If you are into snorkeling at all try it at Grand Cayman It's wonderful, You can rent equipment at dive shops and snorkel from shore (turn right when you get off the tender and walk a block or two to Eden rock) I hear good things about stingray city, but our tours there were called off when we went...I swam with stingrays in Belize and it was wonderful!
In Cozumel we've done SNUBA (like SCUBA but your tank is on a raft floating on the surface, with an air hose coming down to you) and the Discover SCUBA class....I LOVED Discover SCUBA It's a whole different world down there I want to take classes now...think I'm hooked! (SNUBA was good but I'm a skinny little runt and I don't sink well without lots of weights or a tank on my back so It was much like snorkeling to me.)
I'm sure there's much more to do...I'd spend my entire vacation underwater If I could.
I've been to Cayman twice; first time did the Stingrays, but I didn't care for it; I think because it was a ship's excursion, and there were soooo many people, it looked like a cattledrive. Georgetown is pretty EZ to walk around; beautiful views around Eden Rock, and also by Don Fosters. The last trip there, we did the Nautilus sub, and we really enjoyed it. The sub is a semi submersible, and you get to view wrecks, and tons of fish. They also encourage you to snorkel during a stop.
There is much to do in Cozumel; Shopping is great in San Miguel, and so is the bar hopping. snorkeling is good at Chankanaab park, but the entrance to the water is rocky. They also have a swim with the dolphin program there. Snorkeling is great on just about any excursion that offers it; the Fury Catamaran is a good excursion, too. Have fun planning! :thumb
We rented a VW Safari from Less Pay Rentals in Cozumel. Only $38 or you could rent a jeep for $50. We drove around the entire south end of the island. Saw beautiful, virtually deserted beaches on the south and east coasts. Visited the San Gervasio ruins, drove back to the ship for lunch, then took the Safari out again and went snorkeling at Chankanab park. We used our own snorkel equipment. The entrance to the beach is rocky but there are steps built in. And a guide rope to lead you back to the steps. The snorkeling there was beautiful, the beach was quiet and had good amenities, but no pressure. There is a $10 per person admission fee, but it was worth it. There is a trail with replica ruins that look real, and many plants and trees. Very beautiful. There is also a dolphin adventure there and a museum, as well as a lagoon that you can look at that has crystal clear water with many plants and fish. The lagoon is connected to the ocean through underwater caves so many ocean-dwelling fish inhabit and/or visit the lagoon. We visited San Miguel but didn't do much shopping, but there's plenty there to do, and many bars and restaurants. You can also get around quite easily and relatively cheaply by taxi all over Cozumel. (Although we thought it was a better deal to rent the Safari because we wanted to see a lot of the island and have flexibility.)
Grand Cayman is spectaculr. Very wealthy. More expensive than Cozumel. We did the Stingray City half-day tour (3 hours) through Captain Marvin. We were glad we did, because all the cruise ships in port that day (5) canceled their snorkeling and Stingray CIty tours because of rough seas. But the small independents went anyway, and it really wasn't that bad. In fact, I think we were lucky because I can't imagine the crowds if all the cruise ships had sent their tours out. I recommend booking through Captain Marvins and getting on the earliest possible tour. This should beat most of the cruise ship tours. Captain Marvin's is just two blocks from the pier. And it's very safe walking around on Grand Cayman. It reminded us of Hilton Head. Have a blast!!
Stingray City is a must in Grand Cayman - what an experience! If you have time stroll through the town also. I recommend Chankanaab Park in Cozumel - many people on this board have praised it. Chankanaab is beautiful - you can rent snorkel equipment at the park. The variety of fish were amazing.
We just returned on feb 3rd from both Cozumel and Grand Cayman. We decided to do something different this year and book our own shore tours. In Grand Cayman we went to String ray city which is a must to see with www.nativewaywatersports.com. They meet you and take you and from the marina. The other ships tours were packed but there was just 5 of us on this tour, and very reasonable. In Cozumel we booked with www.eagleraydivers.com for snorkling. You have to take a taxi to and from the dock but the company will call a taxi for you. If you don't think that's for you then take a taxi to Chankanab Park. If there's nothing else you do in Cozumel, you must see that. Have a wonderful trip!
I never got to Grand Cayman last October because of hurricane lilly. The group I was involved with was going to use Capt Marvins for Sting Ray City. It would have been the best way because he keeps you away from the crowds.
In Cozumel, we went to Playa Del Sol. We had a great time. We paid $19.00 from Carnival Cruises and it included the admission and the all you can drink. We paid $14.00 for all three of us to go from port to Playa. This place as all kinds of activities including getting massaged!! The massage was GREAT!!!
We were in Grand Cayman and Cozumel in March 2000. This was also our
1st cruise so all our excursions were booked thru the ship. I had done a lot of reading before & it was recommended to book the 1st group for the Stingrays
which was approx 8am. We had no problems and it was not busy in the water at
all however if I was to do it again I probably would book thru Captain Marvins since
I have read only good reviews and it is cheaper. Seven Mile Beach was great for
a beach day.
In Cozumel I had read about Carlos and Charlies and this was a must do on my list. We had lunch there and had a blast . Shopping was OK but had a great
beach day about 15 min out of town.
O.K. What's the difference between Chankannab and Playasol????
I'm not into snorkling!! I can't swim. I want to have a fun beach day relaxing on the beach, drinking fruity things, eating, and shopping.
Don, how far away is Less Pay Rentals from the dock? Do you know if they have a website? Renting a jeep & traveling around the island is right up my alley! Did that the last time I was in Maui, and it is truly one of my fondest memories!!