Choosing Shore Excursions

Final payment for our family cruise is fast approaching and it is time to start deciding what shore excursions we want to book.

Since the whole group will be together on the ship, we are leaving it up to each family to decide what they want to do when we get into port.

We are taking the 5 day cruise out of Tampa with stops in the Cayman Islands and Cozumel.


My oldest daughter has been assigned to plan this family trip but she asked me to help with the booking of the cruise and getting excursion info together.

I have found that it is much better to book your shore excursions through local businesses rather than going through the cruise lines because:
1: you can usually get a much lower price
2: it will be less crowded.
3: I like to support the locals, the cruise line gets enough money from me.

I always check reviews on Cruise Critics message boards to see what other cruisers suggest and they haven’t let me down yet.

I must caution you though, if you are wanting to do any excursions that take you far from the port, such as seeing the ruins in Mexico, I do suggest you book through the cruise line. The reason being, if, for some reason you get delayed and don’t make it back by the time the ship is set to sail, you are “SOL baby” , unless you are on a ship sponsored excursion, then the ship will wait for you.

So, with that being said:

Here are my suggestions for things to do at our first stop at Grand Cayman Island, Cayman Islands:


This is the tour that I am most excited about and got good reviews on Cruise Critics,
Duncan’s Stingray City Adventures


You can take a taxi to the Turtle Farm
for a fun day of activities.

Or for those just wanting to relax at the beach, there are seven miles
of beach to choose from and easy to get to by taxi.

And here are my suggestions for our stop in Cozumel, Mexico:


My sister and I did a fabulous dune buggy tour years ago and even though I can not find that tour operator, I found this one that got good reviews


We have some in our group that expressed an interest in seeing some ruins, so I suggest this excursion through the cruise line

For the beach lovers,


I have taken a taxi to Paradise Beach before and even though it has changed a lot, I think this is the one I will be doing for this trip.

I have also read good things about Chankanaab National Park.
This park has a lot to offer for the whole family and again, you can get there by just a short taxi ride.

So, I was wondering, have you been to either one of the destinations and if so, what fun things did you do?

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