Sunshine and I knew coming into Cozumel exactly what we were going to do: shop. We had excursions planned for the next two ports and we weren’t really overly excited to leave the terminal area (I realize this part of Mexico isn’t considered dangerous, but it was still in the back of our minds so we didn’t want to take any chances).
Once again we were up at the ass-crack of dawn so we could go to the gym for 6am. And once again, we were able to work out and have breakfast before the sun came up. On this morning, the sun was rising behind the ship as it made its way into Mexico…so that meant we were able to go to the back of the ship in the Serenity area to enjoy the beauty of it all.
We got showered, changed, and ready to hit the port of Cozumel, Mexico. Cozumel is an island just off the eastern coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula that has a population of about 71,400. It’s a location primarily known for some amazing snorkeling and scuba diving, but it’s also known as a great place for souvenir shopping. Because of this, we decided before the cruise that this was going to be where we did the majority of our shopping. With excursions planned the next two ports and available funds being scarce, we thought this might be the best idea. Thankfully, we were right.
We stopped at the port of Puerto Maya, which is an affiliate of Carnival (one or two Carnival cruise ships dock here six days out of every week) so we knew we were safe and the port would be well maintained. One of the fun things about this port (similar to the day before in Grand Cayman) was that there were a ton of great photo opportunities to be had.
Case in point: the “human statues”. As we were walking through the initial shopping area, we saw a gold statue right in the middle of the room. The statue really had some incredible detail and people were looking closely at it as they passed by. Just as one person went to place a finger on the statue, it suddenly sprang to life and said, “Don’t touch me!”
We were shocked. This guy had held still for a LONG time before finally moving. This was a job held by a few different people within the port area and they apparently worked for tips. Of course we had to take advantage of the photo op…
Once inside the actual port, the cheesy photo ops were plentiful. And by now you should realize that Sunshine and I are all about taking full advantage of cheesy photo ops!!
Of course, we also had to pick up some souvenirs for ourselves and the kids. With $1 maracas and trinkets, we found some great deals right off the bat. We then had to search store-to-store to find some t-shirt deals, but we ended up buying quite a bit of stuff (at least for us).
CRUISE TIP: Out of any port we have visited in the past two years, Cozumel had the most aggressive vendors. They’re not rude, but they’re constantly talking and trying to get you into their stores. Be wary, but don’t be afraid. Just smile and decline and they’ll talk a bit more before moving on to the next person. It can be a bit disconcerting if you’ve never experienced it before.
We thought about maybe getting a taxi to a more “downtown” area of Cozumel, but once we reached outside entrance to the port we figured we would simply continue to enjoy the shopping found right there. Plus there were more photo ops to be had…
At this point we got to see a real, authentic mariachi band. Some people may take this for granted, but I found this to be a pretty cool thing to experience. These guys were the real deal.
So back inside we went, as there were definitely more stores to enjoy and more shopping to do. And with that, as you’d expect, were more photo ops…
That was pretty much our day in a nutshell. We took a LOT more pictures from our time here and I could easily post another dozen, but I’ll spare the bandwidth for now. After we got back on board, we decided to have a relaxing night. We didn’t do a whole lot after supper except check out the “Love and Marriage” show, which was like a Newlywed Game with three different couples (longest married, newest married, another couple in between).
Cozumel was definitely a great spot for us to visit.
Tomorrow’s post…cave-tubing in the jungles of Belize!!!