A good friend of ours who is a comedian with the Carnival cruises was coming in on the Horizon just after Christmas and we decided to meet up with him and join him for lunch. We had not made it to Cozumel yet and thought this would be the perfect opportunity.
Turned out to be a fun day!
The Ferry Ride Over
We caught the Collectivo bus (local bus service) in Puerto Morelos to Playa Del Carmen and then caught the ferry from there. You have your choice of two ferries to take you between Playa del Carmen and Cozumel – the Winjet and Ultramar with Winjet being the less expensive of the two. We chose the Winjet and the crossing is about 35 minutes and a fairly smooth ride. We prepaid and booked online at a cost of $44 round trip for two which turns out to be a very smart thing to do. The line-ups are long and people are rushing to buy tickets.
The ferry is large and can handle up to approximately 400 hundred passengers. Bar and snack services are available. The schedule is very good, arriving and leaving almost at the hour. We feel it is safe and reliable.
If you decide to take the kids you will be pleased to know that if they are between the ages of 5 and 12, the price is 50% of the adult fare.
Docking of the Ships
Cozumel is the leading cruise ship arrival destination in the country of Mexico. As our ferry was pulling in, we saw 3 cruise ships with the Carnival line. Our friend was coming in on the Horizon, one of Carnival’s newest ships, and was docking a bit further down from us at another pier. It is hard to believe how huge these ships are when you see them in the distance but up close and personal, they are very impressive.
I later checked out a few facts about the Horizon since this was the cruise ship our friend was on:
- It debuted in the spring of 2018
- Its capacity is 5,000 passengers
- It has three pools and an adults-only Serenity Retreat
- A host of activities include WaterWorks park, a Sky-Ride, mini-golf, Dive-in-Movies at the Beach Pool, a piano bar, sports bar, free games, karaoke, deck parties
- And of course, the Punchliner Comedy Club
- Lots of food (drinks are extra except for lemonade, iced tea, and water)
- Craft beer is brewed onboard
Cozumel is the largest inhabited island in Mexico and municipality in the Caribbean Sea off the eastern coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, and opposite Playa del Carmen. The municipality is part of the state of Quintana Roo (source Wikipedia).
Tourism drives the economy of Cozumel with visitors enjoying scuba diving and snorkelling. In fact, it has a reputation for being one of the best places in the world for these two activities. Cozumel is located on the second-longest barrier reef in the world (known as the Belize Barrier Reef) and is home to marine species such as rays, turtles and multicoloured fish.
The main town, San Miguel de Cozumel, is a bustling place. In fact, as we were trying to make our way to the meeting point with our friends, we were constantly accosted by business staff trying to entice us into their stores. They actually succeeded on one occasion and my husband thought I had disappeared on him!
One particular young fellow stopped me and said: “what do you use for your skincare” and proceeded to literally pull me into his shop to give me a ‘free’ eye treatment (to remove my signs of ageing, I guess). Five minutes later, I had beautifully tightened skin under one eye with a promise of looking like this every time I used the product. It also came with a price tag of almost $300 Canadian but he assured me I would pay much more than that in Canada (turns out he was right).
After assuring him I would think about it, we escaped only to be accosted a few doors down by another young fellow who asked the same question! When I told him I just had a ‘treatment’ he said, ‘Why don’t you have both eyes done? Come, I will do the other one for you!” At the risk of looking silly with one eye done and the other not, we bade him a hasty goodbye, telling him we had to meet someone.
Chalo’s at Villablanca Hotel
Our lunch destination, Chalos Antojitos Mexicanos at the Villablanca Hotel, is a 10-minute taxi ride away. When we arrived, we found our friend waiting for us at a table near the pool.
He regaled us with hilarious stories of his time onboard the ships where he has been entertaining passengers for 8 years and is considered one of the top comedians on the Carnival cruises. He certainly kept us in stitches.
Our friend, Jason, is the one in the front on the left and that’s my husband and me directly behind him.
Eventually, his other friends arrived – in total there were ten of us, including 5 other comedians. They were completely relaxed and there were much laughter and drinks during lunch. My husband, who is also a comedian, really enjoyed spending time with these guys!
The service is amazing – the comedians are well-known there and are treated royally. I had this amazing chicken dish with a creamy sauce. Yum! Before we left, we had two rounds of tequila shots sent over to our tables by the staff. Sweet! It’s not hard to see why they consistently get 5-Star reviews. If you like authentic Mexican food and are in the area, it is definitely worth eating there.
Time to Leave
All too soon, it was time to say goodbye. Our friends and new friends had to get back to their ships as a few of them were performing that night and we had a ferry to catch back to Puerto Morelos where we are staying.
It was an amazing day and a wonderful experience. I can’t wait to get back to Cozumel and check it out properly. There are so many shops to go to, as long as I remember to stay away from the beauty salons (!). There is also an organic coffee place, Coz Coffee, I want to visit. Even though I have given up coffee, for now, there is always a strong possibility I may start again; I think organic is the way to go.
If you are considering a cruise, there are several cruise lines to choose from depending on the origin of your departure. This one, Marella Cruises in the U.K., sails to 200 destinations including Cozumel.
10 thoughts on “Cozumel is Worth the Visit [A Day of Fun!]”
I’ve heard of Cozumel and the hubby and I really want to go there for our next trip. It sounds like you had a lot of fun. We both come from a tropical island so Cozumel sounds like a home away from home to us.
Like you mentioned, it’s one of the best places to go for scuba diving and for snorkelling, which are my hobbies. I hear the water is so clear and warm. I found your post very insightful and it will be shared with my hubby as we plan our trip there. Will definitely take up your recommendations.
Hi Reyhana. Lucky you to come from a tropical island! I am not much of a swimmer so will pass up on the snorkeling, however, there seems to be lots to do around there. The water is very beautiful. Fortunately for us, we are in Mexico for another 3 months and will be able to go back as well as take in at least one of the ruins. I can’t wait!
Here’s to you and your hubby for getting there!
Hi this is really good and very easy to read. I really enjoyed it and I hope you will share more of these adventures in the future. I absolutely love cruise ships and I think they are such a refreshing alternative to the usual beach type holiday that most people embark on. Thanks, Kenny
Thanks Kenny. I too hope to be able to some adventures. The Tulum Ruin is on the horizon and a couple of other day trips. I have never been on a cruise but have several friends who have. Maybe that will have to be a future goal!
Thanks for the article. I’ve been to Cozumel in the past but only on a cruise ship and didn’t get off the ship.
Based on your review, the next cruise that goes into Cozumel I’m going to get off the ship and head directly for Chalo’s. That sounds like an amazing place with 5 star service. I will also steer clear of the beauty shops. LOL
Do you think spending a day in Cozumel is enough or should you stay a few days?
Thanks for taking me to a beautiful destination on rainy day.
Hi Nancy. That’s great that you would like to check out the restaurant. You won’t be disappointed based on my experience and the many reviews I have seen.
Personally, a day doesn’t do it justice. We will go back and maybe stay at least one night. If you love to shop and bargain, it could take a day to just do that! And if you are into snorkeling then you would be in the right place!
Wow that’s a great trip experience altogether! Especially the part about the tagglers I would call them, as I cannot think of a better word. Just surprised you did not up the 2nd offer at that point on the 2nd eye lol. That’s one of many you won’t forget. I’m sure they had good intentions too
Lol. Thanks Andrew. I know, I should have had the other eye done too! I will say one thing about them – they don’t wait for the sale – they go out and try to get it! Even though a bit aggressive for my taste.
I am sure I will have other such interesting moments!
Yes, but only to snorkel 😉 I’m glad your ferry ride was much smoother than mine! I do want to go back to explore the shops and restaurants…maybe my next trip in April. Next time, you’ll have to rent a scooter and drive around the island, very scenic.
Glad you’re loving Mexico!!!
Yes we definitely are enjoying Mexico! Sorry your ferry ride was rough. Honestly, it was a great trip over. I never thought about renting a scooter but there are a couple of places that they would be perfect. And you will definitely have to try the restaurant that I mentioned.