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-   -   Going to Ocho Rios and Grand Cayman (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/carnival-cruise-lines/361967-going-ocho-rios-grand-cayman.html)

Jdudley13 March 2nd, 2009 11:31 AM

Going to Ocho Rios and Grand Cayman
 
Booked for March 28th out of Miami to Ocho Rios and to Grand Cayman.

Figured i would post our ports for recommendations as i've seen a ton of useful knowledge in other threads.

I hear the falls are a big hit in Ocho rios but i also saw some sort of river tour that looks a little less "touristy". My g/f and i are both pretty interested in that unless someone suggests otherwise.

I think for Grand Cayman a beach day could be in order if there is some sort of resort or something we can go to. We will have a few drinks so resorts with a bar are preferred.

As always, your recommendations are more than welcome.

Thanks in advance,

Jonathan

RockChickX51 March 2nd, 2009 12:14 PM

I'm bumping this because I'd also like to know.
I know the time in Grand Cayman is decreased due to tender times, etc. so I think a beach day on 7 Mile somewhere would be in order with an afternoon shopping downtown.

colorcrazie March 2nd, 2009 02:33 PM

I will always opt for the sting rays in Grand Cayman, but 7 mile beach is also pretty awesome. But the last time I did that, some of the hotels were charging for access to the beach! The only public beach area that I know of is at the far end away from the ship. And, yes, it really is 7 miles long. But, it looked like a nice beach with a bar/restaraunt as well.
Marty

fireba11 March 3rd, 2009 05:01 AM

Just visited these 2 places last week and have some suggestions for you.

If you are not traveling with children then when in Ocho Rios go to the Couples Sans Souci resort. This is an all inclusive resort for couples and you can get a day pass for $50 per person plus a $20 per person cab fee to get there and back. The resort is great, food is good, alcoholic drinks or sodas are free, no children there at all. If you are feeling brave there is even a AU Natural beach there as well.

I don't know of any resorts in Grand Caymen. There are buses that will take you to public access places for 7 mile beach for $4. Ask the bus drivers, I am sure they can steer you in the right direction.

cutiecat March 3rd, 2009 07:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by colorcrazie
I will always opt for the sting rays in Grand Cayman, but 7 mile beach is also pretty awesome. But the last time I did that, some of the hotels were charging for access to the beach! The only public beach area that I know of is at the far end away from the ship. And, yes, it really is 7 miles long. But, it looked like a nice beach with a bar/restaraunt as well.
Marty

Vote #2 for stingrays in Grand Cayman. Have done it twice and it is an incredible experience.

Donna March 3rd, 2009 08:34 AM

My vote is the Sting Rays in Grand Cayman as well...Just something you don't want to miss.

Also, in Jamaica, the same place where they do the river rafting is a canopy tour, that was great fun.

Jdudley13 March 3rd, 2009 08:41 AM

Excellent suggestions so far, Thank you!

How long do the rafting and sting rays etc.. typically take? Will we have time to do an excursion and then hang out on the beach for a while?

Didn't do any excursions on my last cruise so I have no clue how long they take.

bmatrix1970 March 3rd, 2009 12:38 PM

Have done the stingray thing a coupla years ago and it was awesome. Chose not to this past cruise partly because we were told that Grand Cayman has "changed the rules" and that guests are no longer allowed to feed the stingrays. They used to give you a bucket of squid and the rays reacted by swarming in for free lunch. I wondered if it would be the same w/o the food so we opted to have the Lido deck for ourselves that day.

The river tubing safari in Jamaica takes about 4 hours total including the 45 minute ride up/down the mountain. Plenty of time for an adult beverage in the port area upon your return. You can find apoximate lengths of time for excirsions on carnivals site.

Jdudley13 March 3rd, 2009 12:42 PM

Excellent, i will check out both. Thank you

rsumrow79 March 3rd, 2009 01:33 PM

We did the party cruise to the Falls in Ocho Rios and we had a blast. If I were going back I would look into the river rafting. So hard to go wrong with either of those choices.

We also did the Stingray City tour, highly recomended. Though if you cant feed them anymore I wonder if there will be as many. After we got back we just walked over to one of the resorts and used their beach for the afternoon, no charge. I have heard that this is frowned upon now, its been 2 years. But I found this place by doing a little search.

www.reefgrill.com

Never been there, but seems nice.

Let us know what you decide to do and post pics. Have a great trip.

Randy and Heather

Jdudley13 March 3rd, 2009 02:21 PM

That is what we are thinking as well. I still need to do some research on sting ray city but it seems like we should have time to do that in the am and then hang out on the beach for the afternoon.

Thank you

bguppies March 3rd, 2009 05:14 PM

Stingray City is definitely NOT to be missed.
My favorite vacation experience I have ever had.

The length depends on what you book it with.
They have Stingray City by itself and with all sorts of combinations of other excursions.

I did one 3 weeks ago, that had it, a short snorkle nearby and an hour and a half at Rum Point beach.
It took up all but 15 minutes of my time on shore.

Also, as of 3 weeks ago, they were still letting us feed the sting rays squid.
I guess maybe because mine was not booked through the ship and was a smaller group (12) than the huge group (maybe 250-300)on the ship's excursion.

Bill

Phil&Liz March 3rd, 2009 06:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rsumrow79
www.reefgrill.com

Quote:

Originally Posted by fireba11
If you are not traveling with children then when in Ocho Rios go to the Couples Sans Souci resort. This is an all inclusive resort for couples and you can get a day pass for $50 per person plus a $20 per person cab fee to get there and back. The resort is great, food is good, alcoholic drinks or sodas are free, no children there at all. If you are feeling brave there is even a AU Natural beach there as well.

We will keep these in mind when we go !! Thanks.

Phil & Liz

dude_hdt March 3rd, 2009 06:47 PM

I'll be on Conquest this summer going to Grand Cayman. I've heard about Sting Ray City for years and so will definitely head there.

I prefer not to go thru the ship's excursion to save some $. Is it possible to take a taxi on your own? Is there any cost to enter that beach besides taxi?

Donna March 3rd, 2009 07:42 PM

Hi Dude HDT,
No, you need to get to Sting Ray City by boat, so you need to book some kind of excursion either through the ship or on your own.

dude_hdt March 3rd, 2009 08:22 PM

Donna,
Thanks for that info. I had assume it was just off one of the beach. I'll splurge for Stingray City then. I'll save the beach for Cozumel. Last summer, we took a $5 cab ride to a public beach nested between 2 beach clubs. Cheap family fun compared to the ship's version of the excursion for the same thing.

Jdudley13 March 4th, 2009 10:08 AM

For those that have suggested a seperate charter for the SC excursion (as opposed to booking on the ship), how odes this look?
http://grandcaymancruiseexcursions.c...tyCharters.htm

My goal is to book one that has us back around mid day so we have time to hit a beach resort or just hang out on the beach for a while.

BobMiller March 4th, 2009 02:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dude_hdt
I'll be on Conquest this summer going to Grand Cayman. I've heard about Sting Ray City for years and so will definitely head there.

I prefer not to go thru the ship's excursion to save some $. Is it possible to take a taxi on your own? Is there any cost to enter that beach besides taxi?

In the port area after leaving the tender there are people holding up signs offering all kinds of tours and beach packages including Sting Ray City. On our last trip the ship tours to Sting Ray City were cancelled due to rough water but the locals were still running tours. Prices just outside of the initial shopping area were about $5 cheaper than the prices closer to the tenders.

Make sure to ask enough questions that you are comfortable with the tour operator and that you will be back in time to catch a tender to the ship before time to leave. Allow about 30 minutes for late tender rides, the lines get long.

Kentucky Cruiser March 4th, 2009 11:57 PM

STINGRAY CITY!!! An amazing experience. Should have time for beach if you want. Dunn's Falls was great too!! I climbed the Falls with a broken wrist :shock: (I did not know it was broken at the time :oops: ). Painful but the Falls was still great!!

tracyjayhawk March 8th, 2009 11:16 PM

We just got back from our trip to Ocho Rios and the Caymans and I highly suggest that you do book some sort of an excursion in Ocho Rios. I wish we had. We no more than got off the ship and walked right back in. The locals were ridiculous and in our face. One man got in my husbands face and my husband could smell his breath and the guy would not back off. We should NOT have tried to experience it on our own. I highly suggest booking an excursion.

In the Caymans we got off the tender and walked to the shopping area and then took a taxi to 7 mile beach and LOVED IT! It was a good time but wish I had went to Stingray City. Now looking back, I would have loved to have experienced that.

Happy sailings!
~T

mdnei March 9th, 2009 07:54 PM

my wife and i have been to the falls and liked it very much. my wife and i started climbing the falls togeather about half way up my wife had to stop do to past injury to back. however i went on climbing up it was very fun but you really need to be in shape to do it. it will wear you out getting to the top the island tour was great and loved the veiw from the top or the gardens i have some pictures if interested

Jdudley13 March 10th, 2009 10:56 AM

Great advice so far, especially self booking in Ocho Rios. Dealing with locals has been one of my concerns based on what we have heard so far. I think we will more than likely book either the falls or the river rafting trip in Ocho rios and then Sting ray city on Grand Cayman. I will more than likely book both in advance, online as i've heard it is comparable in price (or cheaper) and a much better experience (smaller groups) than booking on board.

Dr Plunger March 10th, 2009 11:30 AM

Bobsled Jamaica and Seven Mile Beach
 
Going in May on the Carnival Liberty. My kids want to climb the Falls and do the bobsled thing also. Looking to see if anyone has taken the Bobsled tour and get some feedback. It does look fun. Is it just a one time ride or multiple rides involved?

We are wanting to have a beach day in the Caymans and some parasailing. Would it be better to go thru Carnival or could I get something cheaper on my own?

Thanks in advance!!

Donna March 10th, 2009 08:31 PM

Hi Dr.
You should be able to get a cab in Grand Cayman and go to 7 mile beach...They offer parasailing, wave runners, etc. Any cab driver can tell you where they welcome cruise passengers for a few hours.

misguidedangel March 10th, 2009 08:40 PM

Stingray City is a most for Grand Cayman and still allows for lots of time to shop. You can also get your beach time here and do stingray city and rum point beach on the same excursion.

I will be on the Freedom April 19th and I plan on doing Jamaican Bobsled in Ocho Rios, but not sure if I want to do the falls since I did then in 1991. I will do Boatswain Beach in Grand Cayman cuz I really, after three attempts in two years, want to spend more than 20 minutes at the turtle farm! I can linger at the touch pool for half an hour if I want!!!!!!

pamjjo17 March 12th, 2009 02:59 PM

Also going to Ocho Rios and Grand Caymens on march 28
 
My husband and i are still trying to figure out what we are doing. We know we want to do beach kinds of things. Will probably do seven mile beach on grand caymans and are still up in the air about Ocho Rios, do you know anything about Bamboo Beach club? We are looking for a nice beach to go to.

Jdudley13 March 13th, 2009 09:28 AM

WE are doing sting ray city on Grand Cayman, picking a charter that will get us back sooner so we are able to go to the beach as well.

Ocho Rios we are leaning towards a river tubing excursion. Considered dun falls but i've been told it takes longer because of the amount of people, my mother said i would be extremely bored with it. Not 100% set on that yet though, might end up just doing a beach club on Ocho Rios.

Jdudley13 March 13th, 2009 01:37 PM

So i've realized that the river experience in Ocho Rios is on the back of a bamboo raft with someone paddling, not sure if thats something we are going to be in to or not. How is the all inclusive beach excursion? It says it's only 4 hours long so it is even worth that or should we just try to find another beach somewhere if we don't do an excursion. I really want to have a set plan on Ocho Rios as opposed to "winging it" because of the horror stories i've heard.

katlady March 24th, 2009 11:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Phil&Liz
Quote:

Originally Posted by rsumrow79
www.reefgrill.com

Quote:

Originally Posted by fireba11
If you are not traveling with children then when in Ocho Rios go to the Couples Sans Souci resort. This is an all inclusive resort for couples and you can get a day pass for $50 per person plus a $20 per person cab fee to get there and back. The resort is great, food is good, alcoholic drinks or sodas are free, no children there at all. If you are feeling brave there is even a AU Natural beach there as well.

We will keep these in mind when we go !! Thanks.

Phil & Liz

Hi All,
I would like to hear more about Beach resort day passes in Ocho Rios. The Couples Sans Souci resort sounds nice. What is included in that day pass? If it's free drinks and food then $50 PP is a good deal. Is there any issue with water in Jamacia? In Mexican you have to watch you ice cubes. What other beach resorts are there for a day pass? Do you need to book ahead or can you just show up?

Jdudley13 March 24th, 2009 12:48 PM

Great question...we are also leaning the same way. I've looked at possibly going to margaritaville in Ocho Rios, still unsure though.


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