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Would anyone be interested in reading a Celebrity Reflection review from a newbie?


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Hi Annie

 

Your review is amazing.  I am totally enjoying it and reliving the wonderful time we had on Reflection in 2018.

 

While it wasn’t our first cruise,  we spent our first Celebrity Cruise celebrating my 50th birthday on Reflection to the ABC islands as well.  I wrote a review for that trip also.

 

Your writing style is fantastic and so easy to follow along and feel like we are right there with you.  I love all the details and the pictures are beautiful.  

 

Noreen

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Thank, thank you, thank you for doing this review! You are a natural, and I love your humor!

I was supposed to be on the Reflection in May out of Dublin to Iceland,  which of course has been canceled, so I think I have been in mourning. I have had so much fun reading this!

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Annie, loving reading your review!  And looking at your wonderful photos!  I can tell you both enjoyed yourselves immensely.

 

The sting rays in Grand Cayman reminded me of my trip there about 20 years ago.  We had taken a private tour on a large catamaran with only about 12 passengers aboard.  Getting into the water we were instructed on the proper way to hold the squid so the rays didn't slurp up our fingers in getting their meal.  Once the first ray brushed against my leg I began to giggle.  Well, the more I giggled - couldn't stop - the more they came at me, swimming between my legs, around them and my whole body!  I swear the whole school was schooling around me at one point.  What a great memory you brought back!

 

Looking forward to your next chapter...... .

 

Donna

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Thank you so much for posting this wonderful review! I have read all your posts in one fell swoop this afternoon/evening accompanied by a cocktail (or two!) and only stopping for dinner.
We have cruised to most of the Caribbean Islands but not the ABC islands which  have always been on our wish list and now we cannot wait ( once all this is over) to book a cruise there.
Obviously we cannot cruise at the moment but I have enjoyed every minute sharing your cruise with you.
I am waiting with anticipation  to hear about your Birthday surprise!!!

 

PORNSTAR MARTINI

 

The Pornstar Martini is one of the most popular cocktails in the UK and is viewed as a modern classic. The cocktail was created in 2002 by bartender and LAB (London Academy of Bartending) bar founder Douglas Ankrah at The Townhouse bar in Knightsbridge.

He first named the cocktail the Maverick Martini, in recognition to a sketchy club in Cape Town, but later changed the name to the Porn Star Martini.

“I called it the Porn Star Martini because I thought it was something that a porn star would drink. It’s pure indulgence, sexy, fun and evocative,” Douglas Ankrah said.

This is an adapted recipe. The original recipe calls for 50mL Vanilla Vodka, 20mL Passionfruit Liqueur, 50mL Passionfruit Puree and 2 Bar Spoons of Homemade Vanilla Sugar.

Some variations call for plain vodka, vanilla vodka, pineapple juice, apple juice, etc.

Ingredients

60mL Vodka

30mL Passionfruit Puree

30mL Vanilla Syrup

15mL Fresh Lime Juice

Prosecco or Champagne

Instructions

Combine all ingredients (except the sparkling wine) to your cocktail shaker

Shake with ice

Strain into a chilled coupe glass

Garnish with half a passionfruit (sprinkle with vanilla sugar, optional)

Serve with a shot glass of prosecco or Champagne

 

 

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Annie - Thank you so much for your wonderful review. It's giving us a real lift.

 

You were so brave to kiss the stingray. We went to stingray city on our first Celebrity cruise 5 years ago. When the photographer asked me to kiss the stingray, I said I only kiss mammals. He insisted that the stingray was a mammal. I said nope. He got annoyed and walked away.

 

Had similar experience to yours in Cartagena. One vendor (selling hats) actually tried to follow someone onto our bus.

 

 

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Annie-

yes, so glad you decided to post your amusing review. You and Dave are A HOOT!

 

So refreshing to see postings that make us smile for a change and I thank you for taking your precious time to do it. I’ll be waiting anxiously for your next installment-can’t wait to see and hear of your birthday surprise. BTW ... HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY! 🍰🍷

 

Ellen

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Really enjoying your review, you made a great choice when you chose Celebrity.

I see that you have booked another cruise but we’re told that the offers on board were not available in the UK.  We always book onboard so I cannot understand why you were told this. You can choose to keep it with Celebrity and then transfer it to a TA of your choice when you get home within 60 days. This allows you to shop around and see what offers are available. Alternatively they will send the booking to the TA who booked your cruise. 

We have done this many times you can also switch the booking to another sailing and keep all the perks. 

I also have an agent who I use in the USA who I use if the price difference and exchange rates are In my favour. Hope you do a review of your next sailing. Stay safe

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      🎂                         

Happy 50th Annie!

Cliffhanger is quite fun...

Your Mexico Review is as great as your Celebrity Reflection Review...

You must be a great conversationalist.

Looking forward to tomorrow's chapter & your Surprise!!!

Cheers  --  Von

 

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10 hours ago, Noreen411 said:

Hi Annie

 

Your review is amazing.  I am totally enjoying it and reliving the wonderful time we had on Reflection in 2018.

 

While it wasn’t our first cruise,  we spent our first Celebrity Cruise celebrating my 50th birthday on Reflection to the ABC islands as well.  I wrote a review for that trip also.

 

Your writing style is fantastic and so easy to follow along and feel like we are right there with you.  I love all the details and the pictures are beautiful.  

 

Noreen

Thanks Noreen glad you are enjoying my review, hope you noticed that on page 1 when I spoke about my planning I gave a shout out to everyone on here who's reviews I enjoyed reading and had inspired me to write mine, and that your name was on the list. I think I picked a great first cruise to celebrate my 50th. Hope you enjoy the rest of the review.

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18 hours ago, hcat said:

Still enjoying...Photography is great.  Would love to hear more! 

 

Be careful with Coral !

. A few yrs ago we snorkeled at St Croix along a narrow trail  in rough water.  I got caught on some  coral and dh came to my rescue.  He got sev scrapes and cuts and a very bad  and immediate reaction. I immediately gave him benadryl on the snorkel boat and the mates washed it out with disinfectant. 

 At the med center on board the ship,  he was told it was b/c he is highly allergic to  lobster and shellfish.Was treated with benadryl and antibiotics plus cream....and was still erupted a few weeks later when he saw our dr at home...nasty stuff.  Glad you were okay!   

 

And glad your dh avoided the lobster!

Thankyou ..I did not know that about the link with the coral and the shellfish allergy … it does make sense though! Good job it was me who slipped on the coral and not Dave then!

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11 hours ago, soccermommy said:

Thank, thank you, thank you for doing this review! You are a natural, and I love your humor!

I was supposed to be on the Reflection in May out of Dublin to Iceland,  which of course has been canceled, so I think I have been in mourning. I have had so much fun reading this!

Sorry you are missing your cruise, hopefully you will be able to sail again soon. Although I live in England I've never visited Ireland and my daughter went on a school trip to Iceland but we have never been, so this cruise is one of the ones I would love to do.

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10 hours ago, GeorgesGal said:

Annie, loving reading your review!  And looking at your wonderful photos!  I can tell you both enjoyed yourselves immensely.

 

The sting rays in Grand Cayman reminded me of my trip there about 20 years ago.  We had taken a private tour on a large catamaran with only about 12 passengers aboard.  Getting into the water we were instructed on the proper way to hold the squid so the rays didn't slurp up our fingers in getting their meal.  Once the first ray brushed against my leg I began to giggle.  Well, the more I giggled - couldn't stop - the more they came at me, swimming between my legs, around them and my whole body!  I swear the whole school was schooling around me at one point.  What a great memory you brought back!

 

Looking forward to your next chapter...... .

 

Donna

Thankyou. I laughed at your anecdote as I pictured it. Its a strange feeling when you are stood in the water and they start brushing against you. I had read about how soft they felt but I though it was going to be more of a slimy feel, I was so surprised that they felt like silk. I would recommend it as an experience for anyone who gets the chance.

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10 hours ago, workingtocruise-59 said:

Thank you so much for posting this wonderful review! I have read all your posts in one fell swoop this afternoon/evening accompanied by a cocktail (or two!) and only stopping for dinner.
We have cruised to most of the Caribbean Islands but not the ABC islands which  have always been on our wish list and now we cannot wait ( once all this is over) to book a cruise there.
Obviously we cannot cruise at the moment but I have enjoyed every minute sharing your cruise with you.
I am waiting with anticipation  to hear about your Birthday surprise!!!

 

PORNSTAR MARTINI

 

The Pornstar Martini is one of the most popular cocktails in the UK and is viewed as a modern classic. The cocktail was created in 2002 by bartender and LAB (London Academy of Bartending) bar founder Douglas Ankrah at The Townhouse bar in Knightsbridge.

He first named the cocktail the Maverick Martini, in recognition to a sketchy club in Cape Town, but later changed the name to the Porn Star Martini.

“I called it the Porn Star Martini because I thought it was something that a porn star would drink. It’s pure indulgence, sexy, fun and evocative,” Douglas Ankrah said.

This is an adapted recipe. The original recipe calls for 50mL Vanilla Vodka, 20mL Passionfruit Liqueur, 50mL Passionfruit Puree and 2 Bar Spoons of Homemade Vanilla Sugar.

Some variations call for plain vodka, vanilla vodka, pineapple juice, apple juice, etc.

Ingredients

60mL Vodka

30mL Passionfruit Puree

30mL Vanilla Syrup

15mL Fresh Lime Juice

Prosecco or Champagne

Instructions

Combine all ingredients (except the sparkling wine) to your cocktail shaker

Shake with ice

Strain into a chilled coupe glass

Garnish with half a passionfruit (sprinkle with vanilla sugar, optional)

Serve with a shot glass of prosecco or Champagne

 

 

Thankyou. So glad you are enjoying the review. I've often binge read reviews myself so I'm flattered to know that reading my review is how you chose to spend you afternoon/ evening. I love that you have gone to the trouble to research the porn star martini. Now I know the history of it. Im fortunate in the UK that because its popular I can buy them in a can , so if I fancy one at home I just have to add the shot of prosecco and the passion fruit. If you have a go at making one I would love to see a photo.

Here is a photo of one  I took when we went out for dinner last summer.

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8 hours ago, srdancer said:

Annie - Thank you so much for your wonderful review. It's giving us a real lift.

 

You were so brave to kiss the stingray. We went to stingray city on our first Celebrity cruise 5 years ago. When the photographer asked me to kiss the stingray, I said I only kiss mammals. He insisted that the stingray was a mammal. I said nope. He got annoyed and walked away.

 

Had similar experience to yours in Cartagena. One vendor (selling hats) actually tried to follow someone onto our bus.

 

 

 Thank you Actually I was okay with kissing in.. it was the having it on my back that made me uneasy!!... if you look at that picture you can see I'm trying really hard not to squirm !!

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2 hours ago, swigso said:

Really enjoying your review, you made a great choice when you chose Celebrity.

I see that you have booked another cruise but we’re told that the offers on board were not available in the UK.  We always book onboard so I cannot understand why you were told this. You can choose to keep it with Celebrity and then transfer it to a TA of your choice when you get home within 60 days. This allows you to shop around and see what offers are available. Alternatively they will send the booking to the TA who booked your cruise. 

We have done this many times you can also switch the booking to another sailing and keep all the perks. 

I also have an agent who I use in the USA who I use if the price difference and exchange rates are In my favour. Hope you do a review of your next sailing. Stay safe

 Thank you. I think the problem was that for a couple of days they were really pushing an all 4 perks if you booked aboard  deal. I had  gone on the US website and for the cruise we wanted I had worked out how much it was going to cost -Then we put our name on a wait list and  had spent a few hours going backwards and forwards one afternoon  to future cruises, seeing where we were in the queue, waiting to see someone to book. Then when it was eventually our turn we got told that the 4 perk deal was only available to those living in the US and the price we were quoted was nearly $1000 more than the price that had come up on the website. We did try and argue the point but in the end just didn't bother. A few more people from the UK had had the same experience. It doesn't matter, we have got a good deal from a TA and I have booked cruise only for the next one so I can do all the rest of the planning myself.. its easier ! But thanks for you advise, Im glade you are enjoying the review 

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2 hours ago, Von & John said:

      🎂                         

Happy 50th Annie!

Cliffhanger is quite fun...

Your Mexico Review is as great as your Celebrity Reflection Review...

You must be a great conversationalist.

Looking forward to tomorrow's chapter & your Surprise!!!

Cheers  --  Von

 

Thank you , just told my husband you said I must be a great conversationalist … he just raised his eyebrows and sighed !!!

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Day 3 Cont/ My Birthday Surprise image.png.8f772343ba7481aeaebdceeabad5b273.png

 

Before I tell you about my surprise... see I'm building the suspense !!! I just wanted to say that I am overwhelmed by all the positive comments I have woken up to today. Thank you. I'm so glad  I decided to write the review and everyone is enjoying it

So you weren't going to get much from me today as after 2 week of waiting our new base for our inflatable hot tub arrived, so my plan was to spend the afternoon relaxing in the hot tub. But sadly for me and luckily for those of you who are waiting for the rest of the review,  when Dave put up the hot tub yesterday , the heater is no longer working 😞 . We do now have a very nice ice cold plunge pool... but that's not really ideal for the UK weather... Time for me to use my negotiation skills again to persuade Dave that we actually 'need' a new tub! He is going to attempt to dismantle the motor today to see if he can get it working... I don't hold out much hope but it will keep him busy so I can carry on with the review. My amazing daughter has just begun her 4th day in a row of a 14hr shift at work... looking after people with severe learning disabilities, autism and ASD... I'm so proud of her.

So back to my surprise... we set off in the taxi and Dave was looking very smug and pleased with himself and I was trying to guess where we were going. I'd remembered that on our way to the hotel in the taxi , in the dark, I had seen a sign for a Cirque du Soleil that I had pointed out.. I wondered if we were going there?. Nope, we drove past that. After a few minutes we stopped and got out and paid the taxi... and then I saw the sign. 'Alux' - oh my god... it was the restaurant in  a cave that I had read about whilst researching Playa Del Carmen.   So by some miracle when I was researching the holiday and telling Dave random things from the guide books, it had stuck in his head that I had mentioned  that in Playa del Carmen there was a restaurant in a cave.  A cenote that had been converted for fine dining. He had spoken to the concierge at the hotel... told him 'his missus wanted to eat in the cave restaurant on her birthday'  and the concierge had arranged the rest! I love that Concierge!!

Anyway the place was amazing. I took so many photos that I will share with you. It was fascinating how they had converted the place but still kept all the features. I don't know what I was more impressed with … the cave or that Dave had listened to something I'd said !

We ordered some drinks  and our meal. Meanwhile I was distracted by taking some photos of the wall near our table !! We were told that after dinner we were then welcome to walk round the Cave . So as we had gone out for dinner I probably need to mention the meal.  Dave put it the best … the food let the Cave down... but  I didn't care I was eating in  a Cave !!

Now the food was displayed beautifully … to start I had some deep fried brie and Dave had some type of pork and apple starter. Then for the main course we both had the 'pig' which was undercooked pork , some weird brown coloured potato and truffle substance smeared across the plate and some inedible vegetables. Understandably it was quite dimly lit in the cave and to add to the theatre of the meal, at each course the waiter presented the dishes... shone a torch on your plate and then gave a detailed explanation of the dish. Before the Appetiser we were each presented with a pre appetiser… it was a large bowl… and in it was half … yes half ..a baby new potato with some greenery on top… I really didn’t get the point ! The  cave was amazing … the food was underwhelming and pretentious… we could of complained... we probably should … but we didn’t …. We just enjoyed the cave. We skipped dessert but the concierge from the hotel must of told them about the occasion and they brought me out a cake with a sparkler and the waiters sang happy birthday to me. 2 cakes in one day and I wasn’t even expecting one ! After dinner it was the bit I was waiting for, the walk round the Cave. It was vast caverns of little pockets of seating areas, there was also another couple of rooms we saw with bars and a stage so Im guessing people hire it out for functions. After we had finished looking round and taken loads of photos, we asked the restaurant to order us a taxi and headed back to the hotel.  

Not only was it my birthday it was also Super Bowl Sunday.  I didn’t really know much about the Super Bowl but whilst we were staying with my cousin, her son who works for the Miami Dolphins, had been telling us all about the behind scenes prep and hard work that goes into organising the big day. The hotel had arranged a super bowl party with a BBQ and set up a big screen and some seating outside the bar. When we got back from the cave, we joined in and watched the second half of the game. Even though he is British, Dave has always enjoyed American football and understands the rules… I on the other hand didn’t have a clue what was going on (to be fair I don’t understand the rules of British football either and I have to watch that reguarly) but I did get caught up in everyone’s excitement and passion for the game and sat with a drink and enjoyed the atmosphere.

After the game had finished we went back to our treehouse and I sat in the hammock eating my birthday chocolate cake… what a great end to a brilliant day.

 

 

 

 

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Day 4 Mahekal Beach

 

After the excitement of the previous day , today was much quieter. The previous day I had had lots of messages from friends and family wishing me happy birthday, including a text from my daughter. I was surprised that she hadn't face timed me. I though I would contact her to see how she was, only to find out she had ended up at the hospital accident and emergency department the previous day but hadn't wanted to tell me and spoil my birthday, bless her. She had had an allergic reaction to the meds she had been prescribed for her tonsillitis. Luckily one of her good friends  had taken her to the hospital and then stayed with her. She assured me she was feeling much better.

 

So today we decided to try out the infinity pool next to the beach .This was the pool we looked onto every morning whilst eating breakfast.  It looked lovely, but there were 2 things about the infinity pool. One was that it was very cold, the second was that the sea gulls used it as their bath, and at times it was a bit like a scene from 'the birds' !!!. We did try out the pool and the attached  jacuzzi , but neither were warm so we didn't stay in very long.  There was pool service so we did enjoy some cold drinks whilst  lying on the sun loungers next to the pool... I still preferred the Solarium !!

 

We had been told there were 4 pools at the complex but had only found 3, so feeling a bit restless after doing nothing all morning … and no poker for Dave ! we decided to go for a  walk round the complex which we hadn't fully explored. We  did find the pool and also discovered lots of parts of the complex that  appeared  unused, including a whole other empty restaurant, whether these areas are closed at certain times of the year and then just opened up when the season gets busier we didn't know?.  We found some lovely hidden water features and beautiful plants as well as coming across some very large wild iguanas that kept running across our path and making me  jump . 

 

When we returned to the room the maid had been in to clean. One of the things that I found nice was that each day when the maid cleaned the room she  made the bed throw into an interesting shape. I haven't had the pleasure of having a towel animal .. although I've seen the pictures and I can imagine its fun when you receive one, so I think this is probably similar. Dave was amused I took photos of some of the shapes she made... I told him it only takes the little things to make me happy... he just did his shaking his head and rolling his eyes thing...I think he disagreed!!

 

We then went back to the treehouse for some hammock time. This was the day I decided I wasn't going to ever go home... just stay in my tree house and live in the hammock... it was so peaceful and relaxing , and was where I spent the afternoon reading my book.

 

We had had such a nice lunch at the a la carte restaurant the previous day we decided to book a table and have dinner there that evening. We had a lovely meal and afterwards we went for a moonlit walk along the beach and sat in the beautifully lit beach area behind the restaurant. I was surprised that Mexico wasn't as warm as I was expecting, with a strong breeze blowing, especially in the evenings and whilst I had hardly needed my wraps on the reflection I was so glad I had them with me in Mexico.

 

Unfortunately after we got back to our room Dave felt unwell and then was very sick. There were 2 possibilities, one was that as it was 24 hours after we had eaten the badly cooked meal at the Cave it was food poisoning … would  probably mean an unpleasant 48 hours for both of us , the second was that he had eaten something earlier that was contaminated by fish.  Selfishly I was hoping it was the later  which luckily  it probably was , and once it was out of his system he usually feels much better which did.  We went and sat out on the Veranda for a  while in the fresh air and listened to all the insects we could hear, it was so quiet and peaceful. 

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3 hours ago, anniedave said:

Thanks Noreen glad you are enjoying my review, hope you noticed that on page 1 when I spoke about my planning I gave a shout out to everyone on here who's reviews I enjoyed reading and had inspired me to write mine, and that your name was on the list. I think I picked a great first cruise to celebrate my 50th. Hope you enjoy the rest of the review.

Totally enjoying it.  
 

I noticed it and was excited to see my name among the others and humbled by it too.  There are some great writers in that bunch.

 

Happy 50th birthday!  You picked the best way to celebrate. 

Edited by Noreen411
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Day 5 Mahekal Beach

Anyone reading this review of the Caribbean and Mexico so far would think we didn’t like the beach. The truth is, whilst we aren’t ‘ lying in the sun all day’ people, we do like the beach. As I said earlier, I love the concept of sunbathing, In reality ’m just not very good at. When planning the excursions on the Reflection I chose the ones I did because when I go somewhere new, I like to see the area and have some ‘experiences’ Im sure if we ever go back to any of those places we would have beach time. So we haven’t really done the beach so far… today we decided to have a beach day… today was also the day I threw my holiday ‘strop’ it was my one and only holiday tantrum !!!

We had decided the previous evening that we would make the following day a beach day. There were several different parts to the beach we could access, and I had noticed that there were a mixture of sunbeds with padded cushions and those that were not as comfy. I wanted a padded sunbed, with some shade near the beach… that’s all I wanted. I also knew that in order to get one we would probably need to be up fairly early as there were quite a lot of chair hogs at the hotel.  So I don’t like chair hogs… remember I also don’t have the correct type of towel pegs to be a chair hog… but what I did think was reasonable was to go to the beach area near our breakfast restaurant .. leave our towels and my book on a couple of sunbeds, grab a quick breakfast, then take some coffee and juice and sit on the sun bed and enjoy with my book… that’s reasonable right??

Well Dave thought differently. He said ‘no let’s not bother with that… its not a particularly sunny day (it was over cast) the beach wont be busy, we will have breakfast first, then go back and grab our stuff and then go to the beach. So I stupidly agreed. Guess what… there were no sunbeds !! We then walked to another part of the beach we could easily access from the hotel and Dave was overjoyed he had spotted two free sunbeds… never mind they were way back from the beach… dirty and stained and with no shade. At which point I threw my strop. “” forget it… you never listen to me… don’t bother …. I may as well just spend the day in my hammock….” At which point I stomped back to the treehouse and sulked. The ever patient Dave then disappeared. He came back a while later to say that after spending ages looking,  he had found us 2 sunbeds further down the beach… but we needed to be quick as he had bribed one of the security men to guard the sunbeds until we got there!!! Well they were near the sea, they did have a parasol and the waiter did come round to take drink orders… they weren’t the soft padded type… but I couldn’t always have what I wanted so I made do ! I feel compelled to add that just behind us was a lovely comfy looking soft padded sunbed that the occupant left after half an hour and never came back to despite leaving his stuff there all day!!

So we had our beach time, I sunbathed, I read my book, I napped, I had a couple of cold drinks, we went in the sea.  We also politely declined offers of  hats, weird and wonderful snacks and bottles of dubious looking beer from the vendors on the beach… I also didn’t want a  massage or my  hair braided…but thankyou for asking ! After Cartagena we were expects at saying no to the vendors.

After a few hours on the beach we went back to the treehouse and got ready for our dinner, After dinner we were going in search of a mariachi band. The wonderful concierge had recommended a couple of bars in town where we were likely to find one.

 

 

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Day 5 Mahekal Beach Cont/

Years ago, I used to watch a reality TV show called 4 weddings… where 4 brides all planned their big day, then attended each other’s weddings and scored each other on various aspects of the day. The winner won a luxury honeymoon. There was a UK version of the show and a US version of the show. Sometimes the brides all got on, the more entertaining episodes were full of all the brides bitching about each other and not getting on and obviously trying to outdo each other with their elaborate weddings.  This does relate to the next part of the trip I promise… In the US version of the show the brides often had mariachi bands at their receptions and I always though they looked great fun. So, I had decided whilst in Mexico I wanted to see one. I had done my research and found a couple of places on trip advisor that had them in the evenings and also asked the concierge at the hotel. We did consider going for dinner there, but in the end decided to eat at the hotel and just go for a drink. It was also really winding that evening and seemed like it was blowing up a storm

We hadn’t really been into Playa Del carmen in the evening and it was very busy, everything was still open and the bars and restaurants were full. We headed for one of the bars the concierge told us about and was also one of the ones I had seen on trip advisor. We asked for a table upstairs where the band was playing. I ordered a Margarita and was very surprised when it came delivered on the waiter’s head. We stayed for a while and listened to the music and admired the interesting artwork in the restaurant. On our walk back to the hotel we heard a band we liked the sound of playing at one of the bars, we stopped to listen to them for a few minutes and then headed back. We needed an early night as we had an early start and a full day excursion ahead of us tomorrow.

 

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