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-   -   Best Caribbean Tour Experiences (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/caribbean-panama-canal/370082-best-caribbean-tour-experiences.html)

Paul Motter December 16th, 2009 06:00 PM

Best Caribbean Tour Experiences
 
Please use this thread to post some of your favorite Caribbean places and experiences. No tour guide recommendations, please:), just the names of places and what you did: :arrow:

Paul Motter December 16th, 2009 06:03 PM

Ixcaret - Near Cancun/Cozumel
 
This place is a little hard to get to - because it is on mainland Mexico accross from Cozumel. But if you ever see a tour to Ixcaret offered on your cruise, I recommend going there. It is a great natural park where you can swim, see wildlife, swim with dolphins (extra cost), tube through caves, etc.

Also - if you can ever get to the Mayan Ruins Chichen Itza (near to Cancun) I recommend going there. In the old days you could get a plane there from Cozumel, but they dont offer that anymore. Too bad, it was a great tour offering.

Paul Motter December 16th, 2009 06:05 PM

Costa Rica
 
If you have a choice, do NOT take the rainforest canopy tour. It is Boring and you will not see much wildlife. Instead, try to get on a tour that goes to the natural animal preserve. There you may see monkeys, parrots, tree frogs, etc.

Paul Motter December 16th, 2009 06:11 PM

St Thomas
 
Shopping is great in St Thomas, but there is also a lot of great snokeling there. There is also a very good submarinbe ride you can book on your own (not through the ship) and save some money.

I have done submarine rides in St Thomas, Maui and Curacao. I would say St Thomas was the best in terms of wildlife to se underwater.

By the way, if you want an authentic Caribbean wildlife experience with a nice beach nearby, there is a place called Coral World. You can get a taxi to take you there and pick you up for about $5 - $10 each way. Then to enter Coral World is about $15 per person. It is worth it to see wild sea animal underwater and in exhibits. One of my more favorite cheap shore tours.

Get there early, and you can exit the park and go swimming at the beach which is right next door for no extra charge. Forgot something (bathing suit, sunscreen), you can buy it right there at very cheap prices.

Donna December 16th, 2009 07:10 PM

One that does stick in my mind, is the America's Cup Regatta in St. Maarten...I had no idea what to expect, but it was both work and fun.. Also a very good learning expierence, I still recommend that one.

I've only done one Canopy tour, but I'd love to do that one again.

Paul Motter December 16th, 2009 07:18 PM

The regatta in St Martin uses real america's cup contender yachts and they "race" each other in teams. If you like sailing it is a blast.

When I say "canopy" tour in Costa Rica I am referring to one where you actually walk on a trail in the rainforest - it has a lot of bridge that put you up on the top of the tree level. But I had been to Costa Rica before and saw monkeys, parrots, sloths, crocodiles, etc... lots of cool things. When I went back I wanted to show my wife and i asked the tour desk which tour would be best - they said "the canopy tour,"

It turned out they were wrong. I asked our canopy tour guide about wildlife and he said "you should have gone to the nature preserve" - there was no wildlife where we were except ants. It was one of the most boring tours ever - we actually asked for our money back.

Donna - are you maybe thinking of a zip-line tour? That is different from a canopy tour but I have heard people get them confused before.

Donna December 17th, 2009 05:32 AM

Hi Paul,
I actually thought they were the same...What exactly is the difference?

Paul Motter December 17th, 2009 10:13 AM

Good, I am glad we caught that... I think some canopy tours include zip-lines, but technically a canopy is justthe word for the tree tops in a rainforest. So, I have seen tours (in Costa Rica) advertise a "canopy tour" but all it is is a hike along some trails with bridges that take you over the "canopy" of the rainforest (it starts at the top of a ravine and goes side to side and down). It was actually very boring and I was very disappointed after going all that way that we missed some of the cool wildlife you can see in Costa Rica.

A zip-line is an actual wire you hook up to and ride on rollers from point to point. I think one of the first zip-line tours was in Costa Rica, and they used the word Canopy in the tour, and that was where the confusion started. Now there are zip lines everywhere.

lulu48 December 17th, 2009 10:53 AM

BEST is so subjective

We are NOT adventure people so zip lining is not on our bucket list

We did the Tortugero Canal Tour in CR from Port Limon
It was interesting & we did see a few animals but I think in mid day they are staying out of sight.
We stopped on the way to the banana plantation & some boys had a sloth ...you can get a photo of them holding it (for a fee of course)
pretty docile creatures.

We enjoyed the tour to the falls in Dominica.... very lush island

Tour to Antigua in Guatemala ...if you like historical buildings etc...it is a Unesco site


Paul Motter December 18th, 2009 01:24 PM

I have been to the falls in Dominica myself and that is an amazing journey. It is a pretty challenging hike, in truth as I recall. I am not sure how you got there since you say you are not that advernturous. Maybe they have something new since i was there back n 1993.

But they are an amazing sight to see.

lulu48 December 18th, 2009 04:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Paul Motter (Post 1263161)
I am not sure how you got there since you say you are not that advernturous. Maybe they have something new since i was there back n 1993.

But they are an amazing sight to see.

I guess I meant as far as zip lining, hang gliding, para sailing I am not THAT adventurous . ;)

LisaK December 23rd, 2009 10:35 AM

One of my all time favorites is the Golden Eagle Catamaran sail in St. Maarten, then of course we love to snorkel the Palencaar Reef in Cozumel, and we had a blast on a 4x4 jeep tour into the national park in Caracas,Venezuela

dottiel March 30th, 2010 02:56 PM

I booked the Black Swan excursion in Antigua for Dh and the kids ages 11 and almost 8) on our last cruise.

They had a BLAST! They walked the plank, swung from a rope then let go into the ocean, lots of dancing and singing.....tons of fun for all ages.

Booked the excursion thru the Royal before we cruised.

dmaikui August 25th, 2010 05:01 PM

Eastern or Southern Caribbean?
 
So if one has a choice, which most of us do...............Eastern or Southern Caribbean for beaches and snorkling. I have heard that Grand Turk was a waste of time, but if you had a choice between Barbados, Dominica, St. Lucia, Grenada, or Aruba, which would be the preference?

or, St. Kitts or Bonaire?

HELP

Lakers Fan August 25th, 2010 05:10 PM

Dominica
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Paul Motter (Post 1263161)
I have been to the falls in Dominica myself and that is an amazing journey. It is a pretty challenging hike, in truth as I recall. I am not sure how you got there since you say you are not that advernturous. Maybe they have something new since i was there back n 1993.

But they are an amazing sight to see.

I was there in 1994 ,that was the only interesting thing in Dominica aside from finding out that their psychiatric patient facility looked more like a prison

SigLO October 12th, 2010 09:06 PM

Sure Paul!
St Lucia is my favorite island so far. Took the Drive-In Volcano/Island tour. Felt like I saw a good part of the island. Travelled through a smallish fishing + village, narrow streets and houses all painted in pastels. I swear I remember a chicken--but that could be my imagination! Saw local ladies doing laundry in a river near the ocean, "hanging" their clothes on rocks to dry in the sun.
Our guide was very knowledgable and also a fun gal. The ship tour was supposed to be around 3 hours, but we spent 5-6 hours exploring the island, with several stops other than advertised stops. Not the best hot sulfur bath spot, but I cherish the photo of me "bathing" in it! Since I'll be there again 2 times (end Jan-Feb 2011) I'll buy a good supply of locally made sulfur soap--which I should have bought in 2009. Had a good view of The Pitons.
We're undecided about what to do for our upcoming visits. I'd appreciate any ideas.

jameshen45 October 21st, 2010 08:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SigLO (Post 1322579)
Sure Paul!
St Lucia is my favorite island so far. Took the Drive-In Volcano/Island tour. Felt like I saw a good part of the island. Travelled through a smallish fishing + village, narrow streets and houses all painted in pastels. I swear I remember a chicken--but that could be my imagination! Saw local ladies doing laundry in a river near the ocean, "hanging" their clothes on rocks to dry in the sun.
Our guide was very knowledgable and also a fun gal. The ship tour was supposed to be around 3 hours, but we spent 5-6 hours exploring the island, with several stops other than advertised stops. Not the best hot sulfur bath spot, but I cherish the photo of me "bathing" in it! Since I'll be there again 2 times (end Jan-Feb 2011) I'll buy a good supply of locally made sulfur soap--which I should have bought in 2009. Had a good view of The Pitons.
We're undecided about what to do for our upcoming visits. I'd appreciate any ideas.

Dominica was the best.. we book privately and did the Dominica Most captivating tour with nature isle explorers.. We wanted to much of the island so we book that 5 hour tours.. it was amazing..
i would higly recommend them to you all.. Nature Isle Explores

they also gave us local beers and rum punch as complementary drinks

arie December 5th, 2010 05:09 PM

we were also in dominica and took a ptivate tai and go the falls. we paid the man who bring us too the taxi. we drive the tour it was great. but when we get back too the ship the driver ask us too pay the tour, and we say too him we paided the man who bring too his taxi. he ask also for a tip we told him ask the man he had no mony back so he can give you the money. after a wile he let us out the taxi and ask other taxi drivers who the man was. we turned too the ship and hope that it goos all well.

johnthed0g December 5th, 2010 05:27 PM

Ours was Trinidad & the Asa Wright nature centre + Caroni Swamp for the Scarlet Ibis.

Future Cruiser March 8th, 2012 12:49 AM

Does anybody think Nassau has one of the best tours? I will go there for my first cruise in late October (top countdown in my signature), so I need to know what the must-sees are because I will have only 7 hours for two excursions. What tours aren't good to miss in Nassau?

Donna March 8th, 2012 03:34 AM

Going over to Paradise Island and seeing Atlantis is worth a visit. Only takes a few hours and you can get a good tour of the dig/aquarium...What else did you want to do there?

Future Cruiser March 8th, 2012 12:13 PM

Atlantis tour and waterpark
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Donna (Post 1419526)
Going over to Paradise Island and seeing Atlantis is worth a visit. Only takes a few hours and you can get a good tour of the Dig/aquarium. What else did you want to do there?

I really want to go to the waterpark, but not pay $135 for only two hours. We need a lot more time than that for a lot less money. So I need to figure out how to get a day pass.

Of course, I also want to do the Discover Atlantis tour, but $56 for two hours is way too much. I will look for an independent tour company that charges a lot less for it.

The biggest question after prices obviously is how much time we have for both places. I must allow time to take pictures, buy postcards, and wait for rides to both places.

SigLO June 10th, 2012 10:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jameshen45 (Post 1324278)
Dominica was the best.. we book privately and did the Dominica Most captivating tour with nature isle explorers.. We wanted to much of the island so we book that 5 hour tours.. it was amazing..
i would higly recommend them to you all.. Nature Isle Explores

they also gave us local beers and rum punch as complementary drinks

Thanks! I'll be in Dominica on my next cruise. I've heard great things about it. I do enjoy the natural beauty and a little historical , etc.
Had a great tour guide, Victor, at Barbados. He had great info and had some interesting things to pass around the small bus for people to try to figure out what they were. He was fun, interesting, and very knowledgeable. The botanical gardens were fantastic. I bought a serving tray depicting Barbados life by Jim Walker . It sits next to my PC and I enjoy it very much along with all my little treasures from my cruises.

kermitqvc September 29th, 2012 12:45 PM

Best Caribbean Tour Experiences
 
I would also appreciate any info you can share about your Costa Rica tour, ie a website or email address for JJ Tours.

I would love to have the animal experiences that you describe

cruise planner September 29th, 2012 02:02 PM

I would also suggest taking a look at Shore Trips. We use them on a regular basis and have always had a wonderful experience.

Pete

Truck Cruiser September 29th, 2012 02:58 PM

While in Jamaica one time another couple and us took a cab in Ocho Rios to Couples Resort San Suci. This is a all inclusive resort for couples. We spent the day there, it cost $50 per person and we had a wonderful time. The beauty here is that there are no single people allowed there or children. We enjoyed the Au-natural beach and the main beach, had drinks at the swim up bar and some real good Jamaican food. There are many things to do that are included also like para sailing and a paddle boat.

The taxi ride cost $25 per couple for the round trip and the driver stopped by some really nice souvenir shops, well away from the ports where we got some really good deals.

cruise planner September 29th, 2012 03:45 PM

We love the Sans Souci. It's changed ownership a few times over the last 10 years - each has spent money to refurbish, so it's kept up very nicely. But we go there everytime we're in Ocho Rios. Love the nude beach area - very quiet and relaxing. Definitely a much better way to spend an entire day for what you'd pay for a few hours on a crowded excursion.

Pete

Tommy Hill October 14th, 2012 09:23 PM

Wife and I took our first cruise in '09 for our 25th anniversary. Eurodam to Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Thomas, and Half Moon Cay-not necessairly in that order. We choose a snorkle adventure in G Turk. We thought it would be people riding in small powered boats that followed each other to the reef. We discovered the ride to the reef was on a jet ski that seemed to be sitting inside a raft w/a 25hp motor. This was my first time on a jet ski and the training was pretty much this - if you turn it over and loose stuff you will have to pay for it. They also told me how to make it move throught the water. My wife was not thrilled. We ended up going out into the ocean and down to the end of G Turk. I'd estimate 2 to 3 miles. The snorkeling was probably not so great (number of sea animals limited) but I had nothing to compare it to, but the jet ski ride was awesome for me, my wife screamed most of the time wanting me to slow down. We ended up going so slow the tour leader would come back in his boat and try and encourage us to pick up the pace. The wife finally agreed and we were off to the races. I enjoyed the ride, but as I mentioned the reef did not seem to be too great.

Cajungirl January 14th, 2013 09:44 AM

Great info... Thanks all

bethsee July 13th, 2013 11:46 PM

We had a lot of fun on the Fe Catamaran Sail and Snorkel excursion in Cozumel, Mexico. The pier was close to our cruise so we walked for 10 minutes. The boat was nice, clean and spacious. It had nice bathroom as well. The crew was great, very professional and friendly. Snorkeling was awesome as were the snacks and drinks provided after the activity. Great tour in Cozumel.


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