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Is it possible to do Western Caribbean shore excursions on the cheap?

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Aug 8th, 2015, 07:34 AM
  #1
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Is it possible to do Western Caribbean shore excursions on the cheap?

Four of us (2 parents, 2 children ages 6 and 9) going to Grand Cayman, Roatan, Belize and Cozumel in November. Any advice, suggestions on cheaper ways to do the shore excursions? We are looking at dolphin encounters, shark/ray encounters, cave tubing, beach excursions, mayan ruins.

This is my first post, so sorry for any faux pas. TIA

Pioneerscheers
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Aug 8th, 2015, 05:27 PM
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We find that private shore excursions are usually cheaper and more personalized than the ones run by the ship.
Google each port and tourism; you'll find lots of information.
At www.cruisecritic.com, there are boards for each port and a Roll Call board where you can connect with fellow passengers and learn what others have selected.
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Aug 8th, 2015, 05:49 PM
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Hi-

What cruise line are you taking? If you're taking Carnival or Princess, in Roatan, you're most likely going to be at Mahogany Bay (check with the cruise line to find out).

Mahogany Bay has a spectacular beach a short walk from the ship's pier with lounge chairs, as well as water sports, shopping and restaurants--and even a chair lift! In short, plenty to do for you and the kids. The beach is free, but the water sports and chair lift will cost. - http://musingaboutcruising.blogspot.com.
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Aug 9th, 2015, 06:56 AM
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Thanks very much. We are on Carnival and Mahogany Bay is the port on the itinerary.

I will definitely check out the references you gave us.

Thanks again.

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Aug 9th, 2015, 12:47 PM
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We did a similar itinerary last December.

First of all, if you have not already done so,go to Caribbean Ports of Call Forum on Cruise Critic. There is a WEALTH of information there about various tours for this itinerary.

We also like to do things on our own or "on the cheap", but for us we felt that the only way to do the Mayan ruins tour in Belize was through a ship's excursion due to the fact that the ruins are so far from where the ship docked. Being on a ship's excursion, we knew that the ship would wait for us in case of a delay, which is not what happens when you are on a private excursion. However, I read reports on Cruise Critic of private tour companies in Belize which offer the Mayan ruin tours and the participants seemed happy with their tours.

In Cozumel, we had a cheap beach day by going to Paradise Beach via taxi. You can get a taxi at the port and the fares are set so you know what you are expected to pay. I think the fare to Paradise Beach was around !5 - $20. Once you are at Paradise Beach, you pay a small admission price ($3) for access to the beach and the pool. (This entitles you to beach chairs and umbrellas for the day.) If your kids are going to want to use the beach toys (water trampoline, climbing wall, etc.) then you would purchase a Fun Pass for $15 per person. You are asked to spend $10 per person on food while you are there (but, truthfully, they don't police it.) We have been here twice and the beach and the water are lovely.
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