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Old 03-01-2007, 09:01 PM
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I am going on the Fantasy in Sept. We will be going to Costa Maya and Cozumel. I was wondering about renting a car or jeep in both places. How hard is it to get around, and is it safe? I do not plan on doing any excusions throught he cruise line. I want to save by booking my own. I will be doing the Mayan ruin one on Costa Maya. Also is anyone familiar with Mr. Sanchos beach in Cozumel? I've heard it's great. I'm torn between Paradise and Sanchos. We will be going with our 11 year old and 4 year old. I also would love to do some real shopping and haggling. Where might Idind that? Costa Maya sounds pretty commercialized to me. Thanks!
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Old 03-02-2007, 04:12 AM
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sounds like trouble to me
I seriously would stay with the Ship's tours. especially if you havent been to these places before.
Traveling with an 11 and 4 year old in a rented car in another counrty looking for non commercial places to visit just seems a little risky to me...but then again it may just be me.

Either way you choose ...Have a fun and safe cruise.
(hey that rhymed)
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Old 03-02-2007, 04:53 AM
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I must agree with Mr.O.

The taxis are overly plentiful on Cozumel. If you are looking for a beach experience I would do the Paradise via taxi.

Cozumel streets are very busy when there are alot of ships in port. So for doing shopping keep a tight grip on the kids. The main square area might be a little better suited for shopping than the front street with kids in tow.

I too would suggest a ship's tour if is your first time. Cozumel is a relative safe port from my experience, but it gets busy.

IslandCruz
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Old 03-02-2007, 05:17 AM
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I agree with Mr. October. It sounds like trouble. Stay safe and stay with the ship's tours.
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Old 03-02-2007, 05:56 AM
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Which Mayan ruins - Kohunlich or Chacchoben? The first is a two hour drive and the second is one hour away, and those driving times are for experienced tour bus drivers who could probably drive it in their sleep. I personally would not want to be driving a rental for that long on unknown Mexican roads. Ruins typically don't have a highway that passes by them. Small roads through jungles is more common. The ships tours are the best choice for seeing the ruins.

On Cozumel it would be hard to get lost in a rental, but as the others have noted the taxis are so prevalent that it really doesn't make much sense to rent a car or jeep. You don't need a ship's tour here, although I recommend them for first-timers. Just go to the taxi stand at the dock and you can get a ride to Mr. Sanchos or Paradise. There is a big sign with the set prices. Make sure you and the driver both understand the price before you get in.

Haggling is something that is becoming extinct on Cozumel.
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Old 03-02-2007, 07:40 AM
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Commercialized is not the word I would use for Costa Maya. Dirty is more like it. We docked there for our fourth port on a Feb. 11th cruise. We took the taxi (bus) to the beach(?) It was recommended that we go to Fisherman's beach. It was a small strip of dirty beaches with tables and chairs set up near inside and outside bars. We sat at a table, jumped into the water once, bought beer from a local bar. I refuse to eat in port. My husband used the bathroom in the bar and said not to go near it.

I did not care for Costa Maya at all. ON the beach there was a dog asleep below a beach chair. I thought he was dead as he moved very little but did move. Another limping dog was walking around begging for food. As an extreme dog lover I found this situation horrible.

We did the horseback riding in Cozumel at Buena Vista. Though I did enjoy that I feel that the horses didn't.

I agree with those who say that you should not be out on your own in these places.

AS far as haggling you will be able to do this at any stop in Mexico. I purchased two pieces of silver for less than a fourth of the original price given. Being a silver buyer I know they were great deals. I was followed out of a store because I did not make a purchase. I decided that I really didn't like the article after looking at it more closely. The woman followed me out the door shouting, 70% off,no 60% off, and continued. I just didn't want it. They are very pushy but I know that you will get a great deal if you show a little interest in something. The trick seems to be pick it up and put it down. In one place they offered me a price and I said that I didn't have that much with me. They said how much do you have. I gave them an answer and we settled on a good price.

Pay cash for these deals.

Kathy
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Old 03-02-2007, 08:01 AM
 
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we rented a car at playa del carma. had a blast. we went to the talum myan ruins. it cost 2 american dollars to get in. well worth it. then we had the car for the rest of the day to see the things we wanted to see. It is a 4 lane highway to the ruins. the car cost 40 bucks, we rented from enterprise right at the pier. we had to return the car full of gas. we then went to the beach and markets in town. we had a blast. at no time did we feel threatened. but we did stay on the main roads. Also when u make a left hand turn you do it from the far right lane, wait until all the traffic has pass from behind on your left make sure its clear coming toward you and turn. the enterprise people can tell u about it. for the money it was the best way to go...
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Old 03-02-2007, 08:07 AM
 
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also i would not rent a car in cozomel because the traffic is unbelieveable heavy.
We also pulled up a map of mexico to the talum ruins so we knew how to get there and back. Definately study a map before you go that makes it easier to get around...
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Old 03-02-2007, 08:13 AM
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Tulum is an exception since it is on the coast and the highway is there. However, Tulum is about three times as far from Costa Maya as it is from Playa del Carmen.
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Old 03-02-2007, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by mountaingirl:
I am going on the Fantasy in Sept. We will be going to Costa Maya and Cozumel. I was wondering about renting a car or jeep in both places. How hard is it to get around, and is it safe? I do not plan on doing any excusions throught he cruise line. I want to save by booking my own. I will be doing the Mayan ruin one on Costa Maya. Also is anyone familiar with Mr. Sanchos beach in Cozumel? I've heard it's great. I'm torn between Paradise and Sanchos. We will be going with our 11 year old and 4 year old. I also would love to do some real shopping and haggling. Where might Idind that? Costa Maya sounds pretty commercialized to me. Thanks!
Lots of good advise given in other responses and I will concur: stay with the tours especially for first time in port and with small children.
Now about Costa Maya. The pier area has a shopping area which is very commercialized and expensive and you can haggle. One shop owner followed my friend and tried to sell him a cane, even offered a trade for the one he had, very funny. My wife, daughter and her aunts went "into town" This was only advisable because my daughter dances on the ship and knew where to go and where not to go. They found the dirt road less than charming but the restuarant they went to very nice and well priced. I wish I knew which one it was. I stayed at the beach area in a hamock, I met a waitress that knew no english and me no spanish but "1 beer" seemed to work. I listened to a marvelous band play Beatles all afternoon. Enjoyed it. But wasn't a very good port.
 
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