I'm sailing on the Paradise 3 weeks from today (!!) and I'm wondering if anyone has any recommendations for shore excursions in Cozumel, Belize or Roatan.
I'm interested in snorkeling somewhere, although I'm a novice. And, I'm interested in shopping a bit somewhere...perhaps Mexico. I've already seen Tulum outside of Playa del Carmen, so I have no need to return there. Has anyone been to Xcaret? We also stop in Grand Cayman, but since my husband and I were married there, we're planning to visit some familiar sites on our own. Has anyone snorkeled here
I've been to Xcaret while vacationing in Cancun a few months ago. It was definately a wonderful experience. We saw some ruins, cave river swimming, Mayan village and more. They had a wonderful show that starts at 7pm but that may be too late. They have a website www.xcaret.net where you can see what is available. It was truly beautiful and we ranged from ages 16-71 and all had a great time.
In Grand Cay do swim with the stingrays if you have not done it before.
You can do the cave tubbing in Belize. The ship offers a tour or you can go threw a independent operator. We used Reggies Cave tubbing, he has a web site. Its alot of fun, you get to wear a cave light on your head and go thru the caves. About a 45 min walk, you need to be in decent shape for this tour. 6 hour long tour $65 with Reggie as of Feb, $85 on ship
Roatan, we went on a Island tour(west end isla tour). You go to Butterfly farm, Botanical Gardens, and shopping. The shopping mostly island made stuff, and that kind of thing. Great tour, very laid back. About 4 hours. $45 a person was the price back in Feb.
Cozumel is a good place to shop, lots of great stuff to get!
We just came back from the Paradise yesterday. Wonderful ship and perfect vacation.
In Belize we had booked tubing with Reggie - great guy and was right there to pick us up. It ended up that when we got there the river was to rough to tube so we ended up not being able to do it. Reggie gave us a tour of the city instead. Would loved to have tubed.
In Roatan we went to Tabyana Beach. Now this is a little piece of heaven. Great snorkeling - clean facilities - little shops. There was also great shopping for wooden items and hammocks right off the boat.
In Grand Caymen we booked a snorkeling trip with Nativeway on the internet. The took us to two spots. The first was a coral reef and the other was with the stingrays. They only charge $25 per person - supply snorkeling gear if you need it - are there waiting right at the tender for you and supply cold drinks. This was a very good deal.
In Cozumel we wnet to Mr. Sanchos which is a cool place. Nice beach - nice bar rigt on the beach and food area. Great shopping in Cozumel.
We are sailing the Paradise Nov. 16. We like taking the ships shore excursion. Has anyone taken the Catamaran & snorkle in Roatan. How was it? Also, any suggestions for Grand Cayman. We have been there before and did the Stingray tour. Does anyone know if the Paradise has Funvision, so I can sign up for excursions in my stateroom. WE were on the Imagination and was able to do this, but then sailed on Fantasy and was not allowed to.
I used to live in cancun and went snorkeling in Cozumel many times. I would suggest going to Chankanaab Park, divers and snorklers come from all over the world to Cozumel to see the beautiful reefs.
here is what the website has to say and I have been there its wonderful:
"Completely rebuilt and restored in1996, this beachfront park, just 9 km south of San Miguel, offers diverse attractions in a lovely setting. The main beach is studded with palapas for sunbathers, while just off shore there's outstanding diving and snorkeling (equipment rental and dive shop available). Back from shore is a fascinating Archaeological Park, complete with winding jungle trails, replicas from sites throughout Mexico, a typical Mayan village, and free guided tours. There's also an excellent Botanical Garden with over 300 plant species from 22 countries. Topping things off is the site's beautiful lagoon - a sinkhole filled from the sea by underground tunnels. There are several shops, snack bars, a restaurant, and a Mayan Museum. Open Daily. Admission is $10 (US) and children are free."
two great websites to visit are: http://www.cozguide.net/ http://virtual-showcase.com/llc/isla/cozumel.html
Cozumel is very safe, just make sure with taxi drivers who all speak english that you are getting the rate you should get. The cruise will tell you how much to taxi to this destination.
Hope this helps.
We just returned from cruising on the Triumph a couple of weeks ago and we did the eco-jeep tour. It was great. First we went to a lighthouse that was surrounded by a national park area where they also had a saltwater lake that had saltwater crocs that they feed right there in front of you. Then you go to a small mexican village to see how the local people live and some anceint temples that are still standing. Then you go off road riding for a couple of miles (oh, by the way, you get to drive your own jeep) then they stop at a beach area to let you snorkle for about 45 minutes (you can rent snorkle equipment there) and return you to the dock area. Tour last about 4 hrs. Highly recommend it.
Just returned from the Paradise 3 days ago. Despite what others have said I would only book through Carnival at most ports. In Belize the tender is about a 30 minute boat ride, quite long. They allow you onto the tender based upon which tours you have selected. No tour = last on the tender. We looked at signing up for the Cave Tubing privately but for the $15 or so per person savings we went with Carnival. A large group and we hit bad weather. High waters cancelled the trip. While Reggie has been mentioned many times I would be concerned that you can get the tender early enough. In Belize the few shops at the pier are not great and there is no town to go into.
In Roatan I did the 2 tank dive at St. Anthony's while the family did the dolphin program. Both were excellent. While I did not look at the snorkeling opportunities here they must be great.
In Cozumel we did Xcaret which was fun. The only problem is that you get back to the ship at about 7:30 pm and if you eat on the ship you do not see any of Cozumel. You leave from the ship via a ferry to Playa something or other on the mainland and then a short 15 minute bus ride to Xcaret. It is sort of like a SeaWorld kind of place. Their most popular activity is a 40 minute or so tubing trip through a cave system that I think is not natural, but looks natural. There is no current, you have to gently push along, everyone must wear a life vest. Depth is from 4 feet to 20 feet but very safe, lifeguards are around. The most interesting part of this is that at the start you can pile all your belongs into a large duffel bag that they lock, they give you the key, and they transport the bags to the end of the "ride". This was important as you will not get to Xcaret until the early afternoon and by then all of the lockers were taken. There were also Myan ruins, a cool beach, snorkeling (rented gear), aquarium, butterfly farm, turtles, animals, etc. pretty cool overall. Don't bother to rent the snorkel gear for the tubing river, there is really nothing to see and everyone I saw took it off.
In Grand Cayman we did the stingray and coral reef snorkel. The stingray reef was impressive, about a 30 minute boat ride to the reef that was only in 4 feet of water. The coral reef was lousy, very little coral, few fish. I am sure they have better places to snorkel.
Of all the ports Grand Caymal and Cozumel lend themselves to privately arranged trips, in my opinion. Belize is a long tender ride away and unfortunately the country, the little that we saw of it, is pretty dumpy, run down, and not safe (we were told). In Roatan you can walk off onto the dock but there is no city there, if you don't do some type of activity there is really nothing at the dock to do (a few gift shacks, etc.). Grand Cayman and Cozumel are very upscale and they appear safe. At both you can be assured good safe transportation and the departure time in Cozumel assures you plenty of time.
Belize was one of the highlights of our Pride cruise last summer. We were on tender number one, even though we had not booked an excursion through the ship. We took a scheduled water taxi from the pier to Caye Caulker. It cost about $12 and took just under 45 minutes. We arranged for snorkel tour on our own from Caye Caulker. We were beginners. I don't remember the cost but I do remember that it was much cheaper than the ship (I didn't pay- boyfriend's treat). It was awesome!!!! We got back to Caye Caulker with enough time to rent a golf cart for an hour to tour around this tiny island (football field wide , 4.5 miles long). That cost $10. There are no cars on the island and only 3 real streets (Front, Center and Back) All sand. We ate lunch and had some cheap beers at a great place called Rasta Pasta. We caught the 3pm taxi back to the mainland and had more than enough time to spare to get a tender back to the ship.
This experience is one of the most memorable vacation days I have.
We went on the catamaran sail and snorkel in Roatan and had a great time. They take you to a little bay area to snorkel that has lots of coral and fish. It is a protected bay so the snorkeling is easier (it was pretty windy when we were there). The guy that owns the boat is on board, he is from Texas and is really nice. There is a party on the way back. They have free rum punch (very good) and you can buy local beer for $1. They have snorkeling instruction for those who need it.
We went cave tubing with Reggie and had a great time there too. We were actually in Reggie's van and he is very entertaining. He also runs snorkeling excursions so he has his own boat that can take you right out to the ship if your group is running late. Not much shopping there, just some souviner type stuff right at the pier area.
No FunVision on the Paradise in Feb. Old fashion paper and pencil version. You don't have to wait for the shore excursion talk to fill out the forms if you know what you want to do. We always know what we want to do before we board and sign up for the excursions immediately to get our first choice.