Eastern Caribbean with toddler... info/advice

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#1
Newport, RI
84 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
Hi,

We have booked the RCL Freedom of the Seas for a December Eastern Caribbean cruise.
Our son will have just turned 3 prior to the cruise. I am hoping that he will fit the requirments to be able to participate in the kids club.

However I am looking for ideas/suggestions on where to go and what to do on our Port calls. We will be stopping in St. Maarten, San Juan and Coco Cay.

I have looked at the shore excursions and all of them seem to be geared towards older kids. I assume we will just hang at the beach at Coco Cay. Unless I find out something awesome to do with our son.

I would love to know where to go and what beaches are more toddler friendly. Also places to eat and shop.

Thanks a ton.
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#2
Timonium, Maryland
3,943 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
In San Juan there are two places that I recommend with a three year old. You can just taxi there from the ship.

The first is the Old Fort called http://www.nps.gov/saju/index.htm. There are sprawling grounds, kids flying kites and the ramparts are interesting and fun to explore.

From there you can stroll around the cobblestone streets. You may even find children playing in a little gyser type fountain across from the fort. Make sure your toddler wears a swimsuit- just in case you want to let him partake. We did and it was so much fun for my then 4 year old but then he was soaking wet. So bring a little backpack with clean clothes and towel.

The Governor's Palace is really beautiful and I took my then son there. The views from there are lovely. The tours are free but only at certain times of day. http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/prvi/pr2.htm

Bring an umbrella stroller. The town is compact but there are lots of hills. You will be glad you have it.
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#4
434 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
I second the suggestion for going to the old fort in San Juan and buying an inexpensive kite to fly around. There is usually plenty of wind and the kids do love running around in the wide open space. The views are very nice too. After being confined to a ship for a couple days, your little one may enjoy the ability to run around. The journey to the old fort is likely too steep an uphill walk with a 3 year old. So, we took a cab there, stayed a while and then took the much easier downhill walk back to the ship. (We brought our stroller with us too).

As for St. Maarten, there is the St. Maarten Park Zoo. http://www.stmaartenzoo.com
Not to biggest zoo. But, reasonably priced, and enough animals to keep small children and adults interested. You can feed peanuts to the peacocks and ducks that roam the grounds, as well as goats. There is also a playground area that is pretty good. Our son loved it.

We did both of these with our then 2 year old on an Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Liberty of the Seas and we enjoyed it.
#6
St. Simons Island, GA
46 Posts
Joined Jul 2012
Originally posted by elephant98
I second the suggestion for going to the old fort in San Juan and buying an inexpensive kite to fly around. There is usually plenty of wind and the kids do love running around in the wide open space. The views are very nice too. After being confined to a ship for a couple days, your little one may enjoy the ability to run around. The journey to the old fort is likely too steep an uphill walk with a 3 year old. So, we took a cab there, stayed a while and then took the much easier downhill walk back to the ship. (We brought our stroller with us too).

As for St. Maarten, there is the St. Maarten Park Zoo. http://www.stmaartenzoo.com
Not to biggest zoo. But, reasonably priced, and enough animals to keep small children and adults interested. You can feed peanuts to the peacocks and ducks that roam the grounds, as well as goats. There is also a playground area that is pretty good. Our son loved it.

We did both of these with our then 2 year old on an Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Liberty of the Seas and we enjoyed it.
Do the taxi cab drivers balk at driving toddlers without a car seat? We aren't bringing ours and will be in St. Thomas, St. Maarten, and San Juan. We have an excursion in St. Thomas, but aren't sure about the other ports.

Tyra
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#7
18,837 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
I swore I was going to walk away from another car seat thread - of course the taxi drivers in the Caribbean won't care if YOU don't have a car seat. Heck, they barely care if they keep the car on the road.

To USCG wife:

St. Martin - depends on what you like to do. We've done some nice "under the two flags tours" for shopping and scenic views of both sides. We have also been to Orient beach a couple of times. (It is a European style beach - topless sunbathing so be forwarned).

St. Thomas - there is Coral World/Coki beach if you have never been. It's a great place for the kids.

CocoCay - you already figured that one out - a great beach day. My favorite private island actually.

And San Juan - ^^ they hit the highlights
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#8
Virginia
20,926 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
San Juan has a free trolley service that is fantastic. http://www.puertoricodaytrips.com/fr...-old-san-juan/

There are 3 stops very close to the pier. You can see much of the old town. A complete trip around takes 30-45 minutes depending on traffic. The trolleys don't all look alike but they are plainly marked.
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