Tripping Cool – which hosted thousands of Carnival Cruise Line guests on exciting and memorable shore excursions over the past year – has been named the cruise line’s first-ever “Tour Operator of the Year.”

Cozumel-based Tripping Cool was selected from hundreds of tour operators who work in tandem with Carnival to provide guests with unforgettable landside experiences throughout the Caribbean, Bahamas, Mexico, Canada, and the U.S.

Carnival Cruise Line’s Tour Operator of the Year award is based on nominations by the company’s shoreside tour operations personnel in its Miami headquarters and shore excursion managers on board its ships, as well as guest ratings and feedback.  Tour operators were evaluated on a points-based system on the following criteria: innovation, creativity, quality, professionalism, communication and overall guest reviews.  After all the results were tabulated, Tripping Cool was selected as the winner.

“We work with hundreds of highly qualified tour operators who play a huge role in delivering exceptional landside experiences and we’re delighted that Hector Zapata and his talented team at Tripping Cool have earned their well-deserved distinction,” said Mico Cascais, Carnival’s vice president of tour operations. “Amazing experiences provided by our valued shore excursion partners like Tripping Cool – combined with groundbreaking programs such as our Shore Excursion Best Price Guarantee – have enabled Carnival to achieve a leadership position in this all-important area,” he added.

Established in 2012, Tripping Cool offers a wide range of unique and memorable on-shore adventures, many of which are exclusive to Carnival Cruise Line.  One of Tripping Cool’s signature excursions is “Casa en la Playa - A Select Retreat,” an exclusive luxury experience limited to 30 participants where guests are provided with their own five-star beach house for the day complete with a personal chef and wait staff.  During the five-hour tour, participants can learn how to cook authentic Mexican cuisine, as well as make refreshing Margaritas, mojitos and other popular cocktails, or simply relax on their own private beach while enjoying pampering service by attentive staff.

Nominees from other destinations included:

  • Antigua: Coral Island Tours & Tropical Adventures Antigua
  • Aruba: De Palm Corporation
  • Barbados:  Caves of Barbados Ltd. – Harrison’s Cave
  • Belize: H2O Tierra, Ltd.
  • Cozumel: Cancun Sea Adventure Sapi &  Alaska Mountain Guides de Mexico
  • Curacao: Funbini
  • Freeport: Freeport Bahamas Adventures, Ltd.
  • Grand Cayman: Nautilus Grand Cayman
  • Grand Turk: Oasis Divers
  • La Romana: Central Romana Corp.
  • Nassau: Island Hotel Company Limited &  Bahamas Experience Tours and Transfers
  • Montego Bay: World Tours & Cruises Limited
  • Ocho Rios: Dolphin Cove
  • Port Canaveral, Fla.: Fun Day Discovery Tours
  • San Juan: Eco Quest, Inc.
  • Kitts:  St. Kitts Scenic Railway Lmtd.
  • Lucia:  Elite Shore Excursion Foundation
  • Maarten: Snorkel Safari & Dutch Tours)
  • Thomas: Cruise Ship Excursions & Aqua Adventures LLC

With Carnival’s one-of-a-kind Shore Excursion Best Price Guarantee, guests who find the same tour offered by another operator at a lower price than their booked excursion either before or during their cruise can receive 110 percent of the difference in the form of a shipboard credit, providing peace of mind knowing they are getting the best price available.

For additional information on Carnival’s cruises, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit