Ports of Call: Cozumel
Cozumel, Mexico. A seeming stalwart on many cruise itineraries, we’ve now been to this port three times in our cruise adventures and for good reason! While some ports have been ho-hum, Cozumel has no shortage of fantastic and reasonably affordable excursions.
On our first visit, we went zip-lining and snorkeling at one of the many resorts on the island. On our second, we swam with dolphins and snorkeled at another resort. This time, I wanted to do something more ‘authentic’ that we could only do and see on this specific island, but that still involved fun in the sun and that beautiful, electric blue water. We chose a snorkel boat trip to two notable Cozumel spots: the Palancar reef in the Parque Nacional Arrecifes de Cozumel (Cozumel Reefs National Park) and the El Cielo (heaven) starfish sanctuary.
The first leg of our journey lasted 45 minutes - long enough for us to wonder what we've gotten ourselves into! Are we being kidnapped? Where are we going? I can't see the ship anymore. Thankfully, we suppressed my wild imagination and largely spent the most time concerned about the weather, as storm clouds drifted overhead.
Jumping into the deep blue was incredibly thrilling. By far the deepest water we've ever been in, I half expected panic to set in, as had afflicted a fellow tourist, but instead, I just felt...Wow. And a bit cold. The water was so clear and over the reef, there was so much to see. I caught on camera, although neither of us remember seeing, a group of divers far below us. Whether we will ever be brave enough to do that remains to be seen!
I was swimming along, minding my own business, being herded by Justin and trying to avoid other people obliviously kicking me with their fins when my bottom suddenly hurt. Did I just get stung by a mosquito in the ocean? I thought, naively. That can't be right. Watch out for the little jellyfish! I heard someone say to their friend somewhere behind me. And so it was, shivering, with a stinging buttock, and totally enthralled with the stunning seascape beneath us that we ended up the last two tourists back on the boat. So enchanted were we that I, still trying to capture a few seconds of the ray swimming beneath us, almost clanged my head on the side of the boat!
Onward to the starfish sanctuary! Here, the sun emerged and the sea changed from electric blue to brilliant, greenish-tinged turquoise as we floated into the shallows. The water was warmer here, I thought, although Justin says he was cold the whole time. Without much reef, there were not so many fish, but hundreds of starfish, everywhere the eye could see, every few feet. We even came across a yellow ray - one we've never seen before!
Eventually, we were herded back to the boat, not quite the last this time. With another successful adventure behind us, we accepted a complimentary rum punch and margarita from our guides. Cautious that the old adage "Don't drink the water in Mexico" extends to ice cubes, we planned to indulge in just one drink each - and quickly before the ice melted. However, Justin's margarita tasted terrible, like it was mostly tequila. So did we just not drink it, you ask? No, we were on vacation and I hate to be wasteful, so I did the only sensible thing and chase each sip of margarita with what became 3 rum punches! Surprisingly, the boat ride back didn't seem very long...
Enjoy the highlights of our snorkel excursion in the video below! How many different kinds of sea life do you see?
Have you been to Cozumel? Have any ideas for our next visit? Tell us in the comments!
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Our Favorite Photos from the Trip:
Top Tips & Notes for Next Time: