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KARI April 15th, 2005 02:24 PM

private tours
Hi everyone,
I have as another has said, been lurking quietly behind the pages. I have learned so much from all of you. My husband thinks I'm crazy doing all this research, he's a fly by the seat of his pants kind-a guy!!:)

Anyway, we are planning our very first trip for Mariner on 1-29-06, westren caribbean. I have been hearing ALOT about Peat (Pete) and Capt. Marvin. Without any luck I can't seem to find these guys or their websites. Can anyone help??? And as long as I am here, everyone seems to be refering to the "Aft" in all the talk, is this the better of the rooms??? I thought I read someplace that the "aft" has engine vibrations?? I can't seem to keep all this stuff straight!!!

Well thanks in advance for all the help I am about to get!!!!:):):):) I'll keep reading and you all keep sending!!!

Thanks so much,

KARI April 18th, 2005 10:55 AM

Re: private tours
Thanks, any ideas on Capt. Marvin???

showcat April 18th, 2005 01:23 PM

Re: private tours
If your in Belize check out Coral breeze limited do a search for their web site, great tour great people. You can read my reviews on Shark Ray alley on this post.

glojo April 18th, 2005 02:54 PM

Re: private tours
Sorry I'm not quite sure of the port you are talking about? But I do prefer midship, a little less rock and roll for me. The whole ship has this quiet hum, more of a feel than a hear, and I love it! So is Captain Marvin in Grand Cayman Sting Ray City? If so I've been on that tour and it is good. Let me know more details...sounds like fun!

KARI April 19th, 2005 01:33 PM

Re: Re: private tours
A quiet hum......I love it, we all sleep with fans at home anyway!!!! Yes Capt. Marvin in the Sting Ray City tour!!! People have been talking about him and how great he is and that they have booked him by email? I can't seem to find him and am wondering if anyone has it??? I found Peat (though I was spelling his name wrong and not getting much of any help from the net!!!) thanks to a reader!!!

Thanks again to all of you who put out all this info. I can't wait to go and have some advice of my own to give!!!


Janell April 19th, 2005 03:43 PM

Re: private tours
We're on the Mariner july 3, 2005 and I have booked Captain Bryan's Stingray City excursion. I have read a lot of great things about him and was able to find him easily. I think I just did a search using his name and stingray city. It's $34.00/person for the half day trip which includes one stop to snorkle and Stingray city. Good luck and have fun!

LisaK April 20th, 2005 11:03 AM

Re: private tours
do a search for Captain Marvin and i am sure you will find his web address. We used him and had a great time.
Aft cabins are very popular because you get a larger balcony.
The only time i really felt any type of engine vibration was when the Captain used the side thrusters to either come into or leave a dock.
There is always a gentle motion (you are on a moving vessel in a moving body of water)and a gentle humming of the engines.

CherieB April 20th, 2005 11:28 PM

Re: private tours
I agree with the researching. Wish I had known about these boards the first time we cruised. I did research the stops before hand but I would have known so much more about the ships (chair hogs, etc) Kari, where are your stops?

KARI April 21st, 2005 10:28 AM

Re: Re: private tours
We will be stopping at Labadee, Ocho Rios, Georgetown and Cozumel.

I am so glad that I happened upon these boards. Our travel agent had given us a choice on the ships out there by doing a price comparison, well natually people always look at the cheapest, and us being first timers are thinking 'well how different could they be?' Boy if not for the boards we'd be on a ship that I feel we may not be as happy with!

As for the motion, I of course knew it was there and am ok with it, who doesn't like to sleep in a hamock (of sorts), and as I replied before I love the hum thing I was trying to figure out to bring a fan with us so we could sleep!!:)

So again I thank you all and can hardly wait till it's my turn!!!:)

KARI April 21st, 2005 12:09 PM

Re: private tours
Well Thank you all!!! I have successfully found both Peat Taylor and Captain Marvin!!

How far in advance do you suggest booking these trips with them?? We don't go till Jan. so it's quiet a while yet?? I hate to do it too early for fear they might miss place it by then and I don't want to do it too late and not be able to book???

Any thoughts??


Brenda in Canada April 29th, 2005 04:13 PM

Re: private tours
Hi Kari, Check with the Captain as they might only take bookings so far ahead.-?
I think we waited a bit for our booking because of the hurricane.
We did Stingray with CMarvins. Great!! Also easy walk once you get off the tender to their shop.Some people from our cruise went snorkeling while they were waiting (right across the street) and saw some neat fish(?name?not barracuda but something else). There is also a little shop at CMarvins and there is another shop next door. Oh yes-they also have a washroom at C.Marvins shop!!lol

RMG1600 April 30th, 2005 11:10 PM

Re: Re: private tours
How long after a ship gets into Grand Cayman does it take for someone that has a independent excursion to get tendered and to the pier?

Jim Bragg May 5th, 2005 04:51 PM

Re: private tours
Right after the ships tours depart. They have priority. Understand that while many private tours are a little cheaper you are really on your own with them and have no recourse if they do not provide what they promise or if they rip you off. It isn't done often but it is done and they know there is nothing you can do about it as you are leaving on a ship that day. With a ship sponsored tour they can take care of problems and have influance on the operators. In addition if anything happens at least a ships tour will get you to the ship or hold it, not so with independant. ALso ships tours have insurance, again, not so with independants. Just know what you are doing and getting into is all I ask.

browezilla May 6th, 2005 01:24 PM

Re: private tours
There is no danger in booking far in advance as you can cancel if you need to. It also gives you priority in case they have other bookings. Peat Taylor is great! I highly recommend his company. For Sting Ray City, I've used Native Ways and Sotos Cruises. I prefer Sotos, but both are fine (Sotos gives you 3 stops vs two).

BTW: you are doing the right thing by planning in advance. Sometimes on the islands you can get by with "seat of the pants" planning, but you may also miss a lot of things. You have such a limited time on the islands, it is at least advisable to know what the key activities are. Once you know know what is available, then you can book in advance or find a tour operator once you get there. In my opinion, it's better to book ahead. Many times you can research the operator to get an idea of the kind of service/tour they provide. This web site is excellent for that!

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