The Planning Stages...
Cruise ships have yet to resume and that meant another land vacation for us. I have no problem with that because there have been so many destinations that we have visited by cruise ship and knew that we'd love to come back and stay awhile on the island. Cozumel has definitely been one of those places. We have been here a total of 11 times and what more would there be to do there? Well let me tell you...there's plenty more places to go and things to do.
Our last visit to Cozumel, we took a jeep tour to the "wild side" and experienced places we didn't know existed and that's when we knew for sure we wanted to return for a land vacation and explore some more.
So the planning started...
A certain house had been on my radar for a few years now. It was unique and had walls of glass. But, this time when I went to go book, it was not available for the dates we wanted. I was so bummed. But, there were plenty more options. We ended up finding a house that looked "dreamy" and had some of the features that we were looking for: In San Miguel (so close to everything), had a private pool, was a private single home, looked newer, separate bedrooms, and a lot of added features, which was just icing on the cake. I started messaging the owner (or the lady that took care of the home and listing) and there was a very quick response each time. She was very friendly and answered any questions I had about the home or location. I knew this was probably going to be the place I would book.
Now everyone knows I'm a SUPER BIG planner! I will get on google earth and pull myself down into the streets and "walk" the streets to see what it's like. Well, I had the area it was located in but while walking the streets, I just couldn't find the actual house. I was stumped. So, I messaged her asking for an address. Still, I couldn't locate any house on the street that looked like what was in the pictures. (We were located on 50 Avenida and there were 2 of them). So, being the helpful person she was, she let me know to go down the street and look for the vacant lot with the green fence. That was my place! It was brand new and hasn't even been updated on google earth! Yep! That's my place!
Also being the planner I am, I looked up the name of the place "Triskel Tortuga" and lucky me, I found it listed on Trip Advisor as well....only cheaper! During my conversation with the owner, I let her know I was booking, and once I booked, I let her know she could find my booking on TA to please accept and she did. We were all set and was super excited.
Up next was to book our flights. Since we fly with Southwest for free, that was a no brainer. However, I have no idea when this started, but they are now flying directly to Cozumel. I was so excited to find this because when I had checked before, we were going to have to fly to Cancun, take the bus to the ferry in Playa Del Carmen, ferry the 1-2+ hours over to Cozumel and then proceed. Now we didn't have to. We were headed straight to Cozumel! WOO HOO
Time to book a car. I read up on places at the airport to book and then I researched the facebook group Cozumel 4 You and many suggested using ISIS and the wonderful service they have received from them. They also said whatever you do, make sure to get the insurance! They told about horror stories and being detained until they paid for a new car or motorcycle from a collision and it was just not something you wanted to risk. But, when I put in for estimates, ISIS was pretty expensive (and came with the collision protection) at around $500+. The bigger car rental companies (Hertz, Alamo, and so on) were a CRAZY amount as well ($600-800). More research for "cheapest car rental in Cozumel" did turn up a place that had a great deal for around $280. Yep, that's what we decided to go with and it included the insurance we needed. Why were so many people purchasing with other places for the same deal and paying more money?
Another thing I learned while trying to rent a car was that most of the cars are without AC and are stick shift. With my leg, that wasn't going to work and I knew it was 82-84 degrees in Cozumel daily. I really wanted AC as well...so of course that costs more money too.
Now the fun really starts....finding things to do in Cozumel to keep my active family....active and excited to be here.
I started researching all of the beaches we hadn't been to and making a list. I knew that I wanted to try out some places that I had seen other cruisers mention here and there and see if I liked them...not to mention adding some new places to my Cozumel board for cruisers that haven't been there and wanting to know what they were like.
Some of the places on my radar were:
*Sunset Beach Club
I also wanted to go back to Chankanaab since I know it had changed a lot since we were there twice years ago.
Other things we were interested in doing were:
*Pearl Farm (never heard about this place before)
*Buggy to Jade Caverns
*and of course scuba diving as always
Now we were only going to be there from April 2-11th, so I had more on my list than days we were going to be there. Oh the decisions!!!!
I ended up booking the snuba for Chankanaab, knowing this would cross off something we wanted to try while getting to go to a place I wanted to return to....and we also booked the SeaTrek (we have so much fun doing these) at Jeanie's (Chankanaab also offers this but we figured we'd go somewhere different since we were doing the Snuba there).
I also contacted the Pearl Farm and we went back and forth about dates (there was supposed to be high winds the weekend we were to arrive) and the day before leaving, we had decided on that following Friday. However, I didn't get the PayPal deposit request in time.
I didn't get around to checking into or booking the excursion to Jade Caverns.
Discover Scuba: We have been doing a discover scuba every time we vacation and we had never dove in Cozumel. So, this was going to be exciting for us. I have always heard that Cozumel has some beautiful reefs to dive and we had seen some when snorkeling on a tour before.
I started asking for an instructor on the Cozumel 4 You page and was bombarded with suggestions from people they have used and solicited from some of the instructors on there as well. I found one instructor that took the time out to talk to me and answer all of my questions and the dive he presented to me sounded wonderful (2 boat dives to reefs). So, I put a deposit down and I couldn't wait.