If you have already planned a cruise, or are just starting the process, it is important to think of the places you would like to go and the type of activities that you want to do while there. Each stop has many choices, and they can be overwhelming and expensive. In my opinion, some are worth the extra money, and some are not. If you are only going to be in that city for one day it definitely requires some planning to get the most out of each location.
My family and I have taken several cruises. We have had some excursions we loved and would do again, and others that were a total waste of money. I wanted to share a few of our favorites with you.
1. St. Maarten/St. Martin Rhino Riders:
If you like adventure and have missed driving your car while on the ship, then this is the excursion for you. Rhinos are two person inflatable watercrafts that you drive in a guided tour of the island. After a quick training session, off you go to explore the island with your guide. You will drive through a marina where many celebrities keep their yachts. You then drive the rhino along the shoreline to view different beaches on the island and finally to a snorkeling spot. Gear is provided and you get time to swim and see some fish and other marine life. My husband and I loved this excursion. It was a nice change from the typical beach day. Lifejackets are provided. However, you need to be a descent swimmer and healthy in order to get in and out of the boats in open water.
2. Stingray City Grand Cayman Island:
We went with on this excursion with a large group of friends and chartered a private tour when in Grand Cayman. The company also offers individual tours that can be purchased before your departure. Upon arrival you will board a medium sized boat and your captain will drive out to a sandbar in the middle of the ocean. You can choose to watch from the boat or get out and swim with the stingrays. If you choose to get out of the boat, the water is about chest deep and families of stingrays looking for food will immediately greet you. You will see stingrays of all sizes. The babies were my favorite. You will get the opportunity to touch them, swim with them, and even take a picture with one. Your friends will love the pictures!!!
3. Atlantis Waterpark Nassau, Bahamas:
This is a great stop for the entire family. You will take a ferry over to Paradise Island from the cruise port and have access to the property through a wristband. There is something for everyone to do here. There is shopping, dining, a casino, sightseeing, beach time, waterslides, and animal encounters. The kids will be worn out from the fun waterslides, splash pad, and lazy river. My family really enjoyed the lazy river! The property is beautiful to just walk around and explore. The pools and beaches have complementary chairs or cabanas that you can rent. For the animal lovers, you can interact with sharks, stingrays, sea lions, dolphins, and more for an extra fee. There is also snorkeling, scuba diving, and Snuba for an additional charge. These items definitely need to be reserved before departing for your cruise.
4. Dolphin Encounter in Mexico:
We went to a dolphin sanctuary in Cozumel, Mexico. We were trained on how to interact with the dolphins, given a lifejacket, and then a guide took us to the ocean to swim with the dolphins. The dolphins gave high fives, talked to us, and took us for a ride. We even had our picture taken with a dolphin. There was a building onsite with an exhibit with information on how they care for the Dolphins. I recommend this excursion for good swimmers and older children, as the water was deep.
There are many other fun excursion options like catamaran tours, zip line courses, Jet Ski rentals, beach days, Segway exploring, bike riding, horseback riding, motorcycle rental, and many more. When deciding excursions, you must take into account the age of children and desired activity level of those traveling. Some excursions are more strenuous than others, and family members with injury or special needs might not be feel comfortable participating in some tours. An experienced travel agent will help find the best fit for your family.
If you want to start planning a trip, I would love to help. Contact me today for a free quote!
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