Last week while we were on our Carnival Dream cruise, we thought we would check out a private beach in Costa Maya that we had heard of on Cruise Critic. I read a number of reviews and decided to get more information. I contacted Mark at Maya Chan Beach by email for more information. I was concerned as to what would happen if we didn’t make it in to Costa Maya. I had read that this is sometimes a problem for Carnival with the winds. Mark quickly responded indicating that they will refund 100% if the ship doesn’t make it in. He also provided information about the resort and included some photos.
He also included some information about what we should expect. They are close to a mangrove area so depending on current and tide, it is possible that the water may be tinted brown from the mangrove tannins. If you are wanting to be guaranteed crystal blue water, this is not the place for you. They described what would be available to us. They have beach chairs, beach beds, palapas, pergolas and umbrellas (we had our own palapa!). They will not take more reservations than they have chairs for (except when they close to groups that understand the limitations). There are kayaks, floats, snorkel gear and bicycles available. Not for rent, they are included. They also have beach golf available and complementary wi-fi for those of us who can never unplug! Not included in the price, but available are massages. The therapists came around and asked if we wanted a massage and were very pleasant about it if we declined. The massages are $25 per half hour or $45 per hour. We did see some taking advantage of this and were not disappointed.
The price for our date was $59 per person. We were advised they would pick us up via taxi at the entrance to the port. The ride can be a bit like the safari at Animal Kingdom Park for part of the ride, but it was worth it! When we arrived, Jane was waiting for us and lead us down a well-manicured sand walk to the restaurant where we met her son, David. David gave us a brief introduction to the resort – where to find the restrooms, lockers, snorkel equipment, changing room and most important, the bar. Then he turned us over to Gabby who took us to our palapa.
We sat down and took it all in. Shortly Gabby was back with a welcome drink and moments later with fresh cut fruit. Before we came, we were told “good luck getting decent drinks and service in Mexico” when we told someone onboard we were going to an all-inclusive resort. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Here is a sampling of the food delivered to us.
And the bar was well stocked! Jane, Gabby and Lee stopped to see if we needed anything more often than we could consume the food and beverages (and by no means were they intrusive, we made them stop to chat!).
We had the fruit, enchiladas and some outstanding tacos. All this before lunch! We found out later that their cook is an authentic Mayan cook. It made a difference!
They even managed to make me something very close to a slushie from France.
This day for us was all about relaxing, so when Lee took the kayakers out, we sat back and watched. They do have a reef out from the property with some of the best diving around as well. While out in the water, Lee found a live shell and brought it to us to see, returning it to the water quickly.
Remembering the crab we saw in Belize, I mentioned to Bill that I would love to see another one. He mentioned it to Jane and she asked Lee to help find one for me! We found a few, including one about the size of a quarter. One of the guests asked if the little ones pinch and he quickly found out they do. Here was one of them we found.
It was now time for lunch. Here was the view from our table.
Everything smelled so good! But that was nothing compared to the taste! Freshly made flour tortillas, Mayan marinaded chicken thighs, grilled skirt steak, garlic sea bass plus Charro beans. Makes me hungry just typing this!
I forgot to take a picture of the flan for dessert. Everyone was always hard at work to make our stay more enjoyable. There was a gentleman raking the beach frequently to clean up the seagrass that would occasionally wash ashore.
But they did take a moment to pose for us.
We sat at the bar for a while and talked to Mark and Jane. Bill requested a fun glass for his final drink of the day.
At 12:30, our taxi was waiting for us (we could go sooner, with 30 minutes notice to get a taxi). Before leaving, we left a tip for the outstanding service. I only had two regrets with this day. First, we didn’t bring enough cash to purchase a t-shirt and they do not take credit cards at the beach. Knowing that I was a travel agent, Mark said that he would bill me through PayPal so I could get a couple shirts.
My second regret was that we had such a short stop in Costa Maya so we had to head back to the ship by 12:30, giving us only about 4 hours to enjoy this fantastic property. Thank you Mark and Jane (plus all of the rest of the gang) for making us feel like family! We look forward to returning to Maya Chan Beach on our next visit to Costa Maya. Check out Maya Chan for yourself here or on Facebook.
I really didn’t need two t-shirts so I thought this would make a great giveaway. Please post here or on our Facebook wall why you would like to visit Maya Chan Beach and you will qualify for the t-shirt. Make sure we can reach you by email or on Facebook. Winner will be selected on Sunday, August 5, 2012 at noon Eastern. Good luck!