Hi. My husband, 7 1/2 yr old son and I will be going on our first cruise together (2 & 4 yr old are staying home) at the end of this month. We have booked the Trimaran cruise to the falls in Ocho Rios. I read some posts from back in January from Sue and Debbie (?) that were thinking about these excursions. Any comments on this trip from anyone?
Also, we have booked the Stingray City Sandbar from the snorkel boat in Grand Cayman. Will we have a problem taking our son here (as far as his age goes)? (He can swim/tread water/is tall for his age (hubby is 6'6"!!)) Should we go with a local operator instead or do you think that they would be booked as this will be around Spring Break? Anyone ever heard of Captain Bryan? His rates were better than Princess' rates, but I am not sure if the 7 year old could go with him.
Thanks for any advice, suggestions.
Oh ya - any idea where there is a pirate ship you go on? I thought I read Grand Cayman, but can't find anything on it. Thanks!
My son was glad to read another boy will be on the same cruise this month. Yours should be fine on the sandbar. I know what you mean on size as my husband is 6' 8". Too bad you are leaving the younger ones home as our 4 year old is hoping to meet some other kids her age.
Hi Celeste. Will you also be on the 31st sailing? I do feel guilty about leaving our 2 and 4 yr olds at home, but there were no more 4 person cabins when I booked (two weeks ago), and felt we would be able to do more without them (especially the two year old). As this will be our first cruise, maybe I will change my mind and bring them next (??) time.
Are you doing any of the excursions?
MV Sea Princess is a fantastic ship -- one of my three all-time favorites. My other two favorites are her sisters MV Ocean Princess and MV Sun Princess -- and I expect to add the fourth sister, MV Dawn Princess, to the list after my next cruise later this month. You will find plenty to do aboard the ship, no matter what your interests might be. Your son will have the time of his life, too. Princess's programs for young folks really do seem to keep them entertained. In fact, I remember one youngster who wanted to go back to the play room when Mom insisted that it was time to get ready for dinner....
Since you are going to Dunn's River Falls, be sure that each member of your party has a pair of SurfWalkers (TM) (available in most major sporting goods stores) or a similar shoe to do the climb. The water is most refreshing.
Stingray City is a very popular destination that always draws raves from the passengers who go there. I'm sure that your son will enjoy petting the stingrays. Whether you will enjoy the stingrays or not is another matter entirely, but they are quite tame and accustomed to a lot of people.
You did not say what you were planning in Cozumel, but your son probably would enjoy the trip to Tulum. I would not recommend it for the younger children because it is a full day, but that's not an issue if you are leaving them at home. If you opt for this tour, be sure to bring a large (liter) bottle of water, available at water stations scattered throughout the ship on days of ports of call, for each person in your party and to drink frequently while you are in the ruins. That area does tend to be very warm.
Was on the Sea Princess in January and had a lovely time cannot find fault with this ship at all. Food, entertainment, service, cabins were all wonderful i'm sure you'll have a great time. In Jamaica we changed our minds at the last minute and did the Tubing Safari which was great fun and lovely views and you float down the river in your tyre not sure about how children would get on as you can easily be seperated from other members of your group and on a couple of places along the river there is a chance you could fall out of your tyre, so children would need to be very confident in the water to do this excursion. We did the Stingray Sandbar excursion through Princess we did the early morning one as I read the stingrays were hungry and more attentive in the mornings. Would recommend this especially as you have to tender into Cayman Islands and if you have booked the excursion through them they get you off the ship first. The Company they use was Don Foster Dive Center a very professional outfit with a lovely big boat with showers, drinks, toilets everything you needed on board, the crew were very friendly and professional and so was the equipment. Hope this helps a little.
Thanks Norm and Debbie for your help and suggestions. In Cozumel, my husband is going to take the New Waves Certified Scuba excursion (we are both PADI certified) and I think Michael and I will just go to the Chankanaab Park. We originally thought for John (my husband) to go to the Tulum ruins, but decided that we would be able to spend more time together if he just did a 1/2 day tour. Also, it's a great opportunity to go diving which he enjoys a lot.
Yesterday we bought two "fanny" packs, but are thinking the backpack may be more useful. Any comments on taking either one to the Falls, Stingray City Tour, or the Park? We also bought two disposable underwater cameras (they go to 12 feet it says).
I recently purchased water shoes (like Aqua socks) for Michael and I and bid/won a pair for John (the seller lives in this area - Cincinnati, OH, so we already picked them up from her). Oh - John and I have mask, snorkel, and fins and also, life preservers, but the preservers would keep us above water as opposed to being able to go under to snorkel at Princess Cays. I had read that Princess (on the ship) rents this stuff for the week ($25??) which would be less expensive than renting the vest ($8/day at Princess Cays). Do you know if you have to have a vest for snorkelling at P.C.? We think we will go ahead and rent Michael the stuff on the ship.
Do you think there will be a problem with Michael (being under 8 -- 7 1/2) being allowed on Princess Stingray Snorkelling Boat excursion?
We land at FLL at 1:50 p.m. on Saturday. Would we have time to check in and then, run to the grocery store to pick up sodas and snacks? I heard there is a Publix (15 minute walk) nearby. Any problems with taking that stuff on board? If not, how do you do it -- do you try to hide it in a suitcase or just keep it in the grocery bag?? What drinks are available for free 24 hours?
The funny thing is that we used to live near West Palm Beach, FL (Jupiter) and never took advantage of the proximity of all the cruise ports being nearby...guessed we "missed the boat" there!
I REALLY appreciate your help with my questions!
Thanks again. Ü
If you are looking for a 1/2 day tour on Cozumel for yourself and your son, the tour that combines the Mexican Cultural Show in San Miguel de Cozumel with the tour of the Mayan ruins at San Gervasio would be an excellent choice. This show is one of the best that I have seen anywhere. The ruins at San Gervasio, locaed right on the island of Cozumel, are not as extensive as those at Tulum, but they are a lot more significant because the island of Cozumel is sacred to the Mayans.
As to your son going on the excursion to Stingray City, I don't recall seeing age restrictions but I would not have looked for them and I don't have the latest description of that excursion at my fingertips. Princess goes to great pains to make sure that the descriptions of the tours that appear in the "Adventures Ashore" booklet are as current and as accurate as they can possibly make them, even to the extent of dispatching members of the cruise staff on shore excursions randomly (1) to verify that the published descriptions are completely accurate and (2) to evaluate the people who are conducting the excursions. You should believe whatever appears in the "Adventures Ashore" booklet for your cruise and expect that the tour operators will enforce any age or size restrictions published therein.
Whatever you take with you as you climb the Dunn's River Falls probably will get wet at some point during the climb. On the tours that arrive at the falls by minibus, you can leave belongings in the minibus where they are secure because the driver looks after them. I suspect that the other excursions (rafting, etc.) have alternate arrangements for security of your belongings during the climb, but I'm not familiar with the specific arrangements because I have not taken those tours.
I took my 7 year old boy on the Sea Princess in January and he really loved it. He hated leaving his friends in the kidzone. We wanted to get him into the 8-12 group but he was very happy with the younger group as it turned out.
He is not a strong swimmer so I took his life preserver along and he loved snorkelling in Princess Cays. I didn't have to worry about the larger snorkel vests floating off him or if I let go of his hand in deep water. I rented the vest along with all the required equipment for the $25 per week from the ship but carefully check it before you tender as my vest had a leak in it and the supplier on the Cays does not belong to the ship. You would have to return to the ship to exchange it. A vest is required on the Cays. (so they say for liability I guess)
We did the Dunn's River Falls together and of course, my son was more agile than the both of us. Aqua shoes are a must, an underwater camera is good for your own snaps, and we left clothes on board the bus.
The ship brochure says 8 year olds for Stingray City but those restrictions don't appear on the shipboard info. We were never asked and my son is tall too. the water came up to his armpits at the sandbar. However, he freaked out when the rays came to what is almost his eye level and went back on the boat pretty soon after arrival. Seemed to enjoy watching the action anyway.
By Cozumel, we were all pretty tired out as he would get up at 7 and go to the shows with us till midnight (don't miss Gaetano the magician if he's still aboard as that was great for the boys, including the bigger ones who couldn't take their eyes off the assistant). We intended to do Channakanaab but ended up just wandering around town and shopping for a teacher gift. Buyer beware as the seller did a switcheroo on the gift he bought and wrapped a broken statue which we didn't notice till we got home,,,stay with your purchase.
Don't forget a nightlight for your room if it is inside..makes everyone a little more comfortable to find the bathroom in the night if necessary...especially if your son is in a bunk above you like ours was.
Email me if you get any more questions that no one answers here.
As for the liquor, yes, I've heard a WinnDixie and Publix is 15 minutes away and people take a cab back. There seems to be no problem bringing it aboard in a duffle bag or whatever.. best not to rub anyone's nose in it...subtlety the key.
As far as drinks available...juices are available with breakfast and dinner in the dining room ...and some take theirs out of the Horizon to save in their fridge for later consumption. Iced tea (yuck IMO, not the sweeter pop type) and milk are available with coffee and tea in the Horizon..(I hear the best regular coffee for free is in the Patisserie) all day. I took my son's favourite juice boxes with us for the fridge. Ice water can be kept in your fridge and you can fill water bottles to take to the islands with you.
Thanks for your help Norm and Sue. I was especially glad to hear what you had to say, Sue since I read your posts that you were taking your 7 year old. My son, loves magic shows, so will defintely try to get to those shows. I may ask more questions!!! Not sure how I e-mail you, Sue...do I just click on your name?
One thing I was wondering about is when does the Fun Zone start? Do you go there when you get on board?
(We are on Baja deck - inside cabin - aft)
Sorry I haven't been checking in as often as I used to (hurts when there is no cruise planned ahead!). I thought you could email me as I am used to other sites that are easier to access email but I couldn't find how to either! Email me at <firstname.lastname@example.org> and I will answer any questions I can.
Kidzone is only open for open house the first day and your son can pick up a t-shirt which he will colour at some point for a contest. Unfortunately, it is not available as a drop off which would have been good for dinner as Jer crashed as we were going to eat and we had to sneak it out of the dining room and get him room service. It was the sitting in one spot for too long that did him in.
If you would like a schedule of what times and events they have (doubt they change too much), just ask. I already answered questions from a cruiser with a 7 year old daughter who went after us so I kept copies of those answers if they'd help.
As for the Trimaran...we were going to do that but it was cancelled due to rough water when we were there and I quickly went over to the excursions desk and rebooked to the Shaw Garden (Jer hated that, gardens, boring), shopping (we didn't have much money because we expected to be on the boat), and Falls climb. I still think it would have been good...I have heard that some can get quite wild with the rum punch they serve so you'd want to keep a good eye out that your son is safely seated and not knocked over board (I'm a worrier!)
Inside cabin...don't forget that nightlite to see your way to the bathroom in the night! We were on the Aloha deck, inside cabin A439.
My family is going on the same cruise. I have a 14yr old girl, 12 yrold boy and a 10 yr old girl. This will be our first cruise. Hope you recieve this e-mail before we leave. It's going to be great!!!!! Anne