So I booked a cruise for Jan 29-Feb 5 going to Cozumel, Ochos Rios, and Caymen Islands. I've started looking through the excursions for the islands, and would like to plan one for each island. Is it best to book this early, or to wait until closer? Also, which trips offer the most? My boyfriend and I were thinking about doing one of the beach trips one day, but we don't want to fill the whole cruise with just those.
We usually book shore excursions as soon as we see a tour that we want, then we book it on the Carnival site. Also some tours / excursions are not listed on line and are only available aboard the ship. Some tours have only a limated amount of guests for each tour.
We didn't get to go to Cozumel, (huricane damage back in 2005), so we went to Costa Maya instead.
At Grand Caymen Island, aboard the "Carnival Victory", We went on the whole Island tour,(they also have wonderful beaches there), (we also went to "HELL", that's a small town on the other side of Grand Caymen Island. They have their own Post Office so you can send your friends and or boss a post card that reads.."GO TO HELL"!
As part of that tour, we also visited a "Turtle Farm" and the "Tortuga Rum Cake" factory. This tour gave us a good look at the whole island, plus they gave us time to go shopping & time for some adult beverages too!
On "Ocho Rios, Jamaica, we did the "Dunns River Falls", "Shaw Park" and" Shopping" shore excursion. We didn't go in the water / falls. You have to pay $15.00 each to rent special shoes before you enter the water, (they are like Crocs). My wife has a bad knee so we just watched everyone in the water, but we did have some of the best "Jerk Chicken" followed by a few " Red Stripe" beers. After the falls, they took us to a "gated" shopping center, where we did a lot of shopping. Ocho Rios isn't a very safe area for tourists, so make sure that you are guided and or escorted.
Ocho Rios also has great beaches.
You can look at the various shore excursions that are offered for each cruise port on Carnival's web site, under the particular cruise that you select. But like I stated before, some tours are not listed on line. We hope that you have a blast!
Dave & Diane
We love anything assocated with crusing and traveling. We are retired U.S. Navy...and loving it, "Been there...done that"! (almost).
MS Carnival Glory 11/2010
MS Carnival Liberty 11/2007
MS Carnival Spirit 10/2006
MS Carnival Victory 12/2005
MS Star Princess 12/2002
MS Carnival Victory 12/2000
USS Bristol County, LST 1198, 1980-1982
USS Turner Joy, DD951, 1973-1978
Itís hard to go wrong in excursions because you pick something based on what looks fun and let the tour guide do all the work. Most morning excursions from 1-3 hours will allow enough time to hit a local beach in the afternoon, or even include a beach break. We often take an excursion in the morning, go back to the ship for lunch and to change, then either go to a beach or shop in the afternoon.
Cozumel: 100s of things to choose from, but we enjoyed the Swim with the Dolphins. Includes access to the beaches at the park afterwards. Buying the videos and photos they take can cost as much as the excursion. Busses leave the park throughout the day so you can enjoy the beaches and sights at your leisure.
Ochos Rios: Dunnís River Falls is the signature activity. Itís a picturesque sloping jungle river dropping through many large smooth boulders. Easily climbable by all ages. Well worth the trip. There is a Margaritaville and a beach in the nice shopping area near the ship. I believe there is a small fee for using the beach.
Caymen Island: Swim with the stingrays. They are gentle as puppies and itís a great experience. Many tours are available that also includes snorkeling, visiting ďHellĒ, the Turtle Farm, or Seven Mile beach. It is easy to take the tour then catch a cab to and from a public access point for Seven Mile Beach. This is also an easy tour to pick up from the port area if you want to save a few dollars off the shipís price.