we are going on the victory in july with a group of 11. we are just going to get a cab or cabs at the pier and ride to the falls and climb the falls by ourselves. we have been told by our neighbor it will be the way to go. they have told us not to pay the cab driver until he comes back to get us. then we are going to have him drop us at the margueritaville for a while and thenwe can shop and walk to the pier we are told it is all very close.
as far as the 4 year old, i do not know if the falls would be to difficult for this child. my 5 year old granddaughter is not going to climb the falls. she will stay with my husband and i while the rest of the group goes on the falls. i had a hip replace. and back surgery and i cannot take the chance of falling. from what i hear even 5 is too little for this activity. there is a small beach at the bottom of the falls and we will entertain her there.
i do not think our kids and their kids are going to get a guide either. they say you really do not need one. hope this helps. we have never been there either and i had all the same questions and lots of people on this message board gave to me all these ideas. have a wonderful cruise and my neighbors only word for the falls is AWSOME AND THEY WANT TO GO BACK.