Need ideas for shoretours for Ocho Rios and Grand Cayman. I
know that Dunns River Falls is popular, but which tour is best and not
too expensive. On Grand Cayman, I'm thinking about a day at the
beach or maybe beach and then swim with the stingrays. Any suggestions?
I have purchased independent tours in the past without problems. Any
advise would be appreciated.
Happy Sailing............. 8)
We did the stingray/sandbar through Carnival. It was a wonderful experience. The stingray are alot bigger than I'd expected but it was really neat being in the water with them swimming around you. The water was beautiful and crystal clear. Lots of fun.
Carnival Valor - 10/2008
Carnival Sensation 10/2006- now Fantasy
Carnival Miracle 10/2005
We went to Jamaica on our first cruise, and haven't been back since, so I don't have any ideas for there.
HOWEVER we just went to GC on our last cruise and had a wonderful excursion thru a private company. (We went through the ship's excursions the first time and it was ok, but we only made one stop and it was crowded.) We had 3 stops, the first with the stingrays and then to the reef and then another place. We went on the Buccaneer.
I suggest you check out their times to see which would work for you. Remember that this is a tendering port, so leave time to get back to the ship.
You will have a fantastic time in GC! Be sure to get some rum cakes!
Mariner of the Seas 3/30/08
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
I booked Original Canopy Tour in Ocho Rios through NCL Dawn and would love to go again!
It was about a 1/2 hour bus ride to Chukka Adventures site where we
picked up canopy guides and signed release.
Then another 20-30 minutes drive up the mountain to place where we
got outfitted with gear and helmet, gloves, etc.
Little walk through forest and about 12 different "swings" through
the trees. It was handled extremely well and very safely, taking over
an hour with rum punch served at the end (suggestion was made
that punch would be handy at the beginning!). I was nervous but
only really scary part for me was the two short straight down drops
Guides were alot of fun and excursion was very worth $89.
We were in Grand Cayman this past week...paid $59.00/pp through Carnvial for the Sea & See tour. Best part of the whole trip was the Atlantis semi-submersible. The whole tour included 15 minutes at the rum cake factory, 10 minutes at a parking lot / beach access and 20 minutes at the turtle farm, 15 minutes at Hell and 15 minutes having a new bus brought over when ours broke down! The Atlantis in itself would have been great and it is only a "stone's throw" from where you get off your tender. Next time we will do it on our own.
Don't get me wrong - the other stuff was nice - but VERY rushed. The cost of rum cakes at the factory are the same price on Carnival Ships - so no savings should be expected. The turtle farm was interesting but our bus driver was also the tour guide and the best part was walking across the street to peek over the flood wall and getting better pictures than we could have hoped for in Hell. Plus the rush to do the whole tour left very little time to shop in Grand Cayman.
In Jamaica i would highly recommend dealing with Peat Taylor- go to his website - same as his name, he is very reputable. Dunns River falls is a blast.
In Grand Caymen - the Stingrays are a must see. We dealt with Captain Marvin(wesite same as name) and were very pleased. The ships sponsored tours to GC seemed to be very crowded, and very rushed.
We just returned yesterday from a W. Carib. cruise on NCL Jewel. We booked only two private tours, one in G.C. and the other in O.R. The tour we took in G.C. was a 1-hour glassbottom boat ride @$15 pp (Capt. Marvin), and it was disappointing. The viewing glass in the bottom of the boat was very dirty, and the visibility was limited. I cannot recommend that one.
On the other hand, I would highly recommend the excursion we took in Ocho Rios. It was with a gentleman named Mark Morris, and the 4-hour tour on an air-conditioned 12-seat minivan was only $20 pp. Mark is a 40-year-old scholar who has spent time in the States, but who is still very passionate about his hometown. He held our interest for the entire 4 hours, believe me. He took us through several areas of interest including a fleeting view of the Falls, visited Boscobel Ceramic Factory and (at our request) took us to Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville for our free margaritas while he waited for us at his van. A real gentleman, and very well informed as well.
There are so many great options in Grand Cayman, http://caymanislandsdiscounts.com is a great place to start, we've done the stingray city on the Buccaneer and there is a jeep tour, kayak tours, zodiac too'.