20yr anniv, 1st honeymoon, 1st cruise - need advice



My wife and I are going to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary by going on our first cruise. We plan on going on this cruise. http://www.carnival.com/Itinerary.a...teCode=BCA&sailingID=44213&sailDate=12/7/2008
Link will take you to the exact cruise.

I plan on asking her to remarry me, presenting her with a 3 stone diamond ring, and renewing our vowes on the ship. I'm wanting it to be a smooth, memorable, and enjoyable experience for the both of us. Hence the reason i'm doing my research a year in advance. We were both very young when we married. I'm now 37 and she's 39. Never really had a honeymoon..so this will basically be our first one.

I've read through a ton of the forums here and have gathered lots of info in regards to what to pack, tips, etc.

What i'm now looking for is experieced peopele that have booked excursions, tours, guides, etc. for some advice on what to do..where to go...who to contact..etc.

I'd appreciate any and all suggestions, contact names, phone numbers, websites etc.

Also, anyone have any advice for ports? For Example: I read on here somewhere that if you plan on going to Sandals resort at port, that there are busses that will take you there for $12 per person. But, it's only like a 5 block ride. You can walk the 5 blocks to get there for free. Advice such as this would be greatly apprciated.
Places to sitesee, shop, anything and everything.

Thank you..and I'm so glad I found this website!


Ahoy There txfirefighter !

Greetings from a fellow firefighter, up in the frozen north. Congratulations on your upcoming rededication, cruise and honeymoon! I think you'll find our addiction a wonderful thing.

Anyway, to answer your questions ...

First why would you go to Sandals? I mean, it's a nice resort and all, but what do they offer that your ship doesn't? Food? Nah, even though your're sailing on Carnival, the food on the ship will still be better. Drinks? Nah. Carnival has forgotten more about "frozen thingies" than Sandals will ever learn. Laying in the sun on the beach? Nah. You can do that on the ship (without getting sand in "uncomfortable places").

I suggest that, when you're in a port-of-call, you experience those things which make the port different from life back home, on the ship and other ports.

Mo'Bay - We really enjoyed the Jungle Canopy tour and Zip-Line. Visit Dunn River Falls. Go rafting on the Brae. Tour a plantation or two. Buy local handcrafts (I have dozens collecting dust in my office!).

Grand Cayman - You have to swim with the sting rays and "go to Hell".

Cozumel - Last chance to buy really great sterling silver jewlery at really great prices.



Well..being that it's our first..I really had no idea on where to go. Friends had told me about Sandals, although, they stayed there, not on a cruise.
We'd love to go see some stuff..but really have no idea on where to go..who to contact..or what to do. Iv'e never left the U.S. so, this is the first for many for me and my duo. Was hoping for some nice ideas from folks that had been there..done that.


Google the local fire departments. Find out where they are and try to stop by for a visit (while she's shopping). Make sure you have your department ID. I've found that they are really happy to meet brother FFs and you'll probably get the full 50 cent tour! Take lots of photos. Take department patches and duty T-shirts for trade w/local departments and other FFs on the ship (bet you're not the only one who will be sailing).



When Looking for excursions don't be afraid to look at non-cruiseline companies. We have found that the excursions that we have gone on through the cruise line are more crowded and more touristy (if that is a word). There are companies out there (my wife and I have used one called Shore Trips) that will give you more personal experiences for about the same dollar.
Also don't be afraid (in some ports) to venture out on your own. On our last cruise when in Cozumel we rented a beat up, rust bucket, VW Bug convertable. We drove to a resort area and went snorkling. We were on our own time schedule and had the best time.
I also agree with the advice given earlier--for your excursions don't do what you can do on the boat or back home.


Great things we have done: Horseride in the ocean, tube on a river in Jamaica, snorkel and tour stingray city in Cayman (Captain Marvins) Atlantis Sub is available in Cayman and Cozumel. Swam with Dolphins in Cozumel (shoretrips.com or Discovery Cove web site). We have had great luck with Shoretrips.com. Pictures and descriptions of the tours are available, as well as reviews. Start there and you can read up and get ideas of what tickles you. They have always gotten us back to the ship on time (that is peoples biggest fear it seems when going outside the cruise line's umbrella to purchase a tour) and they are US based and have insurance. Guarantee if the ship offers something and they do too your group will be so much smaller than the ships (think 3000+ people all on the same time frame wanting the experience of a lifetime: this does not make for small groups!). The only thing we would not do again is the Tulum ruins: It is amazing, fascinating, definitely worth seeing, but is on mainland Mexico NOT Cozumel: requires a 45 minute ferry ride that was an adventure in motion sickness one way, a 20 minute walk to buses, 45 minute bus ride, hike into the ruins, then reverse it all to return. A 6-8 hour shore excursion with about 1 hour 45 minutes at what you went there to see. Your cruise line will also have shore tours on its web site and you can read up on those too--they are good about describing walking, climbing, etc. although at your ages this is probably not a huge issue. I would stick to activities available on the island of Cozumel in the future. We are going in 40 days and are doing a jeep adventure tour with snorkeling and beaches on Cozumel and have heard good things from friends who have done this--we Will get a tour, a little shopping, a beach, a chance to snorkel--seems like a win-win deal.

Also check out the weddings available on Shoretrips.com--in certain ports there are packages with pictures and flowers and not ridiculously expensive either--that might be a real memory maker right there--renew your vows in Jamaica! I would go for it.

Oh, and I agree with above. The time to hang out at sandals is when you are staying there--most day packages there are about $85 too!