We will be on RCI's Mariner at the end of this month, and I am considering reserving the Xcaret excursion through the ship. My concern is that it is pretty long, and will we make it back to the ship ontime?!
My kids will be almost-4, 9, and almost-12 at the time of sailing.
Would you recommend this excursion for them?
Also, once in the park, can you buy the dolphin swim experience for that day? The ship doesnt' offer the dolphin swim there, and all the other dolphin swims they offer at the other islands, my youngest can't do (age requirement), but Xcaret offeres one for young kids. So do I book the Xcaret excursion, and then hope to get into a dolphin swim once we are there?
My only concern is that it will be too long for your four year old. I've never done it, mainly b/c I thought the full day tour that it is would be too long for my kids. But you know your child best, so...
Luisa Frey Gaynor
Family Cruise Editor
I went on the Xcaret excursion two years ago, although without kids. It was my favorite excursion of all the cruises we've ever been on. There were a ton of kids there, and they have kid-sized lifejackets for the underground river. I'd think of it as a pretty kid-friendly place.
My daughter is 17 months old, and I don't hesitate to keep her out all day since she'll sleep in the stroller for a nap, but maybe an older kid is different. But you could easily sit by the water or at a table somewhere in the park for a rest. I think it's definitely doable.
And my recollection is that you can book the dolphin swim once you get there, but I might be wrong.
My family visited Xcaret in 1997. At that time my boys were 5 and 2 years old and they loved it. They swam with us through the underground river. We found the water to be refreshing, but the boys thought it was too cold. We had to keep coming out to warm up in the sun but they did enjoy it. They loved the beach and enjoyed floating on the inner tubes. They remember the Mayan village and seeing the Jaguar on Jaguar Island.
This summer we will be visiting Xcaret again. Now my boys will be 15, 12 and 8.
It is a fun place for kids--lots to do and see. It is like a tropical paradise. You should like it!
If you book this tour through your cruise ship, you will not need to worry if you make it back in time. If your tour is running late, the ship will wait--if you took this excursion on your own, and don't make it back in time, than that's another story.