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sienna 12-30-2007 09:56 PM

Hello cruise friends,

We shall have a cruise to Western Caribbean in Feb 2008.

Do you know reliable local tour operators, offering excursions preferrable to those offered by the cruise-ships?

The ports that we shall visit are:
Lababdee, Grand Caymen,Jamaica and Cozumel.
Thanks and advice is useful advice

Dave 12-31-2007 06:34 AM

Since Labadee is a privately owned resort you have no choice but to use the tours sold by RCI. No local operators are allowed.

In Jamaica I strongly urge you to also stick with the ship's tours. Too many shady characters offering tours there - it isn't worth the chance you'd be taking.

In Grand Cayman I think Captain Marvin's is a good operator.

On Cozumel you really can't go wrong. It is perhaps the easiest place to get around on in the Caribbean and all the tour operators and cab drivers are safe and trustworthy.

Also - we ask that the same topic not be posted more than once by the same person. Therefore I have removed your other post since it is asking the same thing.

I do wish to note that looking for non-cruise ship tours in order to get around age limits for kids may not work. The ship's tours are run by local tour companies too, and thus the rules are often the same regardless of who is selling the tour. They don't want the liability anymore than the cruise line does.

melancolymartini 01-01-2008 04:06 PM

Dave- Sorry to pick on you twice in a day but wanted to ask about capt Marvi's. Last time we cruised we missed Grand Caymen due to a sick passenger. If I book a private tour how do I go about canceling if the cruise ship doesn'get to port or weather is bad? Is there a deposit up front that I would lose? I have heard that Capt Marvin's is the way to go because of less crowds etc.

Dave 01-01-2008 04:33 PM


how do I go about canceling if the cruise ship doesn'get to port
I don't know. It has never happened to me. E-mail Captain Marvin and ask.

shipsamurai 01-03-2008 12:09 PM

I have to agree with dave that cozumel is one of the places you can't really go wrong. I did the atv jungle beach tour and it was great and everyone there was very friendly. I booked it with wild tours.

BJC123 01-06-2008 11:44 AM

We have used Captain Marvin's in past. No deposit up front and you paid when you checked in ... guess if you can't get in due to weather, your reservation would just cancel out, but would check with them in any case.

We were in Cayman's on 12/11 and booked with Moby Dick's this time. I'm really impressed with them. No upfront deposit just bring copy of the e-mail reservation return. We met their representative on the pier as instructed. He advised us that it was VERY ROUGH out on the sandbar that day and he wasn't sure how much fun we would have. We told him we wanted to go anyway ... Rough is not the word for it. We were totally drenched before we were even within sight of the sandbar. The boat had maybe 50 passengers on board - mostly in the 20-40 age group. When we got to the sandbar, there were already about a 100 people in the water and most were having trouble standing up. When we finally anchored, the began to let our group off the boat. One woman stumbled getting off the ladder due to the waves and the captain immediately got all his passengers back in the boat. Too dangerous and no fun ... he suggested moving over to the snorkeling site as the deeper water might make it more fun ... after observing there, he took us all back to the pier and gave all of us a refund of our entire fare. We gave him a generous tip even though we had decided we would not get out of the boat due to the waves ... we were impressed that he was more concerned for the safety of his passengers than in making a profit for the trip!
Since this was well before 11 a.m., we have plenty of time for port shopping - not great as the $$$$$ are exretemly high.

When we go the next time, we will try Moby Dick's again due to this experience.

Jim C. 01-07-2008 09:16 AM

Most tour operators know that ships sometimes don't dock. They will tell you up front during booking (if you ask) that if the ship does not port for some reason that you will be refunded any deposit. If they DON'T make this statement, don't book with them. There are plenty of other tour opertaors to choose from that will make this promise.

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