Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Give Me Liberty or Give Me Valor- Costa Maya

Give Me Liberty or Give Me Valor

Viva la Mexico
Monday, December 19, 2016

This was truly a day we will never forget as it was filled with beautiful coastal scenery and ended with sickness. Chris and I had never been to Costa Maya so we decided to venture out alone and left the kids at Camp Ocean and I am glad we did! 

Chris and I both woke up early naturally and greeted the 6:30AM sunrise. The kids were very tired and never even moved as we got ready for the day and even brought back breakfast for us all to eat at our ocean-view window. They finally woke up around 8AM and ate their breakfast before getting ready for a morning at the pool. Once again, we all made our way to the mid-ship pool to enjoy the beautiful sun and scenery. The kids went down the water slide dozens of times but the lines kept getting longer so they opted to end their morning time in the pool and hot tub. Luke was very content with staying in the hot tub while Natalie continued to work on her "dog paddling" skills in the small pool at the foot of the water-slide on Deck 10. 

Our morning view from our window!

Breakfast at our window!

Pool time! 

They are ready for the slide- and got there early enough to beat the crowds!

Waiting in line for the slide!

As the morning sun kept beating down, the kids decided 2+ hours was enough time in the pool so we went back to the room and got dry and dressed. This was the 1st time we have had a cabin on the Lido Deck (the same deck as the pool, Dive-in movies and buffet) and I must say it was most convenient. In fact, I am looking into switching our cabin on our upcoming family cruise on the Breeze. Then we all made our way back to the buffet area to get a head start on the lunch buffet line. Since we were supposed to dock at Costa Maya at 1PM we assumed there would be a lot of people who would be eating early. Tip- This same theory has proven to be true with breakfasts on port days! Try to get to the food lines about 2 hours before you are supposed to dock to avoid the lines! 

Before we left our room to eat, the Captain came on over the PA system to let us know that due to a 1.5 hour delay leaving Galveston, we would not be docking in Costa Maya until at least 2PM, which would be an hour delay. We did not have a shore excursion through Carnival but rather on our own so this did not effect us too much. We would still be leaving Costa Maya to sail to Belize at 8PM and the all-aboard time would still be 7:30PM. 

We all ate various lunch items from the Lido area and once again Natalie got her own burger from Guy's and even her own drink. I was so proud of her independence! Luke didn't want a burger but ate his weight in watermelon and then found the Mac N Cheese at the BBQ and ate just as much in that! All 4 of us left satisfied and made our way to the Food and Drink trivia on deck 5... with an ice cream cone in our hand, of course! I mean if you are not gaining weight on a cruise... YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG! 

Lunch on Lido! 

We did our best on the trivia but this was just not our cup of tea. We scored 7.5/ 21 and was easily our worst score EVER! No 24K gold piece of "Ship on a Stick" for us but we had fun and even Luke participated. We then went to the FunShops to get the kids a blow up cruise ship they wanted. We took these back to the room to blow them up and watch the approach into Costa Maya. There were already 2 other ships in port; The Disney Wonder (out of Galveston) and the Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas (out of Florida). The Carnival Valor was parked and docked by 2PM and we dropped off the kids at Camp Ocean for a day of fun! 

Disney Wonder and Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas docked at Costa Maya!

The beach we were going to, Barefoot Beach, was just to the left of the lighthouse pictured! 

This was the Lost Mayan Adventure park that could be seen from the ship! 

The Independence class ships offer SEVERAL forward facing Ocean-view cabins instead of the 6-8 Carnival Conquest class ships offer. 

The Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas! 

The north side of Costa Maya... it was GORGEOUS! 

Chris and I managed to make our way to the gangway at the most opportune time and were off of the ship by 2:30PM. We  had a pre-booked excursion through Shore Excursioneer at Barefoot Beach on the Mahahual just outside of the cruise pier. Costa Maya was very nice and very built up. It reminded me a Falmouth, Jamaica. There were LOTS of vendors and shops right at the pier and we hoped to see them as we made our way back to the ship! 

There is our home away from home... the Carnival Valor

Cruise ship selfie!

The entrance to the "mall" pier area! 

We missed our picture with this entrance but it was gorgeous! 

We had to cross through the entire "mall" area as the locals called it to get to the taxi and shuttle area that would take us to our beach.  This was easily a 20-30 minute walk just to get to the taxi area so plan accordingly!  We had hoped to get a taxi but took the "people mover" instead. This was a 1-way shuttle to the Mahahual for $3/ per person. The shuttle took us to the 2nd stop on the shuttle trip and we found our beach. It was very nice and among a local street full of restaurants and vendors of all kinds. We paid our remaining balance and made our way to our resting spot for the afternoon. This was an all-inclusive pass for only $28.99 which was a FANTASTIC deal. 

This was a very small pick-up truck hauling a massive 15-20 person shuttle!

The lighthouse we saw from our boat directly across from our beach! 

This was the entrance  back into the cruise pier area from the Mahahual! 

It had rained all week so the area was flooded out but still passable! 

This was in from of the restaurant on Barefoot Beach!

We changed into our swimsuits and took in the beauty of the beach and then sat back and relaxed with a cocktail in hand. Barefoot Beach Tip- There were LOTS and LOTS of vendors approaching us trying to sell us just about ANYTHING, which didn't bother me but did get old. If this type thing bothers you... this beach and excursion is NOT FOR YOU! We did not buy anything but they did have nice authentic Mexican stuff. Another complaint I had was this beach did not offer lockers so Chris and I could not really go into the ocean together as we had our wallets, ID and Sail and Sign Cards in our bags. I was very hesitant to leave them on the beach chairs! 

A view of our ship from the beach... this always makes me feel more secure if I can see the ship! 

I love the localized/ non-resort feel of the beach! 

We LOVED this place! Beautiful water and beach area!

We each swam and snorkeled in the gorgeous Caribbean waters before ordering the "beef" nachos from the restaurant as well as a few more cocktails. The nachos came and were cold and not that good. In fact, I did not like them at all but ate because I was hungry and I knew we would not be back to the ship until hours later. We ate and then swam some more as well as laid out in the gorgeous sun! The beach was GORGEOUS and I would go back again despite the minor issues I mentioned.

Chris getting into the water with his flippers was hilarious! 

We LOVED this place and cannot wait to get back in 2018!

The nachos were AWFUL... literally made me sick (more on that below)!

Plus we had a guest by our table... it didn't really bother me but it was memorable! 

I love a good rainbow and on the water is even better!

Time for me to snorkel and use my SURVIVOR buff! 

The sun setting and the clouds were just perfect! 

Haha... Love this one! 

The Royal Caribbean ship left and that was kinda our cue!
Anytime another ship goes "bye-bye" we take a hint and make our way back to ours!

A few hours passed and the sun was beginning to set so we gathered our personal belongings and called a taxi to take us back to the cruise pier. Unfortunately, I got sick in the taxi and then had to be taken to the ship via a wheelchair. I was quickly taken to the infirmary (sick-bay) to be seen by a doctor where Chris and I spent the rest of our evening. We made it back to the ship with hours to spare but spent the rest of our evening in the sick-bay. 3 hours and $500+ later (not exaggerating... it was ridiculous), I was fine and taken back to our cabin. In fact, the Camp Ocean workers even brought the kids to us in our room so Chris didn't have to leave my side. He was such a perfect gentleman and amazing husband taking care of me throughout this whole ordeal! 

Once we got back to the room I showered and went to bed as I was still feeling the effects of the Mexican fiesta. As is our tradition of always ordering room service at least once, Chris ordered him and the kids room service before they all went to bed! 

It was an evening we will soon not forget but it still made for great memories. I was most proud of the kids for staying at Camp Ocean and they seriously said they had a BLAST! Tomorrow will be our family excursion to a private island off of the coast of Belize called Starfish Island! 

Keep Calm and CRUISE on! 

Stay Tuned for more CARIBBEAN CRUISING highlights! 

God is GOOD... All the time!

Click on a link to see our past cruising adventures:
Our Cruise Ship Experiences 2006-present

Carnival Legend- 2016

Caribbean Princess- 2016 

Carnival Triumph- 2015

Carnival Magic- 2015

Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas- 2015

Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas- 2014

Carnival Conquest- 2013

Carnival Conquest- 2006

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