Has anyone every been to Costa Maya, Mexico and if so, is it worth it? I am looking at two sailings, one on Royal Caribbean and one on Carnival, for a group cruise. The one on Royal Caribbean goes to Costa Maya where the one on Carnival goes to Grand Cayman. Both itineraries include Cozumel. I am basically trying to build a group cruise that is essentially a sampler of what cruising can be, an introduction for newbies and a chance for veterans to share their experience with the newbies. This includes adventure cruising, ecotourism cruising, beaches, and shopping of course. A bit of a Caribbean Highlights thing. If anyone can advise me on these two ports of call, please feel free.
We have been to Costa Maya a couple of times...but that was BEFORE Hurricane Dean paid a visit. We have been to Grand Cayman about 15 times.
Both of these ports are safe.
But there is one huge difference....Grand Cayman is commercial and expensive. Costa Maya is still developing and less expensive.
Grand Cayman has the Margaritaville, Senor Frogs...beautiful 7 Miles beach and the prices that go with all of that.
Costa Maya "downtown" area that you take a short bus ride to has beach road with "some buildings on one side and the beach on the other."
Grand Cayman is where you swim with the sting rays or snorkel.
Costa Maya is where you relax at a "beach bum town" and drink cheap beer.
The last time we were at Costa Maya was a week before Hurricane Dean....we spent the day at Chac Chi. But it has not rebuilt since the hurricane...so I don't know where we will go next month when we return.
COMPLETES THE FLEET
If it is Carnival and it floats....we have sailed it!
Hubby ... DIAMOND (every ship except the Carnivale)
Me ... DIAMOND (every ship starting with the Tropicale)
20 year old son ... DIAMOND (every ship starting with the Tropicale...he is the only DOUBLE Milestone under the age of 21)
24 year old son ... DIAMOND
This guy has a lot of information and photos on Costa Maya. He has been on A LOT of cruises and post a lot of trip reports and good photos. After you look at the link below, go back to his home page and check out his other trips.
We have been to Costa Maya a couple of times before Hurricane Dean. The place we walked to was wiped out. We are now booked on a Carnival Cruise for Nov. this year out of Mobile, AL. We will take a Carnival Excursion to a beach. They have one for around $40.00 a person that includes transportation and open bar.
We dont do a lot of site seeing, we are beach people. (Funny, we live near Gulf Shores and Pensacola Beach and go all the time here, but we still love the Beaches in the Caribbean!)
Booked Carnival Ship Fantasy Nov. 2009
Carnival Ship Holiday April, 2008
Carnival Ship Holiday April, 2007
Carnival Ship Holiday May 2006
Carnival Ship Holiday May 2005
We have been to Costa Maya 5 or 6 times and returned in March for our first visit post-Dean. Basically, it is unchanged. While the beach village of Majhual was swept off the map,, it has been rebuilt. The services are the same - friendly, cheap beer and food, cheap massages, etc. Only difference is that all the restaurant/bars have been moved off the beach and across the street so there is more beach area. Each bar its own little piece of beach and waiters who keep an eye on you and bring you beverages and food.
I like it much more than Grand Cayman, but I'm very glad to have experienced Grand Cayman several times. Previous poster is right about Cayman - expensive, elegant, beautiful, fabulous snorkelling, sting rays and all the opportunity to send your boss a postcard from Hell saying "having a wonderful time wish you were here"
Both have their own place and flavor in the cruising world.
Can't remember if the previous poster mentioned that Cayman is a tender port.