With most of the MSC ships in the caribbean I see they usually only spend about 6 hours at port in keywest. I assume not everyone does the excursions or shopping the entire time so what else can be done during the visit? beach near by is it shells or sand to the water
There are some very good short snorkeling excursions in Key West but for the most part we tend to wander on our own. On one trip we did the Hemmingway thing, that was fun and enjoyable for all ages but as long as you can walk it is far cheaper to do it on your own instead of paying for an excursion. The beach that is close to the port is not sandy, it has a lot of rocks and washed up coral. Once you are in the water though it is really nice. We enjoyed the beach even though it wasn't the typical beach that you come to expect when cruising. The trolley tours are interesting but for us they are a one time wonder kind of thing, good the first time, but not a repeat performance worthy.
In our opinion, the shopping in Key West is really not anything to right home about, you're not in the tax free haven of the Caribbean and dickering for the prices for the most part is taboo. Buy a few trinkets but save the shopping for one of the other ports.
yes, key west is small and easily walkable; as previously stated the shopping along duval street is reall not much. the hemingway and audubon houses are close by; the lighthouse is a stroll but worth it if you don't fear heights. there is a nice little aquarium, as i recall, also near the ship. the trolley tour shows you mainly parking lots!!! and a few shotgun houses, a couple of which may have historical value. we got off in mid-trip and walked back to our inn. the old cemetery, also a decent walk from the ship, is fascinating; some names you may know if you are from the south or florida, in particular. there is also a house near the cemetery with an unusual wall made of bottles. otherwise, no big deal. i'd never pay again for a tour; just get a map and do it yourselves. i don't think key west is very dangerous to walk around. ps: there are no real beaches since kw is surrounded by reefs. and they(the beaches, not the reefs ) are infested with vendors. hope this is helpful, but, again, it is only a limited opinion. have a great cruise.