Cozumel is perfect for a beginner’s cruise port. It’s tropical, it’s warm, it’s safe, everybody speaks English, and it’s very tourist-y. The nice thing about it is that the boat docks right along the pier and it’s a short 100 yard walk down the pier to the cruise ship terminal.
Unique to Cozumel:
- Visit The Money Bar
- Ride the rickshaw down the pier
- Eat dinner at the 3 Amigos
I’ve been to Cozumel twice, both times doing different things and both of them were nice. So I’ll give you both options.
Catamaran & Beach Break – The first time I visited Cozumel we booked a catamaran and beach break excursion through the cruise line. It was my first trip so I really enjoyed the catamaran ride, snorkeling, and the beach. I believe this excursion compared to other catamaran excursions out there, it didn’t stand out as being good or bad. It’s been a few years since I did this tour but I remember seeing lots of fish and also the guide pointing out things like stingrays. The food at the beach was also comparable to other places in the Caribbean. It was a simple, filling lunch, but nothing spectacular. And on the beach there was a guy carrying an iguana around who would let you take pictures with it for money. On the way back the rum punch was flowing and my friends had a great time drinking punch and dancing. I recommend this tour for beginning cruisers – it was fun.
The Money Bar – If you are interested in doing something on your won, then the Money Bar is a great choice. The Money Bar is a restaurant and bar located right on th
e beach where you can eat a nice lunch, relax, and spend time swimming and snorkeling. To get to the Money Bar all you need to do is go all the way through the cruise terminal and catch a taxi outside. The taxi is very inexpensive, probably less than $10 for a full car, and The Money Bar is just a few minutes away. Snorkeling at the Money Bar is okay, the water is very shallow but they have a lot of concrete structures in the water that the urchins and small fish like to hide around (see picture). I highly recommend wearing water socks to protect your feet.
Mayan Ruins – From Cozumel, you can also take cruise ship excursions to visit sites like Tulum or Chichen Itza. I recommend doing visiting both of those sites, but especially Chichen Itza. Personally, we chose to visit them when we stayed on the Riviera Maya just because it was closer to both. If you only ever expect to visit Mexico by cruise ship, then I would look into those tours, but expect to spend a lot of time ferrying to the mainland and then on the bus getting to and from the sites.
Ride a Rickshaw – Okay, the cruise ship pier isn’t very long, but sometimes you are just too exhausted from a week of cruising. Or sometimes your boyfriend sprains his ankle the day before you leave for your cruise. Either way, the rickshaw is a fun, inexpensive way to get a lift down the pier. We had fun crossing it off our to-do list!
Next time I visit Cozumel:
- I don’t know! I’ll have to find something!
Taxis are easy to find right outside the entrance to the cruise terminal and getting around the island is relatively inexpensive.
None seen. Recommend visiting by cruise ship.
Restaurants/ Meals & Drinks:
Three Amigos – The very first restaurant at the end of the pier is the Three Amigos and I highly recommend stopping there if you have some extra time in the afternoon. They have a full drink menu and offer lots of Mexican dishes which make a yummy afternoon snack. They also have a few picture spots onsite.
The Money Bar – I don’t actually remember eating food at The Money Bar.
Tips/ Things to Know:
- Shopkeepers are aggressive in Cozumel and many other Caribbean islands. Don’t be surprised if you are constantly yelled at and asked to visit their shops. If you aren’t interested, a polite “No, Thank you” works just fine.
- There are multiple piers in Cozumel. I’ve only ever docked at the 3 Amigos pier. The Money Bar is a short 4 minute ride from that pier and a 15 minute ride from the further pier.
My Time Spent on the Island:
- 1 day cruise port in February 2013, on the Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas
- 1 day cruise port in January 2015, on the Carnival Magic
Hope you find our travel guide helpful!