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-   -   Jewel of the Seas - Port Excursions (http://www.cruisereviews.com/forum/caribbean-port-chat/189-jewel-seas-port-excursions.html)

Jim's HazeGrey & Underway Again 03-09-2009 09:37 AM

Does anyone have any recommendations for excursions on the Jewel of the Seas, sailing Miami 03 April for: Montego Bay, Cartagena, Panama Canal / Cristobal, Puerto Limon??

My plan is to buy day passes for the family at Sandals Montego Bay ($100 per adult / $50 per child, but all food, drinks (including alcohol) included) and walk Cartagena. Not sure about Puerto Limon...maybe the canal boat trip?

Jim

penny3333 03-09-2009 09:59 AM

Hi Jim, welcome to Cruise-Chat. I sent you a PM explaining why I moved your post here. I'm hoping you'll get more replies and it's not really about the ship. We haven't had the pleasure of doing this itinerary, but many on this board have. An all-inclusive sounds like a great thing to do in Jamaica. If you use the "find" feature in the upper left had corner and type in Puerto Limon, it will pull up all the posts made on this board. Wish I could offer some suggestions. Best wishes for a fantastic cruise, and once again, welcome aboard!

Jim's HazeGrey & Underway Again 03-09-2009 11:45 AM

Penny, thanks. You're right, this is a better chat room.

The family had wanted to do a basic catamaran sail/snorkel trip but amazingly none are offered as excursions on this itinerary. Looked at Montego Bay for a private operator and found the Montego Bay Catamaran Adventure. Unfortunely the ship's schedule, 1000-1800, didn't fit their timings. So guess doing the 1 day at Sandals for $300 for a family of 4 (2 teens) isn't bad if it includes food, drinks and activities, even if it is only for 6 hours or so.

Maybe its just Royal Caribbean, but why do cruise itineraries have such bizarre port call windows??? We're only in Puerto Limon from 0730-1300 (??), Montego (1000-1800), and I think Cartegna is 0800-1500. I understand the ship's got to transit between ports, but I'd rather skip one stop and have a full 12 hours (0800-2000) or even an overnight in each port. Otherwise its a constant race against your watch to see how much more time you have.

Do the cruise companies save money on taxes/charges by keeping to these weired hours in port??

Jim

Jim C. 03-09-2009 12:06 PM

Very likely they do. Certainly staying overnight would incur a huge port fee. They are allowed to port for so many hours per port charge. That is why they insist on leaving "on time" and not waiting or people to return. If they go past the time they are supposed to be out of port they incur more charges.

Another probability is the distance to the ports in your itinerary. The have to travel further which means they may not be able to time arriving in port to allow longer visits than they have. Although I agree with you in that I would gladly give up Mo Bay for more time in the other ports.

Nadine 03-10-2009 10:40 AM

We were on the Jewel in January. What a gorgeous ship!

At Cartagena we took an excursion that we booked on the ship called "Deluxe Cartagena & Fortress". Friends of ours who had been on the same excursion highly recommended it and I would highly recommend it to you. We experienced so many different features of Cartagena and our tour guide was excellent.

Enjoy your cruise and welcome to cruise-chat!

Nadine

Jim's HazeGrey & Underway Again 03-10-2009 11:16 AM

Nadine,

thank you. So the Deluxe Cartagena and Fortress tour. Okay I'll check that. Is it walking or bus? I was last in Cartagena about 20 years ago, it was a stunning city then.

How about Puerto Limon and Montego Bay, what did you do there?? Limon especially is stumping me. Also surprised there are no sailing excursions at any of the ports.

Jim

Nadine 03-10-2009 04:58 PM

It was walking and bus. We did quite a bit of walking, but it was on level ground and we walked at a slow pace. The one exception was when we climbed to the top of the fortress. Our guide was 79 years young and hardly broke a sweat. Can't say as much for myself! I would say the majority of the people didn't try it. There were vendors near the bus where you could shop a little.

Puerto Limon is one of our favorite ports. We love the rainforest. The last time we did a ship excursion called "Tortuguero Canals". It was so great that we booked it again, and enjoyed it just as much the second time. We enjoy seeing wildlife in it's natural environment and nothing compares to seeing monkeys in the rainforest!

After the tour we were served some very good snacks and fruit. Everyone has different expectations for their excursions, but this is one that we really enjoy.

Nadine

Jim's HazeGrey & Underway Again 03-11-2009 09:23 AM

Nadine. Great info, thank you again. The one excursion I did find (private company, not affiliated with RCC) was for a canal boat trip, about $65 per person with yes, fruit and snacks at the end. Okay, I think I'll do that with the group.

Cartagena and Pto Limon are fixed now. Panama Canal I think we'll just walk around Cristobal. Montego Bay...what do you suggest?

I was planning on trying one of the local resorts (Hilton or Sandals) at around $300 for the day. Is there a nice beach, shopping, restaurants within walking distance of the ship? Someone said Docs Bay or Docs Beach?? Or do you recommend doing something away from Montego Bay?

Jim

Nadine 03-11-2009 02:53 PM

We have never been to Montego Bay, so I can't help you with that. When we were on the Jewel in January, we went to Labadee, Cartagena, cruised the Panama Canal, Costa Rica, and Grand Cayman. It was a 10 day cruise. Wish it had been 20 days! It's hard to return to Illinois in January!

Nadine

aviana 03-18-2009 08:58 AM

Nadine. I'm going on the Jewel Of the Seas Panama Cruise leaving March 23rd from Miami. My question is if the Panama Canal excursion tour by Ferry is worth the price? Did anyone on your cruise take this excursion? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.


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