your carry on bags are scanned, but they rarely go through them.
If you put beverages inyour checked luggage they will probably be busted open and make a mess. They handle those bags rough, thats why they say put them in the carry on baggage.
Many just carry on a case of water by itself. They do sell it on board but it was spendy, sorry I dont remember the price. Their water tasted just fine to us so we never bought any.
Key west butterfly excursion is very good for younger kids. Also everything is within walking distance from the dock to explore on your own. There is a nice aquarium 5 minutes from the ship, many shops too. most kids love the aquarium. If you google Key West Tourism you can find a list of things right near the ship to seee and do. The Pirate museum is a favorite with kids too. But I will warn you after you leave the room with computers screens where you can read about lots of pirates is scary for kids. It has a dummy of a pirate being hung and such. so with young kids, just have them close their eyes before you go in there and walk them past. Other than that it is a great museum and a great gift shop. Of course you can go through the gift shop without doing the museum.
7 miles beach is beautiful, you'll love it. Great family beach.
Cozumel is a tough one with kids. The only thing i can think of is another beach day. They are not really set up for kids there.
On Castaway Cay I also suggest renting bikes. There are 2 nice trails to ride. One with an observation tower for a nice view of the island. Be sure and look down around the tower base area for some whimsical things. I wont say what. Bikes come in all sizes and even with or without training wheels for kids. Some adult bikes have baby seats too. Helmets are available for anyone under 16. They rent by the hour, but nobody checks the bikes back in.
You just ride up and put them in the racks and walk away. So if your a few minutes late it wont hurt anything. With kids it soemtimes takes a bit longer. There are big wooden containers with free ice water on both trails too.
I just got back from a Western the first of November. It was very nice but we had to miss Grand Caymen this time due to waves being a bit choppy for the tender boats. I have done 2 other Westerns too.
Palos is worth every penny. The money is mostly for the tip although many leave some cash on the table too. The food is very good and its a beautiful restaurant. However in my opinion Brunch is much better than dinner. I like things a bit more casual. Food is awesome. Brunch is only on sea days.
You can check for openings upon boarding at Rock N Bar D restaurant.
They will give you a paper at check in that will giv eyou the exact time to go there to make reservations. But its close to boarding time. Be there right when they start for the best chance. Many people will change their times or cancel during the cruise so don't give up hope if its full.
Not sure if I helped you much,but I think you picked good excursions for kids.
I think the Eastern has more of a selection for kid friendly excursions than the Western does.
Please let me know if I can help with any other questions. I am happy to try to help.