First Cruise -- Our family will be going on the Adventure of the Seas 4/20/03. We consist of Grandma, Grandpa, Mom(Me), Dad, 16yo boy, 14y/o boy, 9y/o girl and an almost 3 y/o girl. I understand that some excursions will not allow the "baby" or 9y/o to participate but I'm wondering if they'll just let them go along and "watch" since we have so many baby"tenders".
For example, in Aruba, Grandma and Grandpa are considering the Helmet Dive, the boys and my husband want to Snuba and I wouldn't mind sitting on the beach with the girls. All of these activities take place on DePalm island and we could all go together. Same situation on Curacao with the Seaquarium where the boys want to Animal Encounter Scuba and the girls just want to see the Seaquarium. We hate to split up for different excursions at each port.
Should we book thru the shore excursion website ahead of time or just wing it when we get there. If I direct my questions to the cruise line now, will I get the same answers when we get to the island. When they say minimum age to participate does that mean the little one can't even come along? What should I do???
the cruise lines are fairly strict about the ages for shore excursions. You will probably have to split up for the excursions unless you want to go it alone, which is very possible. You can most likely book your own excursions directly and just hop a cab when you get to the island. Your boys will love the Animal Encounter Scuba in Curacaco, the aquarium is great and the beach adajcent to the aquarium is very nice. Call your travel agent and discuss this, he/she may come up with some additional suggestions.
If all the activities take place on DePalm island, contact DePalm Tours directly and see if you can book the things that you want directly with them. There is certainly no limit on the age of child you can bring out to Depalm island.
I'm the family cruise editor here. We were at the Curacao Seaquarium last summer and my nine year old and I did the Dolphin Encounter which we loved. You know that you need to be a certain height for it. But your three year old can certainly look around the Sequarium with a grandparent, or whomever, while some of you do the Dolphin Encounter. Since the Dolphin Encounters are very expensive, you don't want to pay for her to do it though. Since excursions include your transportation, why don't you wait until you get on the ship and ask the shore excursions desk if you can just purchase the transfer to the Seaquarium for your daughter. If not, ask them about how much it would cost to take a taxi there yourself.
Luisa Frey Gaynor
Thanks for all your good advice! I read in the R.C. brochure that "lap babies"/children under three (as they put it) are free on excursions. I'm going to put a call into the shore excursion desk and will keep you posted. Thanks again.