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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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  • 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 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
    Jarretl
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    The Banging Nightmare!
    Read More
    ReyReyRey
    Sail Date Mar 2020
    Not worth it, poor disembarkation lot of time wasted
    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:
    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
    WalterRiddle
    Sail Date Mar 2020
    1st time cruise and probably last thanks to Norwegian
    Read More
    jjhansen458
    Sail Date Mar 2020
    Some Improvements Some Not So Much
    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:
    Miami
    Visiting:
    Roatan, Harvest Caye ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Norwegian Cruise Line
    View Deal
    View Cruise Info
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    • Itinerary
    • Ship Details
    • Reviews
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    7 Night Cruise to Costa Maya Route (Norwegian Cruise Line)
    • Day 1
      Miami
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Roatan
    • Day 4
      Harvest Caye
    • Day 5
      Costa Maya
    • Day 6
      Cozumel
    • Day 7
      Cruising
    • Day 8
      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
    travelbug10
    Sail Date Mar 2020
    We were in a safe bubble
    Read More
    Nopenope
    Sail Date Mar 2020
    Disappointed
    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:
    Miami
    Visiting:
    Roatan, Harvest Caye ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Norwegian Cruise Line
    View Deal
    View Cruise Info
    Hide Cruise Info
    • Itinerary
    • Ship Details
    • Reviews
    • Cabin Comparison
    • View All Prices
    • Fare Includes
    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    7 Night Cruise to Costa Maya Route (Norwegian Cruise Line)
    • Day 1
      Miami
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Roatan
    • Day 4
      Harvest Caye
    • Day 5
      Costa Maya
    • Day 6
      Cozumel
    • Day 7
      Cruising
    • Day 8
      Miami
    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
    mj cruiser
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    Breakaway was ok
    Read More
    grover75
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    Outstanding staff
    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
    Loading...
    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.

  • 17 Night
    Cruise to Costa Maya

    Leaving:
    San Antonio
    Visiting:
    Coquimbo, Arica ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Norwegian Cruise Line
    View Deal
    View Cruise Info
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    17 Night Cruise to Costa Maya Route (Norwegian Cruise Line)
    • Day 1
      San Antonio (Chile)
    • Day 2
      Coquimbo (La Serena)
    • Day 3
      Cruising
    • Day 4
      Arica
    • Day 5
      Cruising
    • Day 6
      Pisco
    • Day 7
      Lima
    • Day 8
      Salaverry (Trujillo)
    • Day 9
      Cruising
    • Day 10
      Cruising
    • Day 11
      Panama Canal
    • Day 12
      Puerto Limon
    • Day 13
      Cruising
    • Day 14
      Roatan
    • Day 15
      Harvest Caye
    • Day 16
      Costa Maya
    • Day 17
      Cruising
    • Day 18
      Miami
    Ship Details

    Norwegian Star - Norwegian Cruise Line

    Pros

    Refurbs have kept original Freestyle ship modern

    Cons

    Constant upcharges may turn some cruisers off

    Bottom Line

    Star provides some of Norwegian's most popular features, on a smaller ship

    Reviews

    Norwegian Star Reviews

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

    Norwegian Star underwent a refurbishment in summer 2018 during which it received the Sky Hi...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    wvacations
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    NCL Cost Cutting At All Time High
    Read More
    Greyhorse
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    Not to my expectation
    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
    Loading...
    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
    View Deal
    View Cruise Info
    Hide Cruise Info
    • Itinerary
    • Ship Details
    • Reviews
    • Cabin Comparison
    • View All Prices
    • Fare Includes
    Itinerary

    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