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Old 12-26-2012, 05:43 PM   #1
tgropp
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Tropicante excursion at Costa maya

I know this has been talked about before but I would like to get peoples experiences at the Tropicante. I see that it is a two minute taxi ride from the dock. Is it a resort? Is it an all inclusive price? Was it worth it? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:00 PM   #2
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We just went on 12/21. we had a great time. You have to leave the port area to get the cheap taxis. It's not hard, just leave the mall area. We paid $4 plus $2 tip to get there, another couple paid $20!
If you email Steve he will save you chairs and give you directions. It's cash only. It wasn't busy at all the day we were there. Everyone went to the ruins and there was only our boat. We sat by the beach and had like 3 waiters. The water was nice and there weren't that many people trying to sell stuff, plus the waiters tried to keep them away.
We spend about $160, but $70 of that was for our massages. It's $25 for 1 hour, DH and I both had one. It's right on the beach. We each had 4 drinks and ate lunch. He has free wifi and I was able to use his phone a few times. I couldn't get any one to answer. Steve was super nice. He is from Dallas.
http://www.sandalsandskis.com/Tropicante.html


Maya Chen looks a bit nicer. But we would have spend more since massages are more. we had two chairs, a table, and umbrella. We went in to eat lunch since it rained for a bit. I didn't know about Maya Chen till we got back. If you don't plan to get massages, or plan to drink more it may be worth to go there. We got there about 10:30. Had massages first, so by then it was noon and we left at 4. Boat was leaving at 5.

http://www.costamayabeachresort.com/
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:51 PM   #3
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We just got off of the Panama Canal cruise and I was like you, a little unsure of what the Tropicante was. We went to the ruins for $150 for 5 of us and the taxi driver dropped us off at the boardwalk area where the Tropicante is located. The Tropicante is a little hole in the wall restaurant. We had tacos from a neighboring restaurant, they were good but overpriced at $7. We had full use of the chairs tables and beach area with that one plate of tacos. I preferred the beach in front of the Tropicante to the rockier beach near the boardwalk area that's closer to the ship. Then we paid $2 per person to get back to the ship.
The taxi driver did ask us why so many people were asking to go to the Tropicante! It's not that special to the locals in the area.
We plan to do something similar next time we go to Costa Maya, we loved it!
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:56 PM   #4
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Tropicante prices. Chips and salsa were free, guac was $6 and it was sooo good. DH had two HUGE steak sandwhiches for $10. I had sour cream enchilada for $10 and it was really good. Margaritas were $4.
It is a hole in the wall, but we had a great time.
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:11 PM   #5
love280mickey
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may sound silly, I know, but do you need to worry about the water or ice, such as in the margaritas?
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:57 PM   #6
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we didn't worry about it and we didn't get sick. You could always ask Steve when you email him. I just really liked he was there when we got there and he hung out all day. he will email you right back.
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by love280mickey View Post
may sound silly, I know, but do you need to worry about the water or ice, such as in the margaritas?
Not at all. Steve was very quick to assure us that he purchases purified water and ice, and that all of the produce is washed in purified water.

A word of advice: the Tropicante waiters will all be wearing Tropicante t-shirts. When we arrived, the waiters were all out on the beach at that particular moment. We weren't exactly who to check in with, so we were just kind of waiting in front of the restaurant. One of the waiters from a neighboring restaurant tried to take advantage of this and waive us over to "his" section of the beach. DH fell for it and I had to get him back on track, as I had noticed the shirts right away.

The massage I had was terrific. The ladies are employed by Tropicante, so the charge just gets added onto your restaurant tab. Tips for the therapists are at your discretion.

Overall, we spent under $100 (including cab fare & the massage) for the five of us for the afternoon. It's not a luxury resort setting by any means, but it was friendly and relaxing and we had a really nice time with some good food. I would go there again.






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Old 12-27-2012, 04:38 AM   #8
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I am struggling with this decision. I have reservations for early April, but am worried it may be too authentic for my mom. It seems like a good value, though. Since port time is so short we may just stay at the port pool and hit the beach in Grand Cayman instead although I don't know where.

I looked at Maya Chan and it looks wonderful. Just not as much of a value for us. I don't think I want to spend $145 for a beach break for two adults and two children.
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Old 12-27-2012, 11:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by havaneselover View Post
I am struggling with this decision. I have reservations for early April, but am worried it may be too authentic for my mom. It seems like a good value, though. Since port time is so short we may just stay at the port pool and hit the beach in Grand Cayman instead although I don't know where.

I looked at Maya Chan and it looks wonderful. Just not as much of a value for us. I don't think I want to spend $145 for a beach break for two adults and two children.
I think your mom will like it. Steve is there onsite and they had hamburgers and other regular food to eat as well. we were only there 9-5, but didn't get off till 10 and went back at 4 and we had a great time. The food was really cheap and really good. DH and I should have shared his 2 huge steak sandwhiches, but my meal was really good too. The massage was amazing.
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:09 PM   #10
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We went to Tropicante the first week of November and had a great time! It was myself, husband and my parents. Everything was exactly how Steve said in his email and he was very friendly. We all ate and drank for $80, including tip. If you want a relaxing day on the beach with yummy food and drink, I think it's the best way to go. We would definitely go again.
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:45 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by havaneselover View Post
I am struggling with this decision. I have reservations for early April, but am worried it may be too authentic for my mom. It seems like a good value, though. Since port time is so short we may just stay at the port pool and hit the beach in Grand Cayman instead although I don't know where.

I looked at Maya Chan and it looks wonderful. Just not as much of a value for us. I don't think I want to spend $145 for a beach break for two adults and two children.
Not exactly sure what you mean by "authentic", but I will try to address what I think your concerns might be....

On the very short cab ride you will see poverty. Not like children running naked in the streets poverty, but more like people living in poorly constructed shacks poverty. I used this as a teaching opportunity for my children. We never at any time felt threatened or scared.

Both cab drivers were very nice. It was $2 per person each way. Well, it was supposed to be anyway....one of the drivers kept trying to give DH $2 change back for his $10 bill. There were 5 of us....

The food at Tropicante is Americanized. DH & I shared nachos. The kids shared quesadillas and onion rings. We ordered a half dozen cans of soda. We were served our food right in our chairs on the beach. Our waiter spoke English, and Steve was always nearby, making the rounds. You can stay as long or short as you want. When you are ready to leave, the waiter will bring your bill and tell you exactly where to go to catch a cab back to the port.

The restrooms in the restaurant were not fancy or pristine, but they weren't smelly or disgusting by any means. They had flushing toilets, sinks with running water, toilet paper, paper towels. There are bins with lids in each stall that they ask you to put toilet paper into, rather than flushing it. The sinks didn't have pipes, but instead had corrugated hoses. One of them had a leak so that when you turned on the water, your feet got washed as well....we decided to laugh it off as part of the experience.

The beach itself was very nice for the kids. The water is shallow. There is a barrier reef a little ways out that makes the beach area virtually free of waves. We had to drag the kids out of the water to eat lunch.

Since you have kids, I do want to comment about the pool area at the port. We let the kids spend about 20 minutes there on the way back to the ship. The area closest to the shops is very shallow and has some small fountains. The deeper areas suitable for swimming are closer to all of the swim up bars that surround a good portion of the pool, so of course, that's where our kids kept gravitating. One of the bars had this thing going on where they mix drinks directly into the patron's mouth. The cocktail was "mixed" by the female bartender shaking and fondling the patron's chest (not sure a more accurate description would pass the board's filter). All of this was accompanied by the bartender blowing an obnoxious coach's whistle the whole time. I'm not sure how my children managed to not notice this, but I'm so glad they didn't. It certainly (that day anyway) seemed to be more of a party pool than a family pool, which is why we didn't stay there too long. There also aren't any lounge chairs to just hang out by the pool. There is a ledge surrounding the pool that you can sit on, but it wasn't comfortable for too long.
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:54 PM   #12
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We did it and enjoyed it! You will be hit up by street vendors as you hang out, but just say no nicely and they will not bug you, its how they make a living, I could go on but there are TONs of threads on this forum about this subject and all with great reviews.

Also just to clarify, this is NOT a Disney excursion.
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