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Western Caribbean Excursions for kids


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Cruising on the Fantasy in January with my husband and 5 year old son and daughter. Our stops are Cozymel, Costa Maya, Castaway and Grand Cayman. Any age appropriate excursions that anyone would recommend? This is our first Disney cruise! Very excited!!

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We did this route last Sept.


In Grand Cayman we visited the Turtle Farm - my son was 3.5 at the time and LOVED it. My 12 year old liked it too. It is really a good way to spend a few hours and I think it is not too long of a day for a young child. If you book directly with the farm it is much cheaper than booking with Disney.


In Cozumel we walked around the port - just shops - nothing exciting. Next time we will probably stay on board or book a beach break somewhere. We honeymooned in Cozumel. With children in your kids age range I probably wouldn't do the ruins, or anything that goes over into the mainland (just my opinion) because I feel their attention spans and attitudes wane over the course of a long day. There are definitely a few cool beach clubs/restaurants where you can either pay an all inclusive fee and use chairs etc or there are places that also let you use their facilities on the good faith that you will order food and drink while you are there.


Costa Maya has such a short port time. The port area itself has a small pool - some shops - food etc - so you can really spend your time there and be just fine. We chose to leave the port area for the town of Mahahual. There is a strip of shops and restaurants right on the beach. Most will let you use their chairs/loungers if you order food/drink. A few places even help you find other things, like massage, ski rentals, snorkle etc for reasonable prices. If you look at my report below you can see we went to Tropicante' and photos etc are there as well


This may be helpful:

Click here for my Western Caribbean Trip Report


Grand Cayman photos/info starts at post #31

Costa Maya starts at pst #41

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The turtle farm is amazing. You can book it thru Boatswain's (name of the complex where it is located), which will include transportation. We did it thru Captain Marvin's as part of an island tour. The advantage there is that if you want to do a beach, they will drop you at one of the major beaches of your choice on the way home. Or you can choose to have the tour deliver you back to the tender terminal. Very reliable company, strongly recommend them. It is easy to have any of the vendors at the beach call a taxi for you if there is not one waiting when you are ready to leave (usually they are waiting). There is also a public bus. To find Captain Marvin's storefront, walk out of the tender terminal. Look across the street to your left. If you don't see it, you can't miss the Dairy Queen. Captain Marvin's is 2 stores closer to you than the DQ. All beaches are free in Grand Cayman; you pay only for stuff you might choose to rent--beach chairs, umbrellas, toys, etc.


Cozumel....if you want a beach, Paradise Beach is nice. The taxi ride in Cozumel is per cab, not per person and rates are posted on the board at the terminal. There is a shopping area and a Starbucks right at the terminal. Chankanaub park has all sorts of things to do, but if you just want beach access, it is too pricey for what you get. If you are doing a dolphin swim, sea lion thing, or whatever, it is worth the admission.

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We sailed in June with our 3 year old. We also did the Turtle farm on Grand Cayman, which he enjoyed.


On Cozumel, we did the Ruins and Discovery Tour. He didn't enjoy the ruins at all.. it was very hot/humid/buggy in the jungle! At the Discover Mexico cultural center, they had a pinata for the little kids after the lunch. So he enjoyed that part! I wish we had had more time to explore there.


In Costa Maya, I recommend the Maya Chan beach resort. I reserved our spot online (not a Disney excursion). The prices are very reasonable and they pick you up just outside the port. It wasn't a long day, but we all enjoyed it tremendously. They have all you can eat/drink (all freshly made), free snorkeling and kayaking, a sand castle contest, beach toys/floats, a pinata for the little kids. Ds enjoyed petting their dog and cat and a few kids found crabs to chase around as well. You also get a palapa all to yourselves. They only take a max of 40 people per day. It was by far the most relaxing day we had on vacation!

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Hi, we just got off the Fantasy on Saturday. We traveled with a 6, 7, 9 and 10 year old. Whatever you do....bring goggles. The water is sooooo salty and stings your eyes. So my kids loved having goggles with them.


In Costa Maya, we reserved loungers with Steve at Tropicante. It is perfect for a 5 year old. The time in port is short so getting to just lounge on a beach for that time was great. They had bathrooms and yummy chips/guacamole. $2pp cab each way and it is only 5 mins away.


In Cozumel, we exited the pier and went up the escalator and met a guy from El Dorado tours. He was doing a snorkeling tour on a glass bottom boat. The price started at $45 adults and $35 kids. We had a group of 8 and bargained to $35pp. It was about 2-3 hours. It was fantastic. They took us out on the boat from a nearby dock and provided all NICE snorkel gear and life vests including kid sizes. Vest were great around your waist so you could float easily. If you son can swim and practice with a snorkel in the pool ahead of time it makes it easier. Another family was with us with their 5 and 7 year old. They took us to two locations for 45 mins at each location. The second one was in the Chek. National Park reef. Great spots and great fish to see. When the kids were tired they went up on the boat with one guide and the other guide was in the water. Felt safe having a place for them. Provided free beer, soda, and water bottles (new $ unopened!). Great experience.


Castaway Cay is amazing. You will wish you had two days there. SO much to do with your son. Just hanging on the beach is a blast because you don't have waves knocking you over. He will probably love just playing in the sand/water there!!! Inner tube rental was worth it for my kids.


You will love the Fantasy it was a top notch ship and amazing customer service! It was our first Disney cruise too. Awesome experience.

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I have heard that Nachi Cocum is a great beach excursion in Cozumel (it rained last time we were there so we did not go).


Costa Maya we went to Maya Chan and LOVED it!! Other than our cabana on Castaway Cay, it was the highlight of our trip.


Neither of these are DLC excursions, but are easy to book online and I've only read positive reviews.


We don't get off the ship in Grand Cayman. The tendering just eats up too much of the day and there was not really anything that appealed to us. I love exploring the ship and hanging out at the pools when most of the guests are in port.

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We really try to check out all of the ports that we stop at...even if just for two hours. It's a nice break, and one of the joys of cruising is getting to see different countries and cultures.


We've been to Cozumel several times. It's one of our favorite ports. Chaankanab is great if you want to do dolphin or sea lion interactions. The last time we did Paradise Beach - it was inexpensive, and the kids just loved it. We've also done a Dune Buggy tour on our own, which was really fun and a nice way to see the island.


Grand Cayman - I would probably choose the turtle farm. We haven't done it, but I've read great things about it.


Costa Maya - we did Maya Chan because there didn't seem to be too many options there. We liked it, but honestly I think my kids would have been happy to just check out the shops and pool at the port. My DH wasn't feeling well that day, so I'm sure that affected our enjoyment. Most people seem to love it at Maya Chan.

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