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Home > Member Reviews > CTCruisers's Port Reviews of Key West, Costa Maya, Cozumel

CTCruisers's Port Reviews of Key West, Costa Maya, Cozumel
Carnival Valor cruise in October 2012
Member Name: CTCruisers
Cruise Date: October 2012
Embarkation: Miami
Destination: Western Caribbean
Member Review: CTCruisers's Carnival Valor Review
Key West
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
We had breakfast and then headed off the ship. We walked a few blocks towards a large red brick building known as the Custom House. We came across three different trolley tours that had sales offices there. We chose the City View Trolley ($21 per person) which had hop-on/hop-off service on its one hour loop of the sites in Key West. The driver, Jamey, pointed out buildings and things of interest as we went around the area. We passed the Audubon House, the Southernmost point marker, Hemingway's house, US 1 mile zero marker, and Truman's Little White House. We got off at the stop for the Hemingway house and after taking a few pictures, we walked up Whitehead Street to take a picture of the Mile Zero Marker for US1 (the intersection of Fleming and Whitehead streets). Being born in northern Maine, I have been to Fort Kent in Maine where US1 starts, so it was a kick to see the other end of US1.

We then walked over a block to Duval Street to do a short pub crawl. While on Duval Street, we paid a visit to the local Hard Rock Cafe. It was my 62nd different Hard Rock site to visit. Next, we stopped at Irish Kevin's which had the coldest beer we have had in a long time. They had a singer/guitarist playing inside, but he only knew one Irish song?!? After awhile, we headed out to finally arrive at Sloppy Joe's for a quick pint before heading back to the ship by 3:30 all aboard. We did stop by a few shops on the way back. We sailed away at 4:30 pm. I thought Key West was a cool place. It reminded me of Venice Beach, Provincetown, Bourbon Street, and Lahaina in Maui all in one.

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Costa Maya
Port Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
The Costa Maya cruise terminal area was built by Disney cruises. It is located near the small seaside town of Mahahual about 100 miles south of Playa del Carmen and Cozumel. It is very close to the Mexican border with Belize.

We were docked at a very long pier and were the only ship in port. We arrived around 08:00 am ship's time and had a planned departure time of 05:00 pm. The ship's time did not change to the local central time, so while we anchored by 08:00 am, it was only 07:00 am local time. Everyone needed to remind themselves of watching the time based on the ship's time so that they are not left at the pier waving goodbye to the ship sailing away.

The main attractions of Costa Maya are Mayan ruins that are one to two hours away from the port. The ship had several excursions offering visits to them. We decided to just walk off and visit the cruise terminal area. The walk off the pier was quite long especially under the hot sun. The terminal area had a variety of shops as well as a Carlos and Charlie's and a Se�or Frogs. There was a small pool area in the middle near the two bars. By the pier, they had a large pool area with dolphins where you could pay to swim with them. After an hour or so, we headed back to the ship.

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Cozumel
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
The ship docked at the pier area called Puerta Maya which was about 3 miles south of the city of San Miguel. We could see the Disney Magic was docked at a pier at the city. You could Playa del Carmen across the channel from Cozumel.

There is nothing really close to the outside of the Puerta Maya cruise terminal besides a few shops. To go anywhere, you needed to hire a taxi or rent a scooter. There were horse and carriage rides available as well.

Around 11:00 am, the Carnival Triumph arrived and pulled into the pier opposite our ship. During the docking process, no one was allowed to go off the ship.

We saw a large Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign near the cruise terminal and took a walk. When we got to the small mall where the sign was located, we saw that the place was under construction. We were told that the Hard Rock at that location would not be open for a few months. There was a Harley Davidson shop there as well. We had already been to Hard Rock located in the city, so we just headed back to the shops in the cruise terminal area.

There were plenty of shops and bars within the cruise port area. We visited a few of the shops before returning to the ship to relax.

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