Has Anyone Been To The Western Carribbean?

Lounge By nancylynwallace Updated 30 Aug 2008 , 2:51am by michellenj

nancylynwallace Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 11:53am
post #1 of 13

My husband surprised me with a cruise to the Western Carribbean! We are going in September. It is actually going to be our honeymoon that we didn't get to take 5 years ago. We are going to Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; Roatan Island, Honduras; Belize, Mexico and Cozumel, Mexico. If you have, do you recommend any good places of interest to visit while we are there? Thanks for your help!

Nancy

12 replies
itsmylife Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 5:34pm
post #2 of 13

I've been to Cayman (on a cruise), and I would recommend doing one of the sting ray excursions. They take you out on a boat to where the stingrays hang out, and you jump in the water (it was shallow enough to stand where we were) and you swim around with these pretty big stingrays.

Cayman was VERY expensive for food (if I remember right.. we're talking like 20 bucks for a simple burger). I would suggest to eat your meals on the ship (your paying for it anyway), and just spend your money on souvenirs/excursions on the islands.

Cozumel was a very busy port. I think there were 8 ships there when we pulled in. LOADS of tourists. We did an excursion to one of the ruins... can't remember which one... but very cool. But for safety, I would suggest booking the excursions through the ship... there are loads of places you can go when you get off the ship that sell excursions... but we had a rather harrowing experience with that, so I would DEFINITELY suggest staying with the ship's options. Book those as soon as you can as the real cool ones will sell out.

Another fun thing to do in Cozumel was to rent a scooter. We rented 1 scooter (in hindsight...we should've rented two), but we drove all over with it.... there was a really nice park/beach to the north of the city that we went to.

Cozumel has lots of shopping and lots of cheap stuff. They have the typical touristy junk, but you can get some good deals on stuff if you know where to look. I bought several nice crystal pieces that I collect (Swarovski).. for cheaper than what I can find on eBay. Walk along the main drag by the port, but then also go down the side streets... there are shops EVERYwhere.

HTH! Oh and props to your hubby... what a great present!!!!
Denise

Ohara Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 8:04pm
post #3 of 13

Congratulations!! How awesome for your husband to do this.
I love Grand Cayman, the water is so clear it's amazing. We took a beach excursion when we were there.
We went to Cozumel last year. We took a jeep excursion out to a light house and ruins. It also included beach and snorkeling time. It was my first time snorkeling, and I would recommend it to everyone. It was a 4 or 5 hour sight seeing trip.
We didn't eat in either of these ports. We did have drinks in Cozumel at Senor Frogs. That is an experience all by it's self icon_wink.gif
I love cruising. I feel that the more I read and learn makes the trip better. There is a cruise chat website that I find very helpful. They discuss the ships as well as different ports. A good way to find out what others liked or disliked.
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/ I hope that helps.

shivs Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 3:24pm
post #4 of 13

We recently returned from a cruise to the Western Caribbean. We visited Jamaica, Caymen Island, and Cozumel.

A great website you need to visit is www.cruisecritic.com. Everything you will ever need to know about cruising or the different ports will be found there.

Have fun! thumbs_up.gif

Shelly

KathyAM Posted 2 Aug 2008 , 3:43am
post #5 of 13

Congrats on your upcoming cruise! I have been on three western Caribbean cruises. Definitely check out cruisecritics, like others have mentioned. Also check out tripadvisor and fodor's websites.

I have never been to Honduras but have been to Belize, Cozumel, and Grand Cayman. This may not be your thing, but our absolute favorite part of Belize was a horseback riding expedition that we booked ourselves and was recommended by people on the cruisecritics bulletin boards. It was great because we got so much personal attention. We were picked up at the cruise port and got a great tour of Belize City. Then we went inland a ways and went horseback riding on a lime plantation and through jungle. When we were done, we were fed a homemade meal that was representative of the area, including plantains and lime pie. Yum!

I am not terribly fond of Cozumel. I imagine it is because we have never gone scuba diving there. We did like Paradise Beach though. It is a short cab ride from town. If you go there, beware of the rocks in the water! Maybe bring some water shoes or something. We have been to Chankanaab (I'm sure I butchured the spelling, but if you do research you'll know what I'm talking about). It is a really nice but very crowded beach/park. Maybe it won't be so bad in September. We were there in January. Cozumel is one place that can get really crowded, so find the port schedule (probably find a link from cruisecritics) and see how many ships will be in port the day you will be there. At least then you will have an idea of what you are dealing with. I suspect that September won't be bad since it is off season in the Caribbean (and still hurricane season).

Grand Cayman is nice. We enjoyed Seven Mile Beach. Very pretty and relaxing. We have also been to Hell, which was a little interesting. People rave about Stingray City. One time we rented a car and drove around the island. It was nice to see the whole island, but driving is on the left so it was a real challenge for my husband.

Your ship is going to be a destination in and of itself. If this is your first cruise, you are in for a real treat! Bon Voyage!

BakingGirl Posted 2 Aug 2008 , 9:06pm
post #6 of 13

In Cayman I would definitively take a boat trip. The clear blue seas and the beaches are beautiful. The stingrays are great so it is definitively worth seeing. I live there so I should know!

nancylynwallace Posted 29 Aug 2008 , 2:01pm
post #7 of 13

Thanks you guys! You know, I thought that I watching this topic and that nobody was answering me icon_cry.gif I just happened to look and you guys are great!!! Thank you so much icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

Nancy

levinea Posted 29 Aug 2008 , 2:23pm
post #8 of 13

We cruise every winter and I have been to all of those places. Grand Cayman is my favorite by far. You must do Stingray city, it's pretty neat!

I have been to Roatan twice, and my advice is don't just wander around or decide you'll find something to do when you get there, pick out a tour in advance and make sure the guide will meet you at the ship. The place where ships dock is called Coxen's hole, and the minute you get off the ship you will be bombarded with people asking for money, wanting to give you tours, children begging you to buy things...you see this in a lot of islands, but in the 20+ ports I've been to, Roatan has been one of the worst. The whole area around the cruise port has lots of handicraft shops, but shopping is difficult because you have a crowd of people just following everywhere. If you plan to get off the ship in Roatan, have a tour booked and ready to go. The rest of the island is really beautiful once you get past the area where the ship docks.

In Belize, I highly recommend going cave tubing, that was so much fun for us!

michellenj Posted 29 Aug 2008 , 2:26pm
post #9 of 13

Be careful in Belize. It's got a lot of crime, and once you get out of the little walled in area that the ships come into, it's like instant poverty, and people will be harrassing you to buy their crap, take a tour in their "taxi" (20 y/o personal car), braid your hair, etc. DH, me and the kids didn't know any better, and that is what we did. A taxi driver told us that we were lucky, we should NEVER have done that, and that tourists get robbed there all the time.

In the walled area, you can get some pretty well made knockoff handbags, but they are more expensive than you can get here in the states at a flea market or in NYC. They are no great bargain at like $75. Jewelry is a pretty good deal there, too, and the jewelry stores will haggle w/ you.

Our family took an excursion from the ship. It was a river tubing thing where they went down a river thru the jungle and to some ruins, and had a fab lunch in the jungle. I wish that was what we had done.

Cozumel is okay. It depends on what you are into. Plenty of shopping and beach activities.

Good shopping on Grand Cayman, too.

nancylynwallace Posted 29 Aug 2008 , 2:31pm
post #10 of 13

Thanks...you guys are the greatest!!!! thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

Nancy

michellenj Posted 29 Aug 2008 , 3:58pm
post #11 of 13

Have fun! I hope the hurrican season doesn't mess with your cruise.

What ship will you be on?

nancylynwallace Posted 29 Aug 2008 , 4:43pm
post #12 of 13

The Carnival Valor. I already asked about hurricaines and they said that they wil re-route us if there is one heading our way. I guess they don't want to lose all of that money!

michellenj Posted 30 Aug 2008 , 2:51am
post #13 of 13

I'm so jealous. You will have a fantastic time! Tell us all about it when you get home!

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