This was the first cruise my husband and I have taken by ourselves (no friends, no children). We were thrilled with our stateroom. It was clean and well appointed. I was impressed that everything in our four suitcases could be unpacked and stowed with empty drawers to spare. Even our suitcases could be stowed in the closets. Our cabin attendant was very attentive and responded to our special requests promptly and with a smile.
After reading that this ship was scheduled to be dry-docked next month I was a little concerned about what to expect. We didn't find one area of the ship that was not well kept and in good repair. Perhaps experienced cruisers might note the color schemes or missing amenities but I don't think anyone could fault the overall upkeep of the ship.
We loved the size of the ship. It is easy to get around on, intimate enough to get to know fellow cruisers but large enough to find private space as well. Although cabins on both sides of us were occupied we never heard noise from either side. We especially appreciated the size once we docked right next to the Oasis of the Sea. That ship made us look like the harbor tug boat. We enjoyed listening to the wonderful Mariachi Band perform pool side in Cozumel while the passengers on the five decks of the Oasis that loomed above our ship clapped along. It was an amazing contrast of size.
We loved our stateroom. Great mid-ship location. Close enough to both elevators without hearing them at all. It was across from the crew prep kitchen but we never heard them coming and going (and I'm the type who asks NEVER to be near the hotel elevator or ice machine. We loved our balcony and used it for breakfast and evening cocktails.
Storage in the room is amazingly efficient. We had four suitcases between us as well as carry-on items and everything stowed perfectly in the closets drawers, desk/vanity and bathroom with room to spare. We are in the process of buying a trailer and if we could find one with as much storage as this room we would love it!
The bed is a little uncomfortable and by the end of the cruise we were both had sore necks. Supposedly part of our Concierge class was a pillow choice but it was never offered to us and we didn't ask so...
Loved having the robes provided.
If you are looking forward to snorkeling this is the port to do it in. We booked a private tour of the island with snorkeling included. Overall, I am glad we were able to see the island and get a glimpse of the people living there and it was especially nice to hear the commentary of our driver.
There is not much to see or do on this small island. Basically you have three options: Shoping/Seeing the island via taxi or car rental. Zip-lining. Beach day.
There are a few shopping options right at Coxen hole if you are looking for jewelry or other typical duty free port items. The short walk into Coxen Hole yields your typical souvinir type items in a very "tijuana, Mexico" type experience. It is pretty much just a very conjested narrow main street. We did hear that Mahogony Bay, where other cruise lines dock has a nicer shopping area but we didn't go there so I can't confirm.
Some fellow passengers did the zip lining and enjoyed that. There are actually 4 or 5 different zip line companies so I would suggest you google search and compare before you book. The bus ride to most of these sites would probably offer you enough island views to impress you. One of our dinner partners went to the small zoo and enjoyed that as well.
If snorkeling is your priority you can not go wrong. We have traveled to many exotic scuba areas and I have to say this is some of the most beautiful reefs I have experienced. Tabayana Beach is a great option and the most touristy destination on the island. It is a clean beautiful but crowded beach with lots of dining/drinking options. You can walk off the beach and snorkel but the far end of the beach (Tabayana Beach Club) is probably your best option. The beach is open to all so if you don't pay to go to the club you can still access the reef from that area. You can rent equipment and all sorts of water play options right on the beach. We hired a private boat ($25 per person with equipment) and he took us just beyond the Tabayana Club and the snorkeling was amazing.
In summary: If you are budget minded go out of the port area and hire your own taxi driver to take you straight to Tabayana. The Roatan people are dependant on tourism and they are very friendly and accommodating. This really is a very safe option. Then figure out if the beach snorkeling is good enough for you or if you want more you can link with many different snorkeling trips booked right at the beach. If you want the security of transportation, lounge chairs and meal included the ship excursion is fairly priced and a good option.
We had planned on having just a beach day in Cozumel. We would have done better in doing a bit of research because the port was very congested (we docked at the same time as the Oasis of the Sea). We ended up going to Chankanaab which was a $10 taxi ride from the port. It would have been a better choice if we had children with us or if we were interested in swimming with the dolphins. As it was, it was a bit expensive ($29 per person) to just sit on the beach and do some marginal snorkeling. Although we didn't think it was very crowded it was difficult to find a lounge chair and we ended up having to walk way down the beach to finally find one. Nachi was already full so if that is where you want to go make sure you make reservations. Santos would have been a better option for us. Free beach and just lounging around. You can print a coupon for a free margarita or ice cream with food purchase if you google Santos, Cozumel.
On a multi port cruise Cozumel is the port where I would choose to do my "action adventure" the cruisers we talked to who did the ATV's had a blast.