My husband and I had two cruises before and planned one for our family. Our children are 6 and 9 and I went to this website to get some ideas and suggestions to be prepared so that we all had a stress-free vacation. So, here are my suggestions of kid-friendly shore excursions and activities for future cruisers.
From start to finish, this cruise was very kid friendly and easy. Embarkation is easy, much easier than our cruise 10 year ago, and I recommend getting there at 10:00 a.m., even though they recommend 1:30 p.m. Bring some activities and snacks for the kids while waiting to get on board, but they will be so excited, that you might not need the activities.
Kid-friendly: Dreamworks Experience with 2 Parades (they are the same, but in case you missed it earlier in the week), photo opps with characters which we did as early in the week to get that out of the way, and movies on the tvs in staterooms and in theaters/big screen throughout the week.
Shows that I More
would recommend for the kids: Freedom on Ice, Once Upon a Time (my kids favorite), magician, first night and last nights performances because of the aerialists (a favorite of my daughter's).
Shore Excursions: We did the Aqua Park and Dragon Coaster in Haiti, Aqua Park is overrated, spent too much time swimming from one thing to another to not be able to get on the equipment that much. Dragon Coaster was fun and has an wonderful view of the island. Wished my kids were older to do zip line, because that looked amazing.
Our favorite day was in Jamaica. We did the Dunn's River Falls and Dolphin Touch. I was worried about my 6 year old on the Falls and he did just fine. They guides are very helpful especially with children. Wish we did the Dolphin Swim but wasn't sure what my 6 year old would have thought, but you get way more interaction in the swim. Our guide for the excursion was nice and the food was just basic burger, pasta, and drinks. Get the photo cd of the dolphins and dvd of falls climb, it's worth the price.
We had to miss Grand Cayman because of weather and high waves. We did a couples massage instead and sent the kids to Adventure Ocean for 2 hours. My 6 year old loved it, my 9 year old was not a big fan. I think if you used these services more, friends would have been made and had more fun, but this was a family vacation and we stayed together most of the time. It was a nice option to have some alone time for the parents. They kids crew is nice and it's a nice facility.
On Cozumel, we took the Passion Island Catamaran tour. It's not a true catamaran/sailboat but motorized boat. It's not what we signed up for but the wind was bad so maybe it was better anyway. Passion Island is amazing! Hammocks, trampolines, play equipment on the beach, massages, shops, unlimited drinks, etc. The food was amazing...best guacamole and salsa! Very kid-friendly and it's a private beach for only RCI and Carnival cruisers. Did some shopping right by the port to get some basic souvenirs.
The crew was always nice to the kids, cabin steward and waiter made towel and napkin animals for the kids. Kids menu had basic meals if they didn't want the main entrees offered. My daughter did a cupcake decorating class at the Cupcake Cupboard. Pools, hot tubs, arcade, and H2O Zone were fun especially on at sea days.
Some non-kid related info that I saw comments on before we went...they do not allow irons and do not have them available in the cabins. Bring Downy wrinkle re leaser or have them press any clothes you need. And I would have brought my own hair dryer instead of using theirs. There is room under the bed to stash our huge suitcases. I was worried about that, but it there was plenty of room.
We all can't wait to take another cruise again! Less
Freedom of the Seas Cruises to the Western Caribbean
Cabin review: Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony
We will never be in an inside stateroom again. Balconies are the way to cruise! Very quiet, great view, but hallways always seemed to be packed with cabin stewards cleaning equipment/dirty laundry, etc. Annoying.