We're first time cruisers and will be going with my 15 yr old and 11 yr old boys.
I'd like some advice on best excursions for this age group, but we'll also have to keep mom safe and happy!
thinking to book snuba or snorkeling in GC in a combination with a boat/sailing trip. Then perhaps the 4x4 trip in Cozumel.
Also, we are looking for a nice beach to hang out at, not too crowded, and we could rent jet skis or other equipment. don't mind paying for fewer/smaller crowds. Any suggestions in either GC or Cozumel?
In Grand Cayman, I highly recommend the excursion to Stingray City Sandbar. This is a fantastic once-in-a-lifetime adventure that everyone in your family will enjoy. The cruise line will offer this excursion, but I recommend booking directly with Captain Marvin's Watersports. It is a more comprehensive excursion with several snorkeling stops. Also there are fewer of people on each boat.
We did the Sting Ray Sandbar with our children (10, 12 & 15) and they loved it. We went with Soto' s Cruises. $24/pp. Went to two snorkel sites and the sting ray sandbar. There were about 14 of us on the boat and everyone had a wonderful time. In Cozumel we went to Chankanaab Park. You can see my review under Reader Reviews, Carnival, Inspiration if you want to take a look.
I agree that Soto's is the way to go. We had a great time with Soto's - spending lots of time with the stingrays and snorkeling in two other areas that had an amazing array of underwater life.
I would recomend snorkeling in Cozumel. One can 4 wheel almost anywhere. Cozumel is world renown for its diving/snorkeling. There are tours, as well as beaches you can go to by yourself. We have snorkeled in Cozumel four times, and look foward to our return.
agree with the others that Sting Rays are a must do on Grand Caymen. As for beaches - plop yourself along 7-mile beach anywhere- its a public beach, you might want to consider a hotel beach, you get use of the facilites for a fee.
Cozumel - snorkeling is amazing - book a ships tour (only because they will hold the ship for you if your snorkel boat has problems) to the Palencaar Reef - amazing. Great beaches in Cozumel - Playa del Sol, Mr.Panchos, and Channunkaab National Park.
Definitely in GC do the stingray sandbar. We did it in March on our last cruise and our 10 yr old daughter absolutely loved it. The water isn't deep...up to your waist too.
We did ours thru Nativeway water sports and there are alot of good companies in GC that do it also.
In cozumel we did the 4x4/beach/cavern tour thru the ship as we hadn't anything planned or booked thru an independent operator so we decided to do this tour.
It was so much fun! You drive your own jeep thru Mexico, go to the caves and swim in the caverns, and then you get back in your jeep and drive to La Playa Beach and have a buffet lunch and you can swim/kayak whatever, then you get in your jeep and return back to port. It was wild driving down what they called the "highway" there!
no we are on RCCL Rhapsody sailing July 4 out of Galveston
Still stuck between Paradise Beach and Mr. Santos. Have heard the shore line is a bit rough at Paradise but once you get out a bit its great. Its also great on the beach, just a few shells, etc. in the wave area. time for water shoes. WE're still trying to get a place nearby for SNUBA so we run down to Mr. Sanchos or up to the Hotel Cozumel where SnubaCozumel has a desk.
Well you might want to consider combining a discover scuba course (diving for beginners) with the stingrays.
Discover diving is like a step up from snuba because you aren't attached to anything, you are diving in shallow water with an instructor. There is an excellent excursion that does a discover diving course in the morning with a dive at a ship wreck and then they take you by boat to the original stingray city were you dive in 10-15 ft of water with stingrays, its a lot of fun!!!
I believe the minimum age for diving is 11 now so you could all do it and they will also take snorkelers on the boat so if your wife doesn't want to dive she can ride with you and snorkel if she'd like .
I've dove with these guys on the stingray city dive and met some people who were doing the double excursion and they were having a great time.
simple in coz go playa del sol beach club i went there with my family was the best part of our trip great beach has jet ski great food price was nice a couple of different prices we went to shoretrips.com look in 2 it you love it
My kids (10 and 17 at that time) had a great time at Playa del Sol... as did the adults in our party !! they had lots of organized, fun activities for adults and kids and activities were run by a very friendly, fun staff.. water balloon throws, volley ball, beach games... also snorkel trips, jet skis, kayaks, etc, etc. The water was cloudy the day I was there so we couldn't do the snorkel trip (it was December and a little windy) It does get a little crowded, but thats the price you pay for all the organized activities.. the kid's won't be bored and you can relax or join in the fun !! The RCL excursion price included open bar (beer and local brands) but some in my party didn't drink.. we found when we got there we could have saved a few bucks by just going on our own and paying at the gate, that way you have the option of unlimited alcohol for a few bucks more, or not if you don't partake. Cabs are readily available for a few bucks from the dock and they'll be lined up outside to get you back.. agree on the price before you jump in, I think it was 10-12 bucks or so for 4 people
On a previous trip to Cozumel I also did the shore snorkel trip, again through RCL, about 34 bucks I think, which is pretty reasonable as RCL's excursions go.... my youngest boy came with me on that one ( he was 9 then) and we had a great time.. very easy, guided snorkel from shore (vests included so you don't need to be a great swimmer). The only drawback was they didn't have a pair of fins small enough to fit him, so I had to keep him in tow with me, not a big deal really. The visibility, even that close to shore, was great.. gin clear down to the 35 ft or so bottom.... lots and lots of small to medium reef fish; grunts, clown fish, queen angels, blue reef fish, etc.. even had a barracuda trailing us for a while !! If you go on a snorkel trip, any snorkel trip, when you go to breakfast before leaving the ship grab a few of the small boxes of cereal at the buffet... take the plastic bag out of the box and stuff a few of them in your bathing suit pockets or floatation vest before you jump in the water.. when you get out to where the fish are, rip one open and crush up the contents.. ( put the plastic bag back in your pocket and throw it out on shore please !) you will be SWARMED by hundreds of colorful fish !! As it turned out, they had a photographer in the water on that excursion, though I never noticed him.. when we got back to shore everyone's photos were available for purchase for about 10 bucks... the one he snapped of my boy and I was awesome... taken just after I had broken open that cereal pack and we were surrounded by dozens of colorful yellow reef fish !! To this day it's been the screen background on my computer and my son has never forgotten that experience !! Now, whenever we go snorkelling, he remembers to bring the cereal with him every time !! Have fun !!
We went to the COzumel last year on Carnival and the excursion we chose was the Beach Buggie/snorking/private beach one... IT WAS WONDERFUL. only about 10 other people on this tour - the snorkelingn was a lot of fun and then driving all over hte island on in the beach buggie was great (it seats 4 - but you must be able to drive a standard)... then you take a stop at a private beach and they feed you some WONDERFUL food -- then you travel back along the ocean road and see some great scenary... we were very pleased with this excursion. would highly recommend (your wife would like it because it is safe and not too terribly athletically inclined)... hope this helps.
Hi, I have a question regarding the Beach Buggy tour. You sound like you had a great time. My husband and I (ages 37 and 36) are taking his parents (ages 60 and 62) on a cruise in Oct. and are considering this tour. We would all like to ride in one beach buggy, and it sounds like they hold four people, so that would work. Were there any beach toys, lounge chairs, umbrellas at the private beach you went to? Also, did they provide any drinks? We would also like to do a little shopping before heading back to the ship. Was there any place to shop? Thanks so much for the info. We appreciate it!