I will be visiting these ports in April and have questions about the sightseeing tours. I know the ship prices them about twice the price that you can book them by yourself. How much does Carnival charge for these tours and are they worth it? Also, can you book them by yourself once you get on the island. thanks
I was in Grand Cayman last year with Carnival and we just decided to do the Beach club tour. This was not worth the money at all since people who didn't take the tour could walk down the beach to the same place where we were,except they didn't receive chairs. However the chairs aren't worth the $$ you pay ($20+). As soon as you land on the island from your tender there are many people offereing the same tours for half the price such as stingray island, etc. I have heard great things about the stingray island tour, however Seven Mile Beach is beautiful too (just don't pay to snorkel there, there isn't much to see).
As far as Ocho Rios, there are taxis (make sure they are ligit) inside the gates that can take you to places like Dunn's River Falls, etc (be forewarned they will try to persuade you into taking a tour with them). The Falls are really nice except for the pushy salespeople in the market at the top. We also went to Mahogany Beach, which was recommended by the cabbie but really didn't enjoy it at all. The good thing was that it was safe and free of locals bugging you but not much of a beach, not what you would picture for Jamaica. I really found Ocho Rios dirty and frightening especially navigating on your own, I would probably take a ship tour next time. Everybody on the party boats seemed to be having a great time.
Hope this helps!
PS Grand Cayman is paradise, enjoy!
We were on the Triumph two years ago this April and stopped at these two ports. The stingray sandbar tour is a must. I thought the price was pretty reasonable. I think at that time it was $35 per person. You may be able to get it for about $25 if you book it on shore but I would recommend doing some searching on the net and booking it ahead of time. In Ochos Rios we did the party catamaran to Dunn's River Falls. That was fun. That price was reasonable too. I think it was about $32 or so. One thing about this port. Make sure you have lots of one dollar bills. All of the workers on the catamaran expected a tip. The restroom lady at the beach expected a tip. The guides that took you up the falls expected a tip. And, the person who sits with everyone's belongings on the beach expected a tip. I totally believe in tipping, but this was crazy.
We went into the shopping malls near the ship after and regret it. People are very pushy, it was not relaxing.
We did the Paradise in late January, and I booked my stingray trip through Captain Marvin's before we left for the cruise. It was the absolute highlight of our cruise! The ship-sponsored tour has close to 100 people on a big double-decker boat, it reminded me of a cattle drive. Capt. Marvins trips are a whole lot smaller groups, there was 10 people on our boat. Plus they have an underwater video guy there to tape the whole experience for you. The trip was $30 a person, plus if you wanted to buy a copy of the video, a cassette was an extra $32. I can't recommend these people enough! Check them out at www.captainmarvins.com.
We were on the Imagination in October to Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios. Grand Cayman was beautiful. We mostly shopped and snorkled. I am planning another trip to Grand Cayman this year. Ocho Rios, on the other hand, was awful. I was scared to death. We took the Party Boat to Dunns River Falls, and that was great, except for all the people begging for money. When that tour was over we still had a few hours to kill before we left so we decided to to some exploring on foot. DON'T DO THIS!! I wanted to catch every moment of our cruise on video so I carried my Camcorder along in a carrying case. We had this group of guys following us, right or our heels, wanting to see what I had in my bag. That was so creepy. We finally got so scared we went back to the ship and took a nap. I have never been so scared in my whole life. I will NEVER go back to Ocho Rios. Every where you turned people wanted money or to braid your hair for money.
I take this same trip in December. I've done stingray city twice and am looking for a nice beach and a place to snorkle. Any suggestions?
Also in Ocho Rios, not much interested in the falls. And after reading the comments here not much interested in going on our own. Did anyone take the snorkling tour with the cruise here?