When I wrote my post yesterday about 11 years with the husband and our 5 years of wedding anniversaries, I realized I never posted about our family vacation to Cozumel! I only posted the beautiful sandy beaches. This post was saved in my drafts with only 2 photos… I think I took SO many photos on the trip I was overwhelmed! So here we go… 5 months later! I had a lot of people tell me they were considering a trip like this, but weren’t sure about doing Cozumel with kids… so I’ll try to share some of what worked for us.
Cozumel With Kids: Family Vacation
The trip was planned for my brother’s 30th birthday, although he ended up being unable to come So it was the 4 of us and my parents. We watched Living Social and Groupon for deals and ended up buying 6 nights at the all-inclusive Park Royal Cozumel.
Turns out to be a little difficult to fly into Cozumel! We were going to fly into Cancun (after connecting in Texas) because it was much cheaper. But then you either hop on an itty bitty plane over to Cozumel or you taxi down to Playa del Carmen and ferry over to Cozumel. Hassle with 2 small kids and lots of luggage, eh? We got lucky and ended up catching a flight right into Cozumel for not much more than the Cancun gig (flying out of Chicago and connecting in Texas). And there’s like one flight a day out of Texas to Cozumel so we left Rockford at 2am (2AM!!!!) to catch our flight in Chicago. Yikes. Anyway, now you know how to get there 😉 We survived and it was a wonderful vacation! And Ryan (now 4) still talks about the TWO (whoa!) planes we had take to get REALLY far away!
We traveled with a 1.5 year old girl and a 3.5 year old boy. Luckily we flew with my parents so we were armed with extra help. Some logistics if you’re planning a trip: we brought a double stroller (Contours Options LT Tandem) and are sooo glad we did, it was perfect. We used it through the airport and checked it at the gate–Ryan sat it in most of the time and the other seat carried Ryan’s convertible car seat while I wore Rebecca with our Ergo. Rebecca sat on laps on the plane and Ryan sat in his car seat. His car seat kept him IN his seat, which was great. Rebecca was a bit more work to keep entertained (and quiet) on the plane. We passed her back and forth, read lots of books, and when all else failed–cookies.
Cozumel with kids: Ryan being wonderful, my parents trying to entertain Rebecca (ha), cookie face, and music time!
Park Royal was nice. The resort is across the street from the ocean, but we had an ocean view from our room (which connected to my parents’ room) and there’s a short underground walkway to get to the beach so there’s no walking on the street (nice for kids). There’s a large pool in the resort, a nearby kid pool (with activities) and 2 smaller pools out on the beach with the infinity type view to the ocean. There’s a number of restaurants and beach bars. If we needed to eat when the restaurants were closed, the grills had pizza, burgers, nachos, and grilled cheese. Everything was included. They had shows at night–Steve and I went to one and it was all in Spanish so we pretended to laugh when everyone else did, haha. We walked the kids all over the resort in that double stroller. We had a room with 2 doubles–Ryan slept with one of us in bed and we used a hotel crib for Rebecca that worked out really well. During nap time, we either all stayed in the room or Steve and I (and my parents) traded off who stayed behind with the sleeping child(ren).
We spent a LOT of time in the water. Mainly the large pool near our room. It had a shallow area where Ryan could stand with a waterfall and it looped around and under bridges… it was fun! Ryan had a life jacket and had just learned how to swim on his own.
Cozumel with kids
Above left: swimming in the main pool. We bought floaties in the gift shop.
Bottom left: Ryan in the kiddy pool. They supplied those rafts and other toys. Above him is a playground with 2 slides and a bridge. You can leave your kids in there (there’s an employee babysitter, a sandy area, an indoor area with games and toys, and it’s fenced in). We never left our kids, one of us always sat in there with the kids because they didn’t really watch the water. It’s mainly to leave older kids.
Above right: nursing Rebecca in one of the infinity pools by the ocean
Bottom right: a few times a day the employees gathered around the main pool to sing and dance!
The beach was small. It was like a little cove, guarded on both sides by coral and rocks and a pool/swim-up bar/grill on each side. At first I was disappointed. I like the wide open beaches and wanted Ryan and Rebecca to experience that! But actually, it was PERFECT for the kids. There was no where for them to run away! The water was shallow for quite a ways out, too. It make a trip to Cozumel with kids much easier (and more relaxing), I think. But don’t let me fool you–this will NOT be your “sleep on the beach” super relaxing beach vacation that you took before kids. It will be NICE, but your kids are still there and they’re still the same as when you’re at home 😉
We went into town for a little bit one day (so hot!) and it was a short cab ride. We also did a sunset catamaran sail and we were actually the only ones on it… very nice! Ryan was terrified to move at first, but by the end he was a little too carefree, haha. We kept warning him about falling off the side! My mom got off to snorkel, too.
If you’re considering Cozumel with kids… do it! It’s nice to stay all-inclusive, there were plenty of food options and pools and swim-up bars. They even had babysitting. I can’t remember how much it was (like $20/hour?). They come to your hotel room (it was the same employee that manages the kiddy pool). We tried it. She came to our room and we chatted and stayed a bit, but Ryan was not having it. We had just wanted to go out for dinner–one of the restaurants doesn’t allow kids. But oh well! Steve and I went there another night while my parents stayed with the kids. We were lucky to have them there with us!