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What to do in PDC w/o excursion?

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What is there to do in PDC if you dont buy an excursion? I'm not looking forward to PDC because it looks like there may be nothing to do.Has anyone ever gone to an all-inclusive for the day with a day pass? Just trying to entertain the kids,otherwise I'd stay on the ship and have it to myself!

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PdC is my least favorite port of any I've ever been to. In September, we docked at Calica (ugly rock quarry), and had to take a taxi ($10) to go anywhere. I went to PdC. I will say one good thing - the public beach right at the 'town' part looked very pretty (don't all beaches?) I understand hey rent beach chairs & umbrellas.

The ONLY thing I did while in PcD was shop a little, and I found the shopkeepers VERY pushy, following me out onto the streets. (Don't like that!) I also saw several beggars. The only place I bought anything was a kind of grocery store right in the midst of all the other shops. It was kinda neat, and I brought back several small items for my mother that I knew she'd get a kick out of - Blue Plate mayo, bag of peanuts, Keebler cookies, etc. - all printed in Spanish. Oh, and of course, MX vanilla.

 

Unfortunately, even tho they seem to be trying to improve the downtown area (workers everywhere), they have a long way to go. There are lots of little potholes in the streets, so WATCH your step! I was back on the ship within two hours.

 

For the $10 cab ride, your kids would probably enjoy the beach; otherwise, stay on the ship.:rolleyes:

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Consider taking a taxi to Akumal Beach (NOTE specify BEACH) to the driver.

Nice beach, very quiet, restaurants, 2 grocery stores (one with good quality cheap t-shirts), a few small shops. A nice relaxing place to spend the day

OR - your idea of seeing iff you can get a day pass to one of the all-inclusives is good

OR take a taxi to Xel Ha - snorkeling, beach etc - much cheaper than booking through a ship's package

OR take a taxi to Tulum - ruins (nice little beach but in can bet some big waves - if you have small kids

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We had a catamaran, caribbean charter & sailing school and the trip was awesome offshore the riviera maya. The service and snorkeling were amazing, free open bar all trip long and cool music. If you like sailing, you should do it!!

These guys definetly knows how to enjoy a day in the Caribbean and they will make you feel the same! check their site www.caribbeancss.com and have a lot of fun!!! Playa is awesome!

 

Daniel

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I've read good things about Puerto Aventuras, about 8 miles south of the Calica port -- incidentally, there is an Executive Car Rental site at Calica (it's not on their website -- just e-mail Jaime). Our current plan is to pick up a rental car at the pier, drive to PA, and spend the day at the Omni Hotel -- we have communicated via email with hotel management, which offers use of their facilities (restaurants, bar, beach, spa, et al) for no day-use charge. There is a Dophin Discovery location at PA for those so inclined.

http://www.executive.com.mx

http://www.omnihotels.com/hotels/default.asp?h_id=47

If time remains or the ship's stay is lengthened (somewhat normal, apparently, since the next day's Cozumel is only 12 miles across the water), we may drive into PdC, either to sight-see or for dinner.

In PdC itself, I've had Hotel Colibri recommended to me for a day stay. They will allow use of their beach facilities if you purchase food/drinks from their beachfront bar/restaurant.

http://www.hotel-colibri.com/

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We're just off of last week's Holiday cruise. At Calica, we rented a car from Executive at the pier, drove to PdC for some shopping, then went south to Puerto Aventuras for a wonderful lunch at Cafe Ole` and free day-use of facilities at the Omni, which has a wonderful beach and pool. We played in the waves for an hour or so, then wandered around the planned community's town. The Dolphin Discovery there had walk-up availability, though we didn't do it.

Finally, we drove further south to Akumal and just enjoyed the beautiful surroundings before heading back to the port.

Three car-rental notes:

  • Executive Car Rental's port location is not listed on its website. Email for a quote. We paid $45 for a well-used but serviceable Nissan, which included must-have $0 deductible insurance (otherwise, you have to pay for any damage before leaving).
  • The car-rental site at the port closes at 7 p.m., so you have to return the car by then. Our ship didn't sail until 10 p.m., so we 'lost' those hours, although we were tired out by then anyway.
  • A caution: when we returned home and checked our debit account online, we discovered that Executive had first tried to charge/hold $264.31, then $176.21, then $88.10 before finally settling for (and getting) the $45 we'd confirmed (and carried with us in writing). Having been cautioned about such ruses occurring, we used a MasterCard debit card that only had a limited value remaining. Thus, the too-high charges Executive attempted were declined. But not because Executive didn't try to get more.

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I love PDC. Of course, my perfect day is one spent lying on the beach, listening to the waves, drinking a Tecate beer or two, eating some nachos, or shrimp tacos sitting in a swing at a beacside cantina. Other than that, you can do a lot of interseting window shopping(expensive stores mainly). Very European flair to Playa del CArmen, and I actually got to use my French, talking to some tourists from Paris last March. I much prefer PDC to Cancun.

 

My kiddos and I took a snorkeling trip from the beach in March, close to the Blue Parrot. It is ran by a young American man, who I believe also owns the Blue Parrot. I don't recommend this tour for chidren. It was fun, but the masks/snorkels didn't fit my daughter (10 yo) and she didn't enjoy herself as much as she should have because of that. We have our own snorkeling gear this time (going there in 17 days on the Ecstacy), which fit in neat little backpacks.

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We enjoyed PdC and plan to return for a land vacation some day. See my message on the "Beach excursion and port information" thread. There are links you may enjoy, including an aerial photo of Calica.

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