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jamesksf 02-19-2012 01:19 PM

Western Caribbean Shore Excursions
Hi all, I am a first cruiser and just joined Carnival Dream 7 days to Western Caribbean in May.
We are going to Cozemel, Belize, Mahogany Bay (Isla Roatan) and Costa Maya.

We plan to purchase the dolphin swim and a Maya ruin.

I am wondering if we need to purchase 2 more activities from Carnival? It's quite expensive. We simply want to go to a beach or a walk only.

Can we choose not to purchase and go to the beaches/markets ourselves?Thanks~:)

MCPayne 02-19-2012 01:43 PM

You are under no obligation to purchase shore excursions through the cruise line. So, yes, you can just do shore excursions on your own. You don't mention which ports you want to do the activities you want to purchase at. Be advised, however, the ship will not wait for you if you are late getting back to the ship. You must be back onboard 30 minutes prior to sailing. Example, if it says you are in Cozumel until 7:00, you must be back on board at 6:30 ship time.

This brings up another issue. Make sure you check the daily planner, and listen for announcements whether or not to change your watches. It is up to the Captain whether or not to change the ship time to match the local island time. If they do not, the ship time in some cases will be one hour later than local island time, so be sure you keep your watch on ship time, otherwise, you will miss the ship, and have to catch up at your expense.

jamesksf 02-19-2012 02:03 PM

Thanks for the input.
I don't have a concrete plan yet. I probably go to Mayan site in Costa Maya and dolphin swim in mahogany bay.

Any suggestions for Cozemel and Belize? If I am going to the beach and marketplace there, is it necessary to purchase their excursions.
Or I can simply walk there for free?

MCPayne 02-19-2012 03:25 PM

In Cozumel, you will probably have to take a cab to one of the beach clubs. They are right at the pier when you get off the ship, and there will be cabs waiting at the beach clubs to take you back to the ship. The one beach club I went to that I liked was Paradise Beach. I think it was about a $15-20 cab ride from the ship. They take US dollars in Cozumel, so don't bother exchanging your money.

There is no entry fee for Paradise Beach, as the impression is you'll spend money while you're there. Lounge chair use is $2 US, and use of their aqua park (large inflatables that they put in the water) is $12 US. There is a restaurant on the premises as well for lunch, and for drinks.

I can't say anything for Belize, as I haven't been there.

If you don't want to venture out on your own, then maybe check, which offers shore excursions for maybe cheaper than the ship.

jamesksf 02-19-2012 04:18 PM

Thanks. Your experience really helps, so I only need to check for Belize now~

peter l 02-20-2012 01:17 PM

In belize there is a market place where the ship comes in and you can walk around the plaza and check out all the various vendors and I believe there is a pool area as well as a place to swim nearby. When we were there we made that stop a quick one and headed back to the ship and enjoyed the luxury of smaller crowds in and around the pool area.

Enjoy your cruise.

Peter l

penny3333 02-21-2012 06:30 AM

In Belize, you have to tender into the actual city. This means, they use smaller boats to take you from your ship to the shore. Belize would actually be a place I'd do an excursion, either through the ship or through shoretrips. The snorkeling there is fantastic. In Costa Maya, you can grab a cab to go downtown, actually it's to the actual city which is a quaint little fishing village. We went to the Tropicante and had a great time. We were able to get a table and chairs, they also had loune chairs available. They had great service, you never went hungry or thirsty, and they ran a tab for us. The restaurant/bar itself is across from the beach, but the chairs are right on the beach. It's a great way to spend the day, good snorkeling, too.

Hope you have a marvelous time!

29dawgs 02-22-2012 06:39 PM

We were just in Belize last week and booked a cave tubing trip through Reggie Tours. We had a blast!! Dennis picked us up at the dock and we were the only ones that had booked with them, so we had a private tour. Dennis was great. He was so much fun and taught us a lot about Belize. After tubing we meet his wife for lunch. We got so much more than others we talked to who booked through the ship.

jamesksf 02-24-2012 02:37 PM

I just checked the cave tubing in Belize from Reggie Tours, it's half of the Carnival's price! Where did you have your lunch?

29dawgs 02-25-2012 11:25 AM

I do not remember the name of the restaurant. It was a place that Dennis recommend. He said that it was one of he and his wife's favorite places. It was only a few minutes from the cruise terminal and had outside water front dinning. We enjoyed it and very reasonable prices.

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