|Towel animal party on the pool deck|
Our last port day and soon we will be home. I love cruising, but this part of the cruise week becomes somewhat melancholy in anticipation of us soon returning to our normal lives. But enough about that as I want to enjoy my day in Cozumel! Before heading out, we decided to visit the Lido Marketplace one last time for breakfast and imagine my surprise when we went by the pool deck. On every single chair was a cuddly and cute towel animal soaking up the morning sun. For what it’s worth, I wasn’t the only one taking pictures and “oohing” and “aahing” over them. It was definitely a sight to see that my picture tries to capture, but definitely doesn’t do it proper justice.
|Carnival Magic and Carnival Legend|
With an arrival into Cozumel at 10 am, we had the luxury of sleeping in a little bit and enjoying our breakfast while still onboard the Carnival Magic. This port allows you to walk right off the ship and we were once again docked next to the Carnival Legend and Royal Caribbean‘s Freedom of the Seas was also in port. We were last in Cozumel in February of 2009 when we sailed on Royal Caribbean‘s Independence of the Seas and it felt like the port had grown in size, but perhaps my memory was a little off. As we were not taking an organized excursion, we were able to get off the ship at our own pace while others were scrambling to find their excursion guide hidden behind a paddle at the port.
We meandered through the port area until we found the taxi area. Cab fares are listed on a huge sign by this area so check the amount before getting into the cab. Prices are reasonable and for the three of us traveling together it was only $15 USD. The road is a straight one and you can really fly on it depending on the kind of driver you have. We passed many people on motorcycles and mopeds along the way and I wasn’t sure if they were tourists or not, but I think I would pass on that mode of transportation. I definitely like adventure, but I’m not sure if I would be up for that or not considering the speed at which people were traveling.
Along the way we passed many different beach resorts where you could spend the day including Señor Frogs as well as Mr. Sanchos, another popular destination for cruise guests in Cozumel. But we were going to the same spot we visited last time we were in Cozumel: Nachi Cocom, which was around a 7-minute drive from the port. Allowing only 100 guests per day, this all-inclusive resort is small and intimate and feels like your own island oasis. Given the opportunity to visit Nachi Cocom again or another resort, we all agreed that there was no choice and off to Nachi Cocom we went.
|The beach at Nachi Cocom|
Our arrival at Nachi Cocom this time was definitely different than last time. Previously they had not been ready to accept guests and we had to wait and it was a little disorganized, but not enough to make us want to leave. This time we were immediately greeted and had our pictures taken with sombreros that we could purchase later. The one young lady told us about Internet access, which I believe was free last time, but was now $3 for 30 minutes of access or $5 for WiFi access. I purchased two WiFi packages and then I was informed that it only worked in the restaurant. It turned out to be a good option in the end otherwise we probably would have had our iPhones out the entire time instead of enjoying the beach and the water.
The water, yes that crystal blue water is something that amazing ad campaigns and movies use to entice you with and when you see it up close and personal, going home no longer seems like an option. There were clouds in the sky and the sun was hot, but not unbearable. If it did get too hot, we were only steps away from the water and an opportunity to cool off. The beach itself does appear smaller than our last visit and not definitely not as flat or wide. Since Nachi Cocom is an all-inclusive resort, beverages and food are included and our server, Carlos, immediately got us hooked up with some cold beer and drinks. The drinks are light on alcohol, but great for a cool refreshment and I did sample the strawberry margarita and a Piña Colada as well. You can choose from regular or virgin drinks, soda, beer, or bottled water.
|Jet skiing in Cozumel|
Unlike our last visit, they were definitely pushy with water sports as they had a couple of guys trolling the beach trying to get people to use the jet ski, kayaks, parasailing or what not. Like in most places, if you’re not interested or don’t want to be disturbed, just tell them “no thank you” and they will move along. I am a firm believer that everything is open to negotiation and when I can haggle, I certainly do. We wanted to either do the parasailing or the jet skis and so I sent my son off to try his hand at haggling. Turns out there was only one jet ski operational so there wasn’t much wiggle room for haggling. For 30 minutes for the three of us it was $60 and they do take cash or credit cards. Without any consent forms to sign it may seem a little risky perhaps, but we were fine with taking chances, especially since we were driving. We had a blast jumping the waves and although my husband and son wiped out once, that seems to be what they remembered the most.
|Assorted Seafood Ceviche|
Float mats are also available for rental and we paid $7 for one that we used for both the water and my lounge chair. We decided to do a few appetizers on the beach and to wait to eat our lunch in the restaurant later. For my son I ordered the Buffalo Chicken Wings, which were basically fried chicken wings without sauce, but he liked them anyway. He also ate with much gusto the Assorted Seafood Ceviche with shrimp, octopus, conch, and squid. For all of us we had the nachos and guacamole, which were good, but pretty standard. I would definitely suggest ordering the food that they suggest as you might find more authentic and flavorful food that way.
The day was spent swimming, drinking, and lounging on our chairs beneath the palapas. On this particular day there were several families at the resort and it was disappointing that people were not ensuring that their children were behaving. This was a picture taken at the beginning of the day of the beach and unfortunately, it is not how it looked at day’s end. A group of children had dug up sand bags and large rocks and piled them up for no other reason than they could. That would have been fine if they put them all back, but instead they ran off and the parents stood by with their mouths gaping open as the employees had to grab a wheelbarrow (yes, a wheelbarrow!) to clean up the mess. Between this and the guys smoking cigars near us, it was bothersome, but we were able to still enjoy our day. I wish more people would show a modicum of consideration, but I’m not going to hold my breath wishing too hard for that.
After enjoying our lunch in the restaurant, swimming and relaxing some more, it was time to head back to the ship. Our server, Carlos, called a cab for us and we were on our way back. At the port we decided to look in the shops and maybe do a little shopping. Not having much success in the other ports for shopping, we were both on the hunt for some jewelry and we were hoping Cozumel would be the place. I picked out a pair of diamond hoop earrings in Diamonds International and when the salesman showed me the price on his calculator, I was floored as it was just over $5000. I looked at my husband and said I couldn’t believe I picked out a pair of earrings that cost $5000. He laughed and said, “Did you not see the calculator?” Apparently, the price was $53,000 and not $5000. Looks like I have very good taste! There are lots of great shops and watering holes right in the port like Fat Tuesday and Ron Jon surf shop so if you’re not looking for an excursion, still get off the ship and have a little fun.
|Cinnamon Pumpkin, Squash, Yam and Cheddar Cheese Pie|
After shopping and spending a long day in the sun, we headed back to the ship and planned on dinner. Dinner was once again in the Northern Lights dining room with our favorite server, Ulla as well as her assistants, Ronnie and Chai. The menu this evening was definitely strange, but worth trying. My husband started with the Asparagus Vichyssoise while I once again felt disappointed that all of the soups, be it vegetable or not, are all made with either chicken or beef stock. Thank goodness Ulla was kind enough to stay on top of this for us, but how much harder would it be to make the wild mushroom soup with a vegetable or mushroom base? Luckily, the asparagus soup was all vegetable, but I wasn’t up for another cold green soup. Our son had the chicken noodle soup and then had Lasagna Bolognese for his entree. I tried the unusual Cinnamon Pumpkin, Squash, Yam and Cheddar Cheese Pie, which was sweeter than I would have liked, but ok in the end. My husband is not a fan of squash at all and opted for a salad with a baked potato.
After dinner we decided to go to the Showtime Theatre to watch the evening show which was featuring the “comedy hypnosis” of Asad Mecci. There wasn’t an empty seat in the house and we found ourselves standing at the far back of the theatre near the steps on the second level. I will tell you that this was one of the funniest things I have watched on a cruise and it really was that funny. No video or photography is allowed during the show as I would have loved to capture what went on during it, but if you get the chance to go, do so. With hypnosis no one takes over your body, but if you are easily suggestible, it can produce an interesting effect and can make for an amazing evening show. At 10 pm at the Beach Pool was the Magic’s Latin Fiesta, where we swung by and danced a little before heading inside from 11 pm – 12:30 am for the Mexican Buffet in the Lido Marketplace. I am absolutely convinced that every person on the ship went to the buffet as the lines were out the door and then some. It wasn’t worth it to wait in line so we bailed and called it a night. My son, of course, wanted room service and ordered his evening snack of a few sandwiches and dessert. The room service waiter said that they had pulled some of the room service staff to help with the Mexican Buffet so they were feeling it, but they knew everyone would want the buffet. If you don’t mind the lines, especially if you are out all night drinking and dancing, then it is a great late night snack option.
Tomorrow is our last day at sea so it’s time to make it count!