I just got back from one of the most amazing vacations.
The bf and I just got back from a Royal Caribbean Cruise to Mexico! It was a 5-night cruise aboard the Independence of the Seas. We had so much fun on and off the ship. We have cruised multiple times before, but this was the biggest ship we had ever been on! There was a million different things to do – even a mini golf course, full basketball court, and ice skating rink on the ship!
- Bring Dramamine or another anti-nausea medicine. This was our third cruise, and every time I’ve felt the boat rocking. This trip we felt the boat almost every night! Dramamine kicks in really quickly and helps with the dizziness and nausea.
- Buy the deluxe drink package. If you purchase the drink package before your trip, it’s $44/day. This includes unlimited alcoholic drinks, bottled water, and premium coffee. Trust me, it’s worth the piece of mind.
- Choose the later dinner time! You can usually choose to have dinner at 6 pm or 8 pm every night. While 8 pm may seem late, 6 o’clock is going to be way too early during the days your at the ports.
Our first stop was Costa Maya, Mexico. Costa Maya is the port that was built near Tulum and Quintana Roo specifically to attract tourism. The port is really beautiful and has a beach and pool where you can spend the day, plus some shopping and restaurants. We had done a lot of research before hand and most people said that it’s best to find a beach club near the port to spend the day. The beach clubs are usually all-inclusive with one flat fee for the day. We made reservations at Almaplena Hotel Eco Beach Resort in Tulum. I HIGHLY recommend making reservations here if you’re looking for a secluded and relaxing beach day. The hotel is absolutely gorgeous and the beach is breathtaking! The staff make you feel like you’re the only people there, and are so welcoming. Pictures really don’t even do it justice! We spent the entire day there, just relaxing in our own private cabana. The staff brought over whatever we needed and let us know when our lunch was ready. For lunch, they provided a delicious 4-course meal, all included.
We loved the location and the hotel SO MUCH, we are considering planning another vacation and staying at Almaplena, our entire trip.
- Make sure to make your reservation as early as you can, they only take 10 people per day! *They want to make sure they can give you the best service and experience.*
- The hotel is 20-25 minutes from the cruise port, and in the middle of the jungle. (Not a joke). Don’t be alarmed that you’ll be driving on a dusty, secluded back road for most of the trip.
- Bring snorkeling gear! There is an amazing reef not too far off shore. You can rent snorkeling gear from the hotel as well.
Our second stop was Cozumel, Mexico. The port in Cozumel is very different from the port in Costa Maya. The port in Cozumel is much older and there isn’t much to do other than shop. We took a cab to the center of town which offered more authentic shopping from local vendors. We stopped for lunch at Pancho’s Backyard Restaurant; they have THE BEST guacamole and beef taquitos. Cozumel is an island, but the beach was far from the port, so we went in search of a spot to get some drinks on the water.
We stumbled upon a little restaurant called Fratelli’s, to get some drinks. The water was so blue and tranquil! There are many different bars and beach clubs on the water between the port and center of town. Some require a reservation, and some require I set price for the beach club. Fratelli’s patio sat right on the water and was open air so you could enjoy the beautiful breeze. There is also a small beach next to the bar that you could swim in, and the staff will bring your drinks down to the water for you.
- Bring small bills. Negotiating with cab drivers and street vendors is very common, make sure to bring lots of small bills so you don’t have to ask for change. *American dollars are accepted basically everywhere.*
- Most of the shops in the port only sell jewelry and touristy stuff. You can take a $7 taxi into the center of town where you will find authentic local treasures.
- DONT DRINK THE WATER – even if they say they use filtered water, it’s best to not get any drink with ice, frozen drinks or water unless it’s in a bottle. My boyfriend learned that the hard way this trip.
If you have any questions about our trip, or booking your own trip, leave a comment below!
Thanks for stopping by! Court xoxo
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