(Closed) western carribean cruise tips

posted 7 years ago in Honeymoons
Post # 3
Member
7695 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

Exciting!! We are going on an Eastern Caribbean cruise in December! I have been checking out CruiseCritic.com. Also go on the Carnival website and join the forums and just search around there. You will find lots of info about different ports and what to do on your ship, etc. What ship are you sailing on?

Post # 4
Member
393 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

That sounds really fun! I’ve never been on Carnival, but I have been on cruises that have stopped in Cozumel and Grand Cayman. As for tips, bring Dramamine or some motion sickness pills just in case. You never know what the waters will be like at the time of your cruise. If you’re adventurous, try not to book your excursions with the cruiseline. They’re always more expensive and at any port there are tons of local vendors that offer the same excursions for less.

We did the Tulum Ruins excursion in Cozumel and I thought it was great. We booked this on the cruiseship because the excursion is pretty long…and one of the bonuses of booking with the ship is that they have to wait for you to get back before leaving port. If you go with an outside vendor and something happens (your bus breaks down or there’s a ton of traffic) the ship will leave if you’re there on time. Back to the excursion…you learn a little bit about the Mayan history and take in some really nice views. It took up pretty much our entire time at the port so there wasn’t much time to do much else. We did have time to shop and eat some good Mexican food!

In Grand Cayman we went to Sting Ray City and swam with the sting rays and fed them which was very cool/kinda scary. We booked this on our own with a vendor at port and it worked out great.

I would recommend those!

Post # 5
Member
275 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Although I can’t speak about Carnival itself, I can tell you that ship wreck snorkeling (if it’s offered) in Grand Cayman was great… and in Cozumel you should visit Carlos & Charlies… quite the experience!!  That’s if you don’t get an excursion. 

Post # 7
Member
369 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

I really enjoyed the Ruins of Tulum when our cruise ship stopped in Cozumel. 

Definitely bring a surge strip esp if you have more then one or two items that need charging or plugging in.  Oh! and oen thing we found that we liked — on excursion days that start early, make sure you get breakfast delivered to you to save time. ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Post # 8
Member
2580 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Grand Cayman is really fun, especially if you like to dive or snorkel! Cozumel also has good snorkeling and beaches and you can usually avoid the expensive excursions by taking a cab to a private beach and paying a day rate…I’d definitely look into it online! We did it and it was fun and very reasonable.

For seasickness, a friend once told me to get Bonine and I never go on a cruise without it. It doesn’t make you drowsy and it works really well.

Post # 9
Member
746 posts
Busy bee

We recommend always booking shore excursions with the cruise line.  That way, you are their responsibility should anything happen.  For example, if an excursion is late returning to the ship b/c of traffic, broken down vehicle, etc., the cruise line can usually hold the ship or they will get you to the next port of call.  If you go through an outside vendor & something happens that causes you to miss the ship’s departure, then you’re on your own.  Also, if you book an excursion through the cruise line & it ends up cancelled for weather, late arrival into port, or whatever reason, you can easily rebook another excursion & not have to worry about chasing down some 3rd party vendor to see if you can get your money back for the cancellation.  Finally, the cruise line contracts with licensed & bonded companies for their excursions.  You probably wouldn’t hop into a stranger’s car in your hometown, so why would you do it outside of the country?

On a lighter note, definitely try to do the stingray snorkel in Grand Cayman.  Also, if you still have time, go to Hell, Grand Cayman (not making it up!) & send everyone “postcards from Hell!”

Snorkeling in Cozumel is pretty awesome, too.  But if you’re just looking to veg, you can always just lay on the beach, share a bucket of Dos Equis or Tecate, & just soak up the sun!

Post # 10
Member
489 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

If you are going to Cozumel, you should look at going to an all-inclusive beach for the day. Some people on my last cruise did that and they loved it. I wish I had done that instead. I have been on Carnival twice and am going again in October for an eastern caribbean itinerary for our honeymoon. I definitely agree with pp about cruisecritic.com. So much to learn from there, you will feel like an expert!

Post # 11
Member
858 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

That’s almost the exact same cruise I went on a few years ago: Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Belize, and Isla Roatan of Honduras! Crazy.

At Grand Cayman, it was really rainy and we did Turtles, Turtles, Turtles DELUXE. LOL, I swear that was the name, but it was just ok. I’d say snorkel if that is an option. At Cozumel we went to Tulum. BEAUTIFUL. I definitely recommend it. My husband golfed and said there were alligators on the golf course. They also had a great time. In Belize, we went snorkeling, which was a ton of fun, BUT they also have a zip line excursion over the rainforest which I hear is the best, especially if you can go snorkeling another day. At Isla Roatan, we went on the dolphin excursion where you get to go in the water with the dolphins and pet and “kiss” them. I’d recommend that experience too. ๐Ÿ™‚

ETA: We were on the Legend too! Crazy!

Post # 13
Member
858 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

@xoangelaxo: Well, I don’t have much to compare it to, but I thought it was fine. My in-laws thought it was garish because it’s definitely a party boat and they had been on more refined cruise lines. We couldn’t really cut loose because we were with them and they are anti-partying and drinking, but if you love to have a good time, I think you’ll like the boat. It had pretty much everything you could want and even if you aren’t trying to party, there is still plenty to do on the boat.

Post # 14
Member
450 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

Cruising is a wonderful way to go. My main suggestion is to make sure you purchase the trip insurance so that you are covered should something happen and you have to change your plans. 

Also not to worry but to alert, realize that you are traveling during hurricane season and your itinerary can change is there is a storm out there. Know that the cruiseline will change the itinerary based on the weather and although you are scheduled for Western, you could end up Eastern, or missing some ports intirely. 

I have done western Caribbean a couple of times, did not do excursions either time, we just get off the ship and walk around, take a jitney for a more personalized tour, then do a little shopping then back on the ship. 

Grand Cayman and Cozumel are GREAT, I did not like Hondoras either time we have been there at all, however this was before the new port was built by Carnival. 

Post # 15
Member
216 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

Oooh I love cruises!! In Cozumel, I love Paradise Beach – google it – we had so much fun…bought the $10 wrist band to enjoy all the water activities, then posted up under an umbrella and ordered strawberry pina coladas, chips/salsa, etc.  We had such a fun day – and ended it at Carlos n Charlies with some conga line dancing/drinking ๐Ÿ™‚

In Belize, we did the ziplining and cave tubing excursion and we LOVED IT.  We booked privately (i think through Jaguar Paw) and had private transportation – he offered to stop and get us beer for the drive – and the food at the place was great.  The experience itself was wonderful ๐Ÿ™‚

I also highly recommend Cruise Critic – you can find people going on your same cruise and also find tons of information about excursions..that’s how we found all of ours!

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