I received a transcript of this letter and was asked to post it on behalf of my Cruise Related contacts in Cozumel:
I live in Cozumel and work with many businesses that offer tours and services to cruise ship passengers. I am in Cozumel now and I was here during Wilma - I'm now back online as the island recovers fast.
I've been catching up on the discussions and I'd like to deliver an important message from the cruise-related businesses on the island...
We're ready for you!!!
The spirit of the people is incredible, the whole island has been out shoulder to shoulder cleaning up and rebuilding. Power has already returned to essential downtown areas and many tourist shops, bars and restaurants are open - NOW!
Cruise ship shore excursions are also ready to go - if a cruise ship arrived today the passengers would still be spoilt for choice with things to do and the Cozumel people would be delighted to see them.
The first cruise ship - from Royal Caribbean - will arrive in 2 weeks - it's fantastic that Royal Caribbean are standing by the island right now and I'm sure that once they recommence trips here other cruise lines will follow suit.
The Royal Caribbean passengers that arrive on 14 Nov will be amazed how fast the island is repairing itself. Don't think this is a public relations exercise, the island really is recovering fast...
Yes, piers have been damaged, but this is not a problem. In the short term, passengers can be brought in safely by tender - this is how it used to work in Cozumel, and indeed it works this way in many other western Caribbean destinations.
Fury Catamarans is one of my clients - their boats are 100% okay and they are ready to run tours today.
Paradise Beach is another of my clients - the building containing the office, kitchen and bar was damaged and is being knocked down. Sand was moved from the beach, but already most of this has been recovered and the beach itself will be ready in a few days. Once that is done a temporary bar and kitchen will open so the beach can once again welcome visitors. All the beach toys, chairs and umbrellas are 100% okay and ready to be used. The pier is still there but is a little wonky - it will make for a good photo! They should be ready to receive visitors in the coming weeks...
Aviomar - one of the island's biggest tour operators - is also ready with a number of shore excursions, I'll let you know which ones if I hear more...
I believe Playa Mia have also committed to reopening for cruise ship passengers in the coming weeks too.
Chankanaab natural park was hit hard but I understand it is being given the highest priority now during the clean up - I'll let you know if I hear any more.
Like I say, don't be put off visiting Cozumel - there are plenty of impressive photos of the damage that was done, but they are already outdated - you can walk in many parts of town today and not believe that a hurricane was even there.
We hope to persuade all the cruise lines to start visiting again in days and weeks, not months. If you would like to help the people of Cozumel, why not contact your cruise line and express your support...? (send me a copy if you like: firstname.lastname@example.org
Some cruise line contact details are below for you...
We look forward to welcoming you all to Cozumel again very soon... I'm online and happy to help with questions where I can too...!
Writer/Photographer/Marketing Consultant in Cozumel
Support Cozumel by contacting to your cruise line!
Royal Caribbean: https://secure.royalcaribbean.com/cu...actUsOnline.do
Princess: Call 1-800-PRINCESS
Holland America: http://www.hollandamerica.com/contacts/contacts.do
Norwegian: Call 800-327-7030