Newbie Cruise family iso Info! (West Carib/Mexico)
As the day nears for our first (7 day, too!) cruise we've found ourself beset by questions. While searching for answers we inevitably end up with more questions and/or confusion. I was hoping to appeal to the better nature of those on this board in maybe assisting with updated information about our destinations, our ships, and any advice!
First, we are leaving on the Carnival Dream and we have been given Cabin 1340 -- from what I read it should be a decent cabin, though I don't have particular details.
Here is our schedule:
Embark day, Day at Sea, Cozumel, Belize, Isla Roatan, Costa Maya, Day at Sea, Debark
Sounds like a very full plan, eh? Does anybody have any suggestions at what could be done as a family low cost in some of these cities? Any interesting sites to see?
I noticed that everything in Mahogany Bay and other ports of call seems to be about $100 per person including "Relaxing on the Beach and swimming", I assume this is only if you relax on their special beach... or do they really charge you to do such?
A little further info: My wife and I are very familiar with Foreign travel and have been through Europe, Asia, South America, and North America by ourselves without Tour Guides. I'm not too nervous with the idea of renting a car (there are expats at some of the ports that own rental services) and driving to a ruin, or catching a white bus/van as some forums have discussed (I beleive that was Belize). Does anyone have experience with similar?
I sincerely apologize -- I forgot to add some information. My family is a family of 4, with my daughters being 13 and 12. We were sent an example of the "Circle C" schedule for them which shows a fully planned day of activities -- at some cases until midnight/1:30 in the morning. Would anyone recommend this?
Do the children have to stay until I sign them out, or are they escorted back to the cabin? I have a bit of fear allowing my children to randomly wander the decks of the cruise ship after deciding to leave an activity, or at 1 in the morning.
Just one of those questions!
Also, in regards to my first post -- I'm also looking for reputable 3rd party excursion sites (I noted X-stream).
Welcome to CruiseMates. We sailed with our kids when they were both over 21, so I can't give much advise regard Circle C. You can often grab a cab and get anywhere you want. Belize is a tender port so you will need to ride a boat (free) into port. You can book excursions through Carnival or search for tour providers on-line. If you rent a car in Mexico get the insurance - you are guilty until proven innocent there.
A Bad Day At Sea [with power] Always Beats A Good Day At Work
Carnival: Glory 2004, Destiny 2008, Splendor 2009, Freedom 2011, Valor 2012, Dream 2013
Celebrity: Summit 2011
Princess: Ruby 2010, 2014, Caribbean 2013, Coral 2014
In Belize do a ships excursion, it's a tender port and takes another 20-30 minutes to get to shore there don't want to miss your ship. Cave tubing is an excellent choice for the family, so is snorkeling one of the cay's (where all the beautiful beaches are they are not in Belize city) if you like animals they have a zoo there or the Baboon sanctuary (really Howler monkey's)If you like Mayan ruins like I do the ruins are excellent I went to Xuanantunich one, and I've heard great views of other ruins that include the River Wallace. I would not recomend the city tour or just going shopping here at the visitors center.
In Costa Maya that's an easy cheap beach day. Walk through the cruise ship visitors center ask for the buses to Majahal town. Takes a few dollars and a few minutes there you can find a spot on the beach, eat, swim, shop, drink at one of the bars, if you want get an inexpensive beach massage.
In Rotan I've only done a ships excursion to Parrot Bay resort didn't care for it too American for me, I want to experiance the real Roatan. Next trip I'm looking for Victor Bodden tours google him.
In Cozumel grab a taxi to Paradise beach it's beautiful, you still have to pay to use the beaches here, share a cab to save $$, or take a snorkel tour we found one right off the pier only cost $40 and was better then most of the ships snorkels I have been on. The guide would dive down and bring up starfish and sea horses for us to look at, our glass bottom boat was small so our group was smaller makes for better snorkeling. Hope this helps.
Carnival Mardi Gras 1987 (Bahamas)
Carnival Legend 2005 (Exotic Western Caribbean)
Costa Mediterrenia 2005 (Eastern Caribbean)
Carnival Pride October 2006 (Mexican Rivera)
Carnival Legend 2007 (Western Caribbean)
Carnival Glory 2009 Western Caribbean
Carnival Liberty 2011 Eastern Caribbean
Norwegian Spirit 2011 Western Caribbean
Carnival Miracle 2012 Southern Caribbean
Carnival Breeze 2013 Exotic Eastern Caribbean
Carnival Valor 2014 Southern Caribbean
We enojoyed the Mahogany Bay 'Magic Chair' ride to the private beach. This is a sanitized Roatan experience but we had no interest in the 'authentic' Roatan adventure. Here a link to the 'Magic Chair' video.
Celebrity Constellation (Penthouse booked for 2014)
Princess Grand Princess (2012) Vista Suite
Princess Crown Princess (2011) mini-suite
Princess Emerald Princess (2010) min-suite
Carnival Conquest (2008)
Princess Grand Princess (2003)
Carnival Victory (2002)
Celebrity Century (1997) Century Suite
Carnival Fantasy (1997)
Carnival Ecstasy (1994) Grand Suite
NCL Sunward (1992) Marquee Suite
RCI Nordic Empress (1990)
RCI Song of America (1988)