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SheilaB 01-02-2010 08:48 AM

Hello! We are looking forward to a Carnival Cruise on June 20, 2010 to Cozumel, Jamaica and Caymen Island. We have excursions in mind for Cozumel (Paradise Beach) and Caymen Island (the turtle farm) but we are having a hard time deciding what to do in Jamaica. My 12 yr old daughter would like to zip line. I had my eye on the tubbing down the river trip, but I am not sure if I can take my 8 yr old son who is not a strong swimmer, but does fine with a life jacket.

I have seen some posts on other sites that warn against booking outside of the cruise line.

On the Carnival website all of the Jamaican excursions must be booked onboard - so at this time I can't even see prices. We will be docking at Mantego Bay therefore Dunn falls will be too long of a trip with two kids.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

spoheat 01-02-2010 02:16 PM

I have reviewed tubing down the White River on this site previously (this is the river tubing from Ocho). Our daughter did it when she was 8 and she is an extremely tiny person. You do have a life jacket. There is only enough "rapids" to make you feel like you have had a little adventure. The tubes have a metal bottom on them so that you don't "bump" in the shallow water and you would be pretty hard pressed to tip out of one. The scenery is beautiful. The guides, like so many people in Jamaica (not sellers!) are personable, talkative and happy in their work and seemed to like people in general and my kids in particular. My tiny daughter had a guide to herself who made sure she never got hung up on the banks. It was a wonderful time. Take a waterproof camera. One our favorite tours.

We did tube on the Great River (I think that is what is was called) out of Mo-Bay.
The water in March was extremely low. It was not as scenic and not particularly fun or worth it. Hope this helps.

Other things we have done with children in Jamaica is climb Dunns River Falls and tour a private estate garden (you make a human chain at the falls, it was okay with kids but I like the tubing better), horseback ride on a plantation and the beach (this through which is our favorite thing we have done there.

I do not advocate going it alone in Jamaica, even for a short shopping trip. Stick with a ship's tour or (they are USA based, and insured, and haven't had anyone miss a ship in 8 years). Jamaica is pathetically poor with about 30% unemployment and a very high crime rate. Culturally the people trying to sell you stuff (give you a tour, braid your hair) are the most aggressive merchants I have ever encountered and many veteran cruisers stay on the ship rather than deal with them.

SheilaB 01-03-2010 07:13 AM

Laurie -
Thank you so much for the good information. You gave me a lot to think about I know my daughter and I would enjoy the horseback riding, but I am not sure my hubby or 8 yr old son would like it.

We have been watching the travel channel all weekend and they have been showing a cruise marathon with Samantha Brown! I have also been reading the boards here and on the Carnival website - I think I have cruise fever now! Ha! Thanks again!!

417rogers 01-09-2010 06:45 AM

Hi Sheila,
Exact same thing as what Laurie stated. We did the White River tubing with our 10 & 6 year old daughters. My youngest had a guide the whole time. You do get seperated at times but I never had that "danger feeling". Out of the four of us I was the only one who flipped out but got right back on. I have some pics if you want to see how "rough it can get" also of the guide helping...send me a pm . Have fun.

trp2181 02-04-2010 02:08 PM

Dunn's river falls and Dolphin cove were great. Dolphin cove you get to relax and watch or participate in swimming with the stingrays or sharks. We just sat on the beach and relaxed. The only problem with anything you do in Jamaica is the greediness of the vendors. If you look at them they want money even if you book through the ship which is still the best thing to do. In Cozumel you can visit the mall shops down the main street. Taxi drivers tend to take you to the part of the mall where they get a commission if they drop you off at a particular store and you buy something. Grand Caymans was my favorite. Take a bus to any part of the beach (we took it to the Hilton area down the street) and sit on the beach and enjoy the warm water. Bring your goggles. Hope it helps. Enjoy!

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