Cruisers Weigh In on Cozumel's Condition

November 22, 2005

Damage Report: Cozumel

Cozumel Anticipates Cruise Return on November 14

Carnival Returns to Cozumel Monday

Cozumel Counts Down to Cruise Return

Cozumel Welcomes Cruisers With Weeklong Fiesta

It's been a week since cruise ships first returned to Cozumel after Hurricane Wilma came ashore in October, and we wanted to know: What's open? What isn't? And most importantly, is the island ready for tourists?

Answers to these questions don't come easily. According to Reuters, at first glance, the island looks like the "site of a nuclear explosion." Yet, beaches are intact, hotels are open and cruise passengers are returning in droves. More than 50 island excursions are available. Electricity and water has now been restored to 100 percent of the island, and 90 percent of restaurants and shops -- including Coconuts Bar, Rastas Bar and Mezcalitos -- are up and running.

We went straight to the ultimate source of information -- our own message boards -- to see what last week's visitors are saying about Cozumel. Though some cruisers are iffy on the quick return, most are returning from cruises calling there with positive reports:

"One of our stops was Cozumel … in the downtown area, I could not tell there had been a hurricane, although the cab ride to and from downtown told a different story. We took a 750-passenger ferry in from our ship … we could see Carnival's destroyed pier off to our right. [We] grabbed a cab into downtown and then proceeded to contribute quite generously to the local economy!" -cruising*tigger

"It was so wonderful to see the ships pulling in ... I got goose bumps as I'm sure many did. There were lots of cheering people, music and TONS of smiles. I just want to say thank you to all those folks who are coming down to Cozumel. We all welcome you!" -solita (located in Cozumel)

"In my opinion they should have switched Cozumel to Costa Maya … I must say I give them credit for trying so hard and the clean up was to be commended, but it's not really worth the trip right now. The people in the stores were lined up like vultures to get you into the stores ... [and] there were so many people sea sick on the tenders. It's a shame, but Cozumel just did not seem ready for passengers yet." -barbemm

"We just returned from the Legend of the Seas and were in Cozumel on Thursday. We did take a trip out to Tulum, so were only actually in Cozumel for a couple of hours … we had a short tender into the dock. Most of the trees were bare, and a few of the stores still closed, but most were open. Heard from others on the ship that Paradise Beach was open and very nice -- they had a lovely day, despite the fact the weather was a bit windy. And another woman who went diving said it was fantastic." -didan

Cozumel's local paper reports that 18 cruise ships will bring some 40,000 tourists to Cozumel this week.

Image copyright, 2005