During our prior cruises to the ports of Grand Cayman and Cozumel we personally had a better time in Grand Cayman. This visit though was the opposite experience for us. Goes to show that no matter how many times you visit a port or island, it’s a new experience each time!
When we visited Grand Cayman a few years ago, we participated in the 4×4 Jeep Tour of the island which included stops in the famous town of Hell, visits to stunning beaches, and lots of snorkeling. It’s here that we really began to love snorkeling, so when we returned this time, snorkeling was our goal. We booked an excursion that included a catamaran ride, snorkeling and a visit to Stingray City. When we pulled into port and began the tender process, we were greeted by this gorgeous Grand Cayman sunrise.
Mother nature had different plans for the day though! The black clouds rolled in, the rain began to downpour and the catamaran was cancelled. What to do!? GO SHOPPING! There are many nice shops along the pier, but the one and only store we wanted to visit was the original Guy Harvey art gallery/store. During our last visit we were “star struck” when we were asked if we wanted to meet Mr. Harvey, which we did. This time he wasn’t there but we still had a great shopping spree!
After shopping we headed back to the ship, the sun came out, and they had great movies on the outdoor theater for us to enjoy all day. Carnival did a great job making up for us having an excursion wash-out!
Next stop was Cozumel! Last time we were in this port was not a pleasant weather experience. This time though, it was a beautiful day and we were welcomed at The Cozumel Palace, a resort in Cozumel owned by the Palace Resorts. This was my first visit to the property and I honestly was beyond impressed.
The staff’s “Attention to Detail” was superior, down to the staff’s use of a mini tong when placing our napkins on our lap during the breakfast brunch. The food is authentic to the region, with an American-ish twist. We thoroughly enjoyed every bite and appreciated all of the hospitality! The elegant presentation of the food was spectacular too. I am upset I didn’t take photos, but I hate taking restaurant photos!! I feel rude!
The decor is very clean and modern. The resort smelled so delicious and relaxing!
Grand Cayman and Cozumel are large destinations where my scuba, snuba and snorkeling clients like visiting. The Cozumel Palace resort sits on a cliff so that you can take the docks and ramps down and snorkel right on property. WE LOVED this and enjoyed most of our afternoon snorkeling!
If you are more of a sunbather like me though, the infinity pool was out of this world. They have the infinity pool, a larger pool with swim-up bar, and then a children’s pool. There were a handful of wonderfully well behaved children at the resort, as it is a family all-inclusive, but most guests seemed to be couples and groups of adults.
They also have loungers facing the snorkeling area so that when your loved ones are snorkeling, you can watch. I loved this aspect of the resort layout too!
This resort does have two man-made beaches but the pool and snorkeling areas were so spectacular, even I didn’t miss the beach, and that says a lot!!
I was asked by my colleagues if I was approached about time share/vacation club and the answer is no, neither of us were, not even once! I was very happy to know my clients would not be excessively bothered, as some other resorts are relentless.
I would absolutely recommend this, and all of the Palace Resorts to my clients. I have nothing but glowing things to say about our visit to Cozumel Palace and hope that my clients will consider booking this resort through me in the near future! I was informed today that Palace just updated their $1500 Resort Credit promotion. Book 3 nights or more through me and the resort credit can be used however you choose. AND starting December 2013, if you don’t use the entire credit during your stay, you get a card with the remaining balance at check-out, good for any stay in 2014! OR you can pass your card to friends/family who also booked their trip through me at a Palace resort.
After our stay at Cozumel Palace we took a quick taxi ride back down to the port where they have really great outdoor shopping. I don’t usually shop this much on vacation, but hey, it’s there, what was I to do LOL! The jewelry stores were beautiful and I enjoyed them immensely, even learning that you can take the appraisal back to them your next time in port and upgrade to a different/better piece of jewelry. They also had many shops with beautiful traditional pottery and art as well as authentic Mexican vanilla which was one of the items I planned to bring back to my dear friend in NJ, but it was taken at the airport b/c I accidentally left it in my carry on (OOPS!) We enjoyed more Mexican cuisine here as well as a serenade from a traditional Mariachi band who sang Feliz Navidad in front of a beautiful Christmas tree in the 86 degree weather with the ocean breaking behind us. Oh, and leave it to me to find Dominick the Italian Christmas Donkey in Mexico before we left! Ok, maybe he wasn’t really Dominick, but he had a Christmas hat on so that’s what I called him!
All in all, a great experience in these ports, and ones that have so much to offer those who want to relax on the beach or be active with snorkel/scuba or even shop! I look forward to booking your next visit to Grand Cayman or Cozumel in 2014.