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1/16 Explorer Review - Part Three


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Okay here is the eagerly awaited Part Three of my Review.


Link to Part One http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=126773

Link to Part Two http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=127117


A little background before I get started. I cruised with my sister and two of my best girlfriends. We left the husbands and kids at home (12 kids total). We range in age from 33 to 39.


Enjoy and feel free to ask any questions you might have...


Wednesday 1/19 - Day 4 Costa Maya


The shipped docked at 7:00 in this port but let’s just say we weren’t up quite that early after the night before. We got up about 9:00 and went to the Windjammer for breakfast.



It was a cloudy, windy day with temperatures only in the 60’s at this point. The Captain announced that the weather would probably stay about the same all day so there were lots of people in long pants and sweatshirts.



The pier at Costa Maya is LONG…long enough that there is a tram driving back and forth (we walked it four different times so it isn’t that long). There were 2 other ships in port with us.



The port area was very busy – probably due to the bad weather and not much else to do. It was too cold to use the pool or the beach. We wandered around for a few minutes and then decided to head for Majahual.



The taxi stand was very busy. You have to stand in a line to buy your taxi tickets ($3 to get to Majahual) and it’s the same line where you can buy excursions. The line was pretty slow due to people trying to decide what they wanted to do.



There were so many people going to Majahual at this time that they were using buses to transport. We waited in line for just a couple of minutes and then were loaded into a bus. It’s only a few miles and you are dropped off in town.



Majahual is a tiny fishing village with a population of less than 400 people. It has dirt roads and no telephones. The people were very friendly. It’s basically shopping for a 2-3 block stretch. Everyone tried to get us into their shops but no one was overly pushy – nothing like Jamaica if you’ve ever been there. I bought beautiful dresses for my two girls and coconut shell necklaces for my two boys. You can definitely bargain on the prices, I think I usually got about half prices from where they started.



Here’s a very important note….they do NOT take any credit cards in Majahual (no phones lines remember). We quickly ran out of cash. So we decided to take a cab back to the ship, eat lunch and get more cash. There is another cab stand where you buy tickets ($2 this direction) and yellow cabs take you back to the ship.



After lunch we gathered up more cash and headed back to Majahual. By this time there was no line in the taxi area. The weather had greatly improved, it was still cool but the sun had come out. We had a great afternoon just wandering around and talking to the various vendors. We bought vanilla, hot sauce and some beautiful jewelry.



We had to be back on the ship at 5:30 pm for a 6:00 departure. We headed back to the port area and had about an hour to spare. We wandered around the stores for a little bit but I’d say the prices were definitely better in Majahual. There were lots of drunk people in the area. I guess there wasn’t much else to do if you just stayed in the area.



At 6:00 the captain made an announcement that there were 33 people still not on the ship. He was giving them 15 minutes and then we were leaving with or without them. We heard conflicting stories for the rest of the week whether or not they made it back on the ship or not.




Back on the ship it was “naptime” and then time to get ready for dinner. Suggested dress was casual or Caribbean attire.



After dinner we went to the Love & Marriage Game Show at 10:15 pm. It was great. We laughed so hard. Clo (the cruise director) was the host and she did an excellent job. I’m not convinced that it’s not at least somewhat fixed, but it’s still funny.



We headed up to the room to watch the Tropical Parade at 11:15 pm. After the parade was the Dancing Under the Stars Pool Party and Buffet from 11:30 pm to 1:00 am with the Stingrays performing. We had every intention of going but once we got back to the cabin we just couldn’t gather up enough energy. It was still windy and somewhat chilly outside so we decided to just call it a night. This was most definitely our earliest night, we were in bed before midnight.



Thursday 1/20 – Day 5 Cozumel


I would definitely say that Cozumel was my favorite day all week. We woke up to sunny skies and temperatures in the mid 70’s. We knew that there were 9 ships in port on this day so we headed straight to Paradise Beach.



We took a cab to the beach ($13 for the cab) and arrived at about 9:30 am (8:30 Cozumel time). We got four chairs on the beach right on the water’s edge. It was absolutely beautiful. This is a gorgeous beach and I’d highly recommend it to anyone going to Cozumel. (Admission to the beach is free, they do charge $5 if you want to use their water toys). We laid on the beach and drank Pina Coladas, talk about a perfect day. They had an area where you could get a massage ($30 for 30 minutes I think), hair braids (of course!) and henna tattoos. Jane got a massage and I got a henna tattoo. There was also a small shopping area between Paradise Beach and San Francisco beach. San Francisco beach (right next door) also offered parasailing and wave runners for rent.



After some wonderful chips and salsa (the best I’ve ever had), we decided that unfortunately we had to leave Paradise. I bought a t-shirt to remember my wonderful day. We got a cab at about 2:00 pm and headed to the shopping area (another $13 cab ride).



The shopping area was busy but not overly so considering how many ships were in port. There are so many stores but many of the same ones that we’d seen at other ports. I’d be just fine with never seeing another Diamond International.



We took a cab back to the pier where we had about an hour to shop before getting back on the ship. I thought that the prices were cheaper in this area for many things. I bought all of my kids t-shirts (2 for $9) and bought a beach cover-up for myself ($10).


We did witness something rather alarming when we got out of the cab. The cab in front of us was also letting out passengers. It was 4 young kids (late teens, early 20’s). One of the girls was so drunk she had vomited all over the cab and herself. She literally fell to the ground and passed out when they got her out of the cab. The Port Authority came over and tried to get her friends to let her stay there for a few minutes, but they said that their ship was leaving in 15 minutes. They picked her up and carried her while running through the port area. I really hope that the ship’s security made them take her to the infirmary when they returned to the ship. I have never seen anyone that drunk in my life, she was totally limp.



We had to be back on the ship at 4:30 pm for a 5:00 pm departure. It was quite depressing to have to leave so early, we definitely could have spent several more hours in this port. I’m not sure why they leave Cozumel so early.



We dropped off our packages and went up to the deck for sail-away. The Stingrays were playing and people were having a great time.



Next on our agenda was “nap-time”.



The show this night was Bowzer’s Rock “n” Roll Party with Bowzer from the Sha Na Na. The show for late dinner was at 7:15 so we didn’t get to go (naptime you know). We did hear from many people that it was a good show.



Suggested attire for dinner was Casual or 50’s, 60’s or 70’s. We did notice a few people dressed this night in various “costumes”. We saw several ladies in poodle skirts.



After dinner was Quest at 10:45 pm. I won’t say much about Quest except that you should not miss it. I can’t remember ever laughing so hard in my life. I cannot believe what people will do to win a t-shirt!



After Quest was “Dancin’ Thru the Decades” with the Stingrays. It was fun and the music was great. At one point some of the cruise staff came out dressed like the Village People. It was taped and shown over and over on television.



We then headed to the Crown & Kettle to catch the end of Don Mack’s show. It was always a lot of fun and usually there were “guest” performers stepping up the mike. We saw some very talented guests during the week.



At 1:00 am we went to the Chamber where it was supposed to be “Classics” night. We were really looking forward to hearing music from our decade. But there were only about 10 people there when we arrived. I think that too many people had partied all day in Cozumel and were asleep by this time. We were disappointed but headed off to bed.

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I am really enjoying your review! I am sad to think that part 4 will be the last one :(. You have to diembark at some point I guess. I am doing the same itinerary with a group of 15 (11 teenagers and 4 adults). What is within walking distance to the dock in Cozumel? Is the Mini golf? any beaches? The kids will have spent most of their money by then and will want some inexpensive stuff to do. Finding a taxi for 15 will be tough, so anything withing walking distance would be nice. Tehy want to do the mini golf, then I figured they would hit the closest beach. DH and I will be getting massages from CozSally! Can't wait!

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Debinnh - You think you are sad that my trip is ending??? I'm still not over the depression of having to get off that ship :mad: I think there will be 2 more parts to my review -- Cayman Islands & Day at Sea being Part 4 and Disembarkment and general comments being Part 5. The Explorer docks at the International Pier. Except for a few duty-free shops right at the pier there really isn't anything within walking distance.


Redwings1958 - The Explorer docks at the International Pier. It's about 3 miles away from the major shopping area (the cab ride was $6).


Lori :0)

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