Navigator eastern carribean - shore visits with 3-year-old
Hi, less than seven weeks till cruise and trying to decide what to do on shore visits.
Do you have to book with RCL before you go, or can you book onboard? What would other mums/dads recommend for nearly four-year-olds? We were thinking of a trip to Magens Bay and Coral World on St Thomas and butterfly and beach somewhere else.
What do we do in Nassau? Wanted to spend day at breezes but only over 14s - want something easy and chance to play on beach.
Lastly - sorry for so many questions, how do you book the kids club on board and babysitters?
Any other tips from anyone who has been on this ship would be gratefully welcomed.
I would start by going to the Royal Caribbean web-site and reading through all the excursions and look for any age limits, I think that will limit what you can do, but there may be some tours that you can do as a whole family. You can also pre-book any that you want to do right away, you don't have to wait to be onboard. You picked a great ship to do a family cruise, have fun!
Here is a link to the shore excursions at Royal Caribbean
Our 4yr son loved Adventure Ocean on Brilliance over the holidays. There is no charge for it either. When you get on board, your child will be given a wristband showing which muster station he goes to (it is required). They make a separate compass for each age group-your child will be an aquanaut. They are not open around the clock so check the compass. They will also give you a pager (works only on the ship) in case they need to reach you. Now we took our son on excursions this trip (not in the past as they were too long for him). The bonus was that he was free (3 and under)! However, Adventure Ocean opens 30 mins before tours start. You can leave your child with Adventure Ocean and do a tour on your own. If the tour runs late, you will not be charged (otherwise any time you pick up late theres a per minute charge). In one port our son didnt want to go shopping, so we left him onboard while we shopped, and later had dinner.
We did Eastern last year on Mariner. The weather in Nassau was not good, so my son and I walked around some stores, and stayed on board while the hubby did the Thriller boat ride. Your child might like Atlantis-however in order to see the grounds you have to take a tour, and it doesnt allow you to use the beaches/pools/slides (only guests staying at Atlantis and Comfort Suites can use the facilities). Day rooms are available for up to 4 people, but its $$$$$. Plus the pools arent heated. In St Thomas we did some shopping, had lunch on board, then were told to take our son to the Marriott on the point (we could see it from the ship) for some beach time. It was a short cab ride, we rented some lounge chairs and umbrella, and our son was in heaven playing in the sand and surf. If I hadnt wanted to do some shopping, we wouldve headed over to one of the nice beaches (the surf was heavy that day so it was too rough anyways). Im not sure where else youre going, but for us it was always head to a beach for our son.
I think the others gave you good tips. I'd add that I wrote two articles, "Back to the Beach" and "Port Guide for Kids" that give ideas on what to do with kids independently in the ports you're going to.
Luisa Frey Gaynor
Family Cruise Editor