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-   -   shore excursions with royal caribbean or not (http://www.cruisereviews.com/forum/ports-call-chat/4522-shore-excursions-royal-caribbean-not.html)

mip 01-16-2005 08:42 PM

This is our families first cruise and we are going to take the western caribbean: Key West;Grand Cayman;and Cozumel.At Key West it looks like the excursions are not for a young family therefore we are thinking about taking the catamaran champagne sunset sail, has anyone taken this excursion?Grand Cayman we are unsure if we should do the stringray city with the cruise line; CaptainMarivin, or Soto's any suggestions? Cozumel we would like to do the doplin swim any suggestions?If you have gone on your own has anyone had any big problems or regrets not sticking with the cruiseline?At stingray city I have read the cruiseline takes way too many people is this true?Is it hard to communicate with the people or taxi drivers. What beaches would anyone suggest in Grand Cayman or Cozumel?How about snorklig?

mip 01-16-2005 08:42 PM

This is our families first cruise and we are going to take the western caribbean: Key West;Grand Cayman;and Cozumel.At Key West it looks like the excursions are not for a young family therefore we are thinking about taking the catamaran champagne sunset sail, has anyone taken this excursion?Grand Cayman we are unsure if we should do the stringray city with the cruise line; CaptainMarivin, or Soto's any suggestions? Cozumel we would like to do the doplin swim any suggestions?If you have gone on your own has anyone had any big problems or regrets not sticking with the cruiseline?At stingray city I have read the cruiseline takes way too many people is this true?Is it hard to communicate with the people or taxi drivers. What beaches would anyone suggest in Grand Cayman or Cozumel?How about snorklig?

NancyN 01-17-2005 01:16 PM

There are a few variables to your questions. First, be advised that you are totally responsible and liable for all aspects of an excursion that you do not book through the cruise. As an example: If you are late and miss the ship you are responsible for making arrangements to get back onboard. If it is a ship's excursion and you are detained the ship will wait for you or make arrangements to get you onboard.

With that said, the stingray snorkel in Grand Cayman and swimming with the dolphins in Cozumel can easily be done on your own. I have used both Captain Marvin and Captain Bryan in Grand Cayman and preferred Capt.Bryan only because he uses catamarans. Both offer a much more preferable small group experience The dolphin encounter is done at Chankanaab National Park and can be booked directly, but it is a very popular excursion. If you have not booked well in advance - it is often sold out.

Can't help you with the sunset sail in Key West, perhaps someone else can chime in.
Nancy

NancyN 01-17-2005 01:24 PM

Ooops - forgot to mention beaches. In Grand Cayman I can definitely recommend SeaGrape Beach on Seven Mile Beach (across the street from the Holiday Inn - beyond the Wyndham).

For Cozumel there are a number of choices. Tom did a special report on the Cozumel Beaches that you can find at our sister site www.PortReviews.com which you might find helpful.
Nancy

snickerd 01-17-2005 06:31 PM

I booked the swim with the dolphins through Princess last July. We ALMOST had to cancel, due to weather - it was a torrential downpour. Princess would have refunded our money, but I can't guarantee that if we had booked it independently, if we would have gotten a refund, had it been cancelled.

BTW - it was worth every penny we paid. It was an AMAZING experience. The video afterwards is $50, but I didn't care if it was $100, I was going to buy the memories of this incredible and unforgettable encounter (we bought some pictures too).

Oggy Boy 01-17-2005 08:04 PM

For the ports you are visiting, you can pretty much "do your own thing" without too much reservation. Nancy is right, though, realize that if you miss the ship, you are on your own.

I would plan a cushion of at least an hour to make the last tender or departure time. This way, you are almost assured of making the sailing time.

Virtually all of the taxi drivers will speak some English (for sure in Grand Cayman) but learning a couple of words in Spanish, will help dramatically.

Have a great cruise!

Tom


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