I was hoping someone can help me w/ these locations. I will be cruising there on the 14th of April. I'm looking for a great place to snorkel in Cozumel and if you have any other must do's please let me know. I went to the Bahamas two years ago and really wished I would have stayed on the boat so i just would like some advice. Thank you...
There is a huge difference between the Bahamas and Grand Caymen, and Cozumel. For MUST do's the obvious one is Stingray City in Grand Caymen. You can do the stingrays and snorkeling in a combo tour but the stingrays are a must. Cozumel... snorkeling can be had just about anywhere. If you want to save some money and not pay for a ships tour, just catch a taxi to Paradise Beach But you should have fun with any water tour you take too. There are Mayan Ruins to be seen in Cozumel but those tours take up the whole day so unless you plan on coming back to Cozumel, you may want to hold off on that until you get back.
Jamacia- I personally hate the place. The constant and unrelenting begging for money puts me off. But if you are willing to brave that, there are many fun tours there.. Dunns River falls is something everyone says to see. Its pretty good. There is "ZipLine Canopy "tours which are fun or you can just hit Jimmy's Margarittaville. I now there is one in Montego Bay, I assume there is one in Ocho Rios Just be careful if you venture out on your own. Don't fall for the "round trip" taxi fare. If you pay your taxi driver for round trip, he won't be coming back (unless you only pay half )
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I myself loved Ocho Rios it was very nice if you know how to handle the people just say no thank you and they step off, that was my experiance. So it is up to you to see and make your own mind up but yes Dunns River falls is a must if you are in ocho Rios what an experiance. try horseback riding in the ocean that is great as well.
Parrothead, I've got to agree with JimC. We HATED Jamaica. Never again!!! EVER. Just my opinion. We did Dunns River Falls and it was spectacular. Bring your waterproof camera if you go. I will say Jamaica is geographically one of the most beautiful places we've seen yet. Especially from the ship when you're docked in port.
As for Cozumel, personally, we feel it's the best snorkeling we've ever encountered (other than Belize). We always go to Chakanuub Park to snorkel. It's about a 15 minute cab ride from the pier. We've always rented a car right at the pier and gone it ourselves. It's a straight shot down the road from the pier. It is absolutely gorgeous. Great reefs and tropical fish. You can get food and drinks there as well. Absolutely Pristine. Shopping is good in downtown Cozumel with reasonable prices.
If you've never been to G. Cayman, the Stingray City tour is a MUST. I was in awe of the stingrays feeding out of my hand. The excursion guide even picked a few up and rubbed them over our backs for a backrub. They are so smooth. Some will even rub up against your legs. Our photos of our time there are incredible. G. Cayman is on the expensive side for shopping. If you go, try the conch fritters in town.
Hope you have a fun trip! Let me know what you think when you get back home.
There is a Margaritaville in Ocho - it is in the Island Village shopping area which is just a couple of minutes walk from the pier. The authorities have been keeping the area between the pier and Island Village cleared of vagrants and other annoyances, so it is a safe walk.
Parrothead, I might also add... we hated the Bahamas as well. Jamaica reminds me of the Bahamas, only scarier. If we ever went back to Bahamas we would do an excursion only. We ventured out on our own through the straw market and into town. It was our first cruise 10 years ago and we didn't know any different. Again, just my opinion.
Jamaica: Dunn River Falls
Cayman: Stingray city or 7 mile beach
Cozumel: Chakanuub Park
Jamaica is a 3rd world nation, the people depend on tourist to survive. They are a little touchie feelie and you will be called pretty lady if you are a female a thousand times. Just say no and move, if they persist look them in the eye and say it a little firmer. They will usally move on by then. I love Jamaica, I have been to many 3rd world nation and I'm not offended by their advances, however I can see how many would be scared or annoyed by this..
ocho rios must see is dunn's river falls, and as Dave mentioned the mall next to the pier has a margaritaville within walking distance.
Grand Cayman has 3 major attractions stingray city, hell (a small town with a post office and some wierd rock formations) and a turtle farm. they have a tour that does all 3....personally i brought my own snorkel gear and went off the shore near hammerheads bar and grill...snorkeled the same area for free that the ship charged $40 a head for...and in between tour boats it was really good snorkeling.
Cozumel...was devestated by hurricane wilma. I was there in sept. and posted pictures of the pier damage, we were ripped off at Chakanaab park because nobody mentioned the damage there untill after we payed our $16 admission at the gate. there is no good snorkeling unless you go on a boat excursion..there are a few that go to multiple sites for cheap. Do not waste your time or money on Chakanaab Park. It is just an overpriced beach park, not the great snorkel spot that so many remember from pre-wilma days.
Hell on Grand Cayman is real cheeezy. Stingray City is a must. The turtle farm was interesting, but lost some of it's charm when we learned that some of the turtles were being raised for food, not for the replenishment of the species.
Jamaica (Ochos Rios) is one of our favorite ports. Dunn's River is fabulous, but not being acosted by the people selling stuff--for that reason we have like other excursions better. Unemployment is 30% there. You and your money are the only game in town which explains some of the grabby/pushy culture. I wouldn't go walking around alone there. We have done river tubing and horseback riding on the beach, among other things. We felt safe in the van, with the guides, got to see some countryside. The guides for any activity have been wonderful to my girls, always pleasant and happy. We also usually go on our excursions in the morning. We have been aware of the drug culture there, hear the banter between the guides and helpers about it--but haven't seen or smelled it on these tours. The shanty-towns and "homes" we have passed are not reassuring looking either.
All in all, we still have enjoyed Ocho and would go again, even with the kids. Everyone has different experiences and expectations.
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