My wife and I are taking our first cruise on 11/30 on the Voyager. We were told to book ahead for the excursions that we really want. I've read the pros and cons about booking with the cruiseline or with private vendors and I've decided since this is our first cruise that I'll book through the cruiseline. I've got a couple questions/concerns I'm hoping you all can help me with.
1. Do I want to book an all-day excursion or should I book a shorter excursion? Are there things to do in and around the port? For example I'm looking at the Shark Alley snorkel w/ lunch excursion in Belize. It's a 7 1/2 hour excursioin, which just seems like a long time to me. Any reviews on that excursion?
2. In Cozumel we're looking at either the Catamaran sail/snorkel or the Passion Island escape. Any reviews on these?
3. One of the toughest decisions we have to make is the Grand Cayman excursion. From everything I've read, we definately need to do Stingray City. The two options I'm looking at are the Snorkeling and Stingray City combo (which is only 3 1/4 hrs) or the Snorkeling, Stingray City, Beach party combo (which is an all day thing...7 hours). Do I really want to spend 7 hours on that or is there other things to do in the Grand Cayman port?
4. Two other options I'm looking at for Cayman is the Cocatoo Catamaran excursion (any help/information would be appreciated) and the Atlantis Submarine trip.
We're just so excited about our trip, but it's almost overwhelming how much there is to do. Thanks in advance for any and all advice you guys give.
I am very faired skined so I did the stingray snorkel combo for 3 1/2 hours, which was plenty of time for me in the sun. I do not know what else there is to do in Grand Cayman. I felt that 7 hours would be too long.
Cozumel we did the fiesta party boat which was a ball, I'd do it again.
When my husband and I cruise we like to book the shorter excursions so that we have some time to see the island on our own. 7 or 8 hours in the sun can be a bit much, especially if you do not already have a tan.
We have been on the Passion Island Escape and were not really impressed. Seemed a bit to expensive for what you got. Also the sanitation seemed to be a bit slack. If you didn't drink Corona's then you got a glass of Rum Punch and it looked like all they did was run their fingers around the rim and dunk it in dirty water to rinse. NO THANKS... I did without until we got back to the ship. The island was very nice and water was great. It is about a 45 minute trip from the ship to the island. There is alot to do in Cozumel while the boats are in port. The streets are filled with activity and taxis are plentiful. The lunch was OK but nothing to write home about. This was OK but 68.00 per person was definately to much. But we have always taken ship sponsored excursions because if the tour runs late they wait on you. If you are not on a s/s excursion and you are late..... SORRY.. The boat leaves anyway. Also, I feel safer on ship sponsored tours. We are booked on a 10day in November and just booked our excursions today online. Very easy and efficient. Have a great time. No matter where you go or what you do being on a cruise is the greatest.
We just returned from OUR first cruise, Navigator of the Seas... ahhhhhhhhhh. Anyway, Grand Cayman was absolutely incredible, mainly because of our excursion. We did the Sting Ray - Snorkeling tour on a catamaran (ended up being about 4 hours). Our group had 8 people, and I did NOT want it to end. The stingrays were soooooo much fun, and the snorkeling was beautiful (first time for that, too!). I loved the small group, too. We were strangers, but ended up having a blast together.
Here is the link for the excursion we booked. We did the catamaran excursion, on the Snorkeler's Dream, with Capt. Crosby. Good luck!
Don't try to do too much in one day. You will exhaust yourself and have nothing left when you return to the ship. Save some of those excursions for the next cruise. Passing on some of the excursions will keep $$ in your fund to do shipboard stuff on days at sea.
there are taxis everywhere, we booked the sub and it was great but other than that we just got in a taxi and we seen more than most people . you can have the taxi driver take you to any of the excursions . we did this on our first cruise but we did book our excursions for our second. I myself liked the taxi deal we seen alot more.
We did Belize last year on the NCL Sun. We did Shark Ray Alley. It was amazing. You not only get to swim with String Rays but also Sand Sharks our guide grabbed one of the sharks and put it into some kind of sleep on its back and I got to touch it. AMAZING. We ran across some Manatees also while traveling to the snorkel site. The island you will go to for lunch is the island that Temptation Island was filmed.
Word of warning, if you do Belize Shark Ray Alley, Grand Caymans, and I have done this excursion, is a waste of money. It is nothing like Belize. If you had nothing to compare it to you would enjoy Grand Caymans. I would take Belize in a heart beat.
We have sailed Explorer twice and have taken cruise line excursions. We prefer 3-4 hrs. otherwise it's too tiring and we miss ship meals. We were advised by friends and our TA to wait and book excursions on the ship. The interactive TV system makes this easy and fast. We do it as soon as we get to our cabin, which has not been early in the day, and never have had a problem. Did it on Summit in Alaska this summer, too.
Explorer E. Carib. 1/12/02
Explorer. W. Carib 1/18/03
Summit Alaska cruise/tour 8/3/03
Adventure S. Carib. 2/8/04