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Bfamilycruise 02-16-2006 01:36 PM

Hi, Our entire family is cruising together in June for our parents 50th anniversary. We don't plan to spend all our time together, but we're looking for 1 or 2 shore excursions that everyone might enjoy. We're traveling on carnival miracle so grand cayman, costa maya, belize, cozumel are our ports. Parents are 70+ and fit, 6 adults and 4 children (5-8 years old).

Ok, we've heard very mixed reviews on stingray city/sandbar. Books and reviews say it's great but recent cruisers with kids say it's scary.
We heard cozumel was still a mess and the rainforest was matchsticks. Also heard the ruins are no fun with kids.

Thoughts and suggestions welcome!

Carlalena1 02-16-2006 05:20 PM

Belize: cave tubing for everyone but the little kiddos. I assume with that many ports of call you will be leaving the kids on the ship for one of them- cave tubing is really fun.

Grand Cayman: I suggest you definitely do an excursion- there isn't much to do just walking around. The kids will hate it. I did not go to Stingray City but met many people who did and they LOVED it.

Dave 02-16-2006 07:18 PM

Hi Bfamilycruise,

Stingray sandbar can be scary to kids because you have stingrays gliding around you and over you. I mean really close. Some kids don't have a problem but others can get upset. It really depends on how easily your kids get spun up by things they aren't used to. Our son loved it. He was 8 or 9 I think, when we first took him there.

For all it went through, Cozumel is looking remarkably good. Still lots of things you can't do, but still worth a visit. The San Gervasio ruins on Cozumel have never been fun to me - before or after hurricanes. If you are speaking of Tulum on the mainland, well, yes, it can be boring for little kids. It can be boring to adults too. There isn't much excitement to offer at venues such as the Mayan ruins. The kids would probably like Xel-Ha or Xcaret.

BTW - a personal perspective.......we have never left our son alone on the ship while we went ashore. I think it is a really bad idea with younger children. We don't even consider it. Too many bad scenarios.

Dave 02-17-2006 05:42 AM

Ooops! Sorry Carlalena1. I was replying to your note and accidently edited it. To avoid confusion I went ahead and deleted it.

Please repost your thoughts about using the Camp Carnival while in port. I promise I won't screw it up again. <blush>

NancyN 02-17-2006 05:54 AM

I do not know how comfortable your children are with new experiences, the water and animals - but, I do have a suggestion. Overall, I think the experience provides lasting memories for children and my daughter loved it when she was young. But, you might want to consider doingthe excursion and then if the children are hesitant once you arrive at the sandbar - let them watch from the boat. The stingray are quite visible and it is a treat just to watch them swim around the boat and watch others hold them and feed them. The boat ride itself can be fun - take one of the catamaran stingray city tours.

Dave 02-17-2006 07:15 AM

I've seen adults get skiddish about the stingrays too and get back on the boat.

I've never done a tour on a catamaran. I'll have to look at it in the future.

farmerjohn 02-20-2006 09:45 PM

Just did the stingrays for the first time last week. I absolutely loved it and thought is was a wonderful experience. I think if you brief your children ahead of time about what to expect, they should be just fine.

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