Any shore excursion recommendations you'd like to share?

We're updating the DCL book for a re-release in December. Besides the usual updates about the ships and schedules, we've increased our coverage of shore excursions. If you've got a particular favorite (or one you'd recommend avoiding), let us know below.

Thanks!

Len

Any particular itinerary your'e interested in?

The Caribbean Sea Safari is available on the 7-night Fantasy Eastern Caribbean Itinerary in St. Thomas and it's FANTASTIC. It's a snorkeling adventure, you take a speed boat to turtle cove and snorkel with the turtles and fish, there is beautiful fire coral (don't touch!) then you go to honeymoon beach (water island) which is accessible by water only. There is a married couple that vacationed in St. Thomas 20+ years ago and never left and they have a little catering truck and they cater on the beach, delicious burgers!

You get unlimited rum drinks (pain killers) after your snorkel adventure and there is a cooler full of beer and pop also included.

I have a trip report, tons of details and photos so if you need anything else let me know.


The Lasseter Family Winery tour on the California Coast itinerary is one of the most expensive excursions that DCL offers but I'd do it again in a heartbeat and not even think twice about it. It was the single most memorable excursion of my life.


We did a float plane in Ketchikan over the Misty Fjords but we booked that independently and saved a ton of money, the DCL excursions are tricky you have to pay attention to how much time you're actually in the air and what type of plane you are on so you get the best views.


Also did a helicopter tour in Kauaii that we booked independently and i'd never fly with anyone else. Safari Helicopters was amazing and they picked us right up at the ship, had no problems with anything, it was a great experience.


The beach getaway or whatever it's called on Castaway Cay is great, you get the bike rental, float or tube rental and snorkel equipment. You can only book it online and it has to be pre-booked. The only problem is the water temperature, at certain times of year you don't even want to get in the water, let alone snorkel or be on a raft but if it's warm and you enjoy those things it's a nice package. If we're snorkeling, I get the bike with the baby seat on the back so I can strap my fins in smile

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This summer, we sailed on the 12-Night Mediterranean Cruise on Disney Magic - Itinerary C.  We (myself, husband, and 11 yr old daughter) took a Disney-sponsored port adventure at each of the 8 ports.

My favorite port adventure was “Mount Etna Summit” (Catania, Sicily).  Our guide had a doctorate and was extremely knowledgeable in all things volcanic.  The cable car ride was breathtaking, and the Unimog was unique! Hiking around near the summit, digging in the ground to feel the heat coming up was amazing!!  Dress warmly and in layers!! Despite several notifications that temperatures would be chilly at the top, many guests still showed up in tank tops, shorts, and flip flops.  (Don’t think they enjoyed the hike as much as I did. Haha).  The flip-flop contingency were required to rent closed-toe shoes at the top for a few euros.

Another favorite was “Murano Glass, San Giorgio Island, and Gondola Ride” (Venice).  (This was a half day excursion that started around 2pm. So in the morning, we debarked on our own and walked to St Mark’s, then returned to the ship for lunch and to start our port adventure.)  We toured a glass factory and watched a 30-minute demonstration of the masters making a vase from start to finish.  There was also a second glass-master who made a horse and a fish for the children to watch. For me, the glass factory was the highlight of this port adventure—the tour of the church on San Giorgio Island and the gondola ride were fine, but not something I feel like I would want to do again.

My least favorite port adventure was “Jumping Back into Eternal Rome.”  We chose this adventure because it started with a private train ride from the port (Civitavecchia) to Rome as opposed to a much longer bus ride into Rome.  However, this adventure was near-disaster from the beginning.  Our train was late getting into Rome, therefore we missed our bus that would take us from the train station to the Colosseum.  And we were behind schedule and rushed for the res t of the day.  Not to mention, it was a Wednesday and the Pope had held Audience, so there were a bajillion people in Rome that day. …And it was pouring down rain a good part of the day. We did indeed tour all the sights promised (Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, St Peter’s Basilica), but the amount of free-time that we were supposed to have was cut drastically short to stay on schedule enough to make it back to the ship at a decent time.  I do not hold anyone responsible for delays—it was just one of those very busy times in Rome.  And, even though Rome was not built in a day, we surely tried to tour it all in a day!! smile  Our tour guides were wonderful and very gracious under much pressure and time-crunch. We were told later that, because of traffic, many other port adventures had returned late from Rome, and the ship was delayed in leaving port that evening.

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We've started doing more excursion on our own instead of through Disney. These are a few of my favorites.

Kauai - Kipu Ranch Adventures. We did the waterfall tour. The ATV's were super fun & easy to drive. Our guides were amazing. Very funny & knowledgeable. A great lunch was provided & we got to swim under a waterfall. We took a taxi from the ship to Kipu Ranch. It was about a 15 minute ride. Here are a couple of photos.

In Grand Cayman we booked the Stingray City jetski excursion through Fat Fish Adventures. I had previously done a Stingray City excursion through DCL & this jetski excursion was SOOO much better. I will warn though that it may not be good for kids. You go fast! My husband & I had our own jetskis....I think the doubles would be kind of scary. You get to stingray city before a lot of the big boats so the interaction with the stingrays is incredible. After stingray city we snorkeled at a reef & then went to starfish point. It was one of the best days I've ever had!! We also made a quick stop at Caybrew on our way back to the ship. I'll post a few photos.

On my 1st Disney Cruise in 2006, we booked a beach excursion through DCL in Cozumel. I did not like it!! We were packed in the beach, I didn't like the buffet & there were tons of kids (it's DCL, so I should have realized this).

We went to Cozumel again on the Fantasy last October & I did some research on my own & found Nachi Cocom. It was $55 for all you can drink & a 3 or 4 course meal. They limit it to 100 people per day so it's never too crowded. The day we were there, there were only about 35 people there...it was perfection!!! We both had massages (I think we paid $25 for 30 minutes). I rented a float for $7.

They do not have all the water toys to use like some of the beach clubs down the street from them. They will put the trampoline in the water, but you have to pay extra to use it. For us, this was a good thing! If you have kids that want to use those things one of the other beach clubs would probably be a better deal.

If you are looking for a quiet beach this place is amazing!! They have a nice pool with a swim up bar & plenty of chairs on the beach with palapas for shade. The service was incredible. I didn't think my margaritas were strong enough so I told the server & after that they were strong!! My husband likes beer & they had several different Mexican beers. The food was excellent & they will serve you on the beach or you can go up to the restaurant.
You have to take a taxi here. We got one right across the street from the port. On your way out they will call a taxi for you.....they even gave us drinks to go!

We plan on going back here every time we're in Cozumel!

Hi kim. I have a question. On the excursion in Grand Cayman. With the jet ski. When getting on and off the ski are you on a dock. I have a bad back and not strong to get on the jet ski in the water. Lol.

You have to get on in the water. At stingray city it wasn't too bad because the water was shallow, but at the snorkeling location the water was deep so you have to pull yourself up!