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Old August 3rd, 2006, 04:29 PM
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Default Our shore excursions from the Conquest...

I appreciate the help I received from this board prior to my trip so I thought I'd give a little back... We took two organized excursions during our Conquest cruise last week. Our first stop was Montego Bay. I had last been to Jamaica 22 years ago on my honeymoon. It has unfortunately slipped to a place most folks should avoid. Scammers and bums were everywhere. I never felt safe. We did the Seatrek Helmet dive (me, my wife and two teenage sons). It was very overpriced for what we paid. We were only underwater for 30 minutes. The deepest we went was maybe 15 feet. The majority of our time underwater was spent having our guides take pictures (which, of course, they try to sell you immediately afterwards). I'd only recommend this excursion if you have never snorkled or scuba dived and just wanted to get the feel of the experience. Otherwise, spend your $90 a person on something else. Our next stop was in the Caymans. I had gone on line prior to our trip and researched doing our own thing apart from our fellow passengers. It turned out to be the best thing we did on the cruise. I booked a 5 hour charter on a 22 foot sailboat. Our guide was a local sailing expert. When we arrived he gave us bad news...there was a storm brewing just off shore. He graciously offered to take us out in his 24' Boston Whaler (he normally charges more for it due to gas, etc.). We agreed and set out for a fantastic day. Our first stop was at Stingray City. He brought squid with him and instructed us in the fine art of ray petting. We had a blast. I noticed a large tour boat with about 50 people trying to do the same thing...I guarantee we had more fun. The rays wouldn't leave us alone in our private area. When we ran out of squid, he took us to a beautiful reef. We snorkled as long as we wanted...saw lots and lots of colorful fish. We beached near Rum Point to take a break for lunch. After our break, we went to an isolated beach and did more snorkeling. I highly recommend him. I saved the link to the service he charters through http://grandcaymancruiseexcursions.c...ilingBeach.htm . Our last stop was Cozumel. I was pleasantly suprised. It was definitely cleaner than Cancun/Playa del Carmen. We shopped and shopped. Had a drink at Fat Tuesday and lunch at the Hard Rock. All in all it was a fun day ashore. My only dissapointment was Jamaica. It's too bad Carnival can't find an alternative port for this cruise. Had I known better, I would have stayed on the ship for the day.
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Old August 3rd, 2006, 04:55 PM
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Thanks for the heads up! Nice to hear from someone that has sailed recently.

We have been warned about Jamaica, especially with two young children in tow. We sail in March.

I'm seriously rethinking excursions! We might take a short one just to have something to do. We've been told that is safer than going off by ourselves....STAY WITH THE GROUP!!!!
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Old August 3rd, 2006, 05:42 PM
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You'll hear many different opinons about Jamica. You'll hear its safe, and the Jamican's are very friendly. You'll hear its a very beautiful Island and a great vacation spot.. And to a degree, there all correct But for me, its something about seeing the military,or police, or anybody walking around on the streets, with rifles, big knifes, and M-16's on there shoulders, I don't like. Specially where its suppose to be tourist friendly.

But... for me personally, I agree totally with gudhns The last time we where there, which was on the Conquest in 2003, the wife and I stayed on the ship. We enjoyed a near empty pool, and a hot tub just for 2 for hours.

Happy Sailing to all;
David
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Old August 3rd, 2006, 11:18 PM
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when we went to jamaica we went ocho rios and we did the coyaba
river garden and dunn's river we real enjoyed our selfs the only thing
i did not like when shop owner grab arms because i did't stop at her shop
she sayed is was being rud
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Old August 4th, 2006, 06:38 PM
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I agree with Paddletoe53. The first time we were in Jamaica we took a tour (ship sponsored). We enjoyed the tour, but the tour guide "added" a stop at a shopping area away from the downtown area. I couldn't believe all the people grabbing at me! I don't like being grabbed by strangers :evil: !

The next time we were in Jamaica I knew what to expect and it wasn't so bad, but I'd like to be able to look at something in a store without being "attacked"!

Next time we're there, unless there's a tour we really want to do, we'll follow David's example and just stay on the ship.
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Old August 5th, 2006, 01:21 AM
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When we were there is June we took the Appleton Rum Estates excursion. We didn't have any problems, but we were quickly put on a bus for a 2 1/2 hour ride over the hills. And what a ride it was! When we got back I stayed right there at the terminal getting my shot glass and other things while my husband went back on board. We didnt have any problems.
there was however a 17 y/o male who we heard went to jail for saying "yes" when he was asked if he wanted some pot. We never heard where this happened. There was also people (3) who went to jail in Cozumel, but dont know what for. We were delayed for almost an hour leaving there. I guess it can happen anywhere
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Old August 6th, 2006, 08:50 PM
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We board Conquest on Sept 10. Jamaica is the one port that I feel somewhat uncomfortable about. But, I suspect we will be ready to get off the ship and visit a place we've never been.
Right now, we are wanting to try the Rose Hall Beach Resort. This appears to be a way to enjoy the beauty of the island, but in a safer, resort atmosphere.
Does anyone have any reviews on the Rose Hall? Or better suggestions?
Thanks
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Old August 8th, 2006, 11:05 PM
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I just returned from the Conquest. I was TERRIFIED of going into Jamaica after reading various boards. We were in a large group (with kids) and I was never scared. Our bus driver (Chambers) was Awsome greeted me for pick up with an umbrella so my baby wouldn't get wet (it was raining) yes people were pushy but not indangering I just reminded myself this is there income (I've felt just as uncomfortable in the US buying a car and insuance policies!) Just don't leave your common sense on the ship and always have your gaurd up! Going on a ship tour would be great but it is a beautiful port nature wise so get off the boat and experience it!
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