A Week in Paradise

On May 3rd, 1998, Christi and I started our marriage with a honeymoon to Cozumel, Mexico. In addition to creating a set of web pages for our friends and family, we felt the experience would be worthwhile to share with those of you who are considering a vacation on Cozumel and wanted to know more about what to expect. While we have loads of photographs, our intent is to keep the pages fast by including most of these as thumbnails (which you can click on to see the full size photos).

Since Christi spent such a great deal of time and effort organizing the wedding, I decided to pour my enthusiasm into putting our honeymoon itinerary together. Christi's dad & stepmom have a timeshare in Puerto Vallarta, and they gave us their week this year as a wedding present. When they sent us a catalog of all the associated timeshares, we looked it over for weeks before deciding on Cozumel. Why Cozumel? Well, we wanted someplace that we could relax as well as have fun, and we only had a week. We knew that Hawaii would have a waiting list that would make it nearly impossible to get in; and both Ireland and Africa (two other places we really want to see) would be a nonstop adventure, leaving no time to relax and be newlyweds…

We originally considered Cancun, but a friend of mine at work started talking about Cozumel. After doing some preliminary research, we determined that Cozumel was where we were going. In addition to laying around drinking out of coconuts, we both were interested in SCUBA diving. There are quite a few Mayan ruins in the region, and the prospect of horseback riding, parasailing, jetskiing, and renting a dunebuggy to see the island were enough to keep the potential schedule packed. Did I mention we wanted to relax?

Anyway, I started looking up all the online information I could find on Cozumel and the Yucatan peninsula. Although I found most of what I was looking for online, I also bought a Fodor's Guide to Cancun and Cozumel. If you have ever traveled, you've probably heard of Fodor's. Starting with the place we would be staying, the Melia Mayan Paradisus, I searched for sites that would be helpful in planning our honeymoon activities. I spent a lot of time checking out the listings under "cozumel scuba diving" using MetaCrawler.

After reviewing a number of pages (with designs ranging from sparse to splashy), I sent e-mail to several of the most appealing dive shops, requesting some basic information. What I got back mostly resembled junk e-mail, with only a few personal comments and these were mainly in broken English. Note that I don't hold that against them - since after all, we were the tourists. However, when someone is going to be explaining how to survive under more than ten feet of water, I want to be able to understand them! :)

The one shining example of dive shops on Cozumel is Deep Blue. Of all the responses I got from my e-mail query, only Deborah Felixson answered all of my questions and added a personal touch. In fact, she provided help far exceeding my expectations. Over the course of the weeks prior to the honeymoon, she offered to help me with everything from diving to advice and planning horseback riding, vehicle rentals, and trips to the peninsula. I'm sure all of the people at the other dive shops possess the same kind of local information, but Deborah was the only one to cheerfully volunteer such help. Let me put it this way: when visiting Cozumel, I won't dive with anyone else. But feel free to read the travelogue and decide for yourself.

Besides scuba diving, there are many wonderful things to do and see on and off the island. I researched all of that both in the Fodor's Guide and on the internet. Places like Tulum, Xel-Ha, Playa del Carmen, Akumal, and of course, Cancun, are all within range; indeed there are tour companies right on the island that can schedule the trips. If we hadn't fallen in love with diving, we might have even gone to some of them (more on that in the travelogue).

Anyway, enough of this. Click on any day below to read about our week in paradise: Cozumel.

Yucab Reef

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