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Home > Member Reviews > tffd01's Port Reviews of Costa Maya, Belize City, Roatan, Cozumel

tffd01's Port Reviews of Costa Maya, Belize City, Roatan, Cozumel
Norwegian Star cruise in March 2013
Member Name: tffd01
Cruise Date: March 2013
Embarkation: New Orleans
Destination: Western Caribbean
Member Review: tffd01's Norwegian Star Review
Costa Maya
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
On the first stop, Costa Maya, as per previous review, we contacted the Tropicante Restaurant with it's owner Steve and his great staff. Steve answered my e-mail right away and although his loungers for the beach were booked, he said that he would do the best he could for me, even getting loungers from next door. He told me exactly where to go from the pier to escape the over-zealous vendors and pier transportation and to grab a local taxi outside the gate. The ride cost $4.00 for the two of us. We were there in five minutes. The Mahahual Beach in Costa Maya is a cement boardwalk which is about a half-mile long lined with small restaurants and small hotels and gift shops. Each establishment has it's own little section of the beach with lounge chairs, small tables for eating and plenty of massage tables, which I learned has been added recently. They charge $25.00 for a one hour massage. Incredible. Steve has three or four people working the beach for him, with Jorge being, kind of, the concierge. He takes care of the reservations for the loungers, as well as the scheduling of the massages. The entire crew is fabulous and even though it was a cloudy day with hardly any sun, they made it worthwhile. Steve was very personable and spent the entire day on the beach talking to his customers. The menu is simple with burgers, tacos, burritos, etc. and is reasonably priced. I recommend this place to anyone visiting Costa Maya. The whole day, with food, drinks and massages and tips cost about 90.00. Just e-mail Steve at the Tropicante.

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Belize City
Port Rating: 2.0 out of 5+
Didn't get off the boat. The whole tendering process is a pain.
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Roatan
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
Honduras was a definite step up from Costa Maya and Belize. The port and the area around the port was newer and built up. I had reserved a zip-line adventure with Pirates of the Caribbean tours and, through e-mail, I was able to leave a deposit and find out where to get the transportation. The ride there was in an air-conditioned van and was about 15 minutes. The zip-lining was a blast. First time for us. Our guides, Charlie and Iran were excellent and understanding for the beginners. My wife and I were alone with them because the other guides were with a bigger group. We did the 65.00 package which includes eight lines from 1100 ft. down to 200 ft. And the heights were high in the beginning to lower at the end. The guides helped somebody like me who didn't make it across all the way once or twice. But there is no anxiety at all .....except on the first jump when you have to get a running start off the edge. But I felt completely safe during the whole 45 minute adventure. We ordered pictures that they take, which cost about 50.00 for 35 pictures. Not too expensive for a great time and we were back on the ship by 11:00AM.

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Cozumel
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
In Cozumel, there was another ship at the dock with us, Norwegian Dawn. We had tried to reserve the Playa Maya Beach Club privately, but they wouldn't take reservations unless you did it through the ship. I knew that they would take walk ups so I did the excursion that way. Cozumel is a big city in Mexico and there were seven (7) cruise ships in port that day. We took a cab (16 dollars) to Playa Maya. There are many beach clubs in the area to choose from (some are private) but I knew Playa Maya from the cruise ship choices. Playa Maya is a tremendous beach club with a couple of hundred lounge chairs, umbrellas (charge), a massage area (55.00/hr.), an area with about 15 hammocks (of course there was a kid on each one), a kiddie area with water slides, a large pool, a large buffet area, bars, and a few stores. On the beach they have big water trampolines and slides, kayaks, sailboats, paddle boats, and other water activities. Also ping pong and volleyball. The prices are 75.00/pp for everything including food and alcoholic drinks. 55.00/pp for no food and some alcoholic drinks, and 39.00/pp for no food and no drinks. We managed to get two chairs with a free umbrella and the sun was in and out but that was fine. It's a nice place and it was a nice day. Unfortunately, the price that I paid was almost the same as the excursion off the ship, which would have been including food, so buying the excursion on the ship would have been better in that instance. Strange but the 16.00 taxi ride going there was 17.00 coming back. Oh well. One of my favorite memories from the cruise came when we returned to the pier from our beach excursion in Cozumel. The Norwegian Pearl had replaced the Norwegian Dawn at the pier right next to us (I'll bet the folks on Norwegian Dawn didn't like finding out that they had to tender back to their ship). Anyway, on the pier were about 25 crew members from each ship and they were lined up on either side to form a path to walk through and they were all dancing to music played by a DJ who had set up out there. The music was lively (top 40 stuff)(dance music) and all the crewmembers were dancing (usually line dancing) with smiles on their faces and getting people to dance with them as passengers strolled back to the ships. The Cruise Director from the Star (Kyle Dodson) was out there with a mike welcoming everyone back to the pier. They were also handing out jello shots and it was a lot of fun. The party atmosphere went on for three hours until the Star left. The music was still going on at the pier for the Pearl as the Star pulled away. A real great idea. I filmed some of it and will try to post.

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