Hello travgurl, Not sure what you like to do, but I am going to the same ports in April with a teen and preteen girl. In Costa Maya, we are booking a combo....tequilla beach/horseback riding and snorkel. We are doing this on our own outside of the ships tours, mainly because they don't offer the horseback riding anymore and something the girls want to do. Cozumel we have booked a 3 reef snorkel dive with lunch included, as well as beer, soda, snacks and cookies on the boat. The pricing is better than the ships and you have more snorkel time and less crowds. Since we have been here before, we are comfortable with doing this. There are lots of options in Cozumel though. In Belize, we will do the zip line cave tubing combo. Not sure if we will book this through the ship or not. There are pros and cons to doing these on your own, and of course, these are just our preferences on what we like to do. Hope this helps!
Hi travgurl and welcome! You can read lots of suggestions under the Port Chat topic about whether to book thru the ship or an individual operator, but here are a few suggestions...
Cozumel - fun place for about anything you will want to do. Renting a jeep is a great way to see the island. Always have a ceremonial drink at Carlos and Charlies while you are there.
Belize - Cave tubing is a must. Other than that, you won't find a whole lot to interest you there.
Costa Maya - think of this as a cruise ship private island. There are numerous beach packages available, all very close to the pier.
Freeport - unless thing have changed dramatically, this is a great day to stay onboard, or at least take a quick walk-around.
Nassau is better than Freeport. Atlantis Hotel is considered by many a "must-see." There are lots of excursions to choose from. The Yellow Bird is fun, but there is alcohol involved!
Google the various ports for excursions and you will see what awaits you. Booking through the ship is a matter of choice as excursions are available online as well. We never book ahead and have always been able to do whatever we wanted when we arrived at the port.
You should have a great time!
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The snorkeling in Belize and Cozumel is some of the best you're going to find. We have always snorkeled in Chakanuub Park in Cozumel. The reefs and tropical fish are remarkable. In Belize, we did a snorkeling excursion to Goff's Caye. Another beautiful reef. It reminds me of Gilligan's Island.
I think we're on the same cruise (Glory 3/24). I work away from home during the week. The wife and step-kids picked our excursions this cruise and I'm not real thrilled but, it's for the kids (this time). In Cozumel, they wanted to ride the submarine. Not too bad as it is only a 90 minute excursion and we will have plenty of beach and shopping time before and after.
For Belize, we are taking a tour of the city and an airboat ride. And in Costa Maya, we are taking the off-road jeep tour. THis one gets us back 30 minutes prior to sailing, but it is booked through Carnival so there won't be any problems.
In Nassau, I doubt we'll even get off the ship unless it is to do a little walking/shopping in the area by the pier. We were here last year and don't feel the need to go again. We'll probably spend the day sunning on the ship as it is our last full day before geting back home.
Traveling to the Western Carribean mid July. I will have 3 older teens with us. I know that they would like to do a snorkeling and jeep excursion somewhere. I thought of the dolphin swim, but it is so much money for such a small amount of time with the dolphins. I would like to also do just a beach day at one of the ports, any suggestions on a good beach break day?
I highly recommend you to catch a taxi (5 dollars per taxi) to Chankanaab Park (entrance fee is 12 dollars). There's a lot of things you can do at this park, such see replica of mayan ruins, see a beautiful lagoon, see wild animals such as iguanas, snorkel, swim, encounter dolphins, swim with sea lions, chill on the beach, eat, drink, and endless of fun. This is what we did when we went there a few weeks ago and we highly recommend it!! The taxi drive is about five minutes from where the ship docks. Have fun.