We are a family of 4 Two Adults a 17 year old son and a 11 year old son. This is our first cruise we are very excited but also a little nervous of what to expect. It is just us going we are not traveling with anyone else. Will there be something to do for all of us? What are the best things to do in the ports of Key West, Cozumel, Belize, And Progresso. What type of money will we need we are not drinkers maybe one a day if that. What is the average amount of money including the ports you need for the whole cruise. We are on a budget so it would be nice to have a few pointers . Also is there a basketball court or volleyball set . My men are very sports crazy!! Thank you Jody
Yes there is a basketball court and equipment on board. Also volleyball, and shuffleboard. There is an arcade (not free). For a family of 4 what you choose to do in port will determine your spending. Excursions (ship sponsored) range from $39-$199 per person. A soda card for unlimited soft drinks on board is about $35 for the week per person. Lemonade, punch, tea, coffee,and juices and milk are free. Do not forget that $70 per person will be added to your sail and sign card for gratuities. Photos are roughly $20 each if you choose to buy them. We have visited all of your ports except Key West. The cave tubing in Belize is awesome, and includes your lunch. It will take up your whole time in Belize, I think it is about $75 per person, but an awesome experience! We did beach type excursions at the other ports and they ranged from $39-$75 per person.
FooFoo drinks $6.95 for souvinir glass...refill $4.95. Soda $1.50 each for 20oz bottle or unlimited(fountain soda) with a soda card.
It is suggested that you bring your own bottled water while visiting in ports (sold on the ship as you debark at each port)it is about $2.50-$3.00 per bottle as you leave. This can add up quick in multiples of 4.
$280 for gratuities
800 Shore excursions
70 Soda cards
80 1 foo foo drink per day each
20 1 family photo on Formal nite
This is a "guesstimate" but hope it gives some idea.
In Belize definitely do the cave tubing. It was phenomenal. Your boys would love it.
We went on the Valor 2/6 so we did Cozumel, we went to Tulum which I would defiinitely reccommend if you like history. We did not go to Progresso or key west.
Since you are first timers I would reccommend booking your tours through the ship. You might pay a couple of extra dollars butYou are guaranteed then to be back on time. If you go on your own you are taking your chances.
Read you Carnival capers everyday ( you will get them in your room at night) they list all the activities going on during the day and night and what to wear for dinner etc.
There is definitely something to do for everyone. You don't say what ship or when you are going. Go to the Carnival website and look up your particular ship to see if basketball or whatever is onboard.
The drinks (alcholic) are about $4.50 including tip, there are soda cards available I think about 5.50 a day for the kids. At the lido buffet restaurant there is always iced tea, lemonade, and coffee 24 hours for free. The Lemonade is great! There is also many food options on this deck, a grill, pizzeria and depending on what ship we had a stirfry on the Valor.
We took shore excursions in each port, and bought several presents on the ship so our sign and sail account was about 1100$ but only 150 was drinks for the week and that includes, sodas during the day and speciality coffees at the coffee bar. I hope I didn't bore you but we had a great time and I am always will to chat about our cruise. It was our 7th one and we are already trying to decide on our next.
I don't know what shore excursions they offer in Key West, but as a native Floridian, you might enjoy the Conch Tour Train ride, it provides a tour of the entire island. Hemingway's House is fun to see and an easy walk from the pier, also Mel Fisher's Treasure Exhibit. These are both within walking distance of the pier and inexpensive (they discount for AAA members). President Truman's summer White House is nice to see too. You can walk down Duval Street and have a drink (alcoholic or non-alcoholic)in Sloppy Joe's just to say you were there. Also, visit Margaritaville on Duval Street, it is a parrot head's delight. There are so many stores (some tacky Tshirt stores and some very nice stores all around the pier area). I don't know how long you'll be in Key West but there is also a glass bottom boat ride that takes you out to the reef. There is a new restaurant on the docks called Monty's that has a huge swimming pool in the middle of it....if you just feel like taking a walk, enjoying some really great fresh fish sandwiches, and cooling off in the beautiful swimming pool. Ask anyone when you disembark where it is, it's an easy walk. Enjoy Key West, I certainly do.
If you like Cats go to Hemingway house, lots of Polydactals (cats with extra toes) make it their home. Belize lots to choose from, snorkle the largest barrier reef in the Northern hemisphere, spend a day at the beach on one of the cays La Isla Bonita the Madonna song was written about San Pedro a small island here, see Altun Ha Mayan ruins, or cave tube many choices here. Im gonna snorkle with the sting rays and sharks. Have a great cruise!
Last year we went to Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Costa Maya and Belize. It was a 7 day cruise for 5. At the end our sign and sail card was about $1500. That included tips, soda cards, drinks, photos, souvenirs. It didn't include shore excursions, other than one, as I booked the others privately before we left.
Make sure you travel with small bills for use in port. Its amazing how many cab drivers and vendors don't have change. I usually bring about $50 in ones and another $50 in fives.
In Cozumel we went to Chankanaab Park for the day. Its $12/pp for adults and $6/pp for kids. They have a nice beach there and you can snorkel right off the beach. My kids brought dry cereal with them from the ship and it really attracts the fish. They have restrooms, showers, lockers, restaurant and bar, shade huts and beach chairs. They also have a botanical garden and Mayan ruin replica. There are several excursions offered here including the Sea Trek Helmet Dive, the dolphin swim, and the sea lion swim. These excursions can be purchased through cozumelinsider.com much less expensively than on the ship. We're going there again this year. The kids had a blast. The other popular beach is Paradise Beach. If you run a seach of this site using that you can find all kinds of great information.
In Belize we did the Cave Tubing with X-Stream and had a blast. It was $65/pp and an additional $5 for lunch. This year we're going to Goff's Caye for snorkeling. I booked that through the ship and I think it was $49/pp.
Hope this helps.
Celebrity Century 1/09
Carnival Destiny 10/07
Carnival Destiny 9/06
Monarch of the Seas 3/06
Carnival Inspiration 8/05
Carnival Miracle 4/05
Carnival Inspiration 4/04
Sovereign of the Seas 4/03
We are also a family of 4 and our boys were about the same age as yours when we cruised the Paradise. There is a lot to do on the ship. Plus, the kids will quickly find friends and hang out at the 24 hour pizza and ice cream shop. (This gives mom and dad relaxing time by the pool or on a quiet deck.)
We would recommend a couple of things if this is your first cruise. 1st, buy 2-way radios. These little walkie-talkies are a great and cost around $39 for two at your local department store. You will be able to talk to the kids anywhere on the ship.
Next, take a look at Snuba Diving for your visit to Cozumel. This is very easy and an amazing way to explore the beautiful waters of Cozumel without being dive certified. The entire family will be able to enjoy this activity. If you look up "Snuba Cozumel" on the web you will find a lot of info on it. Plus, Carnival has some info on their website under shore excursions. (You are tethered to a raft and have a certified diver with you the entire time.)
Finally, have a wonderful time! Feel free to email if you need any additional info.