Continuing our sailing on the Disney Wish in November 2022 – today we look at our third day on the the Wish, when we stopped in Cozumel!
Our sailing on board the Disney Wish was unique, because we had a different itinerary than usual (thanks to an incoming tropical storm!). As a result we didn’t go to the Bahamas, but traveled to Cozumel, Mexico instead. Day 3 was our stop in Cozumel.
Arriving in Cozumel
I woke up that morning and got breakfast at Marceline Market again solo as Jason slept. We were pulling into Cozumel so I watched from the window as I had my coffee. It was a beautiful, sunny day, so I was thankful to be there rather than the stormy Bahamas.
Once we docked, they had everyone who had booked a shore excursion meet up to be told where to go. Since I had no knowledge of Cozumel and hadn’t had time to do research, we just booked an excursion that sounded interesting. It was called “Cozumel Ruins, Chocolate, and Beach Break.” Hitting the highlights, right?
As a side note, I have to say I was very impressed that there were a number of shore excursions offered. Since Disney had only made the itinerary change the day we left, it must have taken some coordination to get all of that done.
We were led off the ship and down towards some buses, where we separated into groups based on our tour. We got on our bus and were on this for awhile to get to the ruins.
San Gervasio Mayan Ruins
Once we arrived, we met up with our tour guide from the ruins. She was very knowledgeable and took us through everything, providing lots of information. For instance, one thing that stands out about the ruins just from its name is that, well… it’s Spanish. And not Mayan, like the other ruins (which have names like Chichen Itza, Tulum, and Calakmul). I’m actually having trouble finding much info online to sum up the story, but the good news is I have some recordings from the tour! So I’ll let our guide “tell” you the background here:
“As far as I know, Gervasio was a very rich man who got his property from the government 100-120 years ago. During that time he was using this place as a ranch. When he saw the ruins, he never reported it to the government. He started making illegal excavations – trying to find gold, treasures, idols, something like that. The problem – to do excavations he used dynamite. So he destroyed almost the whole thing.”
So given that, the ruins at San Gervasio are very much ruins. Sadly, there is really not much left here. Even when they tried to do restorations, there were a lot of bits and pieces missing.
Back when the Mayans did use it , the site was for worship of the goddess Ixchel. She was the Mayan goddess of childbirth and medicine.
Another interesting thing about these ruins is that you’ll find some red handprints on the building. Normally with Mayan ruins if there’s black handprints, it’s a sign of human sacrifice. But red is different, and it’s a positive thing! At least as far as we were told, the red handprints were used as a symbol of life, and may have been done by women or people visiting the temple and praying for childbirth, or by children who had hit puberty to signify the next phase of their life.
We viewed some other areas of the ruins, including the arch (which was at one point the main entrance to the temple), and then circled back to the front of the ruins. We also saw some animals along the way – there were a few iguanas and some monkeys, too.
The Mayan Cacao Company
We were at the ruins for over an hour, and from there it was back on the bus to head to the chocolate portion of our tour. Again, I didn’t realize just quite how far apart everything was, as it was about a 40 minute bus ride to get there. But soon we arrived to see and learn all about the chocolate!
Once we arrived we got a little tour around the area, which included a small gallery/museum, a short film about chocolate making, and some displays set up such as an example of an altar for Dia de los Muertos. We also visited a kitchen where we saw short cooking demo and got to try a sample.
We had homemade tortillas with a delicious filling. I don’t remember what it was called, but it was described as roasted pumpkin seeds mixed with tomato salsa, coriander, and salt.
I wish we had more – both because it tasted great and because I was starving. Worth mentioning here if you’re considering this tour to maybe bring a snack with you. The tour started at 9:30am and that breakfast I got was back at 8am. According to the time stamps on my photos, we were now at 2pm in the afternoon and there had been no lunch break or snack built into the tour at all.
After the tour we headed into the chocolate demonstration, where he talked a bit about how the chocolate is made, where the ingredients are from, and then showed us how they make them into chocolate.
“Many years ago, Mayans don’t have milk or sugar, but they have many plants. And to the plants they add some ingredients. The first is the all-spice… in a chocolate recipe, this is really good because this is a natural preservative. Not only that, but it’s a natural enhancer. Then we have the cinnamon. Then we have the natural [??] and your question is, what is that? You may be more familiar with the name paprika. The red color symbolized the life and the connection to the Mayan gods.”
So they make the cacao into a powder, add in the spices, and then add water to make it into a paste. And that’s the basic chocolate! He added some honey and vanilla for sweetener, rolled that in, and it was ready for us to taste. We each got a little spoonful (remember it’s a paste at this point, not a chocolate bar!) and it was really good.
From there we exited back to the front area, where we had a few minutes to explore the gift shop and the bar. The bar was a highlight, as all the drinks were chocolate themed! Chocolate margaritas, chocolate mojito, chocolate martini, and so on. I got a chocolate margarita and Jason got the Maya Colada. Both were really good! And actually reasonably priced given the touristy location and all.
The gift shop was not so reasonably priced, as most things were very expensive – including the chocolate bars. As delicious as the chocolate was, even for a quality bar of a chocolate I have a hard time paying $10+ for one regular sized chocolate bar.
The good news was that they had a sample station, where you could try small samples of their chocolate bars. They had a ton of different flavors, so it was really interesting to be able to try so many of them. They had some great combos, like dark chocolate with lime and coconut, and chocolate with banana and cardamom.
The beach was located right next to the Chocolate Company, so they gave us our wristbands there and told us we could head over whenever we wanted, to just be on the bus within an hour. The original shore excursion had said 90 minutes of beach time, but it had already run quite late so I was more than happy to do an hour (honestly, if we had been walking distance from the ship I probably would have skipped the beach all together).
It’s fair to say that we are not big beach people, so you can take my opinion with a grain of salt. But Playa Mia felt super touristy, and it’s obviously not meant for a 1 hour visit. It looked like there was some fun stuff out on the water with inflatables and an obstacle course, but we didn’t really have time to explore much. Perhaps it would be better if you had more time there and you weren’t arriving in the late afternoon when most people were probably done for the day.
A drink was included with our wristbands so I went to the bar and ordered (I believe a margarita). It was okay but super watered down and clearly just a cheap mix. Jason didn’t want his drink so I tried the rum punch and it was so horrible I couldn’t drink it. There weren’t many food options, just one buffet that looked kinda lame so even though it was after 3pm and I was hungry, we decided to wait to eat back on the ship.
So we sat in some lounge chairs for about half an hour. I walked over to the water and put my feet in. Then we went back to the bus. It was unclear which parts of the park were included with our wristband, and they seemed to be nickel and diming for most things (umbrellas, towels, etc).
I would avoid this place if possible if you’re visiting Cozumel. From what I’ve read there are lots of other nice beach resorts in the area which offer day passes and are much better than this one.
Back on board the Wish
Of course the first thing we did when we got back on the Wish was find food. On other cruise lines I’ve been used to a decent amount of food options any time of day, but I have to say that at least this time, at around 4pm, the options were pretty limited.
Aside from room service, the only place open was part of the “Festival of Foods” up on the pool deck. Out of that, the two windows open were pizza and the grill (and ice cream). Both of the lines were crazy long since they were the only places to get something to eat, so I picked the shorter one (the grill) and ended up with chicken tenders and fries. Maybe it’s because I was so hungry, but they were actually pretty good chicken fingers.
Once we were back on board the ship we also got a message through the DCL app about our arrival back in Port Canaveral in two days. Because of that storm that we had left behind, Port Canaveral still hadn’t been cleared to open yet. Apparently that takes a fair amount of time, so they were unsure what time we’d be able to actually dock.
The message let us know that anyone who had a flight before 3pm should probably look into changing it, and they were giving everyone on board free wifi for the rest of the cruise. Jason and I weren’t flying out on Friday (we were headed to Universal for the weekend), and I was thankful I didn’t need to worry too much about that!
Since we had time before dinner, we headed to the Rainforest Room in the spa for awhile – then it was time to go back and get dressed for pirate night!
Pirate Night Menu
If you haven’t done a Disney cruise before (or one with a pirate night), on Pirate Night they serve a pirate menu for dinner – which is basically just very caribbean/tropical inspired. You’re assigned to one of the dining rooms randomly, so it was a bit funny to be eating our tropical pirate meal in the Frozen restaurant!
This pirate menu was the same as on the other Disney ships, which was a bit of a letdown since I was hoping they might try something new.
For my meal I had “Jack’s Treasure of the Seas” which is basically pasta with a tomato sauce and shrimp and scallops. I love pasta so I was happy with this, especially as I’m a fan of seafood.
I liked our desserts best though – we had the “Bananas in Paradise” (banana bread layered with hazelnut fudge) and the “Rum Soaked Chocolate Cake” (with raspberry glaze). If you love rich chocolate, rum, and raspberries – which I do! – then this is a highlight.
Pirate Night Party
Once we finished dinner it was up to the pool deck for the Pirate Night Deck Party. Lots of people who know about Disney Cruises (or do their research) bring pirate costumes or clothing for this event. And if you know me at all, you know I’m a sucker for a costume, so you can bet we were dressed up!
It was rather windy this evening, so there was a question of whether or not the show would be happening at all. And while it was delayed a little, we did in the end get to see it!
There had been a deck party earlier in the evening with Mickey and friends, but we skipped that one. The later evening show was the “Rockin’ Parlay Party,” and it was actually pretty fun. There was a band (a pirate band, of course) complete with drums, keyboard, guitar, and a lead singer. Plus a number of pirate back-up dancers.
They played a Rock n Roll version of “Yo-Ho, A Pirate’s Life for Me,” and a few other classic rock songs. They were very talented and I enjoyed the choreography as well.
After a few songs it was time for the highlight of the show – fireworks at sea. I still think it’s pretty amazing that they do this!
The Rose Lounge
Once the show was over, our plan was to head back to the room and go to bed. We shuffled out with the many other people, and tried to find the easiest way out. We opened a door and stumbled upon The Rose Lounge, which is the bar/lounge connected to the specialty restaurant, Enchanté.
As Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite Disney movies, and it looked gorgeous, I asked Jason if he minded if we stopped in for a drink. So we headed to the Beauty and the Beast bar in our full pirate costumes.
I immediately loved it. The themeing is well done in a more understated way, but it definitely had those Beauty and the Beast touches.
The drink menu was the same way. There were some fun Beauty and the Beast inspired drinks, but they weren’t over the top. Of course I had to go all in with the theme and order the “Mrs. Tea,” which was served in a glass teapot poured into a glass teacup.
The drink itself was really good, and different. Not your typical cocktail, it had SelvaRey White Belvedere, Pear & Ginger Pique Passion Fruit Green Tea, Mot Imperial Rosé.
Shortly after we got our drinks, another group came into the bar and sat nearby. They told us they had found this location on the first night and that the bartender here was the best on board. His name was Andy, and they had come back every night since and were at the point where they would say, “Andy, make me something fun.”
And it was amazing to watch him work. Andy did not take the easy way out and make some basic drink, he got really creative. He even spent time creating some new garnishes. And when asked what it was, he just shrugged. He truly was just creating these on the spot, and it was incredible.
Soon we were also on the “Andy, make me anything you want with X liquor,” and it was one of the best nights! We may have ended up with about 3 drinks each after only intended a quick stop, but it was well worth it. I wish I had paid more attention to what was in the drinks as they all tasted as good as they looked.
It was past midnight by the time we left and headed to bed, but it was a fantastic way to end a very full day on the Disney Wish.
What do you think of this trip? Would you want to do a Sailing on the Disney Wish?