We always just rent a jeep or car and tour the island ourselves, stopping for beach breaks along the way, with a stop in the town of San Miguel near the end... with perhaps a stop at Carlos & Charlies to top off the day.
Only really one main road around the island, so it's pretty easy getting around.
Even if you don't shop, San Miguel is worth a visit. We talked to a lot of locals, visited the local guitar shop (my son is a budding musician), popped into a beautiful church, admired some interesting architecture and ate some good food!
Carnival Elation March 11
Carnival Imagination Sept 07
Carniival Sensation Dec 06
RCI Sovereign of the Seas Sept 06
Carnival Miracle Sept 05
Carnival Glory Sept 04
Carnival Fantasy Jan 04
Cozumel has some beautiful beaches, there is some amazing reef snorkeling. Mayan Ruins to explore. A lot is not up and running yet due to the hurricane damage, check with the cruise line and the island's department of tourism.
Didn't find the shopping to be anything great. You can get some good deals on silver and Mexican vanilla. Found the gem quality to be a bit lacking.
On my cruise on the NCL Wind, a few relatives and I went deep-sea fishing. I don't know how it was arranged. But I don't think it was a shore tour from the cruise line. The fishing was fun but the fish weren't biting that day. We only caught three Dolphins.
Norwegian Pearl 12/19/09
Carnival Miracle 12/23/08
Carnival Legend 4/1/07
Carnival Liberty 1/1/06,11/21/06
Caribbean Princess 5/28/05
Norwegian Wind 3/20/04
Carnival Legend 12/20/02, 3/18/03
Carnival Fascination 11/1/02
Carnival Victory 3/17/02
Carnival Triumph 3/17/01
RCI Majesty Of The Seas 1/5/01
Carnival Ecstasy 1/15/99, 2/04/00
We were there last Friday and we rented scooters for the day....$30 each for the day plus $5 for gas.....toured around the island for a few hours.....stopped at a beach for a couple of hours and toured some more....returned the scooters by 3:00 and still had time to shop.A great way to see the island and get alot of sun!!!
If it hasn't been messed up by the hurricanes, you should go to the other side of the island to a beach called Chin Rios. There is a small cantina there, great seculded beach, and probably the best seafood on the island, considering the fact that they go out in their boats 3-4 times a day, a couples times while you are sitting there waiting.
In December we went by cab to Paradise Beach.The island was just getting somewhat back from Hurricane Wilma. Loved PB; they had nice beach chairs and umbrellas. Waiters came around for drinks and food, but they weren't pushy at all. We had chicken nachos and smoothies, delicious. This is no admission, very nice.