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Old 04-22-2012, 10:12 PM   #61
Dizney73
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We are looking for something to do in Grand Caymans... My husband and I did Stingray City a few years back. We now have s 6 year old and a 3 year old and don't think they will be good snorkeling or with the stingrays. We thought about booking the island tour through Captain Marvin's but read that it is not a "fun" tour for the kids, except the turtle farm.
Any suggestions?
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:26 AM   #62
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We are looking for something to do in Grand Caymans... My husband and I did Stingray City a few years back. We now have s 6 year old and a 3 year old and don't think they will be good snorkeling or with the stingrays. We thought about booking the island tour through Captain Marvin's but read that it is not a "fun" tour for the kids, except the turtle farm.
Any suggestions?
We did the whole turtle farm, not just the front area where you can see the turtles. We spent a good deal of time at the fresh water swimming pool. There is also a snorkel lagoon (man made) that maybe you could have your little ones try their hand at snorkeling.

It is pretty small here and a couple of hours is sufficient, but it was nice for us to be able to swim in a big pool with so few people (in comparison to the ship).
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Old 04-23-2012, 06:51 PM   #63
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Really hoping someone will post a review of the mini-jeep tour in Costa Maya.
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:58 PM   #64
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We did the whole turtle farm, not just the front area where you can see the turtles. We spent a good deal of time at the fresh water swimming pool. There is also a snorkel lagoon (man made) that maybe you could have your little ones try their hand at snorkeling.

It is pretty small here and a couple of hours is sufficient, but it was nice for us to be able to swim in a big pool with so few people (in comparison to the ship).
Thanks... How did you get to the turtle farm? Their shuttle, cab or bus?
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Old 04-24-2012, 01:48 PM   #65
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I just booked Fury Catarmaran for this May in Cozumel. The only time left was 8:45am. Has anyone done this one in the morning? If you arrive with the morning group, do you have to leave to go back to the pier at 12:45 or do you have an option to stay until later in the day? Or will the beach be reserved only for people in the afternoon group?
Thanks!
I am wondering the same thing, we also booked this one and the only option was 8:45 am
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Old 05-06-2012, 12:36 AM   #66
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Talking

Thanks for all of the wonderful info so far!

SILLYANDI and Alexander, can you please elaborate on the Boatswain Shuttle? A pic would be awesome - it's going to take a lot to convince DH to bring our 2yo on a non-DCL excursion.

Has anyone done the Cozumel Ruins and Beach Tour? We definitely want to go through DCL with this one, and I'd like to know how much bus time vs. ruins time vs. beach time. TIA!
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Old 05-06-2012, 06:47 AM   #67
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We are cruising the Western next year. We have cruised the Western before except this one has the Costa Maya stop and not Key West.

Looking forward to hearing new/different excursions/experiences.

Keep them coming.
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Old 05-06-2012, 10:20 AM   #68
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We did Boatswain's in Grand Cayman - through DCL. Did the whole tour of the facility and then we were able to snorkel and then swim/waterslide. Loved the whole thing - great experience.

In Costa Maya we booked our own snorkeling tour through www.costa-maya-tours.com. This is the first time I've ever booked anything not through the cruise line, and I was so nervous, but it was FANTASTIC. It was just the 4 members of my family on a small boat, out to the reef to snorkel. The rep from the company sent specific, easy to follow instructions on how to get to him, and then he met us and walked us through the tour. It was really great and b/c it didn't come with age restrictions, my 4 year old was able to snorkel. Can't say enough good things about www.costa-maya-tours.com!

Cozumel we went to Dolphinaris for the encounter. The kids loved it - it was the highlight of the week for them. Very well-organized. Prepare yourself to drop loads of cash for pictures, though.

And then on Castaway we just enjoyed the beach and island, no excursions. Maybe next time!
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Old 05-06-2012, 06:09 PM   #69
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We did Boatswain's in Grand Cayman - through DCL. Did the whole tour of the facility and then we were able to snorkel and then swim/waterslide. Loved the whole thing - great experience.

In Costa Maya we booked our own snorkeling tour through www.costa-maya-tours.com. This is the first time I've ever booked anything not through the cruise line, and I was so nervous, but it was FANTASTIC. It was just the 4 members of my family on a small boat, out to the reef to snorkel. The rep from the company sent specific, easy to follow instructions on how to get to him, and then he met us and walked us through the tour. It was really great and b/c it didn't come with age restrictions, my 4 year old was able to snorkel. Can't say enough good things about www.costa-maya-tours.com!

Cozumel we went to Dolphinaris for the encounter. The kids loved it - it was the highlight of the week for them. Very well-organized. Prepare yourself to drop
loads of cash for pictures, though.

And then on Castaway we just enjoyed the beach and island, no excursions. Maybe next time!

Oops!
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Old 05-06-2012, 06:59 PM   #70
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Just off the Fantasy and W. Car.!!! We chose all Disney Port Adventures as time was limited in some ports and we did not want to miss out or miss the boat. These excursions were enjoyed by myself, DH and DS-8.

Grand Cayman was a snorkel trip over a sunken ship. Quite a few fish, but a little deep at the first spot. The ship was very cool and easy to see as was in shallower water. Best part of excursion was to be snorkeling between shore and the beautiful Fantasy! Would rate this a 9 as it was a typical snorkel cruise with a unique experience of the ships! (both undewater and above)

Costs Maya we visited the Mayan ruins at Chacchoben! Hot, but AMAZING!!!
It was a little less than an hours drive from the dock and our guide kept us all entertained with information about the animals, plants (especially gum trees) and the people who lived in the area. He brought photos, samples of things and recordings to enhance his informative talk. He even had small booklets for all of the kids - complete with crayons! The heat and humidity was crazy (especially for those from Portland, Or)! Our guide kept us moving right along with plenty of time for pictures and we all really enjoyed it and learned more than we expected. I would rate this excursion a 10.

Cozumel was a wonderful 3 reef snorkel. Again, I felt that all of our tours went out of their way to take extra special care of us in Mexico! As soon as we boarded our large boat just steps from the ship we were all handed cold, bottled water. Even before any snokeling had transpired! Once at the sights, we actually had a guided snorkel where special fish and aquatic features were sought out and shown to all of us. Between snorkels we would board the boat where more water and pop was available, as well as toilets! After all of our stops we were also offered beer and had a lovely cruise back to our ship. I felt it was a very luxurious day of snorkeling! I would rate this a 10+!

Best to everyone!

Marni
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Old 05-06-2012, 07:24 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by o&smom View Post
Just off the Fantasy and W. Car.!!! We chose all Disney Port Adventures as time was limited in some ports and we did not want to miss out or miss the boat. These excursions were enjoyed by myself, DH and DS-8.

Cozumel was a wonderful 3 reef snorkel. Again, I felt that all of our tours went out of their way to take extra special care of us in Mexico! As soon as we boarded our large boat just steps from the ship we were all handed cold, bottled water. Even before any snokeling had transpired! Once at the sights, we actually had a guided snorkel where special fish and aquatic features were sought out and shown to all of us. Between snorkels we would board the boat where more water and pop was available, as well as toilets! After all of our stops we were also offered beer and had a lovely cruise back to our ship. I felt it was a very luxurious day of snorkeling! I would rate this a 10+!

Best to everyone!

Marni
Glad to hear about the 3 reef snorkle. My DH and DS9 are signed up for this. They will be happy to hear of the good review.

Thanks for posting!
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Old 05-06-2012, 10:23 PM   #72
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Love to read all of the reviews as we will be going on our first Western next April. Nochi Cocoum sounds fantastic!!
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Old 05-21-2012, 11:45 PM   #73
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Western Excursion Reviews

We just returned from the May 12-19 Western Itinerary. All of our excursions were booked with DCL. We felt more comfortable booking with the cruiseline as we had a couple of shorter days in port. We were pleased with all of our choices. The kids (10 & 12) definitely preferred Grand Cayman and Cozumel adventures, but did not hate Costa Maya. Just a bit too much land based "culture" when they want to be in the water.

Grand Cayman - Island Tour and Stingray City - we enjoyed all the excursions, but this one was our favorite! The tour gave us some history of the city. Stopped for a break in HELL with enough time to send a couple of post cards and take photos. Next stop was the turtle farm - had just enough time to learn about and interact with the turtles at their various stages and take alot of great photos. This tour did not provide admission to the water area (slides, snorkelling, etc...). We also toured the dolphin aquarium across the street from the turtle farm. After this we then went to the boat dock for our journey to stingray city. We spent 30-45 min in the water with the stingrays. Feeding them, taking photos. Truly an amazing experience. I was nervous about the idea of swimming with stingrays, but once in the water, those fears diminished. The stingrays are very gentle! It amazed me the size of some of them! Of course these rays are in the wild, but very well fed.

Costa Maya - Chacchoben Ruins Tour - our tour guide, as another poster mentioned, was very knowledgeable of the area and provided alot of information about the Mayans. While at the ruins, we had ample time to explore and take photos as we moved through the various sections. And at each section we were given additional information and history of the ruins. The kids enjoyed the climbing and exploring! Drinks are provided at the end of this tour, however while walking through the ruins it is very hot. You will want to carry water in with you - bring it from the ship or there is an opportunity to purchase drinks when you arrive at Chacchoben.

Cozumel - Fury Catarmaran - this snorkel tour picks you up on the pier steps from the ship. The staff is very entertaining and accommodating. Drinks are served from beginning to end - even on the morning sailing Margaritas and beer or water and soft drinks. The snorkel portion seems short. Maybe 30 mins in the water. Perfect for beginner snorklers and families but I would not recommend for someone who is experienced and really wants an extraordinary day of snorkelling. After snorkelling is done, then you head to their private island. The day we were there, one other catarmaran group was there when we arrived and another arrived shortly before we were to leave. You leave with the boat you arrived on. There is not an opportunity to spend additional time on their island as they are running tours all day long. The kids played on the structures for about an hour and then we headed back to port. It did seem rushed and certainly not a relaxing beach day, but it was fun. On the way back the music is cranked and the dancing begins - cha cha slide, ymca, etc... Fun for the kids and adults. This tour allows you to enjoy the ship for the remainder of the day or an opportunity to go into Cozumel for some shopping, sightseeing, and/or dining. We chose to go back to the ship and relax at the adult pool while the kids headed to their tween club.

Castaway Cay - no guided excursion. Rented snorkel gear. Saw alot of fish - alot more than we did on the Fury Catarmaran excursion. We even saw a sea turtle and small stingray!! Spent the rest of the day at Pelican Plunge and relaxing on the beach. A truly spectacular spot in my opinion and I have not yet made it to Serenity Bay - next time!
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Old 05-22-2012, 06:27 AM   #74
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Fantasy 5-12 Excursions

We did all DCL excursions:

Grand Cayman-Rum Point Beach. We loved this and wished we could have stayed longer. Even though it was a DCL excursion, tendering seemed to take a while. We rode a bus with A/C from the port to another dock. Then a 45 minute catamaran ride to the beach. We only had 2 hours and 45 minutes at the beach but had a great time. We could order anything on the menu for lunch and the fried fish was great. The shade trees, coloful signs, picnic tables, and dock were so cute and had a nice "island feel" to us.

Costa Maya-We stayed on the boat until 2pm. The boat stayed in port until 12:45am. I heard it was a treat for the crew and a lot of them got off the boat for a few hours that night. We did get off and swim in the port pool and visit a few shops.

Cozumel-Great time on the boat in the morning! Empty lobby and lots of time for pictures. Our Atlantis Submarine excursion meeet at 12:45pm. The DCL rep handed us over to the Atlantis rep. We were put in cabs to go to the Atlantis dock. A small boat took us to the sub. We walked over from the boat to the sub in the middle of the harbor. The sub experience was neat. None of us scuba dive so this is the closest we will come to the ocean floor. Saw some fish and coral and a stingray. We did not see as many fish as I had hoped but the whole experience was fun for us. We went 100 feet down. I felt very safe the whole time.
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Old 05-22-2012, 07:24 AM   #75
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