Favorite thing: One of the best places for information on what to do in various ports is
Cruise Critic. The Cruise Critic Cozumel forum board was very useful in planning shore excursions, whether the ones offered by the ship or independent, and there is also Cozumel port information with hints on where to go, what to do, where the ships dock, where to eat and how to get around.
To find out how many other cruise ships will be in town along with you, check
Cruisett.com. The more ships in town, the more competition for independent guides and tours and the more crowded the main attractions will be.
Cozumel has three piers, all on the western side of the island. Punta Langosta is right in downtown San Miguel, the International Pier is about 1.5 miles from San Miguel and Carnival Corp.'s Puerta Maya is about 2 mile from San Miguel (Cruise Critic's port guide says 5 miles but that doesn't make any sense based on the location of the International Pier which wasn't that far from our pier.)
Cozumel is a very popular stop on a number of routes, Sunday seems to be the only day without at least one cruise ship and there can be as many as six. We had five in port the day we were there but we didn't go into town so it didn't seem crowded at all to us.
Favorite thing: Cozumel's beaches is one of the best in the world- it offers great beaches for swimming, snorkelling, diving, boating...
The water in Cozumel is so inviting and sparkles under the blue sky on a sunny weather! The sea breeze is just about right lulling you to sleep if you prefer to just sit down and relax on the beach.
The sand is so white and smooth- you can just lay down there after dipping in the warm waters of Cozumel!
There's the wildlife to do like bird-watching and spotting birds' nests all over the mangrove and forests on the beach, seeing the crocodile farm and spotting wild turtles laying their eggs on the soft white sand.
There are so many things to do on the beach: you can have a massage right there and sleep under the sun or just relax and read a book on a covered hammock on the beach. Go to sleep right there and being lulled by the music of the repeated sounds of the waves with the breeze fanning your body as you go further to a deeper sleep.
- Diving and Snorkeling
- Family Travel
Birds of the Beach
Favorite thing: The Mayans believed that Cozumel was the spiritual home of Ixchel, the Mayan Goddess of fertility and love. The name Cozumel comes from the Mayan word "Cuzamil-Pectin" or "Land of the Swallows" because, as legend has it, she thanked the women for dedicating temples here to her by sending her favorite bird as a sign of gratitude.
Fondest memory: I got a photo of a rosette spoonbill, and a black vulture (photo 4) plus a little blue heron (photo 2) and a couple other birds. When we came in the building near there looked like it had a vulture nest on top, or at any rate there was a couple of vultures up there, one of which was holding his wings out. But the vultures had left by the time we came back.
There are two species of birds on Cozumel found nowhere else in the world: the Cozumel vireo and the Cozumel thrasher. I don't think we saw either of them although the bird in photo 5 might be a candidate.
- National/State Park
Cozumel is sooo pretty...
Favorite thing: We love to just walk up & down that main strip in Cozumel. We shop at all the little places along the way & usually eat at this little place that is outside by the big flag. I can't remember the name of it but it has yellow awnings & umbrellas. The food is really good there. We also ate at Palmeras & had a wonderful dining experience there.
When we go back in July, we plan to finally eat at Panchos Backyard. We've heard alot of good reviews about that restaurant.
Fondest memory: The first time we went to Cozumel, we booked an all inclusive Beach Break. We were taken to Nachi Cocom & it was a wonderful day. There weren't but about 10-15 people there & everybody was spread out so that we had a very big piece of the beach all to ourselves. The waiters were constantly bringing drinks & checking on our needs. We ate the most wonderful meal. There was a big swimming pool with a swim up bar & a heated jacuzy(?sp). It was a good day. The bus was there right on time to pick us up so that we could get some shopping in before going back to the ship.
Favorite thing: Cozumel is the largest island in Mexico with one existing town called San Miguel on the edge of the Caribbean. The central plaza, has several memorials to Benito Juarez, the famed Mexican statesman and national hero. To the west is the downtown pier, where ferries depart for Playa del Carmen and the Mayan ruins on the mainland.
This is a Cozumel website
Fondest memory: Sunday evening in the square is the best place for 'people watching' or dancing. A free open air concert in the town's band shell.. starts at 8 pm.
I did some shopping and bought a little picture at an open air stand for my daugher-in-law. There was a long line of toys on one side of the square (third photo) which I assume was connected to the Christmas celebrations.
- Budget Travel
- Historical Travel
- Family Travel
Favorite thing: If Cozumel is a port stop on your cruise, don't worry about a thing. There is at least one restaurant where the water can be drank without fear. Your cruise concierge should know the details.
There is a town square with many shops to browse. The greatest thing about Cozumel is that it's so small, the locals know when the place is overrun by cruiser passengers and even know the time you need to be back on board. They'll come and get you from your drunken stupor and whisk you away in taxis to so you all make your ship's curfew just in time.
Plan Your Time Wisely in Cozumel
Favorite thing: Most stores and street vendors open at 9 am and close at 5 pm. Most tourist restaurants (Carlos n Charlie's, Senor Frog, Hard Rock Cafe, Subway, Burger King, The Shrimp Bucket) open at 10 am and close at either 5 pm (just food) or late at night (if they have a bar). Ask your host/hostess the day before if you want to eat an early breakfast or a decent late dinner. They can probably guide you to a place that is open at the time you want. The best times to visit "party" places like Carlos n Charlie's and Senor Frog are between 11 am and 4 pm, when the cruise ship tourists are flocking in, and late at night on Friday and Saturday (or so we were told). It's amazing how dead the "party" restaurants are at all other times (for those who are trying to avoid the crowds).
You may fish, swim, and snorkel any time you want. The private beaches (which are usually free or $5 to get in as long as you eat and drink there) are busiest during the day hours when the cruise ship tourists are hanging out. If you want to see lots of hard bodies and buxom beauties, 10 am to 3 pm is your timeframe. If you'd prefer to have a relatively quiet beach to yourself, visit outside of those times. This information is for Cozumel; Playa del Carmen beaches may be different.
- Budget Travel
After the storm
Favorite thing: I was in Cozumel this November, 2005. I must tell you that the Hurricanes have stripped all the leaves off of the trees and out from the city looks barren. There was not a single Commercial flight the entire day I was there. The piers for the large ships are not ready yet. They are using the Ferries to transport tourists into the docks.
Downtown is amaxing in what they have accomplished. I talked to an Expat from Denver, Colorado who told me about the rebuilding. There was 10 feet plus of trash and debris on the main drag after the hurricanes. The clean up and rebuilding is nothing short of miraculous. The shops are open again although the Mall is not yet open as of my visit. It is close to opening though. The side walks are being widned and the utilities are being placed underground which will go a long way to making the waterfront more attractive. They have a ways to go but the Mayor is progressive and it shows.
Other buildings off of the main drag are the same as before. You are not certain whether the damage was from the Hurricanes or lack of good construction methods. Beyond the main drag it is the same as previous trips.
Enjoy but do not look for it to be back to speed till a year from now.
Favorite thing: That's why you're on vacation, right?! As the Island of Cozumel is quite small, it is very relaxing and laid back. Sure, you can take part in lots of activities put on by the Animation Team at your resort, or you can choose to relax under a palapa and read a book for an entire week.
Fondest memory: Playing in the waves, and watching the beautiful sunsets, cocktail in hand.
- Family Travel
Favorite thing: This fish lies under coral formations in fairly shallow water (10 m). They have dark and light grey stripes on their faces and bodies, but bright yellow flesh inside their mouths and on their fins. In addition, they have barbels, or "whiskers" all along the bottom edge of their jaw. They are an odd mix of striking beauty and surprising ugliness. The Splendid Toadfish is endemic to Cozumel.
What a wonderful place to be.
Favorite thing: Eat a lot of pico and chips and drink a lot of beer. They taste better on an island.
Take a plane to Chichen Itza for 1/2 a day its truely incredible.
Go diving, this is the dive capitol of the world
If you cant dive, snorkle.
go into town when there arent any cruise ships, drive to the east side of the island when there are a lot of cruise ships.
visit the cozumel ruins, they arent the best but we had fun.
Favorite thing: Small Sport Deck is the place where you will find the Aerobics Room, and men and women saunas. The facilities are rather small and were crowded first day, but later became quite tolerable. Passengers can choose from a variety of exercise classes daily, ranging from aerobics to stretching. A fee is charged for some classes.
- Family Travel
Favorite thing: The Lido deck is the place where the guests spent most of their daytime during sailing days. There is a swimming pool and hot tub in the center of the deck with the adjusting bars. The deck has live music(the Cool Calypso Band still sounds in my ears) and a 115-foot-long cascading waterslide coming down from the Verandah deck.
Fondest memory: The casual Seaview Bar & Grill serves buffet-style breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Here you will find some good meats, seafood, fruits, pastries etc. In the middle of the area are two machines dispensing ice cream and fat-free yogurt. Seaview restaurant is also the location of the ship’s 24-hour pizzeria, serving salad and Italian specialties around the clock.
- Family Travel
Favorite thing: Promenade Deck was our another favorite. The Sensation Boulevard promenade stretches the length of Promenade Deck. As you can see on the pictures, the area has a Roman design theme, and many of the ship’s popular bars and lounges surround the area. The Roman-styled Michelangelo's bar offered live music and dancing most nights (beware of smoking).
Fondest memory: Club Vegas Casino offered over 200 slot machines and large variety of table games, including blackjack, poker, and roulette. Don’t expect to win fortune here though. The Kaleidoscope Dance Club is another popular spot (mostly for young people) due to its late-night disco dancing.
- Family Travel
Favorite thing: Atlantic Deck is one of the most popular decks on the ship. First of all, two dining rooms are here: Ecstasy and Fantasy. Both serve dinner in two assigned seatings, along with open-seating breakfast and lunch. Our table 115 was next to the window offering fantastic ocean view. We had late sitting for dinner (8:30 PM). Tables hold anywhere from four to 10 passengers.
Second popular place on the deck was the two-level Fantasia Show Lounge. Fantasia has seating for over 1,300 passengers. On second night it featured extravagant Las Vegas-style revues with state-of-the-art sound and lighting. They repeat main show twice – for the 1st and 2nd seatings but I would suggest to come earlier to get better seats in the center - some sideline seats have obstructed views. The Oak Room library on the deck lends books and board games free of charge (but you have to check in using your card). The library accommodates 43 travelers. Atlantic Deck also has the ship's small Card Room – most of the time numerous groups held their meeting there but the room was popular with board- and card-game enthusiasts too.
Fondest memory: Children activities are open to children ages 2-15, and there’s a playroom for children under age 3. Another interesting place on the deck was the Touch of Class piano bar where live music and sing-alongs made the place one of the ship’s most exciting nighttime locales but expect a lot of smoking here.
- Family Travel
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