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Cruises to Costa Maya

Costa Maya (Photo:Roman Stetsyk/Shutterstock)

About Costa Maya

If you build it, they will come. Costa Maya, located on a peninsula along Mexico's Caribbean coast (about 100 miles south of Playa del Carmen), feels like a private island created from scratch expressly for cruisers. That's because it was; developers created the port terminal/faux village complex not far from the Belize border solely to woo cruise lines, and everything -- from the manmade malecon, a beachfront pedestrian path in nearby Mahahual, to the beach club used for shore excursions -- has been created with passengers in mind.

The port itself, which opened for business in 2001 and was rebuilt after Hurricane Dean in 2007, features myriad facilities in its village -- pools, restaurants, a spa, shops and a small beach (though it's too rocky to swim). The port developers also own a club and water sports area on Uvero Beach, which is actually away from the terminal and is typically used by cruise lines as a shore excursion option. Besides the amenities that tourists see, developers took care of the essentials outside the village including brick-paved roads, concrete cottages for employees (who all come from elsewhere) and a water-sanitation system. (Yes, it is safe to drink water within the Costa Maya confines.)

Beyond that, the folks who created Costa Maya also invested in and remade Mahahual (also known as Majahual), a one-time fishing village of 200 people that's about a 45-minute walk or $8 cab ride away. An attractive malecon anchors a row of seaside hotels, restaurants, dive shops and beach clubs that serve fresh ceviche and offer water activities along lovely white sand beaches with shallow surf (perfect for families). Although development is restricted to low-rise buildings, Mahahual's growth has attracted a small group of entrepreneurs, including a sizable Italian community, interested in making the town the "next Tulum."

For travelers who just want to get into the "don't worry, be happy" mindset, the appeal of the area's beach clubs, usually with free Wi-Fi and the lure of cheap beach massages, can pretty much consume the day. Those who want to venture further have intriguing options, too. The region is home to some lesser-known (but still important) Mayan ruins. The site most cruise passengers come here to see is Chacchoben, a city dating to around 350 A.D.; some excursions focus solely on Mayan food and culture. Bacalar lagoon offers kayaking and swimming in the Cenote Azul, and there's also a Spanish fortress you can tour. While Costa Maya might look sleepy at a glance, there's something for everyone in this corner of the Caribbean -- and it only keeps growing.


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  • 7 Night
    Cruise to Costa Maya

    Leaving:
    New Orleans
    Visiting:
    Costa Maya, Harvest Caye ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Norwegian Cruise Line
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    Cruise Itinerary

    7 Night Cruise to Costa Maya Route (Norwegian Cruise Line)
    • Day 1
      New Orleans
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Costa Maya
    • Day 4
      Harvest Caye
    • Day 5
      Roatan
    • Day 6
      Cozumel
    • Day 7
      Cruising
    • Day 8
      New Orleans
    Ship Details

    Norwegian Breakaway - Norwegian Cruise Line

    Pros

    Exceptional variety of restaurants and entertainment

    Cons

    Shore excursions and destination enrichment lacking local flavor

    Bottom Line

    Great, fun, easy-going vibe onboard for all ages

    Reviews

    Norwegian Breakaway Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.5/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining5.0
    Service4.0
    Value4.0

    Norwegian Cruise Line long has been a pioneer in creating a contemporary cruising experience, m...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    ReyReyRey
    Sail Date Mar 2020
    Not worth it, poor disembarkation lot of time wasted
    Read More
    happilymarried1
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    3rd time with NCL
    Read More
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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 5 Night
    Cruise to Costa Maya

    Leaving:
    Miami
    Visiting:
    Harvest Caye, Costa Maya ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Norwegian Cruise Line
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    Cruise Itinerary

    5 Night Cruise to Costa Maya Route (Norwegian Cruise Line)
    • Day 1
      Miami
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Harvest Caye
    • Day 4
      Costa Maya
    • Day 5
      Cruising
    • Day 6
      Miami
    Ship Details

    Norwegian Pearl - Norwegian Cruise Line

    Pros

    Plenty of dining, nightlife and family options to easily accommodate short sailings

    Cons

    Unless you're onboard for a theme charter, evening entertainment might feel a bit dated

    Bottom Line

    Whether you're just taking a long weekend or sailing with superstars, Norwegian Pearl is a cheerful ship to call home

    Reviews

    Norwegian Pearl Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining3.0
    Service4.0
    Value4.0

    Norwegian Pearl is a fantastically fun ship from its imaginative decor (blown-up photos of wild...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    hsmcruise
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    Nervous cruiser in midst of covid 19
    Read More
    Where2gonext?
    Sail Date Mar 2020
    Great ship and great staff
    Read More
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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 7 Night
    Cruise to Costa Maya

    Leaving:
    Tampa
    Visiting:
    Cozumel, Roatan ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Norwegian Cruise Line
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    Cruise Itinerary

    7 Night Cruise to Costa Maya Route (Norwegian Cruise Line)
    • Day 1
      Tampa
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Cozumel
    • Day 4
      Roatan
    • Day 5
      Harvest Caye
    • Day 6
      Costa Maya
    • Day 7
      Cruising
    • Day 8
      Tampa
    Ship Details

    Norwegian Jade - Norwegian Cruise Line

    Pros

    Venues are spread evenly throughout the ship, limiting congestion

    Cons

    Standard cabins are a bit on the small side

    Bottom Line

    Recent refurbishments have the ship looking and feeling like new

    Reviews

    Norwegian Jade Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins3.5
    Dining4.0
    Service5.0
    Value4.0

    Launched in 2006, Norwegian Jade isn't Norwegian Cruise Line's newest vessel, but via the

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    margaretandy67
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    Superb size of ship and excellent staff; Singapore Phuket Malaysia
    Read More
    jf33180
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    Poor Management decisions Stay away from NCL
    Read More
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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 12 Night
    Cruise to Costa Maya

    Leaving:
    Miami
    Visiting:
    Grand Cayman, Cartagena ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Norwegian Cruise Line
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    Cruise Itinerary

    12 Night Cruise to Costa Maya Route (Norwegian Cruise Line)
    • Day 1
      Miami
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Grand Cayman (Georgetown)
    • Day 4
      Cruising
    • Day 5
      Cartagena (Colombia)
    • Day 6
      Gatun Lake
    • Day 6
      Colon (Cristobal)
    • Day 7
      Puerto Limon
    • Day 8
      Cruising
    • Day 9
      Roatan
    • Day 10
      Harvest Caye
    • Day 11
      Costa Maya
    • Day 12
      Cruising
    • Day 13
      Miami
    Ship Details

    Norwegian Joy - Norwegian Cruise Line

    Pros

    Great selection of dining venues, plus fun activities like go-karts, laser tag and a VR arcade.

    Cons

    Most dining venues and activities cost extra; and everything requires reservations.

    Bottom Line

    A fun ship that has plenty to keep you busy.

    Reviews

    Norwegian Joy Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins4.5
    Dining4.0
    Service4.5
    Value3.5

    Norwegian Joy is packed with engaging activities and spaces, and while there's no doubt it has ...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    calaforte
    Sail Date Mar 2020
    Above and beyond!
    Read More
    Travel Hounds
    Sail Date Oct 2019
    Crowded, cancelled excursions, poor service
    Read More
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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 11 Night
    Cruise to Costa Maya

    Leaving:
    Miami
    Visiting:
    Cartagena, Gatun Lake ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Norwegian Cruise Line
    View Deal
    View Cruise Info
    Hide Cruise Info
    • Itinerary
    • Ship Details
    • Reviews
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    • Fare Includes
    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    11 Night Cruise to Costa Maya Route (Norwegian Cruise Line)
    • Day 1
      Miami
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Cruising
    • Day 4
      Cartagena (Colombia)
    • Day 5
      Gatun Lake
    • Day 5
      Colon (Cristobal)
    • Day 6
      Puerto Limon
    • Day 7
      Cruising
    • Day 8
      Roatan
    • Day 9
      Harvest Caye
    • Day 10
      Costa Maya
    • Day 11
      Cruising
    • Day 12
      Miami
    Ship Details

    Norwegian Pearl - Norwegian Cruise Line

    Pros

    Plenty of dining, nightlife and family options to easily accommodate short sailings

    Cons

    Unless you're onboard for a theme charter, evening entertainment might feel a bit dated

    Bottom Line

    Whether you're just taking a long weekend or sailing with superstars, Norwegian Pearl is a cheerful ship to call home

    Reviews

    Norwegian Pearl Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining3.0
    Service4.0
    Value4.0

    Norwegian Pearl is a fantastically fun ship from its imaginative decor (blown-up photos of wild...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    Best Life
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    Nice ship for a Bahamas weekend
    Read More
    lolajeff
    Sail Date Mar 2020
    Fantastic cruise during the Covid crisis
    Read More
    Cabin Comparison

    Compare Cabin Prices

    No Results Found
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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 7 Night
    Cruise to Costa Maya

    Leaving:
    Port Canaveral
    Visiting:
    Perfect Day at CocoCay, Cozumel ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Royal Caribbean International
    View Deal
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