Today we docked in Costa Maya, Mexico. It has been several years since we were here and we were anxious to see changes that had been made. The air was warm although a bit humid, the sky was a little cloudy and it was already in the 80s. It is going to be a very good day!
As soon as I stepped out onto the balcony I was amazed at just how much the port area had changed. The first thing I saw was a large Mayan temple structure high above the vegetation with several smaller structures just behind and to the left of the port area. I learned later in the day that it is the Costa Maya Adventure Park.
I also noticed that the Norwegian Jade and the Holland America Oosterdam ships were tied up to the dock. “It is going to be a very busy port today,” I thought to myself.
We decided to have breakfast in the dining room and spent most of our time reminiscing about past visits to Costa Maya. I had a great pancake breakfast.
We first visited Costa Maya in 2008 with friends Bob and Sandy. The year before the area had been hit by Hurricane Dean in 2007 and we heard that much of the area had been hit hard. We took transportation down to the small fishing village of Majahual and were struck by just how much damage was still visible. Trees had been stripped of their leaves and bark, most of the town had been damaged with multi-level building missing their top floors, a great deal of the beach was gone. It was terrible.However, after walking down the street for a while we were able to find a small restaurant with umbrella tables on the beach and enjoyed buckets of beer and nachos.
On a visit in 2012 we took a tour to the Kohunlich Mayan Ruins. They were amazing. But over the last few years we have stayed at the port enjoying the large pool in the center and having great lunches at Señor Frogs and Carlos and Charlie’s. This visit we decided to go back down to Mujahual to see how it had recovered first hand.
But first, we stopped at Diamonds International to pick up our free charms. While there I could not help myself and walked over to the Crown of Light diamond case to see one more time a bracelet I had fallen in love with the last time we were in Cozumel. It was a beautiful as I remembered. We lingered a little but finally moved away and continued our walk to the place to catch a shuttle down to the beach.
I remember when we took this ride so long ago and feeling very sad at seeing all the trees stripped of all its leaves and bark. It was so good to see that all the lush vegetation had returned as we drove along for the 10 minute ride to the beach.
Once we walked a few steps up to the little town we were so happy to see that the little town, not only had come back, but seemed to be thriving. We strolled down the walk looking this way and that way at all the shops, restaurants and people hawking snorkeling, paddle boat rides and beach chairs for rent.
One very enterprising gentleman caught our attention outside a restaurant called the Krazy Lobster. We listened to his spiel and then assured him that we would return after our walk. We walked for quite a while finally coming to the end of town. We turned and made our way back to the Krazy Lobster.
What a great stop!! We were shown to a small table under a grass umbrella near the beach and, because we returned, were each given a small free Margarita. We took a few moments to look over the menu and settled on a bucket of beer and an order of plain nachos.
The plains nachos come with cheese, black bean puree, pico de gallo, and jalapeños. The beer was cold and the nachos delicious. But the best part of the afternoon was the enjoying the view, enjoying the gentle breeze crossing the beach and enjoying just kicking back and watching the world going by.
We made our way back to the port and walked around a little then returned to the ship.
While Randy was relaxing on the balcony I took a little walk down the aft staircase to look at some tapestries that had caught my attention over the week.
The pieces are called “Rhapsody in Blue” by Norwegian artist Ase Froyshov. There were pieces of this tapestry on every floor and in some cases more than one at a level. I found them to be whimsical. The accompanying plaque read: “Froyshov created this work after an inspiring journey she made along the coast of Norway. She used the rhythms of music and the vast range of sea and sky blues that she encountered during her voyage to mould her tapestry. Whence the title of her series: Rhapsody in Blue.
By the time I returned to the cabin it was time to prepare for the evening. Cocktails, as always, were fun enjoying a Lemon Drop drink and a few appetizers. I was not very hungry so chose a wonderful berry soup and beef sliders for dinner.
Once again we had to get going as soon as dinner was complete. Tonight was the Holiday Parade of Flags in the Centrum. I have seen this parade on other ships and always enjoy the spectacle. We were fortunate to find seats and eventually when Wayne and Mary joined us.
It is always amazing to learn just how many countries and cultures are represented by the crew of a ship. At any given time the staff and crew of a ship will be from 50-60 countries. Our cruise director Patricio called out the number of crew and staff represented each country. Every once in a while representatives of a country would come to the center of the Centrum waving their flag and performing a dance.
Just when we thought the event was over three trumpeters blew their horns heralding the arrival of Santa. It only took me a minute to be out of my chair with camera in hand looking to have my picture taken with Santa. I loved it!!!
It had been a very busy and fun day but it was time to return to the cabin for a little relaxation before turning in for a good night’s sleep.
Tomorrow we dock at Cozumel, Mexico.