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Old 12-11-2012, 11:37 AM   #1
kristieboyd
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Grand Cayman & Cozumel excursions for young kids?

We'll be on our first DCL cruise in Feb (Wonder) and are looking for suggestions for port activities. Our group consists of 4 adults & 3 kids, ages 2.5, 4 & 7. I think the Turtle Farm in GC would be fun for them, but not sure if we should do that all day or the tour that stops at lots of places. I think the adults would enjoy the tour more, but not sure the kids will. Any experienced DISers want to weigh in?

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Old 12-11-2012, 02:18 PM   #2
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Hi Kristie. We were on the 10/6 Galveston sailing with a 2.5 and 7 y.o. We did the GC turtle farm / dolphin encounter and I wouldn't recommend that one for your group. The turtle farm was brutally hot the day we were there. But even if the weather was milder, I don't think that the farm is more than about a 30 minute experience. It just didn't hold the kids' interest.

From the farm we went over to the dolphin encounter. I sat out with the 2.5 y.o. and it was a struggle for me. There is a very small play area, but the lagoon isn't fenced off in any way and I spent the hour trying to keep the toddler out of the water. With that said, my wife and older son had a great experience with the dolphins.

From what I've heard, the dolphin encounter at Cozymel might be a better choice, as they have more things for the people who aren't encountering dolphins.

For our Cozymel excursion we went to the Nachi Cocom Beach Club. It was an awesome beach experience (if a little pricey) and all ages had a great time. Even the cab ride out there was an adventure. The 7yo had no idea how to roll the window down and we realized he'd never seen a crank window handle

Hope you guys have a great time.
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:22 PM   #3
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Also, if your board name is your actual name, then we're related
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by techdude
Hi Kristie. We were on the 10/6 Galveston sailing with a 2.5 and 7 y.o. We did the GC turtle farm / dolphin encounter and I wouldn't recommend that one for your group. The turtle farm was brutally hot the day we were there. But even if the weather was milder, I don't think that the farm is more than about a 30 minute experience. It just didn't hold the kids' interest.

From the farm we went over to the dolphin encounter. I sat out with the 2.5 y.o. and it was a struggle for me. There is a very small play area, but the lagoon isn't fenced off in any way and I spent the hour trying to keep the toddler out of the water. With that said, my wife and older son had a great experience with the dolphins.

From what I've heard, the dolphin encounter at Cozymel might be a better choice, as they have more things for the people who aren't encountering dolphins.

For our Cozymel excursion we went to the Nachi Cocom Beach Club. It was an awesome beach experience (if a little pricey) and all ages had a great time. Even the cab ride out there was an adventure. The 7yo had no idea how to roll the window down and we realized he'd never seen a crank window handle

Hope you guys have a great time.
We were on the 11/17 sailing from Galveston and did almost something similar with DS7 and DD3. We did the turtle farm and dolphin encounter in GC. The kids enjoyed the short trip to the turtle farm. Both were scared in the water during the dolphin encounter. By the time they were comfortable, it was over. It was hard for me having to hold on to DD3 the whole time.

We did the Beach Break in Cozumel at Playa Mia. We all had a great time on this excursion. The kids really enjoyed playing on the beach. I thought the food and drinks were really good. I wish we would have done something similar while in Grand Cayman.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:54 PM   #5
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We've been to both Grand Cayman and Cozumel with children ranging in age from 8 months to 7 years. Our most recent trip was with DCL last month, and our kids were almost 2 and 7.5 then.

We have done both the multiple stop Grand Cayman tour that included the turtle farm, and the whole day turtle farm "adventure park." For us, going to just the turtle farm worked out much better with young children. The weather was gorgeous our particular day, the kids enjoyed swimming in the snorkel lagoon, watching birds in the aviary, chasing iguanas, and playing with the turtles in the turtle pools. If your children like to swim or snorkel, there is definitely enough to do there on the full day excursion. There is a good pool with water slides as well as the snorkel lagoon. If your kids don't enjoy the water, it probably isn't worth doing the full day. (The shorter version, where you do the turtle farm and other stops like Hell and the rum cake factory, only goes to the turtle pools and doesn't give you access to the aviary, predator tank, lagoon, or swimming pool.) Our son is an animal nut, so he really enjoyed the turtles, the birds in the aviary, and the sharks and barracuda in the (view, not swim in!) predator tank. The all day tour included lunch, which some people in our group complained about, but we actually enjoyed. It was what they call typical local cuisine; a buffet with a choice of barbecue chicken or fried fish, french fries, rice and beans, and fried plantains. Both the kids had a great time, and my husband and I enjoyed it, too.

Our favorite thing to do with children on Cozumel is by far Chankanaab. Our son loves the dolphin interactions, and has done both the Encounter and the Push, Pull, and Swim. For people not doing the dolphin encounter, there is a wonderful tidal pool area the kids can play in, as well as a snorkel beach. It is a beautiful spot, some sort of National Park, and admission isn't cheap, although the dolphin encounters include admission to the park. They also have sea lions, and do a free (well, include) sea lion show.
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:36 AM   #6
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My daughter and I were looking at a travel review site about the different things to do in GC and Coz, to my surprise there is an automobile museum on GC! Disney doesn't offer tours that include a stop there, so we are going to just grab a taxi/bus to go see it, then to do a glass-bottom boat (if time allows). My mom wants to go to Margaritaville, but I wonder if my two kids won't stand out a bit there, lOl.
In Coz, I was glad to find that they have a stingray excursion that is safer for the little ones because it's right off a beach, enclosed, and the barbs are clipped.
We are going simple, and just gonna soak in the overall experience.
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:52 AM   #7
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Hubby and I went to the turtle farm in GC and we thought it was nice....hopefully taking the kids there whenever we go on our next cruise. I don't know why but I was looking at the excursions on the disney site and the turtle farm is combined with a dolphin excursion. It's too expensive and I'd rather just do the turtle farm, so I'm thinking we'll just do the turtle farm by taking a taxi and skipping the actual disney excursion. As far as Cozumel goes, I have no suggestion. Our cruise was suppose to go there but this was at a time when the world was freaking out about the swine flu, so the cruise line skipped Mexico and we stayed at GC for 2 days.
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:55 PM   #8
kristieboyd
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Thanks for the suggestions! My boys love animals, so I think we'll definitely do either the Turtle Farm, Stingrays, or Dolphins (or maybe a few of them! )

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Old 12-12-2012, 08:05 PM   #9
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We did a western with dd when she was 4. We did native way with the turtle farm and stingrays. In cozumel we did xcaret through DCL and LOVED IT!!_! Dd had a blast climbing the ruins and swimming in the caves. Was a great combo of ruins and water! By far our beat cruise yet
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:18 PM   #10
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We've done the "Island Tour with Stingrays" twice and LOVED it both times. You get to go to the turtle farm and then also out to the Stingray Sandbar. When our youngest was 7 we took her there, and she wanted to be the first one in the water at the stingrays (NO fear at all!!!). All 4 of us still talk about how that was our favorite excursion of all the ones we've done out of 5 cruises.

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Old 12-15-2012, 07:54 PM   #11
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We just did GC and Cozumel with a 4.5 and almost 2.

in GC we booked Turtle Farm on our own online. Much cheaper than doing through Disney. We went pretty early and had the pool to ourselves for a long time. Would do again if we were back there.

In cozumel we took a cab ($20 total for 5 of us) to Paradise Beach. $2 per chair, $1 per umbrella and recommended spending of $10/person (easy to do.) The beach isnt very big but it was raining and we had it to ourselves. The pool was very nice and the service and facilities were friendly and clean. Would do again if we were back there.
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Old 12-15-2012, 08:02 PM   #12
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GC--do the turtle farm on your own! You can book it through their website (do a goggle search for Cayman Turtle Farm). That way you can decide when to come back to the boat....your schedule rather than someone else's.
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Old 12-16-2012, 08:38 AM   #13
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GC--do the turtle farm on your own! You can book it through their website (do a goggle search for Cayman Turtle Farm). That way you can decide when to come back to the boat....your schedule rather than someone else's.
We did it last week, and I was kind of disappointed about the flexibility of the time.

we booked on our own and were on the first bus there. We got there a little before 9 and were given color coded cards and told that we could use those to go back on the noon bus. We were told we could stay later but would have to provide our own transportation back to port. Three hours ended up being fine with our kids' ages though.
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Old 12-29-2012, 01:20 PM   #14
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does anyone know if the stingrays have the sting barbs removed? DD is very concerned about this... THANKS
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:16 PM   #15
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does anyone know if the stingrays have the sting barbs removed? DD is very concerned about this... THANKS
In GC, the rays are wild, and not barb free. In Cozumel, there is a place that has rays that are barb free.
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