Our last excursion was on the sixth day of our cruise and found us in Cozumel, Mexico. This marked our fourth time in Cozumel. The first time we went, we were with our travel agent friends who book our cruises for us. They know the island like it’s their own neighborhood. We rented vehicles and toured the Mayan ruins and then went to the Eastern shore to Coconuts for lunch. Twice after that, we have been to Chankanaab but my husband found something a bit different for this trip.
We decided to book the Go Jeep! Beach and Tequila Traditions Tour. We love the Jeep Wranglers and have been debating for years over whether to just purchase one as our other family vehicle or just get an old beater to tool around in on the weekends. This excursion sealed the deal and I’m pretty sure we’ll be on the hunt for our very own Jeep Wrangler soon.
This excursion was through Carnival so we were met right away by Jorge, holding his “Go Jeep!” sign. He was adorable and just the perfect host for this tour. He knew all our names and never had to be reminded, something I envy because I suck at remembering people’s names.
We were immediately briefed on the safety rules, what the tour would include and approximate time frames for each stop and then we got to go to our Jeeps. Since this is a tequila tour with tasting, you’re supposed to have a designated driver so E did not sample the tequila but to be honest, even if he had, it was not enough to do any damage or impair your driving abilities. Either that or my body has built up an insane tolerance for hard liquor. You decide.
My family of four was, of course, in a Jeep all our own but if you only had two in your party, you would ride with another couple. Getting in and out was tight for the kids from the back but that’s to be expected. We kept getting a random intermittent seat belt warning signal the whole day, even when we were buckled but nothing that couldn’t be ignored. I had read reviews from earlier outings which stated the Jeeps had every single warning light on the console lit up for the entire tour. These Jeeps have definitely been driven and are stripped bare inside. No stereo, no A/C, no carpeting. Our Jeep drove very well and all the Jeeps in the caravan did just fine, not one breaking down on the side of the road.
My husband had the brilliant idea to bring along our little Bluetooth speaker so even without a stereo, we got to listen to music the entire day from my phone, which was really nice. The speaker battery died with only about 20 more minutes left in the whole trip, so not bad. I’m not sure if it started out completely charged so it could’ve lasted with a full battery. If you love music, I would highly suggest taking one of these little speakers with you. I bought it for E as a Christmas gift, they’re very affordable and surprisingly had plenty of volume even for our open air Jeep.
I estimate we had about five Jeeps in our caravan and I believe every Jeep had four people riding so that would amount to 20 people on the tour. The group was mostly around our age, a few with kids our age and up. This wasn’t a hardcore tequila tasting so the kids were totally okay and didn’t hinder anyone. The youngest was 11 years old, I think, the oldest being our son, who is 16. So don’t think just because it says “Tequila” in the excursion title that it’s not family friendly. As you’ll see in the pictures, there were plenty of things to do that did not include tequila.
We took a route through Cozumel that took about 30 minutes and really gave us a great feel of the island. Road improvement is amazing, some roads better than ours in Alabama. It seems maybe Cozumel is reaping some of the benefits of all us tourists. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the scenery and just real Cozumel life. It’s amazing the things we take for granted.
The first stop was a recreation of a Mayan village. There were different huts set up and you could watch as traditional Mayan food and drink was prepared right in front of you. You could also sample the food and drink. I didn’t see a Health Department rating on the wall at any of these Mayan huts so I passed. My son wanted nothing to do with the Mayan food shenanigans either. However, my husband and daughter, the daredevil risk takers they are, apparently thought the odds were in their favor that they wouldn’t end up in a Mexican hospital with flaming diarrhea because they taste tested everything. I think their bravery to recklessly try any questionably prepared third world country food that was thrown at them was rooted in their assumption that I wouldn’t leave their leaky asses in a Mexican hospital. They were and are very wrong.
The tequila tasting was at the end of the Mayan Village tour but lo and behold, we have absolutely no pictures of me trying very expensive and very good tequila. I guess my husband and daughter were in the bathroom with their sudden cases of severe and debilitating gastrointestinal distress.
I tried several different tequilas of varying qualities and some flavored tequilas. The tequilas were all made from 100% agava and were very smooth but they weren’t smooth enough for me to shell out just shy of $100 bucks for a bottle. I did come away with tequila knowledge I did not have before the tour and feel much better equipped to choose a good tequila from now on.
The Mayan Village took about an hour and a half, which included the traditional Mayan food taste testing, some Mayan history, the history of Mexican tequila and then finished up with some tequila buying tips and the tasting.
The next stop was to Punta Morena Beach on the undeveloped Eastern shore of Cozumel. We have been to this side of the island before. The beach was mostly very rocky and the water very rough and was no different on this day. There were a few people braving the waves with boards but this was toward the end our cruise, we were all sunburned and tired, so we just sat in the shady cantina, ate chips and salsa and I drank Coronas. We were completely happy doing that for about and hour and a half.
While I was drinking a Corona, my husband and daughter wandered off and came back with the pictures below. I have to conclude that they’re just fucking with me now. Either that or I’ll find them in the woods next weekend, trying to wrangle rabid squirrels and coyotes to take pictures with.
Jorge rounded us up and told us the route back to the ship would be at a slow pace so we could really see the coastline. It took about 45 minutes to get back to the port. By that time, we were done with the sun and wiped out.
We enjoyed this excursion but only for the scenery and the time in the Jeep. We will never go back to the Mayan Village/Tequila Hacienda. Once was enough. Jorge was a wonderful guide, very friendly, concerned about our needs, checking on us to make sure everything was fine at every stop. The tour was well organized and we felt safe at all times. I just think it wasn’t really the thing for our family. It’s very easy to get around the island and after being there four times, we feel comfortable branching out on our own. We have pretty much decided that the next time we’re in Cozumel, we’ll just rent our own Jeep and do our own thing.
That’s it! Excursion reviews complete. I hope you learned a few things and that I possibly inspired your next cruise excursion. I may do one last review on the actual ship and that whole experience so stay tuned.
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