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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 11-08-2004, 01:32 PM
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Ahoy!

My husband and I will be boarding The Navigator of the Seas on Dec. 4th with our 3 children (ages 12, 10, and 8). This will be our very first cruise! Our Eastern Itinerary includes San Juan, St. Thomas, St. Maarten, and Nassau.

I can't believe how quickly our trip is coming up and now I'm beginning to get a little nervous because I have no clue what to expect!

I'd like to experience one of the shore excursions, but after reviewing my Guest Vacation Document booklet, I'm feeling a little overwhelmed by the choices. As you can imagine, the cost of booking a cruise for a family of 5 is not cheap. (we have two adjoining staterooms) I really don't want to regret purchasing one of these pricey tours. Can anyone recommend a worthwhile tour on any of these islands that is family friendly? I thought about one of the dolphin swims or encounters, but I don't know if they're over-rated. (and they're certainly not cheap!)
Are there any tours we should definitely avoid?

Also, if anyone has any other advice for cruising with children that you think might be helpful, I would appreciate it.

My husband is less than enthusiastic about going on a ship. I'm really hoping that he'll be impressed, and a good time will be had by all.

thanks in advance for your advice & suggestions!

pisces
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 11-08-2004, 01:32 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 9
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Ahoy!

My husband and I will be boarding The Navigator of the Seas on Dec. 4th with our 3 children (ages 12, 10, and 8). This will be our very first cruise! Our Eastern Itinerary includes San Juan, St. Thomas, St. Maarten, and Nassau.

I can't believe how quickly our trip is coming up and now I'm beginning to get a little nervous because I have no clue what to expect!

I'd like to experience one of the shore excursions, but after reviewing my Guest Vacation Document booklet, I'm feeling a little overwhelmed by the choices. As you can imagine, the cost of booking a cruise for a family of 5 is not cheap. (we have two adjoining staterooms) I really don't want to regret purchasing one of these pricey tours. Can anyone recommend a worthwhile tour on any of these islands that is family friendly? I thought about one of the dolphin swims or encounters, but I don't know if they're over-rated. (and they're certainly not cheap!)
Are there any tours we should definitely avoid?

Also, if anyone has any other advice for cruising with children that you think might be helpful, I would appreciate it.

My husband is less than enthusiastic about going on a ship. I'm really hoping that he'll be impressed, and a good time will be had by all.

thanks in advance for your advice & suggestions!

pisces
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 11-09-2004, 07:06 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
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I have very little doubt your husband won't be impressed. I was on the Navigator Jan 24-31,2004 and it is one really nice ship. There is so much going on day and night I am sure your whole family will have a great time. As to the excursions, if you like beaches St Thomas's Magens Bay is quite nice. The dolphin adventures are decent. Your kids will probably like them but they are expensive and dont take up that much time. As for being worth the money, it is very hard to say. It definitly is an expierence though. Good luck with everything and dont be nervous I assure you a time of your life.
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Old 11-10-2004, 08:52 AM
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Thanks for your relpy, Canadianguys!
I just looked up Magen's Bay and Coral World in my booklet. It does sound like a lovely excursion. Crystal clear water and white sand beaches sound heavenly. We live in Michigan where the Great Lakes are cold and murky.

As for the Dolphin encounter/swim, I'll give it some more thought. I wouldn't object to the money if I knew it was going to be a one-in-a-lifetime experience. I just don't want it to be equivelent to an experience we could have gotten from a day at SEA WORLD.

cheers!
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 11-10-2004, 02:11 PM
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The Dolphin Encounters are much different than that. You have the choice of being in waist high water, or actually riding on there backs, obviously that is more money. Rememeber though you dont HAVE to book excursions through the cruise ship. We did a stingray snorkel in Grand Cayman and we booked it though the website of the company that operated the tour. Apprently booking through the ship is often more money.
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Old 11-11-2004, 01:13 AM
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Location: Bakersfield, CA
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We went on our first family cruise in July and I practically had to drag my husband kicking and screaming. He really didn't want to go!!! Well guess what...he absolutely loved it and we even booked our next cruise while on the ship! We have 3 daughters and did the swim with the dolphins while at Nassau (my husband and I watched) It is a little expensive but is definately a once in a lifetime experience. I think it was worth it. That took up the whole time at that port. I'm not sure if you'll be able to book this late though, they fill up fast. Go to the Dolphin Encounter website, the ship doesn't book the swim with the dolphin excursion. Have a great trip. I'm sure you'll all have a great time.
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Old 11-11-2004, 04:51 AM
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Location: Tampa
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Hi Pisces, on our second cruise, we did the full dolphin encounter in Jamaica that allowed us to swim and interact with the dolphins, and we did enjoy it. I'm glad that we spent a little more for the full encounter. They offered us a video tape of the encounter, and that cost around $50-100 (sorry that I can't remember), but it was worth. I live in Florida, and thought that I could swim with dolphins in Orlando and many other places, but it's actually more expensive here. You may consider one expensive excursion and explore the beaches on the other islands. My husband is now hooked on cruising, and we're now planning our third in May. We also had five and needed two rooms on our first cruise, and it can add up.

Enjoy and happy cruising.
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Old 11-11-2004, 06:59 AM
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I am confused. How is swimming with dolphins a once in a lifetime experience. Can you only do it once?
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Old 11-11-2004, 08:33 AM
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No....but for many of us, it's something that we will never do again.
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 11-11-2004, 09:04 PM
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You have to remember they bill cruises as once in a lifetime oppertunities also. If that is the case then I am going on my 8th. once in a lifetime opertunities and have my 9th. booked.
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crusing, dolphins, family, location, maarten, nassau, navigator, st, swim, thomas

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