On Western Caribbean itineraries, Cozumel is my favorite port of call. Yes it is very touristy, but its a safe port to explore on your own without feeling nervous. I love the variety of excursions offered as well!
Whether you get off the boat to shop on the pier and have a bite to eat or want to explore some ruins, or do some scuba diving. Cozumel is a great port to do it all!
Taxi cabs are readily available throughout the island making it easy to get around. Renting a moped or walking is always an option. Depending what pier your ship docks out will make all the difference. Ask your travel agent for suggestions on the easiest way for your family to get around.
On our most recent trip we decided to swim with stingrays. There was a cold front that had just gone through the area so the water was rough and the air was cool. It definitely wasn't ideal weather to be in the water. The guides that helped us “meet” the stingrays were informative and helpful. We went in about waist deep but the waves were rough and with the ground being rocky it was easy to get pushed around by the water, making some people nervous about the stingrays swimming around our feet. They also offered a large area that was netted in that you could snorkel in after meeting the stingrays. I highly recommenced doing this when the weather is nice.
There are a variety of animal encounters available in Cozumel including dolphins, manatees and sea lions. While snorkeling is available make sure you go with a tour operator or guide to guarantee a good spot for seeing all there is under water.
If you don’t want to get in the water and shopping is not your thing check out the Chichen Itza or Tulum for those seeking some enrichment. Your travel agent can help you find a tour that fits your needs as well as those in your party. Please let the travel depot know of any physical limitations when booking your cruise to make sure everything is taken care of.
We always have lunch at Pancho's backyard located near the pier where Disney docks. The food is good but pricey. It's become a recommended tourist spot over the years and it is obvious when you visit but our family knows it well. They usually have a couple playing the xylophone and will allow kids to come up and play while parents take pictures. There are many other"local" food options as well.
The gift shops are much cheaper in this area compared to the pier, Puerto Maya! Expect to pay at least 1/2 of what things cost at Punta Langosta in downtown San Migel. There are a variety of items available but the most popular are bright colored pottery, magnets, leather goods, jewelry and wooden carved items. As for alcohol, go right for the tequila!
If you’re lucky and your ship is staying in port late check out Carlos and Charlies for a fun time! Huge drinks, bar food and a hopping party scene. http://www.carlosandcharlies.com
Another great restaurant choice is La Mission. Delicious Mexican fare with a great atmosphere. My favorite is their tortilla soup.http://www.lamissioncozumel.com/ing/
Cozumel is a great port with tons to offer, even though it has become very touristy of the years it's worth the visit!