My wife and I are going on our first cruise Jan 25 on Island Princess. We have never cruised before and this is our first holiday without the kids since we got married 14 years ago - hoping it to be extra special. We splurged and got an outside stateroom with balcony.
Anyway, I love to snorkel and my wife likes the water and beaches. Any recommendations for excursions. Our ports are Nassau, Colon, Limon, Georgetown and Cozumel.
Are excursions good value or can we go on shore and find a good excursion/beach on our own? What about safety and getting back to the ship on time reliably?
Also, any hints or recommendations about any aspects of the trip on how to maximize our experience would be much appreciated!!
We also are traveling on the Island Princess on the 25th. Have cruised twice before (Alaska and Mexico), but never the Caribbean. Suggestions on excursions are welcome. Would like to try scuba and snorkel at Coz and Grand Cay, but don't know what to do at Limon, Colon or Nassau.
As far as Panama, I'd recommend against the Pacific train trip - too fast to take any photos (it's mostly on buses - we got two brief camera stops ... to view Panama City from quite a distance and to look at the Miraflores Lock) and the so-called lunch was anything but. However, I've heard rave reviews about the ocean to ocean on the boat going through the Miraflores lock. You get to Colon later in the day and nothing was offered there in April or October 31. They have a kind of flea market at the pier and some stores (nothing to write home about).
In Nassau, you might hop a taxi over to the Atlantis hotel - something else! And, you can always go to the straw market.
I know nothing about snorkeling, etc.
I cruise the Emerald Princess, Eastern Caribbean on April 16, 2012
We just returned for the Island Princess and I'd suggest Dunn's river falls in Ocho Rios, Sting Ray city in Grand Cayman with Soto's. The juglne eco-adventure if Limon. I stayed on the ship during the canal and loved it. Watched going in from the Balcony then when to aft Emerald deck for a very up close and personal view on the way out. Two completly different perspectives.
I totally agree with Mike's suggestions. Snorkeling in Cozumel is awesome, we did the Palencaar Reef and loved it. I would recommed booking a ships tour here, you have to travel a ways out by boat to get to the reef. Nice to know if something goes wrong, they will hold the ship for you. Snorkeling with the rays is just so-so, you can get up close with them at Sting Ray City Sandbar, you stand in the water and they swim around you. If you want to just snorkel in Caymen there are some good reefs and shipwrecks , just go to any of the many local dive shops right on the main street and hook-up with one of them. The Panama Canal is an awesome sight we did a total transit and stayed on the ship to get the total experience of Gatun and Miraflores locks.
We are looking forward to being on Island Princess 4 Feb. 2004.
The tours we are interested in are Limon - Rainforest Aerial Tram or Hacienda Experience, Grand Cayman - Flightseeing or Pedro St. James & Queen Elizabeth Bot. Gardens & Ocho Rios - A Taste of Jamaica & Scenic Drive - any feedback would be very welcome.
Appreciate info. about staying on ship through canal - will now do so.
Is the sea warm enough for snorkling in February ???
From prior comments it seems that dinner service on the Island is not consistent from cruise to cruise. Are they still shaking down their staff or did they just change contracts lately when they came off of the Alaska runs?