As Canadians, we decided to fly on WestJet’s red-eye flight from YVR – Vancouver into CUN – Cancun Airport and take a shuttle to Playa Del Carmen to spend 2 days there, before hopping on a ferry to Cozumel. In this post, we share tips and information about taking the ferry from Playa Del Carmen to the Island of Cozumel and back.
Companies and Schedules:
As for the ferry, there are 2 major providers: Winjet and Ultramar. Both providers offer similar pricing and schedule with ferries every hour between 07:00 -23:00. If you are planning on traveling to other locations, like Isla Mujeres and Cancun, you may want to book with Ultramar as they offer “Island Hopper Fares”.
Since we knew which ferry we wanted to take to get to Cozumel and which one to get back to Playa Del Carmen, we bought our return tickets to avoid waiting in line. The other bonus of purchasing a return ticket is you get a small discount. Our return First Class tickets were 500 Mexican Pesos ($35CAD per person). The only perk of First Class is you get to pre-board and have access to the nicer section of the ferry but it is a short 30 minute crossing and pretty comfortable overall. On the way back from Cozumel, we were not able to board first so the extra money for First Class is a bit of a scam.
Where to Catch the Ferry:
The main ferry pier is at the end of Av Benito Juarez. To catch the ferry, we took a taxi from Hotel La Semilla to Terminal Ultramar (we took a taxi because it was raining, otherwise we would have walked as we only had backpacks). The taxi will drop you off at the end of 5th Avenue, one block away from the pier; vehicles cannot drive up to the pier.
Due to the incident with a bomb onboard a ferry, they are slowly installing an x-ray machine and walk through metal detector and so passengers will need to go through a security screening process in the future. There is also a Pescadores Brewing stand near the queue but we didn’t have time to have a beer. I didn’t see any bathrooms in the terminal and so it is best to wait until you are onboard the ferry if you need to go.
We only had carry-on backpacks so we didn’t use the baggage service but they do have a space to store larger items.
Aboard the Ferry:
We boarded when they called First Class and made our way to the second floor and chose 2 seats and a table together. Had it not been raining and very windy, we would have sat outside. While only being 30 minutes, the ferry has a bar and snacks. We decided to treat ourselves to drinks; I had a margarita and Jason had a beer. Payment is cash only and it’s a weird system where you pay the server even if you order at the bar. I had ordered the drinks from the bar and brought them up, but they prefer you order from the waiters. I really wanted to pay at the bar because we had a 500 peso bill and it made me nervous to hand it to a waiter that was handling other people’s money. Low and behold, my change was handed over to another passenger and I got theirs, which meant I had to go and ask them to give me back my pesos, which was awkward. Sorry other gringos, but give me back my pesos!
The ride was pretty smooth and so I avoided seasickness but the return ferry ride was very rough due to high surf. While some posts say you won’t get seasick, I’ve spoken to many people and saw many people get seasick. While I was very close to vomit, I was able to keep it in check but many others on the ferry were not so lucky (despite the smell and sound of people vomiting all around me, I kept it in check for the win!).
Overall, we found it very easy to buy tickets and take the ferry to Cozumel and back to Playa Del Carmen. While I suffered from seasickness, Jason was fine.
Tip: If you get seasick, take some Gravol or wear a Seasickness bracelet before boarding.
Have you ever gotten seasick? Does the seasickness bracelet work for you?
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