Cozumel Cruise Port – Port of call

Port Information
Currency Mexican pesos (MXN), however US Dollars (USD) are accepted in many places.
Time ZoneEST (GMT-5) - no daylight savings time
LanguageSpanish (many people do speak English)
Emergency Phone Numbers911
Port Entry Requirements No special visa needed for cruise passengers
Port ActivitiesBeaches
US EmbassyContact information 55 8526 2561

Cozumel cruise port

Going on a cruise is like entering another world. You leave all your worries and cares behind you when you leave home and set sail. On your journey, you get to discover different parts of the world – including some places that you otherwise never would have gone to.

One such cruise-worthy destination is the island Cozumel cruise port. Located in the Caribbean Sea off the eastern coast of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, San Miguel de Cozumel (often referred to as Cozumel)does not have the name recognition of places like the Bahamas, so it remains less crowded (and more affordable!) than other big-name Caribbean cruise destinations. This is ideal for any cruise passenger looking for a bang for their buck. Cozumel is a popular stop on the Western Caribbean itinerary of many cruise lines.

That said, traveling to Cozumel is growing in popularity by the day, so you'd want to plan a trip as soon as you can. If your cruise stops at Cozumel cruise port there are plenty of things to do that don't require a big budget. Make sure you plan your shore excursion while planning your trip.

Where will my cruise ship dock?

There are three main ports in Cozumel where your ship can dock. The three Cozumel cruise ports are International Pier where Royal Caribbean cruise line and Norwegian cruise line dock, Puerto Maya Cruise Terminal, which is right next to the International Pier where ships from Carnival Cruise Line and her sister companies dock. Finally, a cruise port located downtown San Miguel de Cozumel, Punta Langosta pier. This port serves Disney Cruise Line, MSC Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, and few others. If you are sailing with Norwegian you should check which port your cruise liner will dock at.

Cozumel cruise port

Important information

The official language in Cozumel is Spanish, however, you will find that English is widely spoken on the island, especially in the port area and resorts. The official currency is Mexican Pesos, however, US dollars are widely accepted. The emergency number in Cozumel is 911.

What to do in Cozumel cruise port

There are a lot of things to do in Cozumel Mexico. You can skin a cruise ship's shore excursion to save money in the port. Cozumel is a great location for a beach break, scuba diving, and snorkel. You can also rent a car, take a private tour or enjoy shopping in downtown San Miguel.

Getting Around

The easiest thing to do is to get into a taxi cab. Right as you leave the port there will be a line for a taxi. Keep in mind you may have to wait in line for a bit before you will board a taxi as the International pier usually has 4 or 5 cruise ships docked at the same time. Prices to different locations are clearly stated before you enter your Taxi. Cost to go downtown San Miguel is around $8. Trips to most beach clubs will cost between $8-35 one way. My suggestion is to take a picture of the taxi number in case there is an issue or if you forget something inside. If you looking for Cozumel tours, a full island private tour in a taxi will set you back around $100 (up to 4 passengers).

Another option is renting a jeep, a car, or a scooter. The area near the port is very busy, but once you drive away the roads are a lot less congested.

Cozumel beaches (including cheap options)

Cozumel wouldn't be what it is without Instagram-worthy beaches and views. If you're looking for those long stretches of pristine white sand, look no further than the west and south sides of Cozumel. These shores are dotted with affordable and convenient beach clubs and resorts. Playa Palancar is one of the most spectacular, and it's also not as crowded since it's a bit of a distance from the pier (a taxi ride costs up to USD 30). However, it's absolutely free to visit (though a small charge of around USD10 is required if you want to rent beach chairs) and there are a good number of activities to keep you happy during your trip.

Another option is Paradise Beach club. They charge $3/person, however they do expect you to spend $10/person in food or activities. Taxi cost to that beach from the International pier or Puerto Maya pier is USD 15 (for 1-4 passengers) one way.

If you would like more amenities, select beach resorts like El Cozumeleno offer rooms and a place to stay for the night, and are located quite near the pier as well (around 5 to 7 miles). But if you'd only like to take a day trip, don't worry. They also offer beach club day passes at around USD65 per adult that get you meals and snacks for the day, as well as access to the wonderful resort pool, hammocks, and loungers.

If you're looking for some hidden gems, visit the eastern side of the island, opposite the pier. Because it's on the other side of the island, not many people make the effort to visit – but those who do are greatly rewarded. You can visit beaches like Playa San de Martin free of charge and bask in views straight out of a postcard. There are some small food and drink establishments in the area as well, making it perfect for those looking for some quiet time on their getaway.

Cozumel Shopping

Oh yes, Cozumel is paradise for shopping, too! Despite being a little bit off the beaten path when it comes to cruise destinations, Cozumel is incredibly tourist-friendly. Not only are goods quite affordable, but most vendors speak good English and accept US Dollars as payment, saving you the hassle of currency exchanges. However, they only hand out change in Mexican pesos, so it's best to carry cash in small denominations when you're ashore.

You can get your shopping fix in downtown San Miguel, specifically in Plaza del Sol, the town square, and Punta Lagosta Pier, near where most ships dock. Shops in Cozumel have something for everyone. For the foodies with a sweet tooth, don't miss out on the flavorful, organic chocolate and vanilla the island has to offer. For the fashionable, you can get one-of-a-kind, handcrafted jewelry, accessories, and clothes throughout the island. If you really want something to remember Cozumel by, a lot of shops sell corals and special silver jewelry that you can take home as souvenirs.

Hot tip: if you're looking for some genuine finds, don't stick to the waterfront. Go further into town some more. This is where authentic Cozumel is really at!

Other things to do in Cozumel port

Looking for a great cozumel excursion idea? Rent a jeep and explore. With a total land area of roughly 185 square miles (only slightly larger than Brooklyn and Queens combined), Cozumel is quite a small island. This means that you can explore most of it in a couple of days, making it a perfect stop on your cruise.

While the island, like most Caribbean cruise stops, is primarily known for beaches and swimming, the inner parts of the island have plenty in store. Cozumel is home to a rich Mayan history, and this can be clearly seen in the San Gervasio Archaeological Ruins. Located deep in the Cozumel jungles, here you'll find the remains of an ancient Mayan religious site. Guided tours are offered for those interested in learning more about the native culture and history of Cozumel. You can also visit National Reef Marine Park and even enjoy Chankanaab adventure beach (USD 26/person)

Of course, the easiest way to get around these parts would be by renting a jeep. Because some places are really remote and not surrounded by roads, it takes a jeep to really access these places. No need to worry though, because there are a number of companies that provide jeeps for rent in Cozumel – and at very good prices, too. You can find multiple rental agencies around the ship terminals where you will be docking, which also serve as pick-up and drop-off points for the vehicle. A few select hotels and resorts might also have jeep rentals available on site, though these might cost a little bit more.

Having your own vehicle really allows you to go off on your own and explore the whole island. It's worth it, too, as Cozumel is home to some unique flora and fauna. Punta Sur Park on the southern tip of the island is the site of an ecological reservation, where you can partake of nature's fresh air and see some rare creatures. Tours are also available to learn about the more the natural wildlife in the area and for you to make a small difference in keeping the environment green. Keep in mind that parking downtown Cozumel may be a problem.

Go under the sea.

Cozumel is perhaps most well-known for its magnificent coral reefs, which make snorkeling and scuba diving a must when visiting. Its coral reef system is the second-largest in the world, second only to Australia's Great Barrier Reef, and still retains the color and vibrancy as nature intended. Plus, Cozumel's crystal blue waters are a sight that you surely won't forget.

Among the choice destinations for snorkeling and diving is El Cielo, a reef located around one mile out from Cozumel's western shoreline. Here, you'll find some of the most beautiful waters and an abundance of corals, starfish, and other marine life waiting for you. El Cielo is only accessible by boat, so it's recommended to book a tour package. Don't worry though, as these are relatively affordable at around USD60 to USD70 per person.

Another worthwhile Cozumel shore excursion is Arrecifes de Cozumel National Park, which is home to a number of endangered marine species, such as loggerhead sea turtles and the queen conch. The park is protected under the Ramsar Convention and UNESCO, so you'd have to pay a small marine park fee (around USD2 per person) when you visit, though many tours stop by here as part of a snorkeling package or for special activities like sea turtle hatching from June to November, and the fee is included in the package.

To sum up

Cozumel is a great island to relax on the beach, shop, or learn about Mayan history. While you can book Cozumel cruise excursion through your cruise ship, you may save money and enjoy the island more by planning your activities independently. If you want to avoid lines make sure you leave your ship early to get a taxi. And always be aware of when you should be on board and plan accordingly, you don't want to be that cruise passenger that was left in the port.

No matter how you choose to spend your time in Cozumel, the island will have something that you can enjoy. Without a doubt, you can look forward to a truly memorable trip.

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