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WilliamL September 11th, 2011 08:57 PM

Cozumel nightmare
Just returned today. All please be aware. We docked and looked to rent mopeds. We thought it would be a great way to see the island. We rented 2 mopeds as there were three of us. We witnessed an arguement on a damaged moped by a couple on the same ship but didn't think anything about it. We filled out the paperwork and off we went. Where the Valor docked the water was crystal clear. Going to Paradise beach the water was brown and dirty. No one went in. We used the pool and it was nice. We stayed about 1 1/2 hours and decided to take a drive up to see the lighthouse. Well 20 minutes into the ride the one moped broke down. The other moped we used to send two of the group back to get help. Well I was stuck on the side of the road for an hour and 45 minutes awaiting help from the moped company. I was on the side of the road and the police came to make sure I was okay. Then the rental agent showed up with a moped to get me back to the rental office. I parked the moped and spoke to an employee and I requested a refund for the one moped since we paid 55.00 and used the moped for less than 30 minutes. He refused. eedless to say it got rwell a crowd was gathering andeally heated between me and the agent. I requested the police to be called. A crowd of about 35 people gathered around since they had heard me rip this guy after his arogance and business ethics. The end story is that the police made him give me 25.00 dollars back. I asked the "office" if he thought that was fair? He replied thats the best he could do. Please all anyone going please do not rent from "Rentadora Sian Ka'an"If you agree please boycot this vendor. After spending the day there I have to say I wouldn't go back to Cozumel ever again after seeing the way I know now how they cheated the couple with the minor moped damage and the way they were alloed to cheat us. Other people on the4 boat sumed it up well. They the Mexicans are there to cheat Americans any way they can. God Bless thanks for reading.

Snoozeman September 11th, 2011 10:00 PM

Carnival does not recommend renting mopeds in Cozumel. I've never sailed the Valor, but I've seen it printed in the FunTimes on every other Carnival cruise I have taken there. Now you know why.

WilliamL September 11th, 2011 10:11 PM

yes, wish I would have seen that. Thanks for your response.

Snoozeman September 11th, 2011 10:42 PM

Thanks for your post...hopefully it will keep people away from the mopeds.

Aerogirl September 11th, 2011 11:09 PM

You’re were brave to rent a moped, I was terrified just being in the cab we had. They drive like maniacs in Mexico!

david30101 September 12th, 2011 01:26 AM

They dont want people to rent mopeds because of getting run over by other cars, not because of breakdowns. Anyhow. Ive always rented jeeps every time i went there. I went to Lighthouse last year in a jeep and there is a sandy acess road that may not work well with a moped, it goes back there about a 1/2 mile or so before you get to the lighthouse. I was there with one other person that rode with me. The Lighthouse is small in Dia and a bunch of people climbing it at same time would take forever. Luckly I was there early before the crowds came. I have some pics posted here from that trip. Also make sure you get the full coverage insurance on any type of vehicle you rent. Sorry about loss of time with the moped. A few yrs ago I buryied a jeep on the beach (2 of them) on the far side of island. I was prepared to leave them and go back to ship since i had full coverage insurance. But a local guy got us out.. I wasted 2 hours getting "unstuck". I still had plenty of time since the ship was there for 15 hours.

WilliamL September 12th, 2011 06:19 AM

Yes I had full coverage. Thanks for the post.

johnthed0g September 12th, 2011 06:38 AM

I would say renting any form of two wheeled transport in the Caribbean is an interesting way of attempting suicide.

sweetlissa September 12th, 2011 07:10 AM


Originally Posted by WilliamL (Post 1392003)
After spending the day there I have to say I wouldn't go back to Cozumel ever again after seeing the way I know now how they cheated the couple with the minor moped damage and the way they were alloed to cheat us. Other people on the4 boat sumed it up well. They the Mexicans are there to cheat Americans any way they can. God Bless thanks for reading.

I think it's sad you're gonna miss seeing all the beautiful things in Cozumel just because of something one person did. As for you other statement about the Mexicans being there to cheat American people any way they can, that's a horrible thing to say! Yes it's a tourist trap but you knew that going in. YOu can't say all of any group of people are bad based on one experience. You said you didn't know not to rent the mopeds, ok I'll give you that one, but when you saw the trouble the one couple was having, that should've been a huge red flag. I'm all for not using this business, cause yeah you weren't treated right. Although since you drew a crowd and were so proud of how you ripped this dude I think you said, maybe you didn't treat him like a person, just my impression. If someone is screaming and yelling @ me, I'm not gonna do anything for them. Nothing he could've done at that point would satisfy you. Anyways, I hope despite this you had a great cruise, and hopefully you'll give cozumel a chance in the future. :-)

WilliamL September 12th, 2011 12:36 PM

Your wrong I never was proud and didn't tell the whole story. I only ripped this guy when he started waving bye to me in a fashion as to say, "I cheated you out of your money and you have a boat to catch" And, I wasn't the only one we heard numerous stories as to people on the boat suffering one way or another in how they were cheated. An elderly man at our table was charged 3 times the amount for gas his only crime was to say I'm in a hurry to catch the boat attendant never came back with the change. I'm glad you never have had a bad or less than honest experience in Cozumel. I have never had this type of experience in Aruba- own 2 timeshares have been going for 20 years, St. Kitts, St. Maartin, St. Lucia, Barbados. I get the tourist traps but to be down right dishonest and then be obnoxious as well that is when I ripped into this person. He knew I had to catch the boat.

fun2cruiz September 12th, 2011 12:44 PM

Gasoline Scams in Mexico..... well advised in advance, IF RESEARCHED in advance !

Continuing this series of gas station scams at the government owned Pemex — not by the government, mind you, but by the attendants who will try to supplement their day’s wages. This is the second most common Pemex scam to try to get you to part with a few extra dollars at the gas station pump.
The second most common Pemex scam is a simple one, actually. Like the upcoming third one, it depends on your unfamiliarity with local currency and that extra step of a tourist having to make conversion rates back to American dollars in his head.
This scam and the third one is based simply on giving you back the wrong change. But here is the actual presentation of this scam which you should look out for:
Let’s say that the amount of gas pumped in your vehicle comes out to 250 pesos and you give the attendant a 200 peso bill and a 100 peso bill, totaling 300 pesos. The attendant owes you 50 pesos, right? Well, instead of giving you your change as one 50 peso bill, what the attendant may do is to first give you a 5 peso coin. He is hoping that your tentativeness with Mexico’s pesos and your desire to appear like you know what you are doing, that you will mistakenly think the 5 peso is the proper change and immediately say “Gracias” and move on, perhaps even giving him that 5 peso as an extra tip. You’re supposed to get 50 pesos back but you’ve got a number 5 in your head and you may simply think that you were incorrectly thinking 50.
Now just in case you are street smart and know the difference between 5 pesos and 50 pesos, after he gives you the 5 peso, the attendant will still retrieve the additional change but at a very slow pace. He is trying to pace himself to see if you will think he gave you all of your change back already. If you don’t pocket the change, say “Gracias”, and return to your vehicle, he will continue to pull the additional two 20 peso bills, but at a snail’s pace.
The solution to not being taken by the “giving the change back slowly” Pemex scam is to simply watch the change the attendant gives you and count it carefully. Don’t let your self-consciousness about your tentativeness with Mexican currency cause you to rush through it. Don’t be embarrassed if it takes you a little extra time to count. And don’t automatically turn away from him just because he hesitates after giving you the rest of your change. Be certain he has given you all your change back. Just take your time, pay attention, and make sure it all adds up.

There is only one brand of gasoline - the government owned Pemex. Gasoline rates are higher in Mexico than in the U.S. and the stations only accept cash. They are full service stations and a few pesos tip for the attendant is appeciated. Most attendants are friendly and honest, but we have run across a few opportunists.
When gassing up your rent car at the Pemex station near Akumal in the Riviera Maya, make sure the pump is set at zero before the attendant begins pumping your gas and watch the pump while it is running in case the attendant tries to add to the final amount. It has happened to us more than once that an attendant has attemped to supplement his day wage by adding a few dollars to our purchase. Count your change before you leave the station or any business for that matter. The most common way for a scoundrel here to cheat you is confusion while handing back change.

This series of Akumal tips will cover the various scams that the gas station attendants at the Pemex — Mexico’s only gas station chain — will try to get away with to put a few extra dollars in their pocket. If you don’t watch it, if you don’t pay attention, you’ll end up paying more than you should for your tank of gas, and these gas station attendants seem to pride themselves on whether they can trick an unsuspecting tourist.
The number 1 Pemex scam

This is the number one Pemex scam. You request a certain peso amount or you have asked “llenalo”, which means “fill it up” in Spanish. The attendant will probably ask you which type of gasoline you want, the standard “Magna” or premium. He then takes the nozzle from the pump, places it in your tank, depresses the lever, and the gas starts flowing. What you didn’t notice, however, is that before you drove up, he preset the pump for 50 pesos. When he gases up your vehicle, the pump starts running from the 50 peso amount. In other words, the final amount for your gas tab will include that 50 peso amount he keyed into the pump, even though you didn’t receive any gas for that amount. It’s the number one scam of the unscrupulous Pemex gas station attendants.
Start from square zero

The solution against this standard Pemex scam is to make sure the attendant zeros out the pump. There is a lever on the side of the pump that he flips. Any peso amount displayed on the pump will then clear out and display zero. This requires when you pull up in your vehicle to beat him to the punch by getting out of your car so that you can stand near the pump and watch what is going on. Don’t let him come to your window, block you in while he asks how much gas you want, and then start pumping. Give yourself a chance to get out of your vehicle and read the display before he starts pumping. Before he starts pumping, the peso amount on the display should read zero. That’s an absolute must. If it doesn’t, call him on it.
You’ve just got past the number one Pemex scam of not zeroing out the pump. But stay alert. The gas station attendant wants to supplement his day’s pay and he has a few more tricks up his sleeve.

sweetlissa September 12th, 2011 01:01 PM

Had you told the whole story the 1st time, my response would've been different. However I still don't feel like you can say any one group of people are all bad. The worst experience I had In Cozumel, was my fault. I ate some pickled tomatoes ( I thought)which turned out to be pickled habanero peppers and thought I was gonna die for a few secs,(not really, but it was intense) but it was my fault for being uniformed, so I can't blame them. I've always found the people to be very nice there. I honestly think everyone place in the world has imperfections and yeah there may be those who try to "steal" your money, but the majority of them make money from tourists, so I assume that's why they're always nice.

fun2cruiz September 12th, 2011 01:20 PM

OP... lesson learned I guess, but I hope that you will not always condone a country or it's population, nationality, cruiseline/ship, business, etc.... when something does not go the way you want it to. While it is true that it is your $ and you choose how, when and where to spend it, I seriously doubt that you will boycott every place you do business with for every little error that may occur simply because if you do, you will be staying at home !

Not every vacation is perfect for certain and I can say that I have had little hicups in the many caribbean islands I stay at or visit via ship, but none serious enough to warrant me to boycott them or warrant a nasty generalization of the entire population of that country or island.

colorcrazie September 12th, 2011 04:22 PM

I have run into really good people in poor countries and a few rip-off jerks. But, I have run into the same variety here in the U.S. I am more careful in 3rd world countries (or whatever the politically correct phrase is now) because any place where there is a lot of poverty, there are more people desperate to get their hands on your money, one way or another. And, I would never depend on the police in these countries because they are sometimes corrupt beyond imagination. They make our CEO's, politicians, etc. look innocent.
Cozumel has gotten a tad crowded and more of a tourist trap than it used to be, but it still has a lot to offer. Please give it another chance some day.

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