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1st time cruiser - help with excursions to Caribbean/snorkeling?

1st time cruiser - help with excursions to Caribbean/snorkeling?

Old Nov 27th, 2003, 11:06 PM
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1st time cruiser - help with excursions to Caribbean/snorkeling?

Hi there - my grandmother is generously paying for a family reunion on Celebrity Horizons this Christmas. It will be my and my husband's first cruise (we're in our 20s)...

We would like to save as much money as possible for excursions - ports of call are Ocho Rios, Georgetown, Key West and Cozumel.

I would be totally fine with snorkeling or walking around on my own for all these ports.

Ocho Rios - I've read we should just stick with the tour for Dunn's River Falls - my little cousins have their heart set on this one (lucky buggers - this is their umpteenth cruise and love this excursion)

Georgetown/Cozumel - tips on finding good snorkeling?

Also, I've only been snorkeling one other time - (in Maui, off of a boat). I can't swim very well at all, and just wore a life vest and stuck close to my husband - was terrified at first but then didn't want to get out of the water...Should I be worried about my embarassing lack of swimming skills when trying to snorkel out here? I'd be fine just taking pics of everyone else from shore...Thanks....


WendyWhy is offline  
Old Nov 28th, 2003, 12:35 PM
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Wendy, in Ocho Rios, book a trip with Peat Taylor. He'll get you to the fallls first, and you don't get stuck behind hordes of people. He then takes you on a mini-tour of fern Gulch and will take you anywhere you want after. In Cayman, taks the short stingray tour with Captain Marvin. Take the early one- even though it's 100 o'clock, that's 11 o'clock ship time. He also makes a snorkeling stop. Wear a life vest, you'll have no problems. In Cozumel, Chankanaab Park is a GREAT place to snorkel, as the reef runs right along the coast. It costs 10 dollars to get in, plus a short cab trip, but it's a nice place. Don't take the ship excursions- they are crowded and overpriced.
http://www.geocities.com/peattaylor/island_tour.html
http://www.captainmarvins.com/
http://www.cozguide.net/chankan.html
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Old Nov 29th, 2003, 04:19 AM
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WendyWhy: LLindaC is wrong about ship's time. Celebrity changes their clocks to whatever is the time at the place you are docking.

We've done Captain Marvin's and it was great. But as a heads up - - because you have to tender in Cozumel we found that the early snorkeling time wasn't good. I believe we booked a noon snorkeling time. Captain Marvin's office is a couple of blocks from where you tender.

If you are snorkeled out by the time you reach Cozumel, Cozumel offers great shopping. It's an inexpensive cab ride from the pier.

As for Jamaica - - I could care less. I consider Ocho Rios stop another day at sea. Dunns River Falls is very, very crowded and after you climb the falls you are bombarded by people wanting you to buy their trinkets. I've heard rumors that Celebrity is going to stop making Ochos Rios part of their itinerary because so many people are disappointed with the stop.

Have fun. Horizon is a great ship and Celebrity is a great line. I've cruised with them 10 times and have booked cruise #11 and #12 with them.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2003, 08:23 AM
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I agree with most of the above advice. On our last cruise (June 2003) we also visited most of the same ports as you will be visiting.

I read many posts that suggested that we do our own snorkeling in Cozumel at the Chankanob National Park, and I almost went there but I had read several posts telling me how the snorkeling was even better at a place near Chankanaab Park which is called Dzul Ha, and it is much less crowded than Chankanaab Park. So I took a gamble and took a taxi to Dzul Ha.

We loved it but you must be aware the beach sucked big time. good snorkeling but crappy beach. So if the beach is important to you, go to Chankanaab Park when you are in Cozumel.


The taxi each way should cost $7 each way.

The ships also offer snorkeling trip and they usually go to one of these two locations.
snorkelman is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2003, 09:10 AM
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Mary--What makes you think that they will need to TENDER in Cozumel??
Cozumel and Grand Cayman have some of the world's best scuba and snorkeling in the world.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2003, 04:45 PM
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uh cruiser, duh....a tender is the little boat that takes you ashore....duh....
LLindaC is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2003, 05:03 PM
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LLINDA:
With the old dock at Cozumel and the brand new one down the road from town, I was wondering why anyone would need the tender? Just walk down the gangway, down the pier, and onto shore. I've done it many a time in Cozumel.

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Old Dec 2nd, 2003, 06:08 PM
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You tender in Grand Cayman, not Cozumel. Ships often have to skip Grand Cayman because the sea is too rough to tender over.

I'll second the recommendation for Captain Marvins and Chankanaab Park.
BarbaraS is offline  
Old Dec 3rd, 2003, 02:59 AM
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Cruiser: Oops, my mistake, I meant that you had to tender in Grand Cayman.

And to original poster, WendyWhy, remember that Celebrity keeps "island time".
Mary2223 is offline  
Old Dec 3rd, 2003, 01:36 PM
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Wendywhy- look up the websites for where you are going - they have areas where a taxiride will take you to a good beach-tell the cabdriver when you want to be picked up,-90% of the time they will be there or take one that comes along.

If you are so nervous about your swimming ability, try and find a YMCA or some such at home an take some lessons, plus buy a blow-up raft (short one or long) and put in the suitcase. Then wherever you go you will have something to hold onto and make you more confident.

We are good swimmers but always bring one for each, and have a better time.
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Old Dec 9th, 2003, 04:39 AM
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Sometimes you do tender in at Cozumel. We did last Jan. because there were 11 ships in port. Yes 11. The park was still fine for snorkeling, but town was so crowded you would never get waited on.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2004, 08:28 AM
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if you want to swim with dolphins(which i highly recommend) do it when you get to chankanob, it is cheaper and you can do the ROYAL SWIM which rocks!!!
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Old Dec 4th, 2004, 08:30 AM
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megsterl
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never been on a celbrity cruise, but have been on sister cruise line royal and would suggest that you go on there excersions, that way the exercsion will guarentee that you will make it back to the ship in time. also if your experience with one of the excersion is bad and you complian, they will help you out with all they can do and remedy the situation. One suggestion, if the cruise offers a shopping talk, attend it and buy the book usually about twenty dollars. Offers lots of freebees in ports, including charm braclets and charms in all the ports for FREE> wish i had bought it know. One more suggestion if cruise offers formal pictures, take advantage and get as many picture taken, you dont have to buy, but atleast if you have 5-10 to choose from you might find one that really suits you. Happy sailing Megsterl
 
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