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  1. #1
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    Cruise excursions in Mexico

    Hi y'all! I'm going on my first cruise in January with part of my family and our "framily" - friends that are family.
    I would love your opinions about shore excursions-should we book on the ship or find locals?
    We would really love to go see some cenotes, which is a little more off the beaten path than some of the other excursions.

    If anyone has any experience with doing this, or any cruise advise you'd like to share, I would appreciate your input. I'm a bit type a at times and have been asking everyone I know that has been on a cruise for tips they would like to share. Always be prepared Smilie

    Thanks!

    (Oh. I'm packing in my A30 and synapse 19 or 25, with a daylight and shop bag in reserveSmilie)
    Black Halycon A30, MB and SE; French Blue 3DOC; Burnt Orange COW; Black SC; Iberian Dyneema DOP; NW Sky TT; northwest sky LSB; black halcyon SSB; wasabi passport pouch

  2. #2
    Forum Member bltkmt's Avatar
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    What part of Mexico?
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  3. #3
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    We are going to Cozumel and Progreso. It would have helped if I had mentioned that Roll Eyes (Sarcastic)
    Black Halycon A30, MB and SE; French Blue 3DOC; Burnt Orange COW; Black SC; Iberian Dyneema DOP; NW Sky TT; northwest sky LSB; black halcyon SSB; wasabi passport pouch

  4. #4
    Forum Member bltkmt's Avatar
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    Sorry, no help then. I was on Cozumel for my honeymoon but that was 21 years ago. I do remember renting Vespas and tooling around the island.
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  5. #5
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    You are right to seek out the cenotes. I was in Playa del Carmen (not far from Cozumel) two years ago for a scuba trip and our visit to the cenotes was hands-down my favorite part of the visit! I am told that snorkeling the cenotes is a nice activity and that Cozumel also has some great snorkeling opportunities.

    For shore excursions, you often have two choices: you can sign up through the cruise ship's excursion center, or you can seek out the local shops to do the same excursion. Since the cruise operators use the same locals, you may be able to save some money if you sign up with the locals directly, but be sure to factor in transportation. Taxis are pretty inexpensive in Mexico, but you may need to take a ferry AND taxi/shuttle if you are visiting attractions on the main land.

  6. #6
    Forum Member K9TB's Avatar
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    I've done several European cruises and 3 Transatlantics. I've done both Cruise sponsored excursions and do it yourself ones. I've got no Mexico-specific advice, but here's some general advice.

    Remember that you are booking a ship, not an itinerary. On every cruise I've been on (except for the Transatlantics), ports of call changed. Fog- couldn't enter port. Wind - couldn't leave port. Cruise line vs Harbor docking fee showdown, so different harbor visited. So be aware of cancellation penalties on do it yourself excursions.

    Remember that if the ship is scheduled to depart at 6 pm, it will do so, with or without you. The only exception is if there is a problem with a cruise line sponsored excursion, the ship will wait for those people. So if you are on an official excursion and the bus breaks down, the cruise line will figure out how to get a busload of people back to the port, and the ship will wait. If you are making your own arrangements, you are on your own and risk missing the ship.

    So one way I decide between the official excursion and the do it yourself version is thinking about what can go wrong on the do it yourself version. Language barrier? Destination farther from the port? Local infrastructure resources?

    Also, do you have any tardy family members? If the official excursion is leaving at 9:00, it leaves with or without cousin Bob. If you are doing your own thing, you may feel pressure to wait for Bob rather than ditch him.

    You will definitely have some waiting on the official excursion. Even though the cruise line told us 17 different times to bring our passports, of course some people on my bus didn't bring theirs. There was a 30 minute delay.

    CruiseCritic.com is a great resource about your cruise line, ship, and ports.
    What's better than o-rings? More o-rings.

  7. #7
    Forum Member melminimalist's Avatar
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    Went to Cozumel on a cruise 6 years ago. By far they have the prettiest shade of blue I have ever seen in my life as you're pulling into port. It's a beautiful royal blue, I didn't even know the ocean could be that color! I would do activities once you get there through the beach businesses, use a cc with a great policy on theft, save all receipts. That being said, it's like a quarter of the price if you don't book through the ship. Now because of time constraints if you want to do like a Mayan pyramid or something go through the ship. But renting waverunners, snorkeling and such, beach business is best. Things I recommend you purchase is mexican vanilla, omg it's incredible! Also silver jewelry, they have beautiful affordable silver that is genuine (obvious check it before you buy). Lastly, do your drinking at the ports of call, drinking on the ship will cost almost as much as the cruise itself. Oh, one more thing, do as many sit down meals as possible, food is so much better than the buffets and the staff is wonderful, take their recommendations on food. Have so much fun!
    P.s. if you haven't booked it completely yet, I highly recommend ponying up for a balcony room, nothing says vacation like eating your breakfast as the sun rises, or pulling into the harbor relaxing in a chair reading with your own private slice of heaven! Let me know if you have any other questions!

    Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk
    "Not all who wander are lost"
    "Love people, use things, because the opposite never works" - The Minimalists
    Synapse 25 in Olive, Aubergine Side Effect, UV A30 PCBP, Sitka PCSB

  8. #8
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    Thanks everyone! You are giving me great tips! My biggest fear is being left behind, so for the longer jaunts we may just book through the ship.
    @carrott the cenotes seem like a once in a lifetime thing that I don't want to miss! There are some things worth paying for. Big Grin
    @meiminimalist we have rooms with windows but not balconies. I'll use that difference for our excursions! And where are you in AL? That's where I am from Smilie
    Black Halycon A30, MB and SE; French Blue 3DOC; Burnt Orange COW; Black SC; Iberian Dyneema DOP; NW Sky TT; northwest sky LSB; black halcyon SSB; wasabi passport pouch

  9. #9
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    We spent a week in Cozumel about 6 years ago, and by far the most memorable experiences were the cenotes and the scuba diving. Cenotes seem to be everywhere there and should be easy to locate if you do it on your own, but I would guess there will be a prearranged excursion available to do this. Cozumel also has some of the best drift diving you can find IMO, and our group spent most of the week scuba diving. We found an excellent five star PADI shop that made the experience amazing for all skill levels in our group. I'm not sure if you would have enough time to dive there, or if you even enjoy doing that, but if you do I highly recommend it.

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