We're sailing on the Brilliance in January with 7 and 9 year old girls. Could use a few suggestions for a great beach day in Costa Rica and Aruba, and some souveneres (sp) in Panama. Don't know why I can't find anything - I've been searching for a couple of weeks now.
Thanks so much!!
We're on that trip, but sail Dec 23 over Christmas and New Years. We have a 5 mos old girl and an almost 4 yr old boy. Looking over the tours, theres not much when it comes to young kids. In Aruba, we're thinking of either renting a car and doing things on our own since we have a day there, or doing De Palm Island and Lets Go Latin show. For Panama, we looked at riding the train because our son loves trains, but 5+ hrs is a long time for a 4 yr old to be cooped up. The baby will be easy-sleep and eat. We tend to like tours that dont go far from the ship in case we need to bail. Did you happen to see the Today show segment last week? Matt Lauer was at the canal. Some trinkets he got for the others: Panama hat, woven basket (so tightly woven it could hold liquid inside), jewelry. If I recall, leather, woven goods, and local art are the big finds down there.
Theres also a train ride in Costa Rica that looks a bit more promising-only 3 hours. Many trips have age reqs, and some dont look suitable for a little one (like riding the open air trams over the rainforest canopy-no thank you!). Course theres always the option of leaving the 4 yr old on board with the kids club, but since it will be his first time in the club, I dont feel comfortable leaving him for a long period. Plus, this is a family vacation, so unloading him on someone else doesnt sound too nice (course he would probably love it). I told the husband that he is free to go off on his own if he wishes. Ive already done the entire canal and Costa Rica so it's not new to me.
Have a great time! Remember to bring lots of sunscreen & drink lots of water. The sun is brutal down there, and its really really hot/humid, even in January! Last time the captain reminded everyone about this, and you wouldnt believe how many people showed up to dinner fried like a lobster. OUCH!
In Aruba, take a cab (or the bus which is safe and cheap) to Palm Beach.
Anywhere between the Aruba Grand and Holiday Inn.They call this the HIGHRISE Hotel area. The beaches are public and free. You will find vendors everywhere offering chair rentals and anything you might want to do in the water. The major tour companies all have piers on Palm beach (DePalm Pelican and RedSail),. There is food and "facilities" available on all of them.
Another very kid friendly place in Aruba is the private island run by DePalm . DePalm Island is almost always offered as a tour off the ship but can also be booked directly off the De Palm website.
In Costa Rica (if you are on the Atlantic side). Look into the tour of Torteguero canals. The kids will love the boat ride and the wildlife is amazing . You will see exotic birds, monkeys, sloths and crocadiles. Scenery is gorgeous. This is usually only a 1/2 day tour.
Again you do not say where you dock in Panama. This is a beautiful country HOWEVER it is by no means safe for you to go on your own anywhere. If you are in Colon, confine your shopping to the immediate tourist area across from the port. Otherwise go on an organized ships tour.