Cozumel also had a nice area to walk through right off of the ship. The only thing that was kind of annoying was that the only way to get to it was through a huge duty free shop … not a problem except you have hundreds of people filing through it at the same time and some of them trying to stop to shop and causing traffic jams. Once out of there, there was a pretty sprawling area of restaraunts and shops to walk through:
At the end is where all of the cabs are and we caught one to Chankanaab Park, where we had reservations to swim with the dolphins. We had one cab and paid $22 for all of us to go one way, about 10 minutes.
When we arrived at the park, they had a few people standing around with different animals – this monkey, an iguana, a parrot and another monkey. They ask you if you want to hold them and take a photo, then they tell you its $5.00 LOL … we thought this monkey was cute, though, so we took this one and then avoided the rest.
I really loved this park and highly recommend it to anyone visiting Cozumel for a day. You can do pretty much anything – dolphins, manatees, snorkeling, sun bathing, etc. There is an entrance fee to the park, which was included in our dolphin tour. We booked through this site: Cozumel Tours. We only did the Dolphin Encounter b/c its the only one the kids were old enough for but it was also the least expensive and well worth it. We all felt that we didn’t really need any other experiences with the dolphins.
The park has sea lions, manatees and dolphins, swimming pools, beaches, lots of snorkeling areas, kayaking – pretty much anything you’d want to do. The only thing I didn’t like is that the beaches do not lead straight to the water, there are rocks that you have to walk down to get into the water. Wade said there was a “real” beach further down, but we didn’t get that far. The beach was pretty nice though and had plenty of chairs and places to relax.
When it was time, we walked down some stairs and had to stand in neck deep water on a slippery platform. It was kind of hard to keep your balance and not get knocked over, especially when the wake from passing boats would come through. It was even harder trying to stand straight and hold on to Emelyn. But it really was so cool to be that close to dolphins. There were two of them and they were literally within a foot or two of us at all times.
Jess was first up from our group … they split us into two groups and we each had a dolphin … I think ours was called Freddy or something like that. The trainers had given us instructions before we went in on how to do the 3 tricks.
Next up was Mr. Wade … there was a professional photographer on the dock and with every trick, we were told to look at her and smile. We all did as we were told because we didn’t want to make them mad.
At the end of the swim, the photographer led us to drop off our life jackets and without even stopping to let us dry off, brought us into a cold gift shop to see the photos. Emelyn slipped and fell and started crying, so we snuck out as soon as we could and headed to the restaurant for lunch. It was a neat little Mexican place right on the beach:
Right when we were finishing up, it started pouring. We watched the storm come down the beach, it was kind of neat to watch. We headed under the shelter and the kids played out in the rain until it stopped:
The storm blew over pretty quickly and we walked the beach while Wade did some snorkeling. I tried taking some underwater photos but had too many things in my hands (um, margarita) an couldn’t quite do it all. At one point I slipped and all my money and credit cards came floating out of the plastic thing I had on my neck. That put an end to the underwater pictures.
We all got pretty tired really quickly and were ready to go back, but had to wait for Wade, so we let the kids swim in the pool for a few minutes until he was ready. Then it was back to the ship. We did stop at one store, a pharmacy, so that I could get some medicine for my mouth. The whole trip, I’d had a cut under my tongue which made it miserable to eat and sometimes talk. I was thrilled that they had something at that store and shocked when I saw the wall of muscle relaxers, anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics … stuff that you can only get with a prescription at home. I guess I knew that you could buy that stuff in Mexico, but hadn’t thought about it or expected to see it!
And that was Cozumel as well as the end of our ports! We have one sea day left then its all over (and we were so ready to get home!)