We enjoyed Key West a lot. Wish we could have had a little more time there though, but we had to leave port early in the afternoon to cruise all the way to Cozumel the next day. The trolley ride into town was great and like a mini-tour. We went to Mel Fisher's Museum to see the stuff from the Atocha (very interesting) and the Audubon House (beautiful) and then went shopping. Wish we could have made it to the Hemingway House. We all want to go back there. There is a lot to see and do!
We ended up docking in Cozumel instead of Playa del Carmen because of rough seas, but we still went to Tulum to see the Mayan ruins on a ship excursion. They got us going quickly - the ferry boat and bus were good and our tour guide was great. He was very helpful and informative. They even gave us snacks and fruit juice to drink on the trip. We loved the ruins. They were truly something to see for a family of history buffs like us. We would have liked a little more time at the beach there, but that was limited because we had docked at Cozumel, and it took more time to get to and from Tulum. I would recommend this excursion to anyone who appreciates historical sites and/or tremendous scenic beauty. We loved it!
We decided to do some shopping in Grand Cayman instead of an excursion. It was very enjoyable. The tender boat got us to shore quickly and the town by the dock was beautiful and clean. The people there were helpful and not too aggressive. There was an abundance of stores for our shopping - we spent entirely too much, but really enjoyed doing it. Later, we went to the beach and returned to the ship. A very enjoyable day!
The kids and I were adventurous in Montego Bay and went on the zip-line jungle canopy tour here. My husband was feeling a little under the weather and bowed out. It was incredible. Definitely one of those I have to check this off my bucket-list type of things. The tour guide and staff were exceptional. They were clear, professional, and concerned about our safety and giving us the best possible experience. I can't describe the experience and can hardly believe I did it, but I would do it again in a minute and recommend it to anyone. We didn't bring our cameras because we were afraid of losing them, but they have lockers to rent to store your things and a small camera to put in your pocket would have been safe. They take pictures of you for sale - they're overpriced, of course, but a great memento and proof you really did fly through the jungle! After we finished, our tour guide offered to take us to eat, then on a sightseeing tour for shopping, and finally to Margaritaville for an additional $10 per person. That was a great deal because you don't want to go around in Jamaica with just anyone, even in a taxi. He took us to the Pork Pit to eat (that was the place I'd read about online and really wanted to go there.) The jerk chicken and pork was outstanding and very cheap - I highly recommend it!! Then he took us shopping (souvenir type stuff.) The store had good quality items and the prices were better than at the other stores. We ended up at Margaritaville (I just wish we had known more and brought our bathing suits.) The kids and I ended up doing some more shopping and just sightseeing. It was in a resort area, so we were safe. Our guide ended up taking us, tired and happy, back to the ship in plenty of time to get ready for dinner.
Here, we went snorkeling at Athol Island. The water was a little rough for me (that storm was getting ready to come in), but the kids had a great time. There were so many fish on the reef and they came really close - we had fish food! The guides were helpful, but I felt they could have spent more time showing people how to get the equipment on and then how to use it in the water. If you were an experienced snorkeler, it would be fine, but I didn't think there was enough help for any first-timers. They gave us a harbor tour on the way back, which was a lot of fun. We went back to the ship, showered off the salt, ate lunch, and then went back to town on a walking tour. We were able to walk all over the downtown area and up into the hills (Queen's Staircase and Fort Fincastle), and then back down into town with no problem. Pick up a map when you get into town and it's easy to find your way around. People were very helpful and Nassau has so many beautiful, interesting things to see. When we finally got back to the ship, we were tired but happy!