Hi! We are cruising with our 5 yr old, 2 1/2 yr old, and I will be 5 mos pregnant... Fortunately for me, our youngest is doing pretty well with potty training (he's pretty much daytime trained) but he's still too young to go in the children's program. (But it never hurts to ask, right?
I know some people don't like kids around, but I'm not going to let that ruin my trip. Hey, I need a vacation! It's hard work raising the next generation, lol... Anyway, we are big water enthusiasts, so I am bringing my kids' life jackets, and plan to let them tag along with us as much as possible. My 5 year old is so excited about snorkeling, he has been wearing the mask/snorkel/fins he got for his birthday around the house. I know the 2yo is too young to snorkel, but we'll put him in his jacket and let him bob alongside of us. He loves playing in the water, so I think he'll enjoy it, and probably be able to just look down and see the fish through the water. Planning to bring a few of his favorite water toys too (rubber ducks, boats, etc). That way we don't have to take turns staying with him on the beach. For your case, I think the ideas you mentioned all sound great.
I'm trying to plan our excursions around naps as much as possible, for example, an activity in the morning then spend the afternoon on a beach where they can rest if needed.
We're traveling with a big family group, and including mine, there are 7 children under 7 going, so I think the parents will take turns at night on childcare duty so the kids can crash early after a busy day while the parents enjoy the night activities.
One question about that for anyone... our rooms are all right together and we are bringing baby monitors, but after the story about that little girl Madeline, I am not sure if it is a good idea to let the kids sleep in the room even with a trusted adult right next door listening on the monitor. Hmm, I was thinking my only other option was to have someone sit in each room, but I just thought of a third choice, to put the kids to bed in the same room (sharing beds) and then when we get back from our show or whatever carry them back to our room. Mine are heavy enough sleepers for that to work... What do you think?
Sorry to go on so long, but I hope you enjoy your trip! I have never been one who thinks you can't travel until your kids are grown, I think there are few better learning experiences than travel. Just have realistic expectations, and keep in mind that not enough sleep will make anyone grumpy, and don't forget to take a lot of pictures!