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Recent Cruisers: Seaweed/Maya Chan Update

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We're headed to CM in October.....  and will be back again next year with a number friends. 

 

We're Tropicante fans, but wanted to try Maya Chan this time so we can compare the two and pick our favorite to reserve with our friends next year.

 

I know the sargasso  is especially bad these days, and while many of the beaches do big clean ups, MC tends to just clean the beach not to upset the ecosystem.

 

So....  I'm eager to see what it looks like these days.

 

Anyone been recently?   

 

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, RCCL Fan said:

We're headed to CM in October.....  and will be back again next year with a number friends. 

 

We're Tropicante fans, but wanted to try Maya Chan this time so we can compare the two and pick our favorite to reserve with our friends next year.

 

I know the sargasso  is especially bad these days, and while many of the beaches do big clean ups, MC tends to just clean the beach not to upset the ecosystem.

 

So....  I'm eager to see what it looks like these days.

 

Anyone been recently?   

 

 

Have you checked the webcam?

 

then again what it is  like now will have no bearing on October. Generally there seem to be a few months fall to early Spring which are less.

 

Maya Chan will give you an update “on the day” before you travel out there. 

 

Not sure what you mean about clear up? Maya Chan work as hard as they can clearing sargassum from the beach but they don’t clear the sea grass for the eco system.

Edited by c-leg5

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8 hours ago, c-leg5 said:

 

Have you checked the webcam?

 

then again what it is  like now will have no bearing on October. Generally there seem to be a few months fall to early Spring which are less.

 

Maya Chan will give you an update “on the day” before you travel out there. 

 

Not sure what you mean about clear up? Maya Chan work as hard as they can clearing sargassum from the beach but they don’t clear the sea grass for the eco system.

 

Yes I'm familiar with their method of operation,  I meant they don't remove it from the water, they only pick up what washes ashore.

 

I have seen photos where the water is solid brown, almost like willy wonka's chocolate river,  and others where it's murky but still resembles water.   

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, RCCL Fan said:

 

Yes I'm familiar with their method of operation,  I meant they don't remove it from the water, they only pick up what washes ashore.

 

I have seen photos where the water is solid brown, almost like willy wonka's chocolate river,  and others where it's murky but still resembles water.   

 

I haven’t seen any of the bars in the malecon removing it from the water but some do have baffles out into the water.

 

As far as I know Maya Chan aim to maintain the sea grass eco system which I haven’t found as bad at the places I have visited along the malecon.

 

Edited by c-leg5

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I was just going by what the owner told me in an email.    He said something to the effect of you may find clearer water at other beaches near town, but they use tractors and machinery to remove it while we aim to preserve the beach as it was intended.

 

That's why I said that. 

 

I also found it amusing considering the huge sargasso bloom isn't the ecosystem at work.   It's man made fertilizer runoff winding up in the ocean and causing large blooms and it's doing more damage to the ocean than good.

 

So removing it isn't hurting the ecosystem, everything i've researched and read says removing it is good for the eco system.

 

but....  nonetheless....  I'm straying off topic... of trying to determine the best place to bring my little ones to play in the water. 🙂

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We leave Friday and make a stop in CM so I’ll be back to report.  We’ve been there bunches of times and always go to Blue Key.  One visit the water was brown and lots of grass.  Every other time the water was nice.  Sometimes even super clear.  Even so there was still some grass floating around but we just pushed it aside.  I’ve walked a long way down the malecon (Blue Key is the first stop) and it seems to get worse further down but we mostly just stay and chill at Blue Key.  We also go on B2B in October so I sure hope it’s nice by then.

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16 hours ago, RCCL Fan said:

I was just going by what the owner told me in an email.    He said something to the effect of you may find clearer water at other beaches near town, but they use tractors and machinery to remove it while we aim to preserve the beach as it was intended.

 

That's why I said that. 

 

I also found it amusing considering the huge sargasso bloom isn't the ecosystem at work.   It's man made fertilizer runoff winding up in the ocean and causing large blooms and it's doing more damage to the ocean than good.

 

So removing it isn't hurting the ecosystem, everything i've researched and read says removing it is good for the eco system.

 

but....  nonetheless....  I'm straying off topic... of trying to determine the best place to bring my little ones to play in the water. 🙂

 

We have been to Maya Chan with adults and it is good - not somewhere we would go exclusively, but then we like change. 

 

We we have taken a toddler to Maya Chan and it was fine - sand toys provided. I would not take him now he is 8 because unless Costa Maya was sargassum free there is very little for him to do there and I wouldn’t want to have to say no to him using the adult-only pool if he couldn’t go in the sea since he likes to swim. 

 

We were due to dock at Costa Maya in June with him and had already decided on going to the malecon if it looked seaweed free as we docked, or otherwise just staying at the port and doing the activities there and using the pool. We were thinking of Blue Kay because there is more room there for kids but couldn’t get a straight answer from them regarding pricing which was annoying.

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We have only been three times....   first time port area,   second time Tropicante,  and now this time we were looking for variety.

 

We also are bringing several friends with us next year and kinda wanted to see what Maya Chan was like this time so we would know the best place to bring our folks.

 

We LOVED Tropicante, and have no issues returning we were just looking to try something new.

 

Everyone raves about Maya Chan  but our kids are 5 and 10, they're girls, and not very wild. 

 

Too young for adult toys, so it would be playing by the shore for them.  If you think an 8 year old will be bored, that's very telling for me. 

 

I could be wrong, but again it was Maya Chan's operators who told me they don't remove seaweed from the ocean like they do on the malecon.

 

If that's the case, I'm thinking I should try the places that do remove it.

 

I haven't looked into Blue Kay or anywhere else on the malecon, we took a taxi straight to Tropicante.

 

 

 

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On 8/31/2019 at 6:09 PM, RCCL Fan said:

I also found it amusing considering the huge sargasso bloom isn't the ecosystem at work.   It's man made fertilizer runoff winding up in the ocean and causing large blooms and it's doing more damage to the ocean than good.

 

So removing it isn't hurting the ecosystem, everything i've researched and read says removing it is good for the eco system.

 

Not sure where you are reading all of this, but sargasso seaweed is very, very beneficial to the ocean ecosystem.  It's not beneficial to tourism.

 

Anyways, just go to Maya Chan.  You will have a great time whether there is seaweed or not.  It's rare that the water is perfectly clear at Maya Chan, it's not that kind of place.  But the drinks, food, and service are stellar.  There is a vibe at Maya Chan that is hard to explain.  Because it's off the malecon, there are no vendors, it's not commercialized.  It has an ultra relaxed, hangout vibe to it.  You kind of just feel part of the family, like you live there.  There is a reason, despite seaweed issues, people still rave about it.  Just go.  At worst, it may not be for you but you'll still have a great day.

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On 9/3/2019 at 5:32 AM, BNBR said:

 

Not sure where you are reading all of this, but sargasso seaweed is very, very beneficial to the ocean ecosystem.  It's not beneficial to tourism.

 

Anyways, just go to Maya Chan.  You will have a great time whether there is seaweed or not.  It's rare that the water is perfectly clear at Maya Chan, it's not that kind of place.  But the drinks, food, and service are stellar.  There is a vibe at Maya Chan that is hard to explain.  Because it's off the malecon, there are no vendors, it's not commercialized.  It has an ultra relaxed, hangout vibe to it.  You kind of just feel part of the family, like you live there.  There is a reason, despite seaweed issues, people still rave about it.  Just go.  At worst, it may not be for you but you'll still have a great day.

 Saw interviews with scientists on CBS News , read articles in various news outlets.    but I digress.

 

As I said earlier, i know we'll be fine,  it's just the 5 and 10 year old I worry about.

 

thanks for the insight.

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I would suggest you go and give it a try to satisfy your own mind and curiosity.

 

Personally I feel it is good for little kids, adults and possibly some teens. It is a place for adults to relax and enjoy themselves. My 8 year old grandson would not be happy not going in the sea, not being allowed in a pool that he could see and having to just sit on the beach. I could see it turning into an iPad day which for me would be a disappointing use of a day for him, but he would probably disagree! There is a giant jenga which may hold his interest for a while and a tree house. There are Kayaks and paddle boards which are good for older kids but he would require constant supervision which would not be relaxing for me.  You know your kids and their abilities best and you are obviously younger, with more energy than me. You also have two kids who can play with each other. Maya Chan is a well organized, no hassle type of day - it isn't for me on every visit, but I can understand why some people find it a safe retreat.

 

The price is good so I would say try it, your kids may have a great time but if you have to leave early so be it - you will know for yourself. You may find it is a Sargassum free day (which will not help with any guarantees when you take your friends). If you are OK with the seagrass which is always there to some extent, independent of Sargassum (I have waded/swam to the floaty chairs fine) but you will have to experience it yourself to decide. Some kids will freak out by the seagrass, some will not be deterred.

 

Costa Maya in general has limited facilities for in-between kids but other places suggested on here that you might like to research, but I haven’t tried, include the water park, Bacalar Lagoon, the aviary at the port.

Edited by c-leg5

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Just at El Tropicante about a week ago.  I don't know what they did before we got there, but the beach was clear, there was "seaweed" in the water and on the bottom.  They have put in some kind of fence... almost looked like chicken wire held up with sticks.  There wasn't really any bad odor and none laying around on the beach.  I wasn't bad, but it was nature.

 

Prices at El Trop were still quite reasonable (was there a few years ago), service was great, DW got a massage on the beach.  A man was standing on the corner waiting for us when we got out of the taxi, had our name on his board.  With tip, massage, food, drinks, we spent about $100 USD.

 

Worst part was finding our way out of the port area to get a taxi.  It is way, way, way to the left.  Go past the pool(s).  Others on our trip had the same issue finding the way out.

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Just back onboard Enchantment.  Sargassum was a non-issue today at Blue Key.  Standing in chest deep water I could clearly see my feet.  There was some floating along but not much.  The beach was completely clean.  Lots of families there just as there always are on Sunday.  Ate ceviche and guacamole at the little bar/ restaurant right across the sidewalk.  As I have reported in the past, it was over the top amazing.  With 2 drinks our bill was $42 US.  Entry fee to Blue Key was $12pp and included 1 drink.  Taxi is $8 for 2 each way.  All tolled I spend right at $100 all in.  Had a great day.  Will be back in October and definitely plan to revisit Blue Key.  Probably not for everyone but definitely our speed. YMMV

Edited by lifes-a-beach

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On 9/8/2019 at 6:16 PM, lifes-a-beach said:

Just back onboard Enchantment.  Sargassum was a non-issue today at Blue Key.  Standing in chest deep water I could clearly see my feet.  There was some floating along but not much.  The beach was completely clean.  Lots of families there just as there always are on Sunday.  Ate ceviche and guacamole at the little bar/ restaurant right across the sidewalk.  As I have reported in the past, it was over the top amazing.  With 2 drinks our bill was $42 US.  Entry fee to Blue Key was $12pp and included 1 drink.  Taxi is $8 for 2 each way.  All tolled I spend right at $100 all in.  Had a great day.  Will be back in October and definitely plan to revisit Blue Key.  Probably not for everyone but definitely our speed. YMMV

 

Was that two entrees, two cocktails and two “free” drinks or just ceviche and guac?

 

Do you have a recent photo of the menu. Does the $12 still include “free” mat for lounger?

Edited by c-leg5

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Yes we had mats in the shade of a man made shade arbor made from palm fronds.  The $12pp was including the chair and mat as well as one drink.  I didn’t take a picture of the menu but it’s the same one they’ve had for a long time. 

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3 minutes ago, lifes-a-beach said:

Large ceviche and guacamole. We each had a non-alcoholic drink as well. It was plenty of food for two. 

EDF8D665-7A43-4DE0-ABF9-CF85A91A761F.jpeg

490A4654-B1EB-44E9-A1E2-592C6FB32FA5.jpeg

Looks good

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Honestly, my wife is very particular about what she eats. For a funky little beach bar their food is awesome and my wife always comments about the presentation as well. I saw some other dishes being served and they were well presented too. The folks ordering them were eating them up so I presume they were good as well. 

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7 minutes ago, lifes-a-beach said:

Honestly, my wife is very particular about what she eats. For a funky little beach bar their food is awesome and my wife always comments about the presentation as well. I saw some other dishes being served and they were well presented too. The folks ordering them were eating them up so I presume they were good as well. 

 

We have only had a drink there. Would have returned for the day before now but their pricing puts me off and I don’t want the hassle. Will give them another try sometime now more ships are calling from Galveston again.

 

 I understand they are affiliated to Ibiza Sunset?

Edited by c-leg5

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I was thinking about all the conversation about who is affiliated with whom and honestly I consider it a non-issue, even none of my business. I suppose if there was evidence of some activity I didn’t approve of, drugs, human trafficking, prostitution, that sort of thing, I would reconsider. The fact is I’ve been all over the Caribbean, Central and South America and Mexico and there are lots of unfounded accusations motivated by money. Most of it is none of my business. 

 

I completely understand about changing prices being off-putting. I remember when the cab fare went from $4 to $8 I was mad as heck. They doubled the cab fare overnight!  I had words with the guy that runs the cabs and he asked me how long since I had a raise. The cab fare, he explained, had been $4 for literally years. I calmed down and came to the same conclusion as you have. I have choices and my choice was to pay what the cab cost. Same with Blue Key. They were $5 for years. Then started the rate increase but including one or two drinks. I really hope they are settled on it for a while. But really I love that place and will pay for it until they price themselves out of the market which I hope they will not do. 

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26 minutes ago, lifes-a-beach said:

I was thinking about all the conversation about who is affiliated with whom and honestly I consider it a non-issue, even none of my business. I suppose if there was evidence of some activity I didn’t approve of, drugs, human trafficking, prostitution, that sort of thing, I would reconsider. The fact is I’ve been all over the Caribbean, Central and South America and Mexico and there are lots of unfounded accusations motivated by money. Most of it is none of my business. 

 

I completely understand about changing prices being off-putting. I remember when the cab fare went from $4 to $8 I was mad as heck. They doubled the cab fare overnight!  I had words with the guy that runs the cabs and he asked me how long since I had a raise. The cab fare, he explained, had been $4 for literally years. I calmed down and came to the same conclusion as you have. I have choices and my choice was to pay what the cab cost. Same with Blue Key. They were $5 for years. Then started the rate increase but including one or two drinks. I really hope they are settled on it for a while. But really I love that place and will pay for it until they price themselves out of the market which I hope they will not do. 

 

I wasn’t implying any wrong doing regarding the affiliation. I was just surprised when i emailed Blue Key and got a reply from Ibiza Sunset. I am quite sure there are a limited number of owners with “the money” and the rest are just managers, or employees.

 

Sometimes we want to just stay at one place, sometimes we like to hop from one place to another and test the waters for future visits. I do not want to have to pay for AI, or lounger fee at three different locations, I just want a beer and move on. We enjoy variety and options. I am quite willing to buy food and drink proportional to the length of time we stay and have no problem with a minimum consumption charge if you are using their amenities for several hours. I realize you have been going there for a while now and unless the staff have changed you are probably known. We have our favorites in different ports which we return to on rotation but we never go exclusively to one place time after time.

 

I am not sure the taxi fare actually increased as such - If I remember correctly, it was always $2pp, it is just that now they charge per cab so that yes they are getting $8 for only two people in the cab but if you are a party of 4 it hasn’t changed. Cozumel has always done that. 

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Yep I get it and I always appreciate your perspective.  I do remember the $2pp cab cost now that you mention it.  You’re right, it’s always been just the two of us.  We used to take that tram several years ago.  Now we just go out the gate to the cab station.  Last visit the first gate next to the stairs was open and we ignored the signs and went out that way since it’s lots closer.  This trip that gate and all the other ones had zip ties on them so we took the long walk through the shopping areas.  I feel sorry for folks that don’t know their way around and wind up going in circles.  

 

We did notice a lot more construction on the route to the beach than there was as recently as March.  A good sign for sure.  

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We were at Tropicante on Sunday, 15 Sept 2019.  There was a bit of seaweed but not nearly enough to come even close to not staying.  As the ship, was leaving port I did see a bit more seaweed, but I have a feeling it is overall subsiding.

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9 hours ago, gatour said:

We were at Tropicante on Sunday, 15 Sept 2019.  There was a bit of seaweed but not nearly enough to come even close to not staying.  As the ship, was leaving port I did see a bit more seaweed, but I have a feeling it is overall subsiding.

 

It is subsiding. Haven't seen hardly any in South Florida for a good month now. 

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This artilce from today's Palm Beach Post entitled "Seaweed-covered beaches are now clear: Are hurricanes to thank?" may be behind a paywall, but if you can see it, there are several before and after pictures from South Florida beaches. There is definitely a lot less Sargassum here.  I am not sure if Costa Maya has had similar changes since we were there in August.

 

https://www.palmbeachpost.com/article/20190919/NEWS/190917067

 

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