Wonder of the Seas Trip Log Day 4: 7-Night Western Caribbean Royal Caribbean Cruise – Cozumel – March 13, 2024

Trip log, day four. Cozumel, Mexico (7AM – 6PM).
7-Night Western Caribbean Royal Caribbean Cruise from Port Canaveral, Florida 
March 13, 2024
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Wonder of the Seas Deck Plan

RCCL Wonder Seas Stateroom TV Map Day 4 Cozumel

Today looks promising with a forecast calling for sun, and a hight of 87ºF! I was up and out of the room early to go get some coffee while Emily went to the gym.

I spent some time working, as we were now connecting to a Starlink data center in Mexico (which caused an issue since remote connections were blocked based on geolocation). Thankfully, my VPN was not blocked, and I could re-route through Florida! This is one nice thing about Disney Cruise Line’s new internet plans; the traffic is routed through the United States (even when we were sailing in Europe), which is important for those that work remotely and have location restrictions.

Shorty after 9AM, we met up with our friends and headed ashore. The Wonder of the Seas docked any the International Cruise Terminal. Docking at this pier is new for us as we’ve always docked at Punta Langosta when cruising with Disney.

Cozumel RCCL Wonder And Mariner Of The Seas

Once ashore, we made our way through the maze, I mean shopping area, to the taxi line. Initially, the line looked long, but it moved quickly as there was a line of taxis both cars and vans waiting in the road.

At 9:25 AM, the five of us loaded into a taxi van for a 20-minute drive from the International Cruise Terminal to a beach resort. The taxi ride cost $50 USD total for 5 people.

The plan for today was to enjoy the offerings at El Cozumeleño Beach Resort. We originally learned about this beach resort day pass from Matt over at Royal Caribbean Blog. The beach resort was not an excursion booked through the cruise line; this was an ‘on our own’ port adventure/excursion, which I completely understand may be outside of your comfort zone. It is not uncommon for us to venture ashore on our own, or with third party tour operators and we are well aware of the potential risks and accept the risk of booking outside the safety net of cruise line’s offerings.

Upon arrival at 9:45 AM, we checked in at the front desk with our printed day pass vouchers. We pre-purchased a $70/person El Cozumeleño Beach Resort Day pass from Resort for a Day. Technically, when we booked the day pass we paid a $20/person deposit with $50/person due at the time of our arrival. According to the information we received following the booking, the resort would only accept the final payment with a credit card. Essentially, they did not accept cash local or foreign currency. Also, be prepared to hand over your ship keycard or a government issued ID, which they hold until you are ready to leave. Once we were paid, signed the waiver/check-in form, we were given day pass bracelets to wear while on site. They also met us at check-in with non-alcoholic welcome drinks!

Cozumel El Cozumeleno Day Pass Bracelet

The resort day pass included snorkeling gear, unlimited food & drink options at the on-site restaurant & snack bar, access to the pool & beach areas, a mini golf course, game room & tennis court. There was complimentary WiFi, mostly available near the lobby area. Keep in mind, if this is something you choose to do in the future, the day pass does NOT include beach towels, you will need to bring them from your ship.

We set out to find a place to enjoy the day. It was still before 10am, but most of the loungers were spoken for with onsite guests placing belongings out to secure spots. I do not fault them one bit; they are paying to stay onsite and should have first choice. That being said, the resort is selling a day pass, so from my perspective, they should have seating to accommodate the day passes they are selling on any given day based on resort occupancy.

Cozumel El Cozumeleno Loungers Umbrellas

We found a row of loungers and started our day of beachside relaxation. Only thing missing was some shade, but the weather conditions were still pleasant where the sea breeze was more than enough to offset the full sun. And, we were armed with lots of sunscreen.

Cozumel El Cozumeleno Beach View

Last year over the Thanksgiving weekend, I purchased a second GoPro to give me some options on days when I want to film a time lapse while still having a camera to take into the water. Well, the new GoPro would not power up and trying to troubleshoot this in full sun was not working out, so I proceeded to set up the following beach view video that progresses into a time lapse of the morning.

While the camera was working, I settled into a lounger and plunged into my book. I was excited to go swimming today, but I had a disagreement with the Western Caribbean water temperature. Our friend’s daughter did venture out into the water to snorkel. She said it wasn’t that bad and Emily said the same thing to me later, as she just went and waded out and did a little swimming.

Cozumel El Cozumeleno Beach View

There were two servers walking the beach providing beverage and food service. We tipped early and at the end which in turn, kept us refreshed throughout our stay. The beer available was Dos Equis, and the bar was using well spirits, which isn’t uncommon for these sort of all inclusive offerings

While we could have ordered lunch from our server, we opted to walk up to the pavilion to sit and eat in the shade. Our options included a buffet, or you could order from the same menu that was offered at our loungers on the beach.

Cozumel El Cozumeleno Lunch Menu

Below is a look at the various menu stations.

The highlight of the buffet was a made-to-order quesadilla station. I ordered two and grabbed chicken from the buffet which I cut up and added to the quesadillas.

Near the dining area was a complimentary bar where you could order cocktails, beer, and wine.

After lunch, we found a hot tub near one of the pools that wasn’t necessarily heated, but small enough to be naturally warm. There was a whirlpool near another pool, but it was the same temperature as the pool.

The balance of our time was spent lounging, reading, chatting. Overall, a nice day of doing relatively nothing!

It was time to return and I had been super focused on checking out because I handed over my driver’s license instead of ship card like everyone else. Why, because the lady at the desk asked for an ID and that is what I handed her not knowing it was going to be held. I figured it was just part of the standard check-in procedure just like at other resorts that check identification upon arrival. Anyway, we checked out, and we all had our IDs and ship cards back. We spoke with the bellhop to get a ride back to International Cruise Terminal. She waved to the line of taxis, but instead of a van for the 5 of us, two cars pulled up. Bellhop said it will be $15 per car which sounded too good to be true and a half mile down the road the lead taxi stopped, driver walked back to our taxi to chat with our driver… Our driver turned around and said, it is $25 per car because they were under the impression we were returning to Punta Langosta, not the International Cruise Terminal which is a longer drive. Moral of the story, always confirm with the driver, not the bellhop.

Join us for the condensed 20 minute drive back to the International Cruise Terminal.

One quick snapshot of the Cozumel sign with the ships in the background as we were walking back to the ship.

Cozumel Sign RCCL Wonder And Mariner Of The Seas

Shortly after boarding, I made a pit stop at Sorrento’s for a slice of pizza.

We proceeded back to the stateroom to clean up for dinner. This afternoon was the first time our balcony received full afternoon sun. Up to now, we had afternoon shade.

RCCL Wonder Seas Central Park Balcony Afternoon

Tonight, we were skipping out on the main dining room which was serving the Taste of Mexico Menu.

RCCL Wonder Seas Menu Taste Of Mexico

Typically, I recommend sticking to the rotational offerings during your first cruise or first time on a new ship. However, this has long been predicated based on the experiences and setup of rotational dining with Disney Cruise Line and more recently with the evening entertainment offerings integrated into the restaurants. However, after our experience last year with Carnival, and so far with Royal Caribbean, the main dining rooms can be missed for other options both included and for an additional charge. I am not saying there is anything wrong with the main dining room, as the service has been exceptional and the food much better than I expected given the options available. In my opinion, Royal is not reducing the quality of food in the main dining rooms to push guests over to uncharge options. I only mention this because I’ve heard this in the past when folks are comparing cruise lines stating Disney may charge more, but standard offerings are much better and there isn’t a manipulative push to uncharge options or paying for things that are included with Disney.

As I was saying, tonight we are skipping the main dining room for dinner at Solarium Bistro located on deck 15 forward. Royal Caribbean promotes Solarium Bistro as a buffet offer serving fresh ingredients and Mediterranean flavors for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is a main seating area with a view forward out to the Solarium area. Reservations are required, but there is no additional charge except a few select items as well as certain beverages. The restaurant offers self service buffet stations with Mediterranean inspired dishes. Here is a look at the menu presented outside the entrance.

RCCL Wonder Seas Solarium Bistro Dinner Menu

We ate in stages around the restaurant staring with appetizers and progressing up to dessert rather than filling up one plate in one pass. Part of the experience includes a server who will serve beverages and clear plates as well as take your order from the select uncharge items listed on the menu such as the surf & turf.

Overall, this felt like a buffet. Dishes were hit and miss. I would not go out of my way to return for dinner as it felt like Mediterranean night at Windjammer. As much as I enjoy the flavors of the Mediterranean, I think I would have enjoyed the Taste of Mexico offerings in the main dining room better.

Later in the evening we returned to Spotlight Karaoke for what was advertised as Trivia: Movie Posters, but due to technical problems it was switched to Romance Film Trivia.

RCCL Wonder Seas Movie Classics Visual Trivia

However, more technical problems arose causing the trivia to change to Movie Classics Visual Trivia. Turns out, or so we were told during the delay, the technical issue stemmed from hard drive consolidation where all the trivia was converted from slideshows to PDFs. It is 2024, file storage should not be a limiting factor. Royal, I invite you to use my Amazon affiliate link to buy 60TB NAS.

RCCL Wonder Seas Movie Classics Visual Trivia

Technical issues aside, the trivia was a lot of fun and conveniently located to Sorento’s Pizza.

RCCL Wonder Seas Sorrento's Pizza Evening

Just wish we could have gotten points for naming Dopey, Doc, Bashful, Sneezy, Happy, Grumpy, and Sleepy. Those extra 7 points may have given seasoned Disney Cruise trivia participants a fighting chance this evening.

After a really busy day of relaxing, it was time for bed. Tomorrow, we have a new-to-us-port and an adventure planned!

RCCL Wonder Seas Stateroom Towel Animal Elephant

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2 Replies to “Wonder of the Seas Trip Log Day 4: 7-Night Western Caribbean Royal Caribbean Cruise – Cozumel – March 13, 2024”

  1. Mike

    Curious to know how you compare the shopping areas between the Punta Langosta and international cruise terminals. Are they largely interchangeable? I know not a soul is booking their vacation based on which port shopping they get at Cozumel, but still would be interesting to see how the offerings compare.

    1. Scott Sanders Post author

      We spent 0 minutes shopping. I actually found this terminal to be more difficult to get out to taxi area because the signs were not updated to the current way they had guests routed. However, to be fair, this may be due to my familiarity of Punta Lagosta.


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