Cozumel excursions

Apr 15th, 2003, 06:00 AM
  #1  
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Cozumel excursions

Hi,

I am confused about booking excursions. All that I have read on this board and others say that I should book excursions on my own instead of throught the ship. If I book now and the ship cannot dock because of weather or other reasons then I believe I will lose the money. Is this true? Where if I book it through the cruiseline on the ship and they can't dock then I would get a refund. Is this true?

The excursion we are considering is the dolphin encounter. If we take a taxi to Chakanaub (sp) could we get into the dolphin encounter ourselves without a tour? Is it so full and popular that you need a reservation in order to get in or could we just go get in line that day?

ktyson is offline  
Apr 15th, 2003, 06:39 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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I'm not experienced in this myself but as I'll be in Cozumel next week I've been doing some research on the www.cruisecritic.com board under ports of call. I've seen a bunch of info on the dolphin swim so I advise to check that board out if you don't get what you need from here. Good luck.
SallyClare is offline  
Apr 15th, 2003, 06:52 AM
  #3  
 
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Hi,
Here is a link to the reservations:
http://www.cozumel.to/tours/swim_with_dolphins.html
I would book online (I always do) and ask them about the weather/cancellation policy. The space is limited on these excursions, and I know they sell out frequently. It's a short taxi from the pier to the park- all fees are posted. If you book the ship's excursions, they tell you when you're going and how long you can stay. (bummer) I always book my own excursions and have never been sorry after 6 cruises.ps...after your dolphins, be sure to snorkel along the coast of the park. The fish are awesome!
LLindaC is offline  
Apr 17th, 2003, 06:04 AM
  #4  
cd
 
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The day we were there, people were just walking in and paying. However, it was not a crowded day and there were no large tours waiting in line. Actually, there was not even a line, but it was in Jan.
cd is offline  
Apr 17th, 2003, 07:24 AM
  #5  
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Hi,
SallyClare, LLindaC, and cd-thanks for the information.

CD-I will actually be in Cozumel on a Saturday in June. So I assume it will be quite busy. It would be great if we could just get off the ship, take a taxi there, and just pay for it at that time and do it. But I don't want to get there to hear that it is already booked up for the day. The kids are really looking forward to this, and if we couldn't do it for whatever reason they would be really disappointed.

I have another question. I don't want to do the dolphin swim, just the kids do. So can I still go in and watch or isn't that allowed?

Anyone who has an answer or knows where I can get an answer please respond. Also anyone who has anything to add to my original question please do so.

Thanks everyone!

ktyson is offline  
Apr 17th, 2003, 12:30 PM
  #6  
 
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There is a large area where you can watch the whole thing. When I was there, they allowed us to walk along the sides and observe the dolphins. Even if they don't allow that while the "swim" is going on....you are only about 50 ft away from the end of the pool where they start.
LLindaC is offline  
Apr 17th, 2003, 05:12 PM
  #7  
esd
 
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The day we were there (not a tour..we got a taxi and then paid the park entrance fee) no one had trouble getting
tickets for the dolphin encounters once inside the park.
There were 2 different 'encounters' and two different prices. One, you stand in a line in the water and among the things the dophins do is lay across your out-stretched arms, give you a kiss, let you pet them, etc...but all from this line. The other one was further out along the pier and we could see that people were actually swimming with them. Of the two, that one was more expensive and although I can't remember the prices now, I do know you save quite a bit doing it on your own.
The ships prices were very high and this is all very do-able on your own!

One more thing. When you get off the boat, check out the cab fares before you climb into one. It's a very short ride and I thing we paid $5.00 (plus a tip) for our cab-full and then the park entrance fee was $10.00 each, with no-charge for the 4-yr-old with us. Now there were some sign carriers at the dock saying $25.00 a person just to ride to, and get into the park. DON'T. That is a rip-off. And an information sheet on the ship said the cab fare to the park would be $10.00 a person..that was wrong too. Maybe they were trying to justify their excursion prices.
Anyway, it was a great day and I would go to that park again if/when we go back to Cozumel.
esd is offline  
Apr 17th, 2003, 06:08 PM
  #8  
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Hi Everyone,
Thanks LLindaC.

ESD-when were you there? We will be there at the end of June. The reason I'm asking is because I'm wondering if you were there at their low season and that was why people were just able to walk up and do the dolphin swim. I will be there on a Saturday at the end of June and am wondering if I should take my chances and just go to the park on my own?

If anyone has anything to add please do so.

Thanks to all!
ktyson is offline  
Apr 18th, 2003, 04:28 AM
  #9  
esd
 
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Hi again,
Yes, we were there when it wouldn't be as crowded (probably) as when you'll be going...December.
I would still take my chances and try it on my own. The park tours are continuous and I can't see not being able to do it. Plus, you must not be on one of the 7 day cruises, or you'd be in Cozumel on a week-day..if anything I think a Saturday might be easier than a mid-week day because there are so many more ships in port during the week.
PLUS the 'watching' set-up is so great (and free!) that a lot of people just saved their money and stood along the pier. If I were younger, though, I'd have been in there with them.
Really though, the savings are substantial and I don't think there is a big risk of being shut-out.
Please let us know how it went when you get back..and if I've steered you wrong I'll kick myself!
esd is offline  
Apr 20th, 2003, 08:08 AM
  #10  
 
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I think the dolphin encounter at Chakanab is over-rated and I definitely would not take the ship's excursion there. My advice would be to rent a car or compact SUV and drive around the island, stopping at the various free beaches. You can always go to Chakanab on your own - I think it cost us $10 a piece. After two hours, we were ready to go. The snorkeling is good, but if there are several ships in port (which there usually are at Cozumel) it can be very crowded in the water and on the beach. When you see pictures of the park, the beach is relatively deserted and it looks beautiful. In my opinion, the crowds ruin the experience. But that's just me - for some people its not an issue.

Tommark is offline  
Apr 20th, 2003, 08:01 PM
  #11  
cd
 
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Frommers states the following: "You can also swim with dolphins at Chankanaab, for $119 per person. Contact Dolphin Discovery (tel. 987/872-6605; www.dolphindiscovery.com) for information and reservations. The same outfit offers a sea lion show for $5 per person, using rescued sea lions that had been captured illegally." Perhaps this will help answer some of your questions.
cd is offline  
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