Cruise Ratings
1,098
901
768
287
214
Sail Date: January 2008
There is a whole section for tourists with 2 pools and lots of shops though the people were pushy to get you into their stores, we went to the ruins they were fabulous don't buy souvenirs there though they are a lot cheaper where you ... Read More
There is a whole section for tourists with 2 pools and lots of shops though the people were pushy to get you into their stores, we went to the ruins they were fabulous don't buy souvenirs there though they are a lot cheaper where you get on the ship. It started raining so we had to go back to the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2008
Oh, how we loved Costa Maya!!!! We exited the ship easily and went on a ship sponsored tour to the Mayan ruins Chakelten or something like that. We had a fabulous guide who walked us through the park and answered our many questions. It ... Read More
Oh, how we loved Costa Maya!!!! We exited the ship easily and went on a ship sponsored tour to the Mayan ruins Chakelten or something like that. We had a fabulous guide who walked us through the park and answered our many questions. It was overwhelming to walk around excavated ruins that are 1000 years old! The walk was lovely and the grounds peaceful. We got back on the bus, enjoyed freely poured beer and a bag lunch. When we got back to the port we walked around the port and did not venture into town. The port is very nice, and I recommend stopping by the guy who was painting on tiles. Inexpensive unique souvenirs. We had some tropical drinks, did some haggling and shopping, then returned to the ship. What a great day! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2008
We picked another beach area this one was all inclusive at the Playa Mia beach. 10 minute drive and we had an all inclusive day at a beach that had a pool as well. Then when we got closer there was plenty of deals to be made at their flea ... Read More
We picked another beach area this one was all inclusive at the Playa Mia beach. 10 minute drive and we had an all inclusive day at a beach that had a pool as well. Then when we got closer there was plenty of deals to be made at their flea market/shops! Take the taxi downtown for even more stores! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2008
Costa Maya: We were one of the first people off the ship in Costa Maya since we had to make the most of our time with only 8 hours in port. We had booked a combination tour of Chacchoben ruins and snorkeling with an independent operator. ... Read More
Costa Maya: We were one of the first people off the ship in Costa Maya since we had to make the most of our time with only 8 hours in port. We had booked a combination tour of Chacchoben ruins and snorkeling with an independent operator. It ended up being only my sister & I on the tour, so we had a private tour. On the way, we stopped at a roadside stand to buy some fresh pineapple. It was served with a dried jalapeno powder and limon (similar to a key lime) and was the most delicious thing I ate all week. Our guide was incredibly knowledgeable and it was obvious that he was glad to take us. We learned about the local history and culture, the Mayan ruins themselves, and even a lot about the trees in the area, which my sister loved since she is a biology major and has taken several botany courses. We would highly recommend this portion of the tour. Afterwards, we were dropped off for our snorkel trip. The boat took us out much farther than you could swim so that we would be in the best section of the reef. The snorkeling was fun, but mostly unguided. We did, however, feel very safe and in good hands. To end the afternoon, we lounged at the beach in front of Maya Bar restaurant with some delicious tropical drinks and fresh ceviche. All in all, it was a very good day. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2008
This is basically City Norwegian. It is seriously in the middle of nowhere and it nothing but a weird mall oasis. "Please come take a look at my junk." was heard every 10 steps. It's a good thing we planned a trip to ... Read More
This is basically City Norwegian. It is seriously in the middle of nowhere and it nothing but a weird mall oasis. "Please come take a look at my junk." was heard every 10 steps. It's a good thing we planned a trip to the Mayan City of Chaccoben. They were amazing and the bus trip wasn't too long. The lunch and beer on the bus ride back were good as well. If you stop in Costa Maya, you should definitely do an excursion. I have no idea what you would do in the city-mall for 6-8 hours. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2008
Went to the Beach Break and enjoyed the sand boating and open bar. Was put off by everyone you met asking for tips due to Hurricane rebuilding. Would have tipped anyway but would be nicer not to be asked constantly.
Went to the Beach Break and enjoyed the sand boating and open bar. Was put off by everyone you met asking for tips due to Hurricane rebuilding. Would have tipped anyway but would be nicer not to be asked constantly. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2008
Docked at the pier - the Spirit was the only ship in that day. The NCL excursion we booked ("Boat Blast and Snorkel") was cancelled due to the windy and rough weather but they didn't tell us until we were at the meeting ... Read More
Docked at the pier - the Spirit was the only ship in that day. The NCL excursion we booked ("Boat Blast and Snorkel") was cancelled due to the windy and rough weather but they didn't tell us until we were at the meeting point at the end of the long, long, pier. They offered us the Chacchoben Mayan ruins tour instead and we went on this even though we weren't properly dressed for that tour. Fairly long coach trip (modern bus).The tour was good but less so than Lamanai which we had already booked for Belize two days later. Good transportation and knowledgeable guide - Andrei. Free Sol beer or soft drinks after the tour and limited crafts for sale at the site. Box lunch (ham and cheese sandwich, etc.) Good shopping in the port area if you bargain - they start way too high for what you get (at least twice the price). Read Less
Sail Date: December 2008
Costa Maya shopping is one little area off the dock that you port at. Quick shopping or a half day, if you want. There is a swimming pool right in the middle of shopping with a swim up bar and food. Bring a towel when you shop. ... Read More
Costa Maya shopping is one little area off the dock that you port at. Quick shopping or a half day, if you want. There is a swimming pool right in the middle of shopping with a swim up bar and food. Bring a towel when you shop. Excursions offered were tours of the area and ruins. Did not venture into this. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2008
LOVED IT! Ship docks at the pier, quite a walk to the "shopping mall" that was set up strictly for cruise ships, but there was a trolley that ran back and forth. Once inside this pier mall, walk straight through to the back, ... Read More
LOVED IT! Ship docks at the pier, quite a walk to the "shopping mall" that was set up strictly for cruise ships, but there was a trolley that ran back and forth. Once inside this pier mall, walk straight through to the back, outside, and take a shuttle bus for $3 per head to Mayahaul, a little town down the road (You can see a lighthouse from the pier). You can get a yellow-cab back anytime you want for $2 per head. Sit on the beach, walk along the shore, go into the warm water, play in the sand. Order beer and food from any of the many little hole in the wall restaurants. Watch the birds. Look at the ship. Dig up shells. Have a massage for a half hour or an hour for next to nothing - it is absolutely exotic and WONDERFUL!! Wish we could go back and get another massage on the beach! HINT: Negotiate your price, or walk further down the beach for a better deal. It was just heavenly. We spent hours just lingering. There's a lot of junk for sale, pushy vendors, but the place was wonderful and the day was perfect. We did have the best massages for $20 each, and would go back tomorrow if we could. The place was wiped out by Hurricane Dean in August 2007, and remnants of that devastation are clearly visible. If you don't want to leave the confines of the pier, the shopping mall has been completely rebuilt, and there is a salt water pool, cabanas, and hammocks for use right there, plus a big pool with a swim-up bar inside that mall area. Hard Rock Cafe will be up and running next spring, I was told. I did get a ring hand cut with my grandchild's name - just a cheap thing, but she has an unusual name and it was a chance for something different and interesting to watch. Just a tourist trap place, with Diamonds International ripoff store and all the souvenir stands you could want. Restrooms available, you can have your photo taken with costumed dancers or a monkey for a small fee, if you like. Best souvenir prices are at the back of this mall, stuff for less than half the price of vendors in the front of the mall. We didn't linger there. We spent our time at the little village down the road, and didn't regret it for a second. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2008
Santo Tomas de Castilla (Guatemala): We were off the ship right at 8:00 and walked to the port building at the far end of the docking area. The area was small with not much to do or shop for, but they had some musicians. There were many ... Read More
Santo Tomas de Castilla (Guatemala): We were off the ship right at 8:00 and walked to the port building at the far end of the docking area. The area was small with not much to do or shop for, but they had some musicians. There were many tour operators, all offering the same tours for essentially the same price. We had pre-booked an excursion to go to Las Escobas Waterfalls in the morning followed by an afternoon at Green Bay resort. The tour didn’t leave until 9:30 but we didn’t know that until we had found the tour guide so we had a lot of time to kill in the small port area. We bought some souvenirs and eventually went on our way to the waterfalls. There were only 10 of us in the group. It was a short, but bumpy ride to the waterfalls. Our guide pointed out a lot of the plants and some birds on the hike through the rainforest (actually, I use the term "hike" loosely – walk would probably be a better word) and we found it to be beautiful. We arrived at the waterfalls and a few of us got in the water to swim. It was a bit cool, but not too bad. The tour took about 2.5 hours and we’d highly recommend it. Afterwards, they dropped us off at the resort. The pool was VERY cold (much colder than the waterfalls water) so instead we played a little beach volleyball and canoed. The bay water was choppy so we didn’t canoe very long! There was a very limited and quite pricey menu at the hotel so we didn’t buy any lunch and instead snacked on some granola bars we had brought with us. Unfortunately our afternoon was ruined by the sheer amount of mosquitoes at the resort (there were none at the waterfalls), so if you go, be sure to bring bug spray!! We reboarded the ship around 3pm. I’d also recommend that you absolutely do not miss sailaway – the locals were dancing and playing music and it was fun to watch. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2008
This was our FAVORITE port! Yes, it still has destruction from the hurricane, but when we arrived at the resort we were going to, we were surrounded by beauty! We booked this online after reading a review here on CruiseCritic.com. I only ... Read More
This was our FAVORITE port! Yes, it still has destruction from the hurricane, but when we arrived at the resort we were going to, we were surrounded by beauty! We booked this online after reading a review here on CruiseCritic.com. I only found one review, but decided to call and check it out! Boy am I glad we did! We booked a snorkeling/lunch unlimited drinks package at Maya Palms. It was FANTASTIC! Doug and Kathryn are the owners and they made us feel like we were their personal guests for the day. We arrived and they showed us around, offered us drinks and brought out our chairs/tables/umbrellas onto their most PERFECT beach. The views were amazing. Their resort did get destruction from the hurricane, but they were about 80% done with the renovations. They have a great pool, beach front, nice buildings and a great area for dining. Clean and beautiful! They took us out snorkeling to a beautiful reef not far off of their beach front. The reef and fish were amazing. Such beauty. After snorkeling we had lunch and then a bit more time to lay in the sun. Again, Doug, Kathryn and their staff were just so friendly. I would 100% recommend this as an excursion. Google Maya Palms and book it yourself. The taxi ride there is a bit long (30 minutes on a bumpy road), but WELL worth it. Don't get discouraged as you are driving - you are going to be very happy with the resort. When Doug tells you to walk through the gate and get a yellow taxi, do what he says. We did not as it was a bit confusing. Don't stop and let the men try to get you to take an expensive van trip or listen to them about paying to get to a taxi in to town first. Keep walking through the taxi area, through the fence and there are the yellow taxis! Listen to what Doug says when you call! Again, fantastic, fantastic resort and beautiful beaches/snorkeling. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2008
We were lucky to have beautiful weather when we stopped in Costa Maya. We took a short 10 minute cab ride to the nearest beach and sat in a beautiful spot with an umbrella and two beach chairs. I enjoyed several Coronas and we ate chips n ... Read More
We were lucky to have beautiful weather when we stopped in Costa Maya. We took a short 10 minute cab ride to the nearest beach and sat in a beautiful spot with an umbrella and two beach chairs. I enjoyed several Coronas and we ate chips n guacamole. We ended up walking back to the port instead of taking a taxi, but there comes a point where you have to take a taxi because there is a wall that separates the private port section from the public beach. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2008
Costa Maya is coming back slowly. We went to on the Jungle Beach break and enjoyed open bar and beautiful water all day. We rented wave runners and basically just laid around. The service was great and the people very nice. I can see this ... Read More
Costa Maya is coming back slowly. We went to on the Jungle Beach break and enjoyed open bar and beautiful water all day. We rented wave runners and basically just laid around. The service was great and the people very nice. I can see this place getting very big in the next 5-7 years. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2008
This port is just beginning to make a comeback and the village of Mahahual is coming back to life also. We had a nice beach day. Good beer and chips and guacamole.
This port is just beginning to make a comeback and the village of Mahahual is coming back to life also. We had a nice beach day. Good beer and chips and guacamole. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2009
Costa Maya is a port and small village built by the cruise lines. It is a good jumping off spot for visiting nearby Mayan ruins. The village had a variety of souvenir shops, restaurants, and a beach. Everything was new and kind of ... Read More
Costa Maya is a port and small village built by the cruise lines. It is a good jumping off spot for visiting nearby Mayan ruins. The village had a variety of souvenir shops, restaurants, and a beach. Everything was new and kind of contrived. It was not a real Mexican experience, but the place was pleasant. We didn't tarry long there but took a Mayan ruins tour, which was interesting. Our guide, Elizabeth, was well-informed and entertaining. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2009
Very clean and enjoyable. Shopping is nice but has gotten more expensive recently. The new pool area is very enjoyable.
Very clean and enjoyable. Shopping is nice but has gotten more expensive recently. The new pool area is very enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2009
Costa Maya was hit terribly by a hurricane a few years back and is in the process of rebuilding. I am amazed reading reviews from some snobs about the way the rest of the world lives. The port terminal is the usual kind of overpriced crap ... Read More
Costa Maya was hit terribly by a hurricane a few years back and is in the process of rebuilding. I am amazed reading reviews from some snobs about the way the rest of the world lives. The port terminal is the usual kind of overpriced crap that the cruise ships steer you toward. Diamonds International, Tanzanite international, and on and on. There are a few nice restaurants and there is a swim up bar but all in all its like an outside mall. After going through the mall area you can get a cab to the town area which is basically a nice beach with desperate locals pleading for your attention. A cab ride for 2 is $3 to the beach area and you drive past a lot of what looks like concrete apartment shells. There are shacks every so often that you wouldn't keep your dogs or chickens in and a lot of wetlands with downed trees everywhere. I asked the cab driver where the people that are there servicing you and he pointed to some of these shacks. The beach area is basically a 3/4 mile stretch with everything from bars to souvenir storefronts.I got an hour massage on the beach for $20 US and bought a few nice silver bracelets for my wife for $20 each. When you go to Central America be prepared to dicker on the price. If you ask how much? You will be disappointed at the high asking price of these goods. Expect to pay around 45%- 55% of the starting asking price. Please be aware that the Mexican people are hard working and as you will see desperate for you to stop and look and hopefully buy something. They are all pretty much independent salesmen and women trying to make a sparse living. If you go expecting to see paradise in Costa Maya you are going to be very very disappointed. Open minded people however will see the beauty of the beach and the pride of the locals. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2009
This port is beautiful. The pool at the port is great. It has a neat swim up bar and the pool is really huge. We made a mistake of thinking we would do some shopping in the town so we got a bus ride for $3 from the port. Don't do ... Read More
This port is beautiful. The pool at the port is great. It has a neat swim up bar and the pool is really huge. We made a mistake of thinking we would do some shopping in the town so we got a bus ride for $3 from the port. Don't do this... There is no place to shop and Costa Maya is pretty much still wiped out by the hurricane. Just stay at the port and you will have a better time. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2009
The town of Mahajual was wiped off of the map a couple of years ago by hurricane Dean. The residents, who have been out of work for about 18 months, have been busy rebuilding their beautiful little village and are open for business. I ... Read More
The town of Mahajual was wiped off of the map a couple of years ago by hurricane Dean. The residents, who have been out of work for about 18 months, have been busy rebuilding their beautiful little village and are open for business. I recommend booking a tour there through El Tucan Tours (diego@tucancostamaya.com). We went to the ruins at Chacchoben and for a snorkel trip in the afternoon for a fraction of what the boat charges, and had American English speaking guides the whole day. If you would rather drink and shop, you will have a great day inside the colorful new cruise ship port. Read Less

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