Help! My family will be going on our first cruise in about 10 days. Since this was a last minute decision to go cruising, the reservations weren't made until we were only about 3 weeks from departure. I've been trying desperately to find a Dolphin Royal Swim excursion for our stop in Cozumel and so far every vendor I've tried says they're booked up. Since they each take 2-3 days to respond saying they're full it's eating up my available time to find another vendor. So far I've tried Shoretrips.com and Dolphinworld.org. Can anyone recommend another vendor that may still have spots available? there are 4 of us and I've heard that the Royal Swim is a trip that you'll never forget.
We'll be going to Grand Cayman, Cozumel, and Key West.
On Grand Cayman, I've got an excursion booked through Shoretrips.com for their "Original 2-snorkel stop Stingray City combo with Cayman Short and Sweet". I figure that in Key West we'll just walk around and enjoy the town and beaches. Any other excursion suggestions for Cozumel?
If you grab a cab to Chankanaab Park you might be able to get a swim with the dolphin tour there. The ship's excursion took us there. There were 6 ships in port that day, so that would mean a minimum of 12 excursions. Before the hurricane, there were 3 areas to swim and 3 for the encounter. We didn't go there on our last stop, so I don't know if that's how they rebuilt the pens or not. Anyway, you might go to Chankanaab early and get a tour that way. If not, it's a nice place to swim, snorkel, and spend the day. You can grab a cab for about $15, and I think the entrance fee is about the same. Paradise Beach is another nice area to spend the day in Cozumel.
Chankanaab is a great suggestion. I went there with my daughter 2 years ago. It was wonderful, and well worth the chance to get to swim with the dophins. If they get you in, pay the extra and swim with them. Wonderful experience!!! Well worth the money.
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WE toured the Mayan ruins at Tulum and it was a great trip! Try that one. Also, check the shore excursions at the cruise line you are cruising. I bet you can get one through them. I imagine that there is not that much of a price diffey.
Try website for Discovery Cove. This is the vendor for the Dolphin Swim at Chankanaab. I suspect if you cannot book with them directly you can forget this plan. If you are unable to book the Royal Swim I am not sure I would spend the money for the other types of encounters. The other encounters are unsatisfying for the $$. We have booked shore trips through Aventuras Naturales (they have a website). This vendor is also used by Shoretrips.com. We had a wonderful time on a jeep tour with them. They no longer do much of anything off-road so warnings about rough riding are a moot point. You do go to El Cedril, oldest town on Cozumel, see some interesting sites like a cenote, the more remote coast of Cozumel, do some snorkeling, have a tavern stop at a really great beach where we swam and body surfed, and end up eating at a local chicken grille. It was wonderful and pretty private (We are not into crowds of any kind which is what the tours through the ships often are). it satisfied the sightseer in our group, the active/snorkeler, and the beach girl, and me who loved the local chips, salsa, guac., and chicken!
We also had a great time in Cozumel one year on Atlantis Sub. It was comfortable, not claustrophobic for us at all, and you saw some amazing underwater sites.
We have also enjoyed just going to one of the beach clubs (there are a lot of discussions on this site about different places there) and having a beach day.
We DID NOT enjoy seeing Tulum from Cozumel. First of all Tulum is not on Cozumel. You spend almost 2 hours (round trip) on a ferry that was an adventure in motion sickness for most everyone aboard, 1 1/2 to 2 hours on a bus, round trip, to spend about 2 hours at this amazing ruin and beach. Just too much transportation time, none of which was fun. I will definitely go to Tulum again, but when I am already on the mainland. This adventure will take your whole day and will not be appreciated by children.
I have also never had a bad experience with Shoretrips.com.
We have used Captain Marvins on Cayman and Ebanks watersports. Liked them both, Ebanks was more expensive: liked them better, less people. Both have websites. Good Luck!
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We were in Cozumel last year and booked an island jeep tour and snorkel through cozumelcruiseexcursions.com. It was superb. If Richard is still a guide request him. He is a retired archetect from Houston. He was supposed to be moving to Guatemala soon.
The tour was awesome and were were the only ones on it. Talk about personal service. Our 7 yr old told the table at dinner that "Mr Richard" felt like family. That says something. He spend a good hour just with her on the beach teaching her about sea life and the ocean. We all learned so much. We saw a sinote, El Cedral, both sides of the island, The Tequilla Museum, turtle nests, drank at a Rasti Bar, had lunch with the locals, snorkeled, and were dropped off at the best shopping.
The same tour is offered through the boat but with a different vendor. Booking independantly will save you some bucks as well.
We went on the Snorkel, ruins, and jungle by jeep with beach break /w Mexican buffet. We booked through Carnival. It lasted about 51/2 hours, and it cost about $90.00. It was awesome. Our guides were great, and it was soooo worth the money. I would definitly recommend it to my best friend.
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