Cruise update

Sounds like we’re going to Costa Maya instead of Cozumel.

October 26, 2005
Wilma Destroys, Damages Cozumel Cruise Piers
(12:30 p.m.) — Cozumel is currently closed to all cruise ship traffic, and at least one of the three piers on the island has been destroyed — the Puerto Maya Pier was lost during Hurricane Wilma. Reuters describes Puerto Maya as having been “pulverized, massive chunks of concrete torn away and thrown onto the beach.” The International Pier and Punta Langosta Pier have sustained damages and are being assessed, according to a representative for the port.

The fate of these piers affects nearly every major cruise line as Cozumel is a mainstay on Western Caribbean routes. However, Carnival Corp. (the parent company of Carnival, Princess, Holland America, Seabourn and Windstar, among others) is particularly affected as it has invested a good deal of time and money in creating shopping areas — and the now-destroyed Puerto Maya pier — in Cozumel.

Electricity is out on the island, and a timeframe has not yet been established for repair and recovery. However, a representative for Costa Maya tells us they are expecting to accommodate additional cruise ships due to the closure of Cozumel until April of 2006 — six months from now. Ships that are anticipated to visit Costa Maya in lieu of Cozumel include Carnival’s Carnival Valor, Sensation and Inspiration; Princess’ Star Princess; Disney’s Disney Magic; NCL’s Norwegian Sun; and Holland America’s Volendam, Veedam and Zuiderdam.

Costa Maya’s pier and surrounding complex sustained no damage and continue to operate at 100 percent capacity; all shore excursions are up and running.

From Carnival’s Costa Maya shore excursions list, the Chacchoben Mayan Ruins seems like a good replacment for the one we’d planned on doing from Cozumel. It’s also cheaper to do a tour not affiliated with Carnival.