We are cruising March 20-27 on Carnival Valor. We are going to Grand Cayman, Roatan, Belize and Cozumel. We really don't want to book excursions on the ship.
Anyone have contacts that we can arrange private tours with? We have never been to any of these islands so we really want to "taste" the area.....
In the past we have gotten off the ship in port and either met someone who took us on a private tour (such as in Tortola...one of the best EVER!) or taken the city bus...Puerta Vallarta.....Do they have things like this in these ports? How far from where we dock? We don't want to pay a fortune but I would rather give the money to the locals rather than the ship! I just want to be safe, too!
Grand Cayman is a tender port, an excursion with the Sting Rays is a great thing to do, we use Captain Marvin, he and his staff are great, you can make all the arrangements on line, not terribly expensive. In Cozumel we love to snorkel so we save our money and book a ships snorkel excursion to the Palencaar Reef. but a great day trip in Cozumel would be to grab a cab at the pier and head over to Channunkaab National Park, you can swim, snorkel if you like, hang out at the beach, they have a nice aquarium, shops, mini-ruins, they also have dolphin swims but they are $$$ and book up really fast
Of course what you like in excursions is a personal matter. Now me, I am NEVER going to swim with the sting rays! OTOH the dolphin encounters are very good for me. Often booking the dolphins through the ship is the easiest way to do it.
Another good company that offers private excursions is shoretrips.com. You could check them.