We are cruising the Caribbean in April. 2 adults/2 boys 7+12. We have stops in Montigo Bay, Aruba, Curaco and 2 others. Are there any must do shore excursions on these stops? We don't like long bus rides. Is it easy (safe) to get around on your own in Montigo Bay? We like to book our own shore excursions when possible. Any help would be appreciated- Mimi
I'm the family cruise editor here. You should read my article "Back to the Beach" on this section of the site -- it lists family friendly beaches in the Caribbean that you can get to on your own.
I'm a big fan of catching a cab to a beach on your own rather than spending money on shore excursions in every port. However, Jamaica is one of the few spots where I strongly recommend going on a shore excursion sold through the cruise line. You may get "hassled" by the Jamaicans to buy things from them, etc. if you're on your own. Your sons are a great age to buy the Dunns River Falls shore excursion in Jamaica -- they'll love climbing up the falls. My daughter did when she was 5 and 7 years old.
In Aruba, there's an Atlantis semi submarine which is pretty cool. In Curacao, we did the Dolphin Encounter which was wonderful. Your sons are a good age for that too. Aruba's Eagle beach is nice to go for a swim. Curacao's main town of Willemsted is good for shopping.
I hope this is helpful. Let me know how you liked your cruise after your return.
Luisa Frey Gaynor