Since we did the timeshare presentation with Palace Resorts, we received a complimentary day trip to Isla Mujeres. We met dockside to take their charter boat to their private beach and dock. The day was pleasant, but I do not know that I would pay the $65 that they listed the “value” as for this experience.
First we enjoyed a couple lazy hours at the Palace Resorts' private beach club. The water is much calmer here than at the resorts in Cancun in the tourist zone. You can snorkel right off the shore of the beaches, although you will not see reefs. I didn’t snorkel but David did. He said that it wasn’t that great, only seeing a handful of fish in the area that they would allow you to swim. Here they did provide a lunch which was somewhat cook to order, but not really. Many of the food items were served buffet style, with burgers and sandwiches made as folks asked for them. Soft drinks were free. They did charge for beer and wine, which we passed on.
After lunch we spent the afternoon shopping in the downtown area where you can find great deals on jewelry, pottery, T-shirts/souvenirs, etc. WARNING TO AMERICANS: Do not buy Cuban cigars anywhere in Mexico if you are planning to bring them back to the USA. Due to the embargo against Cuba, they will be taken from you at US Customs if you declare them. If you don't declare them and they find them, you will be subject to some pretty stiff fines. My opinion: it's just not worth it! My husband lost his $30 worth of cigars and was very disappointed when he learned that he couldn't bring them in to the US.
There are a lot of restaurants and bars throughout the area if you want to skip the free lunch at the Palace Beach Club and dine among locals and other tourists who want a more authentic Mexican experience.
While on Isla Mujeres, you can rent a motor scooter or golf cart to tool around the island. We didn't have enough time to make it worth our effort so we passed, but many folks did seem to be enjoying themselves getting around the island this way. The tour operators will probably warn you against this activity, as the vehicles may not be up to the safety codes we have here in the states. Also, there were reports of damaged or stolen scooters that tourists were held accountable for. Just beware if you choose to rent one.
If you want a nice place to lay out in the sun, this is OK but there is probably no reason to leave your oceanfront resort unless you are seeking a new view of the ocean. For us, it seemed a bit too touristy and the lunch that was included with the trip was not very good.