My husband and I just got back from cruising the western caribbean on the paradise (Jan.11)and had a blast!!! We are both in our 20's and were able to meet up with some other couples we had chatted with on the message board.
Listen up and I will give you a lot of great advice from VERY recent experience!!!
First of all DO NOT BOOK any excursions through the ship. Everything is VERY over-priced and you can go to the EXACT same place as the ship offers, but research and book on your own online.
YOU MUST go cave tubing in Belize!! It was amazing!! I emailed Reggie (Reggie's cave tubing) www.regtours.com
He was highly recommended by past reviews, etc.
It cost me $65 per person, and we booked 10 people for a group rate of $60 each. Our group was only 10 people!! That's right a private group!! While the ship charged $85 per person and had 60 people in each group!!
We did more on our tour too, we swang on vines like Tarzan, tubed through an extra cave, we had Reggies son, Jami take us...etc. research them!!
Also in Cayman, DO the STINGRAY city. It was wild!! We tried booking with Sotos, but they left before our ship came to port, so we went with Captain Marvins. They were great, we went in the aft. at 1:30, and got back in time to catch the last tender. We were lucky enough to have another private tour there as well. There were 6 of us on the trip, and it was great. The ships tours had as much as 100 people on it!!!
Also goto 7 mile beach, the cemetary area, or govenors was beautiful!!
It helps to have your own snorkel gear and take it with you. Or you can rent it wherever you go.
In Roaton, we just took a taxi to the west side, snorkelling was great there!!
Cozumel, everyone told us to shop, but there weren't that many deals, we just picked up Kalua and Tequila VERY CHEAP!!
The place to go and party though was Carlos & Charlies!!! Crazy there!! and since the ship stays in Port until midnight, have a blast! Don't miss the congo tequila shot line!! and the yard stick drinks!! You will be staggering onto the ship.
Overall have a blast, enjoy your time!!
Oh yeah, don't forget to pack your own liquor in YOUR CHECKED luggage!! You can bring your own water and mix too! Saves a lot of money, as the pop is over $2/glass and the drinks are as much as $6.95 each. Everyone brings their own stuff. I think everyone on the ship had enough liquor to have a full bar in their room. The stewards don't care and they will even keep your mix (coke,etc) on ice! I recommend you buy one drink in a souvenier glass and then refill it yourself in your room with your own stuff!! We even bought a smoothie machine to make margaritas!!
I hope I've helped, if you have any questions, feel free to ask!!