We, a family of 4 (children 11+13) from Germany will be on the Jewel on Jan 4-9. Our two stops are Grand Cayman and Cozumel. Could anyone give us some good tips on how to spend the precious time at these two places. Our kids would like to see some jungle (I read about a tour through the jungle to a Maja place on Cozumel). But it doesn't seem like the ship offers this kind of tour. On Cayman Island we were told that stingray island is a must. Is it really? Is it 50 sting rays and 1000 people around them?
Would love to hear some comments!
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Hi Ilona, welcome to Cruise-Chat. You have two of the best islands for excursions on your own and snorkeling/diving. If you'll use your "Find" feature in the upper left hand corner and type in your ports, it will pull up all the posts made about them. You might find something that really interests you. Stingray City is fantastic, but you need to take some type of an excursion there because you need a boat. You can do this through the ship or on your own, as Grand Cayman is a pretty safe island to go on your own. Seven mile beach is also a beautiful beach to visit, that you can get to by cab. In Cozumel I have not taken an excursion to a jungle. There are ruins in Tulum, and there should be an excursion for that. Chankanaab Park would be a nice place to visit for your first visit, too. They have all the ammenities and have a swim with the dolphins available. There is snorkeling, nice beach, restaurant, lockers, some shops, restrooms, etc. Hope you have a fantastic cruise, and once again, welcome aboard!
The sting rays would be great & I think your children would enjoy this. You can book an excursion as you get off the ship in Grand Cayman. It's about half the cost as to what you would pay on the ship. I've also been to Sea Grapes which is a beautiful beach. Here they have water activities including parasailing.
I've been to Chankanaab Park for snorkeling but I don't remember what the cost was to get in. We had a coupon from our cab driver so it helped. I want to think it was about $10-$15 per person. I like to shop here but I doubt your children would fine that exciting.
both of the ports are very nice. they are beautiful. A lot depends on what is most important to you. I would hate to see you travel half way around the world and only see a beach. that being said this is what you can do.
In grand cayman rent a taxi to show you the high points. if during your tour you see something that is a must do...get out and do it. it is almost always cheaper to do it on your own then book a ships excursion. I have found that Grand Caymans is very safe. If you want to snorkel at grand caymans there is a great little place within walking distance of the ship that you can snorkel for free. Eden Rock, they also have the equipment you can rent there too. leave the ships port and follow the street to the right, walk about 1/2 mile and you are there. its a blue building.
cozumel is very beautiful and very safe. If a beach snorkel trip is what you want go to chanacanob. it is beautiful. you can do a dolphin excursion there also but it is extra from the entrance fee. the taxi is like 10 dollars each way, and the entrance fee in sept was 15 dollars.
do a search on chanacanob and print off some dollar off coupons. do it just in case you want to go even if you are not sure. you never know..what ever you decide you will absolutely enjoy these ports
I have toured just about all of Cozumel over the years and have never found the "jungle" to be that interesting. I would have a look at Chankanaab--there was a "jungle trail" there with reproduction ruins that was pretty and fun to photograph. Tulum ruins is rather jungle like but again, this is on the mainland. It is an all day deal to see with a lot of the day taken up by transportation. Tulum is NOT on Cozumel island.
Captain Marvins and Moby Dicks both offer tours to the sting rays in Cayman. There are a lot of people there, it is a popular destination, but you will be in a fairly small group with either of these tour operators (you can use the search function on this site to get more references for them) and save a bundle over the ship's costs. No matter how may people are there you will get a chance to see the rays, touch and feed and photograph them. Worth going to, plus you are in the amazing Caribbean sea water--all turquoise blue and sandy bottom. Fun!
Another less expensive option is also a beach break in Cozumel. There are beach clubs with lounges, palm trees, concession, pool, and, of course, the ocean. they charge admission. Cabs are plentiful and fairly inexpensive in Cozumel. It is also probably the safest port in the Caribbean to navigate on your own. You could search Cozumel Beaches on this site and get the names of some clubs to try.
You will have a blast: you are going to two of the cleanest, safest, most fun ports of call.
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I was in Cozumel last week and the entrance fee into Chankanaab was $16usd but we had printed off internet coupons that brought the price down to a total of $56usd for four adults. (unfortunately ages 11 and over pay full price) Even with general admission you will be able to see the dolphins jump and frolic in their captive abode. The kids would probably love a dolphin swim but it is not very budget friendly if you are trying to watch finances. Some people like taxis but I always rent a vehicle and do my own adventure. Beware of hidden fees in car rental agreements. Expect to pay between $50 and $70 for a late model rental car. The main highway around the island of Cozumel is essentially a circle so it's almost impossible to get lost. If all you see is the area around the cruise ships you will be missing some of the most spectacular scenery the Caribbean has to offer. If you journey around the main highway you will see the entrance to San Gervasio (Cozumel's Mayan ruins) just outside of San Miguel. It is only $7usd entrance fee per person. Here are a couple of pictures from my recent trip to Cozumel.
Bridge on the Chankanaab eco-trail
A view of Chankanaab Lagoon
Mother nature showing off near Chen-Rio on the southeastern side of the island.
you just had to post those beautiful pictures huh? now i am really starting to have that empty ache in my heart that I get when I am carribean cruise deprived and it has only been 3 months since I came back.
Cozumel is my favorite port. I absolutely love it.
ok off to search for my next cruise. hopefully for Feb....
you just had to post the pictures. huh?