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Cozumel’s Del Mar Latino Beach Club all-inclusive day pass review

In:
07 Sep 2022

If you’ve cruised in the Caribbean, there’s a good chance you’ve visited Cozumel, Mexico. Between the gorgeous beaches, incredible snorkeling and proximity to Tulum and Cancun, this is a popular port for cruisers. 

Del Mar Latino Beach Club

In fact, Cozumel has over 3.6 million annual visitors just from cruise ship traffic alone!

As someone who loves to cruise, I’ve been to Cozumel probably a dozen times. At this point, it feels like I’ve done everything that the island has to offer. Now, one of my favorite ways to spend the day in Cozumel is at an all-inclusive resort.

Cozumel coast with restaurants and bars

With a day pass to an all-inclusive resort, you can access almost everything the resort has to offer while enjoying unlimited drinks and food. This can be a great option for cruisers who want to enjoy a low-key day in port while still enjoying the amenities of an all-inclusive resort. 

There are also day passes to all-inclusive clubs in Cozumel - including the Del Mar Latino Beach Club. 

Description

Del Mar Latino Beach Club is described as being the perfect place for those looking to enjoy a relaxing atmosphere with Latin Caribbean ambiance. 

With a regular rate of $39.95, this beach club offers a truly all-inclusive experience in Cozumel. Located within walking distance of the cruise ports, this exclusive club only allows a maximum number of 30 people each day. 

A daily pass to Del Mar Latino Beach Club includes unlimited food and drinks; you also have access to the pool, loungers, bathroom facilities and internet. 

Since this club is meant to offer a relaxing and intimate experience, Del Mar Latino Beach Club is fairly small. The beach club features a large pool surrounded by sun loungers and umbrellas. Del Mar Latino Beach Club also features a bar lined with high-top tables and chairs. 

We booked this beach club the week before our cruise; luckily, the club still had availability for the day that we would be in Cozumel. Since Del Mar Latino Beach Club caps the daily admittance at 30 people, reservations should be booked in advance to secure a slot. 

It appeared that the days leading up to our arrival were already booked, so we were excited to see our port day had availability. It was $8 for a deposit to reserve our slot for the day, in which the remaining balance would be due at arrival.  

Getting to the club

According to the information that was emailed with our reservation, the Del Mar Latino Beach Club operates from 9am to 5pm. 

When we arrived in Cozumel, we took our time in the morning getting breakfast on the ship since we had the full day. By the time we started walking to the club, it was pouring rain - so we waited in the Duty Free Shopping area for the rain to pass.

Our phones indicated that it was a short walk from the cruise terminal upon our arrival. The Royal Caribbean terminal is just a 5 minute walk to the entrance of the beach club. We walked outside of the terminal and, sure enough, we arrived quickly to Del Mar Latino Beach Club.

I felt safe walking in this area, especially considering there was a lot of traffic and a taxi would have probably taken just as long. 

When we arrived, we walked up to the bartender and checked in. They had a list with our names on there and we paid the remaining amount for the day. We were given wristbands to wear for the day.

All-inclusive experience

Upon arrival, we quickly made our way to the bar and ordered a round of piña coladas. There’s no better way to start a day in Mexico than with a cool, refreshing piña colada! It was delicious and creamy. 

After looking around the club, we decided to get in the pool. The pool is a decent size with plenty of room for everyone to sit comfortably. We had a gorgeous view of the ocean and the cruise ships nearby. 

The waitress came over to us multiple times during our time in the pool. My choice of drink is always a mojito and Del Mar Latino Beach Club’s mojitos were absolutely delicious! 

We also tried a Miami Vice, Chunky Monkey and Tequila Sunrise. There wasn’t a cocktail at this beach club that we didn’t enjoy! The drinks went down smoothly and we were having a wonderful time relaxing in the pool and listening to the music played by the DJ. 

As we lounged in the pool, we realized we did not bring towels with us off the ship. We reviewed the reservation notes and found that it did not state to bring towels; however, it also didn’t state that towels were included. We inquired with the staff about towels and they stated we could rent them for $5 each. This was reasonable, but we opted to just air dry after we enjoyed some time in the loungers. This was an oversight on our part and we should have brought towels just in case. 

After a few drinks in the pool, we had the munchies and decided to order food. Since everything was included from the snack menu, we ordered a variety of options. We tried the quesadillas, fried chicken tacos and chicken strips. 


Everything we ordered was hot, fresh and very tasty. We even ordered a second round of food because the portions were snack size and we enjoyed everything we tried. 

Throughout the day, we also made trips to the beach club’s bathroom facilities. These were well-kept and clean, which we appreciated. 

After 4-5 hours at Del Mar Latino beach club, we decided to walk back to the cruise terminal and head back to the ship after a wonderfully relaxing day. 

Final Comments

There are a few components that make an all-inclusive day pass worthwhile: fair price, attentive service, well-kept pools and freshly made food and drinks. 

We were very satisfied with our experience at Del Mar Latino Beach Club and felt all of these expectations were met.

To start, the price of $39.95 feels like a great value considering the drinks and food are unlimited. We had a tasty lunch and multiple drinks during the day, so the price of admission was very fair just in the amount of food and drink we consumed. 

We found the drinks and snack menu to have a wide selection to choose from. We tried almost every drink on the menu and agreed that the mojitos were the best, although everything tasted yummy. We also enjoyed everything we ordered from the snack menu - especially the quesadilla! 

The pool was well-kept and very comfortable; we saw a pool attendant come around and check the levels of the pool while we were swimming. The pool is also covered, which was nice since it rained a few times throughout the day. 

We were very impressed with the service provided as well. There was a waitress who attentively served us in the pool and brought us drinks throughout the afternoon. It was nice that we didn’t need to get out of the pool to get another drink. We were always served our drinks quickly!

The overall ambiance was very low-key and relaxing, especially with the wonderful ocean views and delicious drinks. With less than 30 people at Del Mar Latino Beach Club during our stay, it never felt cramped or crowded. 

Since this exclusive club is located near the cruise port, there isn’t a sandy beach to enjoy. If you are hoping to sit on a beach during the day, this might not be the best option. There is a man-made entrance to the sea from the club, but you’re essentially jumping right into the sea. I didn’t see anyone in the ocean during our time there, so I think most people stick to the pool. 

I would absolutely return to this beach club because of the incredible value and overall convenience to the cruise port. It was great being able to walk right to the club and not need to take a taxi. I live near the beach here in Florida, so I am fine sacrificing a beach day for a day at this exclusive and relaxing beach club. 

Mr Sanchos Beach Club Cozumel review

In:
25 Mar 2022

Is it possible to have a bad time at an all-inclusive day pass beach resort? It depends on how many other people are trying to do the same thing.

Since cruise ships restarted sailing in 2021, I've made an effort to re-visit some favorite spots in the ports of call Royal Caribbean's ships visit to ensure the experience has not changed since the last time.

In March 2022, I had the opportunity to visit Mr. Sanchos in Cozumel, after having visited Paradise Beach and Nachi Cocom recently. 

My goal was to see how it stacked up to the other resorts, and see what's changed since my last visit in 2018.

Overview

Like so many other all-inclusive beach resorts in Cozumel, Mr. Sanchos advertises unlimited food, drink, beach and pool access for one price.

Located on the south western side of Cozumel island, it's about a 10-15 minute taxi ride from where Royal Caribbean docks.

Reservations are optional, but it's a good idea to make a reservation to assure your family of a spot. A deposit is required in advance.

Once you arrive, you will check in and pay the remainder of the balance.

Before you get to the beach or pool, there are a series of souvenir stands that you can stop at in order to buy something. Some people buy it before or after their visit, although most tend to walk past it all.

At this point your waiter is assigned to you, which means this is the person to place all your food and drink orders.  This person will also assign you a set of chairs and umbrella.

Most people end up near the beach, but you could ask for an open set of chairs elsewhere, including closer to the pool.

The layout of Mr. Sanchos is a series of pools with swim up bars that extend parallel to the beach.

The beach itself looks great, although there is substantial seaweed and rocks in areas under water, so it's necessarily to tread lightly.

There's an optional aqua park with inflatable objects to climb on. Access to this costs extra.

The aquatic park includes:

  • Large climbing Iceberg
  • Climbing rock
  • Two large trampolines
  • Two medium trampolines
  • Pyramid slider
  • Two water totters
  • Moonwalk with two bouncers
  • Rock slider
  • Stadium ball

Each of the pool areas has a swim up bar, along with seating around the edge. There's enough room to wade and enjoy a drink. Kids may find enough space to swim a bit.

Food and drink is included with admission, and you'll find the typical mix of Mexican fare and beach-friendly options.

You have the choice of going to a buffet station and serving yourself, or asking your waiter to bring you the food. No difference in price.

Comments

Mr. Sanchos tries to offer everything you might want in an all-inclusive beach day, and its popularity seemed to have lead to the one faux pas of any beach spot: overcrowding.

On the day I visited, there were at three or four cruise ships in port, and by mid-morning I noticed almost all the tables and chairs were occupied. The result was an experience I found to be overcrowded and unenjoyable.

Our waiters did a good job of keeping up with demand, but the pools and beach were pretty full. On an island where there are so many different beach options, I found it disappointing how busy things were because it felt like we were all pushed together a little too much.

It didn't help there were two different families who smoked cigarettes adjacent to our table. I asked the waiter if there was perhaps a non-smoking area we could be moved to, but he said smoking was allowed anywhere outdoors. Obviously this was just bad luck of the draw in terms of being close to these folks, but it also detracted from the experience.

Then there is the food, which was equally poor. Much of the food came overcooked and under impressive. 

Being in Mexico, I'd expect the Mexican fare to be better than average, but I found much of it to be something I might get back at home in a Chilis. Then again, Chilis doesn't serve up nearly as dry food as we had.

I freely admit that one visit is not necessarily indicative of what your experience was like, but Mr. Sanchos seemed to be too crowded when you consider the other options available.

There were certainly people enjoying themselves, and my kids had a good enough time splashing around. But the overcrowded setting, poor food, and murky ocean water left me wanting to leave.

In fact, I cannot recommend Mr. Sanchos if you're looking for an all-inclusive beach day. I think Nachi Cocom is a far superior all-inclusive option because they limit the amount of people each day.  If you want something else with more for the kids, consider a Cozumel day pass to a resort

It's a shame we didn't have a better time, but the overcrowding ended up overshadowing what is otherwise a picturesque beach to enjoy.

How to book: Reservations can be made online via the Mr. Sanchos website.

Nachi Cocom 2021 Cozumel excursion review

In:
14 Sep 2021

One of the most popular all-inclusive beach resorts in Cozumel for cruise ship passengers is Nachi Cocom Beach Club, but how does the resort hold up following the cruise industry shutdown?

For years, the resort was one of the best and highly recommended spots for cruisers who wanted to enjoy a beach day that included all the food and drink they could want, with the added bonus of having a limited capacity. Unlike other beach resorts in Cozumel, Nachi promised a hard cap of 130 guests per day.

I wanted to see if Nachi is still as good as I remember it, and if many months without cruise ship guests impacted the experience at all. 

I visited Nachi Cocom in September 2021 while sailing on Odyssey of the Seas to check it out for myself.

Overview

Nachi Cocom Beach Club is about a 15 minute taxi ride away from where Royal Caribbean docks its ships, and it has among the best reputations for an all-inclusive beach day. For a group of 5, it cost $23 each way via taxi.

Guests can choose between the beach, pool and hot tub, while enjoying unlimited food and beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic).

The facilities include:

  • ocean view swimming pool with swim-up bar
  • Large Jacuzzi
  • Beach chairs with your own palapa
  • Large restaurant area if you prefer to dine there
  • Beach bar
  • Restrooms
  • Hammocks
  • Fresh water showers
  • Wifi internet

When you arrive at Nachi, you take a group photo that can be purchased later if you wish, and then you check-in. Reservations are highly recommended because the resort can easily sell out. You can make a deposit online and pay the remainder when you arrive.

At the time of review, the cost of admission was:

  • Adult (16 years old and over): $59 per person
  • Child 12-15 years old: $45 per person
  • Child 04-11 years old: $19 per person
  • Infant 3 and under: $0

After being checked-in, you will be escorted to a palapa of your choice along the beach. 

As is the custom with almost every all-inclusive resort in Cozumel I have been to, there is a waiter assigned to you that can handle all of your requests for food and drink.

The beach is pristine and has soft sand.  There is a large water front that is mostly free of any large rocks, so getting in and out of the water was easy. 

The water clarity and color was not as good as previous trips, but that has more to do with the weather and you can expect likely better conditions when you visit.

One thing Nachi does not have is any sort of inflatable water toys that other beach resorts in Cozumel offer.

Nachi does not offer activities, but they do partner with a third-party company that offers beach massages, water sport rentals, parasailing and more.  The representatives for this company can be found roaming the beach, if you so choose.

There is a large pool you can go to at any time as well. Seating outside the pool is limited, with a few tables that offer little shade.

There are two bars at Nachi: the beach bar and the pool bar.

Your waiter can bring you anything you want to your beach chair, but some people like to sit at the bar.

You will find a menu of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks to enjoy throughout the day, such as beers, cocktails, mixed drinks and more.

Comments

The only questions I had coming into my visit to Nachi Cocom was is it still as good as I recall from previous visits, and were there any noticeable changes following cruise ships returning again.

The answer is I did not see anything out of the ordinary, and I was pleasantly surprised how similar things are to before the shutdown.

Guests were instructed to keep their face masks on when they initially walked in and while being checked in.  After that, masks could be removed.

Nachi delivers on two basic promises: unlimited food and drink and a hard capacity on how many guests can be there. On the day I visited, there were quite a few people at the resort, although most seemed to be there from the Carnival Cruise Line ship that was in Cozumel that day as well.  After lunch, most guests had departed.

Anyone looking for a relaxing place to enjoy unlimited food and drink at the beach will find Nachi among the best choices. Their pool is larger than I remembered, but not nearly as large as Paradise Beach.

The food was great and had a mix of American and Mexican dishes. The Mexican food was freshly prepared, and while not the most authentic Mexican fare, it was certainly better than anything I run across back in the United States.

If you had to find fault with Nachi, it would be it lacks the inflatable toys many families look for in a beach day.  If that is important to you, Mr. Sanchos or Paradise Beach would be better options.

In short, Nachi Cocom is still a great choice for anyone that wants to enjoy a beach day with as much to eat and drink as they like. The price for adults remains a great value, especially if you will have a few drinks during your stay.

Paradise Beach Cozumel 2021 shore excursion review

In:
08 Jul 2021

One of the most popular beach destinations for cruise passengers in Cozumel has been Paradise Beach, but how does it stack up after the cruise industry shutdown?

With cruises restarting, many passengers want to know what their options are for shore excursions in port, and if certain favorite spots are still available. I was equally curious to see how Paradise Beach in Cozumel was, and if it was open and still the same great experience I remember.

Over many years, my family would choose to visit Paradise Beach because it offered an inexpensive beach day coupled with great service.  On my recent Adventure of the Seas sailing to Cozumel, I wanted to see if it was still as good as I remember it.

Description

Unlike some of the other popular all inclusive beach spots in Cozumel, Paradise Beach offers a "pay as you go" choice where you can sit down at the beach for a nominal fee ($3 per person) and then pay for select activities, food, and drink as you go.

Paradise Beach also offers an all-inclusive option, but I did not test out this offering.

It is a short drive from where Royal Caribbean cruise ships dock in Cozumel, perhaps 10 minutes by taxi.

When you arrive at the entrance, a waiter will greet you and escort you to wherever you would like to sit.  You can always move around, but for purposes of tracking your orders, you are supposed to order from the two waiters assigned to you.

At the time of our visit, Cozumel required everyone to wear masks, but once we got to Paradise Beach, the staff informed us we could remove our masks. The staff wore their masks throughout the day.

As the name implies, there is a large beach with lots of chairs set up to enjoy along the beach. There is seating with or without shade, and enough umbrellas for most families.

The beach itself is lovely, with soft sand. Some areas of the water are rockier than others, but it is easy enough to enter the water to avoid the big rocks.

Unfortunately the day we visited, Cozumel was inundated with sea grass, which is a temporary issue affecting Mexican beaches from time to time.  Long story short, periodically large amounts of sea weed come up on the beach.  This is the first time I experienced this issue in Cozumel, as it is more commonplace in Costa Maya. Regardless, there was a team of workers employed to remove as much of it as possible.

While the beach is great, I prefer to spend my time by the pool.  Paradise Beach has a massive pool, and according to them, it is the largest heated pool in Cozumel.  

There is plenty of seating by the pool, but very little shade to be found.  Get a seat with shade early if this is important to you.

Just like the beach, the pool was well-maintained and it looked as good as it felt. 

I love the food in Cozumel, and Paradise Beach offers a menu that you can order from throughout the day. Unless you go with the all-inclusive option, you will pay for each item you order.  The prices are reasonable that it still makes sense for my family to go in this direction.

The guacamole especially is worth ordering while there.

The menu has tacos, nachos, quesadillas, pizza and a few other items. It is not a large menu, but has enough to cater to most tastes.

Comments

In short, Paradise Beach is about the same experience that I recall before the global health crisis hit.

The beach and pool are both well-maintained, with plenty of seating at either location. When we visited, Adventure of the Seas was the only cruise ship in port and that meant the venue was very uncrowded. 

My favorite feature of Paradise Beach is their pool, which is large enough that it does not feel like we are cramming in with other people.

The reason my family visits Paradise Beach is because an all-inclusive option is a poor value for my kids. They don't need, nor do I want them, to be consuming enough sugary drinks to "break even" on the all-inclusive cost. Moreover, I usually have a drink package on the ship.  The low investment cost is also really nice if the weather does not cooperate or we decide we want to go back to the ship early.

The good news is Paradise Beach survived the shutdown and is in operation again for cruise guests to enjoy.  And it remains a great choice for families, or someone who wants to do a partial beach day without the full day cost.

How to book: No reservations required or available. Just show up. Website

Cozumel floats idea of being homeport for cruise ships

In:
09 Feb 2021

As the cruise industry reaches the one year mark of being shutdown, Cozumel has proposed it transition from port of call to homeport.

During a radio interview, the mayor of Cozumel proposed allowing cruise ships to sail from the island so that cruises could restart in the Caribbean more easily.

Riviera Maya News posted the transcript of a radio interview by Pedro Joaquín Delbouis, where he said he has reached out to at least one cruise with the proposal.

In his frustration that the cruise industry remains shutdown, Mayor Delbouis thinks cruises could sail from Cozumel to destinations in the Caribbean.

Read moreThings to do in Cozumel on your Royal Caribbean cruise

"There is constant communication with the United States authorities and the Caribbean Cruise Association and there is nothing scheduled for this first quarter, so together with the Secretary of Tourism, we propose that we be a home port."

"There is still no answer with the US lines, but we are in talks with the MSC, which managed an itinerary through the Caribbean without touching North American soil."

"If they cannot leave from the United States, let them make a route to the Caribbean sailing from Cozumel."

Cozumel has long been a destination for cruise ships to visit, but sailing from the island would present a series of challenges, including facilities for embarkation, supplies, and getting passengers easily to the island.

Mayor Delbouis added he thought sailings could include stops in places such as Havana, Cuba or Progreso, Mexico.

His idea is to have, "one or two weekly departures from here."

Read moreBest Cozumel beach resorts

The Mayor did concede that the plan would not be easy to get started, "We know that supply logistics is not easy at all, and more so from an island, but it can be done."

In a separate statement, Mayor Delbouis called on Mexico's federal government to provide support for the plan, "The cruise ships could sail from Cozumel, but we need the support of the federal government."

The key to having cruise ships sail from Cozumel is based on the construction of the fourth cruise ship dock in Cozumel, which began work in October 2020.

This infrastructure is among the 39 projects that make up the Agreement for the Economic Reactivation that President Andrés Manuel López Obrador signed with the Private Initiative (IP) in October 2020.

Mayor Delbouis said the dock could be the perfect facility for Cozumel to transition from port stop to embarking passengers.

On social media, Mayor Delbouis insisted this idea needs both federal and state government support so that the port could make cruise lines see Cozumel as their port of departure for Caribbean sailings.

El Cozumeleño Day Pass in Cozumel Review

In:
29 Jan 2020

Cozumel is known for a great many fun ways to spend your day, including time relaxing at the beach or pool with a drink in hand.  The El Cozumeleño resort is one such offering, and it has quickly risen to the top of my favorite places in Cozumel for a beach break.

After first visiting over a year ago, I wanted to check back in to see how well it stacks up these days.

Overview

El Cozumeleño sells day passes [link contains affiliate link, which costs you nothing extra!] to its resort that can be purchased online, and it offers guests unlimited access to the resort grounds, food, drink and activities.

The hotel is located on the north end of Cozumel, and is about a 10-15 minute taxi ride from where Royal Caribbean docks its cruise ships at the International Pier. The posted price for 1-4 people to get to El Cozumeleño is $16.

Once you arrive at the resort, you will check-in and receive a welcome drink.  It should be noted that a form of payment and identification will be kept at the front desk during your stay.

Towels are available to rent for an additional charge ($5 per towel).

The resort itself is sprawling, with two pool areas, a long beach, and multiple dining venues to enjoy.

One of my favorite features of the resort are the hammocks near the beach, which are not only extremely comfortable, but a prime napping spot.

During our visit, a storm had passed through the area the night before, so the ocean was a bit more stirred up that on my previous visit. The result was the surf was quite strong and the beach a bit worse for wear.  Throughout the day, the resort staff worked to clean and reticulate the beach.

By far, the pool area is the primary focus of the resort.  While many visitors enjoy time at the beach, the resort's pools are as massive as they are lovely to see.

The pool has a variety of depths, and the north end pools are much shallower and welcoming for younger children.

Your day pass is good from morning through the afternoon and into the early evening, so breakfast and lunch are part of the admission fee.

Your day pass includes:

  • Beach access
  • Pool access, with swim-up bar
  • Chairs & Lounge Chairs
  • Unlimited food
  • Unlimited drinks (alcohol & non alcohol)
  • Non-motorized water sports including snorkeling equipment & Kayaking
  • Children ́s activities center
  • Children’s wading pool
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi service in lobby

There is a large buffet dining venue between the two pool areas that serves meals and snacks throughout the day. 

In the morning, the buffet features typical breakfast fare, along with an omelet station.

At lunch, the offerings change to a traditional Mexican lunch with grilled meats and vegetables available on demand. 

In addition to the sit down options, waiters are happy to bring food and drink to your chair by the pool or beach as you need it. The wait staff roam the grounds and regularly check if you need anything else.

The food menu is a mix of Mexican favorites and American food.  Ceviche, pizza, salsa, guacamole, quesadillas and more are available and unlimited too.

 

Likewise, there is a good assortment of beverages to enjoy. The selection of beer and liquors is limited in terms of brands (Dos Equis beer, and typically one type of liquor).

Comments

When I visited El Cozumeleño in 2018, I loved the balance of price, offerings and service, and it seems like the resort maintains that equilibrium quite well.

There are no shortage of great day pass resorts in Cozumel, so what makes El Cozumeleño stand out is the ample space, good food and drink, along with attentive service.

The resort looks great, and it feels like a step above your average resort.  It is no Ritz Carlton by any means, but the staff do a great job maintaining it.

Some of our readers have reported during busier times of the year (popular holidays), chairs go quickly and are often claimed by resort guests earlier in the day.  While I have not experienced this in my two visits, it is worth noting if you plan a visit over a holiday season.

At the time of our visit, the price was $69.00 per adult and $40.00 for children aged 3-11 years old (2 and under are free). 

Video: Best things to do in Cozumel

In:
01 Aug 2019

Do you have a Royal Caribbean cruise to Cozumel booked and trying to figure out what to do on the island? We have a brand new video detailing the important info about what Cozumel offers!

Cozumel is a popular Western Caribbean port known for its beautiful waters, exquisite beaches, culture and cuisine.  There is lots to consider, and we break down the basics when it comes to Cozumel in this new video.

And if you love this video, we have lots of other great cruise videos to watch on our Royal Caribbean Blog YouTube Channel!

By the way, have you subscribed yet? Be sure to subscribe to our channel and never miss a single video!

So check out the video and then let us know: What is your favorite thing to do in Cozumel?

Fun things to do on a cruise to Mexico

In:
27 Jun 2019

Royal Caribbean can take you on a cruise to various ports in Mexico to swim, scuba, eat, drink and climb your way around the country’s storied ancient pyramids and cenotes.

We get a lot of requests for recommendations of what to do in various ports of call, so today we are focusing on the cruise ports in Mexico that Royal Caribbean serves, and hand-picked excursions offered by both the cruise line and on your own.

Royal Caribbean offers Western Caribbean cruises from four to seven nights that depart ports in Florida and Texas. If you are interested in some fun activities offered in each Mexican port Royal Caribbean visits, here are some great suggestions.

Cozumel

Fun in the ocean is at the heart of Cozumel, as it is known for its exotic and exquisite diving.  In fact, oceanographer Jacques Cousteau once said Cozumel had the best in the world for scuba diving.  Royal Caribbean offers shore excursions to snorkel in the Palancar Reef, where you can swim among starfish in a natural sanctuary.  Or give back a little and save sea turtle hatchlings.

You can combine the sea and land with a day by the beach. Cozumel has a number of great beach resorts you can spend the day at with a day pass.

If you want a little culture, try the Mexico in a Nutshell tour for a sampling of Mayan traditions, illustrated through aerial acrobatics and Mexican architecture. There are also tequila samplings and chocolate tastings to consider.

Costa Maya

 

Costa Maya has a great deal of intriguing options to consider to fill your day. Some of the best Mayan ruins are found around Costa Maya, including the premier preserved site at Chichen Itza. Royal Caribbean offers a multi-day tour that will take you to Chacchoben, Tulum and Chichen Itza, on an overnight adventure.

If aquatic adventure is what you want, the Meso-American Barrier Reef offers kayaking or scuba diving. This area is an important marine region spanning nearly 700 miles. You can always head to the beach and enjoy a relaxing day at Maya Chan Beach.

If you want to try to reel in your fun (see what we did there?), then grab a lure and head out for some deep sea fishing.

Progreso

A newer cruise port for Royal Caribbean, Progresso (also known as Yucatan), is home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Chichen Itza.

You can take a glimpse into Mexico's past with a visit to Merida, the capital of the Yucatan state. There you will find colonial-era estates known as Mexican haciendas.

Speaking of the past, you can explore Mayan culture at the Uxmal ruins, one of the civilization’s political hubs. You can explore the classic Mesoamerican ball courts, where ancient games were played, and the stone decorations of the aptly named House of the Turtles. The Dzibilchaltun ruins, an ancient trading center, and Temple of the Seven Dolls are worth a visit too, as they reveal the Mayans’ long-held understanding of the solar system.

Your thoughts

What is your favorite thing to do in Mexico on a cruise? Are you considering another tour? Share your experiences and questions in the comments below!

Paradise Beach Cozumel 2019 shore excursion review

In:
18 Feb 2019

If your cruise ship is visiting Cozumel, Mexico, then you will very likely be in the market for somewhere to cool off and enjoy the beautiful waters that Cozumel is famous for. Picking the right beach for your family is more a decision of what you want to do, rather than a scientific examination of which beach is superior.

For many years, Paradise Beach has been a popular choice for cruise ship visitors who want an inexpensive, yet uncompromising beach day in Cozumel.  We decided to head back to Paradise Beach for that exact reason and see if the value proposition remains a compelling choice.

Description

Paradise Beach offers a simple approach, where each guest pays $3 admission and then everything else available is priced a la carte. Unlike many of the other popular beaches in Cozumel, Paradise Beach relies on offering a low-cost of entry to entice guests in.

The drive to Paradise Beach is fairly quick, about 10 minutes from where Royal Caribbean docks in Cozumel via taxi. The cost of our taxi ride was $30 for the six of us.

Upon entry, you have the choice to sit near the pool or beach.  You can move freely between the two areas, but it is up to you where you want your family's "home base" to be located.

A vast majority of the seating is located near the beach, as most guests seem to gravitate towards a beach day.  There is seating with or without shade, and the staff is quite accommodating as to where exactly you would like to sit.

The beach is quite nice and clean, although the left side of the beach has far more rocks than the right side.  If you are interested in snorkeling, the left side is your choice.

Paradise Beach also offers an aqua park add-on option. Like many other beaches, you can buy full day access to the aqua park and enjoy the various inflatables.  Unlike neighboring Mr. Sanchos, I did like that the inflatables seemed to be significantly closer to shore.

If the pool is more your fancy, Paradise Beach offers a rather enormous pool to enjoy.  They advertise it as the largest heated pool in Cozumel.  

Unlike the beach, there is not nearly as much seating with shade by the pool.  If you are okay with a bit of sun, there are some seats underneath trees that should provide partial protection.

The pool is not very deep, and there are shallower areas that were probably designed for lounging, but younger kids will find it a good spot for them.

Spending the day at Paradise Beach, you are likely to want to enjoy some food and drink while visiting.  As mentioned earlier, the food and drink is priced a la carte.  There is a new all-inclusive option available, but compared to other all-inclusive options in Cozumel, I did not think it was a terrific value.

Chips & Guacamole, along with Bloody Mary

Chips and Salsa

Mexican Breakfast

Veggie and fish tacos

Chicken and beef tacos

You will be assigned a waiter for your stay at Paradise Beach, and your waiter can bring you any food or drink you need.  Placing the order is done via the waiter's tablet device and then a few minutes later another waiter will bring your order. 

There is a good mix of Mexican food, along with American favorites. Picky eaters should find plenty to enjoy, while there are still some good Mexican choices available too.  

Comments

Paradise Beach remains a great beach option for those that fall into one of two categories: you only want to spend part of the day at the beach/pool and/or you are not interested in an all-inclusive experience.

The beach is well-maintained, offers ample seating with plenty of shade (or no shade) and the aqua park option should keep most families busy with things to do. 

Their pool is massive and quite lovely.  The fact it is heated stands out as a very nice option, as some of the pools we have been to around Cozumel are downright frigid.  

We found the food to be pretty good, and on par for what you can find at most beach resorts on the island. The taco truck stand and mojito cart are particularly good choices if you want something a little better.

The biggest issue with Paradise Beach is if you happen to be there on a day when there are a lot of ships in port.  Paradise Beach is one of the best-known spots in Cozumel, so it is no secret of what it offers. As a result, it has the potential to get crowded.  On the day we visited, there were only three ships in port and Paradise Beach was doing pretty well with folks enjoying the experience.

If you want a beach/pool day and you are looking to really indulge with food or drink, you would be better off at El Cozumeleno or Nachi Cocom.  But if drinking your weight in tequila, or eating a ton is not in the plans, than Paradise Beach is a very compelling choice.  It is the perfect add-on if you perhaps want to go downtown first to shop and then cool off with some beach time.

How to book: No reservations required or available. Just show up. Website

Best Cozumel beach resorts

In:
20 Dec 2018

For cruisers with a port stop in Cozumel, Mexico, a very common question posed is which is the best beach resort in Cozumel.

Over the course of the last 12 months or so, I had the opportunity to visit and review a number of beach resorts in Cozumel that offer a pass for cruise ship guests to enjoy the facilities available. With an eye towards value, offerings and service, we present our list of our favorite beach resorts in Cozumel.

El Cozumeleno

Best Overall

Between the beach, pool, food and service, El Cozumeleno is "the total package". It offers enough for families to enjoy, while still retaining a sense of relaxation if you want to find a quiet corner of the resort.

Paradise Beach

Best Value

Paradise Beach impressed us with its combination of large beach and pool area, along with very good service. Unless you are planning on doing some serious drinking and/or eating, the value proposition of Paradise Beach is quite high.

Nachi Cocom

Best service

The level of service and terrific atmosphere at Nachi make it clear why so many people have been a fan of Nachi Cocom for so long.

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