we were in cozumel on labor day 2006
we caught a cheap cab from the ship to the park
after buying tickets $16us we were shuttled to the beach and told about the damage to the park
It seems that hurricane wilma kicked thier ***
Chankanaab was closed for 9 months and only been open 3 months when we arrived, the nature trail areas with the statues, lagoon, ect were all closed!! the reef offshore was also gone!!! they used to have 5 or 6 underwater statues, they have 1 left...snorkeling sucked and thats what i was mainly there for...I felt ripped off!! I don't know why they don't charge like half price while rebuilding, its not even worth that!! they dont mention this till after you pay, and i looked online for info on this area.. oh ZHUL-HA right down the road was also decimated..now to see any reef you must go further out like palancar reef...but the greedy merchants dont mention how bad it is cause they feed on tourist dollars...on the subject of greedy mexicans not giving full disclosure, we stayed in Playa del carmen in July and the beach was gone!! it got rebuilt in cancun first and they were just getting around to starting to move sand back to playa's 5'-20' beach...beach clubs come and go down there, so i didnt expect it to be the same as the posts from 2003-05 quoted but i'm here to tell you the beach and reef suffered massive damage there...
Hello wise2u, welcome to cruise-chat. Thanks for heads-up. I'll stay away from the park until things improve. It's seems to me the cruise ships should let their passengers know about the price of admission, and what you get for that price. Is there anything good in Cozumel?
hi, and thanks for the welcome, my wife's brother-in-law plays for the Kilties drum and bugle corps out of racine..(small world)..i can tell you what not to do in cozumel..rent scooters..(very ugly when people wreck), pay the first price for any item (except in the pharmacy or grocery store, no haggling), try to snorkel from the beach (must take a boat), tulum tour is also a bad deal, it takes 7 hours because you have to take a ferry into playa (40 minutes), then ride 60-70 miles to the south...you actually only get a few hours at tulum and the price is allways high for that tour...there are other ports in mexico closer to there. Xcaret is also a long ,expensive tour, its sortta like discovery cove in orlando...its a natural water park down towards tulum, but it may have suffered damage too, i'd have to make sure before going. for tourist stuff cozumel is the most expensive, followed by cancun then playa del carmen. so if you want a bunch of silver or a really good deal on a large purchase it's best to take the ferry to playa del carmen. they have a large tourist area with the pedestrian only 5th ave. having a ton of shops and the farther away from the ferry pier you get the cheaper the prices go. if you like diving or snorkeling take a boat, the water has great visibility ( better than hawaii which i thought was the best) but like i said wilma beat them up bad down there..the only good tour i heard about from two of our table mates was something they found on their own...they went to the end of the taxi line and found a guy with a horse drawn buggy to take them on a local tour, he spoke english and showed them churches and other sites of interest at a leisurely pace, it only costs $30 for the 2 of them and they were very pleased. It will be a while before mexico rebuilds so even if the price is great on the cruise its not much of a bargain to tour beat up ports...the cruise pier was in many pieces and was still being repaired while we were there..the massive damage was noticable in grand cayman, and jamaica too, but mexico is the worst...other than cancun it will take them years to fix that whole area back up.
we didnt take the ships excursion to Chankanaab, it was $40 a head. we went on our own because my wife and i own snorkel gear and from my research i found out it was a short cab ride and only $16 to get in..so total cost was only $48 they did have beach facilities open...no dolphins (i guess they swam away) also no corona beer was available at the onsite hut..they wanted $3 for the beer they did have...we did much better at grand cayman... they offer many snorkeling tours that take you out on a boat, for $40 each, to a site that you can walk to from the ship and reach from shore..(go to the left from the tender piers)..if you like snorkeling you can find the shipwreck
Cali, and some nice reef to the left of it, in front of "hammerheads bar & grill" there is a small dive shop next door and i think they rent gear and they have a small pier with ladders ( the big one that used to be there was in pieces underwater)it was free to snorkel, i almost felt sorry for the schmucks who paid all that money for 45 minutes of time at the site...it was nice between tour boats when the place was uncrowded...also nice was joining my wife for $8 rumrunners on the deck of hammerheads with its own ladder into the water. next time i might go to see the stingrays but it was freaky to hear of steve irwin's death by stingray during our trip, so i went for the shore snorkel.
Welcome to C-C also. I am sorry about the park as well. I have been told was open, well I guess that is a far cry from being back to the original. I have even reccomended people to go there to support the rebuilding. I will now rethink that, as well as my own vist Oct. 31.
I want to thank you so much for the info. I only wish you could have seen it before. This is a tremendous loss of a Nature Park.
I am taking people with me now that I have told how great it was and is 80% back
I joined these boards to warn people not to get ripped off by this park. lots of people take reviews with a grain of salt and you sometimes see conflicting stories about the same place....I offer proof with pictures of the international pier in cozumel on 9-4-2006 see them here: http://new.photos.yahoo.com/cashkicker/albums
Of course mexico isnt going to tell you they were decimated by the hurricane last year, they want your money....canada and the usa sent sand dredgers to help them replace cancun's beaches in the spirit of nafta. but that is the only place that has been fixed up to anything near what it was before...playa del carmen's beaches were being worked on in july but were really bad looking, so i wouldnt hold out hope for the poorer areas south of there. flying in to cancun i looked down at the grey deadwood of knocked over trees and it looked like half the jungle was on the ground.
We were just in Cozumel on the Carnival Fantasy, and the pier with the walk-through mall type stores is almost completely gone. There is a tiny section left, and that is where the tenders drop you off. As far as work on it is concerned, we saw several men working underwater with scuba gear, but to the eye, you can see no progress.
the international pier is the one pictured in my link....they took a crane lowered a big metal box down and divers filled it, when they had a few they would barge the debri away, this has been going on a while and they were only 1/4 the way down the dock after a year...
they should tow the debri out to where the reef disappeared and dump it to start the reef again nearshore.