5 Tips For Things To Do On Your Cruise To Cozumel, Mexico At The Port And In The City
Many people take cruises to Cozumel every year, and for many people it is their first time cruising. There are so many things to do in Cozumel. From white, sandy beaches and wonderful beach bars to great shopping, historic sites, and tasty seafood, Cozumel excursions hold a great time for everyone. It is an easy, short trip with inexpensive excursions and shopping which helps make cruises to Cozumel one of the best choices for a first cruise.
The cruise to Cozumel is a smooth cruise from almost any port due to the smooth Gulf of Mexico waters, so it is easier on first time cruisers. Along with the relatively smooth cruise across the Gulf of Mexico, Cozumel is very tourist friendly and light on the bank account due to the citizens being less well off, in general, so tourist money, especially U.S. Dollars, are still in high demand here.
As with any port of call, there are little tips that can make a trip that much better, and for cruises to Cozumel, a few tips can make that first trip a foundation for many cruises instead of the first and last. Here are 5 great Cozumel cruise tips to help make your trip to Cozumel better.
1. Know When To Buy Your Cozumel Excursions.
From the time you book your cruise to Cozumel, until you reach the port, you will be offered opportunities to buy various Cozumel excursions. Although you may get some decent prices, especially through some 3rd party booking websites, you will probably be able to get a better deal when you get off the boat and can see what things to do in Cozumel. Don't be afraid to go out on your own (with a group or another traveler, of course) and get one of the cabs that is lined up outside the port area.
When you book through the cruise company you will be paying top price for Cozumel excursions, plus a cut for the cruise company or travel agency. Plus, many of the excursions are to go to beaches that you cab simply take a taxi to yourself.
The only exception to this tip is if you are on cruises to Cozumel during peak season and want any other excursion other than simply beach and city, such as tours of Mayan ruins or dune buggy trips. A select few things to do in Cozumel can fill up quickly, especially in peak seasons. If you are wanting one of these Cozumel excursions, pay up and book early or you may not get the chance.
2. Check The Prices On Gifts When You Get To Port Before Buying In Town.
When you get off your Cozumel cruise at port, you will walk through a port shopping area. In many cases the prices here will be much less than in town. Check them on your way through, make a note of the prices, and if they are cheaper, buy on your way back to the boat.
You may be able to buy cheaper in town, but only with some serious haggling. For the most part, the shirts and other gifts will be around 3 times the price in town. If you are good at haggling, you may be able to save a dollar or two, I decided not to waste the time.
There also may be some items in town that you may not be able to find at port, but I doubt it. You will find much of the same gifts in the port shopping area. A few differences are tequila, cigars, and specific gifts that you might find at the ruin areas.
3. Come Back To The Ship With At Least 30 Minutes To Spare.
Yes, come back a little early. The most important reason for this is that you don't want to be left. You may encounter traffic issues or long lines on your way back to the ship, if you have left some time in your schedule you will be well prepared. As you are shopping in the port area on the way back, you will hear the ship sound its air horn. If you will head to the ship when you hear the first horn you will have plenty of time. Where you need to be mindful is in planning your travel back to the port area. Traffic, vehicle trouble, and other issues are parts of life and would be a horrible reason to miss the boat.
The more comical reason is for one of the best shows on the Cozumel cruise. If you will check back on the boat and head straight for an upper level balcony, you will receive a complimentary show I call "Walk of the Drunks." It is hilarious. You can enjoy a drink and relax in a lounge chair while you see people stagger back to the boat, often vomiting and getting into trouble with the port authorities.
4. Two Words: Poncho's Tequila.
If you, or someone in your group drinks, you need to plan a stop here. As you exit the port shopping area at the main port, looking across the street you will see a row of old shops lining the street. In the middle of those shops you will see a shop that says "Poncho's Tequila."
Inside this little hole-in-the-wall shop you will find everything from shot glasses to t-shirts. You may find some good buys here, but remember, the sign doesn't say Poncho's t-shirts. Wade to the back of the store and you will see a little 4 ft wide bar and a little señorita with tons of tequila. They have flavored tequila, aged tequila and more.
The best part is you can sample any kind for free and she is more than willing to give you all the samples you want. I especially enjoyed the Piña Colada flavored tequila which I cannot find stateside. Taste them all and bring back a bottle!
5. Do Your Homework Before Your Cruise To Cozumel!
By simply taking some time researching different beaches and sites you will optimize your trip and could save yourself a good bit of money. Our first trip to Cozumel, a friend of ours thought that certain beaches were "private" and that we could only visit them if we pay for a package excursion deal. In researching prior to our trip, we found that there are no "private" beaches in Cozumel. Most of the beaches have to be accessed through certain restaurants, such as Senior Frog's, but that is as "private" as they get.
Also, take small bills. If you try to haggle with someone and pull out a twenty, you have lost. Travel in a group. Everyone knows what violence has occurred in Mexico lately. While it has not reached the Island of Cozumel, better safe than sorry. And take too many pictures. Cozumel is both beautiful and fun, experience all of it you can!
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