We have purchased both rum and vanilla in Mexico. There are many brands of rum to choose from. Some of the shops and the duty free shops have free samples. Try some and see what you like. We purchase vanilla every time we go to Mexico. It is really very cheap and is the good stuff. All vanilla, not imitation. Never had any problems. Hope you find what you need. Have a great cruise.
All the gift shops in Cozumel lhave the Vanilla, be sure to get the stuff in the glass bottles. There is a supermarket in town, but they don't have it. Most shops have the same price, but best to go a few blocks back (if you go to town) off the main square, a little better deal there.
Is this wonderful vanilla a Mexico thing, or is it available in the Bahamas, as well? A friend brought some back to me from Mexico and it was wonderful....was hoping I could find some in the Bahamas.
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Not sure about the Bahamas on the vanilla but the port in Cozumel has had vanilla every time I've been there. Always seems to be different specials on the alcohol.....first year was tequila and the next one was rum. The vanilla rocks and also look for Kahlua in Mexico also..........best price you will find anywhere.
Azteca is a good brand of vanilla. Be sure it is in a glass bottle. Some of the vanilla is called pure vanilla, but it is not. It is made from a plant that smells very much like vanilla. It comes from the Toka plant. If the label reads Coumarin bean, do not buy it. Coumadin, wich is a blood thinner is made from the plant. On the ship they will probably be mentioning shopping at Cinco Soles. They sell the real stuff there. The vanilla is amber colored and translucent. The reason that the vanilla sells so cheaply in Mexico, is because it is a native plant. I have never heard about anyone buying it in Nassau.
We just came back from the Conquest (11/16) - Cozumel was a blast! We found lots of great deals on vanilla. One of the places in the pier at Puerta Maya had huge bottles of real vanilla for about $8!
As far as rum goes - we found good prices in Jamaica in numerous shops (be sure and HAGGLE!). If you're looking for good prices on American rum - don't look any further than the ship! They had Cruzan rums - four 1-liter bottles for $24.95!! They had pretty good prices on Bicardi rums as well. Absolut vodka...two 1-liter bottles for $18.95!! Smirnoff Twists... four 1-liter bottles for $24.95. Our cruise director pointed out that a lot of the ports of call might have similar prices - but their bottles are only 750ml...not 1 liter like they are on board the ship. I found that to be true.
Oh - be sure to stop at one of the Tortuga locations in Grand Cayman and get some rum! They had a great sample pack of five different rums (200ml bottles) for $14.95. That would make great little X-mas gifts or souviners!
Another note (sorry to be so long winded!)...I purchased 13 bottles of alcohol on my cruise...on board and at various ports. I was all worried about "sneaking" them off or having to pay tax on them (each person is allowed two liters of liquor duty free). Well, we didn't even see customs agents back in New Orleans. If they were there - I didn't ever see them. My friend and I carried all 13 bottles out in our hands/carry-ons. No one even looked at us twice, let alone inside our bags to see what we were carrying. So - take my experience for what you will. I didn't have to pay anything extra for all of my alcohol!!! Wish I had known - I would have brought more with me!
MUST GET BELIZE RUM!!!! It is awesome and very cheap. You can not get it in the states any more. It is called "Cactus Juice" Belize Rum and has a tropical label with a parrot on it. It is so good! Email me and I'll look at the label at home and email you back exactly what it is. A girlfriend in Dallas got me drinking the vodka of the same brand years and years ago when she could get it in Dallas - they bottled it there. But now the vodka is discontinued and I can only get the rum when I go to Belize. It is around $6 a bottle. You gotta try it! Also if you like beer try the Belican Beer in Belize. It is good and I brought an empty bottle back - you can't find it here. Debbie
I seem to remember that years ago there was talk of there being a problem with the vanilla purchased in Mexico. I would like to get some on my next trip but wondered if there had been talk of the vanilla making you ill. Anyone else remember this???????