Disney Cruise Line and Its Ports of Call LIVE! Guidebook
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Making the Most of Cozumel
Making the Most of Cozumel
Your ship docks at the Punta Langosta pier in the city of San Miguel de Cozumel, on the island’s western shore. Tendering is not required. You can see Playa del Carmen on the mainland—the channel is just two miles (3 km.) wide. The typical all-ashore time is 8:30 am, with all aboard at 4:45 pm. A tourist information office is at the end of the pier, as is the glitzy Punta Langosta shopping plaza. The plaza is reached via a pedestrian bridge over Avenida (Avenue) Rafael Melgar, and provides a convenient, secure shopping and dining destination. There is no beach within walking distance.
You disembark the ship near the center of town, about five blocks south of Muelle Fiscal, the city’s central plaza and ferryboat dock (ferries to the mainland). Several miles to the south are the International and Puerta Maya piers, in the resort hotel district. The waterfront road, Avenida Rafael Melgar, goes right past the pier, and leads to most of the sights in town and on the island’s west shore. Just five blocks north you’ll find Avenida Benito Juarez, which heads directly to the San Gervasio ruins and the beaches of the eastern shore. Drive south on Avenida Rafael Melgar to reach Chankanaab National Park, San Francisco Beach, Playa Del Sol, and Palancar Reef. • Car and scooter rentals are advisable for those who wish to set off on their own, but taxis ($4 for up to four passengers) are more convenient for in-town travel. Four wheel drive vehicles are especially useful if you head for the eastern beaches. Alamo Car Rental (888-826-6893) is located in the Punta Langosta Mall, and several other agencies are nearby. Note that cars are driven on the same side of the road as in the United States.
Safety is always, in part, a state of mind. Certainly the crowds of sprawling San Miguel will put most travelers on the defensive, as may the dominant, Spanish language (though most shop owners speak some English). Take typical big-city precautions, then try to relax and enjoy. A polite, friendly attitude toward the locals will ease your way—it always helps to treat your host with respect. “Do you speak English?” is a good way to start your conversations. Drinking water and food safety are a classic concern for visits to Mexico. Be sensible. Drink bottled water and commercially prepared beverages, and think twice about dining from street vendors. However, most restaurants will be well up to stateside health standards. As always, sunblock is a must. Dress according to your planned activities—changing rooms are hard to find at the beach.
In August 2017, the U.S. Department of State issued a travel warning for this region of Mexico: U.S. citizens should be aware that according to Government of Mexico statistics, the state of Quintana Roo experienced an increase in homicide rates compared to 2016. While most of these homicides appeared to be targeted criminal organization assassinations, turf battles between criminal groups have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by U.S. citizens. Shooting incidents, in which innocent bystanders have been injured or killed, have occurred.
Top Photo Slice: (℗ 53399) Photo contributed by © Jennifer Marx
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