Heading to Cozumel Mexico on your next cruise? Cozumel is an island off the eastern mainland of Mexico that is well known for its beaches, scuba diving and rich history as the island was once part of the Mayan Empire. It is the fourth busiest cruise port in the world regarding passengers, and as such, there is plenty to see and do near where your cruise will dock.
Most cruises will dock at Cozumel Mexico for around 10 hours, and cruises either dock at one of the two main docks. One of the docks is right in San Miguel the main city of Cozumel, and the other is a 5-minute taxi ride away from the city called the International Pier. As I was on a Royal Caribbean ship, my boat docked at the International Pier.
After disembarking you will walk into a large shopping plaza that has a variety of tourist shops, bars, and restaurants that are exclusive for cruise ship guests. As such these shops have higher prices so it is best to taxi to San Miguel where you can find more shops selling souvenirs for much less (along with better dining options).
If you booked a tour with your cruise line, you would be meeting right on the boardwalk before the shops.
Right next to the dock there is also a great swimming spot with crystal clear water which is a favorite with cruisers, especially those wanting to cool off before they board the ship.
What To Do
Your cruise will have plenty of tours available, with the most popular options being swimming with dolphins, a shopping and tequila tasting tour, a beach day, or visiting Mayan ruins.
Ruins – If you wish to see any of the major Mayan ruins, make sure to take the tour with your cruise, as they require you to travel a far distance and you wouldn’t want to miss boarding the cruise before it departs. The largest ancient Maya site on Cozumel is San Gervasio which can be visited by hiring a taxi.
Public Beach – Paradise Beach & Playa Mia are two nearby public beaches, but both can get a bit crowded when a tour docks. At both beaches, you’ll find plenty of inflatable water toys, which makes it popular with kids and teenagers.
All-Inclusive Beach Resort – Several resorts offer day passes which you can purchase and will give you access to everything the resort has. For example the change rooms, pools, beach, bars and restaurants.
These resorts offer day passes, where guests can purchase passes and have access to everything the resort offers, including drinks, food, and entertainment. Both Mr. Sancho’s and Nachi Cocom include all-inclusive food and drink with the resort access for $55 a person. For my visit, I ended up at Buccanos which only had a small admission fee that was then returned in food and drink credits, but sadly I discovered afterward they only have a tiny beach.
Beach Club – Carlos’n Charlie’s Beach Club might be your best beach option unless you think you will be spending a lot on food and drink that day then an all-inclusive beach resort might make more sense. This restaurant is located on the beach and has no admission fee. You can dine on the beach, go swimming and even arrange tours or boat rentals all here.
Shopping – For around $8 a taxi you can reach downtown San Miguel in five minutes. Here there is plenty of stores to go shopping. While the Mexican Peso is the official currency of Mexico, the majority of shops owners accept the US dollars.
Try Tequila – In San Miguel, you can find a few shops that offer free tequila tours. They will go over how tequila is made and give you a few free samples with the hopes you will buy a bottle to take home. While these shops are geared for tourists, and the tequila sold inside is often more expensive, the tour is free and can be a fun way to spend 45 minutes to an hour.
Otherwise Senor Frogs, a bar right beside the dock where you board your cruise is a favorite spot for cruisers to enjoy a tequila cocktail. Conveniently located next to the boats, you can finish up your visit to Mexico with an affordable drink.
Try Authentic Mexican Food – While in Mexico you need to enjoy a taco! Take the taxi to San Miguel where you can find some delicious and affordable Mexican food. Based upon the recommendation of another cruiser, I tried Buccanos which offered massive taco platters. The food was outstanding, and you could sit right next to the water while you enjoyed your meal.