Dear Reece O,
My wife and I were there in 03/00. The place is beautiful and plenty of shows to take in. Are you going there on a day trip from a ship? We went on the ship's tour, which meant on a air conditioned bus, a box lunch on the bus, and returned after a long day. We came back wiped out, but very impressed. The final show of the night was series of fold music from Mexico, the drum section, was very exceptional as was the entire show.
Swimming, was very nice, there is a lagoon for snorkeling which allows you to view the many fish, and there is also ocean swimming.
If you also have the option of a place called XEL-HA, and you can't make it to XCARET, or you just simply change your mind,XEL-HA is another similar swimming/lounging in the sun tour stop which I have been to and enjoyed. It too has a lagoon of brackish water, with a spectacular array of fish to view for the snorkeler. Sometimes they even nibble on your finger, especially a wedding ring, as soon as you enter.
If you do go to either I hope you enjoy them as much as we did, and please let us know.
My husband and I spent the day at xcaret last March, It was a great place but to tell you the truth we enjoyed Xeha just as much and it's a little more compact but with the same beautiful surroundings. The snoreling is great and there is plenty to do for the kids. Xcaret will take you all day just to see the whole place and makes for a very long day with kids.
We went to Xcaret in 1998, and though it was a beautiful place, well maintained with lots to do, it depends on what you want to do. If you have small kids, how much are they going to enjoy the shows? Ours were approximately the same age then, and all they wanted to do was get in the water, and there's some great swimming there, but mucho $$$! I'd recommend Chankanaab Park on Cozumel, much less expensive, nearly as beautiful grounds, and some awesome snorkeling. After spending the nearly $200 in '98, we definitely felt we did not get our money's worth, but live and learn...