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JJ5 Sep 9th, 2004 11:53 AM

Princess Tours in Conzumel, Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman
We are going on a cruise out of Ft Lauderdale leaving Feb 13 '05. It's been many years since I have cruised. I would like opinions on the Princess tours on shore at the above locations.

Is it better to go your own way and/or hire your own guide or go through Princess? I am leery of choosing something that could be done easier on our own. It's happened in Europe a few times that I have booked ahead on things that would have been just as easily done on my own or with the services at hand.

Are you waiting for transit with a very large group if you do the Dunn's Falls tour?
Your experiences about any of the tours at these particular locations will be appreciated.

enjoylife99 Sep 9th, 2004 12:36 PM

We just got off Caribbean Princess on Monday, a 9-day cruise due to hurricane - we had a blast!
We visited Montego Bay not Ocho Rios, Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Princess Cays.
Did not do any of shore excursion thru Princess except the party boat in Cozumel. When you get off the ship there are taxis/tour operators rep holding banners. Since our itinerary was entirely change from Eastern to Western I saw some of my cruise mates end up doing their own tour so whatever your comfort level is. For us, since it was our first time in Cozumel we took the ship excursion but of course we could have done it easily on our own.
Good luck!

Lambert Sep 10th, 2004 06:35 AM

Hi JJ5. We are doing this cruise next month and I think we are going to do the river rafting in Jamaica. We booked it through the ship so that all runs smoothly. I think it was about $59.00. We are traveling with another couple and they are doing the horseback riding and the swimming with dolphins. Because you are not in these ports very long and these events take several hours we didn't want to have to worry about time so we went with Princess. We've got other worries because we are flying in the morning of our cruise and hopefully there will be no delays or else they will be sailing without us, and we did not book the airline through the cruise because it was double the cost so we would be out of luck.

JJ5 Sep 10th, 2004 09:09 AM

Thanks both of you for your info, it helps!

Lambert, when you get back- please let me know your experience with the rafting and with your satisfaction in general. I'm not a picky person at all, but would love your opinion of the outings you took.


Lambert Sep 10th, 2004 09:55 AM

Will do JJ5!

gofish Sep 14th, 2004 09:09 PM

We went on this cruise last year at Xmas and loved it-first class all the way. As far as Ochos Rios, we did the Princess tour where you climbed Dunns River Falls and then went Kayaking, and YES, there was a huge lineup going up the falls, and NO, it was not worth the hassle. They were beautiful, but not with hundreds of people slowly climbing up ahead of you. We really enjoyed the kayaking, though, so I would say to go for any water-related tour, as the ocean is beautiful and clear and great for a quick swim, and the beaches are gorgeous. (I hope that's still the case after the recent hurricanes!) I heard that the river rafting was a blast, and also worth doing.
The transit to the Falls was pretty hassle-free, as they had guides meeting on shore for each tour and none seemed to be too crowded.
Have a great trip!
Hope this helps.

JJ5 Sep 15th, 2004 04:42 PM

Thanks, gofish, for the heads up on the Dunn's Falls outing. I've seen some pictures and it looked like it was cheek to jowl people. I think we will do the river rafting. I think my companion would like that a whole lot more anyway. He loves adrenaline rush activities.

I sure hope Grand Cayman and Jamaica are ready for company as soon as Feb. They have some heavy, heavy damage, but we aren't going to be staying there and they will need the tourist bucks to recoup anyway.

Lambert and all have helped immensely. I'll book that rafting trip and maybe one outing in Conzumel, but I think we are going to do Grand Cayman on our own or with what we find at hand. We might go to swim with the stingrays on our own.

I appreciate all the great input I had on this question. If anyone else has any good experiences "off the beaten path" - relate it. I do know that Jake's was de-roofed in Jamaica and that bar was smashed.

Lambert Sep 16th, 2004 09:54 AM

JJ5, I called Princess, since we are leaving on October 24th, about the Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios ports and they said they are still open and if that changes due to hurricane damage they would notify us ahead of time through the travel agent we used. Glad to hear you are also doing the rafting. We were just getting ready to book ours when I looked at the book one more itme and saw the ultimate adventure tour with lunch. Includes tubing, hiking, horseback riding through the rain forest and lunch at a large plantation. I really want to do this but my husband just likes to veg out while cruising and thinks the rafting will be fun. It also does cost quit a bit more than rafting, but how many times do you go to Ocho Rios (for us this will be out second time). So I guess we'll stick with our first choice but the ultimate adventure sure does sound fun.

JJ5 Sep 16th, 2004 01:57 PM

Thanks for the info about the call to Princess. I can't wait to hear all about your trip. We usually do a lot of action on our trips, considering we are in our late 50's. The rafting sounds like LOL.

October 24th is not that far away. Hope you have a terrific time! I too have possible airplane problems. ATA might be going out of business. But we will get there somehow. Hope we don't have to end up flying out of O'Hare- Midway is so much better for us. In Feb. there might be snow besides. Today it is beautiful weather and there was a 22, yes, 22 mile back up going North to O'Hare from where we live.

kittycat1 Oct 22nd, 2004 12:28 PM

We used Peat Taylor in Ocho
Rios and I would highly recommend him. He picked us up from the pier and would have taken us wherever we wanted, but we went to Dunn River Falls, which we really enjoyed. He was there to pick us up and then, at our request, took us shopping and then back to the ship. He offered to pick us up again after lunch if we wanted and also recommended places to eat, but there was absolutely no pressure - he is a real find, and all for only $20. In Grand Cayman we used Capt Bryan for a Stingray City trip, but this wasn't quite so successful - we had to wait for over an hour for the rest of the party to arrive, and this rather took the edge of things for us, but Peat Taylor is great!!!

JJ5 Oct 26th, 2004 12:02 PM

Thanks, kittycat1, I will try to take your advise.

katybird Oct 26th, 2004 12:58 PM

I vote for Peat Taylor as well! Our group of 8 had a wonderful time with him. He got us there early before the big buses but there still were plenty of people.

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