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REVIEW: Carnival Liberty - Western Caribbean - 4/5/14 thru 4/12/14

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Heck no I think it's hilarious. Glad you told the Mr Gas story.

 

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Thanks for that! :) I guess if at least one person got a laugh it was worth it.

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I'm attaching the flyers that were included with the fun times for anyone who may be interested. I've seen inquiries regarding the purchase of brand new bathrobes and beach towels. We received a couple of these flyers/order forms so I'll just post it this one time. It's on the "Fun Stuff" page. On the back of this same page is the "Laundry Daily Specials".

Page one of "Fun Stuff"

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Page two of "Fun Stuff"

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This is the Spa & Salon flyer we received. It's only one page since there is only a picture with no important information on the reverse side:

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This is the "Fun Finds Shopping" that is handed out when getting off the ship in Cozumel. There were also some coupons/free gift with purchase flyers inside but I did not scan those:

The Cozumel Edition (four pages):

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I set my alarm clock for 6:30AM. On the ship, we stayed on “ship time”, which was Eastern Daylight Time, so we never had to mess around with continually changing our clocks and watches. I think Cozumel’s time was two hours behind but never paid attention as to what time it was, in any of the ports, because we stayed on ship’s time. I always bring a small, battery operated, travel alarm clock on vacations. Sometime before I woke up, I had this dream that we’d be missing Cozumel due to weather conditions. I was bummed!!! I woke up then and realized that it was a dream. I got up and looked outside and it was still dark out but appeared foggy. The water was choppy and I could feel movement, but it didn’t seem bad. I got back into bed and fell back asleep and woke again when the alarm went off. I got up and went to the balcony to see if I could see anything. It was still dark but in the distance, a very far distance, I could see lights. I think that may have been Cancun, Mexico, which is located on the northern part of the Yucatan Peninsula and Cozumel is an island located off the coast but a little farther to the south. I reset the alarm for 7:00AM and went back to bed. When the alarm went off, again, I got up and went to the balcony and it was getting lighter out. I noticed the water was a lot calmer now and thought we were getting close. I took my time getting ready and when I was finished, DH slowly rolled out of bed. I don’t know why it was so hard to get up, we weren’t up too late the night before. I think that bed was just so comfortable and add in the gentle rocking of the ship…just so hard to get up. I have to talk myself into it…the sooner we’re up and ready, the sooner we’ll be sitting on the beach. Once DH was up and in the process of getting ready, I got my camera and went up the stairs to Panorama Deck 10 to see how close we were. It was just after 7:30AM so I figured we would be close, close enough to see Cozumel, since we were scheduled from 8:00AM until 6:00PM. When I got up there I saw we were already pulling into the dock so I got a few pictures. Liberty was the first ship in that morning. There would be a total of four ships that day, but only three at the two main docks. There was a Disney ship docked a lot further to the north that we were able to see later on.

Views of Cozumel as Liberty was docking:

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This is the pier that Carnival Liberty was docked at:

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Zoomed in view of the Duty Free shops on the pier:

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I don't know if this is a tour boat or one of the ferries that takes passengers from Cozumel to the mainland of Mexico on tours there, like the Ruins at Tulum:

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After I got the pictures, I went back down to Lido Deck 9 for my two cups of coffee and brought them down to the cabin and had them on the balcony enjoying the first (OK, it was too hot…need to remember ice) and chugging the second. I need that caffeine to get my mind awake and working. We got some pictures from our balcony of other small “tour type” boats. We decided to wait till 9:00AM to get off the ship to allow for the main crowds to get off first since we had our reservation and would still get there by 10:00AM, allowing for plenty of time for what we wanted to do.

Pictures from our balcony:

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I don't know what this is but it reminded me of a rooster. It may be a sculpture but we never did get a good look at it other than from the ship:

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We were happy to see that the clouds appeared to be breaking up and showing signs of blue sky. It was very cloudy when we got up:

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I love the color of the water:

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More pictures from our balcony:

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This is a zoomed in view of the mainland. We think this was Playa del Carmen, Mexico:

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This was our second visit to Cozumel with the first being on Carnival Miracle in March 2006. In October 2005, Cozumel was hit and hit hard, by Hurricane Wilma. The pier was destroyed and they had just finished rebuilding some of the cruise center shops. They started taking ships in Cozumel again shortly before our trip. Because the pier was still destroyed and construction on a new one (well, there are two now), we had to tender. We also couldn’t believe the damage we saw outside of the cruise center – the trees were stripped clean of their leaves and many were destroyed. We also saw a lot of construction in rebuilding being done. We heard that many of the resorts were so damaged they had to be torn down and totally rebuilt. It looked much different, in a better way, this time.

Our plans for Cozumel were to spend the day at Nachi Cocum, which is an all-inclusive Beach Club. I had seen this highly recommended right here on Cruise Critic. Two days after booking our cruise and airfare, I reserved a spot at Nachi Cocum. I went through their website, which I obtained from an internet search. I have read many Western Caribbean reviews where a day was spent at Nachi Cocum. What I liked about Nachi Cocom is that they only allow 100 guests, per day, so there are never any overcrowding issues. I’d seen many pictures that others have posted from Nachi Cocum and I was also sold on the scenery and beautiful, crystal clear blue/green water. The loungers and a small table are under palapas that are located under palm trees, so there is shade if needed but also room to pull loungers into the sun. There is also a covered area where you can eat if you don’t want to eat at your lounger. They have a nice sized pool with a swim-up bar. Restrooms are a short walk away, there is a small gift shop and also the option for snorkeling tours, wave runners, banana boat rides and massages, which come with an additional cost. Beach towels can also be rented. When I when to book our reservation, I had to let them know the date we would be in Cozumel and the ship we’d be on. I was afraid that they’d already be booked, but there was availability the day we’d be there. They charge $55.00 (USD), per person ($110.00 total for two of us), and there was a deposit of $22.00 (total) required for reservation. That included use of loungers, unlimited beverages (alcohol and non-alcohol), lunch (appetizer, main course, and desert), and the pool (with swim up bar), and hot tubs. I used PayPal for the $22.00 deposit and the rest ($88.00) was due in when we arrived. They accept cash, traveler’s checks, and they now accept VISA or Master Card. There are usually additional fees when using credit cards out of the country so we decided we’d just pay cash when we arrived. We received a confirmation email and reservation, which we were to bring with us as well.

We went up for breakfast at and just went to the buffet. I knew ahead of time that we’d have plenty of food at Nachi Cocum, so I just had cereal and another cup of coffee for breakfast. DH got his usual scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, potatoes and pastries. I went over to where the pastries were and saw that they had the cinnamon ones, was tempted because I love those, but passed because I wanted room for the food at Nachi Cocum. When we finished breakfast at about 8:50AM, we went up for pictures on Panorama Deck 10 and noticed we were getting some company. Caribbean Princess was pulling in right next to us. It’s not RCI’s Oasis or Allure but it looked huge. We got pictures of Caribbean Princess but she was so large that we could not get the whole ship in the frame. After we watched her pull in we went down to our cabin to get sunscreen on and grab our beach bags. That’s when we got an announcement that no one could get off our ship until the Caribbean Princess was securely tied into the dock and that it would be approximately 15 minutes. We could take our time getting what we needed for the day. Since we were doing a private excursion on our own, we made sure we had our passports, just in case. Our plans were to leave Nachi Cocum early enough to get some shopping in at the shops in the cruise center before getting back onboard and we certainly didn’t want to wait until the last minute to entertain everyone else watching for “pier runners”.

We're getting company...here comes Caribbean Princess:

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A few more pictures from Panorama Deck 10 before going back to our cabin to head out for the day:

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Caribbean Princess is definitely larger than Carnival Liberty:

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We waited the 15 minutes and headed out of the cabin and walked all the way down the hall and saw the line. Because of the 15 minute delay for Carnival Princess, things got a little backed up. No biggie. We spent the time talking with another family while we waited and eventually the line started moving. Finally we were off the ship and making our way through the “ship canyon” and down the pier. I stopped and got pictures of both Carnival Liberty and our next-door neighbor for the day, Caribbean Princess. As we got a little further down the pier, I stopped to get more pictures and noticed that someone else was arriving, Carnival Elation, so I got several pictures of her too. Carnival Elation is one of Carnival’s Fantasy Class ships, which I would love to sail on someday since I think I’d really enjoy a smaller ship and I love the pictures I’ve seen of the Lido Deck(s) that I’ve seen in other reviews.

Pictures from the pier once we were off Liberty:

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This one is Caribbean Princess:

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The "Cruise ship canyon" - a first for us:

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Caribbean Princess - I liked the "sun" logo they have on the front:

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Here comes another "Whale tail":

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Carnival Elation coming in:

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After pictures we made our way down the pier and bypassed the Duty Free shops. We decided we’d go through on our way back. We made our way from the pier and through the cruise center to where we would get a taxi to take us to Nachi Cocum. There were employees standing out in front of the shops yelling for people to come in to look at their store. This was constant and we just looked straight ahead and talked to each other (ok, warning each other where the "next one" was so we could be sure to avoid "eye contact"), trying to ignore them. Some of them almost seemed to be begging us to come into their stores. We constantly heard “Senor or Senorita! Come look in my store! I want to show you something, please come take a look!.” If you look over to them when they shout to you, they know they have your attention and direct their pleading to you to come into their store, almost to the point where it’s embarrassing. We quickly moved along and got through what we called the “pushy vendor gauntlet” and made our way to the area where we’d get a taxi.

They had people working there who asked where you where you wanted to go then they would find a cab for you. They had a price list right out front and I should have taken a picture, but my cameras were buried in my beach bag now. The prices were reasonable and to go to Nachi Cocum, $15.00 for both of us, each way. On the confirmation email I received from Nachi Cocum, it said $15.00 for up to four people, so there may be an additional charge for parties with more than four people, but I don’t know for sure. We told the gal we were going to Nachi Cocum and she went and talked to a driver and told us he would take us. We had the taxi to ourselves and were soon on our way to Nachi Cocum.

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It took about 20 minutes to get there (we arrived at about 10:00AM) and our driver took us right up to the entrance. We gathered our stuff and got out and DH paid our driver and gave him a tip. He pointed out to us where to go and we were met by a lady who greeted us and directed us to the area where we were asked to pose for a picture. It was in a nice, shaded section in front of some tropical plants. She gave DH a sombrero and asked him to put it on and handed a pink one to me and told me how to pose with it and took a couple of pictures, which would be available for purchase later on that day.

 

After the pictures, the gal took us over to a lady working a cash register who asked us for our reservation (the one that was emailed when I booked that we were instructed to bring with us). After she took our registration page we paid the $88.00 due. We paid in cash and were given wrist bands. She called over a gentleman and told us to follow him and he’d take us over to our loungers. We followed him and he stopped at two loungers with a small table under a palapa and asked if those were ok or if we’d like to sit somewhere else. What is nice is that the palapas are spaced apart nicely. We told him the loungers would be fine and he told us that our waiter would be around shortly to get us drinks and a menu. We got situated in our loungers and our waiter arrived a few minutes later to take our drink order. He introduced himself but I can’t remember his name. I need to write these things down. We each ordered the rum punch and he said he would bring them out shortly. A few others were starting to show up but it was still so peaceful and quiet.

 

I like to collect currency from the places outside of the USA that we visit, so I went to the guy working at the bar, which was located right were you enter and next to the cashier where you pay when entering. On the other side for the bar that you walk up to is the one that you can swim up to from the pool. No one was in the pool area yet except for the man cleaning it, so he didn’t have any customers. I asked if he’d be able to trade some Mexican money for some USA money. He told me I could do that at the cash register since he didn’t have access to the change. Duh, it’s an all-inclusive, I should have known. I thanked him and went to the register. The gal was very busy with the rest of the arriving guests for the day. When there was finally a small break in the arriving guests, I asked her. She told me she didn’t have any with her but that the guy who works at the activity desk would probably have some. This is where you can sign up for snorkeling, wave runners, and banana boat rides. I don’t know if this is also the place to go to rent towels and sign up for a massage. I went over and got in a short line, since he had a customer reserving wave runners. When he was done with the customer, I asked him if he’d like to trade some USA money for Mexican money and said he’d be happy to. He explained the exchange rate from US Dollars to Mexican Pesos (think it was $12.?? Pesos per $1.00 USD) and I told him it didn’t have to be exact. He counted the bill and coins out to me, telling me what each was. I had a $5.00 bill and he traded a $20 peso bill, two $10 peso coins, five $5 peso coins and one $2 peso coin. I thanked him and went back to the lounger, where my rum punch was waiting. The rum punch was really good and they do not skimp on the rum.

 

 

Mexican currency:

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After I had most of my rum punch, I got in the water for a few minutes to cool off then took a walk down the beach and around Nachi Cocum’s grounds to get some pictures. In most of the pictures that I’ve seen of Nachi Cocum from reviews I’ve read her on CC and other travel review websites, the water is normally calm, very clear and the beautiful shades of blue/green typical of the Caribbean. Beaches like the ones in the “Corona Beer” commercials. That’s kind of what we were expecting, but not today. This did not look like the beach in the reviews I’ve read and this did not look like a “Corona Beer” commercial beach. The water was a little rough, but at least not so rough that we could not get in. But instead of bringing our snorkel gear, which we never did use here, we’d have been better off bringing boogie boards. The water was a brownish/blue, reminding me more of the beaches in the Carolinas than the Caribbean. There was also seaweed washed up on the beach but that was due to the strong surf. The sea weed didn’t bother us and it was raked up some right in front of where the palapas were.

 

Were we a little disappointed? I’d be lying if I said we weren’t, but weather happens and we’re not always going to get that picture perfect beach day. It’s one of the things that we do need to think about when planning vacations. Most of us have visions of Caribbean beaches dancing in our heads when in reality weather will throw a curveball whether it's Caribbean beaches looking more USA beaches, rain and thunderstorms, missed ports of call, etc. As for today? Hey, the sun was out, it was nice and hot, we could still get in the water, and we had an unlimited supply of rum drinks and the meal was yet to come. Speaking of rough water, one of the other popular beach clubs, “Mr. Sanchos”, was located right down the beach. If you are facing the ocean and look up the beach to the right, that is where “Mr. Sanchos” is located. They have the inflatable icebergs. Those inflatable icebergs are normally in the water, but not today. They remained on the beach the whole time we were there due to water conditions.

 

Now here are the pictures:

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View of Nachi Cocum beach are from further down the beach:

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This is the upper beach just after leaving Nachi Cocum property. I recommend wearing some type of shoes if walking on this part of the beach since it's full of these little round burrs that stick in your feet...ouch!. In this picture "Mr. Sanchos" inflatable water toys (ice berg and trampoline) are on the beach and did not move from that spot:

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Close-up of one of the little plants that grows on the upper beach once off Nachi Cocum property:

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Our palapa and loungers for the day:

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Nachi Cocum's pool. There is a swim-up bar (opposite end from where pic was taken) and there are also hot tubs:

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After I walked up and down the beach to get pictures I went back to our loungers. DH told me our waiter stopped by to see if we wanted something else to drink and to see if we were ready for the menus. DH told him to go ahead and bring the menus. I was back when he came back with the menus and we ordered two more rum punch drinks. He told us to take our time looking over the menu and he’d be back shortly to take our order. It was only about 11:00AM and we were a little hungry but not too hungry yet, so we told him to take his time. He brought the drinks out pretty quickly though.

 

A coconut...I just may borrow this for the day:

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Rum Punch (round 2) and the coconut I found on the beach, which I left at the beach:

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Notice the color of the water in this picture, it reminded me of South Carolina:

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We looked over the menus and it didn’t take long to figure out what we wanted. We both ordered the “Nachos…Nachos”, served with Mexican sauce and jalapenos. The price listed was $44.00, but I’m sure that was in Pesos. For the main entre, we both ordered from the “Mexican Carrousel” with DH getting the “Mexican Enchiladas with Green or Red Sauce”, which had a price of $66.00, and I ordered the “Mexican Quesadillas”, which was also $66.00. We didn’t have to pay, the meal and drinks were included in the price we paid for the day. I don’t even have a clue as to why they have prices listed on the menus, since this is an all-inclusive, but they are on there.

 

The menus:

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Great review so far! Going on the Liberty in June and can't wait :)

I believe you said you had bought a Tervis cup. I was wondering if it and the name of the bar on it, and was it the regular size cup. Thanks!

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Great review so far! Going on the Liberty in June and can't wait :)

I believe you said you had bought a Tervis cup. I was wondering if it and the name of the bar on it, and was it the regular size cup. Thanks!

 

Thank you! You don't have too much longer to wait. What itinerary are you going to be on?

 

Yes, the Tervis cups have the logos on them. The one that Red Frog has will have the "Red Frog Rum Bar" logo on the front and it comes with a red lid and the Blue Iguana has them with the "Blue Iguana Tequila Bar" logo on the front and comes with a blue lid. They are 16 oz. cups. If you want both, I recommend getting them the first day since they do run out pretty quickly.

 

I hope you have a wonderful time on Liberty in June. :)

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Thank you! You don't have too much longer to wait. What itinerary are you going to be on?

 

Yes, the Tervis cups have the logos on them. The one that Red Frog has will have the "Red Frog Rum Bar" logo on the front and it comes with a red lid and the Blue Iguana has them with the "Blue Iguana Tequila Bar" logo on the front and comes with a blue lid. They are 16 oz. cups. If you want both, I recommend getting them the first day since they do run out pretty quickly.

 

I hope you have a wonderful time on Liberty in June. :)

 

Thanks for your help. We're going to Aruba, Curacao, and Grand Turk. Have only been to Grand Turk before, so looking forward to it! My husband loves to scuba dive, so this will be a good opportunity for him to try some new ports. My 16 year old son is going to join him, and my 11 year old son and I will go swimming with the dolphins, which he really wants to do. In Aruba, we're going to try the submarine ride.

Again, thanks for all your effort in doing this review :D

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Our waiter came back a short time later to see if we were ready to order and we placed our order. We were ready for another drink by this time and we also ordered another rum punch, which he brought right out. While we were waiting on the food to arrive, we both went and spent some time in the water. I can’t remember how long we were in, but it was probably close to a half hour. Even though the water was rougher than normal, it was still warm yet refreshing. We were able to keep our eye on our stuff from where we were in the water, but it we never felt uneasy about leaving it. Others were there but it never seemed crowded and the other guest pretty much stayed in their immediate area, the ocean or the pool/swim up bar. We got out and returned to our loungers to dry off and our waiter brought out our meal a short time after that and asked if we’d like something else to drink. I just ordered a bottle of water and DH ordered another rum punch, which our waiter brought right out.

That was a lot of food but it was delicious!!! We both love Mexican food and this was definitely authentic Mexican food. DH let me try some of his enchiladas and I let him try the quesadillas. The nachos were really good and the Mexican sauce definitely had a “bite” to it, nice and spicy. The guacamole that came with it was also very good and I’m normally not a big fan of it. I guess I should say that I’m not a big fan of the guacamole. I tried the guacamole that came with the meal and I actually liked it. I guess I’m not a big fan of the guacamole that is available to us in restaurants here. This was authentic and very good. We ate and ate and ate and even though we were getting full, we ate more because it was so good. It got to where we couldn’t eat any more but there wasn’t much left anyway. I can’t believe we ate most of it but we did.

Our meals, which were VERY good:

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When we were finished, our waiter came back and cleared the little table and asked if we’d like another drink. I decided to try a Pina Colada and DH got another rum punch. After our waiter brought those out, we went back in the water for a while. When we got out, we pulled our loungers into the sun. I took another walk around the area for more pictures then back to the lounger for some sun.

More pictures of Nachi Cocum:

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The other palapas/loungers were spaced nicely:

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View from lounger of our palapa:

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This is an abandoned building just up the beach from Nachi Cocum:

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Thanks for your help. We're going to Aruba, Curacao, and Grand Turk. Have only been to Grand Turk before, so looking forward to it! My husband loves to scuba dive, so this will be a good opportunity for him to try some new ports. My 16 year old son is going to join him, and my 11 year old son and I will go swimming with the dolphins, which he really wants to do. In Aruba, we're going to try the submarine ride.

Again, thanks for all your effort in doing this review :D

 

Now that is one of the itineraries we'd love to do! I'll bet you're really looking forward to it. Is that a 7 or an 8 day cruise? We've also been to Grand Turk, really liked it and would love to go back. We've never been to Aruba or Curacao but we've only heard good things about both and from the pictures I've seen in other reviews, I would like to see both someday. Hopefully sooner than later. I hope you all have a wonderful time, it sure sounds like fun.

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More pictures of Nachi Cocum and the surrounding area.

The abandoned building - almost looks like it could have been a house:

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The brown stuff in the water is sea weed:

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There was a crowd of people in the hot tubs and at the swim up bar having a really good time. After a while, one of the gals yelled that she wanted to go in the ocean. She ran (well, stumbled) down to the water and fell face first as soon as she got in. Yeah, she was pretty trashed. A guy was right behind her following her into the water when another gal stumbled after him, falling twice in the sand almost face first, caught up to him and jumped on his back as he entered the water. They both fell in, face first. They were really funny to watch and I told DH “Remember when that was us?”. They had to be in their early 20’s, so they can handle it…I think. I know for a fact that I would be paying for it later and it’s just not worth it. They were more in the group than just those three and all seemed to be having fun but they were not obnoxious or bothering anyone else.

A few minutes after that, the gal who was taking the pictures of the guests upon arrival was making her rounds to the loungers with the pictures. When she got to us, she showed us the picture and even though we thought it was nice, but it was $12.00 USD. DH does not like to purchase pictures for some reason and he said the money could be better spent. It would have been nice to have, but we’re on a budget and there were other things we wanted to bring back from Cozumel. We politely declined and she was nice about it, didn’t try to push us into purchasing it, and showed no disappointment or a change of attitude because we didn’t buy it.

We got in the water one more time for about 10 minutes and went back to the loungers to dry off and finish our drinks. Our plans were to leave at 1:30PM and it was getting close to that time. Once dried off, we threw our shorts and T-shirts over our bathing suits, got our stuff and headed up to the restrooms while we each took a turn while the other watched the stuff. While we were waiting we ended up talking to another gal who was waiting on her friends. She was on Liberty. When her friends got back, they went back to the swim up bar and planned to stay there for another hour or so. Before heading out, we stopped by Nachi Cocum’s gift shop but didn’t see anything that stood out, so we continued on to the register area where we paid when we first got in. It is here that they get you a taxi for a ride back to the ship. There was a group of others in front of us and once they were on their way back, we were next. We didn’t wait long before we were told a cab was ready for us. He took us back to the cruise center where we got the cab to Nachi Cocum that morning. DH paid and gave him a tip and we went back into the cruise center for our shopping.

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