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View Full Version : 7 night western cruise - ports - what to do?


NatsyNoo
10-21-2010, 02:48 PM
Hi all

We're not massive excursion people, and would rather work on our own clocks without paying through the nose

We are hopefully doing the 7 night western in September 2012, and so would have the following itinerary:

Day Port Ashore Onboard
Day 1 Port Canaveral, Florida 3:45 p.m.
Day 2 At Sea
Day 3 Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands 10:30 a.m. 4:00 p.m.*
Day 4 Costa Maya, Mexico 12:45 p.m. 5:30 p.m.
Day 5 Cozumel, Mexico 8:30 a.m. 5:30 p.m.
Day 6 At Sea
Day 7 Castaway Cay 9:30 a.m. 4:30 p.m.
Day 8 Port Canaveral, Florida 7:30 a.m.


So for you seasoned DCL travellers, what would you do during your land time?

Or for the sake of these ports, would you just stay on the ship and make the most of a quieter environment, especially since 2 of the stops are very short? Although I do want to take home a Mexico souvenier!

We are 2 adults who will be on the last leg of our 3 week honeymoon but don't want to spend a ton of $$$

Thanks

verygfy
10-21-2010, 02:52 PM
subbing would like the same answer since we are sailing on the same itinerary May 26th

MelissaE1
10-21-2010, 05:21 PM
We are not huge excursion people either, but I can say that Stingray City in Grand Cayman is something no one in my family would have traded. We went with Captain Bryan's, who were awesome, but there are several good operators out there. We paid $35/adult and it was sooo well worth it. They have organized tour times around 9ish and 1ish, but will often accommodate other schedules.

In Cozumel last time we went ATV'ing, which was a blast, but more expensive ($200 for our family of 4 - $60 each solo or $50 each shared). They also have Xrails (dune buggies) which I have only heard good things about, $165/2 person buggy.

Just a couple of ideas... we enjoy just walking around the ports as well and do that more often than not, but we really enjoyed those two excursions.

verygfy
10-21-2010, 06:23 PM
MelissaE1, how old are your kids. I was looking at the dune buggy excursion and wondered if DD would be to young, she will be almost 6 (only about 20 days out). Would you recommend it for that young

Ginamarie
10-21-2010, 07:18 PM
We have been on the Western itinerary a few times now, and I've found it one of the easiest to cruise without spending too much on excursions.

In Grand Cayman, the big tour is to see Stingray City, and I'd recommend doing it. We really enjoyed our trip there! We paid $30 per person for a non-disney tour which met us right at the dock. I know we're not supposed to advertise for operators here, but you could PM me for details or just do some research. There are a lot of operators out there and most of them get good reviews.

I'd skip Costa Maya, but Cozumel is a great port! We've spent some time walking around there shopping (the town is walking distance from the dock). My favorite day at Cozumel was spending it at the beach though. We took a taxi to Mr. Sanchos, which is a free beach area. They have lots of amenities there (food, massages, activities, bathrooms, shopping, etc). I know they have ATV and horseback riding tours, but we stuck to hanging out on the beach, eating great Mexican food and floating around in the water.

Haley
10-21-2010, 07:43 PM
I would do an excursion in Cozumel or just stay on the boat... We just walked around the port last time and I was ready to leave and get back on the ship after 30 minutes. It's just like a mall with shops with junky souvenirs IMO-- everyone was bugging us to make a bracelet with our names on it.

CarrianneB
10-21-2010, 08:50 PM
In Grand Cayman we loved the snorkel excursion that just stayed in the ship area, lots of reefs (that's why you don't dock), a sunken vessel, and great views of the magic.

In Cozumel we've done both a beach day, and the dolphin encounter. Both very fun.

They had to bypass costa maya on our cruise :(, but if you get to Key West, try the conch tour on your own (hop on/off that way), and just walk around.

most of all - have fun!

NWT
10-21-2010, 08:58 PM
subbing would like the same answer since we are sailing on the same itinerary May 26th

We are going on May 25th, too!!

LindaBabe
10-21-2010, 09:19 PM
Grand Cayman -
1-take a trip to stingray city if you want to spend time with them and snorkle - my dh used Nativeway.
2- take a taxi or a bus to the 7 Mile beach - they'll know where to take you or let you off.
3. Walk around Georgetown, visit the little history museum, walk a little further to the craft market, visit the toy shop with the glass floor that shows the walk in well from ancient times. Then return to enjoy the shiip.

Cozumel
Go across the street and get a taxi to the beach - we went to Nachicocoom and LOVED IT.
Walk through the shops and down the road a few blocks to the left. we found a lovely park with native dancers putting on a show.

Costa Maya - can't help you there.

kymickeyfan717
10-21-2010, 09:22 PM
I'm also interested in hearing other opinions because I too am going on the May 26 2012 cruise solo :thumbsup2

BigJon
10-21-2010, 09:41 PM
I've been to Cozumel and Grand Cayman 3 times, and Costa Maya once.
In Cozumel we enjoyed renting a car and driving around the island. We visited the light house (Punta Sur), and went to their beach. Nobody bothered us there (which is unusual for Cozumel). We then drove to Coconuts for some chicken tacos, steak fajitas and virgin pina coladas. (Great views)
In Grand Cayman, of all the things I've done, I just enjoyed a couple of hours at seven mile beach. Just take a bus from the town, no problems. And then come back to town and shop for a while (make sure you get a sample of rum cake!). Now for Costa Maya. Wow! that little town is scary. We took a cab to the little town nearby, and that was my first, and last time there. We were constantly harassed while we were there. One guy came up to us and asked if we wanted to hear a song. So we said yes (big mistake!). After he sung La Bamba, he said, "okay, that will be $5". What, are you kidding me!
I know there is a Mayan ruin that some people were taking excursions too. If I went back to Costa Maya, I would take a Mayan Ruin tour through the cruise line, or I would stay on the ship. (just my opinion!)

jrask
10-21-2010, 09:57 PM
We didn't do excursions in W. Carib. mainly because we had a baby with us. But cast members gave us the best advice for what to do (despite all my pre-planning). There was a great cast member who worked in the piano bar. He listened to our interests and our needs (i.e., baby-related) and came up with great recommendations.

For Cozumel, we planned to go to a beach club (free lounge chairs, bathrooms, etc. and they expect you to pay for lunch). The cast member agreed the beach club we had in mind had good food, but told us it was very crowded and had a lot of activities that would be better suited for older kids. So, he recommended one that suited us better (San Francisco Beach).

No shame in staying on the ship and enjoying the quiet. We did that it Grand Cayman. That morning, they announced that they would cut the day short and cancelled most excursions...we decided port would be overcrowded with upset people so we stayed on the ship. Had a wonderful time.

[On the other hand, I was eyeing some more adventurous excursions in Cozumel. Oh, to be able to do excursions rather than hold a baby.]

Popovich
10-21-2010, 10:19 PM
We have done 3 western cruises with DCL. These are the excursions we do each time.

We would highly recommend Sting Ray City on Grand Cayman. It was a highlight of our trips.

In Cozumel we really loved the dolphin ride and swim at Dolphinaris. Great fun and memorable for the whole family. Some beach time, lunch and of course the dolphins!! We're thinking of trying something different on our next western because there is so much to do at this port.

In 2006 we were diverted from Cozumel due to hurricane Wilma. Instead we went to Costa Maya. It was an amazing port and one of our favorites. We did the Hummer excursion and beach time. The guide was very educational on the drive to the beach. He engaged all the children and they learned about the environment and culture. The beach was beautiful with lots of shade for those that didn't want to be in the sun. I would highly recommend Costa Maya and this excursion.

Hope this helps! I think you'll enjoy what ever you decide. :goodvibes

MelissaE1
10-21-2010, 10:58 PM
MelissaE1, how old are your kids. I was looking at the dune buggy excursion and wondered if DD would be to young, she will be almost 6 (only about 20 days out). Would you recommend it for that young

I think it depends on the child. My DD would have LOVED it at that age (she was 10 when we did the ATV's and really mad that she couldn't drive, lol). If she's at all adventurous, she'll probably love it. The trails do get a little bumpy from time to time.

There's no age limit that I can find listed on their website, but a 3rd party booking site says 6. However, they are pretty casual about things... in their FAQ it says they definitely require you to be 16 and have a valid driver's license in order to drive one, then the next answer basically says if you forget it, no problem. :teeth: If you decide you are interested you might want to just contact them and ask, something tells me it would probably not be an issue.

verygfy
10-22-2010, 12:14 AM
We are going on May 25th, too!! :cheer2:

I'm also interested in hearing other opinions because I too am going on the May 26 2012 cruise solo :thumbsup2:cheer2:

There are people on my sailing.. I am so excited.

I think it depends on the child. My DD would have LOVED it at that age (she was 10 when we did the ATV's and really mad that she couldn't drive, lol). If she's at all adventurous, she'll probably love it. The trails do get a little bumpy from time to time.

There's no age limit that I can find listed on their website, but a 3rd party booking site says 6. However, they are pretty casual about things... in their FAQ it says they definitely require you to be 16 and have a valid driver's license in order to drive one, then the next answer basically says if you forget it, no problem. :teeth: If you decide you are interested you might want to just contact them and ask, something tells me it would probably not be an issue.

Thank you so much, I didn't think her age would be a problem but better safe then sorry

NatsyNoo
10-22-2010, 02:48 AM
Thank you everyone for your ideas. I think a little online research is in order!