Our travel agent called us this afternoon. He told us that he had just been informed by Carnival that the Carnival Victory will no longer be going to Cuzumel on the January 1st cruise. Instead, we will be going to Costa Maya. Does anyine have an idea why the change in plans? From what I could read on this site, I thought that Cozumel was recovering well from Wilma?
We received the same notice this week for our February cruise on Liberty. What is there to do in Costa Maya? Has anyone taken Carnival's excursion to the ruins? Are their private tours avaiable in Costa Maya or only the cruise line's tours?
Cozumel is limiting the number of cruise ships which can call on the island. I believe that current number is no more than four ships at a time. As a result, Carnival and the other cruise lines have had to make changes to the itineraries for some ships. You can still go to Cozumel on a cruise ship, but unfortunately the Victory and Liberty are among the ships with revised itineraries. These were hard decisions and I believe there was some give and take among the cruise lines.
You can add the Fascination to that list of Carnival ships with itinerary changes. According to a fax I received, all the 4 day Fascination cruises thorugh April 24 will be calling on Calica rather than Cozumel.
I would love to have been privy to all the executive meetings that took place with the cruise lines as they revised itins and made decisions about which ships from each fleet would be deployed to Cozumel and then which ports would be used as alternatives. Talk about an "Excedrin" headache!
I must admit that I would be among the disappointed if my cruise itinerary was among those changed. I really love Cozumel. It is my favorite port in the Caribbean. I hope things get steadily better as they recover from the awful damage. I hope to visit Cozumel sometime next year.
In fact, all three of the cruise ship piers in Cozumel were seriously damaged by Wilma. Puerta Maya, which was the main Carnival pier, was pretty much wiped out. International Pier, which is just north of Puerta Maya, was also virtually destroyed. The downtown pier suffered the least amount of damage, but is still unsuitable for docking cruise ships. It will be several months until ships will again dock in Cozumel.
Unfortunately, I have to confirm the statements made about the condition of the piers described above. The only pier that is operational is the ferry wharf and that can only handle two tenders at a time. Hence, the four ship restriction. Cozumel itself is ready for more visitors, but the pier infrastructure is not. Given that it took decades to build the piers, a few months might seem harsh, but it really represents the Mexican government's commitment to tourism to get them operational.
Costa Maya was very fun. There are two very good restraunts right off the Pier. However the vendors are very pushy (what's new).
We took the Jeep Excursion, it took us to a secluded beach 1 1/2 hours away. The lady at the sight had said the dogs barked all night due to a tiger in the vicinity. We also heard monkeys as we drove through the jungle, rough road area. The beach was awesome and they served tacos which were wonderful. Next time we are going to do the four wheelers. You drive along the beach and into small villages.
If you don't do an excursion you are pretty much stuck at the pier stores and will not see anything.
Good luck and enjoy
I was bummed this year that Wilma took out Cozumel, as we had planned to go on the Catamaran Snorkel Tour.
We went to Costa Maya instead. When we go someplace new, the first time we like to shop. There are your normal shopping stops, Diamond International, Tanzanite International. And then the other shopping sites. The straw huts reminded me of Nassau. Never pay the price they ask. Wittle your way to the lowest price.
As if you go down one store you will find the same thing.
I heard mixed comments about the Beach break from friends that went to it. The ones that drank heavily really enjoyed it. But those that did not said it was not fun.
I think the 4 x 4 would be our choice next time or the dune buggy tour.
A number of the tours came back late but remember if you are on a ship tour the ship will wait.
If you are on a private tour and the tour is running late...The ship will not wait and you will have to hire a boat to catch the ship.