Cozumel…back in March…riiiight.
So, I’m a little late getting the pictures up from Cozumel. As you might imagine, I had hundreds of photos through which to sift. I’ve finally narrowed it down to my top 50 or so photos, which I’ve put up on Flickr, and on here I’m putting the top 10 that I think capture the essence of our experiences. But if you’re interested you should definitely check out the Flickr account because…ummm…racoons and other awesome island animals. Oh yeah.
My vacation with Mom was an absolute blast. I had a great time hanging out with her, getting some one-on-one time, reading together by the pool, sharing meals and exploring the resort and the island together. The weather was beautiful – we had some clouds, but never any rain. Well, it did sprinkle a little on one of my dives, but since I was 80 feet underwater, I didn’t really mind.
We stayed at an all-inclusive resort called Park Royal. It was just alright.
For food there was one buffet-type place where you could eat three meals a day, a never-changing, very limited menu at the two grills by the pool and beach, and two fancier restaurants. Seating was limited at the restaurants and reservations had to be made daily at noon in person, which was a pain if you had an excursion or any other plans at noon on a given day. If you didn’t have a reservation by about 12:45pm you were either eating at 10pm or joining the rest of the schmucks in the buffet.
The pools were colder than the ocean, and the hot tub…was cold. The poolside bar was a lot of fun. The private ocean beach was very nice, the resort lent out snorkel gear for free for an hour at a time, and the underwater environment was very pretty (coral, needlenose fish, barracuda, parrotfish and others). The scuba place across the street, AquaWorld, worked very closely with the hotel. I booked my scuba outings through Apple Vacations and had a seamless experience. The room was great. We had plenty of space, the balcony was very good, the water was hot and room service was spot on. The gardens were FAN-freaking-TASTIC.
Overall it was a good mix of people. There weren’t too many screaming children, or too many rowdy college kids – which was a pleasant surprise since we were there over spring break. However, when there was noise at night, it bounced off of the tile floors and glass window and was very audible in the room.
Internet availability at the resort was crap (which is part of the reason this blog post is delayed). They had one tiny room which contained four extremely slow and ancient computers (from like 2006 or something *shudder*), three of which seemed to be working at any given time, and there was always a line to get into the room. Wifi was available in the lobby. Kinda. Sorta. Sometimes.
The resort was not very handicap accessible. The one elevator they did have was very… very…
slow. And it had to be hand-operated by a staff member (Not like they cranked it up by hand or anything, but they did have to hold the button for the entirety of each ascent and descent).
So, there was some good, there was some meh. I’d give it 3 out of 5 stars. I’d probably check out a different place if I were to go back to Cozumel.
What We Did
On our first day we did NOTHING. It was wonderful. There was some reading, some noming, some swimming, some sunning, some drinking at the poolside bar. We had dinner at the buffet.
On the second day I went scuba diving and Mom went to the spa for massage. We met up again around lunch time and enjoyed some more pool time and reading. Mom managed to snag us reservations at the Italian restaurant and that was quite tasty.
On Tuesday we went on an open-air bus island tour. Our first stop was Punta Sur, a wildlife refuge at the southern end of the island. At Punta Sur we went to the beach, we saw an ancient lighthouse, a modern lighthouse, and lots of crocodiles, birds and other wildlife. After that we stopped at tequila museum (I’m not a fan of tequila and didn’t try the free samples, but the ranch was gorgeous), and then we were dropped off downtown so we walked around the touristy shop area. The tourist area was very touristy and packed with pushy men and women who tried to call you into their shops or shopping alleys. We told one guy that we were looking for shoes and he said “Oh yes – great shoes down here – last shop at the end!” Perhaps this is needless to say, but there were no shoes. We gave him a dirty look on the way out, and he shrugged and grinned.
On Wednesday I did another round of scuba diving in the morning while Mom kicked back and relaxed, and then we spent the afternoon together at the resort. We ate dinner at the fancier on-site Mexican restaurant. It was a nice change from the buffet, but the food was simply decent. We packed up that evening for our trip home. Four days might seem like a really short time, but considering it was about 75-80F every day and we had left behind freezing winter weather in Minnesota and Illinois, four days was incredibly wonderful.
And that’s about it. I’d probably go back to the Yucatan peninsula, but I don’t know that I’d pay to see Cozumel again. It was fairly small and the entire place is felt like a big tourist trap. I might go back for the scuba diving, but I’d make it a scuba vacation and stay at a place that was more focused on divers.