What To Do In Cozumel On A Cruise

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


After Grand Cayman, the next stop on our upcoming cruise will be Cozumel, Mexico.  We'll be here from 11am-8pm.  There are a lot of different choices for things to do here, so it shouldn't be hard to find something to make everyone on your vacation happy!

I haven't decided exactly what we'll be doing here yet, but I know I plan to get some amazing food!  (UPDATE:  Read below for what we did end up doing!)

Chankanaab Park

Since we'll have our son with us, we were thinking of going to  Chankanaab park.  It's the top attraction in Cozumel and is open from 9am-5pm.  Inside the park, they have their own beach (don't forget to bring sand toys!), an area where you can find great snorkeling and scuba diving.  The biggest attraction of this place is the animals (if you're into that).  They give you the ability to swim with dolphins, sea lions, or manatees (!) for an additional fee.

They also have a sea lion show and crocodile exhibit.  This is seriously a place where you could spend all day. There is a beautiful lagoon, restaurant and bar with waiter service at the pool and beach. You can also get a locker to hold all of your beach equipment while you experience the rest of what the park has to offer.

Beyond that, they offer tequila tastings, archaeological replicas, and a historical walk.

 Entry without a swim with the animals is $22/adult and $14 for children 3-12.  If you purchase a swim with the dolphins ($100) or manatees ($53), your admission to the rest of the park is included. During the swim, you can feed the animals, get hugs and kisses, and just have fun playing in the water swimming with them. However, cameras are not allowed in the animal swims...and pictures are super expensive.  So be prepared for that.  I have heard of people successfully haggling on the price of those though.

*Prices accurate at the time of initial posting.  Check the website before you go for the most up to date pricing.



Paradise Beach

If you want to spend an inexpensive day at the beach, head on over to Paradise beach.  Entry is $3 and gives you access to their beach, chairs, pool, and restroom facilities.

The pool is huge and has a nice swim up bar.

Paradise beach also has these great big inflatable water toys in the ocean that cost $15 to use for the day.  There are slides, wall climbs, water trampolines- where if you jump from above, the person below goes flying off into the ocean which I'm sure older kids would find a lot of fun.

They also offer banana boat rides for $15.

For us, I think my son (he'll be turning 6 at that time) would be too young for the inflatable toys, but the banana boat ride sounds fun!  The food here seems rather expensive, but the portions are very large and tasty.


Playa Mia

Playa Mia is another fun beach day option which is what we are considering doing if we don't go to Chankanaab.  (UPDATE: Playa Mia is where we ended up going, and it was the highlight of our trip!!!)  

This beach looks like a great choice for families with all ages.  They have a kiddie water park that has a pirate ship with water canons, small waterslides, colorful animal statues, and water spraying from the ground.  

Then in another area they have 2 long twisting waterslides, a huge pool, and an "oasis hydro massage tub" (After being here now, it's worth mentioning that this massage tub, is not a "hot" tub.  The water is actually just as cold as the pool is.  Most people, including ourselves, had a bit of a shock when we went in! and pretty much went right back out, lol). 

What's that?  You want more?  

How about a floating park, an underwater Mayan city, kayaks, water bikes, paddle boats, volleyball and soccer court, a playground...really I could go on, there's more.  

This place has so many options of fun things to do, it sounds like an excellent way to spend the day. The more I'm writing about it, I think this is going to be the option we choose.  My son would have so much fun here.  And who am I kidding, my husband and I will too!  

You also of course have access to a beach, chairs, a buffet and a bar.  You could even pay more for snorkel gear, wave runners, parasailing, and massages if you need more adventure to fill your day.

Price starts at $30/adult and $24/child aged 4-11 and goes up from their depending if you want to include the price food, transportation, or the other adventure options.

* Prices accurate at the time of initial posting.  Always check the website for the most up to date information.


** Some more notes since I've come back from here:

This place was a huge hit with my family.  My 6 year old son loved the water slides and kiddie water park.  Now, the "floating park" is an obstacle course in the ocean.  OMG ya'll....it is so much fun....but also could be dangerous?  

They give you life jackets (or when no one is there to hand them out and you grab one yourself and hope you get the right size).  Sometimes the jackets would unbutton themselves either for being the wrong size or maybe used too much.  I would suggest bringing your own life jackets for the kids.  Amazon has some great ones that would be easy enough to bring along.    The course is out in the middle of the ocean and well....let's just say there is nothing protecting you from, say...if a shark decided to swim near you there really isn't much you can do about it.  

The course was actually quite difficult, but that made it so much fun.  Every one kept slipping and falling off into the water.   But as I say that, some little kids were zipping through that course!!  

My son was a little afraid to fall into the water, but then he saw mom and dad fall plenty of times so then he became okay with it.  We just pulled him back up----or hopped in the water with him and pushed him back up--when he did fall.  I know this could sound dangerous--and perhaps it was--but everyone there had A LOT of fun...my 6 year old included.  We went out a second time if that tells you anything, so don't let it scare you from trying it!**

I tried to zoom in so you could see the obstacle course

kiddie water park area

One of the pools.  You can see how close the ocean is.  Just a few steps away.

And, if your kids need a break from all the activity and chill out for a bit. we ended up bringing some fun activity books for my son.  That way he could take a break and rest for a bit and I didn't have to chase him around!  It ended up being an easy thing to carry in our bag that we could use at the beach and pool too, so it worked out great.  These are some of the ones we brought with us for an idea:

Picture of Big Maze Book
Click here to take a peek!

Picture of Travel Pocket Puzzle Book
Click here to take a peek!


If you're looking for a relaxing day at an all inclusive resort, you'll find plenty of options.  
My favorite is to go to resortforaday.com .  We use this site for any cruise we take.  It lists the all inclusives by country and gives you all the info you need.  For Cozumel, we found information on The Melia, El Cozumelena, and El Cid which all include food and alcoholic drinks with your beach and pool time for a price of between $65 and $78 per adult.  (at the time of this writing)

                               Cozumel Resort for a Day

Nachi Cocum and Mr Sanchos are some other very popular All Inclusive beach clubs within the cruising population. 

 Nachi Cocum's beach may not be great for kids though as  you can walk about 10 steps and then the water gets deep very quickly. 

 Mr Sanchos has an all inclusive side and a separate side for people who'd rather pay as they go for food and drinks.  

Nachi Cocum tends to be on the quieter, more peaceful side of things while Mr Sanchos is a bit livelier.  You can explore the links above if you're interested in either of these two locations.


After the parks close or you've had enough of the beach, you might want to head out and get some food!   We'll probably go to a wonderful open air restaurant called Poncho's Backyard.  It's received rave reviews.  You can see their menu with prices here.  The food is supposed to be delicious with great service.  They also have free WiFi.  There are two locations in Cozumel.  This one here, is more casual,  while the other location specializes in fantastic fine dining Mexican cuisine.



Alternatively, further into town, there is another restaurant called Casa Denis. This place comes highly recommended by a few locals in Cozumel.  Right next to it, you can even find a free tequila tour!



For something a little fun and different, head on over to Salsa and Salsa's .  This cool place came at the recommendation of one of our readers (Thanks Whitney!), where you can sign up for a cooking class and dance party! You will learn to make a few different kinds of salsas and two types of margaritas.  Then you will learn to dance the salsa!  This sounds like a ton of fun, and judging by the reviews, people always seem to have a good time.  For me, I'm glad the salsa-ing comes after the margaritas!  lol.

*Cruising out of Orlando?  Here's some cheap things you can do in the area!*

There are so many other exciting things to do in Cozumel, that I couldn't include them all.  If you've been there, let me know!  I'd love to hear what you did and if you found any fun spots to check out!

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