This will be our first cruise and our first trip to the Caribbean. I really struggled with eastern vs. western. What we are most interested in doing is snorkeling and enjoying the water. Don't care about shopping or dining or seeing ruins. Did I make a good choice?
You'll be fine and even have more opportunity to enjoy the water with an additional port day on the Western route. Cayman has great snorkeling, and you can even snorkel with sting rays if you prefer. Cozumel also has some very nice beaches and snorkeling. In Costa Maya, take a taxi to the nearby fishing village and enjoy a beach day.
We took our first cruise in October, going to the Western Caribbean on the Magic. Port Adventure at Grand Cayman and we did the Aquaboat and Snorkel Adventure. We had a BLAST! The tour guides were great and let us explore around the waters.
Then at Cozumel we did the Dune Buggy and beach snorkel. Also had a great time. At Cozumel it rained cats and dogs, but we still had an awesome time, the two guides were also awesome and funny. It was pretty cool to snorkel in the rain, underwater it was even better. We were not interested in shopping or anything else too. I never snorkeled before, and now I am hooked!
I think either one is a great choice. Also, like another poster said, you could always book your next cruise on your current one and get a discount.
We cruised a Western Caribbean on the Fantasy for Halloween 2012. We went to Maya Chan on Costa Maya & it was our FAVORITE part of the trip. Although the water is not as clear as it is in Cozumel they took us out on Kayaks & then we snorkeled a little bit. The price was GREAT!!! It was $140. for our family of 4 & included our cab fare, wonderful food & all of our drinks. It also included the sand castle contest for the kids & even a trophy at the end!!! The kids were also given sand toys, we had water floats & the Kayaking & snorkeling was included too. I can't say enough good things about Maya Chan Beach Club; it was definatly the best deal for the money. (not booked through Disney, just fyi). It it small & simple but very private & uncrowded. I plan to create a trip report website & will share our photos & information when I get around to it. For now you can find information on Maya Chan at: Costa Maya Beach Resort, Costa Maya Chan Beach Resort - Majahual, Mexico
They have special things going on for the Disney ship guests. Good luck deciding & enjoy!!!
Planning a trip to WDW is like planning a wedding... If you expect things to be flawless, you will be sadly disappointed. If you know that there will be less than perfect times & decide to just laugh them off, then you will be excited when you find the magic all around you.