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Old 02-01-2013, 04:12 PM   #1
nishijb
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Which one? Cayman Turtles or Cozumel Dolphins

We are going on the 6 day Western Caribbean out of Galveston on April 6 and we would like to do one excursion from one of our two port stops.
Info about us:
  • Grandma and Grandpa (my mom and dad)
  • My wife and I
  • 4 and 6-year old Daughters
  • 11 month old Son

We would like to go on one excursion and spend the other port day walking around, going to a beach, and hopefully snorkeling. Here are some of my questions that I hope will help us make a decision:
  • If you could choose 1 excursion - go to the turtle farm in Cayman or swim with the dolphins at Chankanaab in Cozumel - which do you prefer?
  • Of the two ports - Cayman and Cozumel - which is easier/better to walk around and go to a beach?
  • Does Cayman or Cozumel have better non-excursion snorkeling options?

As a first time cruiser I really appreciate all the advice that I have found on this forum!
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:31 PM   #2
diadevito
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Swim with the dolphins. We just got off the Fantasy with the same itinerary. We did the island tour and turtle farm at Grand Caymam and then went to the beach. It was ok. The beach was beautiful! We also did the dolphin encounter at dolphinarius. It was pretty good, but I have seen better reviews for dolphin discovery. Hope this helps.
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:33 PM   #3
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Also, if you go to the beach at grand cayman you will need to take a taxi. Seven mile beach is nice, but I don't know the other options.
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:56 PM   #4
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I think your little kids would enjoy the turtle farm more. Then take them to swim with the dolphins when they're older. We swam with dolphins when our grandson was 10, and he was kinda hesitant til he saw big sis having a great time.
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:28 PM   #5
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I think your little kids would enjoy the turtle farm more. Then take them to swim with the dolphins when they're older. We swam with dolphins when our grandson was 10, and he was kinda hesitant til he saw big sis having a great time.
agreed....plus the Dolphin swims can be kind of rushed at times....

we've done both and i can tell you the Turtle Farm was a little more relaxing and go at your own pace...
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:28 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by jdb in AZ
I think your little kids would enjoy the turtle farm more. Then take them to swim with the dolphins when they're older. We swam with dolphins when our grandson was 10, and he was kinda hesitant til he saw big sis having a great time.
I agree with waiting until you kids are older for the dolphins. We did the Turtle Farm and Dolphin Encounter with my kids ages 3 and 7. They both loved the turtle farm, but were surprisingly really scared of being in the water with the dolphin. It was really expensive especially when you buy the pictures. I don't feel like it was worth it.

We all enjoyed our day at the beach in Cozumel. I suggest taking a taxi to one of the beaches there.
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:33 PM   #7
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We negotiated with local taxi/tour guide just outside the port and got a taxi van for $20 adult and $15 child. He took us to Hell Rock, Turtle Farm, Dolphin, and Seven Mile beach. Hell Rock was pretty neat and a neat stop. We skipped the Rum Cake factory but could have stopped. The tour guides have reduced rate at Turtle Farm and will walk you around and described the attractions. The kids (13, 10, 9, 4) loved it. We just used the free watch area for the dolphins across the street from the Turtle farm which was plenty for the kids. Then stopped by the beach for a little while before being dropped off for shopping at the Port. I highly recommend just walking across the street from the port and finding someone with a tour guide sign. Our guys name was Terry and he was excellent. Saved a ton of money and got a personalized trip. We never book our excursions ahead of time and always negotiate. In Cozumel we got an almost private glass bottom boat/snorkel tour for $25 a person vs the $45 they offered at first. Again an excellent time was had by all.
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:10 PM   #8
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We are also on same cruise and are doing the dolphin/turtle farm in Caymen and the beach in Cozemel. We are taking our first cruise also, but traveling with family who have been on cruise prior.
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:26 PM   #9
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We're doing the same 2 ports on our 5 night cruise next month. We decided to do the Turtle Farm in GC, but are booking it ourselves via the internet rather than through Disney. As a Disney excursion it would have cost us over $400 for our family of 5, booking through their website is less than $150! AND they provide the transportation to and from the farm. From what I've read, it will be the same bus as the DCL excursion.

In Cozumel, we decided to do the "Everybody Loves Reys" excursion. It's snorkeling with stingreys. DH really wanted to snorkel, DD really wanted something with either reys or dolphins, and DS4 is old enough to participate in this excursion, so it was perfect for us! Price isn't too bad either.
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kristieboyd
We're doing the same 2 ports on our 5 night cruise next month. We decided to do the Turtle Farm in GC, but are booking it ourselves via the internet rather than through Disney. As a Disney excursion it would have cost us over $400 for our family of 5, booking through their website is less than $150! AND they provide the transportation to and from the farm. From what I've read, it will be the same bus as the DCL excursion.

In Cozumel, we decided to do the "Everybody Loves Reys" excursion. It's snorkeling with stingreys. DH really wanted to snorkel, DD really wanted something with either reys or dolphins, and DS4 is old enough to participate in this excursion, so it was perfect for us! Price isn't too bad either.
We did this on our own too. For 112.00 booked online for our family of four we had a blast! The turtles were great, but the best part was the other half of the pork where there were two beautiful swimming areas-- one was a huge fresh water pool with a natural landscape, a great water slide, and waterfalls. The other pool was salt water and full of fish, turtles and the occasional iguana. Snorkeling equipment was available as part of your ticket and it was really fun snorkeling. It's all man made, but there is a sandy beach. We really had fun!
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:48 AM   #11
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Just be careful if you decide to book an excursion that's not through Disney. We had an itinerary change on our cruise due to someone getting sick and it was a hassle for those who booked outside Disney. I know it's more, but in our case it was worth the it.
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:34 PM   #12
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Good advice....As an FYI--the Turtle Farm doesn't actually run your charge unti you show up. If the ship doesn't make port, you aren't charged at all.

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Just be careful if you decide to book an excursion that's not through Disney. We had an itinerary change on our cruise due to someone getting sick and it was a hassle for those who booked outside Disney. I know it's more, but in our case it was worth the it.
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Old 02-02-2013, 11:54 PM   #13
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Our kids had a lot of fun at the turtle farm. They loved it.
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:48 PM   #14
nishijb
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Thanks for all of the advice. We decided to go with the Turtle Farm at Cayman and then find a beach in Cozumel. Are either of the ports family-friendly for walking around and doing some browsing/shopping?
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:16 PM   #15
LadyisaTramp
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Snorkel is the best

The Cayman Turtle Farm is under investigation for poor conditions and a breeding program that is not good for the turtles. Dolphin swims are not good for the dolphins. I wrote Disney to ask them about it and they said they are reviewing these programs with animal welfare groups. The snorkling is so beautiful and you can see many fish and creatures in the wild.
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