There are many options in Cozumel for day trips.  Whether you choose to go on your own or reserve a tour with independent cruise excursion experts,  you are sure to find something for everyone on this beautiful Island.

Cozumel is a very easy independent day trip. You can get a $7 taxi from the cruise ship pier to go to the main plaza (el zocalo) that is just a few miles north on the seawall road named "Rafael Melgar" ; you see the cruise ship the whole time. The cab driver might speak a little English but are very helpful and nice; there are standard rates for cabs depending on the distance. Be sure to take some photos of this pretty coastal boulevard that has plenty of shops for tourists; you won't experience anything bothersome. There were interesting things to see like small fishing boats on the beach, old mansions and tropical vegetation. The mule in the empty lot is not a prop!

Start walking several blocks away from the seawall and experience a quiet little Mexican town. You'll see motorcycles and trucks, both loaded with passengers. Along the high stucco wall along the sidewalk, look for friendly, shy iguanas, about a foot long; very photogenic.There's a nice park with the typical gazebo. It is right across a lovely Catholic Church with two tall yellowish towers with wide open doors and windows; very inviting. Also you might run across a very colorful cemetary with raised grave sites.

You can easily catch a cab to go back south and pass the cruise ship pier for another 5 miles or so to get to one of the many places on the beach, like  Playa Uvas. It is very nice. They have you pay $8 "admission" fee but they give you back $8 in bar coupons that cover several beers. The snorkeling gear is free and it is easy to just wade out a few yards and start to see some colorful fish. Possibly you can go out another hundred yards or so where boats of snorkelers are anchored. The staff is nice. One thing though, after it rains a while there might be leaking in the outdoor restaurant/bar; but it won't last long. There are cabs right there for a pleasant ride back.

Some on this Carnival cruise just rent a car from the base of the cruise pier. It is easy and fun just to drive to the other side of the island. The arrangement of the pier seems like a tourist trap; you have to walk through duty free stores on the pier. The base of the pier has a little village of tourist shops with no signs of how to exit. Getting off the boat, just go straight as far as it goes till it veers to the left to exit.