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Old March 5th, 2006, 12:09 AM
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Default Tours avail at port

We leave in a week and have yet to be able to find excursions with the right mix of cost and content. In addition, we have run into more than a few "minimum of 4 people" policies that have closed those options for us

My question is: Do you think there will be independent tour operators when we get off the ship in Belize and Costa Maya? If so, has anyone taken a 'chance' with these operators? Would you advise AGAINST it? I know that at least here at CM, one can get CM reviews of certain operators/tours. If we book right at the port, is that a huge risk? Are these operators under any type of quality-control guidelines?

We are usually booked on our excursions weeks before the cruise, but these two places have been quite the challenge.

Waters
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Old March 5th, 2006, 08:18 AM
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There will be excursions available at the port and people who will be wanting to sell you tours. Many of them are quite reputable and some are not.

The trick is to talk to the people and determine up front what you will get and set the price BEFORE you get in the cab, or van and start your excursion. I find that a taxi is the best way to get a tour of the island or area. They will usually know the best places to go and you can often arrange to have them take you to a beach and pick you up at a pre-determined time. Don't pay them for the return trip beforehand.

I have done many excursions on my own but I will not let any operator talk me into anything I don't want to do and don't be afraid to walk away. If the price or anything doesn't sound right, walk away. If they follow you, keep walking.

The big thing to remember when booking on your own is that YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN. If you don't make it back to the ship on time you are responsible for making it to the next port or back home at your own cost. Take the address and phone number of the cruise line's port representative with you when you go on shore. If you miss the ship you will need to contact them.
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Old March 5th, 2006, 10:35 AM
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When we started looking at port excursions for Belize, I was a bit surprised. I had always heard that excursions booked independently were MUCH cheaper. To my surprise, the tour of Belize/Altun Ha tour was only about $7 per per less thru an independent operator.

From what I read about Belize, I didn't want to take a chance of being left behind. We booked thru Carnival and were really happy with the excursion.

In Costa Maya we were happy to rent a golf cart, drive to Mahahual and spend the day relaxing at a lovely table on the beach and investigating the merchants!

dorothy
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Old March 5th, 2006, 06:11 PM
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I agree with either BOSSYGOSSY or dorothy (one sister seems to have taken over the other!).

We wouldn't book at the port in Belize. We saw some of the people offering tours and their vehicles. We just wouldn't trust them to get us back in time (or maybe at all!). They don't appear to be under any guidelines. Just people trying to make $.

If you're just looking for shopping and a place to eat and drink there's a nice "cruiseline built" area right where you tender. It's fenced in, if that tells you anything ).

We've only been to Costa Maya once and didn't book a tour. We were sorry about that. There's not much to see right there. BOSSYGOSSY/dorothy has a good idea!

Have a wonderful cruise!
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Old March 5th, 2006, 07:54 PM
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I'm going on the same cruise. I read on a different board that Eco tours offers tours at the pier and they are reputable as is Coral Breeze
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Old March 5th, 2006, 11:25 PM
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Did I mention that Bossygossy is my OLDER sister?

Maybe that's why I seem to be trying to take over her identify....I've always looked up to her, but really, I don't want to actually be her!

Everytime I try to help with her countdown clock, or anything else with her profile, this happens.....I just can't seem to remember to log out and log back in as ME!

All that aside...we did wish we had taken a different tour in Grand Cayman. Our snorkel with the stingray tour thru Carnival only had us snorkeling for about an hour. I heard from other passengers that some of the tours booked at the port lasted several hours.

dorothy
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Old March 6th, 2006, 03:09 AM
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is here some body who can tell a little bit of shore's in the south carrebean we are leaving sunday with the carnival destiny
thank you so much
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Old March 6th, 2006, 01:13 PM
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Default Re: Tours avail at port

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waters
We leave in a week and have yet to be able to find excursions with the right mix of cost and content. In addition, we have run into more than a few "minimum of 4 people" policies that have closed those options for us

My question is: Do you think there will be independent tour operators when we get off the ship in Belize and Costa Maya? If so, has anyone taken a 'chance' with these operators? Would you advise AGAINST it? I know that at least here at CM, one can get CM reviews of certain operators/tours. If we book right at the port, is that a huge risk? Are these operators under any type of quality-control guidelines?

We are usually booked on our excursions weeks before the cruise, but these two places have been quite the challenge.

Waters
I talked with some who hired a taxi at each port (Panama, Costa Rica, & Belize) and they were more than happy with the tour the taxi drivers gave. Since I was on the ship tours I can't comment more.
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Old March 7th, 2006, 10:49 AM
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Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. In the end, I booked with Carnival for our tour in Belize (the Xunatunich tour) because I was always quite concerned about making it back on time with this type of tour(thankyou, Bossygossy).

Costa Maya happens to still be up in the air. We really want to snorkel the reef. Any one do a tour in CM that included an all-inclusive stop at the beach afterwards? There are a few that are reasonably priced (ie. $30pp) but to order a lunch with that, it costs each person an additional $15 or so. I don't know, I'm just being ambivalent about it. I'd love to hear of superb independent snorkel tour operators if you have any.....

Waters
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