Our first port to visit was Calica, Mexico!
The first task of the day was to figure out how in the world to debark from the ship, it was literally like walking through a rat’s maze, LOL! Now for future reference we know you have to go to the 4th floor and go alllll the way forward to get down to the 3rd floor and off the ship! It was much easier the 2nd day after mastering it on the 1st day 🙂
Right off the gang plank we were ‘forced’ into some photos with locals dressed up…good ole Carnival trying to make a $$. Then after we got past the forced pictures there was some locals dressed up taking pictures for donations. They were dressed like the local Indians so of course Paw Paw had to get a picture 🙂
We were able to easily get a van for 5-8 people (we had 7 people) for $20 from the port to X-Caret. It was a large van and we all easily fit. The van ride was 7 minutes and we seen interesting signs such as precaution signs for Iguanas. The ride back in a van for the same amount was cheaper, it was only $16 and we couldn’t argue with that.
Xcaret (pronounced Ish-Karray) is great park to spend the day, there is lots to do, too much to do all in one day, but we sure got our money’s worth! Me being the bargain hunter that I am decided to find the best deal…and NO we did not go through Carnival. I used the Xcaret site and bought us all the Xcaret Plus pass which included a buffet, 2 drinks, snorkel gear, lockers, & towels. So we only spend $7 in the park for the WHOLE day for our family of 5!
First we headed to the Xcaret Plus section to get our lockers and snorkel gear, it’s a separate and reserved section for those with Xcaret Plus tickets, which was a great benefit. We get to the snorkel area and we are the first and only one’s there for the first hour! The water was clear and following the fish was fun! Even after the first hour only 1 other couple showed up, we were spoiled to have it to ourselves for so long. Mr. B & Boo went further out while I worked with Bea in the cove area. Once she got the hang of is she LOVED it! Bubby on the other hand wasn’t such a big fan, he didn’t like the way the rocks and stuff looked underwater and it freaked him out a bit. If we’d had a longer time to work with him (one-on-one for a day) then I’m sure he’d be fine. He lounged in the comfy chairs and checked out the iguanas for the majority of the time.
|The Flying Men was a neat little show to watch|
|Boys with their Mexican Pepsi’s|
Next we headed to the bird breeding area (Bubby’s pick) where we saw tons of parrots and baby hatchlings. It was a neat area to walk through and enjoy the beauty of the park. We even climbed up some ‘faux’ Mayan stairs to get a birds eye view of the park.
|Who would’ve gussed that baby parrots are so darn ugly?!|
Then we headed to the lunch buffet, everyone was hungry and ready to eat! We choose the one over by the Puma & Jaguar exhibit. They had quite an assortment of food, something for everyone including Mr. B’s dad who does not like Mexican food. Drink options were Mexican tea (kinda like ice tea but not really) and orange juice (which tasted like Tang). There were several dessert options as well from pastries to soft serve ice cream.
After lunch we headed over to check out the butterfly exhibit, which included a waterfall and stained glass ceiling. The kids had fun trying to stand still and have the butterflies land on them. The stained glass ceiling was amazing!
We checked out the arena replica of the Mayan ball game on our way to ride the 360 view scenic overlook tower. It was an amazing view of the whole park and we could even see our ship from up there!
After that we headed to get life jackets to float the underground river, I was worried about Bubby after the snorkeling incident, and he really wasn’t too sure about it…but he loved it and had a great time! I’m so glad we got to do that as a family! It was a really neat experience! They say it takes 45 minutes to get through the whole river, we swam it in about 30 mins. The water was initially freezing but as soon as you got in you adjusted and it felt great! The only downside was that the life vests started to rub our arms and we all got a bit of vest burn.
The weather was great, it was slightly overcast and not too hot. Another thing I love about going off-season is that the park was not crowded! There were beach chairs, huts, & hammocks readily available for those who wanted them.
After that we were ready to head back to the ship. We stopped and got our free drinks and watched the baby quail hatch for a bit. It was neat seeing the kids get to watch a baby bird hatch! I noticed that the park was very clean and the bathrooms were kept very clean as well, this is always a great treat!
|Watching baby quail hatch|
Taxi ride back was just as fast and we were back an hour before leaving port. Mr. B & his dad checked out the market stalls with Bubby right outside the gangplank while the rest of us headed on to get ready for dinner. Dinner in the dining room was uncrowded tonight and we were done 30 minutes earlier than normal, our waitstaff told us that was normal on port days. After dinner we headed back to crash and prepare for our next excursion the next day!
|Frog towel animal|