Western Caribbean Cruise

Old Dec 19th, 2022, 03:45 PM
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Western Caribbean Cruise

Just wondering if there's a way to create peaceful and authentic experiences when there are so many ships in dock! This was a much needed break and I'm interested in seeing each of these places so would prefer not to miss the opportunities. Not sure if if this is wildly popular time or if this is the norm:

Looking for activities for Nassau, Bahamas (5 ships in dock the day we'll be there)
Costa Maya, Mexico (4 ships in dock)
Cozumel, Mexico (4 ships in dock)
Roatan, Honduras (only ship this day, yay)
Grand Cayman (3 ships)

Appreciate any recommendations (including provider recos). Thank you!
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Old Dec 19th, 2022, 09:14 PM
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When is your cruise?
Are you looking to sightsee, swim, snorkel, dive?
How many in your group? Ages?
Are activities for kids important?
What ship?
Are you booked already?

On our first cruises to the Caribbean, we simply got off the ship and looked for a taxi forming a small group to tour the islands, stop at a beach, etc. Now we usually pick a beach or resort and head there for the day. Sometimes, we contact a driver to take us to less busy places or places good for our GD.
We pick a cruise based on what we want to do at that time and which islands and which ship offers that.
We mostly do the Southern Caribbean in late winter or very early Spring to get away from cold weather, give family some beach and pool time together, enjoy some entertainment and not cook.

Sorry I don’t have much immediate advice, but will offer suggestions after getting more information. Others will too.
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Old Dec 20th, 2022, 05:01 AM
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Keep in mind that all the "tourist oriented" attractions at your all ports of call will always have their fair share of your fellow cruise ship passengers (as well as those tourists who are staying on the island). So, if you want to see those places or spend time at beaches with "facilities" you have to accept the fact you'll be with other people.

We've taken numerous cruises through the Caribbean and found the best way to experience an island is to start out early and hire one of the local taxi driver/guides for the day. We engage the driver in conversation about the island while also advising him of the type of places and activities that interest us. we then leave it to the driver to take us around the island. We move at our own pace and get to see all the major points of interest. We usually ask the driver to recommend a good spot for a leisurely lunch and afterwards, if we are so inclined, a stop a a beach for a swim.

If there is a highly sought after specialized activity that a particular port of call is noted for (such as swimming with the stingrays on Grand Cayman) we usually 'bite the bullet" and sign up for one of the organized tours offered by the ship or one of the local tour operators.
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Old Dec 20th, 2022, 06:48 PM
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Thank you both for your replies. Our cruise is booked, early January, no kids to entertain. I do have the stingrays and snorkeling booked but tentative. That's the only activity I've reserved through ship.
I thought it may be best to have plans set out ahead of time as I've read about how pushy taxi negotiations can be at certain ports and with the competition of up to 5 groups of cruisers, I want to make sure we're able make the most of our time.
I thought of ruins and maybe another highlight in Costa Maya but the day will fly by. It's a late start from the ship. We've never seen mayan ruins and are interested. I was looking at a lagoon combo but I think I'd prefer to do something on a beautiful beach.
I've always heard that snorkeling is good in Cozumel. I'd thought of ATVs (and sloth rescue) in Roatan as I think my husband might enjoy that but I'm not sure about being sent off on our own and finding consistent reviews for tour providers has been more challenging for this trip research. I've also heard snorkeling is great in Roatan.

I defer to those of you with experience for recommendations for all ports.
We'd be open to something like golf carts or trikes, atvs, etc. a couple of days but would need some points of things to try to see for each location.
No horseback riding or zip lining.

Thank you!
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Old Dec 20th, 2022, 07:00 PM
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This sounds wonderful. We really wanted a cruise vacation to unwind and this schedule fit best. Our other cruises have been far quieter (British Isles, Mediterranean, Pacific Coast, etc.). I should have mentioned that we're not looking for a party so that's something else to consider when looking at places that offer day passes.
Originally Posted by RoamsAround
We've taken numerous cruises through the Caribbean and found the best way to experience an island is to start out early and hire one of the local taxi driver/guides for the day. We engage the driver in conversation about the island while also advising him of the type of places and activities that interest us. we then leave it to the driver to take us around the island. We move at our own pace and get to see all the major points of interest. We usually ask the driver to recommend a good spot for a leisurely lunch and afterwards, if we are so inclined, a stop a a beach for a swim.

Last edited by geanster; Dec 20th, 2022 at 07:21 PM.
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