Garrafon Park

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#1
Kissimmee, FL
487 Posts
Joined Jan 2001
Has any one gone to Garrafon Park? It sounds wonderful, is it as great as it sounds?

Did you do it on your own or with a ship tour?

Thanks for any replies!
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Dawn


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#2
Columubs, Ohio USA
2,082 Posts
Joined May 2002
I did the Garrafon Reef tour through NCL and it was wonderful. I was alone and had a great time. The place is a huge park with about every water activity you can imagine available. It is done to look very natural with the landscape. The snorkeling was great and would be good for beginners as well as experienced. There is a rope by the reef you can hold onto and just watch the fish swim by. There are ruins in the water to see also. And there are other places to swim, the pool is gorgeous. I loved the whole experience and highly recommend it. The only drawback...the buffet was expensive and not included in my ticket. But it was very good. The gift shop had the prices in pesos, not dollars. There are huge lockers to use and a very nice shower room. I slept in a hammock for about an hour after lunch. Any specific questions, let me know and I will be glad to share any i can. Diane
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#3
Kissimmee, FL
487 Posts
Joined Jan 2001
We would be doing this as part of a NCL tour also, but I have considered just trying to get there on our own. Two out of the four of us do not drink, so the open bar is not worth it for them. If you purchase tickets from the gate, there is an option that does not include alcohol.

When you say the buffet is expensive, how expensive? Do you mean $20 per person, or more like $8 or $10? Is there somewhere to get snacks instead of paying for a whole buffet? Maybe we will just eat something small til we get back to the ship.

Anybody know how to get there from the cruise ship dock on your own?
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Dawn


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#4
Ankeny, IA
787 Posts
Joined Jan 2001
It looks to me as they will transfer you
https://www.can****ravel.com/secure/garrafontickets/
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#5
Columubs, Ohio USA
2,082 Posts
Joined May 2002
The buffet was $18.00 per adult. I don't know about kids. It was really good. There are several snack bar areas that have hot dogs, hamburgers and nachos, also an ice cream stand. Our beverage was included but not the food. This was only soft drinks or juice, didn't ask about any alcohol, had enough of that on board. The hammocks were great! If you have any other questions, let me know. Diane
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Carnival Celebration-4/2003-my virgin cruise!
Carnival Spirit- 8/2003 Solo to Alaska
RCCl Majesty of the Seas- 3/2004 Springbreak with DTR
NCL Sea- 11/2004 Texaribbean-1st annual BD cruise
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Celebrity Zenith-11/2005-2nd annual BD cruise
Carnival Elation- 4/2006
RCCL Legend of the Seas-3rd annual BD cruise(late) 1/2007
RCCL Enchantment of the Seas-12/2007-1st annual T55 cruise
Carnival Miracle-2/2008
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Carnival Imagination 10/4/2010 -Western Carib with Deb
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#6
Western Minnesota USA
245 Posts
Joined Dec 2002
We went to Garrafon Reef Park, 1-14-05 on the Norwegian Dream.

We went on the cruise excursion and this is definately the ONLY way I would recommend people to get to Garrafon from a cruise ship. As you probably know, Cancun is a tender port. The ship actually anchors about half way between Cancun and Isle Mugeras (sp) which is where Garrafon Reef Park is located. A tender from Garrafon comes and picks you up directly from the ship. We were the first group of people to get off of the ship that morning. It would take MUCH longer to get to Garrafon if you tried to do it on your own from Cancun. At the end of the day, the tender takes you directly back to the ship. So, I must warn you that if you do take the excursion through the cruise line, you will not have enough time to go back to Cancun to do any shopping.

The park itself is very nice and has lots of various activities. Open bar, locker rent, snorkel equipment, kayaks, and a few other things are included in the admission price. Food was extra, but we ate a big breakfast that morning and we were able to wait until we got back on the ship to eat again. The walking paths along the ocean are very nice. There really isn't a big sandy beach here, but there are plenty of lounging chairs and hammocks for everyone. They also have a really nice pool.

The snorkeling to be honest was not the greatest. The reef is really shallow, (some parts stick out of the water) so they use a rope and bouys to keep you away from the reef. The current is very strong in the area and it is also quite rough water, which makes it a challenge. Actually, I have to applaud them for roping off the reef. With the rough water, I am sure that people would be constantly getting slammed into the reef and there would be many injuries and damage to the reef. While snorkeing, most of the reef and the fish are seen from a distance. We have had much better snorkeling in many more places in the Carribean.

I would be happy to answer any specific questions anyone may have.
#7
Colorado
953 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
We also did the excursion thru NCL and have to agree with the other posters. The park was very nice, clean, quiet, etc. Another advantage of doing it thru NCL is that we arrived before the park opened to the public (from what I could tell). This allowed us to get a good seating area, in the "hut village" which has a beautiful view , close to everything, and lots of shade.

We did not try the buffet (didn't think we'd eat $18 worth of food). We did get lunch at the small snack-bar type restraunt. They had wonderful nachos, hamburgers, and guacomole. I think the burger and fries was about $5, the nachos about the same, guacomole maybe a couple of bucks. All in all, very pleased with the food and cost of (especially considering sodas, beer, bottled water, alcohol was no charge).

I thought (but only for a moment) that the NCL price was high, considering that the buffet was not included. But I decided that the direct access to the park (not having to go to cancun, then figuring out how to get to Garrafon after that) was well worth the cost.

Have Fun,
Marlissa
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#8
Ankeny, IA
787 Posts
Joined Jan 2001
My husband and I are considering doing this in Cancun. Pimarily to alleviate some of the headaches with tendering. When you say open bar, does that include any drink...margaritas, mai tai's etc? More than rum punch :-) THANKS!!!
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#9
Western Minnesota USA
245 Posts
Joined Dec 2002
Yes, the open bar did seem to include pretty much any drink you would want.

We, personally had Mai Tai's, strawberry margaritas, plain margaritas and tap beer which I am almost certain was Corona.

I saw other people drinking wine, long island teas, rum punch, and then your normal mixed drinks like rum & coke, etc.... I did not see anyone drinking canned or bottled beer, so it could be that the tap Corona was the only option for beer.

I also forgot to mention that the tender boat also has an open bar, but the drinks were pretty much confined to Corona on tap and soft drinks.

Needless to say, we had a little nap upon our return to the ship.
#10
72 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
Has anyone taken the complimentary ferry to downtown Isla Mujeres to shop or look around? How was the shopping? What kind of time schedule did they run on? Was it worth it?
#11
cincinnati OH
361 Posts
Joined Dec 2001
Originally posted by gsguru
Has anyone taken the complimentary ferry to downtown Isla Mujeres to shop or look around? How was the shopping? What kind of time schedule did they run on? Was it worth it?
...the shopping downtown is pretty much what you might expect....not much as far as nice stores, but lots of tiny stores selling shells, wooden crafts, hammocks, and the usual silver stuff....prices are about the same you'd find in cancun or cozumel....there are enough stores to keep you busy for at least a couple hours....quite a few restaurants as well
#13
Alabama
285 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
We went to Garrafon just this past week and ditto all the wonderful things people have said about it. We so enjoyed taking the walk around the shoreline. It was absolutely gorgeous. And clean! We did the zip line and Sea Trek, both at additional cost, but it was so worth it. The Sea Trek, especially, was just amazing. It was very difficult to pry ourselves away from the hammocks, too!
#14
151 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
We didn't make Cancun from the NCL Dream last week and missed Garrafon. So dissapointed....we do intend to try again soon.
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#15
Kissimmee, FL
487 Posts
Joined Jan 2001
I am the original poster, never thought this tread would still be going after all this time!

I have to say that Garrafon park was a VERY relaxing time. I love sangria and had a bunch of them thru out the day. Found one particular bartender that I liked the best, tipped him and kept returning to him all day long. We also just got snacks instead of the buffet and enjoyed them. I only remember the fries, must have gotten a burger with them though?? I loved swimming in the pool and looking out over the beautiful ocean. I called it my "new happy place"!!

We also took the NCL tour once we realized the tender would pick us up at the ship and take us straight to Garrafon Park. It was well worth the extra money.

Enjoy your trip!
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Dawn


Paradise 5-00. Paradise 2-01
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