Answers to questions we've received
Is it really safe to visit Cozumel?
Yes. It really is.
Is it really safe to eat and drink in local restaurants?
Yes. It really is.
Are the churros from Javier Panero "the churro guy" really that good?
They're pretty good.
What is the best restaurant on Cozumel?
That is a matter of opinion about which members of our family do not agree. A common sentiment is that it's whichever one we're dining in at the moment.
What is the best thing to do on Cozumel?
This depends upon whom you ask. For some of us, it's diving. For most of us, eating out also ranks high on the list. Hanging out by the pool and watching the iguanas and hummingbirds is pretty popular, as well. On the other hand, things many people love (such as deep-sea fishing) aren't of much interest to us. It's certain there will be things you love doing when you visit.
What's the best time to visit Cozumel?
This depends on your goals. Some things (whale sharks, turtle nesting) are strictly seasonal. Others (spotted eagle rays) are somewhat seasonal. Specific events may be a big draw. The weather is typically the most pleasant from November through April. Water temperatures do not vary much, nor does visibility for diving. Some people love being here for Carnaval while others prefer to avoid the crowds. Let us know your interests and we can suggest a time to visit.
How accessible is Casa Suzana to those with mobility impairments?
Casa Suzana is "walker-accessible" and works well for people with limited mobility, but is not fully wheelchair-accessible. There is a step up to the front door and a step down to the dining area. The ground-floor bedroom with en-suite full bath opens directly to the garden and pool. That bathroom has grab bars.
Are phone calls from Casa Suzana really free?
As long as you're reasonable, yes. In addition to truly unlimited local calls, our phone plan includes 500 minutes per month to mobile phones (in Mexico, the calling party pays for mobile calls), Mexico long-distance numbers, and to regular numbers in the US and Canada.
"Toll-free" numbers in the US and Canada are not included and we are charged a fairly high rate. It's easy to work around this by using the regular long-distance number for wherever you're calling instead of the "toll-free" number.
Can we watch Netflix (Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc?) at Casa Suzana? Why is my queue all messed up?
Netflix and many other streaming services limit their offerings based on where you are, and figure out where you are through geolocation. You may be able to work around this by using a proxy or VPN if there's something you want to watch that isn't appearing in search or your queue.
Can you recommend a SCUBA or snorkeling operator?
We certainly can! Let us know what you're looking for and we'll match you with someone who offers a safe, fun dive experience geared to your preferences. They can provide rental gear and training, nitrox, and everything else you need for a great dive.
Can you recommend a car-rental place?
Will our mobile phones work on the island?
Almost certainly. There may be a shock when you get your roaming bill, though, especially for data. US carriers sometimes charge unbelievably high roaming charges!
Here are some specific thoughts (note that iPhones 4S and newer even on Sprint or Verizon do have SIM slots):
GSM (ATT, T-Mobile, most worldwide carriers)
If you have an unlocked GSM phone (most modern phones have a GSM radio and SIM), get a Telcel Amigo SIM (ask for a "cheep") at any of several stores (including the Telcel Service Center on Juárez and Calle 40 or MacroCell below the Mega). This will allow you to make inexpensive calls but note that it will give you a new (local) number for incoming calls and your usual number won't work. You can also get a data plan for not much that will cover most needs. ATT does not like to unlock iPhones, so you may need to have that done by an aftermarket entrepreneur.
Dual-SIM phones solve most of the issues with being contactable on your usual number, but for iPhones be aware that the SIM slot holds only 1 SIM and Mexico does not have eSIMs. You'll therefore need to get your phone provisioned with your carrier using the eSIM if you wan to use a Mexico SIM as well.
Current plans include calls (incoming and outgoing) and texts in Mexico just as if you were home as well as free data. Data speed does drop if you go over a specified amount. If you have one of these plans, you likely don't need to do anything or worry about excessive charges.
If you have T-Mobile Digits you can receive and place calls using your home number (using data) with a Mexico SIM in the SIM slot.
If your Sprint phone has a GSM radio and SIM slot (most do, some older phones don't, all Sprint iPhones do), go the route above and be sure to turn off your CDMA radio completely to disable voice and data roaming. You may need to contact Sprint to ensure the SIM is not locked, which must be done within the US. If your phone is CDMA-only, expect to pay dearly.
This is currently in flux with the merger of Sprint with T-Mobile.
Offers a North America Roaming plan that includes Mexico and can be a pretty good deal. Note that it covers calls only, not texts or data. It must be arranged and activated before you leave the US. Otherwise, read the Sprint section above.
Preventing high data charges
iOS - go to Settings/Cellular and uncheck any apps that you don't want to let use cellular data. That should probably be nearly all of them.
Android - the free app "Droidwall" for your rooted phone will enable you to prevent cellular data access while still permitting Wi-Fi, and will let you select which apps you might want to allow to use cellular data.
Will our electrical stuff work at Casa Suzana?
Most likely. Mexico uses the same outlets as in the US, Canada, and Japan, as well as the same 110v 60-cycle current, so visitors from North America or Japan should have everything work perfectly. If you're visiting from elsewhere, you will need a plug adapter.
Many of your devices (computer, phone, iThingy and other electronics chargers, etc.) will most likely work perfectly on local current no matter where you're from. Some things such as 240-volt hair dryers won't work. However, there's a hair dryer in each bathroom, so you won't need to bring one!
It's best to use surge suppressors due to power irregularities, so we provide them in every room.