I tried both and let me tell you there is a clear winner - Winjet!
Let me explain why Winjet is a better ferry to Cozumel than Ultramar.
I have no affiliation with any of them. This is purely my personal opinion as I tried both. I wasn't sure which one to pick, so I wish I had someone telling me what I am telling you now!
Let's delve into the reasons why I would highly recommend choosing Winjet over Ultramar.
Winjet operates on a standard, uniform fare system without any premium offerings. Every passenger is treated equally with adult tickets priced at $14 and children tickets at $9.
Contrastingly, Ultramar offers two pricing tiers: a standard ticket at $17 and a First-Class ticket at $20. Children can avail of a standard ticket at a lower rate of $13, but the First Class rate remains consistent at $20.
This clear price difference establishes Winjet as the more economical choice.
So the first reason to pick Winjet over Ultramar is the price.
Now, let's consider the comfort provided with a standard ticket.
The $14 Winjet ticket guarantees a seat in a climate-controlled room with comfortable, padded chairs.
The $17 standard Ultramar ticket, on the other hand, offers outdoor seating with minimal shade and no air conditioning. Although you might expect the open air to offer a refreshing breeze, the ship's structure largely prevents this. Only around 30% of seats, a small minority, are positioned to benefit from any natural breeze. Plus, the seating consists of metal chairs, which are significantly less comfortable than Winjet's padded alternatives. In this regard, the pricier Ultramar ticket seems to deliver a less comfortable travel experience.
So to be fair, it makes no sense...more expensive price and worse service!
Both services offer equal frequency with ferries departing every 2 hours. The first ferry leaves Playa del Carmen at 8AM and the last ferry returns from Cozumel at 9PM. Both services alternate hourly departures, however, the schedule for which the ferry departs first changes daily. To find the most accurate schedule, it is advisable to check the specific date of your intended journey.
Personally, I prefer to use Bookaway to arrange my travel, as it provides certainty regarding departure times and the ferry company, and allows me to secure tickets in advance, avoiding queues at the port.
Lastly, it's worth noting that both ferries operate from the same port, so there are no location advantages to consider.
Based on these factors, my recommendation would be to opt for Winjet for your ferry ride to Cozumel. I hope you find this information helpful for your decision-making process.
I have also prepared a blog article on the best way how to explore Cozumel Island, so if you are planning your trip, make sure to check it out!