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Western Caribbean Shore excursions (Nassau, Cozumel, Roatan, Costa Maya), what do you think?


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Hello all! I will be sailing on Allure of the Seas on March 3rd with my husband and our 5 year old daughter. Their first cruise, my 4th but it's been 10 years.

After reading many of the posts here and on Cruise critic, I have come up with the following for our shore excursions, want to get your thoughts if something looks amiss to you.

Our priorities are to balance finding some fun things that our daughter will enjoy but also get some beach time, and we definitely want to enjoy the ship as much as possible.

Nassau-No excursions planned, will likely take a walk and stay in the port area, possibly grab lunch but we would like to enjoy the ship while people are on shore (though my understanding is that in Nassau many people stay on the ship).

Cozumel-Dolphin encounter at Chankanaab and enjoy the beach there before our dolphin time. Lunch  and then as soon as we are done head back to the port for some quick shopping and back on the ship. (I have been to Nachi Cocum twice and would love to do it again but we thought it might be boring for our daughter, except she would love the pool).

Roatan -My original plan was to stay on the ship for this port because I have been there before, but then we read that there is really good snorkeling from the shore so we changed our plans. We will book a private tour through Victor Bodden so we can be on our own schedule. We'll see monkeys and sloths, then go to West Bay Beach to hang and do some snorkeling and lunch.  Head back to the ship by 2 or 3 but that is flexible.

Costa Maya-Maya Chan for the day and probably do a vow renewal ceremony while we are there. They are very reasonably priced for the vow renewal.  We may consider leaving our daughter on the ship if she is loving Adventure Ocean and we'll have some couple time, but that will be a game day decision.   I'm sure when she sees the water activities in the port she will want to do that but I really am trying to avoid that.

 

Some changes to consider. In Nassau, book the dolphin encounter and beach day at Blue Lagoon and do Nachi Cocum in Cozumel instead of Chankanaab because our daughter would probably enjoy the pool there even if there isn't much to do for kids, but we would enjoy the food and drink 🙂

Any advice or thoughts welcome.

Thank you!

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I'll be on the same itinerary on Allure sailing March 31st (but with older children), so I've been on the hunt for similar excursions.  All your plans sound great and I don't see any major flaws there.  Just be cautious walking around in Nassau if you venture out from the port area.  We're booking a private cultural/historical excursion with a tour guide who I hope will keep us safe.  Good pick for the monkeys/sloths in Roatan - we're doing the same thing but just with a different tour company that we're looking at for a few other activities.  I'm the most excited about that excursion!

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I have done the "Cozumel-Dolphin encounter at Chankanaab and enjoy the beach there before our dolphin time." I had fun with the dolphins and Chankanaab is a nice place. You can do snorkeling there too. The beach is white sand and pretty but it is not right up on the beach. To get to the water you have to climb down stairs, because it is very rocky, but once in there are quite bit of colorful fish in the area. The food buffet is OK, nothing to shout about but it gets the job done. You can actually see the cruise ships docked from where you are so the ride to the beach area is pretty short. Bring some money for lockers, and if you want pictures with you and the dolphins, that costs too.

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  • 2 weeks later...
16 hours ago, KJones said:

We're signed up to do the dolphin excursion while in Costa Maya, which is supposed to end at 9:30a. The ship departs at 3pm. Would it be worth the time/money to spend the rest of day at Maya Chan? I imagine we wouldn't get to spend more than 4 hours there.

Oh that is an early excursion!  Maya Chan is $57pp per day, but you would be able to take advantage of lunch while you are there and get your money's worth. You may want to write to Jane at Maya chan and ask her thoughts on the timing. It takes about 25 minutes to get there from the cruise port so there is travel time too. She is very helpful, see what she says.

 

 

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My husband is now second guessing our Dolphin encounter because he feels it's not fair that they are in captivity so I'm not sure if we'll cancel and do something else or if he'll just deal with it. I feel the same way about it but I guess i have an easier time turning a blind eye to it. It will probably bother me when i am there. I'm researching other options for the day in Cozumel, but for now this is what we have booked.

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2 hours ago, irishgirl0525 said:

My husband is now second guessing our Dolphin encounter because he feels it's not fair that they are in captivity so I'm not sure if we'll cancel and do something else or if he'll just deal with it. I feel the same way about it but I guess i have an easier time turning a blind eye to it. It will probably bother me when i am there. I'm researching other options for the day in Cozumel, but for now this is what we have booked.

I'm not thrilled about the conditions either (or the cost!), but my family has been begging for years to do something like this. So I'm caving this time but then will never have to consider it again 🙂 thanks for the advice to contact the facility!

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16 minutes ago, KJones said:

I'm not thrilled about the conditions either (or the cost!), but my family has been begging for years to do something like this. So I'm caving this time but then will never have to consider it again 🙂 thanks for the advice to contact the facility!

I am feeling like we don't need to do and can wait and let our 5 year old do it when she is older, but we have talked it up so much to her before now, she is looking forward to giving a dolphin a kiss, so I'm torn. I am sure we can do a lovely beach day in Cozumel instead.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 weeks later...

After much deliberation, I finally made a decision this morning and cancelled our dolphin encounter and booked El Cozumelino. Between not feeling great about supporting dolphins in captivity and really wanting a relaxing beach/pool day with a swim up bar, we figured that was the best way to go. I'm excited about a relaxing day!

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  • 7 months later...
On 2/21/2019 at 2:49 PM, irishgirl0525 said:

After much deliberation, I finally made a decision this morning and cancelled our dolphin encounter and booked El Cozumelino. Between not feeling great about supporting dolphins in captivity and really wanting a relaxing beach/pool day with a swim up bar, we figured that was the best way to go. I'm excited about a relaxing day!

Which place has the beach/pool day with swim up bar?  We will be in the same places next month on Harmony but it's only my second cruise. That sounds good, but I also think Perfect Day at Coco Cay has the swim up bar.

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57 minutes ago, Nanci O said:

Which place has the beach/pool day with swim up bar?  We will be in the same places next month on Harmony but it's only my second cruise. That sounds good, but I also think Perfect Day at Coco Cay has the swim up bar.

Costa Maya has that at the port..free for use.  It's just a pool.  CocoCay has a swim up floating bar off the beach.  I believe Labadee does as well.

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