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Old 04-21-2013, 12:56 AM   #31
TwinPrincessMermaids
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ancaster
Hi Everyone,
I hope I'm posting in the right area...
We are total newbies, it's our first Disney Cruise in late January and everyone is excited!

We're a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 small kids).
We love the beach and the girls are probably too small for excursions.
Is it realistic to arrange a beach day ourselves for both stops instead of using the cruise line's "Add Activity"?
(The reason I ask is the only beach day in Cozumel we can all join based on age works out to $290, and our one daughter is not tall enough to enjoy what's included)

Any other fun activities you suggest for little ones?

Thanks!
So ditto about Chankanaab. We've gone twice and would go back tomorrow. Paid a taxi, not bad, and about $26 that included a souvenir T-shirt I still love. We watched an adorable sea lion show, watched the dolphin encounters as we walked by, headed to all the happy thatched shady huts, played some beach volleyball , swam off of the stairways to all the very lovely fish who were very used to people, ate the most incredible Mexican food, pay as you order, (fresh ceviche, amazing fish tacos, real hand made guac,) and had great waiters who kept us margarita ready upon request. Iguanas hanging out. Amazing beautiful 'beaches' (there is a rock wall after the sand) and two absolutely great days there. Would go back tomorrow.

For Cayman, we bought an excursion to snorkel at the famous stingray shallow waist deep sandbar, and an option was to let us off at royal palms beach for a day, included with our excursion wristband. Had to take a $4 shuttle back to ship. Well worth it. Had a great lunch there too and had a nice beach day. Snorkeled a little bit there but its pretty busy so less fish...

Two great ports. Hope you have as much fun as we did!
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:44 PM   #32
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Nachi Cocum
Going my 2nd time next month.. It's all inclusive.. The lunch is to die for good.. all you can drink..bottled water.. snacks.. bathrooms a pool.. beautiful beach.. it's picturesque..
Highly recommend

Cab fare is $16 each way

They limit the amount of poople so it's not crowded
Ditto this. Just got back and loved Nachi Cocum. Quiet, good food, beautiful water. Just lovely. My 5 and 8 year old loved it too!
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:57 PM   #33
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Hi, I just wanted to say you are very safe in Grand Cayman, unlike other Caribbean Islands. So walk around a little in town, and don't forget to visit our beautiful beach! Captain Marvins & Red Sail Sports are wonderful tour operators, so don't be scared to go online and book with these companies. I don't recommend walking to the beach as our roads are very narrow, and while cars try and avoid pedestrians, its really tight. Hop a bus, it is safe. If a bus/mini van is honking at you, its asking if you need a lift, so signal if you need a ride. Enjoy!!
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Old 04-27-2013, 06:30 AM   #34
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Our plan for Grand Cayman is to visit the museum (walking distance from the port - http://www.museum.ky/) and do some shopping. We've got tours planned for Costa Maya and Cozumel, so Grand Cayman is our keep-it-simple port.
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Old 04-27-2013, 08:51 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by perfectmatch300 View Post
Grand Cayman Turtle Farm

http://www.turtle.ky/

You can book online if you want to avoid the port vendors.
How much time would you say it could take you to do Turtle Farm? We have a 5 year old and a 1 year old. I was thinking of just doing 7 mile beach because I am worried about not making it back in time.
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:58 AM   #36
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We tried to book Family Day at Tiki Beach at Grand Cayman but it was fully booked so we got a day pass for the Westin Grand Cayman and loved it! It was $156 total for the 4 of us and included a room and use of the resort. Food and drinks are extra. Suggest booking ahead. We took a taxi to the resort.

In Cozumel, we booked the Dolphin Discovery experience through the cruise line and that was fun too!
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:10 PM   #37
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Chankanaab in Cozumel would be my choice. Nice beach/snorkeling area, you can watch the dolphin swims (no charge to watch), nature trails with lots of iguanas roaming a round, and good food.

Great snorkeling in Grand Cayman at Eden Rock + easy walk from tender dock) but no beach area. Turtle farm is great and so is stingray city. Beware who you get turtle farm tours from. One of our table mates on a Carnival cruise in 2009 got one and the driver parked the van by the wall and let them look in but it didn't include admission!
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:38 PM   #38
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Another vote for Chank. We get a taxi and go to Chankanaab park. Amazing food, sea lion shows, incredible reef snorkeling, great huts to lounge under so plenty of shade on the beach. Its about $25 to get in and you get a shirt. (Not sure how much for kids.).its not far from the pier. The taxi drivers I think get kick backs for recommending other places. They tried to get us to go some where else but we were dead to go to Chank so they finally took us. We have always had a great day there! Id go tomorrow if Coz was on the itinerary.
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Old 07-07-2013, 07:00 AM   #39
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On Grand Cayman you can do some excursion for the beach or even the stingray city. Most tour operators rely on this business and make sure you get back on time. Read travel reviews online. I think Stingray City would be fun for your family. One person could stay on the boat with the 1 year old (who probably wouldn't be a charge) and one could go to the standbar with the 5 year old...then the adults could switch. Check out Native Way Watersports...owned by a women from NY and her husband from GC.

On Cozumel, consider hiring a driver for the day. Look into Tours Plaza. They get fabulous traveler reviews, especially their driver Gerry. You can do their driver with a car for $107 for 3 hours and you can rent car seats from them for $10 each. Let him take you around to the south and eastern sides of the island. Or stop at Chocolate Kaokao!
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Old 01-09-2015, 12:42 AM   #40
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Bumpity... 2nd time around coming up!

Any new recommendations?

This one includes Key West which we didn't do the first time.

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Old 01-09-2015, 01:40 AM   #41
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We did a private jeep tour in Cozumel. LOVED IT! It is completely custom. You get to see and do what you want to do. Our guide was Jose and he was very knowledgable. I would request him again. I did some research in advance about the places we wanted to see and do. He gave us advise for haggling and fair prices. The jeeps were older and a bit beat up but fit our needs. You can either drive your own jeep or have the guide drive. We elected to have Jose drive so we could just enjoy the sights. There was a cooler w/ water, beer and soda. Jose called himself our photographer and made sure we were all able to be in pics together. The price was way better than DCL (my youngest was even free) and you weren't stuck in a caravan of jeeps and follow their schedule.

We started at a resort for beach and snorkeling. Beach chairs were included. My boys are young (3 and 6). This beach was a little rocky but the kids enjoyed finding hermit crabs. Jose was the snorkeling guide and took my husband out (I stayed on the beach with the boys). They saw a lot of sea life.

Then we toured ruins and the first catholic church. We didn't stay long. Enough to take some pics. Jose was great about making recommendations for the local shops in this area.

Then we went to lunch which was EXCELLENT and included. The alcohol was extra but worth the cost. The restaurant was called Andale. It was amazing. There are hammocks and swings that face the beach. The guacamole was the best I've ever had.

The beach across the street was beautiful but rough with lots of waves. As my boys are young he took us to a little lagoon that he said most local children learn to swim. We were the only tourists at the beach. There were some locals but it was very private. There were no waves and the water was warm. We found lots of star fish.

I think this is one of the best options on Cozumel. It is non-DCL but I never worried about not making it back to the ship. The price was great and depending on ages your kids could be free.

http://www.cozumelcruiseexcursions.n...jeep-tour.html
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Old 01-09-2015, 06:44 AM   #42
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I would recommend Fort Zachary Taylor for a beach in Key West. You can walk from port (the Fort is close to the cruise doc but its a bit of a walk to get to the beach). Key West isn't exactly known for their beaches but if you go to the Fort beach and walk to the end (near the rocks) its sandy and nice (we spent New Years Day there). Also, the kids love to explore the Fort whenever we are there. It's pretty interesting. We go to KW multiple times a year and our kids are young (2 and 5). Despite what you might read, its very family friendly during the day (and most nights too). Also, my daughter LOVES the Conch train tour and makes me ride it whenever we are there. She is also a huge fan of the Butterfly museum which is on the other end of Duval Street. One note about the butterfly museum...its really cool but not very large so be sure to take your time and not rush through it. Have a fantastic trip!!
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Old 01-09-2015, 08:55 AM   #43
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Silly question...but did your bring a car seat/booster for the kids?



Quote:
Originally Posted by I❤MICKEY View Post
We did a private jeep tour in Cozumel. LOVED IT! It is completely custom. You get to see and do what you want to do. Our guide was Jose and he was very knowledgable. I would request him again. I did some research in advance about the places we wanted to see and do. He gave us advise for haggling and fair prices. The jeeps were older and a bit beat up but fit our needs. You can either drive your own jeep or have the guide drive. We elected to have Jose drive so we could just enjoy the sights. There was a cooler w/ water, beer and soda. Jose called himself our photographer and made sure we were all able to be in pics together. The price was way better than DCL (my youngest was even free) and you weren't stuck in a caravan of jeeps and follow their schedule.

We started at a resort for beach and snorkeling. Beach chairs were included. My boys are young (3 and 6). This beach was a little rocky but the kids enjoyed finding hermit crabs. Jose was the snorkeling guide and took my husband out (I stayed on the beach with the boys). They saw a lot of sea life.

Then we toured ruins and the first catholic church. We didn't stay long. Enough to take some pics. Jose was great about making recommendations for the local shops in this area.

Then we went to lunch which was EXCELLENT and included. The alcohol was extra but worth the cost. The restaurant was called Andale. It was amazing. There are hammocks and swings that face the beach. The guacamole was the best I've ever had.

The beach across the street was beautiful but rough with lots of waves. As my boys are young he took us to a little lagoon that he said most local children learn to swim. We were the only tourists at the beach. There were some locals but it was very private. There were no waves and the water was warm. We found lots of star fish.

I think this is one of the best options on Cozumel. It is non-DCL but I never worried about not making it back to the ship. The price was great and depending on ages your kids could be free.

http://www.cozumelcruiseexcursions.n...jeep-tour.html
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Old 01-09-2015, 09:39 AM   #44
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I brought a booster last year for my smaller one based on Florida state laws as we rented a SUV before and after DCL.

Is Key West warm enough in general early Jan for beaching?

The tour looks fun in Cozumel, not sure my kids would enjoy it, they're happy enough playing with other kids on a beach and swim all day.
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Old 01-09-2015, 10:43 PM   #45
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Silly question...but did your bring a car seat/booster for the kids?
We didn't. Frankly I didn't think about it in advance and normally the tour buses/shuttles won't allow then. Both boys did wear seat belts. I never felt nervous or unsafe however I do realize it was a risk.

The best thing about this option is you really get to do what you want. It's like having a private driver who knows the ins/outs of what to see and do. Their website gave some recommendations and then we picked what was of interest. If you want to stay longer at the beach you can. If you want to spend more time shopping you can. You aren't forced to follow a schedule or time limit. It was very cost effect in my opinion. Substantially less than the DCL jeep tour.
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