Post # 1
OK, Bees! For those of you who have cruised to, or otherwise visited, Cozumel and who chose a beach excursion, which did you choose?
DH and I are trying to decide between Chankanaab National Park (snorkeling etc.) and Playa Mia (looks like a nice, white sand beach and a HUGE water park) or some other, better, safe, beach-related option not yet known to us.
I would love to book a catamaran snorkeling-trip type of exursion; however, since this entire vacation is going to be cruise-ship based, we’re not sure that we will want to disembark after being at sea and immediately get onto a boat for the next few hours. (Neither of us is certified to dive, so that is not an option for us either.)
Chankanaab appeals to me because of the snorkeling opportunities, but there doesn’t appear to be a great beach there that allows you to gradually walk into the water as you would at most beaches. Instead you appear to have to descend stairs to get into the water, and the “beach” and water areas appear to be very rocky. Playa Mia appeals to me, because the beach looks beautiful, but most of the photos/videos I’ve seen online indicate that this park is extremely crowded. We’re also not sure if we want to pay so much more money for this excursion, since we likely will not even choose to use most of the waterpark attractions.
Also, when visiting either of these parks, did you experience any difficulties after consuming the food, beverages, and ice? I’ve never been to Mexico, but I’ve obviously heard that many travelers experience GI-related issues after consuming the water/ice/fruits/vegetables at some locations in Mexico.
I would love to hear your recommendations and experiences!
Post # 4
Cozumel is known for its snorkeling spots and beautiful reefs, so I would vote to do that. Get out and see as much as you can while you are there! The beaches are going to be overcrowded with tourists from the 3 or 4 other cruise ships that will be docked there at the same time as you. Cozumel has a huge port.
I have stopped in Cozumel on one cruise and have also vacationed there for a week. I have also vacationed several times in other areas of Mexico, and neither my husband or I have ever had any GI related issues. I even drink the water and order iced/fruity drinks.
Post # 5
We actually took an excursion to see the Mayan ruins of Tulum when we were in Cozumel. It was amazing, but we’re both history nerds. The beaches we drove and walked by were gorgeous, though! I’m sure you’ll have fun with whichever you choose!
Post # 6
- Wedding: May 2013 - Pavilion overlooking golf course scenery, reception at banquet hall
I’ve heard from a cruise dinner-companion that SCUBAs around the world that Cozumel is the #2 scuba diving spot in the world, right after the great barrier reef. I would def do something that involves snorkeling or diving or submarines or glass bottom boats SOMETHING that lets you check out all the marine life 🙂
Post # 7
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
@Brielle: I haven’t been to that exact area, but I’ve spent some time in the Mayan Riviera. I would definitely do the snorkeling – how often do you get to see amazing underwater coral reefs and their ecosystems?! It’s so cool. The other place sounds uncomfortably crowded IMO.
I agree with PP that Tulum is really really wonderful, if that’s an option.
Re: GI stuff, I would feel confident that the food available at cruise stops would be perfectly safe, and all the water is definitely bottled. (I have had the old Montezuma’s Revenge in Mexico, but that was after a week+ of eating at all kinds of food carts, little local restaurants, etc…)
Post # 8
@Brielle: OMG! I just posted about my Cozumel honeymoon this May:
We have several excursions booked as well. The first full day there, we are going to the Riveria Maya to a place called Xcaret, which is a majestic eco-archaeological park:
We also booked a snorkeling tour to 3 reefs via a glass bottom boat!!!!!!! There are many live reefs around the island and it is world renowned for it’s scuba diving.
The next day we are going to rent scooters to ride around the island and visit their secluded beaches and do some shopping in town…have a nice dinner and soak up the night life dancing.
Then the next day, we take a ferry to the mainland to tour the Mayan Ruins called “Chitzen Itza”. It’s an all day tour…sooooo excited.
We also have scheduled the following day, a Dolphin Discovery excursion. Can’t wait to swim and interact with dolphins!
The next day we are going to a place called “Mr. Sancho’s beach club” where we’ll frolic on the beach , swing in the breeze in a hammock, and have a couples swedish massage!!!!!
But if your time is limited, and you had to pare it down, I’d vote for something with snorkeling because they have the 2nd largest live reef in the world…next to the Great barrier reef!!!!!!
Post # 9
If you can get to Akumal, that’s where the sea turtles breed. It’s one of my favorite places in the world. There’s obviously snorkling and a nearby bar La Vida Buena, where you can sit in a palm tree overlooking the ocean and drink beer.
I’ve also done Explor which was a lot of fun.
If you’re interested in a beautiful beach by Mayan Ruins, I recommend Tulum. Beautiful beach with snorkle opportunities by some amazing ruins.
Post # 10
My fiancé and I just got back from a cruise that went to Cozumel (he actually proposed the day before, in the Cayman Islands!). We did the Amazing Cozumel Race and I would absolutely recommend it. It’s pretty fast-paced and just like the TV show The Amazing Race. You race around and solve puzzles to find clues. We both really enjoyed it because we’re both competitive and because we got to see a lot of the city and interact with locals. One portion of the race involves snorkeling for a clue, so you get to go in the water. It is not a relaxing beach day, but it was so much fun and very memorable. Also, we were done by lunch time, so we still had time left to shop and stroll around at a more relaxed pace afterwards.
Post # 11
@Sea_Ashley: That is great to hear! Thank you!
@abbie017: Thanks for the suggestion! Many of our friends who will be traveling with us plan to visit the Mayan Ruins. That actually sounds quite interesting (my DH is quite a history buff as well), but, since we are only going to be in Cozumel for a few hours, I’m really looking forward to my beach/snorkeling time on this particular trip. 🙂
@lolot: Thanks so much! Yes, I LOVE to snorkel (my favorite snorkeling trip thus far has been in Grand Cayman), and I’ve always heard that Cozumel has some of the best snorkeling there is! I’m so glad to hear that you also didn’t become ill while there.
@Billsgirl: Wow! That all sounds great! I hope you have an amazing time!!
@BeachBride2014: Interesting! So there is a beach very near Mayan ruins? I had not heard that. (Usually I do a lot of research when I plan a trip, but this cruise has been an exception, since someone else from our group is overseeing it.)
@bellanotte: Wow! That sounds quite interesting! I don’t think my DH and I would find it very relaxing right now, but it sounds as if you had a lot of fun! By the way, best wishes on your engagement! Isn’t Cayman wonderful?! I’ve been there a couple of times, and I really enjoyed it.
Post # 12
@Brielle: The Mayan ruins are actually ON the beach.
Post # 13
Bumping for input from the lovely evening and night bees! 🙂