Your On-Line Port'o'Call

Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate This Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2
#570271 - 02/12/18 11:48 PM Cruise Help?  
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,149
casualboater Offline
Admiral
casualboater  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,149
Highland, Michigan
It is boating related, a really big one!

Never cruised before, but we're considering one for my daughters senior Spring Break. So, dates are firm beginning of April 2019, so can't find a deal by being flexible.

Looks like good prices ( I think? ) on Royal Caribbean. I don't think I'll find any last minute deals as that's a popular time. Is booking this far out our best bet?

Checked through Costco Travel and a benefits site I get through work. Also straight through Royal Caribbean, pretty much all the same price and perks. Does cost a little more to get a refundable deposit.

We are all about sticking with the cheap interior room option. Also not drinkers, so no worries on racking up a bill on alcohol.

I know we have cruisers out there, hope you can help me !


1989 Larson DC 190
2007 Saab 9-7x
A Word from Our Sponsors
#570273 - 02/13/18 02:16 AM Re: Cruise Help? [Re: casualboater]  
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 12,399
KCook Offline
Admiral
KCook  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 12,399
Phoenix
I have never been on a cruise. But Al may have set a record -

Cruise crazy.

marooned

#570274 - 02/13/18 05:22 AM Re: Cruise Help? [Re: casualboater]  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,089
Al Offline
Nautical Alchemist
Al  Offline
Nautical Alchemist
Grand Poobah

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,089
Vagabond Wanderer from Mich.
We are now up to 17 cruises, but that abruptly stopped when we bought our RV. We plan on going again at some point, but it's been 4yrs since we have been on our last one, so I am not sure how accurate my information is.

Gosh, there are so many variables... which also includes which ship you want to be on and where you want to go. We have been to about every cruise destination you can go to in the Caribbean, and several times for most destinations.

We have booked via agent, on-line, and on-board (which actually is the best deal, but you have to be on a cruise to book a cruse by that method).

I highly recommend using a travel agent, especially for a first cruise. The cost to you is $0, as the agent gets their commission from the cruise line, and you get their expertise. Cruise fares are a bit like air fares, as they are constantly changing. But a good travel agent will continuously check costs and apply discounts to your booking if found along the way. Also, sometimes you can get a room upgrade just hours prior to sailing.

Most of our cruises have been on Royal Caribbean, but with two with Celebrity, and one with Holland America. Royal Caribbean is probably the best bet for a family. OK some will say Disney, but they tend to be expensive, so unless you have Disney-aged children, it's usually better to go on a different ship. Celebrity and Holland America are typically old-folks cruise lines, but Celebrity has begun to seek out certain types of passengers, so they are perhaps becoming a niche type cruise line. With so much competition these days, I suppose that is a strategy that leads to their success.

Especially during spring break, and especially with 2-4 day cruises, the cruise can be a mad-house. We went on a back-to-back cruise in March a few years ago, during the peak of Spring Break. The first cruise was 7 days and fairly orderly. The second cruise was 3 days and had a lot of college students as they tend to favor shorter cruises. Before even leaving port, the captain announced that this was still a family cruise, not a frat-house, and he would not hesitate to kick anyone off board in the middle of the cruise if they didn't behave.

You can book your own rooms on-line but you will have to do all of that work yourself, and you may not be able to qualify for last minute discounts, etc.

And some of the larger agents, like AAA sometimes have perks on certain cruises; upgrades for the rooms, free excursions, or free dining at one of the upscale restaurants.

Typically the further out you book, the better. You can get a better selection of rooms the further out you are.

And a good agent can always keep a lookout for lowering your rates. But right now, there is a price war, so some very good prices. They sometimes even have lower reservation fees, as low as $100 in some cases (typically you have to pay a lot more up-front when you book the cruise). Spring break is one of the most busiest times, and the rates vary depending on the week you want to cruise. They typically start raising for cruises in mid-Feb, and reach a high in March-Apr, when they start to go down again in May.

Surprisingly, summer is a popular cruise time due to summer vacations. If you are flexible, Sept-Nov is a good time for rates, as is between Thanksgiving to mid-December, then mid-Jan through mid-Feb.

Interior rooms are fine - about half our cruises were in interior rooms. But they tend to be smaller, so if you have more than 2 people to a room, it can get a bit crowded. They do have a few "family" rooms, but typically two adjoining rooms are less expensive.

I also highly recommend insurance and passports. Insurance can be bought for everything from having to cancel a cruise and getting your deposit back, to getting stranded in port, to being sick and having to have a Mercy Flight home. That bill could otherwise cost as much as $40k if you are air-evacuated from an island back to the US. If you are spending several $$$ on a cruise, a few more dollars for insurance is a good investment. The cruise lines sell insurance, but if you use an agent, they can often get you a better deal from an independent insurer.

Passports are a must in my view. If you go on a Caribbean cruise which is a "closed cruise" meaning it originates and returns to the same US port, I think you can still use your driver's license or a less expensive "passport card". But if you get stranded on an island, you can only fly to the US with a real passport.

I would also look into arriving at the port a day early for departure if you can. Many people do fly in on the morning of the cruise, but that is really a long and stressful day. You can either arrange for the cruise line to put you up in a hotel, which means they will provide transportation to the hotel and to the ship, but they are more expensive. Same thing with booking air. If you drive, some hotels will shuttle you back and forth as well as allow you to park your car.

Of course a cruise agent can arrange air separately for you too, and I would highly recommend that because you will know when you book what your flights are. If you book through the cruise line, they typically book air at the last minute, and often you will have a connecting flight. The one thing I hate about flying is having to run through airports to get the next flight, or a several hour layover.

We have cruised out of Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Port Canaveral, and Bayonne NJ (NY City), and each port is different. We have flown and driven to the cruise ports, and have parked at the cruise terminal, outside parking (Park-N-Go), and left our vehicle at hotels and taken shuttles. We flew in on the same day only once - and once was enough as it was fairly stressful.

Gosh, I could go on for hours.


Last edited by Al; 02/13/18 05:33 AM.

President and CEO - Napmoor and Doolittle.


2004 Mercury 270 Dinghy.
2016 Grand Design Reflection 29RS 5th Wheel
2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD SLT 6.6L Diesel

previous boats:
1995 Carver 325
1999 Four Winns 268
1999 Four Winns 225
1996 Rinker 180
#570275 - 02/13/18 06:17 AM Re: Cruise Help? [Re: casualboater]  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,946
jtheile Offline
Admiral
jtheile  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,946
North Ridgeville, Ohio
I have been on 6 cruises, 5 with my 2 kids. One from Tampa, one Port Canaveral the rest from Manhattan and have driven to all ports even though my wife is a pilot, go figure. I like NYC because it is an fairly easy drive but parking is expensive. But weather from NY at spring break can be cold and rough for the first 24 hours or so.

We have done all Norwegian Cruise Lines except for one Royal Caribbean. I prefer NCL because I like their anytime dining program, eat when I want with who I want. We did Royals version but you still pretty much had to make reservations

All but one have been booked through Costco. Instead of on board credit(obc) Costco gives the money back in a Costco gift card, we don't really use much obc beyond the daily service charge. I don't understand the non-refundable deposit, every cruise I have been on could be cancelled with full refund until 90 days before hand. If price is lowered you could get price adjusted but if the perks changed those change with it which might or might nit be worth it.

I agree with Al on cruise insurance, absolutely worth it,I buy mine through USAA. There are many different polices and companies you just have to decide what you need in a policy.

Are you looking for a 7 night cruise or a shorter 4 or 5 night cruise? Looking to drive or fly to port? Both of our Florida cruises were spring break cruises, one 7 night the other 4 night(kids first cruise), driving straight home to get to school/work the next day after getting off ship at 8am in Tampa was a bear.

For my daughters senior year we went to Bermuda out of NY right after she graduated. First and second week of June are cheaper, NY kids are still in school. Drove to NY and spent a couple of days before sightseeing, staying in New Jersey. Easy drive into Manhattan Sunday morning, park car at port. Getting off ship, through customs and in car within 15-20 minutes of ship being cleared and back home in Cleveland by 3pm.

Cruise Critic is a source of great info.


Joe
Four Winns 225 Sundowner
#570277 - 02/13/18 09:55 AM Re: Cruise Help? [Re: casualboater]  
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 7,493
captkevin Offline
Admiral
captkevin  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 7,493
Chicago, IL
Agree with jtheile on NCL we are big fans but our experience might be different as we have gone on the Haven & it has never disappointed.

One thing to look for is the newest ships - they offer much better amenities & comforts then older ships.

Sounds like a great spring break.


2004 Rinker 232
2010 Dodge Ram Crew Cab Laramie 4x4
#570278 - 02/13/18 10:42 AM Re: Cruise Help? [Re: captkevin]  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,946
jtheile Offline
Admiral
jtheile  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,946
North Ridgeville, Ohio
Originally Posted by captkevin
Agree with jtheile on NCL we are big fans but our experience might be different as we have gone on the Haven & it has never disappointed.

One thing to look for is the newest ships - they offer much better amenities & comforts then older ships.

Sounds like a great spring break.


NCL's newest ship is going to have a 2 level kart track.

Not really a fan of the big ships, way to many people for me. There Gem and Jewel are perfect size for me.

Some people we met on the Breakaway showed us their haven suite. While nice not really my style, I have no need for a butler, private bar and restaurant. They had 4 people in essentially a one bed cabin with kids on pullout, while we had 2 balcony cabins. They got it on a upgrade but still paid more than us and they didn't get the drink package.


Joe
Four Winns 225 Sundowner
#570279 - 02/13/18 11:35 AM Re: Cruise Help? [Re: casualboater]  
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 7,493
captkevin Offline
Admiral
captkevin  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 7,493
Chicago, IL
We were on the NCL Getaway which at the time was 2 years old. It was the 1st ship NCL built with the Haven as part of the original design. Other ships had retrofitted areas to accommodate. The Haven experience was amazing. Have been on probably 10 cruises across many lines previously but none come close to the this. Downside is that it is pricey but when you look at all we got at the time it made it doable. Included all of our drinks & tips, $350 excursion credit per person plus all other amenities.
We had a 2 bedroom suite, 2 bathrooms, family room & balcony. Room was 2x the size of any cruise we had been on. Private pool was amazing on days at sea. It was one of the best trips of my life. We had priority on all disembarkation including last day.
It took us 10 minutes to get off the boat & into transport to airport. When we arrived at the pier the put us in private waiting room with drinks & snacks. From check in to arrival in our rooms was 15 minutes - bypassing every line. If you have been on a cruise before you understand how long & painful check in can be. They had special elevators that take you right to the lounge in the haven where you are greeted with servers with trays of drinks & lunch - all complimentary. After check in my wife stated this is the only way we are cruising in the future.


2004 Rinker 232
2010 Dodge Ram Crew Cab Laramie 4x4
#570280 - 02/13/18 11:43 AM Re: Cruise Help? [Re: jtheile]  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,812
Justification Offline
Admiral
Justification  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,812
Fruit Heights, Utah
Originally Posted by jtheile
and have driven to all ports even though my wife is a pilot, go figure.

Having just done the nonrev non-ride with my oldest using a buddy pass and needing to buy a day of confirmed seat on Southwest for his return while I attempted the Jumpseat shuffle, I can completely understand your driving

Originally Posted by jtheile
All but one have been booked through Costco. Instead of on board credit(obc) Costco gives the money back in a Costco gift card, we don't really use much obc beyond the daily service charge. I don't understand the non-refundable deposit, every cruise I have been on could be cancelled with full refund until 90 days before hand. If price is lowered you could get price adjusted but if the perks changed those change with it which might or might nit be worth it.


Have you looked at perx (or whoever it is) for last minute insider deals?

we haven't done a cruise since I love to eat, and I can't afford to gain 20 pounds that I'm sure I'd do.
An Alaska cruise is on my bucket list though


Beer makes you feel the way
You should feel without beer.
#570281 - 02/13/18 12:03 PM Re: Cruise Help? [Re: casualboater]  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,946
jtheile Offline
Admiral
jtheile  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,946
North Ridgeville, Ohio
We generally book in advance so we haven't used perx, interline or the others that are out there.

My first cruise I gained almost 10 pounds, which is kinda scary because I was the first one in the gym every morning putting an hour on either the bike or elliptical and taking the stairs instead of elevator. Dinner and dessert in the main dining room followed by second dessert at buffet doesn't work too good. I have since learned to control myself and generally only gain 2-3 pounds.

I have had flight benefits since 2000 and have used them exactly twice. I rather buy a ticket and not shorten my vacation at either end trying to find the flights with the most empty seats. The kids and I buy tickets and my wife generally jumpseats.


Joe
Four Winns 225 Sundowner
#570282 - 02/13/18 12:36 PM Re: Cruise Help? [Re: casualboater]  
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 7,493
captkevin Offline
Admiral
captkevin  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 7,493
Chicago, IL
Alaska cruse does sound great.


2004 Rinker 232
2010 Dodge Ram Crew Cab Laramie 4x4
#570284 - 02/13/18 05:03 PM Re: Cruise Help? [Re: casualboater]  
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,149
casualboater Offline
Admiral
casualboater  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,149
Highland, Michigan
Wow, lots of info.

We will be driving for certain. The cruise leaves on Monday, gives us Saturday and Sunday to drive from MI to FL. Could leave Friday after work if needed. Cruise gets back to port early Saturday, so heading home right off the boat. Will stink to get back home late Sunday and right back to it Monday, but the airfare costs make that worth it.

All of the fares I looked at through the online portals were a non-refundable rate. Only directly through Royal Caribbean did they have a refund option, but for about 25.00 more a person. Worth it to me with trying to plan this far out.

I will call AAA and Costco travel this afternoon, is that better or worse then an independent agent?

Thanks everyone!


1989 Larson DC 190
2007 Saab 9-7x
#570285 - 02/13/18 09:18 PM Re: Cruise Help? [Re: casualboater]  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,089
Al Offline
Nautical Alchemist
Al  Offline
Nautical Alchemist
Grand Poobah

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,089
Vagabond Wanderer from Mich.
You know your needs, but I would highly recommend a minimum 7 day cruise if you can swing it. If you leave on Monday and back in port on Saturday, you really only have a 4 day cruise. The ship won't leave port until around 4:30pm or so, so the first day is taken up with debarkation.

Same on Saturday. you will be off the boat by 9AM or so. That also limits where you will be able to go. There is not a lot of options itinerary-wise unless you are on a 7 day cruise, and even then, typically only visit 3 ports. the 3-4 day cruises just about go to the Bahamas (unless you leave from Galveston or New Orleans, you can usually find a cruise to Cozumel).

And since getting there from Michigan is a major and fixed expense, the longer cruise you take, the more you get out of your travel expenses.

Even with a 7 day cruise, it seems to be over all too soon. And typically the older ships are assigned to the shorter cruises, so if you have a particular ship in mind, that might also make a difference.

I know some people don't like the really big ships, but we have been on both the Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas - over 6,000 passengers and, along with it's Oasis-class sisters, are the largest cruise ships. But we were less crowded on board than on some of the smaller ships because they are so large. And the larger the ship, the less sea sick you will probably be, if that is any concern. Speaking of sea sick, the least sensation of motion is an inside cabin and low to the water line, and as close to the center of the ship (fore-aft/port-stbd) as you can get, which also tends to be less expensive.

We have been on:
Monarch of the Seas
Majesty of the Seas
Oasis of the Seas
Allure of the Seas
Mariner of the Seas
Explorer of the Seas (x2)
Freedom of the Seas (x2)
Radiance of the Seas
Jewel of the Seas
Rhapsody of the Seas
Voyager of the Seas
Vision of the Seas
Holland America Zuiderdam
Celebrity Equinox
Celebrity Constellation

Each ship has it's own advantages and disadvantages.

Islands we have been to:

Nassau Bahamas (x6)
St. Thomas USVI (x6)
St. Kitts (x2)
St. Maarten (x7)
St. Croix USVI
St. Johns USVI
Tortola BVI (x2)
Jost Van Dyke BVI
San Juan Puerto Rico (x2)
Dominica
Cap Haitien, Haiti (Labadee) (x3)
St. Lucia
Grenada
Martinique
Barbados (x2)
Little Stirrup Cay Bahamas (Coco Cay) (x4)
Half-Moon Cay Bahamas
Aruba (x3)
Curacao (x2)
Bonaire
Cartagena Colombia SA
Beautiful Colon, Panama (x2) including a canal entry and exit
Limon Costa Rica (x2)
Belize
Cayman Islands (x4)
Mahahual, Mexico (Costa Maya) (x2)
Jamaica
Cozumel, Mexico (x3)
Bermuda
Antigua (x3)
Key West, USA

So there is a huge difference in the various islands as far as what to see and what to do. My all-time favorites are St. Maarten, Aruba, and Curacao. My least favorite is probably Nassau, Bahamas.

Depending on the cruise port you leave from, there are parking places you can use. For example, if you are leaving Port Canaveral, there are several hotels that will allow you to park on their premises for free, and even offer complementary or at least low-cost shuttle service to the ship. If you park at the ship port, it's pretty expensive. Trying to remember the cost, but somewhere around $15~20 per day if I recall.

Ft. Lauderdale also has a lot of alternative parking and hotel shuttle services. We never drove into Miami so I am not sure what they offer. Tampa you almost have to park at the terminal as it is a small port, but a bit cheaper too.

What ports do you plan on visiting?

Last edited by Al; 02/13/18 09:53 PM.

President and CEO - Napmoor and Doolittle.


2004 Mercury 270 Dinghy.
2016 Grand Design Reflection 29RS 5th Wheel
2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD SLT 6.6L Diesel

previous boats:
1995 Carver 325
1999 Four Winns 268
1999 Four Winns 225
1996 Rinker 180
#570286 - 02/13/18 10:45 PM Re: Cruise Help? [Re: casualboater]  
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,149
casualboater Offline
Admiral
casualboater  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,149
Highland, Michigan
Just booked, trying to beat a Royal Caribbean sale deadline. I did pay a little extra to get a fully refundable option, which also means I should be able to switch a person. We know we want to take 4, but we don't know the 4th yet as it's a surprise for my daughter and it'll be a friend of hers. Being over a year out, and knowing teenage friendships, we don't want to commit to that anytime soon. I put my son in for now as a placeholder to get the spot reserved.

We are booked for the Independence of the Seas departing Ft. Lauderdale. We leave on Monday the 1st and return on Saturday the 6th. I am absolutely certain, Al, that 7 days would be better but I just can't afford the time. I've got to work on Friday, week off, and work again on Monday. If I had to pay for airfare at a peak time like Spring Break this trip would not be comfortable at all. So, with needing 2 days on either end to drive 5 nights is the best we can swing. I did read that the 3 and 4 day cruises are most likely to be party boats, so I'm hopeful that a 5 night pushes us away from that.

We have an inside cabin, and it's dead center on the boat port/starboard. It's a bit to the stern, but closer to the center then stern I think. It'll be tight with 2 adults and 2 full grown teenagers, but we do have 2 twins and 2 pullmans, so at least everyone has an actual bed.

We visit Costa Maya and Cozumel, I have much research to do on shore excursions.

Went with Costco as I get a cash card from them. Everything else, down to the penny, was the same as AAA and direct from Royal Caribbean. They also offer discounts on insurance and excursions, again have to look into that.

I'll have to keep an eye out for any price adjustments, but my feeling is that with it being a popular time prices will now be going down. Hopefully I'm wrong and can take advantage of that.

I'm still absorbing the hit to my wallet, but at least now I have plenty of research to keep me occupied.


1989 Larson DC 190
2007 Saab 9-7x
#570287 - 02/13/18 11:17 PM Re: Cruise Help? [Re: casualboater]  
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 7,493
captkevin Offline
Admiral
captkevin  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 7,493
Chicago, IL
Congrats on booking the trip. You didn't waste any time that is for sure. Sounds like a great time.


2004 Rinker 232
2010 Dodge Ram Crew Cab Laramie 4x4
#570288 - 02/13/18 11:48 PM Re: Cruise Help? [Re: casualboater]  
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,149
casualboater Offline
Admiral
casualboater  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,149
Highland, Michigan
Yes, the speed of this is really kind of freaking me out. But, it's the absolute perfect timing with my schedule and I think the price will only go up. And I do have a fully refundable option! I need that for my sanity!


1989 Larson DC 190
2007 Saab 9-7x
#570289 - 02/14/18 03:58 AM Re: Cruise Help? [Re: casualboater]  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,089
Al Offline
Nautical Alchemist
Al  Offline
Nautical Alchemist
Grand Poobah

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,089
Vagabond Wanderer from Mich.
Congratulations on your decision.

You can park at the cruise port (Port Everglades) but it's somewhere around $15 per day. They are first come-first served. They have a website too: http://www.porteverglades.net/ If you want to head out of town quick when you return from the cruise, that is the best place to park, and you can be headed north by 8:30am, as you just have to walk from customs to your vehicle and be on your way.

Also, to help you get excited, there is a webcam at Port Everglades that you can watch the ships leave. When you do leave, be sure your family gets on the webcam so you can wave bye bye to them. http://www.portevergladeswebcam.com/

Around 4pm or so, the ships start leaving, so that is the time to tune in on the webcam. On a Sat/Sun, it is not unusual to see 5 or more ships leave, one right after another. We had 9 ships leave once.

We have cruised from Ft. Lauderdale maybe 9 times out of our 17 cruises. The first time we left from there, we stayed maybe 30 miles to the north at a hotel, then drove in that morning and parked at the Port Everglades cruise terminal (Terminal 18). But depending on time of arrival, you might not find a parking spot.

After that first time, we began staying at the Hampton Inn in Plantation Fl. the night prior. They have free parking for the week you are gone, and a free shuttle to the cruise ship and back. The only downside is it might take you 2 hours to get back to the hotel from clearing customs at the cruise port. There are maybe a half-dozen other hotels in the area that offer similar packages, and typically you need to book the parking/shuttle when you book the room. The Plantation hotel is a ways out, but they offered free parking for up to a month, where most of the other hotels limit you to a week. When we went on our 10 day to 2 week cruises, we stayed at that hotel the night prior.

We usually were headed north by 11AM when we stayed there.

The second alternative, and the method we used for the last 3 cruises, was to stay out of town a few miles away and drive in the morning of departure like we did the first time we left from Ft Lauderdale. Ft. Lauderdale has a Park-N-Go parking facility, right outside of the cruise terminal. We would drive in from the hotel the morning of, and park there. It is very easy to get to, not too expensive, and shuttles every 10 minutes or so to the cruise port. Usually less than 20 minutes from stepping out of customs to being in your car for the drive back. Seems it was about $50 to park there for the week. We could start to head north by 9am or so.

https://bookparkngo.com/ftlauderdale2.php

There is not a lot to do in Costa Maya. It is a "cruise destination", meaning they created a cruise port literally from out of the jungle. Still, the best excursion I think is the Mayan ruins at Chacchoben, which is maybe a 90 minute bus ride (nice modern air conditioned bus) to the ruins. Not as well known as Chichen Itza, but still quite impressive.

Chacchoben website: https://www.chacchobenruins.com/

A few weeks ago though, a bus on that excursion flipped and killed 12 people.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...rashes-in-mexico/?utm_term=.1686f6d7c842

Cozumel has some nice beaches and snorkeling. There are some Mayan ruins on the island as well, but mostly a village - not the pyramid thingies you will see at Chacchoben or Chichen Itza. From time-to-time, you can find an excursion to Chichen Itza from Cozumel. But it is a long day, about an 8 hour round trip, so it is not offered very often from the cruise lines.

One thing about booking excursions. I would highly recommend booking them via the cruise ship at least for your first cruise. You can book yourself after you have been on a few cruises. The reason being is the cruise-line bookings are typically checked out to be safe (or at least safer), and most importantly, if you are late getting back to the ship, the ship will NOT leave until you return. If you book your own excursion and are late getting back, the ship may leave without you... meaning you have to find your own way back home. They do cost a bit more though than booking on your own.

Especially for Costa Maya, it is so isolated it could take you a week to reach an airport if you miss the ship.

Royal Caribbean used to have a downloadable excursion booklet that you can look at the excursions they offer, and for some ships, you can book the excursions on-line before leaving as some of the more popular ones sell out quickly.

Remember though, I have not been on a cruise in 4yrs, so some of this info might be dated.

Last edited by Al; 02/14/18 04:33 AM.

President and CEO - Napmoor and Doolittle.


2004 Mercury 270 Dinghy.
2016 Grand Design Reflection 29RS 5th Wheel
2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD SLT 6.6L Diesel

previous boats:
1995 Carver 325
1999 Four Winns 268
1999 Four Winns 225
1996 Rinker 180
#570290 - 02/14/18 08:05 AM Re: Cruise Help? [Re: casualboater]  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,946
jtheile Offline
Admiral
jtheile  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,946
North Ridgeville, Ohio
Congrats on booking.

Head over to Cruie Critic. They have boards for ports of call, departure ports that will help with parking, hotels, excursions. Also boards for the specific ship to give tips about the ship. There should also be or will be a board for that cruise, someone usually plans a meet and greet which is a cool way to meet others. In fact we have a family coming to visit this weekend that we met 3 years ago.

In Costa Maya we just went to one of the local beach clubs for the day, and in Cozumel we just walked around shopped and had a couple of drinks and appetizers in a place that had free Wifi to let the kids connect and wife and I to call our parents for free via WiFi calling. We even found a jewelry shop that gave me free beer while my wife shopped. I got 3 beers, son a couple of soda pops and her and my daughter got beads for their bracelets for about $20. Win/Win for all. So if you are on a tight budget don't feel you need to do excursions.


Joe
Four Winns 225 Sundowner
#570291 - 02/14/18 09:34 AM Re: Cruise Help? [Re: casualboater]  
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 7,493
captkevin Offline
Admiral
captkevin  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 7,493
Chicago, IL
Agree with jtheile we often prefer a trip to the beach over crowded over priced excursions.


2004 Rinker 232
2010 Dodge Ram Crew Cab Laramie 4x4
#570294 - 02/14/18 04:17 PM Re: Cruise Help? [Re: captkevin]  
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 6,465
On Holiday Offline
Daddy
On Holiday  Offline
Daddy
Admiral

Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 6,465
PA and Smith Mountain Lake
Originally Posted by captkevin
Alaska cruse does sound great.


My grandparents cruised in the 70's and 80's and Alaska was the only cruise they would have done twice.


2008 Honda Goldwing Trike
2006 Regal 2400
2004 Dodge Ram 2500
2003 Ford F-150
2002 Harley Davidson Roadking Classic
1998 Honda Civic


#570295 - 02/14/18 05:16 PM Re: Cruise Help? [Re: casualboater]  
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,149
casualboater Offline
Admiral
casualboater  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,149
Highland, Michigan
I am already a big fan of Cruise Critic, I feel like I'm gonna spend as much time there as I do here, and I'm over a year from the trip.

I like the no excursions idea, just to relax and check out the sights. Thanks for the advice on booking with the ship Al, I do NOT want to be left behind. Maybe we'll do one relax day and one excursion day, plenty of time to figure it out.

My wife really wants to do an Alaskan cruise, but those are a few dollars more then the Caribbean options. I think good for us to 'get our feet wet' with this first.


1989 Larson DC 190
2007 Saab 9-7x
Page 1 of 2 1 2

Moderated by  Admin 

Sponsors
New Topics
Is there a word that's the opposite of Kudos:
by GoFirstClass. 10/20/18 12:09 PM
Oil Filter Mess
by Boatbottom. 10/18/18 02:06 PM
Trent-Severn next Summer
by Dave R. 10/16/18 08:25 AM
Booking Flights - wow
by casualboater. 10/13/18 08:29 PM
Boat cover
by oldnamwaterskier. 10/12/18 12:45 AM
Want to convert my trailer to bunks
by Ratdoggy. 10/10/18 03:20 PM
How to make a hole bigger.....
by GoFirstClass. 10/05/18 08:22 PM
Buzzards Bay/Martha's Vineyard
by Dave R. 10/05/18 01:56 PM
Who's Online Now
0 registered members (), 100 guests, and 3 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
oldnamwaterskier, farmermike, FrankC, skidmark, calmwaters
5461 Registered Users
Forum Statistics
Forums23
Topics37,204
Posts563,142
Members5,461
Most Online252
Aug 5th, 2017
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0