Cozumel, Mexico is one of the most popular cruise destinations in the world and if you choose a cruise that sails to the Caribbean then there is a very good chance it will make a call at the port. No matter what season your ship makes a call at Cozumel you can always expect to come across passengers from other ships browsing the many souvenir shops and entertainment venues.
Let’s start by looking at the three main ports in Cozumel which are Puerta Maya, Punta Langosta and TMM International Pier . Punta Langosta is situated in the downtown area and pretty much caters for all the cruise ships. The port area is well organised and also offers guests a chance to purchase tax and duty-free items. The good thing about this port is that it’s very close to cruise passenger favourites like senior frogs and Carlos’n’Charlies.
Puerta Maya is mainly for Carnival ships as the company has made large investments in the port. The port is about one kilometre from downtown but is well provided by a well organised taxi service. Taxis will usually cost about 7-8 US dollars and the drivers are very respectful. While we’re on the topic of money I would also like to add that US dollars can be used everywhere in Cozumel.
Puerta Maya offers lots of shops along with passenger favorites including Fat Tuesdays which is right at the end of the pier. You’ll often find people staggering back to the ship just before departure from Fat Tuesdays. I found this one of the most entertaining things to watch especially from a balcony.
Puerta Maya had been re-built after a hurricane destroyed the dock and everything around it in 2005. The dock was built again in 2008 with a new tax and duty-free shop which guests must walk through to arrive or depart the pier. It’s a good way to help the local economy so try not to let the experience annoy you. Actually the store has some pretty good items and their liquor prices are mostly cheaper than the ships, I know this because I use to work on the ships!
The beaches in Cozumel are not the best but many of them will make it up with great water sports and food. The best way to experience the coast is to rent a car so you can drive around the island. By doing this you will come across some ice little beach spots especially on the other side of the Island.
Out of all the places I’ve been to around the world Cozumel ranks among the highest when it comes to restaurants. Most of them offer Wi-Fi and very good service. There are all sorts of different types of dining venue which surprised me as I thought most would be sea food simply because it’s an island. There are Italian and steak style restaurants for cruise passengers to get stuck into. Also as mentioned earlier in the review there are places like senior frogs, Carlos and Charlie’s and fat Tuesdays which caters for people looking for a little more fun while having typical western and Mexican foods.
Another reason why cruise ships love calling at Cozumel is the wide range of shore excursions that the island has to offer. Some of the most popular tours are the Snorkelling, diving, swimming with the dolphins and of course the Tulum Mayan tour. Even crew members take time out here to go on tours because they are all just so good. There are even tours to beach resorts where you can relax and swim in the crystal blue water that the region is well-known for.
Now the shopping on this small island just off the coast of Playa Del Carmen has really good shopping. One if the most popular stores is Diamonds which is also popular throughout the Caribbean. Diamonds offer cruise passengers special deals so it’s always worth a look inside. In Cozumel there are also plenty of souvenir shops, jewellery shops and sports shops. Cigars can also be purchased with so many different types available. I like to buy the Havana polo shirts which can also be found in the cigar shops but be careful because they are small and its easy to walk straight past them.
Photo By: Robert Neff