If you want snorkeling in Cozumel, Paradise Beach would not be your best bet. It has a sandy entrance into the water, so not many fish. We spent a great day in Chankanaab, in Cozumel. There is great snorkeling (rentals available or bring you own), nature trail with replica Mayan ruins, small mini-golf, restaurant/bar - they will serve you on the beach, if you are hanging out close to the restaurant, small shopping area. The grounds are beautiful and the bathrooms are clean. There is a long, sandy beach area with chairs and palapas. The entrance to the water is rocky; you enter/exit through rock stairs. It is a $10 taxi ride from the pier (taxi prices are posted and are per taxi, confirm before getting into a cab), and entrance to the park is $12 per person; well worth it if you want to spend the day there. If you "google" Chankanaab, you should be able to find more information and picture.
Grand Cayman........if you want to snorkel, again, 7-mile beach would not be the place. Eden Rock, to the right of the tender pier - walking distance, is a great place. The dive shop rents equipment if you need it, but snorkeling is free. There are lockers there. You could always snorkle first, then head over to 7-mile beach to hang out. Another option for snorkeling would be one of the stingray/snorkel tours, either through the ship or booked on your own.
totally agree with Cali on this one.
Channunkaab Park for a really nice beach with really good snorkeling on Cozumel.- No need for ships excursion, grab a cab its like $10 for 4 people, then i think the admission fee to the park is around $12 per person.
On Grand Caymen - Eden's Rock or Devil's Grotto are great places to just snorkel - no beach - just snorkeling - its a short walk from the tender pier. If you want to spend some time at the beach, then just grab a cab to 7-mile beach. This is a public beach so there is no entry fee, you can rent lounges, umbrella's etc, and you can get drinks and food on the beach. You can also purchase a day pass from many of the hotels if you want use of their facilities.
If you want a great fun experience then do a snorkel and swim with the Sting Rays, so many local independant tour operators to choose from, no need to book a ships tour.
I'm trying to... Do you what dive shops to contact? I'm working with one now that is trying to fit us in with their schedule. But am open to any suggestions. I've e-mailed 5 different dive shops. One problem I'm encountering is the travel time to their boat with us not arriving in Cozumel until 10:30. One dive shop had a great trip, but it costs $20 in a taxi (one-way) to get there, and they are located at a resort which charges $50/day for non-guests to use their facilities. That didn't include the cost of the snorkeling trip.