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costa maya vs roatan - which port would you skip if you had to?

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I would vote to stay on the ship in Belize and visit both Costa Maya and Roatan. Both have some beautiful beaches - Roatan is very diverse with it's mountains and beaches and the downtown malecon area of Costa Maya is our favorite! We loved the Tropicante - food, drinks, beach area and the massages are awesome!

 

Good luck in what you choose!

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This is a no-brainer for me. Roatan is one, if not my favorite snorkeling destination, so I would definitely skip Costa Maya. Besides, I really didn't care much for it. I went to Maya Chan, which gets raves, but the beach was loaded with turtle grass in the water and too shallow for swimming.

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If you opt to visit Roatan, I'd skip the port beach at Mahogany Bay and venture out. We did a tour with Victor Bodden and had a great time. If there are two ships in port, Mahogany Bay is very crowded. The second time we went to Roatan we just stayed there at the beach for a half day. By the time we left we had people arguing over our beach chairs.:eek:

 

I enjoyed Costa Maya as well, but we were among those who ventured out to visit the ruins. We did The Native Choice's "Mayan Experience" tour, which is a tour of the Chacchoben ruins followed by lunch with a Mayan family in the modern-day village of Chacchoben. Our sons remember that tour much more than any of the beaches they've visited. Think the tortillas at Blue Iguana on the ship are good? They're nothing compared to the hand-mixed and shaped tortillas from the family's abuela.:cool:

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Carnival could easily include Costa Maya along with the other ports of call by doing 8- and 6-day sailings, especially from Galveston and New Orleans. 6-day sailings could alternate Belize-Costa Maya-Coz along with Roatan-Costa Maya-Coz itineraries while the 8-day itinerary could do four: Belize-Roatan-Costa Maya-Coz alternating with Jamaica-Gran Cayman-Costa Maya-Coz. I would eagerly book one (or more) of these.

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If there are two ships in port, Mahogany Bay is very crowded:

 

 

Very true. We went to Roatan on the Dream and got off the ship quickly since we just wanted to enjoy Mahogany Beach for a few hours (we had a two year old in tow). When we got there, the beach was deserted. We had it all to ourselves. As the morning progressed, the beach chairs started filling up with other Dream passengers. Then the Carnival Valor docked and it became chaos, with people placing towels wherever they could find a clear spot, or fighting over beach chairs. Going in the water wasn't much better with tons of people everywhere. That's when we decided it was time to head back to the ship.

 

We stayed in the Mahogany Bay Area simply because we had a small child with us, but now that our kids are a bit older, we would definitely venture out and explore what the island has to offer.

 

Our sons remember that tour much more than any of the beaches they've visited. Think the tortillas at Blue Iguana on the ship are good? They're nothing compared to the hand-mixed and shaped tortillas from the family's abuela.:cool:

 

I agree about venturing out and exploring something besides the beach, specially with children starving to learn about new cultures.

 

After many times visiting Cozumel and sticking with the same beach and downtown San Miguel routine, we switched gears on our last visit and ventured off the beaten path. We have a friend who lives in Cozumel. We rented a Jeep and picked her up at her house and met some of her family members and friends. There's a completely different world just a few streets away, where the locals live and work. She then showed us around the island, exploring the much quieter and less visited east side (no electricity or cellphone signal!). We ate at a restaurant frequented by the locals but not by the tourists. We explored the local museum and learned about the fascinating history of the island and its people.

 

This last visit was, by far, our most memorable. You can go to the beach or spend time at Señor Frog's in many islands, but learning about what makes each destination unique takes a vacation to a whole new level.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Edited by Tapi

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Done the Belize, Roatan, Costa Maya, Cozumel route many times...

 

I would never miss getting off and enjoying Cozumel or Roatan.

 

Costa Maya is a few notched below those two, but a very nice day can be had.

 

Belize is my least favorite port out of the entire Caribbean.

Unless I have an excusion booked to some Mayan Ruins I will never get off the ship in Belize again.

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So we'd like to stay on the boat one day with the kids and just enjoy the facilities. Trying to decide between Roatan or Costa Maya. Looking for some insight.

 

Roatan has West Bay Beach which looks amazing.

I hear good things about Tropicante restaurant/beach.

 

We have 3 kids (10,7,5) so not sure which island might not be missed so much if we don't get off the boat at all (or perhaps if we got off the boat for an hour to explore by the docks and get back on).

 

I disagree with staying on the ship in Costa Maya.

We LOVED Tropicante. Besides the fact that the taxi ride was $2 pp and a five minute ride vs. the distance and cost to the West End, Steve, from Texas, didn't charge for use of his loungers. He just asked that we buy a drink or a munchie. The water was beautiful and crystal clear all the way down to the sand. His staff gave us service that was better than we received on the ship.

 

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So we'd like to stay on the boat one day with the kids and just enjoy the facilities. Trying to decide between Roatan or Costa Maya. Looking for some insight.

 

Roatan has West Bay Beach which looks amazing.

I hear good things about Tropicante restaurant/beach.

 

We have 3 kids (10,7,5) so not sure which island might not be missed so much if we don't get off the boat at all (or perhaps if we got off the boat for an hour to explore by the docks and get back on).

 

I would skip costa maya .. there is not much to do here but there are so many options so many independent tours you can do from a monkey reserve to zip lining to just chilling out on the beach

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