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Family Cruising Discuss family cruising - kids programs, babysitting, infant care, etc.

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old August 14th, 2003, 01:00 PM
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Default best excursions with young children?

I asked this in another forum too - Practical Advice/Shore Excursions - but thought that here may be a good place to ask as well...

We are cruising with our 3 1/2 and 5 year-old children in November on Celebrity. Our itinerary has us visiting Ocho Rios-Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, and Key West. Does anyone have any recommendations about which excursions are best for our kids, or which we should avoid (i.e. is Dunn's River Falls too much for such young kids)? And are there other sites/places we should visit that aren't part of the normal excursions?

Any recommendations about cruising with the kids on Celebrity would be welcome too.

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old August 14th, 2003, 01:47 PM
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Default Re: best excursions with young children?

Hi Megan:
I'm the family cruise editor here. I wrote an article on this site called "back to the beach" which details beaches that are family friendly in the Caribbean and Bahamas. This might help you out.
Dunns River Falls is great family fun but your kids are a bit too young for it. (My daughter was six when she went and got half way up the falls...) Key West is great to walk around on your own. There is a small aquarium, two small museums that feature treasures from old shipwrecks, etc.
Celebrity is a premium line with great service and food. I haven't cruised on them in a while so I can't report on their kids' program.
Smooth sailing,
Luisa Frey Gaynor
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Old August 14th, 2003, 02:13 PM
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Default Re: Re: best excursions with young children?

Thanks Luisa, I'll check out the article!
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Old August 19th, 2003, 12:00 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: best excursions with young children?

I am cruising on the Celebrity Galaxy with my 4 year old daughter on 9/12.

We are on a 10 day trip so our ports are a little different but I can give you an idea of what I have done myseld in some of these ports and what we are doing as a family and then report back and let you know how it went!

Ocho Rios - if you or your husband REALLY want to climb the falls - take the ship's boat excursion there. There is a nice soft sandy beach at the bottom of the falls and one of the adults can climb up with the group while the other one frolics on the beach with the kids. There is a restroom, a snack bar, plenty of trees and picnic tables on the beach. (Hubby and I were on Century in June with Hannah and did this excursion). After the climbing of the falls is done, the boat will take you to a resort on the other side of the harbour where they ship is docked. Again, nice little beach as well as tropical themed pool. I know on the boat they had free flowing rum punch but not sure what other beverages were included in the trip. Other than the falls I would look for some type of beach break excursion. Our upcoming trip on Galaxy does not include this port.

Cozumel - we will be renting a jeep from Avis for the day. You can reserve online prior to your arrival or there will be several "name brand" rental companies on the pier (Budget and Avis come to mind). I find Cozumel to be very safe and inviting for people who want to rent a vehicle and explore on their own. It only takes about an hour to drive around the entire island. A little bit south of the cruise pier are a number of beach clubs. My personal favorite is Mr. Sanchos. Sandy beach area, local arts and crafts to purchase, reasonable food and beverage prices, water activities, a large hot tub/pool and VERY VERY clean restrooms and shower facilities. This one does not seem to get as crowded as some of the other clubs and there is no admission fee. Also in Cozumel which we will be tring this time around with Hannah is a very nice little mini golf course. It is about 3 blocks in from the water front on 1st street. I believe you can get more information on them by going to www.gocozumel.com. Or do a web search for Cozumel Mini Golf.

Grand Cayman. One of the most beautiful beaches in the world is located here as well as some of the best snorkeling/diving. Your kids may be a bit young to swim with stingrays - it freaks ME out to have them brush up against me! But again - if this is important to you or your mate, you guys may be able to take turns staying on the charter boat with them. For this port I would suggest either a 7 Mile Beach excursion OR if you or your husband enjoy snorkeling and your children don't mind getting in the water with lots of pretty fish.....make a right as you get off the tender from the ship and walk about 2 or 4 blocks to Paradise Cove. They will have snorkel equipment for rent as well as food can you purchase for the fish. A small sandy area with chairs but bear in mind most of GC is more arrid and volcanic looking - make sure your kids wear aquasocks or water shoes. They also have a cafe/pub and clean restrooms. There are natural coral/rock stairs with a hand rail that lead you downinto the water. I would say the depth here is about 4 feet deep and the snorkeling is really quite nice. There is a GREAT reef area pretty far out (back towards the ship) but it is quite deep there and to see that scuba is really the best way to got. The marine life and coral along the shore line is decent. There is also a Turtle Farm that I have never been to but I suspect would be fun for little kids.

Key West - We will be there with Hannah. We are making our own way here as well. The Aquarium is within 3 blocks or so of the pier so we will take her to that. I have also read information on a Butterfly Conservatory that is on the Atlantic end of Duval Street. It looks amazing and I think my curious 4 year old girl will love it. It is about 1.25 miles from the pier so we will either take a quick cab ride or we are tinkering with the idea of renting bicycles.

I will let you know how it turns out!
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Old August 19th, 2003, 01:49 PM
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Location: Palmer, Massachusetts
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Default Re: best excursions with young children?

Megan - Dunns River Falls is probably too much for the little ones, but if you or your DH wants to to the climb, one of you can take the kids up the walkway alongside the falls, they can stop and wave to mommy or daddy as they climb the falls. Stay away from the Jolly Roger - its a party booze cruise. You might also want to consider spending the day at one of the hotel's beaches or at Marqueritaville.
Grand Caymen - Sting Ray City/Sandbar is a must! the kids don't have to go in the water if they don't want to, but i loved this trip, the rays are amazing, gentle creatures.
Cozumel - spend the day with the kids at Channunkaab National Park - grab a cab - you can swim, relax on the beach, snorkel, do a little souvenior shopping, do a dolphin swim ( book in advance) tour the "mini ruins" -makes for a great day.
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old August 20th, 2003, 03:58 PM
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Default Re: best excursions with young children?

I disagree with Lisa. I think your little ones are too young to not be frightened of the stingrays. Why doesn't one of you just go and the other can take the kids to seven mile beach? It's very family friendly and you can reach it via taxi.
Smooth sailing,
Luisa Frey Gaynor
Family Cruise Editor
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Old August 27th, 2003, 11:31 AM
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Default Re: Re: best excursions with young children?

Thank you everyone!
I'll be anxious to hear of any other suggestions after your trip in Sept. Bambi - you had great suggestions already - just what I was looking for.
Thanks again!
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old September 16th, 2003, 03:33 PM
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Default Best Mexico excursions for young children

We're taking the Carnival Pride on 9/21/03 with stops at Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas. Our girls are 2 1/2 and 4. Any suggestions on shore excursions for these stops? Any good family friendly beaches to recommend? On a different subject - are all the pools salt water?
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children, excursion, excursions, exursion, jamaica, jamaican, jamiaca, key, kids, shore, west, young

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