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faithfulFrank

R.C. took away the Grand Caymans-BUMMER!

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Hello everyone!

This looks like a nice helpful forum....I'm looking forward to being here.

My wife and I leave for our first cruise 1/23 from Galveston, but we just saw on the Royal Caribbean website that they took the Grand Caymans off out cruise and replaced it with Costa Maya.

We are very disappointed. I called R.C., but no answer, and no reply to my e-mail to them. So far not overly impressed. I do not know why they did this.

We have friends who are frequent cruisers, and they were at the Grand caymans two weeks ago, and said that although you can see storm damage, Georgetown was fine, and it was ok for Norwegian to go there.

We now go to Cozemel, then to Costa Maya. To me, it seems like a downgrade. I was told there is little to do at Costa Maya.

I'm sure we will still enjoy the cruise, but I'd like to hear some reactions and advice from other more experienced cruisers....

I thank you in advance for your input.

Frank D.

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faithfulFrank, Welcome aboard. We're so glad that you found us and we hope to see you posting often. I'm so surprised to hear about the itinerary change. I also thought I'd heard that things were recovering in the Caymans . As you said, Frank, you will have a great cruise anyway. Cheryl :cool:

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There could be many reasons for this but the main one may be that the government of the Grand Caymans is limiting the number of ships in on any particular day. Even before the hurricane, GC on a busy day with 5 or more ships in port was a disaster area. Since the hurricane, I can see the reasons for limiting the number of ships in on any day. I'm sorry your stop was cancelled, but make the best of it and enjoy. I know some people really enjoy Costa Maya - especially the area by the pier with the pools, bands, bars and food.

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From a review I wrote when we visited Costa Maya last year:

This is a site developed just for the cruise lines. It contains a small shopping mall, several nice bars and restaurants, a pool, a performance area, and is a jumping off point for tours to various sites in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. Still cool and cloudy, I didn’t want to pay a taxi to go anywhere, but noticed a beach immediately adjacent to the pier that had a swimming area shielded from the surf. A private area, we rented a chair and enjoyed the beach. I snorkeled and it was terrific. Many fan coral, many fish, including some large ones. I didn’t notice the lack of sun. The had some bars and a restaurant, and bathrooms available, too. We wound up back at the mall in a bar similar to a Carlos and Charlie’s with alcohol related activities on stage and a lot of fun. Not a bad day

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Hi, Frank, and welcome to our CruiseCrazies family!

alt text

Sorry that you're disappointed in losing Gand Cayman...

Personally, I wouldn't have been upset if The Cayman Islands was deleted, as a port, on one of my cruises.

The island is flat, with little, or no, scenery. The Turtle Farm, and Hell, are interesting (the first time...), but nothing terrific. In fact, when I do find myself in Gand Cayman,

I take the tender ashore, take a short walk to the Tortuga Rum Cake Factory, order a slice of Rum cake and a cup of coffee, and "people watch."

When I'm done, I hop the tender back to the ship, and have it all to myself...

alt text

As for Costa Maya, the snorkeling at Chincorro, a coral reef, offers tremendous snorkeling and diving opportunities. The reef,itself, is about the size of Cozumel!

You can take the Sub Sea Expedition, a semi-submersible craft which allows you to view the reef from about 12'below the surface.

Also, there are several very interesting, "off-the-beaten-track" Mayan ruins. My favorite is the Museum of Mayan Culture and Oxtankah Ruins, at Chetumal.

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Thanks everyone for your input so far.

We were a bit bummed at first......but I will not allow it to ruin our trip. Not ever having been to either place, I have no right to be bummed......who knows, it may be better.....!?

Our friends who cruise a lot felt Cozamel and Costa Mayo were a bit redundant, and a downgrade from the Grand Caymans, and we only had their opinions to go by.

Now, we must pick the excursions that would be best for each port, without being redundant.

Any opinions here would be much appreciated......so far I was told that the better ruins are at Costa Mayo, and the better snorkeling, reef, etc. is at Cosamel. I guess what I'm asking is for those of you who have been at both, what would be the best of each......

We first go to Key West, and I am really looking forward to that. We decided to go from Galveston because of friends living in Houston, so we are flying there from Buffalo a few days early. When we get back from the cruise, we plan on going on the galveston tour that takes you back to the airport from the cruiseship......seems like the best way to get back to the airport and not worry about luggage, etc.

Thanks again!!

Frank D.

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Hi again!

Just an update.....I e-mailed RCI a few days ago, and still have not gotten any response to our questions about the itinerary change, so I just called them.

The person I talked to knew nothing about it, and it was like talking to a brick wall. All he said was, "Well, I know you can dive in both places......" DUH???

I'm sure the cruise will be great, but I'm a bit disappointed with RCI's customer relations......

I appreciate this forum, and will be sure to post a review, etc, when we get back. I look forward to being active here, and am sure to have more questions between now and our 1/23 departure date.

Thanks again!,

Frank D.

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Well personally we loved GC, so I can understand being bummed, but as pointed out there are some good things about Costa Maya, so I would research it and then just go and have fun!

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You can get an idea of excursions in Costa Maya and see the port at http://www.puertocostamaya.com/ Select English and you will be at the home page. The excursions are under the Adventures link at the top.

Costa Maya is rural, and a port in an area just beginning to be developed. Cozumel is well developed, with shopping, restaurants, good beaches and great diving and snorkeling.

If it is a beach day you want in Cozumel, you don't need to pay the padded price the cruise line charges. You can catch a taxi at the pier, prices are per cab and government regulated. Your choices include Chankanaab National Park, Playa Sol, and Mr Sancho's.

[url=http://www.cozguide.net/chankan.html]http://www.cozguide.net/chankan.html Admission fee, good snorkeling, dolphin shows, botanical gardens, replicas of mayan art/ruins.

[url=http://www.mrsanchos.com/]http://www.mrsanchos.com/ No admission fee, great beach facilities

The Playa Sol link [url=http://playasol.com.mx/]http://playasol.com.mx/ appears to be down. However, it is one of the places the cruiseline excursions go to. Ticket packages at the gate can include admission, admission and food, admission and beverages, etc.

We usually spend a half day at the beach/snorkeling, drop our stuff at the ship and then taxi into town in Cozumel (San Miguel) to shop and visit Senor Frog's or Carlos and Charlies. Can't do both in one trip :grin:

[url=http://www.carlosn-charlies.com/news2.htm]http://www.carlosn-charlies.com/news2.htm

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