Just planning my shore excursions for my first cruise. I had a bunch of questions!
In Key West, we were planning on doing the kayaking tour - has anyone taken this, or have other suggestiong?
Cozumel, we are going to try scuba diving. However, this trip ends at 1:30 and we are in port until 8:00. We would love to get some snorkeling in as well, but RCI does not offer any afternoon trips we could take. Does anyone have suggestions on what to do for the rest of the day, and if we could fit snorkeling in (maybe from an outside tour group?)
In Costa Maya - we are going to check out the Ruins (on a 4 hour trip to Chacchoben. What can we do for the rest of the day? Do they have a nice beach area? We're done with the ruins around 1, and are in port until 6.
In Grand Cayman - we are going to take Captain Marvins' full day tour. I've heard lots of great things about these trips from this message board.
One general question - I've never been scuba diving or snorkeling, I wear contacts. Is that ok, or should I bring glasses to wear for these trips?
I just returned from Cozumel (on the Inspiration) and might help with your general question. I wear glasses--can't see without them- and they do not work with the face masks. It is amazing, but once you put the mask on and get it into the water everything is very clear. I don't know why, but it is. If you are concerned, wear your contacts.
Also, for scuba diving, I was under the assumption that you had to be certified to go on these trips. You might want to check it out.
As for the Scuba trip, its a "discover scuba diving" tour where you don't have to be certified. I thought I would try it out before shelling out the cash for certification!burtie wrote:
> I just returned from Cozumel (on the Inspiration) and might
> help with your general question. I wear glasses--can't see
> without them- and they do not work with the face masks. It
> is amazing, but once you put the mask on and get it into the
> water everything is very clear. I don't know why, but it
> is. If you are concerned, wear your contacts.
> Also, for scuba diving, I was under the assumption that you
> had to be certified to go on these trips. You might want to
> check it out.
here is the RCCL excursion:
SeaTrek Discover Scuba Diving 2.5 hours - 11:00 - 1:30
If you have ever wanted to try scuba diving, heres your chance! This tour has been designed for the non-certified diver. After receiving 45 minutes of instruction and orientation from a PADI instructor, youll don full scuba gear and enter the water directly from the beach. A few minutes are spent in waist-deep water for you to get used to breathing underwater. Youll then head out with the instructor, who will guide you in the exploration of this new and amazing world of fish and coral. The dive site reaches a maximum of 25 feet. All equipment is included. Some health restrictions apply. See your SeaTrek instructor at the Shore Excursion Desk for details.
The Discover Scuba Diving sounds like a blast. I'd love to try that myself although I'm concerned about the water temp in Feb. We are leaving for Enchantment Feb 10. Which ship are you sailing on? My last trip to Cozumel was 15 years ago so we are going to Chankanaab this time (can anyone give me the correct pronunciation?). Have a great time.
I'm not a fan of ship's excursions. I don't like mob scenes. In Cozumel I've booked with a private instructor for the same resort course, and we'll be just 3 people for better $$. On Grand Cayman, Captain Marvin as you've heard is the best game in town.
Do your homework and check out alternatives. As fr as your extra time in Cozumel, cab it to the beach club at the Palancar Reef and you can have some of the best snorkeling in the world. Grabd Cayman, if you have time, 2 blocks to the left of the tender pier is Eden Roc of "The Firm" fame, and you can walk in an snorkel there as well.
hers's my input as someones who is being certified and did the intro dive, neat but not really smart now that i know more, do to your local dive shop, many will give you a free try at it. or for a small cost.
Since i am a nose breather i found diving difficult and could have really done some harm if i had paniced, which i didnt get a chance to as the guide held my hand in case i did, kinda ruined the dive.
Now im more comfortable, and know how to signal help, can dive and put my regulator back in or my mask back on if it gets kicked.
your out with other ameteurs, you dont think to look for who you might kick as you turn to see something or look for someone.
Where are you? Maybe i know somewhere you can go try before you go.
My husband and I went on the kayak tour in July of 2000. It wasn't that great. It was interesting kayaking through the mango trees, but we didn't really see anything there. We saw a few jelly fish and a few blue herrons, but we have those in our back yard. They told us that manatees winter there, but we were there in July. We looked around for some nurse sharks, but didn't see any. We paddled past Jimmy Buffet's former residence...whoopee. We would rather have spent our time walking around town, because we weren't there very long. We ended up with just a couple of hours to see the town. Nothing against the tour guides themselves. They were informative and fun. Maybe it was just the wrong time of year.
I've got to second Alice's opinion. My husband and I are both certified divers. I seem to recall from our last cruise that most of the resort course dives are one tank trips, and cost about the same as a certified two-tank dive. I don't know any divers that would go on a one-tank dive if they could take a two-tank trip! It is definitely worth having the training before you go.
I have an acquaintance that did a resort course near the end of his trip. Looking back he wished he had gotten certified first so he could spend more time diving. It is certainly a very addictive sport!
Both Cozumel and Grand Cayman have world-class diving. It would be a shame if you found you really liked diving, and wished you had tried it sooner..
Last year we did our first Caribbean dives. Just my two cents, but we were very glad that we had done some diving in Jamaica and Grand Cayman before diving in Cozumel. Cozumel diving is drift diving, which means your dive follows the current. The dive boat follows your bubble trail and picks you up after the dive. It wasn't overly difficult, but it was good to have practiced our skills where the current wasn't as strong. I must say that the diving in Cozumel is quite spectacular and it is (so far, at least) my favorite place to dive.
If you do decide to get certified first, I would suggest making your own arrangements for diving, rather than going through the ship. We were a little disheartened by the "diving courtesy" of the other divers from the ship. The other divers were rather careless, doing things like standing on the ocean floor (animals do live beneath the sand), kicking us in our masks, and separating dive buddies. We quickly learned to either be in the front of the group with the dive leader, or trail along in the back with the rear divemaster.
By the way, no problem snorkeling or scuba diving with contacts. My husband and I both wear them while diving. Unless your mask has an incredibly bad seal, the water in your mask will not reach eye level.
Thank you for reading my rather lengthy post. Whatever you choose to do on your cruise, I hope you have a great time!
We sailed on the Sea Princess last year in March. Water temps in Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel were around 80 degrees. We usually wear a wetsuit when diving at that temperature, although some people seem fine without one. Dive operators almost always have them for rent, if you don't own one.
Certainly up to you, but if you are seriously interested in diving, getting certified before your trip is the best way to go. Either way, I hope you have a fun trip!