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What did you do when you got off cruise ship at: Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios & Cozumel

What did you do when you got off cruise ship at: Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios & Cozumel

Old Dec 7th, 2000, 08:29 AM
  #1  
Janice
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What did you do when you got off cruise ship at: Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios & Cozumel

Am interested in what people have liked/disliked in these three stops. Any recommendations would be helpful! Thanks!
 
Old Dec 7th, 2000, 09:00 AM
  #2  
Dolli
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I have not been on a cruise but was in Ocho Rios last month. We stayed at the Jamaica Grande which is right near where the ships dock. We met people who used the beach and pool there while off the ship. They don't let you do that for free though. There's not much of a fee but I know they charge one. Then there's Dunn's River Falls and the Straw Market in town which you can take a taxi to. There's a party cruise I believe can be arranged by your cruise line before you get into Ocho Rios. Cozumel has wonderful snorkeling, again, I would think that could be arranged with your cruise line before arriving. I have not been to Grand Cayman yet. Have a great time
 
Old Dec 7th, 2000, 10:47 AM
  #3  
Teresa
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When we docked at Grand Cayman, Princess Cruise lines had made arrangements with the Holiday Inn on the beach to let us use the facilities for the afternoon. That was great. We also did some shopping--the Caymans have WONDERFUL shopping. Personally, we hated what we saw of Cozumel. We took a horrid tour to the Mayan ruins--the one time in my life where the bathroom was literally a hole in the ground (you stood on concrete footprints--as a woman, you understand what a losing proposition this is . Our Mayan tour concluded with an hour on the beach--the beach smelled like sewage--gag gag. We do have several friends, though, who have stayed on resorts in Cozumel and simply love it, so maybe we just didn't go to the right places! My advice--unless you're snorkeling in Cozumel, stay on the ship.
 
Old Dec 7th, 2000, 12:25 PM
  #4  
Barbara
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we just took a cruise thats topped in Grand Cayman and Cozumel. In Grnad cayman we took the tour to Stingray City and swam with thes tingrays. an absolutely unforegettable experience. I highly recommend it
in Cozumel, we actually took a tour to cancun because we had never seen it. we weren't really impressed but it was ok. we enjoyed walking along the main street in Cozumel when we got back.
 
Old Dec 7th, 2000, 12:32 PM
  #5  
janet
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In Cozumel, got off the ship and toured the ruins at Tulum. I thought it was a great side-trip. Then went shopping and had a couple of tequila shooters at Carlos and Charlies.

In Grand Caymen, did some shopping then spent the rest of the time on Seven Mile Beach; can't remember exactly the name of the hotel we were at, but do remember a Hot Dog, Fries and a Coke cost $25 (for two).

In Ocho's Rios, again did a little shopping, then spent time at the Public Beach closest to the Ferry dock. The beach was loaded with vendors selling everything and anything. Should have looked into a Dunn's River Falls tour.

Have fun,
 
Old Dec 8th, 2000, 04:24 AM
  #6  
janice
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Thank you Dolli, Teresa, Barbara and Janet!!
 
Old Dec 8th, 2000, 04:59 AM
  #7  
John
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We have done this cruise twice. Don't miss: Ocho Rios--climb Dunns River Falls either with ships excursion or on your own. Bring water socks or old sneakers (you can rent them there also).
Grand Caymen: Swim with the stingrays at Sting Ray City. An unforgettable experience. Then shop.
Cozumel: We toured the island and went to San Gervais (Mayan Ruins on the island). The trip to Tulum is a long hot day but if you are in to Mayan/archiology consider. We also shopped and snorkled on Cozumel.
 
Old Dec 8th, 2000, 12:44 PM
  #8  
Sydney
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Ditto above. However, do your stingray tour as early in the am as possible. Once the rays are full, they'are not as interested and you won't see very many. Also, we snorkeled in cozumel and spent 40 minutes (each way) to get to the reef. Pretty but I wish now we had seen the ruins or done something more interesting.
 
Old Dec 8th, 2000, 03:05 PM
  #9  
Parrot Mom
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Unless you plan to take a cruise tour..do not get off at Ocho Rios..the worst port I have EVER been to.. as for Grand Cayman..I shopped for my collectibles at Kirks Gallery (got some great prices.... and a llittle shop near the bank for an adorable outfit... Cozumel we loved so much years ago we went back for a week, but I hearthat there is a Carlos OBrien..so if you like to shop go to Cinca del Soles..down the street..gorgeous stuff.. or go behind the Zolca and there is a flea market... or there is a great beach for releaxing.. Playa Blanco..few tourists and where the crews from the ships go...restaurant and rest rooms.. around the other side of the island..
 
Old Dec 10th, 2000, 10:38 AM
  #10  
Bonnie
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We hit Cozumel first -- recommend Carlos & Charlies and back streets for shopping. Went swimming/lounging at nearby hotel -- rented snorkels (bring if you have). Stingray City in the Caymens is totally amazing and weird (go 1st thing) and try it. We then wandered the city and hit on a beach bar around the corner (keep heading right from the dock (with your back to the ship) where we ate, drank and kids hit the beach and snorkeled. Great Tortola rum cake there for souveniers and to eat -- better presents than rum itself. Jamaica/Ocho Rios -- take the early morning Dunns Falls Trip (must be in reasonably decent shape (not for those either older and/or out of shape -- as an overweight Mom, I had my moments). Skip shopping/eating in Jamaica (not safe and you aren't in the best place) and enjoy the ship. Overalll, force yourself to go on the early tours/activities & enjoy remainder of time exploring or enjoying or back to the empty ship.
 
Old Dec 10th, 2000, 02:03 PM
  #11  
Joella
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We did the Stingray City thing in Cayman. It was quite an experience, although not that great of a place to snorkle, you do get your fill of stingrays. Take an underwater camera with you so you can brag when you get back home and have pictures to prove it! We found the people there to be somewhat reserved and not terribly interested in conversation. Ocho Rios was a great place to get to know the people. We went to Dunns River, a huge tourist trap, but we hung out in the parking area talking to the locals and learning lots about the history and culture of Jamaica. We chose to buy some art from the locals on the street rather than the rich folks who own the bigger establishments. Chakannab (sp?) Beach was beautiful in Cozumel. We took a local taxi there from the dock and it was a perfect day. Great snorkling, beautiful white sand beach and ice cold Corona. Town was quiet, except for Carlos and Charlie's (you can't miss it), a lovely little town and very friendly.
 
Old Dec 17th, 2000, 02:53 PM
  #12  
Janice
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My thanks to all of you!
 
Old Jan 29th, 2001, 09:44 AM
  #13  
janice
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Any comments from the December & January Cruisers?
 
Old Jan 29th, 2001, 02:53 PM
  #14  
Karen
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Hi Janice: In grand Cayman we did the Island tour that stopped in Hell, the turtle farm and then snorkelling with the stingrays. This was a great excursion, we bought the disk with our picture with the stingrays and use it as wallpaper for our computer. On the way back from the tour we asked to be dropped off at the beach. They dropped us off at the same beach that the cruise used for its beach excursion. We then stopped and had lunch at the Marriot patio restaurant, very nice but pricey (40.00 Cayman). We walked the mile or so back to town and still had time to shop sample some rum cake ect..

In Ochos Rios we decided to take the sailboat trip to Dunn's Falls. It was suppose to stop for snorkling but once we were off the dock they told us we would not be snorkling. In hindsight I would just take a taxi to Dunn's Falls and maybe to Fern Gully. We walked to town to the little mall and to the market, I found the market to pushy and could not wait to get out of there. Close to the dock there is a place to e-mail or phone home and we did this and it was great to know that the kids were being terrific (even if mom was lying) it made the rest of the trip relaxing.

In Cozumel we had phoned ahead to rent a jeep. This turned out to be a great idea, we were able to see the whole island. We went to the ruins at San Gervasio (ruins of ruins) , to many beaches on the Atlantic side and then to many beach bars ect. Playa San Francisco, ect we even stopped by the side of the road at Playa Azul and my husband went snorkling. We really felt like we had a full day in Cozumel. After returning the car at 5:00 we went back to the ship to change. We had asked around on the ship and on forums such as this to find a good restaurant. We decided on Pancho's backyard which is Los Cincos Soles. We shopped before dinner and went to Carlos and Charlies. Panchos Backyard was fantastic, great ambiance, felt like we were in someone's hacienda. They brought samples of different sauces ect. The margaritas were huge and very good. Dinner with appetizer, dessert and drinks was 60.00 US with tip. Later we walked around the square, the shops were still open.
We also took in a Mexican wedding at a church in the square. It was diffently a great day. Have you gone to the site cruise opinion , you will find lots of info there. We had bought a map of Cozumel off the Gringo Guide site and this map was fantastic it made our day one to remember. Have a great cruise!Karen
 
Old Jan 30th, 2001, 07:37 AM
  #15  
janice
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Thanks for the great info Karen!
 
Old Jan 30th, 2001, 08:16 AM
  #16  
Martha
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I was on the Celebrity Zenith when I took the Western Caribbean Cruise. At Grand Cayman, I went on the Snorkeling with Stingrays, which I was very excited about. However, it turned out to be a near disaster. The snorkeling team did not check out the capabilities of the passengers. Being so excited, I was one of the very FIRST people jumping off the boat. I was closely followed (and landed upon) by a very LARGE lady who COULD NOT SWIM!!!! We were in over 15' of water, it was so clear that you could see the bottom. Upon landing on me she proceded to grab me and take me under, shouting "HELP I CAN'T SWIM" at the top of her lungs. Two men had to jump in and wrestle her off me. I had lost all my equipment by then and had a lung full of salt water. About the time I composed myself, here come the sting rays! I was not in the mood to enjoy them that day.

At Ocho Rios, Jamaica, I took the Martha Brae river raft ride. This was my first experience in Jamaica, and I fell in love with the place.

In Cozumel, we toured the pyramids (which was great), and then went to a lagoon and snorkeled with some very colorful fish. A great day!
 
Old Feb 1st, 2001, 12:38 PM
  #17  
janice
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Martha, I thought that swimming with the stingrays was shallow water??? I've read that it was waist deep. My sister in law will only go on this if it is shallow. She doesn't swim either! But, she only weighs about 95 lbs! Sorry you couldn't enjoy the stingrays. Thanks, Janice
 
Old Feb 1st, 2001, 02:39 PM
  #18  
Nancy
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On Grand Cayman there are two stingray areas--Stingray City and Stingray City Sandbar.

Stingray City is located on the western side of North Sound (a shorter boat ride) and the water is deep and designed for snorkeling.

Stingray City Sandbar is located more towards the eastern side of the Sound and the water is waist deep or shallower. This is the best location to view the Stingrays up close and is by far the best location for children and non-swimmers.

It is great fun.
 
Old Feb 12th, 2001, 10:41 AM
  #19  
janice
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Thanks Nancy for clearing that up for me! Any other suggestions?
 
Old Feb 12th, 2001, 07:15 PM
  #20  
Cheri
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We took a Carnival western Caribbean cruise in (I think) 1998, August. We didn't swim with stingrays but we did attempt Dunn's River Falls. That would only have been fun if you enjoy holding hands with a thousand or more other tourists (some absolutely huge) and trying to climb slippery rocks. One guy was so overweight (we're talking 400 lbs.) that he actually got stuck on a rock and two guides had to literally pull him back up on his feet, which wasn't easy. This is terrible of me to say but it really was a funny sight to see and we have photos. Anyway, my husband, 11 year old son and I bailed out of that about half way up as we'd had enough. The highlight of the trip was Grand Cayman, which was very quaint and charming. Go to Seven Mile Beach. It wasn't crowded and it is very beautiful with some of the clearest water we've ever seen in the Caribbean. Cozumel has lots of nice shopping, restaurants and bars with great Margaritas. Those are all located right on the ocean and it's very pretty.
 

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