I plan on going to the park while in Cozumel. I was suprised Carnival offers no excursions to Chankanaab. Is taxi the best transportation there and how spread out is the park once there? Do they have any trams inside the park?
Carnival offers the Dolphin Encounter excursion which is $99. This includes the encounter with the dolphins and you are in the park afterwards to do whatever you want. The price includes a taxi to and from the park.
Carnival Legend 6/2005
Sovereign of the Seas 8/2004
Carnival Inspiration 1/2004
There are plenty of taxis waiting to take you to Chankanaab. They are only able to take four passengers in a car. If you have more (we had 5) they will say you have to take a van which is fine but they tried to charge us $18. When I refused and walked away, he came after me in a few minutes and said he'd made a mistake, it was only $12. Just a little thing that's good to know!
Yes you can book your dolphin encounter or swim independently. But be careful of the times as they post CST times and if your ship is on EST (Tampa port or Florida port) then you'll have to adjust the times. We booked a 3:00pm dolphin encounter and when I got the reservation realized it was 3pm CST(4pm EST) and our ship would be on EST. We have to be back to our ship by 4:30 EST (5pm departure) so we wouldn't make it. So we had to cancel our reservation.
Yes, I booked the dolphin excursion outside of the boat at www.dolphindiscovery.com and it's a better price. They even have package deals which are not on the internet. If you just want to get to a beach I highly recommend the Chanakaab Park - it's wonderful. Has a lagoon which is perfect for kids or just relaxing without waves, etc. If you swim out about 20 yards they have a platform so you can swim out and then lay on the floating platform. They have beach chairs and also you can rent snorkle gear there also and it's only about $5.00, way less than on the boat. Or do like we do and bring our own cause you can pick up a decent set at Walgreens or CVS. It's a fablous park, easy to snorkle off the beach. All other snorkle cruise/excursions off the ship take you out on a boat and then you jump in - easy to swallow salt water, etc. if you're not really experienced. There is a small shopping area, a resturant, a sea lion show you can pay to go to - like $5.00/per person. Has locker rooms and shower facilities. This is my favorite beach in Cozumel, if you couldn't tell. :-)
It's very easy to get around, it's a long beach but it also has a paved walkway to get from one place to another and also to the restaurant. There is no need for trams or anything such as that - this isn't a "park" in the sence that it's an amusement part. The beach is very, very long so if you wanted to walk a beach, this is the place to do it. But everything to do, showers, locker rooms, the lagoon, etc. is all within close distance. For toddlers, kids this is the best beach because they have made a man-made rocked off area with the beach that is a great way to introduce children to the beach water - the hard waves (not that they are that big) do not come into this area and you could let your kids play without fear that they would be pulled out by an undertow, etc. It's a fablous park and wouldn't go to Cozumel without going there. Totally worth the $10 admittance fee.
As far as wheelchair access, if you want to go to a beach this is going to be your best best (since they do have a paved area). Anywhere in Mexico is going to be difficult because of the sidewalks not be great, etc. They don't have the requirements like we do.
As far as toddlers, tons to do here because there is a sea lion show ($5-6 bucks a person), a wild-life area which is where they keep the dolpins that swim with people, and you can walk out on the pier and see the dolphins up close. There is a shopping area and a gift shop which tons of dolphin videos, etc. Plus they have the showers and changing rooms so if the toddler gets all sandy (which they will at the beach) you can rinse off with fresh water before heading anywhere.
We always pack a small collapsable cooler from home, fill it with sandwiches and stuff from room service from the boat and take our own food - this way you're not worried about Mexican germs, etc. Not that I'm too concerned but you know what they say about the water. We even take sippy bottles and fill with juices and water from the boat so we don't have to buy any food or drinks.