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Home > Member Reviews > wiskt's Port Reviews of Cozumel, Belize City, Montego Bay, Grand Cayman

wiskt's Port Reviews of Cozumel, Belize City, Montego Bay, Grand Cayman
Carnival Legend cruise in September 2012
Member Name: wiskt
Cruise Date: September 2012
Embarkation: Tampa
Destination: Western Caribbean
Member Review: wiskt's Carnival Legend Review
Cozumel
Amazing River & Cavern Explore Rating: 5+ out of 5+
I am really surprised this one is still not listed to choose as it may be one of my all time favorite excursions in 13 cruises. I have done it twice in 2 years!

I chose to explore the AMAZING RIO SECRETO & CAVERN EXPLORE. I've done this excursion in 2010 right after it was first opened and just loved it. This trip I went back with a few more friends and they loved it as well. It is definitely worth every penny and it really AMAZING. I am going to cut/paste my last review of this trip and add a few additional comments on what has changed.

AMAZING SECRET RIVER and CAVERN EXPLORE: I did some upfront research about this one and it seemed intriguing to me. Summary, WOW! A+++ I thought I loved this in 2010 and it was just as adventurous and exciting in 2012. I'm returning to Cozumel in Dec and considering it a 3rd time. It may just be one of the BEST excursions I have ever done as far as adventure and exploring. This excursion will not disappoint. In 2010 we had 9 people in our entire group which was nice and intimate. In 2012 we had about 45 that they broke up into 4 smaller groups. This RIO SECRETO was recently discovered a few years back by a local that was chasing an iguana in the jungle behind his home and it ran into this underground cave system. It is still being surveyed and had only been opened to the public for about 2 years. It surpassed all of my expectations I had even with some pre-research. Do not be discouraged by the long 7 hour duration. It is split up into parts (Ferry ride to the mainland- Playa Del Carmen) Short van ride to the cave system, 1 ½ cavern exploration, short meal break, 1 hr shopping time and van/ ferry tri back.

FERRY RIDE: First off, what a clean comfortable set up. I sat inside as I read that the locals refer to this as the "BARF-BOAT" for tourists that race to sit on the outside 2nd level LOL. I sat inside on the plush air conditioned seats. A little wavy, but not too bad. They offer water, drinks, and some snacks for sale on the ferry. Polite crew

VAN RIDE to the CAVES. Well once we turned off the paved roads and onto the dirt road you know the adventure was about to begin. It is about a 5 mile trip down a very bumpy raw unpaved road. My suggestion is to just enjoy as much as you can the best is yet to come. OH and most important..... USE THE BATHROOM on the ferry before getting into the van because the bumpy ride may not be for those with week bladders LOL.

CAVERNS/ STAFF and FOOD: We were all greeted by our guide AIDA and each provided with lockers and locks to keep our personals. This trip our guide was RODRIGO and was very informative and a great guide keeping everyone together and not missing out on anything from the first person in line to the last the entire time. I was talking to him on the way to the cavern and when he found out I did the trip in 2010 he re-routed out tour a different way so I can see other new parts of the system that have been discovered.

This is a PHYSICAL TOUR so you do need to be able to bend, crouch, walk, swim/wade, and should have no problems with darkness, water and they say claustrophobia. There is really no tight spaces so do not be too discouraged about this. Water is fresh-water, crystal clear and about 70 degrees. They offer a walking stick. I say take it and even suggested to the guide once in the caves that they just pass them out to everyone instead of offering. You are not allowed to take any cameras or anything into the system. You get a knee length wet suit, swimming vest, water shoes and hard hat with a small light. DEFINITELY check and make sure your light works and is not dying before you start the hike. The sights are amazing inside the cavern and the photographer that tags along takes great photos. They are offered to purchase at the end. I took the entire CD of approx. 30 personal photos and an additional 50 added cave photos along with 3 gifts selections (T-shirts, bottle of Wine etc.) for $99. They are WORTH every penny! Rating 10 A+++ So if you have a small group its worth buying the whole package and you can make copies later


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Belize City
Port Rating: 5+ out of 5+
XUNANTUNICH MAYUN RUINS

I've done the Mayan ruins of Talum before and this excursion also did not disappoint. If you are fascinated by the history of the Mayan culture you will love this tour. The wait of the travel to get there is well worth it. The tour guides from CHUKA TOURS were extremely informative and you received a very detailed build-up of the Belize independence and country history on the way to the site of the ruins. It truly leaves you with a better sense of compassion for the people of the area. There are truly some spectacular photo opportunities at the site. If you have a good camera this is the one to bring it to.

Once arriving at the Ruins via charter bus everyone crosses a small water ferry/taxi across the river where you board vans that take you part way up the mountain where there are bathrooms and 2-3 small souvenir shops. Once everyone has reached this level you start the walk up to the ruin plateau. This is a physical tour and there is a lot of walking and stairs if you choose to climb the temple. If you can manage the trek, it is very much worth it. Coming down the back side of the temple can be a bit scary for those that have a fear of heights as there are no handrails or ropes and the steps along the outside of the temple walls are narrow.

Adventure, history & discovery are all around you and you cannot help to leave the grounds with the utmost respect for what you are witnessing. The guides are there to take questions as well as more history to tell. This is an adventure I highly recommend to add to your once in a lifetime to-do lists. This is the final Mayan Ruin site where you can climb to the top of the temple and will soon be shut down to the public for preservation purposes as all the rest have been.

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Montego Bay
Port Rating: Not Rated
VERY NICE PORT with great shopping opportunities. Clean private beach.

This port was my shopping day and I decided to not take an excursion and stay local in the court to get shopping done. There are many reasonable shops and the area is very nice and inviting. There is a separate beach where you can rent canoes, kayaks, swim or just soak up the sun. There is a FAT TUESDAYS in the court area and also a place to have your passports stamped. A small donation is asked with the stamps to assist with upkeep of the area and it appears to be put to good use so far. I enjoyed this stop and if I return will do an excursion as I heard many good things from others.

Next time I will do an excursion here.

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Grand Cayman
Port Rating: Not Rated
This was my 2nd time here and really do like this port. This trip I took the opportunity to have a tattoo done to make this cruise more memorable. The BLUE DRAGON TATTOOS 345 is a very nice facility about 2 blocks from the Hard Rock Cafe, walking distance to the right after leaving the ship. Afterwards, some friends and I walked back and past the ship where there was a "live catch of the day" fish stand. You can choose your fish and the outside restaurant will cook it up for you. This was a fantastic way to end the day with a few drinks, good service and a great fresh 'RED SNAPPER" meal. A+ and recommended to try.

Next time I will do an Excursion

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