We’re not the kind of people who need to spend every waking minute at the beach, so even though we had a beach day booked in Costa Maya, we allowed ourselves to sleep in a bit before heading out. We had Joseph bring us a light breakfast, and we were soon making our way through the port from hell.
Our goal was to find a taxi, but it took us A LONG time to figure out how to get outside the port. It looked like some construction was going on, and some exits were closed off, and there was a distinct lack of signage. In a word: it sucked.
When, after much trial and error, we finally made it out, we got in a long line of people waiting for taxis. We told the person “organizing” the taxi line where we needed to go, and he put us in a taxi with four other people, none of whom were going to the same place. The taxi driver tried to drop us off at the same place as the rest of the passengers, despite us telling the person back at the port exactly where we needed to go. Kathleen took out our booking confirmation for the beach club we’d booked, and after some back and forth, the driver eventually drove us literally two minutes further up the road to the correct spot.
We booked a VIP (all-inclusive) day at Nacional Beach Club. We’d never been, but it got great reviews online. We had a wonderful day at Nacional, despite the effort it took to get there. The price was a bit high ($110 per person), but the service by the owner, Evan, was great, and the food and drinks were top quality.
I will say, though, that the beach in Costa Maya leaves a bit to be desired. The bottom is not sandy, but mucky and weedy. It reminded me a bit of slogging through the Everglades, which, for some stupid reason, is something I did as a child. We still managed to swim around and have a good time though, but when visiting Costa Maya it’s probably best to manage your expectations with regard to the beach. I think when we visit next, we’ll forego the beach all together and just go for the food.
Speaking of which: the food at Nacional is absolutely amazing. My favorite was the mixed seafood aguachile, which is essentially the best ceviche you’ve ever had, multiplied by a factor of about a hundred. We also ordered some unbelievable grilled octopus, shrimp, and spiny lobster. It was a seafood feast for the ages.
Between feasting, we enjoyed a very small pool, which had built-in tables on which you could place your margarita, or, in one dude’s case, your lunch. Our VIP experience also came with a free twenty-minute massage, which was really nice. On the whole, we had a really lovely day in Costa Maya. I would absolutely go back to Nacional, especially for the high-quality food and drinks.
We had a much easier time returning to the ship, and we were soon showered and changed. Joseph had left us more canapes, but we only sampled a couple, since we were still full of delicious seafood.
We enjoyed a couple drinks in the Haven lounge, where we decided to stay inside, since we’d had enough sun for one day. When the sun finally set, we made our way back to our cool balcony to enjoy some quiet evening reading.
The rest of the ship must have heard our conversation earlier in the week about how dead the bars seemed, because when we went to the Mojito Bar to hear the Eric Clapton tribute the place was absolutely packed. With no seating available, we made our way to the Waterfront and enjoyed a couple drinks al fresco.
We toyed with going to the main dining room for dinner that evening, but we simply couldn’t give up the quiet convenience of the Haven restaurant. I did, however, ask our waiter if we could have the French onion soup that was on offer downstairs, and he obliged. Was it as good as the soup at Le Bistro? No, but it was still tasty. We both did the surf and turf, and we both left happy.
Having exerted ourselves that day, and with plans to again brave the world outside the Haven the following morning, we made it another early night.
Up next, Day 6 – Third time is not a charm at Nachi Cocom.