Day Four: Cruise Log – Costa Maya, Quintana Roo (Mexico)
Another day in the Caribbean, another glorious panoramic vista. Welcome to Costa Maya, a purpose-built cruise port facility that is, technically, a region in the south-east corner of the Yucatan peninsula (about 200km south of the island of Cozumel) but is actually an all-new creation that sprouts like a beacon from the rainforest covering much of the Quintana Roo area.
The nearest genuine town is Mahahual, two miles away, and the principal attractions here are the Fisherman’s Village port development, full of shops, restaurants and bars, and the neighbouring water park and zipline attraction. There are also various eco-excursions on offer, including dolphin-watch cruises, while the Village includes its own dolphin encounter experience and mini coral reef, with the chance to snorkel with (harmless) stingrays and tropical fish.
There are taxis and shuttles to Mahahual, but, after Cozumel, it is a relatively minor attraction, and the majority of cruise guests (including those from Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of the Seas and NCL’s Norwegian Pearl today) prefer to stay within the comfortable confines of the Village with its tailor-made facilities, hot-and-cold running margaritas, huge swimming lagoon, chocolate factory and tequila-tasting tour. There is even some (basic) Mayan history on offer, so, much of Mexico in microcosm, really.
Shore excursion options include visits to two Mayan ruin sites within an hour or so’s drive; jeep, kayak and beach tours; and a trip to Bacalar Fort and Seven Colours Lagoon. For us, it is another opportunity to kick back, catch up with work, continue the next instalment of #SilverMuseLive and enjoy our wonderful suite, with its balcony and fine array of creature comforts that Silversea Cruises believe are essential to a comfortable voyage.
With that in mind – and because it’s a question that has cropped up several times on social media – we thought we would offer you an in-depth insight into the accommodations here aboard our sleek cruiser, as it’s an aspect we haven’t really covered to date.
The Veranda Suite is pretty much the standard level of stateroom aboard Silver Muse, but standard barely does it justice. The difference from a regular ship’s cabin to the distinctly des-res nature of our vessel’s digs are striking. Not only are they noticeably more spacious (as we mentioned in the Day One blog – a full 387sq ft, or larger than some New York apartments!), they are also packed with the latest technology and small details that add up to a massively indulgent experience.
It is not so much the fact it is wider than the average stateroom, but it is certainly deeper, allowing extra living space, an enlarged bathroom and a valuable walk-in closet boasting no fewer than 40 hangers – and a tie-rack – that is plenty large for a two-week cruise if necessary and quite capacious for nine days. It includes a room safe, bath-robes and slippers, the latest iHome Bluetooth gadget, plenty of power-points (including USB ports and 220-volt outlets), and a mini-fridge, stocked with our choice of spirit, beers, soft drinks and two bottles of wine.
There are two phones, a settee, work space/make-up counter, two fabulous high-tech TVs that are built in to the big mirror walls – one in front of the bed and the other over the work space counter, each with interactive media libraries, including an extensive on-demand film choice – and plenty of drawer space, as well as a hefty curtain that divides the bed area from the living space.
The bathroom is almost a work of glittering ablutionary art, with a walk-in shower unit as well as a full bathtub, a user-friendly sink, marbled counter-top and walls, high-quality Bvlgari toiletries, a large mirror wall and sharp lighting for make-up application. Even the hair-dryer is a salon-quality tool, not one of the cheap, plastic variety that create more noise than heat.
The balcony features two chairs with foot-stools and a table – ideal for taking breakfast al fresco – and provides that hugely welcome private deck space that has become a cruise line essential these days. The bed comes with a nicely firm mattress, Pratesi linens, a European duvet and a choice of nine (count them – nine!) pillow types, from memory foam to buckwheat, plus Tiara collection pillow-slips. It’s that attention to detail – and quality – that sets Silversea apart and ensures the ‘ultra-luxury’ experience is truly, genuinely deluxe. Oh, and there’s Butler service to every suite. We cannot speak highly enough of our man Anu, who is an absolute paragon of care and attention, as well as being so cute you could sop him up with a biscuit, to coin a (well-used) phrase.
So, what else did we do on Day Four? Well, we certainly explored the Fisherman’s Village and enjoyed watching the dolphin interactions. We had a good walk, then retired back to our peripatetic home for lunch at The Grill (plus dessert at La Terrazza and cappuccino at the Arts Café!); we took part in the Daily Trivia game with our new friends from Florida; enjoyed a spectacular dinner back at The Grill, where it becomes Hot Rocks at night, with a pre-heated stone where you cook your own meat; caught some of the cabaret style show at the Venetian Lounge; and grabbed a nightcap at Silver Note, where the jazz sounds of Helene and Andre are just aural silk for those, like us, who enjoy classic songs performed in peerless style.
It sounds like a lot to pack into one day but, with Silver Muse’s lovely, languid style and pace, nothing ever feels hurried or busy.
We will have more to say tomorrow, when we will be in Belize, which will be ouR first visit to this former British colony.