I was supposed to visit Cozumel on my first cruise ever, but the itinerary was changed last minute for the eastern Caribbean. When I was finally offered the chance to visit Cozumel in November, I jumped at the chance. I’m a Mayan history nut, and the idea of finally seeing some ruins face to face was thrilling. And, I’m so excited to be sharing this post at the beginning of a new year—there’s no better time to encourage all of you out there to visit a place you’ve always dreamed of!
The Crown Princess docked in Cozumel at seven o’clock in the morning, and my friend and I were booked for a 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. excursion—eight beautiful hours out and about in Mexico. We were to spend the morning at the popular Mayan ruins of the ancient city of Tulum, followed by a few hours at a local beach club where we could enjoy the powdery white sand and stunning blue waters that have made Tulum a such popular tourist destination. As soon as we stepped onto the pier, we knew we were in for quite a day.
From the pier, we made our way to the ferry that runs from the island of Cozumel to the mainland, Playa del Carmen. It’s a quick ride, but the smoothness of it depends on the weather. The waves were definitely not with us on the way out. Make sure to come prepared with saltine crackers and medication for seasickness, just in case. Thankfully, Michele and I were fine, but I can’t say the same for everyone else!
I’m a huge nerd about Mayan culture, so I was very excited to absorb everything our day would hold. (If anyone else has played Secret of the Scarlet Hand, you get my drift.) But one of the most fun parts of the day was also the most unexpected—a plethora of coatimundi surrounded us at the entrance to the ruins! They were so cute, and I’d never seen anything like them. And, there were just as many iguanas surrounding the ruins. It’s a place just teeming with wildlife.
The ruins themselves were wonderfully impressive. I felt like I had stepped back in time, save for the other tourists running around and ropes sectioning off the visitors from the ancient structures. Walking through, I knew I would need to pick up a library book on Mayan civilization from the library—visiting for two hours just wouldn’t be enough to satisfy my history-loving soul.
After exploring the ruins and the nearby cliffs and beach area, we were finally underway to part two of our day: the beach club. On the way, Michele and I realized we had neglected to bring towels, but there was no way we weren’t going for a dip in those stunning blue waves. As enchanting as the ancient city of Tulum had been, the beach was the most magical part of our day. I’ve been to Mexico a few times, but I’ve never seen such peaceful, crystal clear aqua waters and perfectly powdery pink and white sand. The area we got to visit was truly special. The beach club offered us fish tacos for lunch on the beach, and even some live music.
After our first stop on this cruise, Costa Maya, I didn’t think it could get any better—but just as one would expect from Mexico, our next port showed us beautiful beaches and friendly locals. And our rough sea crossing kicking off our day? The ride back to the island of Cozumel was as smooth as silk. Fair winds and following seas indeed.
Thank you to Princess Cruises for sponsoring this post.