Took a boat to Maya Key for a wonderful day. Beautiful and uncrowded. Laid on the beach, went snorkeling, toured the animal habitat and the replica of the ruins. Amazing service throughout. I had a private snorkel with a guide. Lunch was a wonderful buffet - sea bass, rice and beans, chicken, plantains and drinks. I tried salva vida and another local beer and both were excellent and way cheaper than the ship. This was my favorite excursion of the whole cruise.
We tendered in and then took about an hour and 20 minute bus ride. The guide was informative but the scenery rather bleak and sad due to the poverty but it is what it is. I didn't enjoy the cave tubing but that is mainly because my fairly elderly mom insisted on coming along and the rest of our group were also hindered by weight and lack of mobility. They complained a lot and couldn't manage on their own thus the guide and myself (I am a 49 y/o very fit woman!) had to help everyone the whole time. Plus the cave itself is not that pretty compared to say Luray or Carlsbad. The food for purchase upon return was great - particularly what they called mayan tacos and the homemade fresh chips. If I went to Belize again I'd do something else though. There also wasn't enough time when we returned to eat and look at photos or get another drink before we had to get back on the bus - maybe 30 minutes total so we were very rushed as we had to also change out of our wet clothes and return locker keys, go to restrooms, etc. Way too short on the back end.
I only saw the "touristy" part of this port because I took my mom out to eat before her excursion left for the ruins so we were at the area right at the end of the pier. There is a Senor Frogs which is pretty rowdy everyone was drinking and dancing and seemed to be having a good time just a little loud for my 71 y/o mother. There is a huge pool with swim up bar and a beach that was pretty unattractive and rocky in my opinion. This area is pretty rowdy but I believe a great time if you just want to party at the pool and be off the ship. On the other side of the pool is Carlos and Charlies which was a bit quieter and the food was OK. I had heard that you can take a taxi to Malahual which is very nice - I didn't do this because I had booked an excursion and it was kind of late when the ship cancelled it. Wish I could have seen more here in Costa Maya and done my snorkel...maybe next time.
I did the snorkel and beach excursion to Palancar Reef and Playa Mia beach. The snorkel crew was very informative and safety oriented. The ride out was beautiful and we had a pretty long snorkel although the reef was a bit boring. Not much life moving around as a storm was coming. Also it is not colorful like some I have seen. The group was big too and I got kicked a lot with other people's fins. I didn't like that part - wish they would have let us spread out a bit more. Then we rode out to the beach and were given free drinks - beer, soda, margaritas on the way. We got lunch which was included at the beach, along with open bar. We stayed there an hour and a half and then back on the boat. It was more drinks and a dance party on the way back and everyone had a great time. Beautiful day and great crew.