We really like Cozumel and they are in port longer – 9 hours. We elected to go snorkel with the sea turtles which required taking the ferry to Playa and then a van so it took 7 hours total including the hour long snorkel with the sea turtles. But it was a great experience and included a good buffet lunch and unlimited drinks at the resort so I do recommend it. Our friends went to Tulum to see the Mayan ruins and liked it as well. Both excursions end in downtown Cozumel so we had an hour to shop before catching a taxi ($8 per car) back to the Freedom.
We have been here so many times that we’ve done all the main excursions so we just got off the ship and shopped at the port. It was standard cruise shops – Diamonds Intl, Tanzanite, local stuff, etc. We also went to Margaritaville at the port and had drinks. Unfortunately it was outside under a porch so hot and noisy. They do have a pool which is available on a first come basis and has a swim up bar. It was not very crowded.
One of our favorite stops as it is friendly and beautiful. Unfortunately you have to tender but we were the only ship there so had all the tenders. It was only about a 5 minute ride from the ship to shore once you got on – although getting on or off takes 10 to 15 minutes. We booked the guided shore dive thru RCL and enjoyed it. It was with Don Foster’s Diving which is just past the tender dock and has a beautiful reef. The dive took about 2 hours which only left us with 2 hours in Caymans to shop. Unfortunately they are only there 6 hours and you lose an hour with tendering. The later tenders had long lines as well.
We did the Dragon’s Breath zipline at Labadee which was very exhilarating. I did it last year so talked my wife into doing it with me this time. She was apprehensive at the top of the 500ft hill but loved it once she started down. Also a great view of the beach and ship. I carried my camera so took video as I went down and then took pictures from the bottom of my wife and friends coming down. If you are extremely scared of heights, don’t do it, but otherwise you will like it. Book the early times as it takes 1 ½ hrs so the rest of the time we hung out at the beach. Lunch on the beach was good – basic hamburgers and hot dogs.