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RCCL - Chankanaab Day Pass with Lunch and Drinks


wido78
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We will be in port this coming July on the Wonder of the Seas and recently booked this excursion.

 

I was also contemplating booking a cabana at Cabana Beach.  Curious if the bar that is close to Cabana beach is included in the "drink pass" that is provided with RCCL excursion.

 

Also curious as to any other feedback on Chankanaab or Cabana Beach.

 

Thanks in advance.

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Posted (edited)
30 minutes ago, wido78 said:

We will be in port this coming July on the Wonder of the Seas and recently booked this excursion.

 

I was also contemplating booking a cabana at Cabana Beach.  Curious if the bar that is close to Cabana beach is included in the "drink pass" that is provided with RCCL excursion.

 

Also curious as to any other feedback on Chankanaab or Cabana Beach.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Cabana beach is at the far end of Chankanaab.

 

Look at a park map and you will see the locations. The lunch is at the restaurant by the pool. Unless you got a good sale price (we booked it once for that reason and it includes taxi fare) on the excursion i wouldn’t buy both.


You need to do the math - you are paying twice for entrance.
 

It is quite simple to go to Chankanaab independently. Cabana Beach prices have increased significantly since cruising resumed. You can always go into the park to pick which location you eat at if you don’t want to buy from the Cabana location. I am not sure if Cabana pass entitles you to use the pool if that is important - you have to be careful what is included in its limited park access - it is a discounted pass but has reduced amenities.

 

The cruise ship excursion is limited to one plate from the buffet. It is adequate but nothing special. Some people complain. Unless ye excursion price is good I would just go independently and pick my own food and drink or book through Cabana and arrange your own taxi. If I remember correctly the pass is 2 - 3 drinks?(ETA I see it is unlimited from a limited menu.)

 

Several recent reviews on this forum through the search engine.

Edited by c-leg5
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  • 3 weeks later...

We just visited Chankanaab on our own -- not with the excursion.  I'd recommend you drop the excursion and go this route: 

 

- We docked at the International Pier and caught a taxi, which is very easy:  Walk through the shops -- I think they had signs because we had zero trouble finding our way to the taxi station.  Taxis were waiting in line and an expediter was organizing people -- you can't go wrong.  A big board lists the taxi prices, so you know you're not going to get ripped off. 

- Tickets are available at the door.  I think it was $25/adult -- it was just us /no kids. 

- When we left (in the pouring rain) again taxis a-plenty were waiting for us and an expediter was organizing people -- sending big groups to vans, couples to smaller taxis. 

- NO REASON to pay anyone to organize an excursion for this trip. 

 

Although it poured rain for half our visit, we absolutely loved Chankanaab and would go back in a heartbeat.  Details: 

 

- They have loads of nice loungers along the beach -- hammocks too -- you can find sun or shade.  We didn't even consider a paid spot. 

- The ocean, however, is rough and not child-appropriate.  You have to take stairs down into the water.  Or jump off the dock.  EXCEPT for a small inlet of ocean water where children could play.  They also have a fairly large pool.  Someone above questioned access to the pool -- it isn't closed off in any way; if you're in the park, you will have access to the pool.  

- We enjoyed the Sea Lion show and agreed we'd love to bring our grandson back to see it.  

- We enjoyed the walking trail and the replica Mayan village -- that was a highlight for us.  

- Because we'd been eating so much on the ship, we only had drinks -- they were good and prices were reasonable.  Since it rained and we left early, I'm glad we didn't pay for food ahead of time.  Multiple bars are placed along the beach -- one with big swings instead of chairs.  

- We didn't see the dolphins or use the kayaks, but those things (and more) are available.  The pouring rain made us cut our trip short; we would've taken advantage of more, if not for that.  

- The large bath house was clean.  I noticed they have showers.  

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1 hour ago, Mum2Mercury said:

We just visited Chankanaab on our own -- not with the excursion.  I'd recommend you drop the excursion and go this route: 


Glad you enjoyed your day.

 

We held off going to Chankanaab for years because of the entrance charge. We have lots of other places with free access that we enjoy. However we finally went a few years ago because a grandchild had an activity they wanted to do there. The family went through the ship, to include the activity, and we joined them independently, similar to what you did and it is very easy. I was pleasantly surprised by the location and facilities.

 

A few points I would add to your review. There is generally an online voucher which gives a few $$ pp off the entrance fee available which you might look for next time if you didn’t find it this time. 
 

Different passes allow access to various facilities within the park and I think this is where the confusion with pool passes may arise. Some of the activities and concession stands within the park are third-party so different armbands allow access, or not, depending on type of pass purchased, for example via dolphins, snuba or Cabana Beach vendors. I agree the pool is not physically roped off and I am sure some people access, when officially they shouldn’t, but there have also been cases where people have been asked to buy concessions from that venue or leave.

 

Cabana Beach is purchased independently (not through the ship) but directly from the vendor. I am not sure if you can purchase at the main entrance if one of the cabanas is vacant. 
 

One last point to consider. We have since been totally independently, and via a package from the ship. SOMETIMES (when there is a sale) booking through the ship can be cheaper since it includes return taxi fare so worth checking and doing the math.

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Thank you very much for the feedback and thoughts.

 

I am curious if anyone that has booked the excursion through RCCL as to how the free drinks work?

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6 minutes ago, wido78 said:

Thank you very much for the feedback and thoughts.

 

I am curious if anyone that has booked the excursion through RCCL as to how the free drinks work?


My daughter had the package but doesn’t drink much. I believe she had to use the main buffet near reception and possibly pool for drinks but I don’t think she would have gone out of her way to search for drinks so there may be more possibilities. 
 

Hopefully someone will have a more definitive answer, or you can find a video review or blog.

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On 5/19/2024 at 11:42 AM, c-leg5 said:

One last point to consider. We have since been totally independently, and via a package from the ship. SOMETIMES (when there is a sale) booking through the ship can be cheaper since it includes return taxi fare so worth checking and doing the math.

I always watch my pennies (which is why I have dollars), so I checked this out:  

- If you were to book this ship excursion today, it'd cost $50.99/pp -- we all know those prices go up and down.  As of today, 2 people could go for $102 through the ship -- that'd include transportation, admission, lunch and drinks.  The works.  

- In contrast, going on your own would cost those same people two $15 taxi rides + two $25 entrance tickets -- $80 (they might print that $2 off coupon and make it $76).  If you were to add a small lunch and a couple drinks, you'd be at that same $100-ish price.  

- The price for going through the ship vs. going on your is is pretty close for a couple.  

 

BUT I see a couple "your mileage may varies": 

- If your party is larger, going on your own starts to look better because you won't pay any more for those extra people to ride in the taxi.  A family of four could go on their own for $130 + food and drink, whereas 4 people going through the ship would cost $204.  Big savings for going on your own.  

- Consumption of food and drink will vary widely.  The prices are reasonable (and viewable online), but some people (especially in the heat) would opt for a big breakfast on the ship and just snacks.  You'd have to judge for yourself how much you're likely to spend on food and drink.  

- And the biggest detail:  The cruise line's excursion is short -- 8:30 - 11:30.  You'd barely be able to scratch the surface of what Chankanaab offers!  The ship doesn't sail until 5:00 or 6:00, so why not spend more time at the park?  

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13 hours ago, Mum2Mercury said:

I always watch my pennies (which is why I have dollars), so I checked this out:  

- If you were to book this ship excursion today, it'd cost $50.99/pp -- we all know those prices go up and down.  As of today, 2 people could go for $102 through the ship -- that'd include transportation, admission, lunch and drinks.  The works.  

- In contrast, going on your own would cost those same people two $15 taxi rides + two $25 entrance tickets -- $80 (they might print that $2 off coupon and make it $76).  If you were to add a small lunch and a couple drinks, you'd be at that same $100-ish price.  

- The price for going through the ship vs. going on your is is pretty close for a couple.  

 

BUT I see a couple "your mileage may varies": 

- If your party is larger, going on your own starts to look better because you won't pay any more for those extra people to ride in the taxi.  A family of four could go on their own for $130 + food and drink, whereas 4 people going through the ship would cost $204.  Big savings for going on your own.  

- Consumption of food and drink will vary widely.  The prices are reasonable (and viewable online), but some people (especially in the heat) would opt for a big breakfast on the ship and just snacks.  You'd have to judge for yourself how much you're likely to spend on food and drink.  

- And the biggest detail:  The cruise line's excursion is short -- 8:30 - 11:30.  You'd barely be able to scratch the surface of what Chankanaab offers!  The ship doesn't sail until 5:00 or 6:00, so why not spend more time at the park?  


 

You make some valid points.

 

Not trying to be argumentative but just to clarify a couple of points:

 

Whilst in your example for the couple, the overall cost is similar, the quantity is considerably less for the independent. The admission price has gone up from a few years ago and although  I haven’t seen any current menus prices posted, I am guessing, from our experience previously, you would be hard pressed to get even two small lunches and four drinks (amount for two people, for the $22 that you allowed). Whether you would prefer your own drinks and lunch choice is an entirely different matter to be considered. 
 

$50pp for the shore excursion is good value in my opinion and would certainly be worth considering. The decision needs to be assessed each time based on value to the individual. We have done both at different times.


And the biggest detail:  The cruise line's excursion is short -- 8:30 - 11:30.  You'd barely be able to scratch the surface of what Chankanaab offers!  The ship doesn't sail until 5:00 or 6:00, so why not spend more time at the park?  

 

With regards to time, I agree if my excursion started at 8.30am I would like to spend longer at the park to take advantage of all there is to offer. Also given the wasted time “gathering” for ship excursions you could get there earlier if you just went outside and grabbed your own taxi.  However, ship transport is via taxi vans. For my daughter return time was flexible and not a dedicated time slot. Some excursions start later so the return taxis are filled and dispatched on a regular basis. Of course it would be advisable to check with shore excursions if this is still the case and inform your guide you would not be leaving until later, but my guess is worst case scenario you would need to pay independently for a later taxi, additional $15. I imagine the lunch and drink package may have a 4-hour limit, (which I have seen with other AI excursions) but I am really not sure if that is monitored by different colored wrist bands.

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I just checked the price online, making sure to emphasize May 2024.  It's $21/pp at the gate.  I thought we paid $25/pp last fall, but I guess I was wrong.  With the coupon it'd be $19/pp.  

 

I don't know why they make their menus so hard to find -- if you click "images", you can find them.  I'm including a link here.  Entrees run 8-15, bottled water was $2, and beer was about $4.  We bought a couple cans of beer and brought them back on the ship.  Personally, we didn't order food -- we'd been eating plenty on the ship for days, and we'd had a big breakfast.  

 

I agree you could stay later /catch a taxi (on your own dime) to return later, but would that throw off the transportation for your fellow cruisers?  That is, would the busses /vans /whatever be waiting for you?  

Menu.jpg

CHak.webp

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Thank you to everyone for the replies and information.

 

In chatting with RCCL, it appears that the 8:30 - 11:30 excursion time is actually when the "pickups" occur at the Pier to take you to the park.

 

I also learned via a recent video review on YT that the food and drinks that are included are only at one specific restaurant and you can't even take the drinks out of the restaurant with you.  So... it looks like it is probably time to cancel the excursion, grab a taxi and enjoy the day in the cabana that I selected.

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2 hours ago, wido78 said:

Thank you to everyone for the replies and information.

 

In chatting with RCCL, it appears that the 8:30 - 11:30 excursion time is actually when the "pickups" occur at the Pier to take you to the park.

 

I also learned via a recent video review on YT that the food and drinks that are included are only at one specific restaurant and you can't even take the drinks out of the restaurant with you.  So... it looks like it is probably time to cancel the excursion, grab a taxi and enjoy the day in the cabana that I selected.


I agree, as I posted above I see little point in booking the ship excursion AND  Cabana Beach since you are doubling up on a lot of charges. 
 

I did state that lunch was limited to the buffet which is at the restaurant at the other end of Chankanaab from Cabana Beach. Locations for drinks is certainly limited (since I think some of the concessions are third party) but I don’t recall my daughter being limited to drinking within the restaurant. I think she could also get them around the pool?
 

I am not sure that whoever you spoke to at RCCL is entirely correct regarding excursion times - there are generally multiple excursions including various activities, - I think even the day pass usually had two starting times when we booked it.  Again if you are booking through Cabana, easy enough to get your own taxi on your own schedule. 
 

One thing to remember, Cabana has an extra discounted fee, in addition to the cabana rental. The discounted fee entitles you to restricted facilities within the park but personally for the few hours of a shore excursion I would probably choose to stay mainly in the cabana area anyway given the price of the cabana. 
 

This thread includes the link from Chankanaab 

 

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