On previous calls in Cozumel we'd spent the day at Playa Mia and another time on our own. Both visits required an admission fee that included use of beach chairs, umbrellas and some of the activity stuff. For an additional fee we got armbands indicating that we could have all-you-can-drink bar service and there was one more higher level option that included food too.
The only reason I bring that up is that at Paradise Beach we walked right in and sat right down. There's no admission fee but if there was it should be called a cover charge much like you'd pay to go someplace that has entertainment because aptly named Paradise Beach is nothing less than a visit to, well, Paradise.
If we wanted to use their recreational stuff we could have paid $5 for unlimited use all day. We didn't. We just wanted to park on the beach and have a relaxing day.
We did and they sure do make it easy.
Within a minute or two of arrival a member of the staff that would be taking care of our needs today greeted us. He brought us drinks and food as needed (the Chips and Guacamole are to die for), ran a convenient tab that we paid at the end of the day, and had answers to any questions we posed. We ended up spending about $30 for the two of us which included a whole lot of Sol beers for me and a tip to our friendly and efficient waiter.
The facilities here are top-knotch. I'm not sure how it works out this way but the beach here was as pretty as any I'd seen in the Caribbean and on a par equal to Sapphire Beach in St Thomas or Bae Rouge in St Maarten. I was surprised and we are beach people, opting a high percentage of the time for a beach experience over anything else.
One feature of this place that really slapped me in the face as different were the exceptionally modern and clean restrooms and dressing rooms. I can't think of any other place we?ve been in Mexico and many other Caribbean ports of call that equaled this place in that area.
In addition to all the regular water activities one might expect to find, massages and hair braiding were offered on the beach. What was NOT offered were the sometimes-annoying vendors who rove from chair to chair hawking their wares. There is a store where official t-shirts are available and then some other shops down the beach a ways that offer a nice variety of things you could buy. Personally, by the time I'd made it through the initial offering of shops between the ship and the new (and really nice) taxi stand I?d seen enough to know that it would be easier to buy those souvenirs on the way back to the ship.
Like other Cozumel destinations getting there is easy. Clearly posted prices to all the destinations from the pier are per cab, not per person, and they stick to it. For the five of us that went it was $15 to get there. It seemed like about a 15 minute ride there but I can't say for sure because as we turned into the Paradise Beach park the unexpected beauty of the place caused me to forget to check my watch. Actually the unexpected beauty of the place caused me to forget where I was even.
And forgetting, relaxing, renewing is what this place is all about.
Today there were 8 ships in port and a variety of different cruise line passengers crowded the beach that did NOT seem crowded for the most part due to the way they've got it set up. Before anyone even arrives all the chairs and umbrellas are set out and spaced far enough from each other so even when busy (like today) it did not seem so.
We (and several of our friends from the ship) spent the whole day here and could have stayed longer had we not needed to get back before the ship set sail. On previous visits to Cozumel we'd spend the last few minutes before we had to get on the ship at Fat Tuesdays. Like Sharkeys in St Maarten, it's a great place to meet up with other ship mates and enjoy the last few minutes of the day. On this call we intentionally stayed as long as possible at Paradise Beach.
Who wants to leave Paradise right?
Finally, there's one feature of Paradise Beach that I can't forget to mention.
If you're lucky enough to go at a time when Tom is around you're in for quite a treat. In much the same way as someone hosting a dinner party might circulate in the room, making guests feel right at home, Tom is right there setting the tone for the whole place. Friendly is the name of the game here and Tom plays it with great skill almost demanding a return visit and certainly spreading good will all around.
Reluctantly arriving back at the ship we spent the rest of the day relaxing in our cabin nd on the balcony.
Cozumel Shore Tours and PricesClick here to go directly to a good list of current shore excursions and prices for Cozumel that you can purchase through the ship, often without leaving the comfort of your stateroom via the interactive television.
When we think of Cozumel, this is our other recommendation. Click here to go to thier website and get a discount coupon. Go to my videos page to see what it's really like. $8 package includes everything except drinks (and umbrella), $30 Fiesta package includes all drinks and $37 includes buffet, towel and snorkel gear. So, you actually save $1 plus the price of the umbrella ($4) by buying the ship package instead of the Fiesta package. The best way to save on the transportation is to share a cab/van.
Cozumel is one of our favorite ports, mainly due to Playa Sol. Recently they built a shopping mall by the pier that might remind you of a mall at home...YUK...what were they thinking? But that's ok, you can still go into town and get all the local flavor one could hope for.