Freedom Sails…Day 6

I know I’ve been super slack on writing these reviews…lets be honest, this cruise happened in 2014 and I am not finished yet!  In fact, I have a trip to Las Vegas to review from January 2015 and yet another cruise on the Freedom of the Seas that just happened last week.  So I am trying to catch up so I don’t fall so far behind that I forget this latest one!

So Day 6.  We are in Cozumel, Mexico.  Our arrival was delayed due to a medical emergency on Grand Cayman (later found out that it was an older lady suffering from heat stroke!) We have been here before, on the Allure of the Seas, and we just wandered around, found OD a Mexico soccer jersey and hung at Señor Frogs for a while.  This time, we have decided to try Nachi Cocum.  An all inclusive day resort.  The all inclusive part includes alcohol, food, beach with loungers and palapas, pool and hot tub. They advertise that they only accept 100 people per day so if you go there, you will not have to deal with the crowds that some of the other day resorts have.  Its much quieter so if you are looking for a party, try Mr. Sancho’s, I hear they are fantastic and fun!

IMG_2428

So after a good nights sleep, we awake refreshed and ready for our day!!  And then we stepped into the heat of the day in Cozumel.  Oh. My. God. I am fairly sure that one or two of the passengers actually burst into flames.  Since we have a 2 year old red-head with us, I was worried about her spontaneously combusting before we could get her in the water, but she made it safely to the cab and we were on our way!

After a relatively short taxi ride, we arrive at Nachi Cocum.  I think we were the first people there for the day.  We were given wristbands color coded based on our drinking ability and shown to our palapas for the day.  If you are considering Nachi Cocum, let me tell you, it is absolutely gorgeous!  Soft sand, palm trees, gentle ocean…pure paradise.

IMG_2431

See?  Paradise…except Holy Hot!!!  We decided to move up to the pool area, and grab a table under an umbrella…added bonus? Closer to the bar!  We had heard about a “signature” drink that they serve in Cozumel, the Dirty Monkey. Basically it is a banana daiquiri with a shot of Kahlua.  It is YUMMY!  Especially on a day that felt like a thousand degrees, they go down like slurpees!    I’m pretty sure we had at least 3 each…before lunch!

IMG_2432

For lunch, you order off the menu and they bring it out to you.  It seems like a buffet would be more likely since it is all you can eat, but the waiters will bring you as much as you care to order all throughout the day.  The benefit to this is that the food is hot and fresh and awesome.  We had a bit of a bunch of stuff and it was all really good Mexican food!  After lunch, the kids mostly wanted to hang in the pool rather than the ocean, so we stayed at our umbrella covered table and enjoyed the day.  Both KT and TJ ended up meeting kids close to their ages so that kept them from being bored and whiny!

IMG_2434

They have a swim up bar and a hot tub as well, although I can’t imagine wanting to be in a hot tub in this heat, some folks did just that.  Overall, it was a great day and when we were ready to head back to the boat, they quickly called a cab and had us on our way in plenty of time.

Tonight was our final dinner in the Main Dining Room.  Our waiters had finally gotten into the swing of things and we really enjoyed our last meal with them.  Norbert, our head waiter, has a special talent with napkins and made KT a hat and some sort of napkin animal for our final night.

IMG_2451

After dinner, we visited the Champagne Bar for a nightcap with Erwina.  She had prepared a “Shot Flight” for us to try…as if we hadn’t had enough to drink already!  We then headed down to the casino to end our day in Cozumel.

Tomorrow is a sea day, and the final full day of our cruise.  M & I will be entering the Slot Tournament, P is already qualified and we have our second Portofino’s dinner tomorrow night.

 

 

Advertisements

Alluring Travel on the Open Sea…II

Trying to do a “quick” tour of the Allure of the Seas, is really an impossibility.  This is the largest ship on the water right now, getting around takes some planning…and comfortable shoes!  One of the new “wow” features of this class of ship is the boardwalk.  The back of the ship is open to the sea.  Its a pretty cool concept.  I decided to book a boardwalk balcony cabin since it is only available on this class.  It is also a cheaper option to booking a standard balcony, but you can still get that balcony feel.

IMG_3265

I really liked the boardwalk balcony cabins.  For this trip, we booked 2 adjoining cabins so that we could have the two bathrooms.  Really not a huge issue, since it is three guys and me, but something we really like to have.  On the exterior balconies, if you have adjoining cabins, the divider on the balcony can be removed to make one big balcony.  This is the same on the boardwalk balconies, our stateroom attendant was able to do that with no problem when we requested it. Depending on where your cabin was, you could see the ocean as well as the activity going on at the boardwalk.  We were towards the aft of the ship and had a fantastic view of both the boardwalk and the ocean. If I were ever going on this type of ship, I would certainly book there again.

Certain floors had a “secret” public balcony where there were lounge chairs and such and from there you could see everything going on in the Aqua Theater as well.  Every morning, I would get some coffee and go sit on the aft balcony, there was never anyone else out there.

IMG_0954

This is your view from that balcony:

IMG_0960

The Aqua Theater is another cool new concept on this ship.  It hosts things like a diving show and the ever popular Belly Flop Contest.  They can also cover the aqua part of this and it becomes a regular theater venue with large screens so everyone can see what is going on. It also hosted one of the dreaded muster drills, which was nice for those folks that had that station, with all the seating, it eliminates that wonderful tradition of standing crammed next to people you have never met to listen to a recorded safety briefing.

IMG_3276

The boardwalk has many cool features and new restaurants. There is a hot dog stand with a bunch of different choices of styles and toppings, a donut house that supplies your donut fix all day long, a Johnny Rockets, and a Mexican style restaurant called Rita’s Cantina.  I never ate here, but it looked like most folks were enjoying it, especially the margaritas if the crazies dancing on the patio in giant sombreros are any way to judge!  That may be due to the fact that if you purchased their meal package, THREE margaritas were included!  I am allergic to tequila, I break out in pregnancy, so I never touch the stuff anymore!

IMG_3270

Also on the boardwalk is a real, working carousel.  There is no charge to ride so the “kids” can ride over and over if they want!  There was rarely a line, so it was never any problem getting on.

IMG_3261

 

Some other highlights of the boardwalk are the Pets at Sea, the candy store, and the Ice Cream Scoop Shop.  On some days, they have a boardwalk party where they have face painting, balloon animals, popcorn, cotton candy, and all sorts of other cute games and activities for kids and kids at heart.

IMG_0943

The diving show in the AquaTheater is nothing short of spectacular.  Think Cirque du Soliel in water.  If you take the ship’s “All Access” tour, you will get the behind the scenes of what it takes to produce a high dive show while on a moving ship on a moving ocean.  It really is a marvel.  I did not take any pictures of the show because they ask you not to…not that I am usually one for following rules, especially if it involves getting a good picture, but I certainly did not want any sort of flash from my camera to be the cause of any diving mishaps.

IMG_3269

Royal Caribbean has partnered with Dreamworks so there are multiple references around the ship.  I thought it was a pretty good balance of being visible, but not in your face.  If you had no interest or have kids that are nervous around huge, walking animals then you could certainly go the whole cruise avoiding them.  However, if your kids are like mine and have to meet every character they come across, there are plenty of opportunities to do that as well.  There is a Dreamworks character parade, a meet the characters breakfast with a chocolate theme (my kids really liked this!), and various other “meet & greets” around at different times.

That’s all I’ve got for the Boardwalk on the Allure, but that is only one of SEVEN different neighborhoods on this mega-ship.  I will try and finish this up pretty soon, because in a few weeks, I am leaving for my next cruise on the Freedom of the Seas!

Bon Voyage!!