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View Full Version : Is Xcaret worth it in Cozumel?


ScarlettinWonderland
01-23-2010, 12:52 AM
We are thinking about during the Xcaret excursion through Disney but just want to find out more about it first. I've heard before that once you get there, you have about 4 hours. Is this true and if so, is this enough time to experience everything? Does the price include everything or do you have to pay extra for snorkeling gear? Is the whole thing guided or are you on your own once you get there? For those of you who have done it, were you glad you did?

I think that's all of the questions I have for now. Any help would be appreciated.:)

shaylahc1
01-23-2010, 04:57 AM
We went in 1995 and it was absolutely worth it! Not sure how things have changed in 15 years but the underground rivers/caves alone are worth the admission. I am sure it's probably bigger and better now. For me it was definitely a unique "once in a lifetime" experience:)

tinktwice
01-23-2010, 07:36 AM
We did Xcaret in 2008. Totally glad we did it. The guides are with you from the ship all the way till the end of the river float. There were 2 Mexican guides with us along with at least one DCL guide. You do the river float when you first get to Xcaret then you are on your own to explore. Lunch is included with your ticket (choice of burger, hot dog, and maybe a chicken sandwich and a drink). You do that on your own as well. They'll direct you to a couple of places within Xcaret where you can use those tickets. You have enough time to do some of Xcaret. There is a lot to see. I wish I had mapped out the highlights beforehand a bit better but we got to see a good portion of the park.

The guide tells you where to meet after for the trip back. They give you a ticket for a free popsicle too. You would want to brink some cash for souvenirs or alcoholic drinks and a tip for the guides. You put all your valuables into locked bags before the float down the river and they transport them for you to the end for pick up.

Out of all the excursions we've done on both our Eastern and Western cruises, this one has been our favorite. It gave us just a bit more "flavor" of Mexico than just the beach and shopping. Definitely use their website to figure out what things you'd like to see while there.

The gear is included but I don't think we had "full snorkeling gear". It's not needed. I think we had fins and vests.

MouseLovinMom
01-23-2010, 08:20 AM
We also loved our Xcaret excursion. It's a big place with many activities/events, some that continue well into the evening. While it's not possible to do everything, we were able to do alot during the time we were there. The underground tunnels were amazing. They also have lovely grounds/trails with a few surprises along the way (like the manatees).

As a pp mentioned, there are guides available for the whole day. We tend to prefer to go off on our own, so we spoke to the guides upon arrival and made arrangements to meet the group prior to departure and away we went. Several other families chose to do the same, the guides were not in the least bit offended.

They have a sit down restaurant that overlooks the dolphin pool. We decided to have lunch there (note that the the lunch tickets don't work there). It wasn't terribly expensive, though. We enjoyed it, and didn't feel like it cut our day short.

All in all, a spectacular day. We would do this one again in a heartbeat.

pugmom626
01-23-2010, 08:41 AM
Definately do Xcaret! We were there in August and are going back in February. It's gorgeous and impecably clean. The 4 hours aren't enough to see and do everything, but you can get alot done. They will give you a map of the park on the bus so you can plan the things you want to get to. The dolphin swim, shark swim, any scuba/snuba cost extra and have to be reserved ahead of time. I would think that if you had additional reservations for those things, you would not have enough time to explore. We had originally planned on paying for the better restaurant, but when we found out it was a buffet (this was during the high point of the swine flu panic) we opted for the burger/hot dog/salad lunch that the coupons cover. It was suprisingly good! Don't miss the bird hatchery and garden on the way out; it's to the right of the main exit so it's easy to catch it on the way out.

TinksDH
01-23-2010, 09:56 AM
We did enjoy it, but felt that we missed a lot due to the short time. After you do the underwater river and get your belongings, you don't have that much time considering you have to get a meal in there. We swam and snorkeled and figured we'd "leisurely" look at the things the other posters talked about on the way out. However, we were having so much fun in the water by the time we collected our stuff and began making our way back to the meeting point (the entrance), we ended up having to run and saw NOTHING! We could have easily spent twice the amount of time there.

The other issue is that it takes a bit to get there and back. You get off the boat, jump on a high-speed ferry that takes you to the mainland, walk through the town a bit to get on a bus, then take a bus to the facility. All of that really eats into your time. We'd probably do it again if/when we go back though!

Here are some shots:

High-speed ferry:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2088/2299463256_aa485a2f12.jpg


Walking through the town to the busses:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3252/2298675233_8dc1798183.jpg


Us and our DCL guide. Note that everyone has a sticker on, indicating to the guide that we are all in her group. They do a good job escorting you around.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3197/2298675947_19c73f9da2.jpg


This store cracked me up! A one-stop shop!!
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3171/2299494286_171a4485a4.jpg


Our bus. They are all brightly colored.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3131/2299500600_b8a34c2132.jpg


Inside the bus. They are nice vehicles:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2243/2298704735_ab372d6c7c.jpg


Restaurant near the entrance. This is NOT one of the places you can use your dining coupons.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3203/2299504744_acfc855132.jpg


Inside the underground river looking up:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2131/2298750295_995c49bfbf.jpg


Restaurant on the beach. This is one you can eat at. Good food:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2415/2299522444_d69b376122.jpg


Near one of the swimming areas:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2327/2298713241_44813433e7.jpg


Swimming area that leads out to the ocean. We have little kids, so didn't use this area but swam in a snorkeling lagoon. It's hard to see but there is a nice beach off to the left.:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3265/2298718295_66088a9c1c.jpg


The swimming/snorkeling area we stayed at. It open a lot to the left and is much bigger than it looks.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2341/2298720451_5cc7bcdf15.jpg


We saw quite a few fish! This is my then 6 year old snorkeling. She did great!
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3120/2299526170_791b2305a8.jpg


Area right near the cruise terminal in Cozumel. There is quite a bit of shopping there. My wife got this beautiful silver and amber cross pendant in one of the stores. They love to haggle prices, and even though we got a great price, I'm sure they still made some $$. Also a good place to pick up cheapo souvies and then jump right back on the ship:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2389/2299539468_d752604e96.jpg

Tinkermom3
01-23-2010, 11:18 AM
We did enjoy it, but felt that we missed a lot due to the short time. After you do the underwater river and get your belongings, you don't have that much time considering you have to get a meal in there. We swam and snorkeled and figured we'd "leisurely" look at the things the other posters talked about on the way out. However, we were having so much fun in the water by the time we collected our stuff and began making our way back to the meeting point (the entrance), we ended up having to run and saw NOTHING! We could have easily spent twice the amount of time there.

The other issue is that it takes a bit to get there and back. You get off the boat, jump on a high-speed ferry that takes you to the mainland, walk through the town a bit to get on a bus, then take a bus to the facility. All of that really eats into your time. We'd probably do it again if/when we go back though!


Area right near the cruise terminal in Cozumel. There is quite a bit of shopping there. My wife got this beautiful silver and amber cross pendant in one of the stores. They love to haggle prices, and even though we got a great price, I'm sure they still made some $$. Also a good place to pick up cheapo souvies and then jump right back on the ship:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2389/2299539468_d752604e96.jpg

Here is a link to a detailed report on Xcaret that I wrote after our cruise. I apolgize in advance because the photos will be mostly the same as above as I am TinksDH's wife. ;)

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1744419&highlight=Xcaret

ScarlettinWonderland
01-23-2010, 01:13 PM
Thank you so much everyone! And thank you TinksDH for those great pics and trip report! I think we are definitely going to give it a try.:)