My husband and I will be going to the western caribbean on 12/15/02 (this sunday!), but we really can't afford those expensive shore excursions. We'll be going to cozumel, grand cayman, costa maya, and key west. Does anybody know of any independent excursion sites? Thanks.
Yes, there are quite a few. A nice place to go to in cozumel is Chankanaab Park: http://www.cozguide.net/chankan.html
You can just get a cab at the pier and head on over there, good snorkeling, beach, etc.
For Grand Cayman, definitely snorkeling with the Sting Rays. You can pre-book it with Capt. Marvin, but not sure if you can at this short notice, but give it a try if you think this is something you want to do: http://www.captainmarvins.com/
There may be more at this site and you usually save some money, hope you find some nice and interesting things to do, enjoy:
Key West: Check around on the web a bit, and just do whatever interests you on your own. Good maritime museum, shopping, pub crawl, Hemingway House, etc.
Grand Cayman: Stingray City is a "Don't Miss". Try Captain Marvin's excursion.
Cozumel: No need for an organized tour. Rent a jeep and go around the island yourself, snorkeling and beaching it back to the ship. Finish up with a little shopping and a Corona at Carlos and Charlies. OR DIVE, if you're certified.
most excursions are cheaper if you do them on your own, one of your best bets is to hire a driver for the day, make sure your driver speaks English not just a few words. You might me hard pressed to get a Capt. Marvin's tour this close to departure, the cruise lines buy up most of them, going on a ships excursion might be the only way you would get to Sting Ray City. If you want an amazing snorkel adventure look into renting on a dive boat that snorkels the Palencaar Reef - with certified dive masters - this is really easy snorkeling and the marine life is just awesome.
The park is a very short drive by taxi (not walkable) about 10 min. And they usually charge $10.00. Entrance to the park is $10.00 per person, possible $8.00. But I think is was $10 in Oct. The park is well mantained, you can rent snorkel equipment if you don't have your own. Life perservers are $5.00 rental, not sure about the other stuff. There are beautiful gardens there and other things to see. We never miss going there, it is always a great day. There are things to sit on and shade if you want it . Rest rooms and food. They bring the drinks in a pineapple on the beach. Don't miss the park, is my recomendation!