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Staying at Ritz- What Tours and/or Operators

Texas
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Staying at Ritz- What Tours and/or Operators

Staying at the Ritz July 31st-August 4th. We are going to do the Mongrove Kayaking one day (through the hotel). We would like to do some type of Stingray City/Snorkel tour. We want something FUN that was aren't jammed pack with people. What do you recommend? The hotel offers a stingray city tour that has a maximum of 10 people on the pontoon boat but I'm sure it's double what we'd pay somehwere else. Thanks!!

Venice, Florida
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1. Re: Staying at Ritz- What Tours and/or Operators

We used Captain Dexter's last month and there were only about 10-12 of us. It was very relaxing!

Summer

Venice, Florida
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2. Re: Staying at Ritz- What Tours and/or Operators

Also, I think it was about $35/person. Not to be obtrusive, but are you aware that the Ritz is very crowded? Especially on the beach.

Summer

Texas
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3. Re: Staying at Ritz- What Tours and/or Operators

Summer05- This is the second post that you have tried to be somewhat of "Debbie the Downer". I don't know what your issue with the Ritz is but we are very excited about our trip. The Ritz never fails to meet our expectations. Will the beach be crowded? Who knows? Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. My husband and I aren't paying to sit on the beach all day. We are paying for fabulous rooms, exceptional service, and an all around 5 star hotel. Not to mention, we really aren't sit on the beach people. We plan on being out and active with the occasional afternoon nap in our nice room.

The Ritz may not be your choice of hotel but for us it is. I looked at all the lodging options for our trip and this is what we chose. We are paying more, yes, but the things WE look for in a hotel are at the Ritz. To each, their own..... :)

Knoxville, Tennessee
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4. Re: Staying at Ritz- What Tours and/or Operators

Kjohnson55 - While you apparently have done your homework and chosen the Ritz for specific reasons, far too many people just pick a place-especially a brand-name place like the Ritz-without checking things out. They then complain when things are not to their liking and give an unfavorable review. It's apparent from the number of times that the Ritz appears in the forum that some people simply want to say they have stayed at the Ritz but have no clue about the advantages and disadvantages of doing so. I think Debbie was just trying to point out in advance some of the the pitfalls of the Ritz, especially since you are paying very high prices there. Not everyone cares about having "fabulous rooms", especially since you yourself said (in another topic) "You are just sleeping there after all". Others simply would rather spend their $$ on other things at other locations. It's all a matter of personal preference. Whenever you post on the forum seeking help, which you have done numerous times regarding your trip, you are going to get a variety of opinions on just about everything. You're free to disagree with or discard any information posted. Just pick what works for you and enjoy your trip!

Knoxville, Tennessee
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5. Re: Staying at Ritz- What Tours and/or Operators

Oops. meant Summer05 was trying to point out things, not Debbie (you called her "Debbie the Downer).

Texas
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6. Re: Staying at Ritz- What Tours and/or Operators

I understand your point but don't necessarily agree. When I said we would just "be sleeping there after all" I meant the time spent in our room will be minimal, however; when we are there we prefer nice accommodations. I'm quite picky about hotel rooms. Other people are not. A beach is a beach to me, I'm not picky. Like you said, everyone has their preferences but I still don't think it's nice to keep pointing out the negative aspects of a hotel that someone has booked. I have read the reviews, most people RAVE about the place. A few people dislike it. That's okay. Even if we have a few kinks in our trip I'm not going to bash the place. I do appreciate the feedback from other people but this just kinda irritated me that's all. No worries!

Grand Cayman
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for Grand Cayman
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7. Re: Staying at Ritz- What Tours and/or Operators

Generally the nicer the boat the more you pay -- it is like anything else in life. If you want a boat with shade, showers, water/fruit, etc., it will cost a little more. The ops the RC uses will provide this. The mangrove kayaking is great (if you like that sort of outing -- I do). My choice to do Stingray City would be to go the dive site (15ft) rather than the sand bar where you can walk around. Much less crowded. The rays eat all day long so don't worry about being the "first boat", but you will avoid the cruise ship crowds if you go early or to the dive site. Look at real pictures on youtube or at stingraycity.org.

With regard to the RC, I don't like the location of the rooms that are not on the beach side of the road and some of the villas at other locations are as if not more luxurious than the non-private sector of the RC, however, do not having spa options etc. It is truly a matter of taste. We looked into buying one of the Residences at the RC and found property that was more what we wanted -- however to each their own. You should have a wonderful time, and although there are some great reviews of the restaurants at the RC, try some of the other options as well!

Knoxville, Tennessee
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8. Re: Staying at Ritz- What Tours and/or Operators

Like I said, if you ask for opinions, which you did, you are going to get both good and bad. Pretty much every accommodation has good and bad reviews and it is a person's right to voice their opinion. If you have been reading postings on the forum as well as the hotel reviews, you will know that Summer05 is not the only one who has issues with the Ritz (it's more than a few). I'm sure the aruguement can be made for many properties that have "nice accommodations". Again, it all comes down to what you consider "nice" versus what someone else considers "nice". Different strokes for different folks. It's all a matter of opinion and preference, including how one wants to spend one's money. While you were "irritated" by the negative comments, others may have found it useful information.

Texas
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9. Re: Staying at Ritz- What Tours and/or Operators

Thanks for your input! I think we'll try the Mangrove Kayaking. Still debating the night snorkel. I just wonder how you see in the water at night?

As for the hotel: I'm sure we would enjoy being beach front but decided against it cost wise. We'll definitly check out other accommodations while we are there for future trips. I was debating between the Hyatt and Marriott so perhaps we'll try one of those on our next trip.

Grand Cayman
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for Grand Cayman
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10. Re: Staying at Ritz- What Tours and/or Operators

KJ -- At night different fish are awake and the corals look different. There is also biolumensence (Sp?). One of my most memorable dives was a night where we hung out with an octopus -- it was just as interested in us as we were with it. I truly don't know how much you will see from the surface as a snorkeler, but from a diver's point of view, night dives are fantastic. Hope this helps!