View Full Version : Grand Cayman and Cozumel

01-22-2004, 02:20 PM
Fun time!! We will be leaving in a little over 60 days. Trying to decide what to do... too many things but too little time...so question to all you fellow DISers...(search not working so apologies for repeat questions)

1. Stingray tours in Grand Cayman. DCL offers a few of them. We are thinking of the earliest tour for Stingray City Snorkel, but wanted some opinions on Capt Marvins tour vs the organized excursions. I do not think we can make the 8AM since the organized excursions will have priority for the tenders, so we are thinking of the 11:15AM.

2. We were thinking of the Tulum ruins, but after reading an earlier threads I am concern about the actual travel time and also the riak of getting sick on the boat rides. I have also read that the other Xcaret tour is not much difference. So any opnions about these two excursions.

3. Renting a car in Grand Cayman. Do you think it would be worth it to take a quick tour of the island and vist Hell! Thoughts!!

TIA to all!

01-22-2004, 02:34 PM
We went with Captain Marvins while in Grand Cayman on our June 2003 cruise. We did the 11:15 am tour. I can't say enough good things about our excursion. Everything was wonderful and everyone enjoyed themselves. We also ordered the video that was made our board and it's fantastic. I wouldn't hesitate to do this again.
I haven't rented a car while in Grand Cayman, so I can't give you advice on this. While there a few weeks ago, we went shopping and then spent a few hours on the 7 mile beach. It was a great day.

01-22-2004, 02:58 PM
My advice on Stingray City is to book with Capt. Marvins. The 8am booking doesn't leave until around 8:30 and they do wait for the passengers to get off of the cruise ships. We had no problem getting on the first tender AND as long as you're one of the first ones to the theatre for your tender passes and explain your situation they will make sure you get there on time. They did not give preferential treatment to folks who'd booked through Disney on our trip, it was "first come, first serve" as long as you had somewhere you had to be. We were able to take our trip with Capt. Marvins first thing in the AM and then spend the whole rest of the day goofing around, having lunch, etc. The Disney Cruise cancelled their excursions to Stingray City that day due to rough seas and it wasn't even that bad out there. I'd book with Marvins if I were you.

01-22-2004, 04:34 PM
Second all the stuff about Capt Marvins.

I just got finished writing them a complimentary letter they do such a nice job.

We were on the 1115 am 12/23 tour. went to catch tender about 930 and had plenty of time to get to the shop, check in. then go shop around for about 20 minutes.

Trip was TERRIFIC!!! (2hr trip was plenty).

Went "Rackmans" after for a bite and some great shopping.

Based on comments, wouldn't rent a car to hell, personally.

When we got back to the ship there were a lot of disappointed people who had booked the "official" excursions as they had been cancelled ostensibly due to rough seas. We were out there. The seas were fine/calm.


I would NEVER leave the island except on the official tour. Too risky if you have any trouble at all getting back.

Sorry this sounds so much like Cindyluwho's but what can I say, great minds think alike.


01-22-2004, 05:35 PM
We went on the 8:30am Captain Marvins. It was undoubtedly the highlight of the trip.

We went to Chankanaab in Cozumel. The beach area for swimming is very small but the snorkeling area is huge and the quality is FANTASTIC! If you want more of a beach experience, consider Mr. Sanchos.

Have fun!

01-22-2004, 06:13 PM
Definitely go with Captain Marvins!!! We did this on our honeymoon and it was truly wonderful. We cannot wait to take our two children in December.

We also visited "hell" while we are there. I thought we completed wasted our time (just my opinion). Both my husband and I did not get what all the fuss is about.

However, the turtle farm was interesting. If you have children, they might enjoy that. The shopping was great and the seven mile beach--truly beautiful!

Go with Captain Marvins!!!

01-22-2004, 07:08 PM
Hi; Thanks for those responses. Yes we do have 2 DS we are also considering the turtle farm and I thought "hell" might be fun to see it in person!! The we can say that we have been to "hell" and back!! :teeth:

Thanks all for the endorement for Capt Marvin's Stingyray tour. Sounds like I have to get to the theather early to get the pass for the first tenders to the island. Also it sounds doable that we get to the early tour.

I like Cindyluwho's idea of going early and then relaxing for the rest of the day!! THANKS!!

Any other thoughts, particularly regarding Cozumel???

01-23-2004, 12:08 AM
Cozumel? We went to Mr. Sanchez, I think it was called. We headed toward the beach and then once on the beach went to the tables to the right. Our server was Berto and he was great. He treated us like royalty. We ordered a bucket of beers and then stayed for a wonderful lobster lunch. I really love their lobster down there and it was done to perfection and very reasonably priced. Berto kept the beers coming and for every bucket we paid for he gave us a couple of freebies. I don't remember the cab fare but we took a van and insisted on a van on the way back. They wanted us to take 2 taxis instead (at twice the price) but we headed back down the taxi line to the first van and headed back to town. Once again, we went to the beach first thing in the AM, stayed until about 3pm, then headed back to shop, etc. Good thing we did, a serious downpour started about 5 minutes after we left the beach. People who headed into town to shop first thing in the AM missed all that beach time :(

01-23-2004, 08:46 AM
Capt Marvin's in GC for all the reasons above. We did the 10:00-1:00 (called the 1/2 day). Great, great, great. 2 snorkel dives plus the stop at Stingray City. They asked if anyone wanted to "beach it" afterwards. We did, so the driver recommended the Holiday Inn beach. We spent a couple of hours there. Nice beach, beachfront bar & sandwiches. Easy cab ride back.
Coz we also did Chankanab (kids wanted to do the Dolphins). It was nice also, but if not for the dolphins, I'd do Mr. Sanchoz'

01-23-2004, 11:59 AM
We're trying to decide, too. Keep the suggestions coming. ;)

01-23-2004, 05:05 PM
We were in Cozumel in December and did the Fury Catamaran Snorkel tour. It was great for me, DW, DD13, DD8. The water clarity and numbers of fish were fantastic. They picked us up at the dock and we sailed off on a huge double deck catamaran. After a short ride, we were suited up and walked down the stairs of the boat into the water. We snorkeled for about 45 minutes, then went to a great beach just for Fury. There were plenty of margaritas and beer included in your price. There was a grill selling "Cheeseburgers in Paradise" at the beach. We had our own gear, so we snorkeled again at the beach. Stayed at the beach for a couple of hours, then about a 45 minute ride back to the dock, with Jimmy Buffet music, line dancing, YMCA, etc all the way back. We had a great time.
On the ride back we passed a great looking beach with lots of water toys, trampolines, "Ice Bergs" etc. I asked the Fury guy and he said it is a fairly new place called Paradise beach. He said he would recommend it highly. I have looked at some reviews of it, so this Thanksgiving, we will be doing Fury again, then catch a taxi to Paradise Beach.
NOTE-It is cheaper to book direct with Fury at their website WWW.FURYCAT.COM or call.
Great people to deal with.

Doctor P
01-23-2004, 09:57 PM
We did the Tulum Ruins tour in the heat of summer and I had a severe case (undiagnosed at the time) of diabetes that was wearing on my body significantly. Even under those conditions, the tour was a highlight of our cruise and was not difficult to weather either in terms of length, the boat ride (rough, but very doable), or the tour itself. It is a spectacular place to visit and I would think twice about being scared off.

01-23-2004, 10:48 PM
Thanks Doctor P for that insight. I guess I have to make sure I have my patch with me for the boat ride! Other than being rough is it a safe boat?

01-24-2004, 12:13 AM
Ok, Question for "Stingray City" at Grand Cayman. Map Site location shows Stingray City off the shore a decent piece but boater experience gives me the feeling that average depth is gonna run around 5ft give/take. What is the average depth in feet for the snorkling and ray encounter? Is the excursion a predominant swimming adventure for young/short kids? The family are all very good swimmers but if there is no "standing" rest times other than getting back on the boat, maybe we should put off till kids get closer to the starting teens.

BTW - Captian Marvin's has a website I found.

Capt. Marvin's Watersports (http://www.captainmarvins.com/index.htm)

Doctor P
01-24-2004, 11:59 AM
Yes, the boat seemed very safe. It was an enclosed small "speed ferry" (my term)--it moves pretty quickly which is the reason you bounce around a bit. I wore sea bands and took Meclizine throughout the cruise. I felt jostled on the boat ride but not queasy or sick. There is a snack bar and t-shirt shop to keep you busy during the boat ride.

01-24-2004, 12:31 PM
We did Capt. Marvin's too that we booked independently when we cruised another line. The ship's excursions were cancelled because of rough seas but ours was not. The seas were not bad at all. Of all the snorkeling I've done, I enjoyed CM's the best.

At Stingray City, you were on a sandbar. The water levels varied. There were some areas that the water was waist deep or so and others that it may have been chest deep. I didn't really pay attention to the water level since I didn't have any small children with me -- just a short and a tall 12 year old.


01-24-2004, 01:32 PM
Has anyone tried the DCL excursion "Island Tour and Snorkeling with the Stingrays" on Grand Cayman (this could be a good option for the OP)? It does a tour of the island via air-conditioned bus, stopping at Hell, the Turtle Farm, Stingray City, Old Homestead and 7 Mile Beach. It looks pretty good for us for our October trip - a bit of everything, and we definitely want to go to Stingray City & the Turtle Farm, but aren't interested in other snorkeling stops.

Description at http://disneycruise.disney.go.com/disneycruiseline/funonshore/excursiongroupingindex?id=GrandCaymanExGrping.

We will also definitely be visiting Tulum in Cozumel.