This past summer our Western Caribbean Cruise onboard the Norwegian Getaway took us to Honduras, Belize, Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico. This is the final installment of our “What to do” posts, and while I shared a few things that you can do on each island, Cozumel was a blast to visit, and a return trip is definitely in our future.
If you have never been on a Western Caribbean cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line; or any of their sail offerings, we also shared why we chose Norwegian for our family cruise this summer over other cruise lines.
I’m happy that we decided on a Western Caribbean cruise over an Alaskan cruise. I reasoned that we just got out of winter and the cold weather, “How about celebrating with some warm weather on a Caribbean island/beach?” And Mexico does not disappoint. While Mexico is technically considered Central America, the cities that are located near the Caribbean Sea, such as Costa Maya and Cozumel are referred to as the Western Caribbean.
There are quite a lot of excursions to partake in, while in Cozumel, but most of them are repeat adventures that you can do in Costa Maya, so I decided to focus on the top 7 things that you should do in Cozumel. As with all destinations, there isn’t much time to spend sightseeing, and I will be listing the time it takes for each excursion so that you’re able to make prudent use of your time.
We did not do all of these excursions due to the time constraint, but these were a few of the activities available to us.
The Joy of Chocolate (3hrs)
This one was highly recommended by the cruise activity director on the ship, but since we had taken a chocolate factory tour in Honduras, we skipped this one. If you missed out on the chocolate factory tour in Honduras, then this is your opportunity to learn all about the history of chocolate and how it is made. You’ll also be able to taste a variety of chocolate that is created and even make your own chocolate bar. You’ll also be able to purchase your favorites. This tour also includes entrance to Discover Mexico Park where you can experience Mexico’s history, culture, and traditions. You have the option of using a guide or exploring on your own with a self-guided map.
Tequila Tasting Experience (3hrs)
This was the highlight of our Cozumel trip, and if you were following along with my Instagram stories, you might have seen this. For this experience, however, you need to be at least 21 years of age, and my husband and daughter had a blast! Your guide will explain the origins, distillation process, and the different types of tequila. For me, I had no idea that Tequila was created using the Agave plant that looks very much like an Aloe Vera plant. You’ll sample a variety of tequila including flavored tequila; my favorite being Chocolate Tequila. You also have the option of purchasing your choice when it’s all over. Note: Your bottle of alcohol will be taken and stored for you once you board the ship, and returned on your final night before your cruise ends.
Stingray Encounter (3hrs)
Have you ever wanted to swim with Rays? This is your opportunity to do so! This is a 2-in-1 activity; which includes meeting and feeding the stingrays, then snorkeling with them. For this, you need to be at least 4 years of age to participate in the feeding as you’re in shallow water, but you will have to be at least 5 years of age to snorkel. The Stingrays barbs are trimmed, so need to worry that you’ll be the next “crocodile hunter”. This excursion is very close to the ship so you’ll have plenty of time to do something else when it’s all over.
An Island Tour (2 ½hrs)
As with all the islands, we decided that a tour was due. After all, the ship usually docks in the more “touristy” section, and I wanted to see the real Cozumel, Mexico. Be sure that you’re taking a reputable taxi, which is identifiable by their colors, such as taxies in the US. Even though the native language of Mexico is Spanish, most taxi drivers do speak excellent English. They are able to tell you the history of the city and take you to picturesque scenic areas which are absolutely beautiful to photograph. Driving along the coast of the island where the waters sparkle blue, feeling the Caribbean breeze along your face is an absolute must.
Atlantis Submarine (2¼ hrs)
This is a family-friendly excursion, but you need to be at least 4 years of age, and 3ft tall, and able to climb a seven-foot ladder all by yourself. You’ll be traveling 100ft under the sea to Chankanaab (an environmentally protected marine park) onboard a submarine in air-conditioned comfort. You’ll have the chance to marvel at the tropical underground scenery which includes parrotfish and much more, while you’re entertained by live narration from your co-pilot. So if your dream has always been to get on a sub, then this is the activity for you.
Eat Authentic Mexican Food (1hr)
Chipotle, while I love you, does not count as authentic Mexican food. For the real deal, you have to get it in Mexico, and the tacos and burritos in Cozumel do not disappoint whatsoever. After our Island Tour, we decided to grab a bite to eat. While there was a myriad of places to choose from, we decided to eat at Taco y Tequila. After all, it’s what Mexico is known for. It was also conveniently located across from where our ship was berth. The service was quick, the food absolutely delicious, and I highly recommend them to ANYONE!
Shopping (If you have the time)
Shopping is a bit more organized in Cozumel, compared to Costa Maya. Where in Costa Maya there were little shops where merchants hawked their wares, and you’re able to negotiate prices, in Cozumel, there are dedicated stores with set prices. Be sure to grab a few souvenirs to take home as a commemorative piece of your journey to Cozumel.
There’s really an abundance of activities to do in Cozumel, such as kayaking, ATV adventures, paddleboarding, zipline, horseback riding, and so much more, but just so little time to do it all. Cozumel is a burst of color, history, charm, and beauty. So if you’ve been hesitating on a Western Caribbean cruise, get with the program and Just Do It!