Disney Cruise Line Shore Excursion Opportunities:
Part 1 ~ the Caribbean

By Rosanna Scott
February 17, 2007


Shopping in Cozumel

Part of the beauty of a Disney cruise is the ability to explore different islands. But because time is limited in the ports, it's important to use it wisely. A lack of planning can find you wandering just a few streets and not really experiencing what the island has to offer. Taking part in a shore excursion can be a great way to maximize your time.

If particular shore excursions are important to you and your family, research what's available before determining your itinerary - different islands will naturally offer different shore excursions. Disney Cruise Line has researched the excursions to ensure a great selection. I strongly recommend that you make shore excursions a part of your budget plans early on. Including them in your initial costs will save you surprise last-minute costs. Early planning will also ensure that you are signed up before the excursions sell out.

There are plenty of excursions to choose from - from the adventurous to the laid-back. To help your family get the most out of your excursion, be sure to examine what the excursion will entail so that you are prepared. Pay close attention to the ages and any requirements of the excursions. Once you have your budget and the excursion requirements narrowed down, you'll have a much easier time of deciding what excursions are best for your family. While I have listed the numerous excursions, go to www.disneycruiseline.com for a complete look at details, age requirements and costs.

CASTAWAY CAY

Fishing Excursion Castaway CayCastaway Cay is Disney's private island and is a true tropical paradise. If your budget only allows a limited amount of shore excursions, I encourage you to book them here. Admittedly, our family's favorite shore excursions were on Castaway Cay. "This is so cool" captures more than one family's opinion of Castaway Ray's Stingray Adventure. A unique experience, this excursion was simply, hands-down, a true favorite. Simply laze the day away with tube and float rentals or request a package that allows for all the tubing, snorkeling, bicycling and stingray fun you can imagine. Our oldest son's favorite excursion was his Castaway Cay Bottom Fishing experience. A friendly and helpful crew and a couple of great catches made memories that are sure to last a lifetime. Get out on the water with a Banana Boat Ride, a Personal Watercraft Eco Tour, the Castaway Cay Island Cruise, the Glass Bottom Boat Scenic Voyage or the Seahorse Catamaran Snorkel Adventure. Or take in the water's beauty from above on the Parasailing adventure. The Walking & Kayak Nature Adventure allows for a look at the beauty of the island. Disney certainly didn't forget the needs of your teen-agers. They will appreciate the activities in the Wild Side excursion.

NASSAU

Even on the three to four day jaunts, excursions are offered. In Nassau, there's the opportunity to lie in the sun and take in an aquarium on the Atlantis Beach Day excursion. If you want to get an up close and personal with the fish, you'll want to sign up for Blackbeard's Cay Stingray & Beach Adventure. For even more close-encounters with the fish, check out the Nassau Dolphin Encounter. If you'd rather just watch, go for the Dolphin Observer excursion. For snorkeling lovers, there's the Caribbean Queen Snorkel Tour. Snorkeling and sailing are combined in the Catamaran Sail & Reef Snorkeling excursion and certified scuba divers can take the plunge on the Scuba Dive Adventure at Stuart Cove.

Ride the Thriller Powerboat or for a more sedate trip join the Sunshine Glass Bottom Boat Tour. Dust off your walking shoes and try The Discover Atlantis, Nassau Historic City Tour or the Ardastra Gardens & City Tour .

ST. MAARTEN

Lie back and bask in the sun on the French Riviera Beach Rendezvous or have fun on the Afternoon Beach Bash Tour. This tour combines the beach at Orient bay with a tour of St. Maarten. If snorkeling is your thing, you'll be thrilled at the choices. Snorkeling is available on the Pinel Island Snorkel Tour and the Shipwreck Cove Snorkel Tour. On the Golden Eagle Catamaran, ride to the French side of St. Maarten for more snorkeling fun. The Rhino Rider and Snorkeling Adventure and the Tiki Hut Snorkel excursion offer even more snorkeling opportunities. The Dolphin Encounters gives travelers the chance to enjoy these gentle creatures of the sea.

For the fishermen (or women) in your family, try out the "BUBBA" Fishing Adventure. This is a fun and friendly catch-and-release trip. Get out on the water in a vessel that's competed in America's Cup on the 12-Metre Regatta excursions. Or get your work-out in on the Mountain Bike Adventure.

For a quieter experience, go for the Island Drive and Explorer Cruise, Under 2 Flags Island Tour, the See & Sea Island Tour, Seaworld Explorer, Lotterie Farm Hidden Forrest Tour or St. Maarten Island & Butterfly Farm Tour.

ST. JOHN/ST. THOMAS

Hike and swim on the St. John Eco Hike, or try out the Water Island Mountain Bike Adventure. Golf your thing? Then go for it at Mahogany Run. For snorkeling, opt for the St. John Trunk Bay Beach & Snorkel Tour, the 5-Star St. John Snorkel & Beach Adventure, the Doubloon Sail & Snorkel Tour, St. John Barefoot Sail & Snorkel, Captain Nautica's St. John Snorkeling Expedition, Buck Island Catamaran Sail & Snorkel or kayak, hike and snorkel at Cas Cay. Prefer scuba diving? It's here too. For those who like to go fast, jump on the Screamin' Eagle Jet Boat. And, if you want to just kick back and relax, go for the Magens Bay Beach Break, the St. John Island Tour, the Atlantis Submarine Adventure, the St. Thomas Island Tour, or the Coral World Ocean & Island Drive. A walking tour of historic BlackBeard's Hill or a Skyride to Paradise Point is available too.

KEY WEST

Relax on the Back to Nature Kayak Tour, the Key West Butterfly & Nature conservatory with Aquarium or get busy on the Sail, Kayak & Snorkel Excursion. The Key West Catamaran Sail & Snorkel Tour is also a great way to get in the water. History buffs will appreciate the Conch Republic Tour and Museum Package or the Old Town Trolley or Conch Train Tour (which includes Hemmingway's place). Take in the view on the Glassbottom Boat Tour. Pirate fans will want to check out the Pirate Soul and Shipwreck Historeum and the Pirate Scavenger Hunt. Want to get the adreneline flowing? Sign up for the White Knuckle Thrill Boat.


GRAND CAYMAN

Ride a boat, hang out on the beach and snorkel amist the stingrays on the Rum Point Beach Adventure & Stingray City Snorkel. Take in the sun and sand on the Rum Point Beach Adventure or the Seven Mile Beach Break. Certified divers can check out coral gardens on the 2-Tank Dive Tour. The Stingray city Snorkel Tour, the Stingray City Snorkel Tour, the Stingray City Reef Sail & Snorkel, Shipwreck & Reef Snorkeling, and the Island Tour & Snorkeling with Stingray are all great excursions for exciting snorkeling opportunities.

Get out and about in the Aquaboat & Snorkel Adventure, the Pirate Encounter, and the Thriller Sand & Sea Adventure. Take in the sights on the Stingray City Observatory & Island Tour and the Grand Cayman Island Tour. Dive in without getting wet on the Nautilus Undersea Tour, the Atlantis Submarine Expedition, or the Seaworld Explorer Semi-Submarine. View the rock formations of "Hell" and the butterflies on the Island Tour & Butterfly Farm excursion.

COZUMEL

Atlantis Submarine ExpeditionEnjoy the opportunity to meet dolphins on the Dolphin Discovery excursions. Visit Playa Mia Beach on Cozumel Beach Break or sail the sea on Fury Catamaran Sail, Snorkel & Beach Party. Snorkel on the Eco-Park & Snorkel, Discover Snorkel, the Clear Kayak & Beach Snorkel Combo, the Power Snorkel Treasure Hunt and the Dune Buggy & Beach Snorkel Combo. Certified Divers can take a tour as well. Speed through beautiful waters on the Speed Boat Beach Escape. Take in a game of golf on Cozumel's Golf Excursion. Horselovers will appreciate the Mayan Frontier Horseback Riding Tour. Take in the ruins on the Jungle Bike Adventure, the Jungle Hike Expedition, the Tulum Ruins, the Cozumel Ruins & Beach Tour, and the Xcaret Eco Archological Park. View life under the sea on the Ocean View Explorer Tour and the Atlantis Submarine Expedition. The submarine expedition was a real hit with our family. The whole experience of being in a a sub and exploring the bottom of the ocean floor was one we will always remember. Take a tour to the beach on the Jeep Exploration or explore the Playa del Carmen caverns on the Caverns Exploration & Beach Tour. After our subarine adventure, we enjoyed simply wandering the shops and streets of Cozumel.

Whether you're off of high-adventure excursions, or simply finding the best t-shirt deals in the shops, it's all about spending the time together. Doing what your family loves and making your own memories. Our family will never forget the time we have spent having new adventures - together!