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Old 11-05-2002, 04:29 AM
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Looking for info on the Western Caribbean destinations - we'll be on NCL Dawn in April 2003, stopping in Ocho Rios, Cozumel, Costa Maya and Grand Cayman. Has anyone taken the horseback ride in Ocho Rios through sugar plantations/along the beach? Want to do the Tulum shore excursion from Cozumel but feel we'll miss Cozumel by doing so. Can Tulum be seen on our own from Costa Maya? Has anyone done the Jeep safari in Costa Maya or the Uvero Beach Break? Is the jeep safari safe or are the jeeps very old and unstable?! Would the Caymans be easy to do on our own. I do want to see Sting Ray City, Turtle Farm(is it worth it?) but also just relax at as many beaches on the whole trip as possible. Appreciate any ideas from experienced cruisers. Thanks!!
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Old 11-05-2002, 04:29 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2002
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Looking for info on the Western Caribbean destinations - we'll be on NCL Dawn in April 2003, stopping in Ocho Rios, Cozumel, Costa Maya and Grand Cayman. Has anyone taken the horseback ride in Ocho Rios through sugar plantations/along the beach? Want to do the Tulum shore excursion from Cozumel but feel we'll miss Cozumel by doing so. Can Tulum be seen on our own from Costa Maya? Has anyone done the Jeep safari in Costa Maya or the Uvero Beach Break? Is the jeep safari safe or are the jeeps very old and unstable?! Would the Caymans be easy to do on our own. I do want to see Sting Ray City, Turtle Farm(is it worth it?) but also just relax at as many beaches on the whole trip as possible. Appreciate any ideas from experienced cruisers. Thanks!!
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Old 12-16-2002, 10:44 AM
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If you don't want to miss Cozumel. Take a cab to chankanaab park, great beach, good snorkling, dolphin discovery(you can make a reservation on their web site)
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Old 12-19-2002, 10:28 PM
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Hi, I went on the Western Caribbean Cruise with Carnival last December and had a wonderful time. This was our second cruise and I had decided to book excursions on our own. First stop was Grand Cayman, we went to Sting Ray City. We booked with www.captainmarvins.com they were just wonderful. I really cant say enough about them, we got on the boat with maybe 25 other people. Compared to the boat excursions with 100 people we were doing pretty good. We booked the first tour of the day which worked out well b/c we still had time to shop afterwards. I believe the tour was $35 pp and it included a snorkle tour. We also bought an underwater video of us with the sting rays and man that was worth the $45 we paid for it.

Second stop was Cozumel and we booked a jeep excursion on our own with www.cozumel.travelnotes.cc/tours/jeep.html
I cant say enough nice things about this tour. Awesome just doesnt describe it well enough. It was a bumpy ride but we had a wonderful time. We went snorkling on a secluded beach and had one of the best meals I have ever had. The tour guides were great, they were girls from america and they really made our day a memorable one.

Third stop was Jaimaca. This was the only port that I didnt feel 100% safe going to. When we went there were some scary things happening there. It was the only time we booked an excursion with the boat, we decided to go on the Dunns River Falls Tour and were so happy we did. It was the most beautiful place. We made the mistake of going shopping afterwards in town and boy we regretted it.

Just a side note, we heard that the horse back riding was horrible in Jaimaca but very good in Mexico. Friends of ours on the boat just asked one of the crew members were they going and all ended up at one of the hotels with a pool and had a nice relaxing day.

You picked a great itinerary and hope this wasnt too long. Have a wonderful time.
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Old 01-20-2003, 09:39 AM
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Do not miss Chankanaab Park in Cozumel-great snorkeling, botanical and archeological park. Has restaurants, bars, showers, lockers and changing rooms.

Costa Maya appears to have alot to do-just put Costa Maya in a search engine-there is a resort there that will arrange tours-also snorkeling trips.

In Grand Cayman we did the Island Tour with Stingray City through the cruise company-we only had 5 hours there. Second time we snorkeled at Eden Roc-a five minute walk from the tender terminal-to the right.

In Jamaica we were at Montego Bay-we did a ship sponsored tour in the AM-rafting on a river-went to Margaritaville in the PM. We are from NYC and the people there were aggressive-I would do a ship sponsored tour there.
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Old 01-21-2003, 07:50 PM
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Thank you for all of the helpful advice. I'm sure it has helped a lot of other people also.

Through this board and others we've come up with the following:

Ocho Rios, Jamaica - Tour with Peat Taylor
Caymans - Stingray Tour with Native Way
Cozumel - "Tarzan Tour" with Eagle Ray(a 4x4 jeep ride with lunch at the beach, time to snorkle and just be lazy at the beach!
Costa Maya - nothing booked but would like to see ruin site and will hire a taxi when we get there

I can't wait since it is only 10 degrees in NH at the moment, lower than that with the wind chill!

Bobbie
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Old 01-30-2003, 07:19 AM
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Yes, you can rent a car in Playa del Carmen and do Tulum on your own, however,play on spending a bit of time getting your rental car squared away (and be very careful that you check your car over thoroughly), then about a 45 minute drive to Tulum, several hours to see the site (suggest hiring a guide unless you are well-versed on Mayan history and architecture), then drive back and more time to return rental car. Next you will need to catch the ferry, which generally runs every hour, back to Cozumel.

If this sounds like too much work, spend your day in Cozumel. You can rent a car here and spend the day touring the island and stopping along the way as the spirit moves you. While Chankanaab is an option, we who live here don't consider the snorkeling to be all that great and usually head for Dzul Ha instead.

Enjoy!

Ross in Cozumel
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Old 01-30-2003, 01:39 PM
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Ross is right about the snorkeling. However, if you like scuba diving then Cozumel has a lot to offer. Great reefs, at least there were when we dived there about six years ago. Cruiseman
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Old 02-02-2003, 05:53 PM
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We did the Westen carribean last April and we did the Capt. Marvin's trip as well. What a blast and well worth the price. It is a must and buy the video they offer as well. It's a memory for a lifetime!! We're glad we did.
We also did the dolphin swim in Cozumel and that was great too. Also bought the video. Another great bargain. Afterwards, we had the taxi take us to the end to the "shopping" district in front of the water and my daughter and I shopped our way back to the ship ending up at Sr, Frog's for nachos & a couple of drinks - WHAT A BLAST!!
I would love to do it again - and some day we will!
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Old 02-03-2003, 03:57 AM
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Location: New Smyrna Beach, Fl, U.S.A.
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This is a paragraph about costa Maya from our Enchantment review. It is a great port.

Costa Maya Could Become the Gem of the Western Caribbean:

We were amazed at what the business people of costa Maya have accomplished in building such a magnificent dockside complex. If you arenít interested in going into town or booking an
excursion and instead enjoy swimming in a luxurious pool, you must visit Costa Maya. The dockside complex consists of a perimeter of very attractive stores and an amphitheater on three sides, surrounding one of the most beautiful pools we have seen. The pool is a free form design and it is immense. It is the same depth of 4ft6 for the entire pool. The servers are dressed in very colorful attire and come pool side to serve you drinks. The amphitheater is just a short distance from the pool. You can watch the shows and take a dip during intermissions. They have continuosí shows from mid morning until mid afternoon. They
performed a number of Mexican folk dances with many costume changes. Each of the shows was very professional and the costumes were beautiful. We really enjoyed the shows. We took another swim before we had lunch in a restaurant near the
pool. Next to the pool was a large indoor-outdoor restaurant with a beautiful thatched roof. During lunch we were serenaded by a male vocalist who sang some of the great old ballads. He had a real good voice and we found the lunch to be delightful. The open-ended side of the pool faces the ocean. They also have a salt water pool that you can join in a continuous Volley Ball game. Within fifteen feet of the pool is a beach area with thatched huts shading the lounge chairs underneath.

We have often used the beautiful and extensive pool at the Jamaica Grande, in Jamaica. It is our opinion it pales in comparison to the Costa Maya complex. Costa Maya is without a doubt our new favorite port in the Western Caribbean.

Regards, Tom & Mary
http://www.TomandMarysCruiseReviews.com/

Tom & Mary
(The Honeymooners)
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Tom & Mary
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blast, boat, costa, cozumel, cruise, dawn, excursion, farm, line, maya, mexico, ncl, norwegian, port, stingray, tulum, turtle, uvero, video

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