna and her family and my friend Jodi and her family. Then I rack my brain thinking about cruisecritic and what the heck I read about costa maya. And then it hits me!!! Majahual!!!!! That’s where we have to go! They all look at me like I’m crazy and turn to go back to the ship. I am not defeated. NO! I say. We have to go to Majahual! Great beach! Plenty of Beer…..(inside I’m hoping I’m remembering right because Chuck cant’ take the heat….well he can if he’s on a golf course, then it’s ok LOL) He’s already told me how miserable he’ll make me if Majahual “sucks”. I reassure everyone and we go get tix for the taxi. $3/pp . Well we get dropped off, walk about 50 yards and smiling from ear to ear I drop into a cushioned lounge chair on a gorgeous section of beach while Chuck is assaulted by the bartender who has to twist his arm to get him to buy a bucket of beer. This is no joke. He really had to twist. Chuck only brought $20 (Doh!) so subtract our $15 cab fare and you guessed it. We were poorer than the locals. Thank god Tom had the good sense to bring his wallet! We enjoyed buckets of corona and some of the best homemade salsa & chips I’ve ever had. ( Tom is the man!!) The sand was like silk, the water was wonderful! What a great day! Paradise, as Chuck called it from his lounge chair in the shade of a palm tree. I’m not sure exactly where we were in Majahual. The beach was broken into 50-foot sections; Each with its own bar, tables and chairs. There was a massage table, and a strolling guitar player. Our bar had swings instead of stools – very neat! Stayed there till 4pm took a $2 cab ride back, got on the ship and laughed on our balcony as everyone booed all the latecomers!! How embarrassing for them! Some of the other families in our group took a 30 minute cab ride to some “all inclusive beach thing” . Paid approx. $50/pp had open bar BUT the beach sucked and the water was murky. They hated it and they hated us when we told them about our day!!! LOL
Dinner, Name that tune (I think), show, Casino, Pool Buffet ( I think) Bonine, Coma
DAY 4 COZUMEL…..NO…..WAIT…..A SEA DAY: Honestly we were not really disappointed with the extra sea day. Would have liked to do Cozumel – had the Royal Dolphin Swim booked – obviously had to cancel. We decided to make the most of it and enjoy what the ship offered. Chuck enjoyed mini golf, (oh, btw he was the guy who won the “Tiger Woods” thing. Prize: 1 hour in the golf simulator!!!!) the bar, the rock wall, the bar, the shade and his “soduko” puzzles. I enjoyed many Mango Tangos, the pool, about 5 minutes of rollerblading (it was too windy…..that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!) and about 10.5 seconds on the rock wall (it was too windy?) . I am not a climber. LOL but at least I tried it, right?
Once again the pool was packed. Chair hogging was out of control! Today may have been the “sexy leg contest” It’s so funny how everything is a blur – all jumbled in my head. Chuck did a wine tasting one day. We also watched the Belly Flop contest earlier in the week. Did I mention we wasted $20……..I mean spent $20 over and over on the entertaining game of BINGO? Boy they get ya there. I know. I know. You gotta be in it to win it. – Well we sure were “in it” But we DIDN”T win it. Oh well. Now we know better for next time.
Wow, it is a blur. So much I’m forgetting. I’ll just add little tidbits here and there just to confuse you.
Dinner, show (which one? Cant remember but it was good) casino, Bonine (yep, I was still taking it – better safe than sorry) Coma
Day 5 Grand Cayman Rays Reef & Rum Tour with Nativeway, Formal Night: Tender day but not bad at all. Basically walked off the ship onto the tender and were on GC in a matter of minutes. Saw a guy holding a Nativeway sign right away. He told us we had about an hour before we started so we walked around, took some pictures, bought a Tshirt etc. When we got back to our designated meeting place we met LINDA8188, her husband Phil and their boys. They were on the tour with us! Jodi and Tom and their family, and Donna Mickey and Heather were there too. Another family from our group signed up with nativeway at the pier and they were also with us. Our whole group totaled 16. We were led to a van, dropped off at the dock and into a 39-foot boat (The “My Way”) we went. Plenty of room! Snorkel equipment, punch and water provided. Sheldon was our guide? Captain? And I wish I could remember the other guys name? Both were Excellent! We set off for Stingray City (about a 30 min. ride) and on the way Sheldon grabbed some snorkel equipment, jumped off the boat and went searching for Conch shells. We were amazed when he came back with 3 or 4 in a matter of minutes. I’ve spent my whole life walking the beach looking for those dang things and he finds them as easily as I could find a losing bingo card! The water was magnificent! I cant even describe the colors of blue! God I hope my pictures come out! We pull up to the sandbar where the stingrays are. Sheldon gives us instructions – he is great with the kids! I hand my girls their waterproof disposable cameras and into the water we go. I was a little concerned that the kids would be afraid but they weren’t!!! Cool! All I can say is: YOU HAVE TO DO THIS EXCURSION! Don’t book with the ship. We were anchored beside the ships boat. There must have been close to 100 people. There is no way they were able to have any quality time with the rays. Our little group of 16 were holding them, kissing them, I held one for at least 3-4 minutes myself, finally I let go because it was so heavy. We fed them and received back massages and plenty of picture opportunities. We spent about 40 minutes there and reluctantly got back on the boat, which then took us 5 minutes away to the coral reef. Once again Sheldon gave us all instructions. Now I had bought my kids snorkel equipment this past summer so they could practice in the pool. It worked. They had no trouble at all and really had a ball. The colors of the fish are amazing and we saw a moray eel. (eek!) Sheldon tried to coax a nurse shark out but he/she? Stayed beyond the reef. After snorkeling about 30 minutes we returned to the boat, placed our orders for lunch (Menu: Mahi Mahi Sandwich, Conch fritters, Burgers, Chicken Fingers, Fries Ice tea / Lemonade) and headed to Rum Point Island. Very pretty beach, plenty of lounge chairs, picnic tables a few hammocks, decent bathroom and a VERY EXPENSIVE cash bar. I ordered a “mudslide” $10!!!! Pretty steep and the bartender really had a stick up her @$$! Gave us a hard time when Chuck gave her a $100 bill and she tried to give us “Cayman” money for change. Thank god I brought along some smaller bills ( Learned my lesson in Costa Maya) We stayed at Rum Point for about an hour maybe an hour and a half and headed back to the ship. On the way back Sheldon showed us how to remove the conchs from the shell. Ugly little buggers. He cut off all the slimy colorful things and was left with what looked like a bar of soap. He sliced it up and we all got to try a piece. Reminded me of scallops. All in all a great day! DO IT!!!! Nativwaywatersports.com Ya Mon!!!!
Tonight is Lobster Night!!! No big deal for me – I’m not really a seafood kinda gal but some of the guys at our table put away 4-5 tails each. Unbelievable. Hope there was enough for the second seating LOL.
Once again, we hit the casino, a show, the midnight buffet (just to look) Bonine, Coma
Day 7 Sea Day – Our Last Day: Breakfast in the windjammer, caught up with the kids – they were still having a blast! Lay in the sun by the pool till noon. Damn but it was windy. Chairs were actually being blown around and the top of my drinks kept spraying my BIL lying next to me. Since it was the last day we felt pressured (for the first time all week) to do it all. And do it all we tried. I packed us all up, put the bags in the hall and met the gang downstairs by the theater. The Farewell show that evening brought tears to my eyes. I couldn’t believe it was over. A year and a half of waiting and tomorrow I’d be walking off the ship. Sniff. Sigh.
Disembarkation: We had green tags and turquoise (?). Our flight was 2pm out of FLL so we were in no hurry. Had a leisurely breakfast in the windjammer. Said goodbye to our new friends, took a few pictures and sadly walked off the ship into the longest line we had to wait in all week. Customs! Actually it wasn’t too bad. Had a hard time finding the luggage! TIP: Your luggage may already be on the ground and not circling on the carousel. We wasted so much time watching luggage go by when our pieces were just sitting behind us waiting to be rolled away. At first I thought the luggage on the ground belonged to someone else. Don’t make the same mistake. Check it all. We shuffled outside, slowly climbed into our excursion (not so exciting on the way home) and headed for FLL.
Good flight. Sad but good. They lost my luggage. Got it by noon Monday morning.
No worries. Ya Mon!
Not so perfect moments:. Mid week the Maitre d’ approached our table with a complaint about unruly kids! Wasn’t my kids or my niece but they were in OUR group. He suggested that maybe they should not come to the dining room anymore! We were mortified! You see, all us adults sat at one table and the kids took up 2 more tables by themselves. My folks and another family made up the 4th table. My in-laws never ate in the Dining Room (I don’t know why?) OK so the kids were unsupervised and their parents should have paid more attention to them – not my problem though, my kids and niece were at a different table and made us very proud as they conducted themselves like ladies every night – what they did when they weren’t with us I cant vouch for but at least THEY were welcome in the DR every night!!! The parents of these “unruly kids” did nothing but complain to us about how bad their kids are and how they always act up and how they get so many complaints about them. Excuses excuses! Ugh! Just bad parenting if you ask me! Anyway Chuck took charge and spoke with the waiter & Maitre d’ offering an apology, which none of the other “parents” did, and an offer to move our group/tables around so the offended folks wouldn’t have to dine near the kids. They said they would pass the apology and offer on to the other table. Nothing ever came of it. We didn’t have to move and the kids behaved (for the most part) the rest of the trip.
The only other not so perfect moment came during the 2nd formal night. We each were given a cute little glass plate of sherbet (to cleanse the pallet, you know) Well, my friend Rich, sitting next to me spit his out into his hand – I look at him in disgust until I realize he’s holding a piece of glass!!!! Chuck thought it was an ice chip but it didn’t melt!!! The maitre d’ came over, apologized over and over again and took the cute little plate of glass away. Now Rich didn’t complain or make a fuss – he didn’t want anything– he just told the maitre d’ not to serve anymore sherbert from that container – He was thinking of the safety of other passengers. I have to commend him for not making a scene and threatening to sue which I am SURE other may have done in the same situation. He received chocolate covered strawberrys that night in his cabin. His wife enjoyed them very much!!!!
SUMMARY: We Had The Trip Of A Lifetime…..And More! Took over 400 pictures!! Already planning our next cruise!!! Thank you cruisecritic for all the valuable information that helped make our trip so memorable!
For the record and for those of you who are interested: Our family of 5's seapass bill was around $900 and included tips ($342.50), Adventure ocean ($130), the soda package $204, Alcohol ($215) and 1 $9 christmas tree ornament. That's it. Everything else we paid cash for.
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