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Old 01-28-2006, 07:30 PM
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Hey All,
I was told by a friend that I have made a HUGE mistake in booking a Carnival cruise (Valor-Western Carr.) because it goes to 2 tender ports. According to my friend, I will either have to book all excursions through the ship, or basically wait around all day just to get off the ship. She said Carnival forces you to wait until the guests that have booked their excursions have departed at each tender port. THEN the other guests can leave. She also stated that they lost 1 excursion because of this policy. Anyone know anything about this? I'm concerned because we are traveling with our 4 children and we cannot afford Carnival's excursion prices. I've asked Carnival about this twice and they either can't or won't answer my question.

Thanks in advance!
Christie

Monarch of the Seas - 2003
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Old 01-29-2006, 03:57 AM
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You'll be fine. I assume one of the ports is Belize?? It is a little bit of a pain in the neck to deal with the tenders but the tour operators will wait for you. Go cave tubing if you can- book through Reggie at A-1 Tours- 45 bucks each and he will definitely wait for you. The kids will enjoy the tender ride.

Hey- what can you do? You already booked it. There will be pluses that outweight that minus. Cozumel is a 100% tender port now that the pier washed away... would I skip Cozumel just because I had to tender? NO WAY.

BTW: I cruised Carnival with four of my kids last summer- no spouse with me. You can do it! they will love it. If they start dragging after Port #1 then just leave them on the ship at the next port and go enjoy yourselves.
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Old 01-29-2006, 08:27 AM
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Christie,

I would recommend getting all of the details up front regarding your concerns about getting tendered in in plenty of time to meet your private excursion. I just got done with talking to who we booked our private excursions through after reading your post, and she set my mind at ease about getting to our meeting place on time. It would be safe to say not to book an excursion privately within that first hour of the ship arriving, if Carnival does have that policy of getting all of their private excursions tendered in first...then you will still be safe. Having this information that you do from your friend, Definately bring your concerns up front to the outfit in which you are looking to book privately. We cruised Royal Caribbean last year, and booked through the same private outfit in 3 ports, and was very impressed with their service. Therefore we are again booking through the same outfit in both Belize, and Grand Cayman {We are also cruising on the VALOR, actually I think it is the same week...}
Your friend might be correct with the info that she gave you about Carnival's tendering policy, We have cruised Carnival before as well...but I am not remembering that policy.
The advice given to us was to get down to the tenders as soon as possible, expect a line of course....but try and be the first in line once all of the Carnival excursion folks have gotten their tenders. Again, check with each individual outfit about this concern..they should be able to advise you as well.

Let me know if you would like some info on the private excursion outfit that we booked through., I would be happy to get that to you!

Joan
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Old 01-29-2006, 10:40 AM
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Hi I was just on the Miracle and we tendered in belize and in cozumel and in cayman, you really need not worry about getting off the ship in timly manner, if you do not book on cruise, that is mostly scare tactics so you book through them, so they get thier kickbacks, we booked 3 tours off the ship and one on the ship. the tenders are of course given to the on board cruise tours first, but they do have a set up in the morning where you go to get your tender # to leave ship we went down at 8:00 and got our number we were # 1, so we waited about 30 minutes till we were called our tour was for 9:45 and we had a hour to spare when we reached the pier, in Cayman. we did a beach break in cozumel and just got a availble taxie for the 3 of us it was 15.00 oneway to playa mia and we had taxie to come back to pier, they are out there waiting all day, with time to spare to have cold drink and shop alittle. we did not even need a tender number just got downstairs and stood in short line for maybe 10 minutes or so we were in no great hurry to meet a tour so it worked out ok we were at the beach by 10.00 am, Belize my son and friend, decided at 10 00 pm the night before to do a tour in Belize I stayed on board did the laundry and relaxed, they had all the information in the tickets so they got off with the carnival tour tenders, no waiting they were taking anyone who was downstairs ready to leave for shore, so do not ponder being late, I do try to make any reservations after 9:30 in morning when tenders are involved, just to be a bit safe and when you get on shore there are so many venders trying to get you to use thier tours you have lots to choose from besides the ships tours and to be honest some of the tours are the exact thing you booked only 20 to 30 dollars cheaper after you land. so get up early we did room service and left at 8:00 and just waited in lobby for our # and jumped in the line when it slowed down, in Costa Maya we choose to rent golf carts really should have taken taxie, as it was less expensive but it was our first time there we will do it differently next time cart was 60.00 for the whole day taxie was 3.00 p/p one way to the beach town we went to, nothing really to see there with the cart, as you were only allowed to go to certain areas with it, but it was Fun anyway, we got to stop along the way for photo opts. there was another little beach place but it was raining on our way back so we just decided to head back to the pier and hang out there free pool and swim up bar and grat resturant. not to mention more shopping. enjoy and relax and have FUN
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Old 01-29-2006, 06:07 PM
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Thanks, everyone, for the information! I guess I do need to relax. It's just that this is the last real family vacation before my oldest goes to college and I just want it to be perfect! Joan, I would love to hear about your tour information. You can email it to me if you prefer - spivey1d@gmail.com. And peachcrek, it was a relief to hear that it's not as bad as I thought. If I'm understanding you correctly, we should go to the lobby early in the morning and get a # that tells us when we can leave the ship? Carlalena, you had fun with your kids, huh? I'm glad to hear it. I'll try to breath, relax, and just have fun!

Christie
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Old 01-30-2006, 02:45 PM
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Christie: we did have a LOT of fun. I wrote a review- here it is:

http://www.cruisereviews.com/Carniva.../Elation79.htm
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Old 01-30-2006, 03:30 PM
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to jmsettles: i would be interested in the company that you used to book your off ship excursions. we are going to belize, roatan, and costa maya and are considering using island marketing for shore excrusions. any info would be appreciated. thanks
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Old 01-30-2006, 04:15 PM
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We booked our reservations through Island Marketing last year when we cruised, and were very happy with their services in 3 different ports....not one complaint!
Here is how to contact them, and see what excursions they have to offer in many ports.

http://grandcaymancruiseexcursions.c...keting_Ltd.htm

We are booked through them again in Belize, and Grand Cayman in March. I would highly recommend the stingray city "buccaneer catamaran" excursion that they offer in Grand Cayman. We did this excursion last year, and are doing it again this year while in Grand Cayman. It was an amazing time! Some other people in our group that we cruised with last year went on the stingray city excursion booked through Royal Caribbean, and they did not have near the experience that we did....and at a fraction of the cost

Let me know if you have trouble contacting Island Marketing Ltd. for reservations. The cool part with this website is that you can talk to a live person via Instant messaging to answer any of your questions prior to booking anything through them. They are very informative about all of the excursions that they offer, and in every port they offer them in. Sorry if I am sounding like a sales rep for them.....I just found them amazing to work with to make our excursions more affordable and fun!!

joan
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Old 01-30-2006, 05:51 PM
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Joan,
Thanks! I've been skimming through the website. They definitely have a lot to offer. I'm sure it will all work out, and I appreciate your help (and everyone else's!) Hopefully I'll see you on the Valor!
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Old 01-30-2006, 07:46 PM
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Carl I read your review I was just curious you said you had to pay 16.00 per person for the taxie in cozumel? I was just there last month and I have been there 5 times in the last 6 years. you should have paid only 16.00 for the whole party, there were 3 of in in january took cab to play mia which is just down the road from where you went it was flat 16.00 for the 3 of us and we tipped him the 4.00, so next time you go to cozumel watch out as if you paid 16.00 for each of you, you got majorly ripped off.
 
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