This was our first visit to Costa Maya. When you come off the ship there is a large shopping area at the port...do not accept the first price you are quouted. I was looking at a dress and was quoted $35.00 U.S. "special dress," it was called. As I walked away the special dress dropped to $30.00 "special price for you," I kept walking. By the time I reached the next shop the vendor was calling out $25.00 for the same dress to me. We took a bus ride for $3.00 per person to Mahual beach and there are vendors EVERYWHERE on this beach. They also will offer less if you walk away. When we came back to the port my daughter wanted a mexican doll. The same doll was at several stores and I got pricing from $20.00 up to $40.00, the last place I stopped the guy told me $25.00, he then said, "for you $20.00," I said, "what about $15.00," and he said "show me the money." I am usually not one to negotiate but it's pretty easy to do here and obviously the prices quoted are higher than what they are expecting people to pay.
Carnival "Glory" November 2006
Carnival "Fantasy" July 2003
Royal Caribbean "Monarch" June 2002
In one of the smaller shops I saw a necklace I wanted. The Shop Keeper told me $20.00 and I told him, "No thank you" and walked away. He yelled out, "Lady come back, $18.00 American money". I told him "no still too much" and walked away a second time. He then yelled "Lady, come back. I just want to see your watch." I walked back, showed him my watch and he told me that he would trade his necklace for my watch. I hestitated then said, "OK". He got my 5.00 watch and I got his 20.00 necklace. Next trip I plan on bringing more than one watch. Now, if I can only remember which off-street I was on and what shop I was in I'll be ready to shop again in January 2008.
Carnival Conquest - September 2005
Norwegian Sun - January 2007
Royal Caribbean - Voyager of the Seas - January 2008 - CAN'T WAIT 8)
I have to disagree with the quote "everything is negotiable." I was at a store in the port's shopping center, and I told a lady working there that something was priced way too high--ok, they were postcards that they wanted $1 for and I'm used to seeing this size of postcards on vacations at the most expensive as being 3 for $1 here in the states (they were regular size, not the bigger size). So, having 4 of them, I suggested I pay $1 for all four. No, maybe I was being cheap, but I didn't want to pay $4 for four postcards. She said that no, $1 per postcard was the price. So, I walked out, and she let me go. She would not budge from the set price at all. Unfortunately, all the other stores had postcards from Cozumel and Playa del carmel that all they did was paste a piece of paper over that name with the name Costa Maya, so we ended up having to go back to that store and pay the outrageous price.
For the bus ride to get to the beach where the venders are how long of a ride is it? Do they have buses that stay there and are easy to get back on to get back to the port? This will be our first trip and I really want to go there but I am scared since we have never been before, I dont want to get lost or get left there, lol..
Don't worry, this is an easy port. There is an area behind the "suck money out of the tourists" shops where you get on a trolley that takes you to the town. There will be a long line of cabs at one end of the street waiting to take people back to the port. Town is only a couple of blocks long and there will be more tourists than locals walking around. One of the safest Mexican ports and easiest to get back and forth from. Their primary income is from us! The only thing to watch out for is quality of merchandise. If you want silver and turquoise, buy it in the more expensive area right at the dock.
I too agree that the prices are not all negitiable. I bought four pairs of silver earrings and I got fleeced on one pair for sure. I tried my darndest to get it down, but no budging at all. I could have gotten similar earring at home for much less, but it was higher quality silver and I wanted them..I gave in and paid $20 (they were dangling earrings and a fair size). I did get a better deal on others. I got two for $20 at another place instead of paying $30. I did sense that one store was trying to fleece me when he was trying to charge me $60 for something that was, according to the price tags, $40. He tried this on the lady in front of me and she too said "that isn't what is added it up to be" and they relented. I thought many of the prices were way too high, but they could get it because where else are you going to go to shop when the other stores are charging the same price?...