By all means do an excursion to Sting Ray City and snorkel with the rays, its amazing, you don't want to pass that up. I would also purchase an underwater camera at home before going, they will be double the price once you are down there.
There were a number of younger kids on our stingray excursion. I think if you explain to them what will be happening, they'll be fine.
It might be a good idea to stay on the boat until they see the stingrays swim up. Once they see no one is getting hurt, they'll probably want to dive right in.
It was probably the best excursion we've done. Our only complaint - it didn't last long enough - we could have stayed all day!
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We did the stingrays and there were a couple of young children on our boat. They had a ball.
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We actually went to one of the hotels as it was just after the last bad hurricane last year and all the hotels were letting tourists have access to their beach fronts. We waded in and there were these silver fish, just swimming between your legs. It was just amazing and inexpensive too.
We took the off road jeep excursion and really enjoyed it. We are not into the water excursions that much and, although the stingray excursion sounds great, you might try this as an alternative. We went by bus for about 10 minutes and picked up jeeps (4 to a jeep). There were about 12 or 13 in our group. The guide was in the lead jeep with a two way radio connected to each jeep. We could ask questions from the hand held radio in our jeep as well.
We made a few stops, including two nice resort beaches where we were offered drinks and the use of the beach/pools and facilities. We also went to Hell (just a short stop for pics and souvenirs). If you think your children are a little young for the stingray, try this. It is very relaxing and we got a lot of sun. We carried snacks from the ship gift shop and a "small" cooler of drinks as well, but found that the drinks were really not necessary. You can also get lunch included for about $10 per person extra, but we were back in town by noon and just went back and had lunch on the ship.
Hope you enjoy your cruise as much as we did.
Carnival Fantasy (15 Member Family Cruise)