Hello everyone! Our family is going on a first time cruise through Make-A-Wish. Leaving Feb 21st out of Galviston TX, for 7 nights/Western Caribbean. We'll be stopping in Roatan, Honduras; Costa Maya and lastly Cozumel. I don't see many posts for Voyager of the Seas. Would like to hear what people think who have been onboard. Hoping it will be okay!
My daughter's wish is to see some Mayan ruins and then to swim with dolphins. Cozumel seems to have the best opportunities for doing dolphin swims. I'm wondering if anyone has had experience with either Dolphinaris or the ones at Chankannab. I'm leaning towards Dolphinaris for our choice, but would like some input if anyone has any experience with either one or both facilities. Children are 14 and 6. I noticed Dolphinaris has an age minimum of 4, but then a height minimum of 48inches! My 6 yr old is only 43 inches tall. Is this really going to be a problem? Or as long as she is with an adult is it ok?
Since we'd do the Dolphins for our Cozumel excursion, we're looking at seeing the Mayan ruins in Costa Maya. There we are wondering if one is an easier walk than the other. Daughter doesn't have a tremendous amount of stamina right now due to her illness and mom has a quirky back/hip. So we have the choice of doing a Kohunlich Mayan Ruins(6 hrs. 30 mins. with 4 hours total travel time to and from) or doing the Chacchoben Mayan Ruins (4 hours with 2 hours total travel time). I'm leaning towards the Chacchoben ruins just because I know kids aren't going to want to spend 4 hours in a bus. But is the amount of walking around extreme and would you feel "pushed" by the group? Just not sure what to expect for her and am wondering again if anyone has been there and can fill us in!
The stop in Roatan would be on our own, is there something that a family would enjoy or a particular beach that you'd recommend? We'd do maybe a little shopping, but are not avid shoppers unless there is a really good place to get some great souvenirs.
Also, safety issue wise...is there anything that us tourists need to watch out for in particular when going to the aforementioned ports. For some reason, I'm a little nervous about Roatan and Costa Maya? Not sure why.
BTW...I've been lurking on the boards and doing a ton of reading in preparation for the trip and what to pack etc. These boards are great and I truly appreciate the reviews and expertise that people have shared thus far. Great place to do ones research! Thank you!!
Also, on another subject I'm thinking of bringing our formal wear (unpressed so I don't have to worry about wrinkles!) and sending it to the laundry for pressing the first night we get on board. Does everyone do this and would we be pushing it to get it back if the formal night fell on the 2nd night?
I apologize for jumping all over the place! Thank you for your responses. We need to decide quickly on our excursions because Make-A-Wish wants to get those booked ASAP. Thank you everyone!
Welcome to Cruise-Chat, Bonnibren. You and your family are in for an amazing experience, not only the ship itself, but the ports you are visiting are fantastic!
We did the dolphin swim in Chankanaab Park. I don't care where you do it, just do the swim make sure it's either the swim or the royal swim and not the encounter. The encounter does not let you interact with the dolphins, the swim does. We enjoyed Chankanaab Park and after the swim, we did a little snorkeling from the shore. We enjoyed a couple of drinks at the restaurant/cantina, bought the video of our swim and returned to the ship. I'm sure the other place is nice, too.
I've read very good reviews of the Chacchoben ruins, but have not read anything about the other ones. Probably because Chacchoben is closer. We did the Tulum ruins in Cozumel on one trip, but it is an all day process and most of it is spent getting there. The setting is beautiful and the ruins are complete, but the dolphins would be a better day, in my opinion.
In Roatan we did a snorkel trip through the ship that was fabulous. Crystal clear water, good sea life and good coral formations. There have been good reviews on Foster's beach and Tabayana beach. If you'll look through our Caribbean Port Chat section, a little further down on the main page and use your "find" feature in the upper left hand corner; type in Roatan, and it will pull up all the posts made about it. Maybe something there will interest you.
I think bringing you clothes for formal night not pressed is a great idea. Their service is not that expensive, and yes, do it the first night. More than likely your formal night will be your second night.
I have also been to the Tulum ruins it was fun and interesting, but a full day. I agree with the dolphin "swim" we did the swim at Chankanaab park with my twin 9 year old granddaughters they had a blast and the vedio is a wonderful reminder. I haven't been to the other sites, hopefully maybe one of these days.
Whatever you decide you'll have a great time!
Did the Royal Swim at Chankanaab and wouldn't trade the experience for anything. This was worth anything extra we paid to get that kind of personal and extended contact with the animals. Chankanaab is also somewhere you can hang out, swim, maybe snorkel, there are mayan ruin replicas and a nice botanical garden. It is somewhere you can spend some time since you are already there. Cozumel is one of my favorite ports. I feel extremely safe there getting a cab or shopping (this is a foreign country. we don't go off the beaten path alone, no matter how safe I feel, however). My daughter was a very tiny age 10 (at age 16 she is only 4'10") and had a marvelous time.
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You enjoy the Voyager...she is a grea ship...don't miss the ice show and the stroll down the promanade deck.....23 cruises and I still can't sleep the night before going again...oh...I'm leaving in 2 days...won't be sleeping much....Have a wonderful "family" time...
Thank you, thank you everyone for your posts! Now I'm getting even more excited! I'm really wanting to do the dolphin swim, but because of our 6 year old, she's too young. I think the minimum age was 8 on one and 12 on another...I might be wrong can't recall exactly because I've looked at so many! Can we upgrade when we get there??? Like if we go to the park and before we do the encounter if we can, pay the extra for an upgrade then?
We are getting so excited. We leave 3 weeks from tomorrow and I'm already not sleeping well. Thinking about it all night long! LOL It's like a dream come true for us...one of my hearts desires that I never thought would happen! whooo hoooo!
BonniBren as you say,"a dream come true"; sailing is a dream for most of us, whether its our first or the last one we did...I am so pleased for you and your family and know that it will be an experience that you will never forget..Enjoy each and every minute of your upcoming cruise and thankyou Make-A-Wish !