Officials in Cozumel, the Mexican isle that was pounded quite severely by Hurricane Wilma late last month, now say they will be ready to welcome cruise passengers as of November 14.
This date is far earlier than was expected because of the damage to the island. Because its three major cruise piers need massive repair if not all-out rebuilding, ships will tender passengers to San Miguel's ferry piers (which are back in service) for the foreseeable future.
In the aftermath of the storm, we scrambled for information about Cozumel. Cacunmap.com reports that the roofs of Casa Denis restaurant and the Plaza del Sol shopping area are gone -- as is the giant flagpole in the center of town. This hasn't stopped the people and spirit of the island, however. Casa Denis may have no roof, but they have already made repairs and are reportedly serving food. Electricity is coming back on slowly, and streets have been cleared of debris.
Are cruisers ready to go back to Cozumel, even as recovery progresses? We went straight to our message boards for an answer, and for the most part it's a resounding yes: "They need our help too with our tourist dollars!" affirms Chucksta63.
And our members that actually live on the island are unanimously positive: "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!"-Wilmas_Conscience.
According to Cruise Critic member CozSally, who also lives on Cozumel, "The cleanup ... has been just amazing. Please banish all thoughts of having to climb over concrete rubble and broken glass when you arrive in Cozumel on November 14. As power is restored and supplies reach the island, stores are opening for business. Restaurants are starting to serve and the food is even more delicious than ever before, prepared with the knowledge that it is such a treat to eat out. Tour operators are chomping at the bit to show you our beautiful home, Cozumel. There is still much work to be done, but we have two weeks to complete it. Given that only one week has passed, I have no doubt that by the deadline, Cozumel will be ready to receive you."
Share your thoughts on our Cozumel message board.
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Cozumel Anticipates Cruise Return on November 14
November 1, 2005