Yes! We were there April 8th. The $5.00 is for use of all of the water things like floating mats, Iceberg, trampoline etc. When we were there, we did not purchase the wrist band as we did not go into the water. There is no charge for an umbrella or chair, but then if you decide not to get the wrist band for the "toys", I think they expect you to buy some kind of drinks or food while you are there . We did not purchase the band and had a drink and some lunch there and they never said a word. Very awesome and clean beach. The views are breathtaking Enjoy.
They do require a $20 cash deposit to use the snorkel equipment (per set), refundable when you return the gear, and an ID to check out the kayaks (not sure if you have to leave the id with them or not).
Just did the western Caribbean and went to Paradise Beach, the beach is pretty and they have a large bar which offers food also....chairs are all lined up on the beach with umbrellas, they are free of charge. As mentioned, there is a $5 charge to use the iceberg float, water trampoline, floating mat, etc. No one bothered us about ordering drinks or food. The one negative (and it's a big one), was that the water was filthy and smelled horrible and there were rocks close to shore that you had to very cautiously navigate to enter the water. The water was a dirty brown color about 6 feet out from the shore and lots of roots,small branches, leaves, seaweed, etc., floating in the water. I didn't even want to put my feet in the water, never mind swim (my sister came out of the water looking like she had been tarred and feathered). We asked one of the locals where the best clean beaches were with no rocks and he said, "the other side of the island". We will never go to Paradise Beach again but spend a little more time investigating other beaches in Cozumel. If that beach was "Paradise", I don't want to go there.
I have read elsewhere that the weather has been a major issue for all of the beach clubs on that side of the island. Apparently the winds are blowing and stirring up the beach areas. It is my understanding that what rosetattoo experienced is not the norm.
We just went to Paradise BEach also last week,after trying Chankanaab Park last year and it was the same deal with the rocks. The beach was beautiful, with hammocks, umbrellas, nice lounge chairs, a bar, changing rooms, etc, and it could be the weather with all the seaweed, but trying to get into the water with all the rocks was a chore. My uncle took one step into the surf and couldn't see the rocks on the bottom and fell just a foot from shore on his back and had to crawl out. We saw the same spectacle with others trying to get into the water, tripping and falling, screaming "oohh" and "ouch!". A couple of people sitting near us tried to get in and after a failed attempt and getting hurt, they gave up and sat back on their chairs and ordered a bucket of Corona beer. They actually have a pier that extends about 50 feet out with 2 ladders on the sides just for the purpose I think of getting into the water where it is about 6 feet deep to avoid the rocks at the shore. We also asked a local and he said the best place for a nice beach is the other side of the island where it is nice and sandy with no rocks. Next time we are in Cozumel, we will make it a point of trying the other side!
What about the area directly in front of the water trampoline and iceberg? Isn't that a sandy entrance? I read, on another message board, that the safest way to enter and exit the water, avoiding rocks, would be right in front of the water toys? Did you notice that?
I saw people entering the water in front of the trampoline and they were crawling into the water on their hands and knees through all the muck and debris. There might be an entrance point there that is not rocky but you couldn't see it through all the murky brown smelly water.
I know a year makes a big difference, DUH....but when we were there last year, the water was clear and we had no trouble at all in getting into the water. We were sitting on the far right, next to the massage booth and infront of the iceburg....it was sandy and a wonderful experience.
The wait staff was not pushy. They would come by every now and then to see if we needed anything, but did not try to push the drinks and food on us. Speaking of which, the food and drinks were OUTSTANDING!!!!
I really hate to hear they are having trouble there because it was such a great time. I hope it clears up soon.