I finally got off the fence and booked a 4 day cruise to Cozumel 8/27. Having never been on a cruise I got lots of questions. The first thing that comes to mind is with over 2000 people on board, and I assume a very limited number of pools and hot tubs, how do you go about getting some time in them? I would think I would like to spend my time in the sun/pool earlier in the day, and retreat from the sun mid day, then hit a hot tub in the evenings once the sun goes down, and maybe enjoy the moon and the stars. I don't want to be walking around in my swim trunks all day in case an opportunity arises to grab what I assume are limited spots. Can you make a reservation for a hot tub at night or are they all first come first serve? How nasty are the hot tubs? Friends of mine host a part every year and the water in it looks like soup after all the kids and adults have their soak, so I never go near it.
Stupid question, can I take my fun pass into the water with me? Are they water proof? If not, and if I have other things like sunglasses on me, where do I stash them if I want to hit the water slide?
Another logistical question, if I am going to walk around Cozumel all day, but would like to swim in the ocean, maybe with the dolphins (heard that was available now), do I again have to be in swim trunks all day, or do I bring a back pack with towel, etc.? Again, where do you change/stash your stuff? I assume I will also have to take my wallet with me into town to buy stuff, do the shops take credit cards? Do the boats have ATMs that I need to hit and bring cash?
Just one question - are you a "nudie" or a "newbie?"
if you are a "nudie" I suggest you look for the "bare necessities" cruise charters, or else you might embarass yourself.
Seruously - the hot tubs do not get that crowded. Don your bathing suit and go on deck, chances are you will find an empty hottub or one woth just a few people. Caveat - don't swallow any water - hottubs with lots of people can harbor germs.
Yesm your funpass is completely waterproof. it is a plastci magnetic keycard.
In cozumel you probably want to carry a beach bag with a change of clothes. Iti is always hot, so wear shorts and a tee-shirt, and keep a bathing suit handy. It is not too much to out in a bag either way. Some fo the beaches have lockers or hotels to keep your stuff safe.
If you opt to do the Mayan ruins(you can only book Tulum through Carnival, but San Gervasio on Cozumel and Coba(near Tulum on the mainland) are available through going yourself or booking an outside excursion) you might want to wear pants and a long sleeve shirt depending on which one you go to, as some are in jungle areas infested with mosquitos. Also, be sure to check with your doctor to get anti-malarials a couple months before.
Just a little jargon - your "Fun Pass" is something you complete before you cruise. When you check in you will be given a sign & sail card, which as Paul described is a plastic key card - it really is a fun pass - that's what you use as cash on board and to get on and off the ship.
I've not done the dolphin swim in Cozumel - but I bet there is a changing room, but you would also be fine walking around in trunks (jammer style) and a shirt. Downtown Cozumel is a bit away from port so you would take a taxi there, or do a shore excursion that dropped you off downtown.
Enjoy your cruise.
All I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by; John Masefield
Carnival: Glory 2004, Destiny 2008, Splendor 2009, Freedom 2011, Valor 2012, Dream 2013
Celebrity: Summit 2011
Princess: Ruby 2010, 2014, Caribbean 2013, Coral 2014, Regal 2014
Star Clippers: Royal Clipper 2015
The deeper you go into jungle areas, the more of a risk there is, but there is always some risk of it in a tropical climate. It is your call, but for me, I will be on anti-malarials before mine due to the fact I draw mosquitos.
Technically, malaria can be contracted from any mosquito bite, but the incident rate is very low, especially for cruisers who are only in a port for a few hours. My dad contracted malaria while a teenager in Missouri! I keep insect repellant towelettes in my port bag and, if the bugs are biting, I put some on. But, areas near the ocean are not as bad as deep jungle. Just avoid perfume, and similar products. Even sweet smelling shampoo will draw them.
Also, Mayan ruins on Cozumel were almost totally destroyed by a hurricane a couple of years ago. They reconstructed a replica, which is all you will find on the island. Too bad as the ruins there were more accessible, being smaller than the big sites like Tulum, or especially CHichen Itza.
Chichen Itza is not accessible at all for cruisers. Though it would have been nice if nature hadn't destroyed those ruins. Of course half a world away, mankind is destroying its own history in what was ancient Mesopotamia. Sad really. What is important is to enjoy your cruise. I don't think it will be a problem for when your cruise is scheduled, but I know right now due to the swine flu epidemic some of the cruise lines may cancel stops in Mexico and substitute another port.
It's too bad that cruisers can no longer go to Chichen Itza. Did it twice in the past and while a VERY long day, it was worth it. I didn't truly understand that the Mayans build true cities....easily as big as some towns I have been to in the U.S.
Well, some cruizers can, but they would have to be docked at a port in the Northern Yucatan. Cozumel cruisers are limited to Tulum and Coba, but that is fine too. Coba isn't fully excavated so there is always the chance an observant visitor could notice something important, though I doubt most visitors or most of the staff would understand it. Also, you can climb the pyramid at Coba which you can't do at Chichen Itza, from what I am told.