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7 N cruise to Western Caribbean, need help with tours, tkts etc.

7 N cruise to Western Caribbean, need help with tours, tkts etc.

Dec 16th, 2015, 04:22 AM
  #1  
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7 N cruise to Western Caribbean, need help with tours, tkts etc.

Hi All, we're a family of four, two adults and two children of 7 and 17. During the winter break ( Feb 13-22) we booked a cruise from Tampa, FL. Our cruise will take us to Rotan Island, Honduras, Belitz, Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico. Please advise us which tours we should take in each port. Should we take the tours from the cruise ships or take those after arrival at the port which will be cheaper. Thanks.
suchda is offline  
Dec 16th, 2015, 04:47 AM
  #2  
 
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No right or wrong answer - just different options.

You are correct, tours booked through your cruise line are often (but not always) more expensive then tours that are available from independent operators at the different ports. In many cases the tours themselves are "different" so you can't always compare apples to apples. Also, if you book the ship's tours you usually can do so well ahead of time thus allowing you ample time to study the different itineraries carefully before selection. On the other hand, if you wait to choose a "local operator" you have to: 1) search out the different operators; 2) compare the itineraries/costs, etc.; 3) decide which tour, if any, you want to select ALL within a relatively short window. Keep in mind, that you might not always find a "local" tour to your liking.

So, what should you do?

If you are a "planner" and budget is not a main concern you'll probably be better off going on the "ship's tours".

If you are very budget consciences and looking to spend the least amount of money and are flexible to go on a tour where the itinerary might not be exactly what you wanted then you'd probably be better off taking "local tours".

Of course, there's nothing to prevent you from doing some "ship's tours and some "local" tours.

Another option, is to put together a group of like minded fellow shipmates and share the cost of a "private tour".

So you see, the options are endless and the choice is yours.
RoamsAround is online now  
Dec 16th, 2015, 06:37 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
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Also join cruisecritic and look up the roll call for your cruise. People on there often put together groups to do tours. They can tell you what they are doing in each port and may have space in some of their groups. Ask questions. Many people who cruise frequently have been to all those ports and can tell you more about what to expect and how to do your tours, etc.
Sassafrass is online now  
Dec 16th, 2015, 08:21 AM
  #4  
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Thank you so much.
suchda is offline  
Dec 19th, 2015, 06:44 AM
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For Roatan, visit Greenfields Childrens Home (http://sblmroatan.net). It's not a tourist trap, but an opportunity to bring happiness and joy to others. You can visit and play with the children - your children would be the perfect age to interact, and the kids there do speak English. Rather than spending money on an excursion, you can take them grocery shopping. Considering the number of mouths they feed, it would be a blessing to them. Plus, you get to learn how the real Island lives and works. We went a few years ago, and it was clearly the most life-changing visit of our travels. So much so, that we've been back to visit just the home. It's very safe and family-friendly. Just don't take them candy!
jjonmain is offline  
Dec 19th, 2015, 08:25 AM
  #6  
 
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Before anyone participates in visits to children in homes like that, google some of the hundreds of articles on "issues with orphanage tourism." It seems like a wonderful idea on the surface, but brings a myriad of emotional problems for the institutionalized children.

Visits may be interesting to the tourists, but it should not be about the tourist, even if the tourists think it has been life changing for themselves. It should be about what is best for the child and visits by outsiders are clearly not good for the children's mental health. There has been a lot of research done on the problem.

If you truly want to help, research and find a place where children are being cared for and not exploited, and send money.
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Dec 21st, 2015, 07:08 PM
  #7  
 
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I lived in Cozumel for 20 years. If you want to really see the island as its' beauty, go with a personal taxi driver service. His name is Arturo Castelan. He is a "retired" scuba dive guide. He now does land tours to beautiful parts of the island. He is a certified bird guide and knows all the flowers and plants on the island. He will take his guests to the other side of the island(non-tourist side)for a swim, food, photography, tequila tastings, Mayan ruins, shopping, national parks and observance of island life.

Cozumel is a very safe island that loves tourists. Arturo is relaxed, knowledgeable, speaks fluent English and loves his job. Any tourist will be lucky to have him show you Cozumel in a safe minivan with air-conditioning. Better than bus tours that are full of sick people coughing! Bus tours also stop where they are paid to stop. Arturo will guide you to nice places and will take you anywhere you desire(with bathroom stops whenever you like).He meets you at the cruise ship pier and returns there in plenty of time to sail away. You will not be disappointed or troubled in Cozumel. It is lovely! His email is: [email protected] Tel: 1 52 1 (987)111-9757.
ladivaloca is offline  
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