We are going on our first cruise Aug 22, W/Caribbean on the Glory. The one thing my 15 year old daughter wants to do is swim with dolphins. Our stops are Cozumel (want to go to the beach), Belize, Costa Maya, and Nassau. Anyone done this in these stops before? Wheres the best place to do it? Through the ship or on our own? Anything would be helpful. Thanks so much!
I have been to all those ports.The best way to do a excursion is through carnival. You may pay more but if something happens and you are running late they will hold the ship. Last time we went to belize,a family of 11 was left behind because they went on a local excursion co.they blew a tire and they missed the ship.It cost them mega bucks to get to costa maya to get back where the ship was next.Swimming with the dolphins in cozumel is great.
I hope you all hsve a blast!!!
Hi Lorian, welcome to Cruise-Chat. I sent you a PM, explaining that I moved your post here since it really isn't about the ship. I hope you'll take a look in this section as there are some great suggestions for shore excursions. We normally book ours through the ship, unless we feel comfortable doing one on our own (we've been to the island before and know our way around). For Cozumel I'd recommend Chankanaab Park or Paradise Beach for a nice beach day. Belize-we did a fantastic snorkel through the ship, great reef and water. Costa Maya-beach day, it's sort of a city built for the cruise ships, Nassau-Paradise Island: take a cab to the Atlantis and then you can go to the free beach that is adjacent to the property (Cabbage Beach). You can do your swim with the dolphins in Cozumel at Chankanaab Park on your own or through the ship, I don't think there's much price difference. Then spend the rest of the day enjoying snorkeling and the beach at Chankanaab. Or any of the other ports. Just make sure you do the swim and not the encounter. Best wishes for a fabulous cruise, and once again, welcome aboard!
The swim allows you total interaction with the dolphins. You get to not only pet them, kiss them, and have them swim around you, but you get to have them pull you and the royal swim lets you be pushed by them. The encounter, all you get to do is pet and kiss them. The trainer does all of the hand signals. The swim, they teach you some of the signals, including the one where the dolphin will splash you-really cool. But the swim is amazing. You can feel their power, but they're so gentle. They won't come near you if they feel threatened. On our swim, one lady wanted to wear her swim shoes. Our dolphin, Foxy, wouldn't go near her because she was afraid she'd get kicked by her accidentally. Once she took off her shoes, Foxy swam up to her, picked her up and away they went. The encounter is less expensive, but not nearly as amazing as the swim or the royal swim. They didn't offer the royal when we did ours. I'm going to book it one day.
We did this at Chankanaab a couple years ago. The Royal Swim was the greatest experience. We had table mates who did the encounter and billed it a rip off--they felt they got more out of watching a dolphin show at their local zoo. I can't say that about the Royal Swim! We booked directly with the park. Taxis are plentiful in Cozumel and you can practically see the port from Chankanaab so we had great confidence going on our own. This is also a pretty safe port for going on your own as well. It was worth the extra cost to us--we figure we won't do it again most likely. We also had the freedom to stay and enjoy the small beach, snorkeling from shore, nature walk (they have an impressive display of replica mayan ruins as well as some other cultural/ historical information). A ships tour usually puts you returning to the ship on their schedule. Also the ships tour was a larger group. We had six in our group, our family and two ladies who happened to be from our same ship. The ship's group was larger.
You will wear a life jacket. Senior citizens and small children do this. You even have a jacket on when standing on the platform taking pictures and getting acquainted with the dolphins in case you get distracted and fall.
If you go on your own, or you can also book through Shoretrips.com and make your own schedule, be aware that ship's time and Cozumel may not be the same. Many ships keep the time of the port of departure (Miami, New Orleans, etc.) which may not be local time.
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Last April, in Cozumel, we did the Royal Swim with ShoreTrips. It was excellent and worth the extra money versus the encounter, since this is most likely a once-in-a-lifetime excursion. At least it was with us. You do have to get your own taxi ride to Chankanaab Park which was no big deal. We spent the next few hours, after the swim, snorkeling and sitting on the beach. A very nice time in a beautiful park.