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.
Many of the hotels in Cozumel are in the area of the island where snorkelling and SCUBA diving abounds as it draws the most tourists. Unfortunatly, or fortunalty, depending on why you are there, this means that the shore is full of coral. This makes for beautiful fish, but little sand. If you want to sleep it off at the beach, or if you have kids that want to play in the ocean or rent jet skis, you will need to leave your hotel and go to one of the many beaches north of the main hotel area. Mr.Sanchos, a beach just north of the tourist part of town is one of the only beaches that offer free admission and have anything and everything that you need for a perfect day. The white sand is beautiful, the color of the water is incomparable. You can sit in swings as you sip margaritas at the bar, or sleep in the sand until you turn red! The food is great and cheap. Don't bother paying to get in to any of the other beaches because they are not as nice and will charge you the equivalent of 10 dollars to get in.
Fondest memory: The last night day that I was there, I turned to my best friend, tried to articulate a sentence no more complicated than "do you want to get lunch" and I was so relaxed and so content that I could not speak. This is when I knew that my vacation had been perfect! We laughed for several minutes and then had lunch in our beach chairs as the sun lowered in the sky...
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.
Onboard activities and entertainment were good and plentiful. The amount of things to do is endless, from karaoke to piano bars, to disco, to casinos. Cool Calypso played at the Lido Deck; Sensation Orchestra played at the Promenade Deck; you could sing-along in the Piano Bar. There was a Singles Party at Kaleidoscope Disco around 11PM but we did not go. During the day they had different games, such as Battle of the Sexes and the Newlywed and Not So Newlywed Game. They were a lot of fun to watch. Of course there was always bingo. The Casino is like every other casino. If you play, you only have to choose how much you lose and how fast! During the last day at sea they had an ice carving demonstration on the stage by the main pool.
Fondest memory: The evening entertainment was average, this could be improved. We attend both big "Vegas-Style" shows and found them rather mediocre.
We highly recommend the Gala Midnight Buffet on the night of the Captain's party. It is a sight to see if you have never seen one before. They allow you take pictures right before they open up the buffet.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I have not seen other resorts or hotels on the island therefore I cannot make comparisons, but I am enamored by the Reef club.
If you are a diver, the Sand dollar dive shop is right next door, you can just walk there.
Even if you don't dive, it is fun to visit the place, especially if Horatio is there with his turkey. I mean, cockatoo.
Horatio is an under-water photographer, for a fee he'll go down with you and make an excellent video of your dive.
I did one dive in the pool, after that I just snorkeled.
Fondest memory: There is no single thing I miss the most about this Island, I miss EVERYTHING.
There is only one city on the island, San Miguel.It consists of a very long waterfront street, and some side streets.
The streets are jammed with shops, and in front of just about every shop there are people urging you to step inside.
I was surprised at the prices at a pharmacy where I bought a small bottle of artificial tear drops. It was $17.50 U.S.
It costs less than half that much here in the states.
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.
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.
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.
Once I had enough time to explore the landscape with some friends. We rented a jeep and someone had taken this picture of me.
Renting a car was really cheap and the island is not so very big, so you may explore quite a lot of it during an afternoon.
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.