Last week I went on my first vacation since the kids were born and my very first long-term cruise. I had a blast and will be doing at least one cruise per year (I’m hooked now). So, for the next couple of posts I decided I’m going to do a recap of my vacation in case some of you are considering going to a few of the places I visited and for the final post of this series I’ll do a Q&A about cruising with Norwegian in case you’ve been considering booking a cruise with them.
Well, let’s jump in and get started.
See Also: How to Prepare for Your First Cruise
Costa Maya the First Port on My Cruise
After being a sea for an entire day I was super excited to reach Costa Maya. It is a beautiful place, the locals are nice, and the weather is amazing. While here, we didn’t do as much as we did in other places, however, we did get to try out a margarita, enjoy the beach, go on a self-guided bird tour and do some shopping for souvenirs. I purchased a dress from here for myself as well.
Things to Avoid
As I mentioned earlier this was my first cruise, so I had no idea what to expect except for what I had read on Cruise Critic and the Cruise sub-Reddit on Reddit. I felt like I should have avoided some things and I’ll list them out below for you:
- Do not shop at the port: The reason I say this is as you go back into the town you’ll find the same products for cheaper.
- Don’t feel pressured to jump on the shuttle: It is okay to walk out of the port and once pass the shuttle you’ll find various things available for rent such as scooters, buggies, etc. Plus, the shuttle is only one way, so you still must catch a taxi back to get back to the port.
Things to Do in Costa Maya
Now, that I’ve gotten the mistakes that we made out of the way I’ll give you a few pointers on things to do:
- Don’t be afraid to ask locals for help: Once away from the port don’t be afraid to ask questions from the locals if you need help with directions. They are very friendly.
- Use the free WIFI: If you want to check your phone and are unsure if your service carrier will cover you under roaming use the free WIFI. There’s free WIFI on the beach.
- Check out the beach: The beach is beautiful. The day the ship is coming the locals go out early to make sure it’s free of seaweed.
- Do tip: Make sure you bring some cash with you to tip anyone who services you. At one store we went to a tip was even expected when purchasing something from the store.
- Use the bathroom while in the port: The port bathrooms were clean. However, my partner went to the bathroom while outside of the port and advised me it wouldn’t be somewhere I would want to go in.
- Try the margaritas: On the ship, the drinks are not strong at all. So, if you want a good margarita make sure you try one from one of the places on the beach.
- Go Through the Aviarius: Before going back to the ship for the day we went through the Aviarius. Here you walk through and interact with all sorts of birds.
Plus, at the top, you can get a great view of the dolphins.
However, in one section I must warn you the birds are really friendly. As soon as we walked in they were all over us. I had about two land in my hair!
Final Thoughts on Exploring Costa Maya for the First Time
Costa Maya was the kickoff spot on our cruise, however, it was a ton of fun. It’s a place I would love to go back and visit as it’s interesting learning about a different culture and seeing how they make various unique things by hand.
If you want to have a memorable experience Costa Maya is one of the places you should add to your bucket list.
Have you ever been to Costa Maya? If so, what did you enjoy the most?