View Full Version : Western - excursions with small children

06-14-2004, 03:35 PM
What shore excursions would you recommend for small children (4 year old and 1 year old) on the western cruise?

DH and I will not get off the ship without our children so leaving them in the club / nursery and us doing an excursion by ourselves is not something I would consider doing. I am just afraid of something happening and the ship leaving without us and our kids being on the ship. I know it is HIGHLY unlikely, but it COULD happen.

Thanks for your help.


06-14-2004, 05:03 PM
I went on the Captain Marvins stingray excursion with my 4 year old and we both loved it...I am not sure what you would do with a 1 year old on there though. In Cozumel you could just take a cab to one of the beaches for a few hours.

06-15-2004, 03:38 PM
Grand Cayman--do the island tour that includes the turtle farm.

06-15-2004, 06:49 PM
You can even go to the Turtle Farm on your own by Taxi since the island tour may bore the kids. The turtle farm is definitely something kids like - we even got to hold turtles. They have everysize from babies to huge turtles. There are also some birds and a gift shop with lots of great turtle "stuff".

The one year old would make the Stingray tour hard to do. You could take turns with the 4 yr old. I would definitely not take a timid 4 yr old that scares easily. For example my son who is 6 now would never be able to handle stingray city, but some of his friends would love it.

06-15-2004, 06:56 PM
We did the Stingray Tour (Captain Marvin's) with a 3&5 year old and they loved it. If one of you doesn't mind staying on the boat, you could easily take a one-year old I think (do you have a front-papoose thing? That would help too).

Both of my kids LOVED the sting rays and the kids don't have to get in the water. Everyone who gets off stays close to the boat and they can easily see the stingrays from on board.

06-15-2004, 07:52 PM
We did the stingray swim with our 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 yo and they loved it. We were also joined by my dh uncles family who also had a 2 yo. the kids loved it. We had 2 cheap blow up pools with quilted bottoms (air pockets) that we used to float the 2 youngest kids in with their lifejackets on that we brought with us from home. It would be almost impossible without the pools. They floated around and splashed in the shallow water that was in the pool. We also would under no circumstances go off the ship without our children because of the chance something could happen to them or us.

Bring snacks for the kids. We ordered room service the night before and brought baggies with us to pack the food in for the kids. It is a long hot day for them but it was alot of fun. They usually bring you to a snorkeling area after the stingray swim and I stayed on the boat with the kids while they ate their snack.

06-16-2004, 05:10 AM
We took the trolley bus tour in Key West and loved it. However, there were several small children on it also, and they were pretty miserable after about 10 mins. The trip was about 75 mins I think, although you can get off and rejoin another bus later I believe. Probably best to head for the beach with little'uns. Nat:Pinkbounc

06-16-2004, 09:57 AM
Ok, I'm probably in the minority here, but I'm starting to think that just staying on board might be the nicest way to spend the day with our little kids.


Some of these excursions sound like a bit of a hassle - tenders, taxis, carry your own food and snacks, etc. I mean, a hassle for families with multiple little kids.

Am I crazy to consider just staying on board? We are lucky to be on the thanksgiving magic that gets TWO CC days! and just skips key west. I'm thinking we spend two days at the beach on CC and we just stay on board on the other two port days.

We are heading into the parks for a week after the cruise - and I don't want to be worn out by the time we hit the parks. I'm hoping the cruise will be relaxing.



06-16-2004, 10:51 AM

You are NOT crazy to consider staying on the ship. From what I hear, that's some of the best times to go to the pools (as they are always very crouded on days at sea). Disney even has activities scheduled for on-board even while the ship is docked (however, days at sea usually have more activities).

06-16-2004, 11:45 AM
Thank you for all the responses and recommendations.

How long does the tour take and the turtle farm? What do you ride in when you take the tour? Is this in Grand Cayman?

When you swim with the stingrays are you in a pool or the ocean/lake? What port is this at?


06-16-2004, 02:16 PM
We rode in a van for the turtle farm tour at Grand Cayman. I guess that it was about an 1 1/2 hours?? Went to turtle farm, a place called "Hell" which is a rock formation and tourist shop, a place to view the seven mile beach and ships.

When we went on the stingray excursion at Grand Cayman, we rode in larger van/bus combos (the correct name slips me right now). You are in the ocean, but it is not very deep. There are a lot of stingrays that show up. If your little one is hesitant at all, you will end up holding him or may want to consider the pool idea mentioned above. On our excursion we saw little ones in the water, little ones being held by adults, and little ones who were screaming to get out of the water. So, it all depends on your child and you know him/her best.

You might enjoy staying on the ship during Grand Cayman. You have to take a tender into town and we thought the sidewalks were very narrow and crowded.

At Cozumel, the ship is right at the dock and it is so easy to get on and off. You can get a taxi to take you to one of the beaches, go shopping, there is even a miniature golf place. Since you are there for quite a while, you can go into town for a while, then come back, then go out later if you wish. There were a lot of families at the beach where the dophin encounter/swim is and you can get a taxi to take you there and you would just pay the entrance fee to the park.

We took along a small cooler and some water bottles. We got sandwiches and snacks from room service the night before and took these along.

Hope this helps. Just pick activities that suit your families needs. You can always do the others when your kids are older. What a perfect reason to do another cruise!:wave:

06-16-2004, 06:42 PM
We are going 11/6 and my DH and DD, 5 are hopefully doing the dolphin swim while I stay on board with the 13 month old DS. I will put him in the nursery and enjoy some free time. Have fun.

06-16-2004, 07:59 PM
I think staying on board sounds like a fabulous idea. I enjoyed the sea days the most on our last cruise and we only had 2 I think. Our next cruise I believe we have 3 and I can't wait. Much more relaxing than running off the ship for excursion times. We did enjoy our time in Grand Cayman but it was horribly hot and humid and it was October. You will have a great time no matter what you choose. My DH is the type who tries to do everything so staying on the ship for us is not an option.