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Old December 24th, 2008, 03:56 PM
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Default booking excursions on your own

I'm thinking about booking my own excursions not with Carnival. I'm traveling to Grand Caymen, Cozumel and Ocho Rios. Does anyone have any good independent excursion companies they have used? Is it really cheaper to go independent? Thanks!
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Old December 24th, 2008, 05:29 PM
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Default Re: booking excursions on your own

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsmom
I'm thinking about booking my own excursions not with Carnival. I'm traveling to Grand Caymen, Cozumel and Ocho Rios. Does anyone have any good independent excursion companies they have used? Is it really cheaper to go independent? Thanks!
I do almost all of my own excursions but I am aware that if I do it on my own, I am on my own. The ship won't wait for me and if I'm not happy with the excursion I probably won't receive a refund.

There are a number of good Sting Ray City tours, in Grand Cayman, that you can get from the pier and using a taxi on Cozumel and heading to Paradise Beach, Poncho's Beach or Chankanaab is easy and cheap.

I used to say Ocho Rios was no problem but there I would do a ship's tour rather than on your own. Ocho Rios isn't the best place to go on your own.

Have a great cruise.
Mike
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Old December 25th, 2008, 12:05 AM
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Mike is correct, be carefull in Jamaica. Bob
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Old December 25th, 2008, 08:45 AM
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Great Advice....

"the thing to do in Grand Cayman" is Captain Marvins...swimming with the sting rays and going to Hell....

Cozumel is easily done on your own....as long as what you want to do does not have you leaving the island. If you are into the ruins and want to do Tulum...then a ship excursion for that is a MUST. Never leave the island on an independent tour. Anything else in Cozumel...beaches, shopping etc can easily and safely be done on your own.

I agree about Jamaica....definately do a ship tour there. Ocho Rios is getting better....but still not what I would call tourist friendly like Cozumel and Grand Cayman.
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Old December 25th, 2008, 06:27 PM
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We did our own excursion shopping, touring and beach excursion using Sonny Liston in St Thomas for only 25.00 per person and loved every minute of it. In Cozumel in June 2009 we are undecided.
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Old December 25th, 2008, 07:11 PM
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We'll be traveling to the same ports you are in March 2009 (Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios).

We've been to all of them before and I can give you some advice. We booked Nativeways in Grand Cayman and loved them! So much we booked them again for our March Cruise. While in Cozumel we haven't decided yet. Last time we used the ships tour and this time we'll do independently. Not sure yet what though.

In Ocho Rios we used Peat Taylor last time. He was great! I highly recommend him. We are using Phil Lafayette this time though per recommendations. We wanted to just do Dunns falls only so he has a "recession" tour at only 30/pp and it entails Dunns Falls, beach and shopping, otherwise we would have probably booked Peat Taylor again.
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Old December 25th, 2008, 07:35 PM
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Peat Taylor and Sonny Liston both offer great tours. Have used both. Bob
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Old December 25th, 2008, 09:54 PM
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In Grand Cayman we did our own and saved about $40pp and we were swimming in the same exact area as everyone else with the sting ray's.

In Cozumel we had bad weather and many of the ships excursions were cancelled. My private excursion was not so no refund even though we could not do the water sports and the weather was poor (We did get the beach lunch promised but was not really great)

I would call it pluses and minus - Would still book privately over ship even knowing the issues.
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Old January 7th, 2009, 08:20 AM
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We booked an independent tour in ocho rios with Peat Taylor he has a website www.peattaylor.com we did dunns falls and island tour. it was about $40US pp he was good
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Old January 7th, 2009, 05:12 PM
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Usually for shopping, beaches, or sight seeing tours we go on our own. Anything more we book through the ship. It’s cheaper to book at the port, but even cheaper to go outside the port to where the taxis are. The tour operators out there generally price the same tours for $5-$10 less. We’ve had some really nice city, or island tours just by asking a taxi driver how much to drive around and point out the sights. Once in San Juan, five of us got a 1 hour island tour for $40 total counting tips.
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Old January 7th, 2009, 07:29 PM
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Altough I have never used them, over the course of my moderating years, I have only heard positive reports about Capt. Marvin, & Peat Taylor...

We took a tour in Ochos, that took us to Fern Gulley, a botanical
garden, a shopping tour, and Dunns River...we opeted to get off at the shopping tour and nix Dunns...we told the driver, but the host came chasing after us looking for a tip....!

The few times I have booked ship excursions, I always book an early tour..no worry about getting back to the ship on time.
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