Cruisin' To Cozumel: A Wheelchair User's Travel Experience

a woman smiling outdoors
Curated by
Kelly Berger
Content via Curb Free with Cory Lee
Curb Free with Cory Lee
Curated by
Kelly Berger

Cory Lee is an avid accessible travel blogger who has spinal muscular atrophy. In a recent blog post, Cory writes about a cruise he went on in 2009 from Tampa, Florida to Cozumel, Mexico. He strongly encourages others to utilize cruise ships, for its accessibility, monetary value, and all-inclusiveness.

Cory on the cruise ship

“Cruising is one of the most accessible ways to travel and you don’t have to worry about anything really because all activities are on one big ship.”

Cory chose to travel with Carnival Cruise Lines and after a full day of cruising the ship arrived in Cozumel. Cory did his research in preparing for his trip and pre-booked a shoreline excursion complete with a wheelchair accessible bus. “The bus was equipped with a wheelchair lift and tie-downs (safety first!) just as I requested to Carnival. For many destinations, there are not always accessible shore excursions, but I was very happy to see that Cozumel had one,” says Cory. The first stop on the excursion was the park Discover Mexico. The park included a museum where maps and a guide explained the history of many Mexican traditions. Outside the museum was the second part of the experience where replicas of Mayan temples were displayed for viewing.

One of Cory’s favorite destinations on the excursion was Hacienda Antigua Tequila Farm. He states upon driving up to the place, hundreds of agave plants line the fields (the plant that tequila is made from). Inside the factory, a guide went into detail of the tequila making process. Showing off machines, and of course, tastings! The legal drinking age in Mexico is 18. Cory was 19 during his visit and, "was way too excited to finally be drinking legally somewhere," he confessed.

cory and his mom on a beach in cozumel

Souvenir shops line the main strip. Cory states that most of the shops are accessible. However, some have extremely steep ramps to enter. Typically assistance with pushing a chair in is needed, or you'll just have to skip. The Hard Rock Cafe is exceptionally difficult and Cory could not get inside.Cory claims Pancho’s Backyard had the best and most authentic Mexican food in all of Cozumel. Featuring live music and an outdoor patio, or inside if you prefer an escape from the heat.

"Cozumel, Mexico is one of my favorite Caribbean destinations and is easy to get to from Florida. Whether you just need a weekend getaway or something a little longer, go explore Cozumel in a wheelchair," says Cory.

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