Friday, August 15, 2014

Somewhere Beyond the Sea... Paradise Beach, Cozumel

Summer Cruise 2014
Paradise Beach, Cozumel, Mexico 
Tuesday, August 5, 2014


It was Paradise indeed. One of the most beautiful and physically active and entertaining beaches I had ever been to in my life. We found out about this place from a friend in ours Sunday School class at church and let me tell you, we are hooked and will be going back!


Morning
The ship was supposed to arrive in port around 8:00 AM but we arrived about 30 minutes early. We decided since it was a full day of adventures ahead we opted to go to the breakfast buffet in the Windjammer instead of the full-service Main Dining Room. The food was sub-par to say the least and we were not impressed at all. We walked around the upper deck and watched 3 other ships, all Carnival, pull into the port of Cozumel. We had to wait for customs clearance before we could disembark but we were off the ship and hailing a taxi around 8:40 AM. 

Waiting to get clearance from Customs and overlooking the other pier!
Let's get this day started already!


Chris and I are on the ground in Cozumel and ready to go! 

Hailing a cab in Mexico... cross that off my bucket list! 


We arrived at Paradise Beach, which was about 12 KM from the International Cruise Terminal around 8:55 AM. This was a beach full of physical activities such as, kayaking, snorkeling, stand-up paddle boats, all kinds of inflatables plus beach chairs and umbrellas and even a salt water pool. And you get all of this for only $18 all-day access. It is an unbelievable deal and we HIGHLY recommend it to anyone visiting Cozumel. 

We loved this beach... Go and check it out! 

We were one of the first ones there so we decided to go ahead and play on all the water toy inflatables since we knew families and kids would be arriving soon and they would become very busy, very quickly. It was a good choice because within an hour there were a LOT of kids on these toys. We then went to get a kayak and go out into the open ocean. I have never been kayaking before so I was curious to see how I would do with it, but much to my surprise, I was very good at it and we had a great time riding off shore. There were lots of boats and wave-runners in the water so their waves allowed us to have even more fun kayaking. 

I was a little nervous at first but LOVED it! 

Time for some kayaking! 

Kayak Selfie!

This beach also offered Stand-up Paddle Boats so we decided to try these out as well. I have pretty good balance and did very well without any falls but Chris was trying to get my attention at one point and fell off of his board (I am secretly keeping score of course). These were fun but due to so many other boats making waves it was pretty difficult so we packed them up pretty quickly and exchanged them for snorkeling equipment. 

My paddle board seemed to ALWAYS be drifting! 

We had been snorkeling 2 other times on our previous cruises and LOVED it so we were anxious to get out there and do it again. It took about 10 minutes for me to re-adjust and get used to breathing in the snorkel equipment again but once I got comfortable I was swimming far into the ocean. We saw lots of small reefs and a few schools of small fish. This was not comparable, however, to the reefs we saw in Roatan and Belize last year. We snorkeled for about an hour before we decided to come back in for some refreshments and SUNSCREEN

Getting ready to jump of the pier and snorkel. 

Selfies have really turned the corner... now you can take a selfie UNDERWATER! 

We LOVE snorkeling!


Afternoon 
Chris re-applied the sunscreen and went back out into the water to play on the water toys. I decided it was time for some refreshments and relaxation. I laid out in my chase lounger (under the umbrella, of course) for well over an hour before I joined Chris back in the water. Once in the water, we headed toward the water trampoline and bridge. This was a lot of fun but was not as stable as I would have thought. 

Chris on the trampoline!

Chris climbing to the top of the Mega-Slide!

And now going DOWN the Mega-Slide!

He made it to the top of the inflatable Rock Wall! Very impressive because this thing was CRAZY HARD! 



What I was doing while Chris was out playing on the toys!

Yeah... this was a LOT harder than it looks!
It took me TWO times but I made it across!

video
This was a LOT of fun!

We ended the afternoon with more kayaking before we headed back to the ship. We got back on board around 2:30 PM and decided to try out the Windjammer lunch buffet and just like breakfast it left much to be desired. We then went to the hot tub and eventually the FlowRider for Stand Up surfing. This was significantly more difficult than the Boogie Boarding. I only tried one time but immediately knew it was not for me and not worth standing 30-40 people deep in line. Chris tried it 2 times but on the second time he pulled a muscle of some type and decided to call it quits. 

We went back to our balcony for our standard sail-away watching. We were able to watch the Carnival Legend sail away and then watched as we sailed away from Cozumel. In fact, while we were waiting for  departure we watched a family RUN as fast as they could to get on the boat after the air-horn had been blown. This is always a sight to see and really makes us laugh! 

Evening 
We had early dinner reservations but wanted to walk along the Royal Promenade before it got too busy. We were able to get some great pictures and enjoy some pre-dinner treats as well. We then headed to dinner for a 6:00 PM reservation. After dinner we headed towards an Adults Only karaoke in the Two Poets pub. I have done karaoke before but never while with Chris so he pretty much insisted I participate. I chose to sing "I Will Remember You" by Sarah McLaughlin. I actually sang this song at my high school gradation in 2001 so I felt confident in my choice. However, this was the original version, not the one I sang at my graduation and was a LOT lower than I remember. But I did have a great time performing and did better than most of the ones who sang before me. One guy told Chris that if I had formal training in singing I could make a living off of my voice. Odd thing is... I do make a living off my voice. 

Getting ready to go to dinner!

On the Royal Promenade!

This was a cute little area of a bar on Deck 5... Perfect shot!

The Royal Promenade car show!


We then went to the show "Tribute to the Temptations". This was a hired performance group that came on board to perform with the orchestra. The Temptations and their music is not really my "Cup of Tea" but I really enjoyed this group and they were true performers. Chris and I agreed after the show that they were good enough that we would pay money to see them in Las Vegas! I recommend attending this show if you are ever on board The Navigator of the Seas. 

After the show we had full intentions of going to the 70's Disco party but we made the mistake of going to the Solarium to lay on the lounge chairs. Then it was almost as if our bodies and brains shut down from a long hard day so we went back to the room and called it a night. 

Tomorrow would be my favorite Western Caribbean destination- Grand Cayman and we were trying out a new adventure of SNUBA! 


God is good... All the time! 

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