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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

24 Hours in Cozumel

24 hours in Cozumel heading

Cozumel is an island located on the eastern side of Mexico in the Caribbean Sea. Known for its crystal-clear, azure waters teeming with beautiful sea creatures, Cozumel is a very busy tourist destination. From white sand beaches, mangrove forests and cenotes, to Mayan dances, museums and fine dining — Cozumel is a tropical paradise worth exploring. We are going to take you on a short 24-hour Cozumel experience.

How to get there

Cozumel cruise port puerta maya

There are 3 ways to get to Cozumel: by airplane, ferry, or cruise ship. The local airport is very small and pretty expensive, but if you are in a hurry, flying is always fast and efficient. The ferry from the mainland is reasonably priced and drops you off right in downtown Cozumel. All of the major cruise lines visit Cozumel — Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Disney, and Princess to name a few. So, whether you are planning a day trip from Cancun or Playa del Carmen or arriving at a private port on Cozumel — here is a guide to some of our favorite things to do, see, and visit while on the colorful island.

Where to stay

If you plan on spending 24 hours in Cozumel you will need a place to stay. If you came by way of cruise ship you will be spending your nights in your beautiful oceanic hotel resort docked at your cruise line’s port, such as Puerta Maya — Carnival’s port. Step off your boat and discover Cozumel. If you took the ferry or flew into Cozumel we have a couple of recommendations. Park Royal Cozumel offers an all-inclusive experience. With luxury hotel rooms that boast private balconies, 3 restaurants, 6 cocktail bars, swimming pools, beach access, and nightly entertainment. A little more affordable and less inclusive, but still beautiful and surrounded by ocean, gardens, and jungle– Villablanca offers some convenient amenities and old world charm.

Where to eat

24 hours means 3 meals, maybe a snack, and since it is vacation time, probably more than one spiked beverage. For breakfast head to Jeanie’s. Waffles, Omelets and egg dishes are spiced up with Mexican Caribbean flair. Delicious Huevos Poblanos (2 fried eggs topped with mole, queso blanco, and a quesadilla) or decadent Waffles Supremo (waffle with blueberry and strawberry jam, fried banana and chantilly cream) are some of our favorites. At lunchtime check out this “locals” restaurant: Casa Mission. Looking for a real bargain? Check out CRAZY KING Burrito!  Considered Cozumel's version of "fast food",  they have been awarded a five-star rating on

Where to drink

drinks in Cozumel

We don’t mean water (but be sure to stay hydrated in the Cozumel sun). Mexico is known for margaritas and tequila, and Cozumel is no exception. What better way to escape on vacation than to spend the whole day drinking! Cozumel Bar Hop takes guests on a tour of bars on the ‘wild’ side of the island. Drink delicious cocktails in the jungle and by the beach, and enjoy the rustic Mexican style. The bars are so rustic that in fact that they DO NOT have electricity. Make sure to bring cash (no electricity means no credit card machines) and enjoy the air-conditioned Mercedes ‘bus’ drive with your knowledgeable and friendly tour guide. The tour includes a signature drink at each bar!

What to do

In between all of the eating and drinking you must be sure to experience what Cozumel has to offer.

Clear Lounge

Clear Lounge underwater oxygen bar in Cozumel

First, try out Clear Lounge at Puerta Maya. The world’s first underwater oxygen bar allows guests to immerse in a futuristic freestanding aquarium wearing only a bathing suit and a diving helmet. Patented technology allows people ages 8 and up to don Sea TREK helmets and walk underwater while breathing concentrated oxygen. No diving (or even swimming) experience is necessary! If you can walk and breathe you can participate in Clear Lounge. Each person (6 guests at a time) can choose an aromatherapy scent — Citrus Grove or Peppermint — to enhance his or her oxygen. Once immersed the guests can play underwater Jenga, shoot high powered bubble guns, write messages to each other and the onlookers, and pose for photos in the underwater photo booth (another world’s first) complete with a digital video wall backdrop and fun props. Clear Lounge Cozumel is currently the only Clear Lounge location on the world.


Sea TREK surrounded by fish

There are a couple of locations that offer Sea TREK in the beautiful Caribbean Sea. Wearing a Sea TREK helmet, guests can walk on the ocean floor where sparkling sergeant majors and colorful parrotfish surround them. Guides point out other creatures that inhabit the site such as: starfish and spider shrimp. There have even been dolphin, octopus, squid, sea turtle, and stingray sightings — to name a few. Anyone ages 8 and up can enter the sea and experience the wonder that all divers know. To participate in Sea TREK you only have to listen to a 10-minute briefing video before you immerse yourself in the underwater world. No experience necessary — not even swimming. Try Sea TREK at Chankanaab or at Jeanie’s in Cozumel.

Salsa and Salsa Tour

Salsa and Salsa Tour in Cozumel

The Salsa and Salsa Tour is a unique experience that combines culinary classes with salsa dancing classes. Guests learn how to create delicious salsas and margaritas. They enjoy gourmet cuisine from the dancing chefs, and then learn the moves of the salsa. Salsa!

Caribbean Combo — Sailing, Snorkeling, and Sunset

Caribbean Combo tour cozumel

Take a trip to some beautiful snorkeling locations aboard a 65ft catamaran. Visit 2 reefs abundant with wildlife, and then head into the sunset to enjoy beer, margaritas, music and Mother Nature’s beauty while swaying on the balmy tropical waters. Book the Caribbean Combo.


shopping in cozumel

Shopping in Cozumel is really an experience. Tequila, pottery, silver and gold jewelry, and leather goods can be bought at bargain prices. The brightly colored goods catch your eye and inspire you to spend. Make sure to find the perfect memento from your Cozumel vacation — it is a place you will never forget.

Cozumel beach dock

If you can fit all of these activities, foods, and experiences into 24 hours you will have experienced a lot Cozumel has to offer, but there is still so much more to see, for example: attending cultural activities and museums, visiting the Mayan ruins, hiking jungle trails, attending Discover Mexico Park, and/or taking a submarine tour — to name a few. Many people revisit their favorite experiences when they go to Cozumel again. We hope you’ll try everything you can, and when you go back, try new things, but be sure to experience your favorites all over again.

We've created a Pinterest board called 24 hours in Cozumel. It will help guide you on your vacation in fabulous Cozumel! Please Comment below if you have any favorites you’d like to recommend!

Follow Sea TREK® Helmet Diving's board 24 Hours in Cozumel on Pinterest.
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Thursday, May 7, 2015

A Maritime Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is this Sunday and as we plan how we will celebrate our Mothers with pancake and bacon breakfasts in bed and sunny bouquets of daisies, we should take a moment to reflect and really appreciate what our Mothers have done for us. Only you will know your Mother’s heart and understand what she has done for you, but we know some really interesting stories about some wonderful Mothers who live in the sea. Sacrifice, dedication, devotion, and love are common qualities we are pretty sure you can attribute to your Mom, and the same goes for these amazing ocean Mothers.

Manatee Mommies

Manatee Mothers form strong bonds with their calves. Their babies stay with them up to 2 years — even when they no longer need nutrition. The Mothers keep the babies close to their sides, and always place themselves between possible danger and the babe. The babies are able to swim after birth, but it will look as if the mother is assisting because she is so attentive. Now that is love! Without a doubt your Mom remembers helping you learn to walk, and being afraid to let go.

Sea Otter Mamas

A sea otter Mom is devoted to her young. She is a vigilant Mommy; she carries and snuggles her baby all day long. Sea otters are born blind and cannot swim until they are 3 months old — even though they live in the water. Talk about amazing Mothers — three months holding a baby without break! When you were born, assuredly your Mom felt like she never set you down.

Dolphin Moms

Dolphin Mothers are beautiful. They nurture, nurse, and grow strong bonds with their babies. Babies stay with their mothers 3-6 years. How long did you stay with your Mom?

Blue Whale Mothers

Blue Whale Mommies give birth to 5,000–6,000 lb (2,268 – 2,722 kgs) babies that are around 23-25 ft (7-8 m) in length. The babies gain about 250 lbs (113 kgs) daily, nursing from their mothers who produce 50 gallons (189 liters) of milk every day— keep in mind the Mother is on an exclusive diet of teeny tiny krill! That is truly amazing! How much did you weigh when you were born?

Octopus Mommies

A Giant Pacific octopus Mom broods over 50,000 thousand eggs. She carefully arranges them and braids them together. She hides in a cave constantly running her tentacles over them. She never leaves to eat — for months. Finally she will blow them out into the sea with her siphon. She gives her life to protect and defend them and give them a chance. She is an amazing Mother. Unquestionably your Mother would do anything to give you your best chance in life.

Mother Nature

Encompassing all of the amazing, mysterious, brilliant elements of the earth — Mother Nature is everything. We should always respect, maintain, and protect her; for She provides for all of our planet’s Mothers, enabling them to nurture, guide, and raise the children of the world. Protect the earth, protect the sea, and protect all of the Mothers who protect us.

If all of this reflection has inspired you to rethink your Mother’s Day plans we have some really great gift ideas that your Mom will never forget. Take her to Sea TREK in the ocean, ride a FunCat in a bay, or pet SHARKS! in a lagoon. For more ideas and more great sea Mom stories check out our Pinterest board Honoring Our Mothers & the Sea.

Follow Sea TREK® Helmet Diving's board Honoring Our Mothers & the Sea on Pinterest.

Please share these stories with your Mom, and tell her Happy Mother’s Day from us!

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Friday, May 1, 2015

Packing Tips for Some of our Favorite Destination Vacations

Summer vacation is so close that we can feel the sizzle in the air. We know a lot of people are planning their vacations now, so we thought we should share some packing tips for a few really popular vacation destinations.

Manchester, England

Manchester is a bustling city known for its sports, museums, and cultural activities. With art galleries, shopping centers, cultural festivals, canals, and gourmet restaurants — Manchester is a thriving, beautiful city, steeped in history and rich with attractions.

When packing for a vacation in Manchester be prepared for drizzly weather. Bring a rain coat, rubber boots, and an umbrella. Also be aware that Manchester is a very posh city. Pack your stylish clothing, accessories, and (for the ladies) the on-trend make up colors.

While there, be sure to visit Sea Life Manchester — read about the amazing aquarium here — and participate in Sea TREK. You can rest assured that your makeup won't smudge and your hair will stay in place, so after your amazing experience you can prance off to a fancy dinner.

Xcaret, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Xcaret is a spectacular eco-archaeological theme park that guides guests through the nature and culture of Mexico. Beautiful cenotes, jungle trails, Caribbean snorkeling, and animal encounters make Xcaret a very popular vacation destination. 

Packing for Xcaret requires care. You will have the ability to use small size lockers to store some things, but you need to make sure you bring the necessities. The weather is hot in Mexico. Be sure to pack a bathing suit, and towel for water activities. Protect your skin with sunscreen (please note: Xcaret requires guests to wear biodegradable sunscreen to protect the ocean and its creatures). Bring Chapstick, sunglasses, and DEET free bug-spray. Make sure you pack light clothing and comfortable shoes.

Right now Xcaret is having a special that includes optional activities. Check out the deal and be sure to Sea TREK in the Caribbean Sea.

Xel-Ha, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Xel-Ha is another beautiful resort in Mexico. Great for the entire family, you can enjoy activities ranging from river tours and zip-lining to amazing dolphin interactions. The beauty of the Riviera Maya allows snorkelers and hikers alike to see sights they have only imagined. The delicious food and drinks, and spectacular views make this destination one-of-a-kind.

When packing for this vacation be sure to carry a light bag. A hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen will protect your skin from the sun's warm rays. To participate in water activities you will need your suit and a towel. Only bring what you need so you are free to move about the park.

Also, be sure to check out Dolphin TREK. You have never experienced anything like it. Kids 8 and up can participate in this amazing educational dolphin interaction. They will love sharing their dolphin kiss selfie with all of their friends. What a vacation to remember!

Ochos Rios, Jamaica

Jamaica is a beautiful tropical island in the Caribbean. With adventure tours, green grotto caves, landmark restaurants, and a marine park — Ochos Rios runs the gamut of eco-tourism, adventure, and leisure travel. One day you can kiss a dolphin, and the next you can fill your suitcase — shopping to your heart's desire. Jamaica has a lot of activities that are fun for the whole family.

Jamaica is an island in the Caribbean sea, so pack clothes that will allow you to feel as cool as possible. Swim trunks, rash guards and flip flops are perfect for water activities. The practical packer will include snorkeling gear, a towel, and sunglasses. Of course we always recommend sunscreen. 

For the children in your life we recommend packing some pirate gear. SHARKS! Interactive at Dolphin Cove allows guests to hold, pet, feed, and swim with sharks in a fun pirate themed show. Say Arrrrgh! and bring home a photo of your children swimming with sharks.

Paradise Island, Bahamas

Atlantis Bahamas is a water park resort boasting luxury hotels, casinos, white sand beaches, and marine exhibits. From lazy days in the sun to exhilarating water slides shooting through shark infested water tanks — this resort is truly unique. The whole family can float down a lazy river on an inner tube or interact with dolphins in Dolphin Cay. The cuisine is divine, and the night entertainment exceptional. 

Depending on how you plan to spend your days in the Bahamas, packing for this trip can be tricky. As always recommended for a tropical destination, bring a swimming suit and sandals, but you may also want to pack a fancy dress for the night life or nice slacks for fine dining. 

Whether you choose to stick to the night life or enjoy all 18 water slides, we recommend renting a FunCat Electric Catamaran. You must use at least one day on your Bahamian vacation to relax, and what better way than to float on the bay. Bring a good book, a few magazines, some snacks, water, and your earbuds. Play a favorite song and write in your journal. There is nothing better than reflecting on all of your adventures while luxuriating in the sea breeze.

Waimanalo, Hawaii

Hawaii is a magnificent example of exotic tropical beauty and crystal clear aquamarine seas. With lush foliage and fragrant flowers, sandy beaches and verdant volcanoes, just the landscape draws thousands of tourists every year. But there is so much more to Hawaii: adventure travel, amazing cuisine, cultural luaus, and surfing — to name a few.

Packing for Hawaii requires very little. Swim trunks, a bikini and sarong, sandals, towels, sunscreen and a beach bag should be all that you need for this trip (of course, if you are going hiking, we recommend some comfortable shoes). Be sure to bring home some sea shells and hawaiian leis for souvenirs.

We also advise you to visit Sea Life Park Hawaii. It is an amazing aquatic park with educational and interactive activities — learn more about the park here. While there seek out Shark TREK. It is a thrilling underwater experience that allows guests to walk on the bottom of a 300,000 gallon aquarium filled with Hawaiian native sharks. Only a wire mesh separates guests from the amazing creatures. What an adventure!

Miami, Florida

Miami is an energetic metropolis with a vibrant nightlife and amazing beaches. From day spas and golf courses to live music and luxurious restaurants — Miami has it all. Get a massage and a pedicure, tan on the beach, and dance to latin music while sipping fruity cocktails — enjoy all that Miami has to offer, but also make sure to visit Miami Seaquarium. The educational aquarium has fabulous shows, informational animal interactions, and a splendid 28 acre facility. Learn more about their manatee rescue efforts, and find out additional details about the aquarium here

To pack for Miami be sure to bring a camera and a selfie stick! You will want to capture all of those amazing moments! If you do get the chance to visit Miami Seaquarium, a map, a towel, and a few sourvenirs are necessities! Also, book a Sea TREK tour — don't worry about bringing a wetsuit, Miami Seaquarium will provide one for you!

Do you have any tips or tricks for vacation packing? Please share them in the comments below. Happy Planning!

Please visit these links for more information about Sub Sea Systems products and programs.

Clear Lounge
Stingray Bay
Dolphin TREK

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