lifestyle, travel This is Cozumel

With one week to go until cruise ships return - will Cozumel be ready?

YES! The majority of downtown shops, restaurants and bars have re-opened or will be open by next week. More than 50 tours will be available to cruise ship passengers. Beach clubs are working hard and many will re-open by next Monday.

Banish any thoughts of clambering over debris - the streets were cleared over a week ago and electricity and water switched back on. Repairs to the downtown seafront road are almost complete and the street lights and gardens are all being repaired. Drinking water and ice was barely affected and is completely safe.

The cruise ship piers won't be fully repaired, but a good number of their shops, bars and restaurants will be open and passengers can come to shore by tender instead - just like the old days! Cozumel has plenty of clean, modern ferries to bring passengers to the piers and some shore excursions will be able to pick up directly from the ships.

Let's be honest: visitors to the island will still see some damage - most notably when they arrive to the water front which was hid hardest - but thousands of smiles will also greet them and they will find themselves touched by the spirit and hospitality of the local people.