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I booked with NCL and had two wonderful days, different cruises:

 

  1. Adventure Day: ATV ride in the jungle was amazing, like literally screaming I had so much fun
  2. Salsa & Salsa: make salsa (eat it with chips), salsa dancing(lessons) and stroll across the narrow street to the beach, loved the variety; they also provided tequila tasting and sales. Had time to do a little shopping at vendor stands on the street.
Edited by Nola26
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If you want to see Mayan Ruins, Native Choice is an excellent tour agency and their Mayan Experience tour is amazing!  We visited Chacchoben, about an hour, maybe an hour and a half away from the port, then went to a Mayan village where they showed us how to make tortillas and they served us an excellent lunch, then led us on a tour of their home (definitely not as weird as it sounds).  Everyone in my family (including 2 11 year old boys) said it was an awesome tour. 

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NCL has such limited excursions on their site, not that I would book with them, but we just booked Maya Chan for the day.  Did extensive research, and all of the reviews were tremendous both on CC and TripAdvisor, with MANY repeat customers, which to me is so important!  Owners seem to be very responsive so far, and very accomodating.  I also like the fact that they only have 80 people booked at a time, so makes it a lot more intimate and gives a little break coming off a ship with 4000 other passengers...

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I will second the vote for Chacchoben.  One of the most memorable excursions that I've been on.

 

Being cheap and liking to walk, on the last couple stops in Costa Maya, I've grabbed a "wagon" at the rear of the port, paid $4 (I think) for a ride in Majahaul.  There is a nice beach, massages on the beach, ships and a great strip to walk on.  We have then walked back to the ship to ensure that we get our 10,000 steps in.  Nice photo opportunities.  I think it would be an great place to stay when the cruise ships weren't in.  And, of course, the price is right.  

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A cool thing we did in Costa Maya was rent a golf cart for 4 and drive down the beach/coast.  We ate lunch at a restaurant on the water in bathing suits.  It was fun and inexpensive compared to other excursions.

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Been to Maya Chan multiple times and there is nothing else I would even consider in Costa Maya - not because other stuff is bad, but because Maya Chan is THAT awesome.  We look at cruise sailings that go to Costa Maya just so we can do Maya Chan.

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Is it Costa Maya that has a very long walk from the ship to where taxis/pick ups are?  We're thinking of booking Maya Chan for our cruise in January 2020 but we'll have my sister with us who can't walk too far without resting (she has a false lower leg).  Are shuttles or transport available from the ship?

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6 minutes ago, Mim Lloyd said:

Is it Costa Maya that has a very long walk from the ship to where taxis/pick ups are?  We're thinking of booking Maya Chan for our cruise in January 2020 but we'll have my sister with us who can't walk too far without resting (she has a false lower leg).  Are shuttles or transport available from the ship?

It's a relatively long pier to the port area, but not excessively long.  Then you do have to wind through the port area, which is set up for you to have to pass by just about everything to leave.  Again, it's not all that long either but she may have some issues.  Luckily there are places to sit down and rest along the way.  I don't remember seeing shuttles from the ship to the port, but there may be a few for people who need it.  I don't think there's anything you can do within the port itself because it's definitely designed for foot traffic, or at best wheelchair traffic.

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7 minutes ago, Mim Lloyd said:

Is it Costa Maya that has a very long walk from the ship to where taxis/pick ups are?  We're thinking of booking Maya Chan for our cruise in January 2020 but we'll have my sister with us who can't walk too far without resting (she has a false lower leg).  Are shuttles or transport available from the ship?

 

I would say yes, it's a long walk, but if I remember there is a there is a open air shuttle that you can ride on until you get to all the shops.  Once in the shop area there are a lot of benches to stop and rest on. I'll be there next week, so I'll look and update as to whether the shuttle is still running.  My mom has serious knee issues and with the shuttle and all the benches to rest at I would say she'd be able to comfortably make the walk with bench breaks. 

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12 hours ago, LeesaB said:

If you want to see Mayan Ruins, Native Choice is an excellent tour agency and their Mayan Experience tour is amazing!  We visited Chacchoben, about an hour, maybe an hour and a half away from the port, then went to a Mayan village where they showed us how to make tortillas and they served us an excellent lunch, then led us on a tour of their home (definitely not as weird as it sounds).  Everyone in my family (including 2 11 year old boys) said it was an awesome tour. 

 

This was one of our favorite tours as a family.  It's been 5 or 6 years since we did it and my kids (14 and 11) still talk about it!  The cultural experience was amazing! 

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Are they still beheading Americans in Mexico? Asking for a friend... 😂

 

But really, is it any safer to travel outside the port now? I'm not usually leary about leaving the port areas except for Mexico with all the recent(ish) reports.

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4 minutes ago, mirage2u said:

Are they still beheading Americans in Mexico? Asking for a friend... 😂

 

But really, is it any safer to travel outside the port now? I'm not usually leary about leaving the port areas except for Mexico with all the recent(ish) reports.

Costa Maya is 100% a cruise ship port, so everyone there (and there's not many) knows where their paycheck comes from.  I understand nearby Mahahual is sort of a retirement/cheap resort/place where people from other countries relocate.

 

Which is all to say that I felt perfectly safe there.  This area is quite remote so I doubt the drug cartels would be interested in it.

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7 minutes ago, LeesaB said:

Costa Maya is 100% a cruise ship port, so everyone there (and there's not many) knows where their paycheck comes from.  I understand nearby Mahahual is sort of a retirement/cheap resort/place where people from other countries relocate.

 

Which is all to say that I felt perfectly safe there.  This area is quite remote so I doubt the drug cartels would be interested in it.

 

I understand that and I didn't make myself clear; I was actually thinking of making reservations for Maya Chan and concerned about the safety of getting and being there.

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Another vote for Tropicante.  I'm sure that Maya Chan is very nice, but we really don't need an all inclusive for the day.  You can take the taxi to the Malecon for the same price as the shuttle train to get to Tropicante.  The food and drinks are very reasonably priced, the people friendly, and the service is excellent.  We have a good beach day for less than half the price of Maya Chan.

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Second what others have said about Maya Chan.  They will meet you right outside the port and put you in a taxi and arrange for taxi return.  The food, drinks and hospitality are something we look forward to every time we stop at Costa Maya.

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We were in Costa Maya last month off of vision of the seas.  We were in port 7a to 4pm.  We prearranged for Pitaya beach club on line with a deposit to paypal.  We also arranged a quick snorkeling tour for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours with pepe dive.  It was just my husband and I and this dive shop was really great from start to finish.  We had our own equipment but they supply everything.  We saw turtles, a moray eel, lobster, squid, rays...ect....  Our guide knew where everything was.  After we did this we went back to pitaya where I got a great massage and we drank and ate (all was included) until we had to go back to ship.  I know everyone likes the relaxing atmosphere of maya chan but if you like snorkeling and get tired of sitting in a beach chair all day, I suggest doing this or native choice.  Nothing against maya chan, it has an excellent reputation for service. However, if you want something more active, I really recommend what i did in costa maya with the snorkeling.  Any of the places to stay on the strip seemed fine.  

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8 minutes ago, davy jones said:

Another vote for Tropicante.  I'm sure that Maya Chan is very nice, but we really don't need an all inclusive for the day.  You can take the taxi to the Malecon for the same price as the shuttle train to get to Tropicante.  The food and drinks are very reasonably priced, the people friendly, and the service is excellent.  We have a good beach day for less than half the price of Maya Chan.

 

We're also very fond of Tropicante.  Easy to get there by taking a taxi to Malecon (Mahahaul)!  

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1 hour ago, davy jones said:

Another vote for Tropicante.  I'm sure that Maya Chan is very nice, but we really don't need an all inclusive for the day.  You can take the taxi to the Malecon for the same price as the shuttle train to get to Tropicante.  The food and drinks are very reasonably priced, the people friendly, and the service is excellent.  We have a good beach day for less than half the price of Maya Chan.

 

You also get much less than half the experience of Maya Chan.  They really aren't comparable.  One is a lounger on a beach in close quarters, in a highly commercialized touristy zone with annoying vendors.  The other is a hidden oasis and on a totally different level.  Maya Chan is so cheap it's practically a rounding error considering what you get.  If I'm spending thousands for a cruise, I don't think it's really worth trying to save $30 for a much lesser experience.  But that's just me.

 

 

Tropicante:

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Maya Chan:

IMG-1538-copy-1000x600.jpg

 

Edited by BNBR
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