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Big Ship Adventures Aboard The Allure of the Seas - Photo Review - WinksCruises

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I too attended the Meet and Mingle. One of my table mates from dinner was there as well. Apparently Bingo was scheduled in the venue immediately afterwards and that is what he was there for. My guess is that he wasn’t the only one who was there for Bingo and didn’t have a clue what Cruise Critic is. 

 

I found the Meet and Mingle to be totally lacking in the mingle category. There was very little opportunity to chat with others and they ushered us out as soon as the raffle was done, most likely to get ready for Bingo. Given how large the ship is, you would think that could have found a venue that was not booked immediately afterwards to hold the Meet and Mingle. Or maybe, they were hoping some of us would stay for Bingo. 

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48 minutes ago, rncruiser said:

 Given how large the ship is, you would think that could have found a venue that was not booked immediately afterwards to hold the Meet and Mingle.

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Right? Also, considering how many people were on the roll call, the Meet & Mingle wasn't very crowded. I think you're correct, it was a scheduling thing.  You point out Bingo was coming up, and then it turned out the Captain and Cruise Director were at the Top Tier event, also scheduled on the heels of the Meet &  Mingle. But you'd think they'd have their scheduling act together by now! Oh well...

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I think it’s a problem when there are only 2 sea days. On cruises with 3 sea days there is more time to spread everything out. 

I prefer as many sea days as possible, so it is rare that I choose an itinerary with only 2, esp on a ship this size. I can’t imagine how hurried the schedule is on a cruise with only 1 sea day. As it was, I felt like I had very little time to enjoy my favorite sea day activity, lounging in the Solarium all day. 

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2 hours ago, WinksCruises said:

If you've always sailed an inside cabin, it might be an affordable option for seeing what balconies are all about. 

THAT would turn me off from ever booking a balcony.

Princess went about hooking us on balcony cruising the right way. We'd always got inside rooms... Princess upgraded us for FREE, without us even asking, to a fantastic, slightly obstructed balcony. Now we are hooked. However, I am still an insufferably frugal person, so, we'll be in an inside cabin on the Allure. But the next cruise on Princess? Yeap, we are on a balcony.

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Looking forward to your perceptions about the Edge from afar.

We were on it the week after!

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Here are the Cruise Compasses from Day 3 plus a Who's on Board and Safety Tips thing...

 

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One condition big-ship aficionados suffer from, mostly in silence, since it’s rarely talked about here in the community, and especially on these boards, was officially identified by cruise ship psychologists back in 2008, when today’s mega-ship mania first took off. Clinically known as Navis Invidia, it’s an affliction ship crews that have jokingly nicknamed Smokestack Envy, and according to a 2017 report from the CDC, it’s much more endemic on the high-seas than ole headline-grabbing Norovirus will ever be.

 

What is Navis Invidia? It falls into the phobia spectrum and it’s defined by a sufferer’s fear that there’s always going to be a newer and bigger ship out there than the one they’re on. It’s a merciless disease, crippling patients with deep-seated feelings of inadequacy, self-doubt and worthlessness.

 

Mrs. Winks and I got to see it an outbreak of it, firsthand, the morning Allure of the Seas pulled into dock at Cozumel, where, we found Celebrity Cruise Line’s latest entry to the big-ship thunder dome, The Edge, moored and ready to mock us.

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Pulling into Cozumel next to Celebrity's newest ship, The Edge

 

We pulled in right beside The Edge, so close to her, with a running start, you could probably jump onto her, and for the rest of the day, the view from our 17th deck balcony, was cast into a deep, dark, impenetrable shadow, as the Edge’s superstructure towered well above our now hopelessly tiny vessel.

 

A small-ship guy, I was thankfully immune from Smokestack Envy, and could pretty much go about my day unaffected. Unlike for the others, there was no nausea, episodes of unstoppable weeping or fits of diarrhea punctuating my stay in Cozumel.

 

Was I curious about The Edge? Sure, I would glance over and snobbishly assess the various cabin classes, look for the typical ship features - like a walking deck or where their version of the Windjammer was located, and, of course, to hopefully catch someone walking around their stateroom naked. Like I do when we dock across from any ship, large of small.

 

But for Mrs. Winks, and thousands of others on the Allure, The Edge became an obsession. And their eyes were filled with a unique combination of awe, tears and shame, as they moaned and salivated for hours, hanging over the deck railings, taking in every detail of the ship that was not theirs. Hoping someone would cast them a line and rescue them from the claustrophobic confines of our wretched little dinghy.

 

 

 

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The Magic Carpet platform hanging off The Edge

 

Probably the most notable feature on The Edge is its Magic Carpet restaurant, a giant platform that literally hangs off the side of the ship. This cantilevered, floating deck can literally move up and down, like a massive elevator, from deck to deck.  Serving as a specialty restaurant on Deck 17 and as a shore excursion and tendering gangway when it is lowered to water level. It’s an open-air extension to the pool deck when it stops at that level.

 

An innovation of ship engineering and design, the Magic Carpet actually makes tender ports more accessible to wheelchair passengers, and others with mobility issues, because the tenders can be boarded more readily and safely from the platform than the traditional gangway door.

 

Throughout our stay, the platform was repositioned from deck to deck, with the aplomb of a juice head proudly flexing his muscles, knowing we are secretly looking. Like a train wreck, few could turn their attention away.  The death blow coming when, as boarding time approached, the Magic Carpet was set up for a special sail away party, complete with live music and a buffet line. We watched it all begin as the Allure, now a small ship in a big-ship sea, left port first with its bow in shame.

 

 

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Victims of Navis Invidia stuck to the railing...

 

So I ended up having to visit, first Guest Services, who directed me to the ship’s engineering department on Deck 2, in order to borrow the crowbar I needed to pry Mrs. Winks off the pool-side railing she’d become adhered to while gaping at The Edge, non-stop, for the last hour. I kept reminding her that it was SHE who wanted to get off the ship in Cozumel, all because Michael, the port shopping guide, had told her the Touch of Gold boutique, on the pier, would have the Royal Caribbean logo necklace she’d been looking for some quite some time now.

 

“Just go to Touch of Gold, hand them this VIP card, tell them I sent you, and Raphael will hook you up with it,” Michael assured us when we spoke to him during one of his regular evening walk-throughs of the Suite Lounge.

 

I, of course, was more than happy about this, because Mrs. Winks would finally be getting a piece of jewelry she’d been wanting, that would end up costing me less than a ring she was also after, that was no longer being produced and would need to be custom made at great expense. I couldn’t get her to Touch of Gold fast enough!

 

We disembarked, by-passing all the lookie-loos busy bowing and setting up candlelit shrines in front of The Edge and located the Touch of Gold jewelry store that’s located in the pier’s shopping complex. We were totally surprised when the counter-person looked at us like we two heads when we asked about a Royal Caribbean logo pendant. “We don’t carry that. I think that’s a copyright issue. Maybe only on the ship you could find such a piece,” he said, shaking his head.

 

We insisted that the ship’s shopping guide Michael told us Touch of Gold carried it, and we actually had the salesman call the main store, downtown, at the Forum Shops, to see if they had one there.  No luck. The downtown store manager, who’d worked there for years, he assured us, insisted they had never carried a Royal Caribbean logo item. Insultingly adding, they were too proud to do so.  Thanks, shopping guide, Michael. You had one job!

 

In the end, as the shop personnel at Touch of Gold had suggested, we found a set like this at the Allure’s overpriced onboard jewelry shop, Regalia. Negotiations over price were minimal, but they did give us over a hundred dollars in coupons good for purchases at any of the Promenade shops, which I would later use to buy an Invicta watch during the last day’s watch sale (more on that fiasco later, but spoiler alert, don’t buy a watch onboard; you’re getting ripped off. Durr!)

 

 

 

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Diamond Crown & Anchor pendant and earrings....

 

Since we struck-out at Touch of Gold, and having been to Cozumel a number of times previously (we recommend the Cozumel Bar Hop, btw), Mrs. Winks and I decided to re-board the Allure and see if there was some feature that we’d overlook before that might make us feel better about being on her, in lieu of the sexy new kid in town, The Edge.

 

Arguably, that one feature was the Kummelweck sandwich we had for lunch at the Park Café.

 

The Kummelweck consists of thin slices of seasoned, slow-roasted, roast beef served on a warm Kaiser roll and topped with a mustard-based Ragu. It’s a taste sensation, if a little fatty, and one of the rare sandwich treats you can find at sea. We both wolfed ours down.

 

The Park Café is a pleasant, out of the way venue, which features both inside and outside seating, and it’s the only spot onboard, besides the gift shop, where you can find a bag of chips. It gets crowded on at sea days, but otherwise, it makes and excellent lunchtime option.

 

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The Kummelweck at the Park Cafe...

 

 

After lunch, Mrs. Winks wanted to take advantage of the exclusive, suite guest sun deck. We hadn’t taken advantage of this amenity before and it being a gorgeous sunny day in Mexico, and because there were so many passengers still on the top deck, unable to pull their eyes away from Edge gawking, we’d be able to make a big show of pulling out our Sea Pass card and entering the elite, gated sanctuary. What’s not to love?

 

The sun deck was nicely appointed, with one side being a bar area with lounge seating and high tops, and the fore and starboard sides were populated with reclining chaise loungers and several tented cabanas. It was a quiet and sunny area, located above the foray and activities of the pool deck below.

 

Probably the only drawback to the sun deck is that the bar didn’t open ‘til 2pm, and even then usually late, so we had to exit the area and walk through past pool-side masses and chair-hog altercations in order to access an open bar. That night, I remember scrubbing the souls of my feet extra hard, trying to rid myself of any vermin I might have picked up in doing so.

 

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Accessing the exclusive Suite Sun Deck

 

While Mrs. Winks did her sunning thing, always keeping a lustful eye on The Edge at the same time, I ran off to explore hitherto unseen parts of the ship,  including the disappointing library which was ransacked of books (except the foreign language titles) and a small nook where passengers had set up an informal paperback book exchange.

 

At sail away, we watched for the pier runners Cozumel is famous for, and there were a few, but they weren’t running so tardy of our all-aboard deadline that they were in any actual danger of missing the ship, so the drama was marginalized.

 

That evening, we took a spot in the Suite Lounge hoping Michael would make an appearance, so we could browbeat him about our Touch of Gold experience, and call his credentials as a port shopping guide into question, in front of his partner wife, and shame him forever, but he didn’t end up stopping by that night.

 

Our stake-out for Michael a bust, we moseyed down to the Boardwalk, to see the make-up show for the AquaTheater performance that had been canceled a few nights before, but we detoured into Sabor’s Cantina instead, where we had a much better time overindulging in tequila and tacos and watching the staff hang holiday ornaments.

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Dinner at Sabors

 

 

Now sufficiently juiced up, we figured there was no better time to visit the Casino Royale. We went to the cashier’s cage to redeem the free slot-pulls that had been loaded on our Sea Pass cards as part of one perk or another. Mrs. Winks actually spun a winning alignment of three solid bars, which spit out a ticket redeemable for a Casino Royale t-shirt. Great, more stuff to have to bring home!

 

The rest of the evening was not as fortuitous, with each of us suffering marginal losses, no matter what games of chance we sat down to play

 

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Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

 

At about 11 pm, broke and inebriated, we stumbled back to our room, a couple of down-on-our-luck losers, winning only for the night a short elevator ride, for the first time relatively free of people and floor stops. We poked our heads into the Suite Lounge and picked up a couple of bottles of water from the bartender who was just closing up.

 

When we got back to the stateroom, we found a little black box and small card waiting for us on the desktop next to a copy of the next day’s Compass and various ads for the art gallery.  We opened it up and learned, unbeknownst to us, that we had reached 140 Crown & Anchor loyalty points on this cruise and were getting our first crystal block for Allure of the Seas. (You are awarded one at 140 points and then get one every 70 points accumulated thereafter).

 

As a small-ship fan, I was a bit mortified.  How would I ever be able to display this commemorative piece on our mantel top with any true sense of pride or accomplishment? What would my friends think, after years of bending their ears with my endless accolades for the small ship experience? More importantly, have you ever weighed one of these things?  How the heck were we going to get it home?

 

 

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Our crystal block for making 140 cruise points with Royal

 

Next Up – Day resort visit in Roatan, Honduras

 

 

Edited by WinksCruises
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I have to admit when we were aboard the Edge docked next to NCL Bliss in St Maarten I could see many admiring eyes looking at our ship and it felt great. We too had a sailaway gathering on the Magic Carpet and it's the chicest place to be.

I just hope I don't see the Edge again when we are on Allure this October. It would really pain me to hide the envy.

  

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6 hours ago, Esprit said:

I just hope I don't see the Edge again when we are on Allure this October. It would really pain me to hide the envy. 

 

AstraZeneca is said to be working on a new 💊 for this, so maybe there's hope! 🤒

The TV adverts will be interesting, for sure.

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On 1/11/2019 at 1:07 PM, Itchy&Scratchy said:

In short, I would pick RCI over Norwegian any time. ETA: that said, we do prefer NEWER ships.

 

We couldn't use the free specialty restaurants on the Getaway due to them being right next to the casino and being smoked through. The food was average (I do realize that RCI's food has become quite sub par in the last few years). We did enjoy the Getaway in terms of family activities and the entertainment was very good, but as far as I know, RCI is a bit superior in those two ways. Plus, we love the Royal Promenade.

And now I can't wait to get on the Allure, because it offers even more entertainment and family activities!

 

I agree with the comparison between the Getaway and the Oasis class ships.  I was a fan of NCL pre-children, but once I sailed on Oasis last year, I prefer RCI.  I think the MDR food on NCL is better, but I'm primarily a specialty dining fan.  The specialty restaurants on Oasis surprised me and are equal to or better than NCL.  I think the entertainment on NCL is as good.  The Waterfront area is a nice perk on NCL but no comparison on other areas of the ship, especially the pool decks.  Way to crowded on Getaway.  For kids, there is no question Oasis class ships are better.  We are on Allure on Feb 10th.

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Here is the Cruise Compass from Day 4 - Cozumel, plus our "personalized" Suite Guest Services brochure

Note: Sorry, missing the Evening Activities insert of the Compass for Day 4.  (An iguana ate it)  🦎

 

 

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Thank you for your continued readership. We appreciate your gracious tolerance, and always your comments.

 

Next Up:  Shore Excursion in Roatan, Honduras

 

PS: We have the Teen and Kid Adventure Ocean brochures if anyone wants them posted.

 

 

 

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If you are willing to do it, my kid always wants to look at the Teen brochure, so I'd love it if you'd post it for him to read.

 

Thanks!

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Great review! I am having some ship envy right here on my computer. The Edge looks incredible! Love your oasis crystal block too.

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Been following from the beginning and can't resist chiming in now. You are CRACKING ME UP!! This is one of the funniest things I have ever read. Thanks for the report and the entertainment. Loving the irony about your first crystal block...congratulations?

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Roatan is another one of these infamous “ports of ill-repute” where passengers make a big show - always on the morning buffet line, for some reason, when I’m only half awake - of announcing they’re not foolhardy enough to risk their family’s lives by going ashore in a third world country. And that anyone who’d do so - pausing to eye me and the day-pack slung over my shoulder as I’m waiting on a cheese omelet - was an utter moron. They always proclaim this with such volume and bravado, too.  Daring anyone within earshot to call them out for being so wise rather than the chicken poop they’re actually declaring in front of everyone to be.

 

But that morning on the pier, you’d never think this was the case, given the massive crowds toiling about, trying to locate their ship-sponsored shore excursion’s meeting point, a task always made more difficult by the cryptic numbering system Royal insists on using to identify the various incarnations of what’s essentially the same tour.  It’s always some combination of Beach Break and Snorkel Time - #5476A. City Bus Tour and Beach Break - #5474C. Beach Break, Snorkel Time and Beach Break - #5447B+. And the very popular, for this crowd anyway, Migrant Caravan Day-Immersion with Cartel Luncheon, City (Walking) Tour and Beach Break (but No Snorkeling) -#8686AlphaAlphaAlpha-RIP-A. 

 

There are numerous Royal excursion desk personnel carrying clipboards and guides walking about the pier with these numbers scrawled on small placards, but it’s very confusing finding your specific combination.

 

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Boarding the boat to Maya Key

 

A few years ago, on our first visit to Roatan, Mrs. Winks and I really tempted fate by booking an independent tour. That required us to meet our guide outside the protective gate of the pier compound and it was like crossing over into the worst slums of Calcutta. Once our under-aged driver (he couldn’t have been older than thirteen) did show up in his personal low-riding Honda Civic, I was convinced we were going to be driven into the mountains, robbed and shot.

 

Instead, he drove us to another small dock 20-minutes away for a short boat-ride to Little French Key, a perfectly fine day-resort that, in addition to beaches, cabanas and watersports, had an interesting menagerie of rescue animals, including a tiger, that gave pale, melanoma candidates like me something to do while our spouses cook like bacon.

 

Unfortunately, Little French Key burned down a few months ago and was currently under construction. So we settled for a poor man’s version a very similar resort, the ship-sponsored Maya Key Private Island Retreat (and Beach Break), which was safely located on a spit-of-an-island, directly across the harbor from the ship, so cloistered, I think even the cowering braggart on the buffet line might have been able to brave it.

 

It was a pleasant 15-minute boat ride across the harbor, affording terrific views of the Allure’s giant bow, which we circled around on our way to the Key.

 

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We were met on the Key’s dock by the property’s business manager who laid out some ground rules (essentially apologizing that we were sharing the property with Carnival people, she spat for dramatic effect, reminding us that they’re on actual time, and bound to screw things up, while us Royal passengers maintained ship time, so don’t reset any watches. They actually had two clocks posted in several places around the resort indicating what time it was for each ship.

 

Here’s a map of the property. As you can see, this private island also housed an animal sanctuary, which they gave guided tours of, as well as a faux Mayan temple built at the key’s highest point that housed a small indigenous tribes museum. In addition, there were several beaches, a swimming pool, hiking trails, cash-bar, buffet lunch, giant souvenir shop, and all sorts of beach and water sports available.

 

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The main beach on Maya Key

 

Mrs. Beach grabbed a chaise chair and parked herself on the beach. Despite there being two ship excursions simultaneously using the facilities, the small island never felt crowded.

 

I took off from the beach and walked the trail of view the caged rescue animals, including jaguars, toucans and crocodiles. Lots of monkeys and birds. Headed back to the beach, I saw a guided tour coming my way, and stopping to eavesdrop on the zoologist’s patter, wished I had waited to take the entire tour. Sounded interesting.

 

Just above the beach was a cash-bar and outdoor commissary which served a buffet lunch included in the excursion cost.  But unlike the ship’s buffet, you could only make one visit to this food fest, as they marked your wristband once you passed through the line…. So if you go, load up and choose carefully. No second chances.

 

Here’s a list of activities and amenities followed by the bar/lunch menu:

 

 

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The buffet was merely okay with the banana chips being an unexpected highlight. We both chose the nicely seasoned chicken, and coconut rice, fearing the fried fish selection.

 

After lunch and a couple of beers, Mrs. Winks returned to the beach, and I headed out to explore some more. First I went up to the Mayan Ruins which were an interesting diversion until I was taken aback when I surprised a small mammal, who went darting past me equally caught off guard. I had never seen anything like it before, but later determined it was a Central American agouti. It’s classified as a rodent, but it seemed more like a giant guinea pig, with fast legs, to me!

 

08%20Maya_Ruin.jpgPart of the faux Mayan Temple in the jungles of Maya Key

 

All in all, it was a laid back day on the island. I took one of the trails off to a jut of land which afforded great views of the ship in the distance, some bizarre long-finger-like cactus, and the beach area itself. The nearby gift shop was huge, the size of a modest house, and I felt bad for the several store clerks who had nothing to do because no one was visiting the place, and I doubt many would.

 

Around 3 pm we packed up and returned to the dock, where a boat over to the Roatan pier was scheduled to leave every half-hour. We were joined by a couple of other small groups and then took the short hop back to the pier at Coxen Hole. Once off the boat, we took a cursory walk-through of the pier shops, but finding nothing notable, returned to ship.

 

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We took a short rest back in the room and then changed for dinner. We hung out in the Suite Lounge where we ran into the ship’s shopping host, Michael, and berated him for steering us wrong about Touch of Gold and the Royal Caribbean pendant we were looking for (see the Cozumel post for details).

 

He insisted that he remembered them carrying it, and then pulled his partner/wife over to back-up his claim.  We told him no worries, we would just find the pendant at the Promenade shops and deprive him of his commission… which, of course, he assured us port shopping hosts never make!

 

For dinner that night, we opted for our second specialty-dining option and went had Junior our concierge make reservations at Izumi‘s hibachi grill.  Once there, we were joined at the tabletop by a small family from Long Island and a solo passenger, who recorded almost everything, as the chef staged his usual theatrics for us.

 

The food was very good, and the service fine. Our only real problem with the place is that it’s too small, so during any down-time in our presentation, we could overhear the same jokes and songs being dished out by the other chefs at the adjoining hibachi tables, which were only feet away. Awkward.

 

Here’s our chef playing around with some eggs…

 

 

After dinner, we walked around the promenade and boardwalk, took a few pictures and then decided to call it a night.

 

Next Up: Choppy Seas in Costa Maya

 

Edited by WinksCruises
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Cruise Compasses from Day 5 plus the Royal Baby and Tots Flyer (aka Babysitting service)

 

 

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When we arose on Day 5 of the cruise, the Allure was already docked in Costa Maya. We both questioned why ship movement hadn’t woken us earlier, given the choppiness of the water that morning.  It was windy and wavy, but very sunny. And we had overslept.

 

Fortunately, we didn’t have any specific plans for the port, so we took our time disembarking.  We managed to get to the Coastal Kitchen for breakfast just before its 9:30 am closing, and over mimosas and French toast we decided to go explore the pier’s faux village, which we hadn’t visited in a couple of years.

 

Then we made the first mistake of the day. We returned to the cabin and got dressed for our shore adventure!

 

Mrs. Winks innocuously picked out a cheery, neon yellow blouse in honor of Mexico’s gorgeous sun, and I, figuring the bright day called for face protection, grabbed my “I Love Liquor” baseball cap that I’d picked up as a goof while visiting the legendary chain of South Beach liquor stores to secure our carry-on wine.

 

Our choice in dress was a mistake that would haunt us the rest of our day.

 

But first, here’s a little video recap of our visit to Costa Maya.

 

 

 

Very much like Turks and Caicos, Costa Maya features a beach, swimming pool and a compound of shops and restaurants right off the ship. For convenience, it even has a fenced-off “swim with the dolphins” area, making an expensive cab ride to do that same totally unnecessary.

 

The shops themselves contain the usual assortment of tchotchkes and I’m still amazed they get away with selling major US sports-team branded knick-knacks, clearly in absence of an official licensing agreement. NFL logo embroidered tote-bags, hats, sugar-skulls and Mexican wrestling masks filled the kiosks.

 

Mrs. Winks fell victim to a vendor that sold shot glasses personalized by burning a name into the glass’s leather holder. Unfortunately, the resulting item looked a lot less impressive than the pictures featured on the sign at the shop entrance.

 

But cheaply produced shot glasses were really the least of our problems that day…

 

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Costa Maya: A veritable black market for unlicensed NFL Sugar Skulls...

 

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Come Experience the Friendly, Colorful Shops of Costa Maya

 

“Hey Amigo, you love liquor, si? I love liquor, too! We’re padres! Come have some tasty tequila I have here poured for you.”

 

The heckling from market vendors was endless, increasingly colorful and aggressive. I hadn’t made an outfit mistake this disastrous since that time I wore a Bob Marley “We be jammin’” t-shirt through the streets of Falmouth, Jamaica. Everyone, even port security, wanted to sell me weed!

 

It didn’t matter if I wore my “I Love Liquor” hat forwards, backward or sideways like Scotty in the Little Rascals, I was a walking billboard for alcoholism – trying to make my way through a gauntlet of motivated mezcal merchants hell-bent on selling me their swill.

 

“Your lady friend makes me blind, but not as blind as this tequila worm will make you.”

 

Mrs. Winks wasn’t faring much better, with fellow passengers and market peddlers alike shielding their eyes as she passed. “Ay, mis ojos! Ay mis ojos! Let me show you another pair of sunglasses. You neeeed two pairs to look at your senorita.”

 

Down every avenue we turned, we were greeted with more jeers about our dress.

 

With no real agenda, and no interest in buying tequila or new shades, we decided to escape the street taunting and ducked into an outdoor bar overlooking the water.

 

 

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The shopkeepers were all very accommodating, if a tad aggressive...

 

We grabbed a high-top table and took a moment to luxuriate in the peace and relative quiet of the shaded bar. It being only 11 am, there weren’t many other people drinking yet, so we could chill while we reassessed the day’s questionable fashion choices.

 

I began by removing my hat, which made me feel better instantly. As for Mrs. Winks, we kept trying to cover her neon-top with cocktail napkins, but it being so windy, they kept blowing away, resulting in several passersby remarking that it was nice that the cloud-cover had finally burned off.

 

The bartender, who’d up to now been busying himself locating his old pair of solar-eclipse viewing glasses, finally came over to take our drink orders. I actually just wanted a straight shot of Patron, to start nursing me back to wellville, but of course, they didn’t carry it. So Mrs. Winks ordered us the first bar-special she saw on the menu which is how we ended up with silly, pink, “We’re obviously tourists”, souvenir, yard cups, which the server said, doing his best Fashion Police Melissa Rivers impression, “Completes your scorched earth fashion statements.”  

 

Sitting back in our high-chairs, we sucked from the colorful, twisted-straws our oversized sippy cups, watching as other passengers, wearing significantly more on-fleek tourist wear than ours, made a point of leering at us in disgust and disbelief, before parading past. “You’re really making your fellow Americans look bad,” one teenage girl berated us. “Don’t you read State Department dress guidelines?”

 

Getting less embarrassed with each sip, thankfully, we eventually took great joy at other peoples’ misery as we intently watched small groups of scared and inept tourists attempt to swim with the dolphins, an excursion class being held in a pair of large, aquatic pens located next to the bar.

 

Whatever the sweet drink was, it was starting to make us feel a lot better.

 

 05%20El%20Barracho.jpg

We should have noticed the Tarot tiles on our table forecasting our future...

 

 

One giant yard cup led to another, as we spent the rest of the morning and part of the early afternoon building up enough liquid courage to walk back to the ship in our atrocious apparel.

 

“We’ll have to walk past the security guards, you know. And then there are the port CCT cameras,” I warned Mrs. Winks. “They’ll be tape of this, unfortunately.”

 

“I’m not so concerned about those,” she responded. “I just don’t think I could handle it if Junior sees us, or someone from the Suite Floor.  How would I live with myself?”

 

We stumbled out of the tequila bar, leaving our bowling-pin array of yard cups tottering on the table. And then faced our biggest challenge of the day, getting back to the ship – down one of those ridiculously long, half-mile piers.

 

Still not confident she could handle the fashion runway of shame, Mrs. Winks stopped at a cart outside the welcoming tequila display and desperately guzzled something down from the prop bottle.

 

06%20DesparateTimes.jpg

One more for the road...

 

Thanks to day drinking, our trip back to the ship was a dizzying blur, and since the sun was setting in everyone’s eyes, most were blinded from seeing our abysmal attire.

 

Across from the gangway, a pair of musicians were welcoming passengers back, serenading us with traditional Mexican tunes, arranged for the xylophone. An inebriated Mrs. Wink was more than happy to grab a pair of mallets and join the troubadours, but in the end, despite her surprisingly competent playing, they wouldn’t let her share in on the meager tip take (see video clip).

 

Back on the ship, we were greeted by the Holy Grail that all non-drink package passengers search for on every cruise: the drink card special!  Here, on Day 5, the alcohol algorithm in Miami determined it was time to spit out an offer. This one was ten drinks for $79 (plus gratuity) and you could share with family and friends all you want.

 

 

07%20Drink%20Package.jpg

Day 5 Drink Card Special!

 

 

But having consumed enough intoxicating beverages for one day, we both crashed in the cabin and were lucky to re-awake in time to grab dinner at Johnny Rockets, still a bit concerned we might be recognized from today’s fashion faux pas in Costa Maya if we ate anywhere else.

 

 

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Dinner at Johnny Rockets....

 

 Next Up – Sea Day Back to Miami

Edited by WinksCruises
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I alwasy love your reviews.  thank you so much.  I was thinking in your first post, why didn't he have a pic of the suite area in Miami and then it showed up later.  I think you were reading my mind.

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