Sunday, September 29, 2013

Part 4 - Grand Cayman and Costa Maya

Research is so important, no matter where you are going make sure you have some idea of what you want to do or encounter, I am glad we had a plan, well mostly for Grand Cayman. We ate breakfast on the ship and grabbed our bags to head to the tender. We were greeted by a "flying" man.
 Once on land we walked around the port a while looking in shops getting a few free goodies before deciding to head to the beach. Now we had to decide to walk or find a taxi. In my research others had recommended taking a city bus which was located near the public library so that was my plan. I didn't make myself clear to my husband and couldn't find signs to point us to the library so when a taxi driver asked us if we wanted to ride with another couple we said sure. Since we didn't take the bus I can't verify that it would have been half the price of the taxi but the taxi one way was $16 for 4 of us. Make sure to carry small bills or exact change. Drivers will not give you change they think it is their tip and will walk off if you don't catch them. He took us to the Royal Psalms Hotel where we had to pay $4 to use the beach and facilities but in the end it was worth it. We had bathrooms, showers, and an adult only pool at our disposal. Not only that but we had pretty much the entire beach to ourselves and the other family that we rode with.

7 mile beach is suppose to be one of the most famous and best beaches in the Caribbean. The sand was white and soft and the waves subtle.

After a fun filled morning at the beach we decided since the drive didn't seem to take as long as we expected and we could see the ship from the beach we would attempt the walk back. We didn't know how far it was but I knew there would be some questionable points where there was no sidewalk and traffic was heavy but I am frugal and wanted to walk rather than pay another $16. Plus after everything we had eaten so far on the ship we needed the exercise. So we walked the 2 miles (we goggled the distance) back to the ship with very few issues. It was nice seeing the way the people actually lived and only thing we didn't think of was that traffic is opposite from the US. So trying to keep an eye for oncoming traffic was confusing especially with many drivers deciding to drive on both sides.

Once back we collapsed for a little while after lunch and then got dressed for the Alfred and Seymour show. Our boys didn't want to go but my husband and I really wanted to then we realized we could drop them off at the Oceaneers Club. They loved that idea, so they got to do their thing and we got to enjoy the show. It was a win win for everyone, although I kept checking the phone to make sure they didn't need anything.

We picked them up and headed to dinner at Animator's Palate. This was by far our favorite place to eat. Relaxed atmosphere with entertainment. There were screens all around the dinning area, we had 2 right next to us. Crush swam up and started talking to a kid when there was no response he says "Hey I'm talking to you in the striped shell next to the big fish with glasses" At that point we realize he was talking to my oldest son and describing what he and my husband were wearing. They carried on an actual conversation about our day and what we did. Our children's names are unusual so when he repeated it back and correctly we were a bit surprised. He talked to several around the room including the girls next to us.
 While waiting we played charades with the fish.
 And after a great night we came back to find...well we still aren't completely sure what it is what is your best guess?
 Oh and here is a picture of the boys sleeping arrangements. The oldest slept on the bunk that came out of the ceiling and the youngest on the couch bed.
Day 4 Costa Maya
I do wish I kept better records of what we did each day especially since I lost my schedule for this day. Posts probably wouldn't be so long if I just kept to the facts instead what is going through my head now as I remember it. I know we did a few things before this point like eating breakfast at the Royal Court (sit-down type meal) and a few other shows here an there along with detective games. There really was just so much to do that I didn't have time to write it down and if I did sit down I fell asleep.

Ok back to what I do remember about this day. We headed to port, very windy and overcast day. We went into some of the stores and redeemed some of our coupons given to us. One item was a charm bracelet where we could get free charms from each port. I'm not a big shopper and neither is my husband so we decided to wonder around outside the shopping area. I had wanted to go to the Mayan ruins but it was an hour ride and expensive if done through Disney. Not knowing the area we didn't want to take the chance of venturing to far on our own.

Once past the gates we saw a replica of a Mayan temple in the center of the town. Little one fell asleep so Big C enjoyed the attention and getting to climb. 

 While there we started to notice signs damaged, huts blown over, and paying closer attention we realized none of the stores in the area were actually open. In fact many of them you could see the roofs collapsed. Research... I remembered that this area was hit hard in 2007 by Hurricane Dean.The port had been rebuilt into the small section we had been in at first but where we stood now was the original port. We had just studied hurricanes in school so it was awesome to show my sons first hand some of the damage and sad that it has been almost 6 years since it happened and yet nothing had been done with the buildings.

If you look closely you can see the roof caving in.
Part of the building has been redone and is now a museum and the other side is covered in caution tape and the roof is gone.

This is the new port

 We spent the afternoon watching Planes in 3D. The boys did very well during this show. We played the interactive detective game where you go around the ship gathering clues from paintings to lead you to the crook. I'll explain more in the next post.

 We enjoyed dinner in the Enchanted Garden before going back and finding a lobster waiting for us.

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