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Old August 15th, 2009, 09:06 PM
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Default Western Caribbean

hi all
just looking for some info on Shore Excursions ? what good and what to stay away from.
it for for 4 people 2 adults and to one 16 and 11 year old. this is our 1st cruise.. omg cant wait its in december lol ..
where going on the valor

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, Isla Roatan, Belize, Cozumel, Mexico
thanks
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Old August 15th, 2009, 10:23 PM
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If you have never done it, I would HIGHLY recommend one of the stingray tours....your kids will LOVE it!!!
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Old August 16th, 2009, 07:00 AM
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Cave Tubing is a must in Belize.
Check Major Tom at Cave-tubing.net

I have used him before and is very reputable. His crew is very Safety concious and has everybody linked together and the guides stay right there with the group no free for all like other companys. He has two back up buses in case one of the buses in use breaks down and also has a tender boat at his disposal.

Happy Sailing
Mark
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Old August 16th, 2009, 08:52 AM
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The Royal Swim with dolphins at Chankanaab Park in Cozumel. Book direct with www.dolphindiscovery.com it is cheaper that way. Taxi to the park costs $15. It's a thrilling day
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Old August 16th, 2009, 10:30 AM
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Of these 4 ports, which we will be at in November, which ONE would you skip an excursion and just wonder around port and shop some. We cannot do exursions in all 4 ports. Grand Cayman is a must, the other three I don't know about. Any opinions?
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Old August 16th, 2009, 05:13 PM
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If I was going to skip a port it would be Belize, simply because it is a tender port. If you are asking this for financial reasons, consider that in Cozumel you can very easily and safely get a cab to Chankanaab park and pay the admission and dolphin swim. There is a safe restaurant there and clean showers and restrooms. Also you can rent snorkel gear there ofr less than $10 Or if you want just a day at the beach go to Paradise Beach. No admission, very clean, free chairs and umbrellas. for $10 you get to play on the floating, jumpy things. The kids, large and msall, like that.

Grand Cayman you gotta, gotta, gotta swim with the stingrays. National geo did a special on it several years ago that was terrific. Don't know if you can access it anyway.

You might go to the Ports of call board and look at each of the individual locations for more specific info.

Enjoy!
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Old August 17th, 2009, 10:23 AM
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Thanks, I'll keep that in mind. It is expensive to try and do excursions in all 4 ports. I figured we would just skip doing anything other than walk around and site see in one of the ports if we could do it safely. So Belize we tender in? I know we do in Cayman, but I am not missing the Caymans. Any suggestions for Roatan?
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Old August 17th, 2009, 01:23 PM
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Sometimes you can't tender into Grand Cayman and if the water is rough, they may cancel the water based activities.

Most of my reply to another thread seems to work here, too.

In my opinion, Roatan currently has the best snorkeling.

Belize has some great and some not so great snorkeling.

If you have never been to Grand Cayman, the Stingray Sandbar is a must, not really snorkeling but is water based. I'd rank this in the top 10 shore excursions anywhere.

On Grand Cayman, there is some ok snorkeling about 100 yards from the tender docks at Eden Rock. Several times I have done tours and still have time for a snorkel at Eden Rock before going back to the ship.

Cozumel used to have outstanding snorkeling from shore or boat,but then Hurricane Wilma sat on top of the island and devastated the shallow reefs. The snorkeling is coming back, but is still not to the best in the Caribbean. Some parts are really good.

Some things also depend on how experienced of a snorkeler you are.

Here are some snorkel pictures:

Several pages from Tabyana Beach on Roatan:
http://www.zydecocruiser.com/valor_06/RO/ro_1.htm


Cozumel 3 reef snorkel:
http://www.zydecocruiser.com/NCLSprit08/coz/index.htm


Belize:
http://www.zydecocruiser.com/ncl_sun...elize/be_1.htm

I'll have to put together some pictures from Stingray Sandbar.

Grand Cayman: Cemetery Beach (not a ship tour):
http://www.zydecocruiser.com/conquest_07/GC/cb.htm

I have more examples on my website.
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Old August 17th, 2009, 03:15 PM
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We are doing the same ports later this year. In Cozumel, we plan on just walking around. Depending on where we dock, will cab into the downtown area, then walk around. There are shops there that offer things normally not found, like handpainted feathers (my favorite).
Marty
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Old August 17th, 2009, 05:54 PM
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The Carnival pier - Puerta Maya reopened last year, so most, if not all, Carnival ships park there. It is the farthest pier from downtown. There are shops right there, however.

They have a ship schedule list on the website:
http://www.puertamaya.com/
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Old August 18th, 2009, 02:21 PM
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I'm just not crazy about the shops at the Carnival pier. Last year, I was tired and just wandered around that area. I had shopped there before and the prices had gone through the roof. Plus, more jewelry stores, less local stuff. I have no interest in shopping in chain stores on a cruise.
Marty
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