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Another great visit to the island of Cozumel

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Arrival: Due to flight connection problems, we did the “bag drag” from Cancun. While everything went according to plan, I would hate to do it again. It was a long day. Luckily we were able to fly direct from CZM on our way home. I really did appreciate the service of USA Transfers in Cancun. They were ready and waiting for us right outside the Customs’ area in Cancun. The driver was polite and really helpful. He insisted we wait in the car in Playa while he went off to fetch a bicycle boy to take our luggage to the ferry. I would use this service again, even if it is a bit more expensive than the bus.

Resort: We have always stayed at the Coral Princess – for over 20 years. It has had its ups and downs and after Hurricane Wilma, I felt the property was losing some of its luster. I must say that I was greatly impressed this year. The owners and staff have put a lot of effort into improvements and it shows. Can’t beat the location. The water views are outstanding and the snorkeling along the wall in front of the property is the best on the island – hands down. While snorkeling I saw (along with all the regular cast of characters) 3 giant eagle rays, squid, octopus, and 3 different species of eel. The coral and sponges growing on the wall are amazing – and with their return, so are the fish.

Things we did.

Enjoyed Carnival. Although we've been around many years for Carnival, its still a treat. Love the parades and the kindergarten costume competition at Moby Dick's.

Watched Super Bowl at Woody's. Great food, drinks and lots of fun.

We took the 4 hour snorkel tour to the southern shallow reefs. Wow! What a day. Our DM, Abdius from Pepe Scuba, could free dive beyond 40 feet and he used that skill to really point out all the wonders of a big reef. We saw countless turtles, 6 or 7 sharks, the biggest lobsters I have ever seen (over 18 inches long), crabs as big as a Thanksgiving turkey platter. I would have missed most of these without Abdius pointing them out. I felt perfectly safe because our boat captain, Fidel, always had his eyes on us. When I got separated a bit from our group (of 4) he was right there to point me in the right direction or pick me up with the boat.

Underwater Photography: As a Christmas gift, I gave hubby 3 underwater photography sessions with Tatjana Reichgruber (aka Tati) of “Cozumel Photo Tour”. Tati typically does walking or round-the-island tours of Cozumel on land, but she is an accomplished diver and agreed to be his Christmas gift doing a brand new underwater photo workshop. She is wonderful! His photos were greatly improved with just the first snorkeling session! For instance, even though his camera’s manual specifically states that the white balance can not be altered in the video mode, Tati knew instantly how to do it. She made the adjustment and his underwater videos are now amazing. She is also a lovely person, full of island knowledge who I enjoyed meeting and spending time with – even though I wasn’t receiving lessons. I would highly, highly recommend this activity. You don’t have to be a pro or have any more than basic equipment to gain from a session of two with Tati.

http://cozumelphototour.blogspot.com/

For the most part weather was outstanding. Sure we had a few days with winds, but used those to explore, shop or catch up on reading. We even went to the movies. The Cineopolis Theater is state of the arts - they even have 3D. Most of the movies are in English with Spanish sub-titles. And its only $4.

One windy day we drove to the East side and had a ball watching the kite boarders. Wow! They make it look so easy. Spent a little time at Punta Moreno beach club. Very nice with a small pool, massage, beautiful beach, nice restaurant. I would return on a better day. Another day we drove over to watch our friends fly their fighting kites and had lunch at Diablos. Good food, great view.

Restaurants:

Visited many of the standards:

El Moro (love the mole sauce!)

Guidos (garden gets more beautiful each year)

Parilla Mission (great food and friends)

Blue Angel (outstanding chile relleno, beautiful view and amazing music by Abraham)

Bucannos (could that place get any more spectacular!!)

Del Sur (sweetbreads and empanadas—enough said!)

Rolandi’s (great location on the water for pizza)

Conchita del Caribe (the best fish on the island)

ALL were outstanding!

Tried some new ones:

Cocktelito’s (not overly impressed – coconut shrimp was outrageously sweet and they were out of everything on the drink menu)

Del Museo at Night (Excellent fresh fish, cooked perfectly every time. Tuna grilled or as sushi was outstanding! Wonderful risotto. The most beautiful view at sunset – white tablecloths, lovely china, - very romantic. This has been a favorite for breakfast for years, but having it open for dinner is a real treat. Always felt the location was wasted by not being open in the evening. )

Guido’s Deli (a very pretty little garden to sit for breakfast or lunch. The deli case is filled with goodies not found elsewhere on the island – salamis, cheeses, salads, etc., breads baked fresh every day, cookies to die for, a wonderful selection of wines and Belgium beer, homemade limoncello and orangecello, handmade vanilla sauces. We got wonderful roast beef sandwiches to-go for our flight home.) It is wonderful!

An old favorite disappoints:

Kinta just was not up to its previous standard. The waiter apologized for the “catch of the day” being frozen fish. I can understand this might be required during certain fishing periods, but we had been eating fresh tuna and snapper everywhere else during the same week. They need to step up their game. Consequently we passed on dining at Kondesa.

Rented our car for the month from ISIS. As usual – excellent service. Our little VW hardtop was perfect for getting around the island. We love driving them and love doing business with Margarita – knowing we will have absolutely no hassle.

Another wonderful visit. Cozumel never disappoints.

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