I believe once you get off the ship at Costa Maya, there is a large shopping area with a pool. I will be going their next week on the Miracle. A few questions:
Is the Pool a real swimming pool or is only a few feet deep?
Does it get real crowded - basically wall to wall people? Is it basica;lly a big party area? Is it safe?
Is the ocean good for swimming? is it rocky or lots of sea grass. I assume it is not the best for snorkeling. Are there banana boat rides or is there an area to rent wave runners? Is there a water trampoline?
Is there anything else you could walk to - small town, or even take a taxi.
Is it worth taking a quick 1 hour tour of the island via one of the cabs that are waiting.
Basically I wanted to treat Costa Maya similiar to visiting a private Island (hang around the pier and do fun water activities).
The area around the pier in Costa Maya is not good for swimming, very rocky and I didn't see anyone swimming. There was a good excursion to a near-by beach that included transportation, I'd look into that. Yes, the pool there is for swimming, but it was really crowded when we were there, its also next to a big bar. There are some shops there too, anything other than that, you'd need to book a tour, just not a while lot right there.
The shopping/pool/bar area right at the port does get very crowded. The first time we were there we rented a golf cart ($15/hr) and drove to the village of Majahual (sp) which is about 2 miles away. They have a very nice beach there with several activities you can purchase. I beleive parasailing and the banana boat are there, but I'm not positive. There are restaurants and bars along the beach. The only thing I didn't care for was I found the vendors to be very pushy the day we were there. They weren't bad on the beach, just walking through town. This year we went to Uvero Beach and I wasn't really impressed. The bottom is mostly seagrass, it was very crowded, and the drinks were watered down. The beach itself is very nice, they have several restrooms, and there were plenty of beach chairs and sun and shady places as well. The next time we're there we'll most likely go back to Majahual. If you have any questions feel free to email me.
Celebrity Century 1/09
Carnival Destiny 10/07
Carnival Destiny 9/06
Monarch of the Seas 3/06
Carnival Inspiration 8/05
Carnival Miracle 4/05
Carnival Inspiration 4/04
Sovereign of the Seas 4/03
We stayed right at the pier and had a fun, relaxing day. We used Costa Maya as a "private island" experience. There's a beach to the right; you must go through the shopping area to get there. You can just plop a towel down or rent a chair for a couple of dollars. We were there 2 years ago, June, and there were many swimmers that day....a few attempted snorkeling but the water was a bit rough. The beach area and water weren't overcrowded but there were a lot of people there. Besides the chair vendor and somebody selling soda, which you had to walk up to, there were no other vendors on the beach. We then went back to the ship to shower/change and eat lunch before exploring the shopping area. Again, it was crowded, but you could easily walk through the shops and the complex. The shop keepers are like any other in Mexico.... I think the pool is shallow and mainly used as a hangout/bar.
My wife and I were in Costa Maya in March, we cruised on the Grand. There was one other ship in port and in my opinion not crowded at all. We arrived early AM and were off the ship before the shops opened. The port shopping area/bars/pools is large and very nice although you will find the same shops and products at most port stops. We did find several shops that had good buys on windchimes and maps.
There is a couple of places to eat and drink, "Mamasita's" is more sedate with a second floor, nice breeze and view. I cannot remember the name of the second place, it is next to a very large pool and it "rocks". There is a "sunken" stage area were you can find local entertainment.
We took a taxi to town, nothing special several places to eat and drink, nice beaches, and the people were friendly. The town is about two miles away, suggest a taxi it was $3.00 there and $2.00 back ( something like that). We returned to the port area had an early lunch and a few drinks then headed back to the ship. The pools, spas, saunas, hot tubs are vacant during poty stops so we took advantage, ordered a bottle of wine and got some R&R. Would suggest an excursion unless you are a beach person. There is not much in town and after Emily goes through, there my not be anything left.