Cozumel Shore Excursions – DIY or Book with a Cruise Line?

Cozumel Shore Excursions

Western Caribbean cruises are some of the most popular destination vacations thanks to the area’s crystal clear turquoise waters, lively culture and tropical climate. But, for those that are looking to really experience ports of call and get away from the cramped confines of the cruise ship, shore excursions are an excellent option.  In Cozumel, a Caribbean island off Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, shore excursion options are plentiful. Deciding whether to book through your cruise line or own your own, however, can mean big differences in terms of experience and price when it comes to Cozumel shore excursions.

The first thing to consider is price; and, while cruise lines are handing out bargains for three, five and seven day cruises (with prices plummeting even more following every illness outbreak and stranded vessel), excursions are one area where the discounts and cheap prices are likely to dry up. Cozumel excursions like zip lining, submarine rides and scuba diving can cost as much as a hundred dollars per person or more. It is likely that cheaper, identical Cozumel shore excursions can be booked directly with the operating company (and be more private too), but bear in mind that there are some risks involved with this method.

Ships leave when ships leave, and there have been unfortunate cases where over adventurous tourists have been left at ports because they did not make it back to their ship on time. Because so many western Caribbean cruises come and go from common and hectic ports of call like Cozumel each day during a busy season, this rigid schedule is often unwavering. Hence, booking your own Cozumel shore excursions will come with some careful planning and scheduling on your part to ensure that the money you save by booking yourself will not later be spent on a plane ticket home.

Another factor to consider is reliability. It is absolutely a good idea not to prepay for excursions in advance when booking on your own. When companies that run Cozumel shore excursions are expecting a boatload of eager and overpaying cruise ship customers, they are ready and waiting upon guests’ arrival to start adventuring. However, smaller groups may find abandoned greeting posts and gearless snorkeling shacks should operators not find it worth their while to make an appearance for a smaller and more intimate group.

Getting to those Cozumel shore excursions may be an adventure in itself for those that trot off the beaten path and away from the ship’s excursion options. Taxis are available and can provide transport from the port to your destination, but renting a car may be somewhat intimidating for people not used to driving in foreign countries. Traffic laws are different and navigating roads and reading signs in a non-native language can be difficult. While cruises to Cozumel are typically peaceful and relaxing, operating a motor vehicle on the region’s terra firma can be an entirely different experience. It is best to consider factors like these before electing to book Cozumel shore excursions apart from your cruise line.

However, if you are willing to take the risk of getting there and combine it with the risk of not getting back in time all to have an amazing adventure and save some money too, the end result can be well worth it. Private excursions can vary greatly from the cookie cutter outlined tours provided by cruise ships, and they often lack the boatload of obnoxious tourists that you have spent the last bit of time cramped on a boat with too. For a great escape from the flowered shirts and wide brimmed hats of the sun deck, consider booking a private tour through one of the companies that the cruise ship already partners with. Cozumel Cruise Tours (+52 1 888 253 5227) offer a wide variety of activities for weary boat riders, and although they require a deposit in advance, their services are guaranteed. They offer dune buggy tours, snorkeling excursions, ruin and lighthouse tours and guides that are well known and loved.  They are used to cruise ship schedules and get passengers back to their ports on time. And, while private tours are unlikely to net much in the way of cost savings, they offer a unique perspective and tailored adventure for your entire party.

One of the best parts of Western Caribbean cruises is getting to experience all the excitement that ports have to offer. And, with its pristine beaches, abundant wildlife and exotic local culture, Mexico in itself is home to some of the very best beach vacations. That is why few cruises to this part of the world skip a chance to port in Mexico, where history and natural beauty combine in a dynamic and wondrous medley of getaway adventure. Cozumel shore excursions allow visitors to see a different side of the place they are visiting, away from tourist traps and crowded shopping areas where activities and exploration await. There are benefits to taking the safe road and booking these journeys through the cruise line. Unknown traffic laws and port time risks can be averted and there is some structural benefit to be gained from the security of preplanned activities. However, booking them yourself allows for a customizable experience that focuses on your interests and likes without breaking the bank or missing out on some of the best sights, sounds and experiences that Cozumel shore excursions have to offer.

Adventurers will find that most Mexico cruises are not complete without stepping out of the comfort zone, hopping into a taxi and seeing what escapades await them. Meanwhile first timers, those traveling with children and anyone who prefers to mingle with the crowd will likely prefer the more expensive yet reliable offerings from the cruise line. One thing is for certain, regardless of how you book, cruises to Cozumel are not complete without some mind blowing excursions – and what is more important than how you book them is simply that you book them.