We are going on a Western Caribbean cruise this August and are puzzled as to whether we should book ahead with independent shore excursion companies, go with the flow and book when we hit the port, or go with the (massively overpriced) Princess Cruise excursions. We're specifically interested in snorkeling in Grand Cayman with the stingrays and hitting Xcaret in Cozumel. Any ideas?
We booked through our cruise line..Carnival...and yes it was pricey. Swimming with the stingrays was absolutely awesome and an experience you will not forget.
I do know that there are lots of cheaper tours as soon as you get off the dock. The locals are all waiting and have price signs. Everyone goes to the same sand barge where the stingrays hang out. So, I really don't think it matters who you go with...if we go again...we plan to try grabbing a tour right at the docks. Hope this helps.
If you are going to Ocho Rios....book a tour to climb Dunn River Falls...Best experience EVER!!!!
I think it makes abig difference if you book on you own. The trips throught the ship are always with the biggest operators so you are on the biggest boats for snorkeling and therefore tons of people. Tons of people means lots of sand being kicked up so low visability. You can get better trips at reduced ratesdirect from the companies. Someone posted a great link earlier http://www.caymanislandsdiscounts.com They offer a discount for Red Baron and a great snorkeling guide too.
Red Baron is amazing, we loved them. Sailed through the north sound and snorkled a few great locations then stingray city. We anchored away from the crowds and the stingrays came to us....Amazing...