My husband and I are going on Carnival Inspiration to Grand Cayman and Cozumel on Feb 28, 05. I have been looking into shore excursions and am wondering about personally reserving them Irather than going thru Carnival. The prices seem to be cheaper. I have also heard that the groups are smaller.
Last year, the shore excursions I scheduled through RC Majesty of the Seas in Nassau were all available once we were off the ship and could have been accessible without having RC arrange them.
Would appreciate any and all opinions, advice, etc.
My husband and another couple are schedule to go on carinval cruise the same time as you are. We have never been on one before. This is all new to us. Should we book are excursions before we go or wait and do it from the ship? Hope to hear from you and maybe we will get to know each other on the cruise. Thanks Kristine W
I am still interested to see what other replies I get.
I learned a little about this from cruising last year. If I plan to do the shore excursions without going thru the ship, I plan to reserve them when I decide for sure which ones to do. I found some phone #'s from a couple of websites that I landed on.
Reading other posts, it seems like the savings are definitely worth bypassing the ship handling it.
Feel free to email me at Jabeaujo@aol.com if you like and we can share info that might benefit both of us.
Both of these are ports where I would book on my own. The only time I book through the ship is if time is going to be an issue (ie you're in port for 8 hours and the excursion you want takes 7 hours). Grand Cayman and Cozumel are both easy to get around on your own. Just remember if you're traveling during DST and your ship stays on EST then Grand Cayman and Cozumel will both be one hour behind ship time. You don't want to miss the ship!!
Celebrity Century 1/09
Carnival Destiny 10/07
Carnival Destiny 9/06
Monarch of the Seas 3/06
Carnival Inspiration 8/05
Carnival Miracle 4/05
Carnival Inspiration 4/04
Sovereign of the Seas 4/03
In GC we went with Captain Marvins and it was great! We went to Stingray City, Turtle Farm, and Hell for a lot less than the ship and with a lot less people. There website can be found at **URL Deleted as a violations of the no advertising rule** As far as Cozumel goes, rent a car when you get off the ship take a right out of the port and enjoy. I suggest following that main road until you see signs for Mr Sanchos on the right than turn in they have everything: beach, rentals, tables, waiters, bar, restaurant, shops, horseback riding, atv's, and friendly locals. We can't wait to go back!
We found the best beach in Cozumel and it was totally free. It's called Nachi cocom. All the taxi drivers will know about it and take you there. There are watersports available on site, a full service restaurant, changing rooms/bathrooms, a jacuzzi, and a pool with a swim up bar. The beach is absolutely gorgeous and they have those palapas (those straw looking umbrellas) on the beach with lounge chairs to use. We have been there twice and on both occasions it was not crowded at all. The food there was great and really inexpensive. The drinks were good and did the job! If you have any questions please email me and I can send you a few pics I have.
I hosted a scrapbook cruise to benefit SIDS in September. My husband and I are headed to Cozumel next week for a land trip and have another scrapbook cruise planned for October. We tried a new beach called Paradise Beach and can't wait to go back. It is the cleanest beach on the island. All non-motorized sports are free! Snorkeling, kayak, water trampoline, iceburg in the middle of the water and we saw some great fish. Chairs and umbrellas are free. Waiters come down to the beach to take your order, food is good and reasonable....Massages and braiding available on beach. Hammacks hung from palm trees. It is heaven. They have clean bathrooms and showers to rinse off before you head into town. It's about a $10 taxi ride from the pier.
Regarding Paradise Beach. They are now charging $5 for use of all the water toys (you get a wristband). The beach access and chairs are still free. Just need the wristband if you want to use the "toys".
I read your report on the internet and we are going on Celebrity with another couple in March. There are two ports of call that you mentioned. How difficult was it to find your way around at Cozumel and Georgrtown? The excursions seems quite expensive. We have already been to Stingray Cioty so what else would you suggest? Thanks for anything you can do. Frank
Frank - these two ports are very easy to get around. In Grand Caymen If you want to snorkel there are some great spots near the pier. Eden's Rock and Devil's Grotto. Just walk down the street a bit and its there. Spending the day at 7-mile beach, just grab a cab, agree upon a fare and pick-up time before he drops you off at the beach. This is a public beach - no fees, however there are vendors on the beach selling, mats, umbrellas, and drinks. You can use the hotel's facilites also if you like for an extra charge. There is also the turtle farm which is very interesting. Lots of folks post about taking a trip out to Hell, personally its a waste of time, its a tourist trap, the only thing you get out of it, is a post card marked from Hell and you can buy some souveniours from Hell.
Cozumel - you have lots of choices. If you are into snorkeling, i would suggest booking a ships excursion to the Palencaar Reef --amazing. If you are looking for a dolphin swim then you do that at Channunkaab National Park - book in advance they fill up. There is also a really nice beach with good snorkeling, an aquarium, sea lions, food, store, clean facilites at the park, great place to spend the day. You also have lots of great beaches to choose from, Paradise, Playa del Sol, and Mr. Sancho's are some of the top pics. If you want to explore a bit of Mayan history you can visit the temple ruins - i would suggest a ships tour here as it takes a bit to get there( lengthy bus ride plus ferry)
A stop at Carlos and Charlies on your way back to the ship for a killer marquerita is a "must do" <VBG>
Rachel........just remember, at the "free" beaches you will be expected to buy their food and drinks, which could end up being more expensive than a place that is not free. I am also researching where to go in Cozumel and a few people have posted how much money they actually spent at a "free beach", so I just wanted to pass this along.
I have heard and read alot about the beaches in Cozumel. We will be going there on 4/26/05. We have two children, along with two other couples. I am interested to know what anyones expriences were with the the 3 beaches I believe we have decided on. The first is Nachi Cocom, which we have heard great things but we are also looking for some fun, just not overly crowded----"standing room only". The second is Mr Sanchos, and the third is Playa Mia (Sol). both of which I have read good and bad. We want to have some drinks, fun and fun for the kids as well 10 and 8 yrs...Any help would be greatly appreciated.