We were on the Zenith last month..............
- Have read that a lot of people are having concerns about being safe in Costa Rica after the recent problem a cruise tour had with muggers.
Cruise Critic group of 11 people from the boards. Eduardo Humphrey was our personal guide and he also had a driver- both of them never left our side. We stopped at the local supermarket on our way back to the ship and they even accompanied us into the market to make certain everything was OK!
If you want to feel safe with a local guide who gives an excellent tour give him a try , he was great and very inexpensive - we paid $45pp for the all day tour. We did a Canal boat tour of Tortuguero (tour boat has a covered top), went to the Del Monte banana plantation and also visited the National Park of Cahuita, with its white sand beaches. He has other tours available too, we selected what our group wanted to so.
- you will have to take a ship tour - very unsafe. They have a mini-mall at the pier with upscale shops, ok place just to walk around but nothing to do.
- They have also build an area at the pier for cruisers. You can see the ship from their location which is just upscale shops and restaurants. They even have a small swimming pool in the middle - just in case you get hot and don't want to take the 3 minute walk back to the ship! If you want a tour I would suggest taking one from the ship. There is a little town not too far from the pier, you can take one of their taxi cabs from the pier. Old time town with dirt roads. The people are very poor and have just started to see that they can make some money with the tourists. They have shops opening on their main street with small restaurants but I wouldn't recommend eating at any of them! Lots of tables on the street with local crafts for sale - the same thing you see in all the ports. They have a beach but no one was using it during our visit last year.
Have a great cruise!