Help...shore excursions on Western Caribbean?

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#1
Chula Vista, Southern San Diego, CA
33 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
My hubby and I will be taking our first cruise ever!! We will be on the Century 06-05-04, Western Caribbean.....any must do shore excursions? Or any info on any excursions....we will be visiting.....Ocho Rios, George Town, Cozumel, & Key West.....please help!!!

Thanks in advance,
Monica
#2
Berea, Ohio USA
442 Posts
Joined Oct 2002
Hi,

If you have the opportunity, you must consider the Atlantis Submarine out of Cozumel. In our opinion, it was one of the best shore excursions we have ever done. We booked it through Celebrity on their web site.

Hope this is helpful and have a wonderful cruise!!!

Don and Kathie

Carnivale - March 1980 Honeymoon Cruise
Horizon, Feb. '01 Deep Western Caribbean out of Aruba
Horizon, Feb. '03 Western Caribbean We Missed the Boat!!
Mercury, Feb. 04 10-Night San Diego Round-Trip
Summit, Feb 18, 05 10-Day Ultimate Caribbean Our 25th Anniversary
#3
Chula Vista, Southern San Diego, CA
33 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Thanks for the info Don & Kathie, that was actually one I had highlighted!!


First cruise ever!! Century.....Western Caribbean!
#4
1,196 Posts
Joined Nov 2000
Are you interested in snorkeling?

At Grand Cayman, Stingray City is very popular. It is a snorkeling tour where you can feed Stingrays. I recommend booking this not through Celebrity, but through an independent tour group like Capt. Marvins. Less money, less crowded, longer tour.

I strongly feel that Cozumel is the perfect place to *not* take an excursion. They have world class snorkeling. Take a taxi to Dzul-Ha or Corona Beach. The snorkeling is free. They have rentals, food, drinks, showers, lockers available.

Key West is a good place to just walk around town for a few hours. Ocho Rios may be a good place to stay on the ship.

Splendour of the Seas, 11/17/00
Summit, 10/28/02
Mercury, 5/05/04
#5
Harpenden, UK
12,952 Posts
Joined Nov 2002
Monica

We did Stingray City (on a smaller boat) when we went to Grand Cayman. Really good fun and the sea was as blue as I have seen it. I would avoid one of the larger boats. A bit of a bun fight especially if there are a few ships in port. Try to get out there as soon as you can to beat the masses.

Key West, we took the Conch Train and visited the Hemingway house and said hello to a few cats. Well worth it.

Cozumel, just snorkelled, but I got stung by some jellyfish.

Have a great cruise

Phil

Mercury Western Caribbean November 2002
Galaxy Eastern Caribbean November 2003

<BR

Until Galaxy Panama Canal Out Of Galveston
13th November 2004


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#6
Chula Vista, Southern San Diego, CA
33 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
We are very interested in snorkeling.....that is a must, I just don't know what place would be the best to do this at. I was either going to do the snorkeling in Grand Cayman or Cozumel.....we want to see the Dunn's Rivers as well in Ocho Rios.

Has anyone done the Dolphin Encounter Swim & Dunn's River Falls in Ocho Rios?


First cruise ever!! Century.....Western Caribbean!
#8
Chula Vista, Southern San Diego, CA
33 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Yeah I've tried the Ports Of Call Board and find that you get more info this way...but thanks for the suggestion.


First cruise ever!! Century.....Western Caribbean!
#9
442 Posts
Joined Sep 2003
We have done W. Caribb. 2 times and I'm w/ Lou33. We did do the Conch Train in KW and it is GREAT and also went to the Hemingway House and then just walked around.
#10
1,196 Posts
Joined Nov 2000
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by monibob:
We are very interested in snorkeling.....that is a must, I just don't know what place would be the best to do this at.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Cozumel and Grand Cayman may be the best two places in the Caribbean. You can't go wrong with either, but I would do both.

At Grand Cayman, the stingray city tour takes you to a sandbar where you stand in waist deep water (no fins needed) and feed the stingrays, they also stop at one or two other nearby reefs where you have a chance to swim with the fish in deeper water.

Cozumel is nice for snorkeling because you don't have to take a tour and you can come and go at your leisure. It makes for a more relaxing experience than what you would get on a tour.

Splendour of the Seas, 11/17/00
Summit, 10/28/02
Mercury, 5/05/04
#11
Oakton, VA USA
624 Posts
Joined Jun 2000
Don't forget the ruins of Tulum! We have gone twice and loved it each time. (even the kids and grandparents liked it!)
#12
Oviedo, Fl
19 Posts
Joined Nov 2003
I have visited Tulum and Xel-Ha twice. First in the early 70's and 30+ years later in December 2003. What a difference! They are now much more developed and commercialized.

The combined RCCL tour of both in Dec. 2003 did not leave enough time to explore either adequately. If possible, I would recommend taking a tour with a local company to Tulum. Make sure that the tour group is small. Because the Tulum/Xel-Ha tour run by RCCL was a large bus with many people, it was difficult to hear the guide. Not enough time was spent at Tulum to expore the area.

If you ever have an opportunity to go to Chichen-Itza, do so. It is much larger than Tulum.

Xel-Ha is a beautiful water park(no rides, water slides, etc.) run by the Mexican government. You could easily spend a day here. You can snorkel, swim with the dolphins or just explore the beautiful park.
#13
Jacksonville, FL USA
47,298 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Hi I know alot of folks don't like Jamaica...but I went with a group of about 10 and we used Peat Taylor. He was very reasonable in price, personable, knowledgable and I highly recommend him. We went to the Falls, he took us around on a tour, then at lunch time he brought us back to the ship...we had lunch on board, and he would have taken us back out in the in afternoon if we had wanted...but we chose to walk around on our own.
It was a great day

Next up...HORIZON Sept 18th to Bermuda!

See My Century and Mercury Pictures at:
http://community.webshots.com/user/lovescruising
#14
Parts Unknown
4,497 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
In Grand Cayman Stingray City is a must. We did it with Captain Marvin's and it was great.

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Donuts, is there anything they can't do....
#15
Chula Vista, Southern San Diego, CA
33 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Thanks everyone for all your info.....it's helping me out and narrowing down my list!!

Keep them coming...........I can use all the help!!


First cruise ever!! Century.....Western Caribbean!
#16
McDonough, Ga
6,418 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
Last time in Grand Cayman we did the stingrays on Cockatoo Catamaran. It's a little more expensive, but it was way more fun. It's a smaller open catamaran and it was so much fun sailing out to where the sting rays are.

I agree that the Conch Train is good to do in Key West, it gives you a real feel for the island. We also did the aquarium (only ok - not really worth the money) and the shipwreck museum, which was really interesting and fun. There's a big tower you can climb up and see all over the island.

Both times we were in Cozumel we did the Fiesta Party Boat - a lot of fun, too much to drink, but there's no snorkeling on this trip if that's what you are wanting to do.

In Ocho Rios we went to Dunn's River Falls once (didn't have the dolphins there then) and it is awesome, but it was harder to climb the falls than we were lead to believe. Last time we just shopped and met some fellow Cruise Critics at Margarittaville and had a great time. It's within walking distance from the ship, right on the beach with a small swimming pool and slide.

Terri

Skyward - 1989
Carnivale - 1991
Holiday - 1994
Fantasy - 1998
Century - 2002
Century - 2003
Inspiration - 7/04
Century - 9/04
Coral Princess 3/05
#17
Jacksonville, FL USA
47,298 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Terri...hi, I didn't climb the falls...yea, I know, I am a wimp ...but there was no way I could do it....
I would have stressed out on the way up and it wouldn't have been fun so I stayed down on the beach and had a good time anyway

Next up...HORIZON Sept 18th to Bermuda!

See My Century and Mercury Pictures at:
http://community.webshots.com/user/lovescruising
#18
McDonough, Ga
6,418 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
Lois - It was 10 years ago when I did it, there's no way I could do it now. It was a cool thing to do, and very pretty, but I can honestly say I would never do it again! I agree that the beach at the bottom was pretty. The water was gorgeous.

Terri

Skyward - 1989
Carnivale - 1991
Holiday - 1994
Fantasy - 1998
Century - 2002
Century - 2003
Inspiration - 7/04
Century - 9/04
Coral Princess 3/05
#19
190 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
In Grand Cayman, I would also vote for those gorgeous stingrays. The prior advice to tke a smaller boat (like a catamarn, not a "snorkel boat") is solid advice. I would also suggest going as early in the morning as you can, also to beat the crowds. Don't feel bad about missing the seemingly obligatory "Hell" or turtle farm - there's very little to miss.

In Cozumel -- I have a different suggestion. We spent almost no time in Cozumel, but ferried over to Playa Del Carmen and spent an amazing day at Xcaret, the eco-archeaological park. IT's difficult to describe, but is wonderful. The website is xcaret.net. It's worth a day.
#20
8,453 Posts
Joined Mar 2000
Just one more opinion:
Ocho Rios - contact Belinda at a-zjamaicaplanners.com She will help you have a wonderful safe and fun day at Jamaica. Reyn was our driver who had our names on his sign, told us all about his beautiful country (good & bad) and took us exactly where we wanted to go for much less and much longer than a ship's tour.
George Town, Grand Cayman; Sting Ray City snorkeling tour is a must Soto's, Nativeway, Capt. Bryan or Capt. Crosby
Cozumel- relax with a yard long Margarhita at Paradise Beach club or Mr. Sancho's (both no fees just a $15 (apx.) taxi ride each way per taxi not per person. Beautiful beach and facilities.
Key West- Trolley tour is a great way to see it all. Stop at Hog's Breath Saloon, do a Pub crawl, check out the mueseums and Hemingway's House, climb the lighthouse steps for a fabulous view.
Variety at each port will give you a good total experience.
Bon Voyage

Celebrity Millennium 2/22/04
Carnival Conquest 10/26/2003
Carnival Legend 4/11/2003
Carnival Pride 2/23/2002
Celebrity Galaxy 11/2001
Grand Princess 3/2001
Celebrity Millennium 9/9/2000
Sea Princess 2/22/1999
Vison of the Seas 10/28/1998
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