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#21 Kandy

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Posted 13 March 2014 - 03:17 PM

 

Helpful suggestions are appreciated, I am sure.

 

Not everybody is interested in the laundry list of flaws about LIVING here, at least a first time visitor should not be assaulted with information that is not relevant to THIS request for information.

 

I just don't understand some folks who take every opportunity to degrade, find fault, air the dirty laundry, bloviate at nosiem about old news.   One more thing,  I sure as hell don't appreciate it from folks who have no vested interest in Cozumel, and don't  live here.

 

Thank you, Paula. I've been biting my tongue; for a long time!


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#22 VideoVern

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Posted 13 March 2014 - 05:58 PM

When we were down the last couple of weeks, I had no problem exchanging $50 bills at the Electra by Mega.  Just remember to have your Passport ( not a copy ) with you.  They had also given me an identification card a couple of years back, the first time I used them.

 

The last time we were there, I was tipping the housekeeper at the Melia $3 each day.  She was doing our dishes, leaving extra waters and towel art for us, so I upped the tip to $4.  This year I started out with a $4 tip the first few days.  The dishes were left in the sink and no extra efforts were evident.  I cut the tip back to $3 and started doing my own dishes.  :)   Maybe next year I will try leaving the tip by the sink instead of the bed pillow.  :rolleyes:

 

To Brian:

Come on down, relax and enjoy yourself.  Our biggest problem, our first time on the island, was adapting to "Mexican" time.  We stayed for many years at the Coral Princess.  It was an easy walk into town and/or cab fare was very reasonable.  The Hotel "B" is right next door and I have heard good things about that property also.  Now we take off our watches and follow one simple set of rules.  When we are hungry, we eat!  When we are thirsty, we drink and when we are tired, we sleep! 

 

VideoVern (aka: Skip)


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#23 bryan

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Posted 13 March 2014 - 08:38 PM

Great advice Vern. I have learned that from being on other islands... Learn to relax and go by island time!
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#24 marlinfishing

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Posted 13 March 2014 - 08:40 PM

Here are some helpful hints that perhaps is not common NOB (north of the boarder).

 

1. In a grocery store, the bagger only works for tips. I tip 5p's to the bagger.

2. The gentleman who will put your grocery into your car, I tip 10p's if I have about 5 or 6 bags

3. The gentleman who waves his hankey to help you back out of your spot, I tip about 2-5 p's

4.  For good service in restaurants and bars, 15%-20% 

5.  Maid service-50p's a day

6.  Bell hop when you arrive-100p's or more.

7. Taxi drivers-that is debatable.

8. Gas station attendant, nothing unless he adds air to my tires (you do NOT pump your own gas).

 

Bring some, new bills here.  $1, 5, 10's and nothing higher then a $20.  Bring a lot more smaller demonication then higher.

 

Alert your bank and credit card companies that you are traveling.

 

Only use bank ATM's

 

I sure hope others will provide some helpful information to our island visitors.

Bryan, Paula Is right on all the info.  It's very important that you let any card holder you MIGHT use to let them know when you're going and the return dates!  Her tipping suggestions are right on also.  Wherever you stay you'll know you're in paradise when you step off the plane and smell the jungle and feel the humidity!  You and your wife wife will never regret visiting this island!


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#25 bryan

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Posted 13 March 2014 - 08:47 PM

Thank you! I'm very excited. Still working on dates and place.

Bryan, Paula Is right on all the info.  It's very important that you let any card holder you MIGHT use to let them know when you're going and the return dates!  Her tipping suggestions are right on also.  Wherever you stay you'll know you're in paradise when you step off the plane and smell the jungle and feel the humidity!  You and your wife wife will never regret visiting this island!


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#26 CZMDM

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Posted 14 March 2014 - 07:34 AM

 

Thank you, Paula. I've been biting my tongue; for a long time!

 

Ditto that!


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#27 Freezin' Canuck

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Posted 14 March 2014 - 08:13 AM

I'm somewhat flabbergasted by this thread. I've followed this blog for many years and found it extremely, extremely helpful in trying to decide whether or not Cozumel was the place I wanted to spend my retirement years. Good folks on here gave us the good, the bad and the ugly of life in Coz. It was the balance in opinions and experience that stood out for me. Not everyone was a cheerleader and not everyone was a critic. But the balance of discussion was important to the credibility of the blog. With that credibility and discussions with friends and independent research, my wife and I came to the same conclusion that many others have come to: we bought a place and I joined the conversation here 2 years ago. Speaking for myself, the decision to holiday here and then to move ranks right up there as among the most important decisions of my life.

That brings me to the disquiet in the pit of my stomach that I'm feeling about the tone of this thread, a nasty tone I haven't experienced before, or perhaps missed. Whether someone is a cheerleader or critic, wants an AI or a rental in town, accepts advice or rejects it, lives in Cozumel or chooses not live on the Island, has vast experience in things Coz or limited like my own, the question of what is "helpful" and what is not should be left to the intelligence of the reader. Opinions are opinions, debate those. That's healthy, but personal attacks are something else, and in my opinion has a chilling effect on discussion, and diminishes the credibility of the blog..


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#28 Coz2wonder

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Posted 14 March 2014 - 09:32 AM

Thinking of some other helpful information that you might want to know regards car rentals, and transportation to your hotel.

 

You can go online and take a look at what is available (Hertz and Avis are at the airport) from a number of different frachises, and independent companies flood the island with rentals.

VW Beatles, Jeeps, sedans...keep in mind if it a 4x4 it is disabled, so no 4 wheeling.  Scooters are also available, but I would suggest you avoid renting one.

 

One thing to keep in mind is the insurance issue.  Your credit card will not cover you in case of accident.  You would have to file a claim with your CC company AFTER you pay for any damages here first.

 

I would suggest that you purchase full coverage.

 

I would also consider purchasing the flight and medical insurance available when you purchase your ticket.  You will pay first for services, then be reimbursed from your insurance company.  There is one clinic that I am aware of that does take, and process some medical claims, but if you have a problem, finding that clinic may not be a priority.

 

Wanted to mention upon arrival you will be greeting with a line up of folks asking you which hotel you're going to.  They are Timeshare sales people, so you might want to just say, "got it covered, thanks".

If your transportation to your hotel is not included in your package, you will need to purchase your transportation ticket to your hotel.

The booth is to the right as you exit customs, purchase your ticket(s), walk out the door and you will be asked which hotel you are going to.

 

It's easy, but if you don't know upfront, it can be confusing.


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#29 CGrover

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Posted 14 March 2014 - 11:03 AM

Here are some helpful hints that perhaps is not common NOB (north of the boarder).

 

1. In a grocery store, the bagger only works for tips. I tip 5p's to the bagger.

2. The gentleman who will put your grocery into your car, I tip 10p's if I have about 5 or 6 bags

3. The gentleman who waves his hankey to help you back out of your spot, I tip about 2-5 p's

4.  For good service in restaurants and bars, 15%-20% 

5.  Maid service-50p's a day

6.  Bell hop when you arrive-100p's or more.

7. Taxi drivers-that is debatable.

8. Gas station attendant, nothing unless he adds air to my tires (you do NOT pump your own gas).

 

Bring some, new bills here.  $1, 5, 10's and nothing higher then a $20.  Bring a lot more smaller demonication then higher.

 

Alert your bank and credit card companies that you are traveling.

 

Only use bank ATM's

 

I sure hope others will provide some helpful information to our island visitors.

These are great tips!  Gracias!  I wondered about the baggers at the grocery store.  Since others were leaving pesos, I did too. . Now glad that I did.  I am a Where's George-er so bringing lots of US$1 isn't a problem for me.  Thanks again!!


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#30 crunch

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Posted 14 March 2014 - 11:09 AM

Paula - the only reason I mentioned the cheaper AI's to Bryan was because this was a quote from his original post 

 

"We are on a budget and would like an all inclusive resort close enough we can go into town for shopping and maybe dinner one day. I don't want to brake the bank"

 

 

 

Bryan, if you have a little more money look into Playa Azul.  They have an AI option.  Awesome place.


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#31 mfrez

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Posted 14 March 2014 - 11:28 AM

This is a great, interesting topic and thread.  It gets at the heart of what is Cozumel.  I first came to Cozumel 7 years ago on a cruise ship for the day.  Did some diving, loved it.  Next time was a stay at an AI on the mainland, came over on the ferry to dive for a day.  Decided next time we'd stay on the island, ended up at the Royal Club at the Occidental AI.  A nice place, but we had to trek 15 minutes into town for anything interesting and felt isolated.  Great for diving though, as the boats pick you up from the dock and it's only 5 minutes to the sites. 

 

In my opinion staying at an AI, you could be anywhere since most people never leave.  Once we went into town and experienced the true culture, the great cheap restaurants, and tried a small local B&B, we were hooked.  Been coming back every year 5 straight.  Coming again early April for 2 weeks this time, not one.  We love the Baldwin House, a small 5 room B&B run by a semi-crazy Canadian couple who really know the island.  It's 10 blocks from the beach, but it's still easy to get anywhere you want to go renting a car, which allows you to explore the whole island.  You have to go to the east side for a day, a few small solar powered beach clubs and wide open spaces.

 

Also recommend Villa Las Anclas, another small hotel we are staying at part of the time this visit.  Right downtown 2 blocks from the water.  you can walk to everything.  These places include breakfast, and you have a fridge to keep your drinks, which if you take advantage of this can cut your liquor bill in half.

 

The unbelievable clear water with beach waves that are just a ripple, the safety of the island, and the great variety of food and other activities in my opinion can't be beat.  The place just sucks you in.


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#32 CZMDM

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Posted 14 March 2014 - 11:43 AM

I always find it interesting that when someone like Bryan comes on and asks an honest, simple are relatively easy to answer question, the poor dude gets a half assed history lesson, scolded, and basically told that he, in some way, has something to do with the economic structure of the island. That kind of stuff belongs in a blog or at least a separate thread altogether. It has zero utility, when it comes to answering the OP's questions.


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#33 Coz2wonder

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Posted 14 March 2014 - 11:55 AM

Lots of things we all learn over many visits to the island.

 

Crunch, you gave great suggestions...lots of options.

 

I was trying to remember all the things I didn't have a clue about when I first visited the island, and  sure wish I knew.

 

Places to eat

Places to visit

Places for tours

Renting a vehicle and avoiding scooters

Grocery shopping

Stores to visit, stores to avoid

Where to purchase VANILA!

Crossing to the mainland

 

So many GREAT topics to discuss, and share.


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#34 crunch

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Posted 14 March 2014 - 12:27 PM

Whew!  I was worried I had ticked you off. :D

 

I am so ready for my May pilgrimage!  And excited for you Bryan.  Cozumel is so neat.


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#35 Coz2wonder

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Posted 14 March 2014 - 12:43 PM

Celebrate the good stuff.  We all have positive things to share.

 

Do I wear "rose colored glasses"?  I sure do if I am on vacation.  

 

Crunch, drinks are on me!  (first round) :D 


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#36 DJDiverDan

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Posted 14 March 2014 - 12:47 PM

I've been coming to Cozumel at least once a year, often 2 or even 3 times a year since 1990. The Diving was the initial draw - only 2-1/2 hours from DFW and great relaxing diving. But the food and friendly people keep me coming back. I'm not one of those who are dead set against All-Inclusive resorts, and I've stayed in them and enjoyed them in Jamaica, Martinique, the DR, and Moorea. But, in my opinion, Cozumel is just not the place to stay at an AI. In Jamaica, you stay at an AI for security - rampant crime outside the grounds, you are safer to stay within the barbed wire compound. In other places, limited or bad food choices outside the resort can make AI the best choice. Neither of those criteria apply in Cozumel - it is extremely safe (much safer than most big cities in the US), the people are very friendly, and it has a wealth of really good restaurants. In my opinion, the only good reason to stay at an AI in Coz is if you are traveling with small children who are picky eaters - you can leave them alone knowing that they'll be fed. As to coming to Cozumel on a budget, I've been there many times when I've been closely watching my pesos (for everything except diving - you don't pick a dive operation based on price when you are putting your life in their hands!). You can stay in everything from a very spartan hotel with a clean bed and running water, but no AC and no pool, from $25 US a night, to a very luxurious hotel at well over $100 a night, with a lot in between. For $45-$70 a night, there are a number of choices, in town and farther South. And restaurants in every price range; if you go local, you can eat three meals a day, and eat well, for as little as $25 a day, or you can splurge on some of the nicer places, like Kinta, Kondesa, or La Cocay, and get a really fine meal for less than $50, including drinks and tip. The package deals offered by the Vacation Charters may look good, but my experience has been that if you shop around a bit, you can do better on your own.
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#37 sherrintxs

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 08:51 AM

We have stayed at 2 AI, Park Royal and Iberostar.   Park Royal was nice because it was close to town, but I really liked Iberostar better, as far as AI goes.  We have started staying in a condo, Coz2wonder had posted a thread a year or so ago about a friend who did condo rentals...we love that route now.   BUT, when someone asks me about AI's, I never discourage it, just tell them the good experiences we had at the two we have stayed at.


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#38 Coz2wonder

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 09:30 AM

The fellow who has a very good selection, and prices for rentals is Fulvio.

 

If you're not into cooking, he also offers a meal plan.

 

http://www.fulviocozumelrentals.com/


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#39 sherrintxs

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 12:15 PM

Fulvio is super nice and goes out of his way for you!!


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#40 cvchief

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 02:45 PM

Fulvio is a really neat guy.  Never rented from him, but I imagine that would be a great experience.


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