We leave 15 June on The Carnival Inspiration.
We originally booked the Playa Mia Deluxe Beach Break, but then canceled. Here is our logic. We have been told Cozumel is a small island...you can walk to most places...and even the places farther away are only a 20 minute or less taxi ride, our points being thus
1. We will likely have to Tender...Ok, that is a half an hour each way...so if we did the booked Playa Mia Beach Break...that is really 6 hours instead of the 5 hours for the excursion as listed, which is a standard portion of the time we will be in port.
2. I can REASONABLY eat and drink with the best of them, but even with the free amenities, non motorized water toys and "open bar", if you figure the aforesaid amenities are worth....say....$20, ok..the rest of the deal costs $50 or so, my point being there is no way we can EACH justify that expense as there is NO WAY we could, or would want to eat that much food, or drink that much alcohol to justify that expense.
3. We want to be able to have time to browse and explore and would only have three hours or so to do so if we took the 5 1/2 hour "official time" Excursion.
4. We have been told by previous cruisers you can ask a cabbie to take you to Paradise Beach Resort, buy a couple of drinks or so each at the bar and they will have no problems with your enjoying the amenities.
Granted, no, you wont' get the buffet, but you can always buy a simple lunch at minimal cost, or go back to the ship to eat and then come back into town, and you should have plenty of time to do so. I mean think about it, two to three hours at the beach, at the most, should be enough, then you could go back to the ship and hit the buffet, and you will STILL have 2-3 hours to browse and shop before it is time to get back on board.
At larger ports, or where there is less time ashore, I would say stick with Booked Excursions, but Cozumel is a relatively small island, and we will have plenty of time in Port, so I would say....Nah....just "Wing It" on your own, just MAKE sure you wear a reliable watch and check it often so you dont' miss the boat.