Port of Call - Cozumel

Cozumel is a Mexican island about 12 miles off of the mainland of Mexico. It is probably one of the most visited islands by the cruise lines. I honestly think we have been there about 15 times but I look forward to going every time. It is a very safe place to visit and you won't be bothered by beggars and people selling trinkets everywhere you go! We will be docking at the Puerta Maya piers.

There are plenty of options for excursions and activities to do on this beautiful island.

You can take a ferry to the mainland and go to several different ancient Mayan ruin sites such as Tulum or Chitzen Itza. These are all-day trips with most of the time spent on ferries and buses with an hour or two at the ruins. These sites are truly amazing and if you book a good private tour, your guide will give you a lot of information regarding the Mayan civilization. Most of these excursions cost around $100 per person if booked privately. I recommend talking to Carole Criddle,our travel agent, about private excursions to the mainland. When you book, make sure you check the details of the trip including times, where to catch the ferry, etc.

Do you love shopping? You don't need to go far to find everything from $1 maraca's to high-end diamond jewelry. There are a good number and variety of shops at the port area and even more in town. This is my favorite place to pick up souvenirs! I like to do a little shopping on the way back to the ship after our excursions. The prices are comparable to most of the islands.

Looking for a nice relaxing day at the beach or pool? There are many, many options for this. We have done "all-inclusive" beaches where the drinks and food are included. Typically this runs around $50 per person and up. I don't drink and we usually don't eat much so this is a little pricey for us. Do a little research and compare resorts and prices if you would like an all-inclusive option.

We have found a wonderful place we visit without paying a big up-front fee for services we don't use. We love to go to Paradise Beach. It has a gorgeous"resort-style" look. For $3 you get a wristband which includes use of the beach, chairs, umbrella's, big beautiful pool area, pier out into the ocean, very clean and roomy bathrooms. The grounds are beautiful and clean and the service is great. They just ask that you spend an additional $10 per person on drinks and food. We have eaten there several times and really like the volcano nacho's. It's a huge plate - enough for 2 or more people! They have big water toys for an additional fee. You can also get a massage for a reasonable price in a private area. Paradise Beach is a family favorite for us as there is something to do for all ages. Taxi's are waiting to take you back to the ship when you are ready to go.

It's always fun to take a quick tour of new islands you visit when on a cruise. Most taxi and tour companies offer an island tour and then a stop at a beach of your choice.

On Cozumel catching a taxi is easy and reasonably priced. They are regulated by a strict union and are very safe and professional as well. There is a taxi area after you walk through the shopping mall. The guides there will answer any question you like. You can share a taxi with others or just jump in one by yourself.

The base price of a taxi is one-way for four people. For example: to go to Paradise Beach a taxi is $15 for up to four passengers each way. They do not wait around and add additional passengers. When you are ready to leave, you can go! The more passengers, the cheaper the ride too.

If you are really adventurous you can rent a scooter or jeep and explore the island on your own. After watching the way the locals drive.... I personally don't recommend this! But, a lot of cruisers do it and love it!

Cozumel is also a wonderful place for snorkeling, swimming with the dolphins, and taking different fun boat tours. The water is stunning at this island so any water activities are a great choice.

Recommendations in this article are based on my personal experiences. This is just an idea of some of the exciting things you can experience when visiting Cozumel. Research interesting excursions that are available and please don't hesitate to ask questions within our FPBT Cruise group.

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