Originally posted by Debdo:
Thanks for all the advice! I'm going to book everything thru Carnival my first time out. Since I'm not only responsible for myself, but also my daughters, and I'm not familiar with any of the ports, I think this is the best choice for me. I'm sure I'll pay more, but I'll have peace of mind! Happy cruising!
I think you should take me with you so that I can "properly" guide you through the ports!!LOL
I think using Carnival this first time is a good idea.
The "things to do" in the various ports is:
Cozumel - swim with the dolphins
Grand Cayman - swim with the stingrays
Belize - cave tubing
Roatan - Ziplining. But I don't think Carnival has replaced the zipline company yet. Several months ago the zip line at GP broke and a lady from Houston was killed. While sadly this was a freak accident....all the cruise lines used the same tour operator...so all ziplining was cancelled. Victor Bodden does an amazing zipline at South Park...but he is an independent. Oddly enough, while the lady was killed...the guide who was on the line assisting her at the time the line broke...was not killed.
Originally posted by BJC123:
Can we ask for recommendations for specific tour operators on this site? I would like to check on mine if we can ...
We used Yhony in Belize (cave-tubing.com) and he was amazing. Reggie is also good. I have not heard of them missing the ship...but since that is always a possibility...I like to let folks know that ahead of time.
Grand Cayman lots of folks use Captain Marvin.
Cozumel...people just grab a taxi to Paradise Beach or Chankanaab Park. There are more taxis than sand!!
Roatan- Victor Bodden is the most popular.
We just grabbed a taxi but in Roatan they stay with you the whole time. Not a problem. Carlos (Taxi 272) was wonderful. It was $20 a person for about 3 hours. We could have stayed longer...but we were not in port that long.
And there are some trinket shops right at the pier that I wanted to wander through.
LHP, I can certainly see that you are an experienced cruiser! What a lot of great adventures you must have had!
Thanks for the advice about what to do, where. We've looked at the excursions, and my girls want to do cave tubing, swim with the stingrays, parasailing, and a beach day. I might substitute swimming with the dolphins in there somewhere because my oldest daughter would love it. Youngest daughter isn't so sure about the stingray swim (you know, the old "barb through the heart" thing). We shall see!
The swim with the dolphins is an awesome experience, but the stingray swim is great too. I enjoyed the dolphins more because you actually interacted with them. There were so many people screaming and jumping around with the stingrays, it was hard to enjoy. We did get away from the crowds and it was better, but the dolphin swim was totally amazing.
Someone mentioned asking for private tour recommendations....I was wondering if anyone had a good recommendation for St. Thomas, Casa de Campo, and San Juan? Any type of activity recommendation would be appreciated as there will be seven of us, and we all like different things...
Daughter wants to snorkel, wife wants to shop, son wants beach activity, wife wants to shop, wife likes walking tours, wife wants to shop....
If you are planning on doing a dolphin swim (don't confuse this with a dolphin encounter which I have heard described as a "rip" by many) don't wait to book. Better to book and cancel--this adventure sells out fast. We booked at Cozumel through Shoretrips.com--it won't save you much over the ship, but you will have a smaller group, you depend on the very plentiful cabs for transportation so you can stay in the park as long as you would like instead of being herded back to the ship and shopping areas before you are ready to go.
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