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Best cruise/itinerary for 2 teenagers and a tween?


decmommyx2
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Hello! My husband and I have been on multiple cruises so we know what we like to do and what to look for when it is just us 2. However, we are looking to go on a cruise for spring break with our 3 daughters 18, 15 and 10. They have never cruised before. So which cruise line/itinerary in your opinion would be best for them (i.e. things to do on and off the ship). 

 

The cruises we are looking at are:

NCL (Breakaway) out of New Orleans with stops in Cozumel, Costa Maya, Roatan and Harvest Caye

NCL (Encore) out of Miami with stops at the private island, St. Thomas, BVI and Puerto Plata, DR

Princess (Caribbean) out of FLL with stops at the private island, Puerto Rico, Turks and Caicos and Amber Cove, DR

 

Appreciate your thoughts! Thanks so much!

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The Princess cruise has only one ‘port’, San Juan.  Grand Turk and Amber Cove are nearly identical Carnival created ports with pool, shopping area, beach at Grand Turk and zip line at Amber Cove.  Princess Cays is a beach.  
Of the other two, only Cozumel, Roatan, St. Thomas and Tortola are real ports, although there is nothing at Roatan unless you do an excursion.  The other stops are created for cruisers.  So for your kids, I would look at what the ships have to offer rather than itinerary, and scrap Princess.  EM

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In Roatan, you might want to look at Victor Bodden, who will take you all over the island.  There's monkeys and other animals at his house, and Roatan also has an iguana farm and a zip line and canopy walk at South Shore Adventures.  

 

In Costa Maya, native choice had a wonderful excursion to minor Mayan ruins, and a delicious authentic lunch cooked by Mayan grandmothers.

 

In Puerto Rico, my kids really liked a private excursion to a rainforest which was run by Let a Local show you Puerto Rico with a list to El Yunque.  There was a river in the rainforest you can swim in. 

 

From  Puerto Plata or Amber Cove you can go visit a monkey refugee where you can hold monkeys (and in Amber cove I believe there is also a very small monkey area right in the port you can visit if you wanted a shorter visit with monkeys) and there also is Ocean World in Puerto Plata).  For the Roatan and Costa Mayan excursions, I'd need to note that I visited both of those ports prior to covid.  For the Dominican Republic, please note that I can't personally recommend those excursions.  We were scheduled to visit the DR on a cruise, but one month prior to sailing NCL announced that they were cancelling the stop in the DR and the morning of Antigua to help the environment.  My children had wanted to visit a giant tortoise island that only has tours in the morning, so I contacted NCL to request that we be able to switch to an identical sailing a few weeks later, but they denied that request because they dropped the ports after final payment.  They continued to advertise the original itinerary, and didn't let passengers who booked after the port cancellations change their reservations either.  This has been happening to a number of NCL sailings so if you chose NCL make sure you check private tour operators refund schedules prior to booking:

 

 

For NCL, also check the recent ship reviews to see if they are diverting similar sailings to yours and where they might be going.  For the DR they'd cancelled that a lot, so I knew I needed to research Nassau and GSK as backups but we wound up with an extra sea day.

Edited by kitkat343
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