Alt Text!

Cozumel

Paradise Beach Cozumel 2021 shore excursion review

In:
Category: 
08Jul2021

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:
Category: 
09Feb2021

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:
29Jan2020

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:
Category: 
01Aug2019

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:
27Jun2019

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:
Category: 
18Feb2019

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:
Category: 
20Dec2018

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.

Mr Sanchos Beach Club all-inclusive day pass review in Cozumel, Mexico

In:
Category: 
11Dec2018

Odds are if you are reading this review of Mr. Sanchos, then you probably heard about it from a friend, colleague or some online who recommended as a good choice.  Mr. Sanchos is among one of the more well-known all-inclusive beach spots in Cozumel and it is why we decided to try it out after hearing so much how others enjoyed it.

Description

The staff at Mr. Sanchos recommends making a reservation in advance to ensure a spot for you and your family.  It is not uncommon for Mr. Sanchos to sell out, and reservations can be made via the Mr. Sanchos web site. Reservations require a small deposit at the time of booking.

Mr. Sanchos is located south of where the cruise ships dock, and is roughly a 15 minute cab ride away.

Mr. Sanchos offers two admission options: A la Carte section (Pay as you Go) or the All Inclusive Day Pass. The resort claims there are two separate areas, and they do not mix All Inclusive Guests with Pay-As-You-Go customers.  For the purposes of this review, we opted for the all inclusive day pass option.

Upon arrival, you check-in and pay the remainder of the cost owed for the day.  Your admission gets you unlimited access to the beach, pool, food and drink for $55.. There is optional aquatic park add-on that costs $12 extra per person.

After checking in, you are escorted to the spot of your choice along the beach. Your admission gets you beach chairs, a table and umbrella. 

Mr. Sanchos has a rather large footprint, with at least three large pool areas, a couple of buffet restaurants, multi-story spa, shopping plaza, and more.  Something I have never seen at an all-inclusive beach resort is a small shopping district at the front of the resort where you can buy a lot of the typical Cozumel souvenirs found downtown.

After picking your chairs for the day, the wait staff will introduce themselves to you and they are your go-to point for any beverage or food order you want. On our visit, we were introduced to two waiters, with at least one of them usually around to take any order.  Mr. Sanchos offers unlimited food and drink, so there is no limit to how much you can order or how often.

The beach area is where most guests will spend their time, with lots of space to lay out and enjoy the water.  Entering the water, there is a good mix of sand and rocky areas and lots of fish swimming about.  

Speaking of the ocean, the aquatic park is a popular option with families.  The $12 aquatic park entrance gets you all-day access to the inflatables located just off shore.  Swim vests area available upon request.

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

There are three pools, two of which feature a swim-up bar, in-pool seating and even swings around the bar to enjoy as you sip a drink.

The menu at Mr. Sanchos offers quite a variety of food, with a mix of Mexican favorites (tacos, ceviche, fajitas, guacamole, etc) and American fare (hot dogs, hamburgers, etc).

Comments

Mr. Sanchos has earned a reputation over the years for being a premier all-inclusive choice in Cozumel and after spending a day here, I can see why that is the case.  

The sheer amount of offerings included (and not included) in your admission stood out to me instantly from arriving at Mr. Sanchos.  They have a very large beach area, multiple pools, aqua park, water sports, bars and more to choose between.  Where other all-inclusives in Cozumel may offer a pool or a beach bar, Mr. Sanchos has multiples of each, which means you never have to stray far to run into something to do.

The service at Mr. Sanchos is impeccable, with the waiters almost hounding you if you need anything else.  While in the pool, the pool bartender got to know my name and had beers ready for me the instant my current beer dropped below half.  He wrote my name on it and whistled to inform me it was ready when I was.  That is some serious attention to customers.

Perhaps the greatest asset Mr. Sanchos offers is possibly its largest detractor, in that its sheer property size and capacity had me questioning what it would be like in Mr. Sanchos if they ever came close to selling the place out.  To be perfectly honest, we had no crowding issue on our visit.  But I could not help but notice the amount of seating offered at Mr. Sanchos and contemplated what the experience would be like on a day where they surpassed 75% capacity.

A big draw for a lot of families is the aqua park, which features a number of inflatable objects a short swim from shore on the left side of the beach.  If someone in your family is interested in climbing up inflatable pyramids or platforms and jumping back into the ocean a lot, then this is a great add-on to consider.  I bought passes for me and my 7 year old daughter, but I quickly realized she was a bit too young to enjoy the activity.

Overall, Mr. Sanchos offers a compelling all-inclusive spot to enjoy a day in Cozumel.  Mr. Sanchos is a great choice for larger groups, especially if some or all are interested in more than simply lounging by the ocean or pool.  The activities and aqua park seem to resonate with a lot of our readers who travel with kids or young adults. The all-inclusive option allows for a lot of indulgence while visiting the beach club, so it behooves you to sample as much as you can.

How to book: Reservations can be made online via the Mr. Sanchos website or third-party reseller.

El Cozumeleno Beach Resort Day Pass All Inclusive review in Cozumel, Mexico

In:
29Nov2018

One of the most popular ways to spend time in Cozumel is by going to an all-inclusive beach, and there is no shortage of choices.  So when I ran across the El Cozumeleno resort offering day passes, I had to check it out for myself.

Photo by Cruise Life Rick

El Cozumeleno is an all-inclusive resort that offers day passes for purchase, which grant access to the hotel grounds.  This includes the beach, pool, dining facilities, snorkeling, mini-golf and more.  It looks like the total package, but how would it stack up to the many other all-inclusives in Cozumel?

Description

Located on the north end of Cozumel, El Cozumeleno is not in the usual area where you find the most popular all-inclusives.  El Cozumeleno is one of many hotel resorts on the north side that cater primarily to guests who are staying in Cozumel multiple nights.

 

The resort advertises itself as offering a lot for your time and money. There is a huge selection of activities, options and ways to spend your day while on a cruise in Cozumel. Note that this is not a Royal Caribbean excursion, and can be booked via one of many third-party websites that sell day passes.

Checking in at the front desk, you are greeted with a welcome drink and explanation of what's included with your stay.  Essentially, you have access to anything a hotel guest would have, minus pool towels.

Here is exactly what is included with your day pass:

  • All food and open bar
  • Snorkel gear
  • 5 swimming pools, Jacuzzis and wading pools
  • Restaurant a la carte and buffet style right on the beach
  • Restaurant a la carte (air conditioned)
  • 5 Bars
  • Diving class in the pool
  • Mini golf & tennis court
  • Game room - pool table, table games, table tennis, table soccer
  • Fitness Center
  • Beach chairs
  • Swimming pool lounges
  • Sandy beach and great snorkel area
  • Kids club activities program in a special designed kids club
  • Wi-Fi in lobby area

As is the case with many all-inclusive resorts, you head outside and pick a few chairs to be "your spot" for the day.  There is ample seating along the beach, or in one of the pool areas. 

There are two main beach areas at El Cozumeleno, with one being primarily for enjoying the sun and surf, and the other beach used more for snorkeling (although there is plenty of seating there as well).

In addition, El Cozumeleno has a sprawling pool complex, which is also split up into two areas. The main pool is massive, with various depths and even part of the pool completely under a shaded area for those that want refuge from the sun.

There is a swim-up bar, as well as roaming waiter service.  The wait staff will consistently stop by to bring you any food or drink you would want.

If you prefer, there is a buffet restaurant between the two pools that is convenient to the beach or the pools.  

Speaking of food, there is a lot of it with a good mix of Mexican favorites and more familiar American fare.

El Cozumeleno offers programming and services beyond the usual beach and pool activities.  There is a child care facility adjacent to the pool, such as programming for all guests (Spanish language lessons, water aerobics, etc).

There is also a mini-golf course and playground near the pools.  The pools, beach and facilities mentioned are all relatively close to each other, which keeps things manageable in terms of not venturing off too far from anyone.

Comments

In my opinion, there are four components that make a great all-inclusive beach experience:

  1. Well-kept and appealing aquatic facilities
  2. Excellent waiter service
  3. Freshly made and tasty food
  4. Fair price

Having visited a number of all-inclusive resorts in Cozumel, often there is one or two of those components that a resort struggles with and it ends up dampening the experience.  I was pleasantly surprised to find El Cozumeleno bucked that trend and hit all four targets.

First and foremost, the resort is quite lovely.  It is large without feeling overwhelming, and offers plenty of space on the beach and by the pool.  Their pool facility is particularly impressive, with a large amount of space and nicely set up.  We found ample seating, both in the shade or in the sun. 

The beach offers palapas, hammocks, beach chairs and like the pool, there is lots of seating.  Between the two beaches, you should find a spot to enjoy the day.

Equally impressive was the food and service at El Cozumeleno.  We had a team of two waiters who were essentially "assigned" to our group and would regularly come around to see if we needed anything.  In my opinion, you want waiter service that is borderline annoying just so that you are not the one hunting them down to make a request. The waiter team was quite attentive and always had a smile when taking a new drink order, or bringing us our fifth order of chips and salsa.

Speaking of chips and salsa, the food came out fresh and tasted great.  Being in Mexico, I expect a certain level of authentic fare that should exceed the kind of Mexican food we can get in the United States. Their ceviche and fish tacos were excellent, along with fresh salsa.  They offer food like pizza or burgers, which were nothing special but certainly not inedible either.

After spending a day at El Cozumeleno, I believe I have found the new gold standard of all-inclusive beach days in Cozumel.  Their facility was superior to Nachi Cocum, and their service definitely equaled it.  The food offered rivaled any other all-inclusive beach in Cozumel, and I was all too willing to order multiple dishes while there.

At the time of our visit, the price was $54.99 per adult and $25.99 for children aged 3-11 years old (2 and under are free). The price mirrors most other all-inclusive beaches in Cozumel, and is an excellent value.

In short, El Cozumeleno is the best overall all-inclusive resort we have visited in Cozumel to date. Between the beach, pool, food and service, it is "the total package" and I instantly wanted to go back on a future visit to Cozumel. 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.

Excursion Focus: Paradise Beach Cozumel

In:
25Jul2018

Spending the day in Cozumel, Mexico means time playing and relaxing by the ocean, and one of the most popular spots for cruise ship guests for many years has been Paradise Beach.

Unlike some other beaches in Cozumel, Paradise Beach offers an a la carte experience, where you only pay for the activities you want to enjoy.  This means a lower admission cost than some other popular beach options.

It had been eight years since our last visit, so on a recent Royal Caribbean cruise to Cozumel, we decided to see how Paradise Beach stacks up to the competition.

Description

Paradise Beach is about a 15 minute taxi ride ($15 one way) away from where Royal Caribbean docks their cruise ships in Cozumel, and easily accessible by taxi. It is located on the western side of Cozumel, one of many beaches that are popular with tourists.

Paradise Beach offers beach access, a large swimming pool, dining and drink service, and water toys in the ocean.  What makes Paradise Beach stand apart is that is not all-inclusive, which means you are charged for what you want to enjoy.

Admission to Paradise Beach is just $3 per person.  For that price, you can sit on the beach or go to the pool and enjoy the entire day.  Granted, that does not include anything other than facility access, but for some people that is all they really want. It is worth noting that a $10 minimum food order is kindly requested for pool access.

More realistically, you have the option of purchasing food, drink or activity access.  Paradise Beach prides itself on offering a low cost of entry and reasonable prices for the things to do there.  

Speaking of prices, Paradise Beach offers a Fun Pass that costs $18 and you can use the kayaks, snorkel gear, stand up paddle boards and access to the inflatable water toys, which include:

  • water trampolines
  • 14 ft. climbing iceberg
  • water slides
  • a floating multitier Jungle Joe climbing structure
  • Jungle Joe 2
  • Wibit Flipper
  • Aqua Glide blast bag
  • the Rock-it circular water rocker
  • Jungle Joe x1 aqua glide revolution
  • water mats
  • coconut tree climb
  • bungee-trampoline

As you arrive, the staff at Paradise Beach will escort you to any available chairs you prefer, either on the beach or near the pool. The staff roam the grounds of Paradise Beach regularly to take food or drink orders, and deliver it right to you.

Speaking of the pool, Paradise Beach has a massive pool area that offers shallow and deep(er) areas.  You can find chairs out in the sun, under a tree or somewhere inbetween.  

As its name implies, there is also a lovely beach that you can have access to while at Paradise Beach. It is indeed a large sandy beach and can accommodate quite a number of guests.

Food and drinks are available by ordering from the wait staff (copy of the menu.  There is certainly a large variety of alcoholic beverages you can enjoy, which is expected at any tourist beach spot in Cozumel.  In addition, the food is a mix of traditional Mexican fare and some American dishes

Comments

The appeal of Paradise Beach is quite simple, have a fun day by the beach or pool (or both) and pay just for what you want.  Unlike some other all-inclusive options, Paradise Beach does not include everything because they do not believe you need to have everything included.

Without a doubt, if you are looking to only spend part of your day at the beach or pool, Paradise Beach is the go to spot.  The opportunity to drop in and spend just a few dollars on admission is quite appealing.  Moreover, their prices for beer or cocktails are reasonable (definitely cheaper than the cruise ship prices).  Even if you drink quite a bit, you may still find yourself spending less overall than at an all-inclusive.

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of our visit to Paradise Beach was the service.  I was curious how attentive the wait staff would be, especially since our cruise ship had a late arrival (noon) and we did not arrive to Paradise Beach until well into the afternoon.  Despite the late arrival time, we never waited more than a few minutes to get an order in.  Some of the waiters had handheld tablets that they could put orders immediately into the system, and then be delivered later on by other waiters.  

Coming back to Paradise Beach after so many years, it definitely holds up as a premier spot for any cruise ship guest to enjoy.  Paradise Beach has been synonymous with recommendations for a good beach day in Cozumel for quite a long time.  If you happen to search the internet for recommendations, inevitably Paradise Beach will always be among the suggestions.  

Overall, Paradise Beach impressed us with its combination of large beach and pool area, along with very good service.  When you combine the low cost of admission, Paradise Beach is a great spot to enjoy being outdoors.  Unless you are planning on doing some serious drinking and/or eating, the value proposition of Paradise Beach is quite high.  Families especially are sure to find the low cost for kids (we were never charged for our two daughters on our visit) a welcome change.

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

Pages