Our Ocho Rios stop has already been accounted for, as has the Key West stop. We planned to do the Dolphin Encounter in Cozumel, but just received an email indicating that they're booked the day we're there.
I need help from those of you who've been on my itinerary. I think we're going to do Stingry City in Cayman. We're only in Cayman from 7-3:30. Am I better off booking an excursion through the ship due to time constraints?
Now that our Cozumel plan has been thrown out the window, I'd like suggestions for our day there. I've read a lot about Passion Island? How did you book an excursion there? Is that a good choice or can you offer other suggestion?
For grand cayman, try contacting nativeways - they were excellent and FAR CHEAPER than the ship price. they'll meet you at the dock and return you in plenty of time. book them ahead (you won't have to give a deposit) - just let them know what time you need to be back - you'll get on the first trip in the morning and likely be back by noon or so - still a few hours for shopping'
When we were in Cozumel we spent the day at Chankanaab Park and had a great time. They have snorkeling right off the beach, a botanical garden, a Mayan ruins replica, the sea lion show (the dolphins are there to and you see them even if you can't swim with them). They also offer the Sea Trek there which we did. They offer restrooms, showers, lockers, restaurants, and bars. There are plenty of beach chairs and shade. I spoke with some other people who did the Catamaran trip and they had a great time on that.
In Grand Cayman we did the Stingray tour through Soto's Cruises. $24/pp and there were only 14 on our boat. We had a great time and I would use them again. Hope this helps.
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My advice would be book through the cruiseline for Stingray city. We were there for about 8 hours and the tour ran pretty close to the time to get back to the ship. we didnt have much time to anything else. I always like to be on the safe side. I would of liked to spend more time Grand Cayman, I would of liked to see more the island. I also did the Dolphin Encounter in Cozumel. It's ok the dolphins are kept in a small area and you get to interact with them a little. Like kiss them etc. We did this excursion because we weren't comfortable with the dolphin swim(we aren't great swimmers). We also went to Chankanaub park after the dolphin encounter which was really nice. I know there is a lot to do there. It was a short ride from the pier.
We didn't book a thing in Cozumel. We just walked and shopped along the water. A lot of shops and resterants to explore. Great place to buy vanilla. The jewlery shops are great there and also in Grand Cayman. If you buy jewlery make sure it is from a jewler on the ships list so that way it is guarenteed. We felt very safe to explore Cozumel on our own. Not like Ochos Rios, I wouldn't go off the ship with out being on an excursion or a tour guide.
I would and will be booking with Capt. Marvin for Stingray city. We took the tour with him two years ago and had the best time. A nice all day trip on the Miss Anne with two stops to snorkel, another to hunt conche, which we ate later at our beach lunch and Stingray city. plenty of time to do it all and they drop you off at the tender launch. The boat only holds about twenty people including three crew and that was nice. Not to small but not to big. We saw some large barge style boats with 50 + people on them from the cruise ships. Not for me.
Sting Ray City is an exclusive tour you will ever do. There is nothing like it. We did it when we were in Cayman for a week and I highly recommend it.
I have also done Pleasure Beach and also loved it. My 8 yr old daughter and I did it on our own. We took a local taxi and was at liberty to go and come when ever we wanted. The food at the restaurant at the beach is ok and moderate pricing. The beach has lots to offer for Beach fun.
As for the dolphin encounter, you are not missing too much in Cozomel. My best encounter was in Jamaica.
If you go to the Falls in Ocho Rios, DO NOT forget some beach shoes. The fall rocks are sharp!
Hope this helps