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Home > Member Reviews > NotSoRealMcCoy's Port Reviews of Grand Cayman, Roatan, Costa Maya

NotSoRealMcCoy's Port Reviews of Grand Cayman, Roatan, Costa Maya
Nieuw Amsterdam cruise in March 2012
Member Name: NotSoRealMcCoy
Cruise Date: March 2012
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Destination: Western Caribbean
Member Review: NotSoRealMcCoy's Nieuw Amsterdam Review
Grand Cayman
Dolphin Swim Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
Since the ship had to tender guests to the island, we had to be ready to go an hour before this excursion actually started. Once ashore, we had to wait about 30 minutes before the mini-coach took us on the 20 or so minute ride to Dolphin World. They then gave us about 35 minutes to walk across the street and visit the Turtle Farm (which is more than enough time unless you are really into turtles). Afterwards, we gathered back at Dolphin World and waited another 30 minutes or so for further instructions. Our group of about 50 was broken up into four groups of about a dozen or so. We were given life jackets and told to get into our swim suits (there is a changing room and free lockers to store your stuff). There is a lot going on at this point as other groups are finishing up their tours, getting into their lockers, and changing out of their swimsuits. Each smaller group was first taken one at a time into a pool where an employee was holding a small stingray. Each person was given a few seconds to pet the stingray while their photo was taken. After getting out of the stingray pool, our group was taken into a larger pool where we stood along the edge on a submerged platform. We then spent about 20 minutes with a dolphin, getting to pet her several times, posing for photos with her, and having two 10 second rides with her (one where you hold on to her flippers and one where she pushes you on a boogie board). Afterwards, we were led out of the pool to rinse off and change out of our swimwear. We then had about another 90 minutes before our mini-coach arrived to take us back to the tender port. This was plenty of time to view and purchase our photos and visit the gift shop. There were four of us and we purchased a CD containing 160 photos for $159. The photos were professionally done. We were all sunburnt by the end as they don't want you to wear sunscreen while with the dolphin and it was a very sunny day. The entire excursion from the time we needed to be ready until we arrived back at the tender port was about 5 hours. It certainly is a unique experience and my entire family enjoyed it very much.

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Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
The port at Mahogany Bay on the island of Roatan, Honduras is modern, clean and very nice (interestingly, the ship backed into this port). There is a very nice private beach nearby (for cruise ship passengers only). It can be reached by a short walk or by taking a sky chair (essentially a ski lift) for a small fee. Our family took a Kayak and Snorkel excursion on the other side of the island that was a lot of fun. All in all, this was our favorite port on our cruise.
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Costa Maya
Chacchoben Mayan Ruins Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
This excursion was by far the most popular one in Costa Maya. There were more than a dozen full-size coaches, holding 50-60 people each that headed out to the ruins from just our ship (two were in port that day). It was about an hour's ride out to the ruins along fairly deserted highways. There is not much to see along the way...a few very small villages and the vegetation that grows in the area is quite unattractive. However, our tour guide, though somewhat low-keyed, was very informative and entertaining. Once at the ruins site there was a gift shop and restrooms where folks waited as each bus' group were slightly staggered to be led by their guide through the various ruins structures. After seeing a couple of the smaller structures, the skies opened up and we were dumped upon (ironically, the only rains we saw the entire cruise). After about 10 minutes of this, the guides starting sending their groups back to the gift shop for cover. Nonetheless, everyone was completely soaked from head to toe. By the time the rains let up (it lasted a total of maybe 20-25 minutes), it was too late to continue the tours and we were sent back to our buses and the hour ride back to the ship. Later we heard that one or two of the first groups out did make it to the largest of the structure (which we only got to see from the bus). Obviously, it was disappointing to drive all that way and only get to see a fraction of the site. But it makes for a better story now.

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