Do you need a passport for any of these ports: cozumel, grand cayman, jamaica? Are these in the same time zone as florida? I want to book some shore excursions that are not through the cruise line and i don't want to miss it or miss my boat after there finished. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
A drivers license and birth certificate will do. If you are not a frequent traveler out of the country then I would recomend a shore excursion from the ship for Jamaica. You may find yourself very uncomfortable there and come running back to the ship. YOU WILL BE HARRASSED in Jamaica by tour companies, taxi drivers, vendors, and approached for the sale of some "nice sensamillion mon!" There are cops with guns on the street corners. Walking into town to shop we had cab drivers follow us for several blocks and one who hounded us to drive us across the street.
Dunn River Falls is a great tour. So unless you are extremly travel savy and not uncomfortable with this....I would book through the ship!
The only time you need a passport is if you leave from one of these countries by means other than the ship. You will need either passport or birth certificate to get on the ship from U.S. and to leave through customs when you get back to the states. When booking excursions, always remember that ship time remains the same as when you left the U.S. therefore, keep your watch set on that time and book excursions accordingly.
This isnt exactly related, but we just came back from Nassau (stayed at Atlantis). One of our party had to stay behind for a day because they would not let her travel on her birth certificate. They said there was a problem with the seal (it may have been squished after many years). Since we work for an aviation company we had planes at our disposal and she was flown up to Ohio to get a new one and back to get a flight out the next day, but she lost a day of vacation. So be sure the birth certificate has an official seal that is raised, and comes from the county where you were born. They banned several people from traveling because of certificate issues on our flight, even pulled someone off the plane.
Also, another friend was told she didnt need a passport to travel to Barbados. She got to Miami and found out she did indeed need one. Since the next day was a holiday, she had to wait, then pay $145 to get rush service on a passport. She ended up missing 3 days of her vacation, and was out $145! It is so much easier to get a passport ahead of time. As Ive posted before, with the world situation, you never know when policies will change, or a sudden opportunity to travel will arise. Get one now, youre locked into the price for 10 yrs (thats how long its valid for), it makes traveling a lot easier, and youre prepared! I got one for my son as soon as he was born, and will be doing the same for our next child.
Another note about time changes. Every ship Ive been on adjusts their clocks so that they are on the same time as the country you are in that day. I have changed my watch several times on one cruise, so be sure to note the ships time before leaving to avoid missing it! Often, there will be a note about it in the ships daily newsletter.
Just back from Valor in Jan. Did Sting Ray City with Cpt. Marvin. Small party of 20-25. He stopped at the barrier reef to let us snorkel. Also dropped some people off at 7 mile beach on our way back. The ship excursion was huge! Crowded. We were glad we were not on that boat. Cayman was expensive to shop or eat...
Coz was nice. We got a cab to Chaunkanaab (sp?) park and spent the day lounging in the sun...then back to ship to change. Went out for shopping and beer/dinner. Reasonable. Skip the taxi downtown to shop. Waste of time/money on cab fare.