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Old November 19th, 2000, 11:43 AM
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Default Which Shore Excursion?

Can anyone please help, have decided in Jamaica to visit Dunn's River Falls but have just read the list of excursions there are so many that all sound simular but have no details please advice between the Catamaran Cruise & Dunns River (D.R.F.), Trimaran Cruise & D.R.F, Ocean Kayak to D.R.F, Yachting to D.R.F, or just to go with Highlights & D.R.F. My T.A. is not much help neither is Princess in England. I have the same problem about the Cayman Island I want to do the Stingrays but have a choice of either Stingray Sandbar Snorkling, N/W Stingray Catamaran Snorkling or just do the Hightlights & Stingray City but will I get longer with the Stingrays if I dont do the Highlights & Stingrays tour and do one of the others which is just Stingrays. Sorry to go on so much I am just so confused and want to book the correct excursion.
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Old November 19th, 2000, 02:07 PM
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Default RE: Which Shore Excursion?

Hi Debbie,
When we visited Jamaica, we just did a tour with the falls and Fern Gulley and 2 shopping stops. Someone just returned from a Carnival Victory cruise and did the Kayak to the falls and said it was great, although a few problems. I think you should be physically in good shape to do this?? As for the sting ray tour, a lot of the tours just go out to the sandbar, so there is no real swimming involved. We spend a few days in Grand Cayman and went with a local outfit and they took us out with divers, so we were in deep water and it was awesome even though we were just snorkeling above all the divers. The guides made sure to bring them up to us and they were huge. Just make sure to purchase an underwater camera before you leave home, otherwise you'll be paying twice what you paid at home.
Not sure which tour will give you longer time with the sting rays, after about an hour of swimming, that was enough for me and it take over half an hour to get out there too, so allow time for the traveling. Think you should enjoy both of these excersions, have fun.

Donnassei/Sealover
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Old November 19th, 2000, 08:53 PM
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Default RE: Which Shore Excursion?

Debbie,

In Ocho Rios, I highly recommend the tour of Prospect Plantation and Dunn's River Falls if you have not been to Jamaica before. Prospect Plantation literally occupies nearly a whole mountain, so the various altitude zones support an impressive array of crops. The jitney tour is most delightful, and they do demonstrations along the way. Among these demonstrations, the young man who climbs a coconut palm with bare hands and bare feet really puts on quite an act! Also, this tour will give you a chance to see some of the Jamaican "Blue Ridge" (which is nearly two thousand meters above sea level -- quite impressive for such a small island!).

On Grand Cayman, I have yet to hear of any tour that ranks as a loser. The visit to Stingray City is very popular and consistently draws raves, but the other tours also visit unique attractions that have no equivalents elsewhere. I highly enjoyed the "Sea and See" tour, which combines a visit to two wrecks and several reefs in a "semisubersible craft" (actually a boat in which you sit in a compartment located below the waterline and look out through windows in both sides of the hull) with a visit to the island's unique attractions ashore -- the rock formation at Hell and the world's only sea turtle farm. Additionally, the duty-free shopping district near the tender pier in George Town offers some of the best shopping that I have ever found in a port of call. The merchandise there, overall, is not cheap -- but the prices are very fair for the quality of merchandise that most of the shops do sell. You'll find a lot of quality merchandise, including jewelry and cosmetics, at very competitive prices. Don't forget to sample the flavored rum cakes (I like the coconut best) at the stand in the shopping district. Finally, Seven Mile Beach (which really is only 5 1/2 miles long) is one of the best in the world.

Have a great cruise!

Norm.
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Old November 20th, 2000, 10:20 PM
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Default RE: Which Shore Excursion?

I'm keen on a good answer to this one too, tri or cat to Dunn's River????difference and which is more stable for my 7 year old who will be going (the bus tour wouldn't go over well). I also want the Stingray City tour where you go to a sandbar and can stand to feed the rays. Thanks.Debbie wrote:
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Old November 23rd, 2000, 11:15 AM
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Default RE: Which Shore Excursion?

Hi guys,
we did the western carib. 2 years ago...
in jamaica we did the tri cat to dunns river with our 2 children ages 5 and 8 at the time. the boat was stable enough for the them, although it was quite a party atmosphere on the ride back with rum punch flowing very freely! but it was fun with the music playing and dancing. the climb at the falls itself was doable by both of my kids, but the guides there were quite rude and uncaring of the kids. my daughter was having a harder time, so he grabbed one of her hands(i had the other) and kind of dragged her along, cuz he didn't want to be slowed down. The guides at the falls were VERY demanding of a tip and blocked our way out of the water to get his tip. However they had made us leave everything but our water proof camera's back on the beach so we had to go back down to get our money and he hunted us down on the beach to get his tip!

Grand cayman was EXCELLENT!! we did the sting ray/sand bar snorkeling tour and it was great. had plenty of time with the sting ray and then moved to the sand bar and saw more beautiful fish there. I would highly recommend this as because if you just do the sting ray part, it is a great experience, but you don't see coral reefs and beatiful fish. you also have plenty of time to do things around grand cayman before or after the tour.
sorry so long, hope this helps! feel free to e-me with any other questions
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Old November 23rd, 2000, 02:07 PM
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Default RE: Which Shore Excursion?

Hi Copout2,
We had a simular expierence at the Falls too, left all our stuff on the bus. The guide came all the way to our bus to get his tip. Next time, I'll be more prepared to tip on the spot.

Donnassei/Sealover
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Old November 23rd, 2000, 03:55 PM
Carole Dunham
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Default RE: Which Shore Excursion?

Just nitpickin Norm, but the rock formations at Hell consists of dead coral,, not rock.

Carole
(who almost moved to GC and has spent MUCH time there)
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Old November 24th, 2000, 06:18 PM
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Default RE: Which Shore Excursion?

Carole,

Okay, I'll nitpick back. The formation at Hell, Grand Cayman, is limestone, which is a rock formed from organic remains (usually either coral or shells). At Hell, algae have eroded the limestone to razor sharpness and blackened it, causing the volcanic appearance.

Norm.
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Old December 13th, 2000, 10:44 PM
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Default RE: Which Shore Excursion?

I am wondering about the economics- We are a party of 3 adults. Can we arrange our own tours at the various docks? What cost savings? What risks?

This is our first cruise (Sea Princess- Western Caribeen) and I would appreciate any advice.
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Old December 14th, 2000, 01:35 AM
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Default RE: Which Shore Excursion?

Terry,

You certainly can arrange excursions on your own, but:

>> 1. You will have to allow a lot more "cushion" on your return than the excursions from the ship. If an excursion sponsored by the ship gets delayed, the ship waits for it to return. If you go off the ship on your own and get delayed, the ship will not wait for you. If you miss the sailing, you might get lucky and get a lift to the ship on the pilot boat (for which there will be a charge to your on-board account). If you don't get lucky, you pay for your own hotel for the night (two nights if there's a sea day!) and your own air transportation to the ship's next port of call.

>> 2. You may have to take a taxi into town to meet your tour and another taxi from downtown to the ship at the end of your tour, at additional expense. If you take a shore excursion from the ship, it will leave from the pier.

>> 3. Unless you arrange a tour in advance, the tour you want might be sold out when the ship arrives in port.

>> 4. In tender ports, the passengers who are on sponsored excursions receive priority going ashore. If you are doing a tour on your own, you might have to wait until the tenders finish taking passengers who booked shore excursions ashore -- which certainly cuts into the time that you have available.

>> 5. Depending upon your interests, you might encounter some facilities are not accessible to the general public. This is particularly true of private beach clubs and golf courses in some ports of call, where the cruise line has special arrangements with the respective operators.

>> 6. Princess does screen the shore excursions and their operators pretty carefully to ensure that the product is of high quality since it reflects, for better or worse, on Pirncess. Going on your own, you might not do as well. It's very unlikely that you would be able to do better.

In my experience, it's rare that the savings of booking an excursion on your own rather than booking it through the ship is more than a dollar or two per person. I think that it's worth this incremental difference to avoid the potential hassles of going on your own.

Have a great cruise!

Norm.
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Old December 14th, 2000, 05:37 PM
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Default RE: Which Shore Excursion?

Hi Larry,
You may want to contact Port Pormotion for pre-arranging some shore excersions, have heard they are good. Its worth a try, good luck.

<http://www.portpromotions.com/>

Also found members review of "Sea Princess" from about a year ago doing the western Caribbean that may be of interest to you, enjoy:


<http://www.cruisemates.com/articles/cruiseguide/shiptour/memreviews/mr_princess/seaprincess2.html>


Donnassei
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