Western Caribbean 2019:
Day 8 - Costa Maya, Mexico


Bundlings.com: [Main] [Contact Us] [Events] [Family] [Fun] [Garden] [Misc.] [Photos] [Rett Syndrome] [Search] [Site Index] [Travel]

Western Caribbean 2019: [Day 1 - Great River Road] [Day 2 - New Orleans] [Day 3 - New Orleans Sailout] [Day 4 - At Sea] [Day 5 - Chichén Itzá, Mexico] [Day 6 - Roatán, Honduras] [Day 7 - Harvest Caye, Belize] [Day 8 - At Sea] [Day 9 - Costa Maya, Mexico] [Day 10 - Drive Home]

Friday, November 22, 2019: We had an early morning shore excursion so we were up at breakfast at 6:00 AM. The pier below was very quiet.

We were off the ship at 7:00 AM sharp and caught this photo of Norwegian Dawn during actual dawn.
In the distance, one of two Royal Caribbean ships was also coming into port. This one was either Explorer of the Seas or Brilliance of the Seas.
We made it this far down the pier before the first vendor got to us to try to sell us something.
Here we are ...
... in Costa Maya, Mexico!
We found our line in the shore excursion pavilion and filled out our waivers for our snorkeling tour.
Then we watched a repeating video of places to visit in the port area. A live performance was taking place in front of the lines, performing for a captive audience, then walking the lines asking for tips afterward.
Five minutes after our tour was due to start, one of the crew members broke the sad news to us that our tour was cancelled due to high winds. We were actually quite relieved, since the snorkeling had been disappointing so far and Debbie's claustrophobia had been acting up during snorkeling due to her not-yet-diagnosed pneumonia.
With an unexpectedly free morning, we decided to do a little sightseeing in the port and then head back to the ship.
Here's a colorful tower with no apparent purpose. It was locked.
These palm trees were decked out in lovely crocheted sweaters.
This pool looked nice and refreshing if it wasn't an icky, overcast day out.
These flamingoes were hanging out in front of the Aviary.
We had planned to visit the Aviary in the afternoon, but instead were happy to visit before any other visitors had arrived. We were carrying our snorkeling gear, so we were happy that we were allowed to leave our bag with the staff at the entrance.
The Aviary is a series of bird exhibits connected by walkways one story above the rest of the port.
The duck footprints indicated which way to go, which was up the stairs, ...
... and across this wooden suspension bridge.
Up here, we could look down on the pool we had just seen below.
We didn't spot the Eastern Screech Owl in his nocturnal display ...
... so we continued down the path to ...
... one of the excellent habitats.
Signs in each habitat described the birds on display.
This colorful guy is a golden pheasant.
We were each given a cup of bird seed to feed the birds, so the golden pheasant was the first to get a treat.
These are jandaya parakeets.
They happily flocked to our hands when the bird seed cup was offered.
This eastern rosella was happy for a snack too.
While the birds were great fun to see, half of the fun was in walking on the suspended walkways above the rest of the port.
These beauties are Kramer parrots.
There were some fun views from this walkway.
Off to the left, we could see the ships, including the latest Royal Caribbean ship to arrive.
The next bird habitat featured cockatiels.
The next walkway took us right over the dolphin enclosure where we could see visitors preparing for a dolphin encounter.
In the next bird habitat, Tom made friends with a rainbow lorikeet, ...
... while Debbie fed her last bit of birdseed to the sun parakeets.
We spotted a sign for the Chocolate Factory experience below us on the next walkway. Having already learned about chocolate making in Ecuador, we weren't tempted to go.
The last birds were the macaws. This is a green wing macaw, ...
... and this is a blue and yellow macaw.
After we finished up at the aviary, we did a little more walking around the facility.
These flower pots were on display above one of the shops.
This was a pretty fruit display.
What are these? No idea.
There's a tequila tasting experience, but again, we weren't tempted.
The port area has a bit of a theme park feel to it.
We didn't mind a bit, but it still didn't hold our attention for very long.
Above us, we spotted one of the bird habitats we had previously visited.
This bar's seats were wooden swings. If it had been later in the day, we would've been interested in having a beer here, ...
... but it wasn't even 8:30 AM yet. Our exploration over, we headed back to the ship.
Oh, it was so hard not to cross the red line. All the best views of the fishies are on the other side of the red line!
Both Royal Caribbean ships had joined the two Norwegian ships in port by now, and passengers were still pouring out onto the dock.
That's Explorer of the Seas on the left and Brilliance of the Seas on the right.
There was absolutely no wait to get back on the ship this early in the day.
As we walked down the Deck 14 hallway to our cabin, Debbie realized that the framed photographs in the hallway -- of the Grand Canyon ...
... and Havasu Falls -- confirmed her theory that ...
... this photograph in our cabin was indeed from Havasu Creek as she suspected, a place she visited in 1978, 1980, and 2006.
We dropped off our stuff in our cabin and went for a walk around the ship.
The stores were closed since we were in port, so we could windowshop with no one else around. Tom can't resist a display of watches.
These DC Comics and Star Wars watches were amusing.
These 3D crystal portraits look cool.
We liked these porthole frames.
The atrium chandelier was currently all white.
Colorful fish artwork.
Here's the Sunset Bar ...
... with their cool hexagon tables that reminded us of Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland.
It is right next to Syd Norman's Pourhouse (where the soup of the day is beer!) ...
... and across the hall from La Cocina, one of the many specialty ($$) restaurants.
We passed a trivia game in the Getaway Theater just in time to see the question about Cassandra, the prophetess who foretold doom but no one believed her. Check out ABBA's great song about her.
We wandered into a small arcade area and managed to resist the elongated coin machine.
But we were all over the skeeball.
We do love skeeball.
We had some fun playing air hockey too.
Next, we walked through the mercifully quiet and temporarily non-smoky casino.
This is the shiny entrance to the Bliss Lounge, ...
... and this is Bar 21.
Here's a peek at the landings between stairs.
Here's one of the ship's restrooms.
We always enjoy a cruise ship's display of plaques commemorating their first visit to different ports of call.
This lovely shell in a case was the offering from the port of Nassau, Bahamas.
There was a great model of the ship in this alcove as well.
Here's a closer look at the top of the model. This is the top-secret wealthy-people-only portion of the deck, ...
... and the regular-people pool area, ...
... and the water slides, ...
... and the rope course, mini golf, and basketball court, ...
... and the back of the ship.
We got matching photos of the identical Taste and Savor dining rooms, ...
... located directly across from each other. These are the two general restaurants.
This was one of our favorite sights on the ship: the monitor showing that people with their own travel arrangements could just walk off the ship with their luggage at 7:00 AM! No setting out luggage the night before! No waiting in a lounge for your color to be called! Heaven.
We spent way more time than we should have looking at this autographed photograph of Pete Rose as a rookie and trying to decide if the guy Pete Rose signed his name under is actually Pete Rose. Then we discussed our feelings about Pete Rose.
We passed Shanghai's Noodle Bar, where we had made a reservation for two earlier in the week before cancelling all of our restaurant reservations. We were able to confirm that there is no such thing as a table for two in this restaurant.
We went to have lunch at O'Sheehan's, but we had to wait until they were ready to serve lunch. (O'Sheehan = ocean. Mind blown.) So we killed time by watching the Visual Trivia game: Where in the World. Instead of giving the answers to the questions here, we'll simply post one of our own travel photos from the same destination.
Bummer, we haven't been here. We've been to this country but not this particular city.
Oops, we forgot to take a picture of this one without the answer on it.
We've been to this country but not to this city.
We've been to this country but not to this city. Actually, we were currently in this country.
We've been to this country but not to this city.
The hostess desk seemed baffled as to when lunch finally started, so at 11:30, we walked the 10 feet from our chairs after we saw people continually being seated. Even though we had inquired several times about lunch, they made no attempt to signal us when lunch was actually going to start.
So we were finally seated and we ordered a couple of beers and our lunch. Our appetizer (spinach artichoke dip) was served at the same time as our open-face roast beef sandwich and Irish stew.
Our appetizer and meals were nearly completely done when our beers finally showed up 20 minutes after ordering them, despite waiting several minutes before starting our food. This experience reminded us once again that going to the free sit-down restaurants was a waste of time, and that the buffet was the way to go. Sure, we could have gone to a different specialty restaurant every night of the cruise, but what's the point of an all-inclusive meal plan if you have to pay for every dinner?
So, we took our completely full beers and headed back to our cabin. There's that pretty chandelier again, this time featuring light pink and white.
Cheers to beers on our balcony.
In the distance, we could see the coastal town of Mahahual just a little south of us.
The sun started to come out so we went out on deck to look at the port.
Here's a closeup on the buildings toward the left of the port. The dolphin encounter is right behind that seawall, and you can see where the Aviary walkways above gave us great views of the activity below.
In the far distance toward the right, we could see a Mayan-themed waterpark with a ropes or zipline course circling it.
Right next to the port is a picture-perfect beach with absolutely no way to access it from the fenced-off port area.
A little further to the right is a beached boat. Some birds were perched on the top of the mast.
There's more of the pretty coastline.
In the water fifteen decks below us, we watched these three barracudas swim slowly away from shore and back in again.
Here is a higher view of the two Royal Caribbean ships: Explorer of the Seas (left) and Brilliance of the Seas.
We stopped at the sundeck at the back of the ship just for a second.
We went into the larger, more kid-oriented arcade ...
... and decided to get a rubber duck for our grandkids.
Grandpa tried several times to get a duck. Fortunately, the machine keeps going until you actually get one.
Yay! Green Lantern duck!
Anything called Pirate's Chest must be fun.
Speaking of fun, this amazing air hockey game, Pac-Man Smash, was a ton of fun. At random times, additional tiny pucks would fill the table to get whacked at - the air hockey equivalent of pinball multiball.
It was time for our daily soft-serve ice cream break, so we grabbed a couple of cones and took them to our balcony.
We watched a pair of frigate birds in the sky. The one on the right caught something delicious in the water and the one on the left wasn't giving him any peace to eat his meal.
We went out on deck again for sailout and got a new photo of our feet on the glass portion of Deck 8.
There's another little glass window nearby.
As usual, some passengers were late so we departed Costa Maya at 2:40 PM instead of 2:00.
The other three ships in port with us had arrived later, so they stayed later as well. Left to right: Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas, Royal Caribbean Brilliance of the Seas, and Norwegian Dawn.
The Dawn's staff lined their pier and were dancing as they welcomed their passengers back to the ship.
Here's the mid-section of the Dawn, ...
... and the front.
It had front-facing cabins that must be very cool (and expensive) to stay in. Only the top deck of cabins are available to the public. The cabins on the next deck down probably belong to the officers.
Before heading back to our cabin, we got a picture of the Prime Meridian bar.
Debbie just suggested going to the dueling pianos show to Tom. It is clear what Tom thought of this idea. We did not go.
We grabbed an early dinner at the back of the ship because we had big plans at 5:30.
No matter what the evening's theme was, Debbie always had French fries, because they were always, always delicious.
We headed to the atrium, where the chandelier was fading from red to white and back again, ...
... so we could check in for the Skyy Vodka Ice Bar the moment it opened.
There were four drinks on the menu and we were told that our $20 admission included two free drinks, which is incredibly inexpensive by ice bar standards. We were given colorful ponchos and black magic gloves to wear.
At 5:30 PM, we went inside where the bartender was waiting. This was our seventh ice bar experience.
Sergei poured the two of us a vodka welcome shot while another group of four people looked around at the room.
Nazdarovya!
Then he refilled our glasses with our first drink: Sweet Northern, which was Skyy vodka with pineapple, Campari, sweet vermouth, and orange.
He got a photo of us in our very bright ponchos. We love ice bars!
While the other people in the bar got served their first drinks, ...
... we checked out the ice throne with the ice alligator at its base.
Our next cocktail was Ice Cold, made with Skyy vodka, orange, Grand Marnier, and lemon juice.
Meanwhile, the other group got their photo taken.
Tom got into a conversation with our friendly Serbian bartender, Sergei.
Meanwhile, Debbie got more photos of the room. Here's one.
Here's another.
Here's a closer look at the decoration in the ice. It was funny to have a Miami Beach theme in the freezing cold.
We had a third cocktail named Hazelnut Delight, made of Skyy vodka, Frangelico, and lemon juice.
Seventeen minutes after entering, the other group had left, so it was just us and the bartender who took another photo of us.
Our last cocktail was supposed to be alcohol-free, but he tossed some vodka in our glasses first. This one was called Day at the Beach and consisted of strawberry puree, pineapple juice, and lemon juice. All four of the cocktails had been really delicious.
After twenty minutes, we turned in our ponchos and headed back to our room. An attempt to get a picture of the pink clouds from our balcony failed miserably, because our camera kept fogging up after being in a frozen room.
Several hours went by and we noticed lights in the distance.
Hey, it's Cozumel!
There were a pair of ships still in port. Here's Holland America's Nieuw Statendam ...

... and here's the Regal Princess.

Day 9 >


Western Caribbean 2019: [Day 1 - Great River Road] [Day 2 - New Orleans] [Day 3 - New Orleans Sailout] [Day 4 - At Sea] [Day 5 - Chichén Itzá, Mexico] [Day 6 - Roatán, Honduras] [Day 7 - Harvest Caye, Belize] [Day 8 - At Sea] [Day 9 - Costa Maya, Mexico] [Day 10 - Drive Home]

Bundlings.com: [Main] [Contact Us] [Events] [Family] [Fun] [Garden] [Misc.] [Photos] [Rett Syndrome] [Search] [Site Index] [Travel]

Copyright © Deborah Schilling/Thomas Bundy