El Cozumeleño and Chen Río

March 24th, 2006 by Steve Bridger filed under Cozumel, Photos

Patricia Mitchell took these photos last week on Cozumel.

El Cozumeleño Resort and Chen Rio, Cozumel - photos: Patricia MitchellThe El Cozumeleño resort only re-opened at the end of January, but Patricia commented on how the hotel had done "a remarkable job of rebuilding".

On the windward side (eastside) of Cozumel, the Chen Río beach is a peaceful place to stop and eat, and popular with locals (always a good sign). Take a taxi, or rent a car across the island.

Many visitors swear by the huge mixed platters of grilled seafood and simpler cerviches under the palapas at the Chen Río restaurant.

1. View of hotel pool from room 1901
2. Room with a blue-green view
3. El Cozumeleño

Cozumel update

March 20th, 2006 by Steve Bridger filed under Cozumel

Cozumel, March 2006 photo Travis WilliamsEllen Fields has rightly given me a nudge to update you with some Cozumel tidbits. It’s been a while.

Actually, it’s easier to point you to Ellen’s own blog where she posted news of a tour she and Jim took around the island on March 7th, doing some research for an unnamed travel guide. Thanks, Ellen.

While we’re here… Travis Williams took this photo of his rental Bug, while visiting Cozumel on the very same day as the Fields. Similarly, Zu Zu captured another cruise ship anchored offshore, this time after dark on March 11th.

I spotted a comprehensive piece on child-friendly cruising in The Telegraph’s travel supplement on Saturday, which may interest some…

In brief…

Laurence Iliff has put together a pretty balanced article about the region’s ongoing recovery for the Dallas Morning News – March 10th

I’ve been told that Señor Frog’s in Cancún will now re-open next Thursday, March 16th. This updates my February 3rd post.

Lonely Planet podcast

March 1st, 2006 by Steve Bridger filed under Cancún, Cozumel, News

LP’s Ali Collier conducted a 20-minute telephone interview recently with Oregon-based Suzanne Plank, a contributing author to the popular Mexico guide.

You can download the podcast from their website.

Suzanne was in the region in Sept/Oct last year, researching for the guide’s 10th edition. The author is asked about her experiences "living through Wilma" (actually she fled to Campeche) and covers the region’s "miraculous recovery" since then.

No big scoop, but a good general intro / listen… with one caveat: Suzanne, the Sheraton hotel did not "collapse". The Resort building has been demolished to make way for the Westin Lagunamar, which will rise in its place.

Meanwhile, after a week of…

Symbol of Wilma free again

February 22nd, 2006 by Steve Bridger filed under Cancún, Cozumel, News

Shortly after two o’clock this afternoon, the ferry Bahía del Espíritu Santo was finally refloated following a painstaking salvage operation lasting two and a half months.

Novedades reports that an all-Mexican team of 60 engineers had worked to free the vessel from where it wedged in the sands near Puerto Juárez.

The 2000-tonne vessel seems likely to resume ferrying passengers between Cancún and Cozumel at some point in the future.

I’ve been following progress since my January 12th post. I guess this should be viewed as another symbolic step in Cancun’s rehabilitation.

Freedom Tour

February 10th, 2006 by Steve Bridger filed under Cozumel, Cruises, News

photo courtesy Royal CaribbeanCozumel mayor Gustavo Ortega Joaquín announced yesterday an investment of US$40m dollars to ready the island’s cruise ship piers for the next generation of even bigger vessels.

Ortega commented to journalists that the Punta Langosta pier in San Miguel de Cozumel would welcome the world’s largest cruise ship, the Freedom of the Seas, in June.

The 160,000-ton, 3,634-passenger vessel (pictured, right, at the Aker Yard in Finland) will be the largest cruise ship in the world when it debuts in May 2006.

Currently, cruise ships are mooring offshore and ferrying in passengers by tender.

Cozumel will get better cruise ship piers

January 14th, 2006 by Steve Bridger filed under Cozumel, Cruises

Ian Campbell has posted some useful information on about when the piers will fully re-open and a possible doubling of cruise ship capacity on the island.

Repair work to the three piers – a lifeline for Cozumel’s economy – began quickly, but Victor Vivas González, a representative from Cozumel’s Port Authority, has revealed ambitious and potentially controversial plans to increase the pre-Wilma docking capacity for cruise ships.

According to Vivas, the International Pier is expected to be the first to fully re-open, but not until September.

In the meantime, passengers are being shuttled ashore by large tender

Playa “in pretty good shape”, Cozumel “suffering”

January 5th, 2006 by Steve Bridger filed under Cozumel, Riviera Maya

A New Mexico resident has posted a pretty good summary of the current situation in Cozumel and elsewhere on the forum. His experience (sorry, I do not know his name) over the festive fortnight would appear to support most of the other reports coming my way.

Cozumel on the mend

January 3rd, 2006 by Steve Bridger filed under Cozumel, Photos

Construction workers stuffDavid Kindler and his wife Lynn like to stay at the Fiesta Americana Dive Resort on their trips to Cozumel, but the hotel was badly damaged in the hurricane.

Last month, they stayed at the Scuba Club Cozumel instead, an all inclusive resort with its own diving charter.

They hired scooters and followed the badly churned up road down the island’s leeward western shore to inspect the damage to their old favourite.

"There were around three hundred construction workers on site the day we stopped by," David writes. "[The hotel] expects to remain closed until February."

Many of the construction workers are migrants, mostly from the impoverished southern state of Chiapas. They…