We woke up around 7 a.m. for our big day of snorkeling. TIP: We decided to book a snorkeling tour of the Palancar reef with a local tour group instead of booking it directly with the cruise ship. We saved about $30, got to see the same reef, and had a smaller group of people on our boat (about 20 people versus 50+ people). Our ship docked at Punta Langosta, located on the NW side of the island.
Cruise ship ports are kind of the worst. Most of them are a maze of shops, American chain restaurants (Hooters, anyone?), Señor Frog’s, and overpriced souvenirs. To catch a taxi, you need to navigate yourself out of the port, which I think the cruise ports make purposely difficult. Speaking my limited Spanglish, we were able to navigate out to the street, where we caught a taxi to the marina where our snorkeling tour began.
We boarded our boat, received safety instructions from the crew, and were off on a 45 minute boat ride to the reef. Before we left the marina, our boat captain traded a carton of juice boxes with another tour boat for a handle of tequila. ¡Fiesta!
Palancar reef is one of the largest coral reefs in the world. It is a popular dive spot, as you can see a variety of sea life. We saw a variety of fish, sea stars, sting rays, and sea turtles. We snorkeled for about an hour and a half and got back on the boat. On our way back to the marina, we befriended some Texans who were aboard a different cruise ship. When we were in Cozumel, there were six other cruise ships docked on the island! While we were chatting it up with the Texans, the crew came around with the bottle of tequila and some Coronitas. The ride back was quite fun!
Arriving back at the marina, hungry and a stomach filled with poor choices (the tequila!), a crew member recommended La
Choza (translates to house in Mayan) for lunch, so we were off in a taxi back toward Punta Langosta. My mom and I split some guacamole and shrimp and fish ceviche. It was super tasty and fresh. After lunch, we walked around the town a bit and then headed back on the ship for a siesta.
That night we ate at the Italian restaurant on board. I had polenta and steak and my mom had seabass and veggies. I had an affogato for dessert, which is a scoop of ice cream and a shot of espresso.
Next stop, Roatan, Honduras! Follow my blog to find out what happens next.