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The DestyDo Travel and Adventure Blog

6 of the Best Cruise Ports that Offer Family-Friendly Shore Excursions

best family vacation

Whether you’re heading to a warm locale or enjoying the scenery, the memories you make will last a lifetime. Going on a trip is a great opportunity to become closer as a family and enjoy each other’s company.

Families today are busy with work, school, activities, and keeping up with chores. It’s difficult to find time for everyone to connect. If your kids are more interested in playing on their smartphones, game systems or tablets than with you, then a vacation – in particular, a cruise – is a great way to bring your family together to enjoy a variety of activities. Trading TV, internet, phones, and video games for activities that are fun for the everyone can strengthen your bond as a family.

Cruises are a great vacation option for all ages. It’s an opportunity to get the entire family together due to the variety of activities available. Enjoying a new destination every day, without the burden of organizing daily transportation logistics is a convenient way to visit the cities you have dreamed about in one memorable trip.

There are many family-friendly facilities both onboard and on shore. Here are some of the best destinations with family-oriented shore excursions that are sure to make everyone in your group excited to cruise:

1. Pizza Making (and More) in Naples, Italy

There’s plenty to do in Naples that will appeal to every member of your family, regardless of their age.

Hands-On Pizza Making in Sorrento

If you’re a family full of foodies, an Italian pizza making class in Sorrento is sure to please. Everyone can participate in a pizza making class where they’ll learn to create an authentic Neapolitan pizza. A friendly Italian family will walk you through how to create and cook your pizza. This activity ends with your family enjoying the pizza that you’ve made! Adults can also enjoy complimentary wine and limoncello.

Full Day Luxury Speedboat Tour from Naples to Capri

If you’re not a pizza fan, you can enjoy the beauty of Italy with an exclusive speedboat excursion from Naples to Capri. If you choose, you and your family can dive into lagoons, explore sea caves, cruise past enchanting natural scenery, historic buildings, and celebrity getaways. If you’re a choose-your-own-adventure type of family, this is a the perfect shore excursion for you and your family. There are stops and activities that are suitable for all ages.

2. Unique Family Activities in Juneau, Alaska

mendenhall glacier in alaska
Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska

When going on a cruise to Alaska, you’ll be able to witness firsthand the breathtaking scenery that those who only see the state from the shore seem to miss. Visiting Juneau, Alaska can feel like you’re exploring a whole new world. Adults and kids alike love Alaska’s wildlife and icebergs, which can be enjoyed from your ship. You can venture off the ship for whale watching or immerse yourself in nature if you book a shore excursion.

Juneau and Mendenhall Glacier Tour

Take your family to one of Alaska’s most colorful cities. From the capitol building and Juneau’s urban sights to a glacier tour that brings you through the Juneau Ice Field, this is a comprehensive excursion that your family won’t forget.

This tour’s most exciting feature is visiting the Mendenhall Glacier, which is best viewed from Nugget Creek Falls and Photo Point Trail. This tour includes a visit to the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center for even more information about this natural wonder.

Salmon Fishing in Juneau

If you want to get up close and personal with Alaskan wildlife, your family can go salmon fishing.  On this excursion, Captain Kevin an Alaskan family will take you out on their fully-equipped, comfortable boat to catch Alaska’s famous fish. All of your fishing gear and life jackets are included, so you don’t have to bring anything but your cameras!

3. Culture and Adventure in Cozumel, Mexico

Cozumel, Mexico, is a great destination for families looking to have fun. This island in the Caribbean Sea has an interesting history and rich traditions. Cozumel also plays host to many modern comforts and activities. It’s a well-known scuba diving locale with healthy, vibrant coral reefs.

Private Cozumel Island Tour

Organizing a private island tour is a excursion that will excite every member of your family. Your personal tour guide will make suggestions and create your family’s ideal itinerary, taking your family around the island in a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle. Some of the activities you can do during your Cozumel tour are:

  • Visit San Miguel de Cozumel neighborhoods
  • Discover Mayan traditions and explore a Mayan village
  • Souvenir shopping at the old Municipal Market
  • Visit a chocolate factory
  • Taste test tequila (adults only!)
  • Go to the San Gervasio Ruins
  • Eat lunch at recommended local restaurants
  • Visit Chankanaab or Punta Sur Park
  • Go snorkeling

These are just a few of the things you can enjoy during your tour of Cozumel! With your guide’s help, you can pick an activity that best suits your family’s activity level.

The World’s First Underwater Oxygen Bar

If your family is looking for a truly unique excursion, you can visit the world’s first underwater oxygen bar. This excursion is only suitable for visitors aged 8 and up. You’ll start by entering a freestanding aquarium wearing a special helmet that allows you to breathe invigorating oxygen with aromatherapy scents while underwater. Inside the aquarium, you can shoot bubble guns, play games such as Jenga, write messages, and take photos. This is a one-of-a-kind experience that you don’t want to miss!

4. Wild River Rides in Falmouth, Jamaica

Falmouth, Jamaica is a state-of-the-art port built to accommodate cruise ships. It’s also a great destination for a wide variety of shore excursions. Various attractions and accommodations are available, offering amazing experiences to cruisers who want to experience the island.

Falmouth is best known for its Glistening Waters’ Luminous Lagoon, a display of what mother nature’s natural magnificence. This area is truly spectacular, whether you’re in Falmouth at night or making a day trip.

Jungle River Tubing on the Rio Bueno

River tubing on the Rio Bueno river is an unforgettable way for your family to spend the day. This shore excursion is for travelers aged 8 to 65. After a safety briefing, your family will each get their own tube to ride the rapids. All the adrenaline is sure to make you hungry, so you’ll enjoy an authentic Jamaican lunch afterward.

Bamboo River Raft Ride

If you prefer a more low key excursion, river rafting on the Martha Brae River is worth considering. On this excursion, your family will travel on a bamboo raft, navigating the gentle river for two relaxing hours. You’ll pass swimming spots, local artisans selling their wares, and flora and fauna unique to Jamaica.

Whether you choose a fast-paced tube ride or a relaxing raft float, the rivers of Falmouth provide a great opportunity for different excursions.

5. Stingrays and Horses in George Town, Cayman Islands

george town cayman islands
A beach in George Town, Cayman Islands.

George Town, the capital of the Cayman Islands, is known for its white sand beaches and crystal clear water. It’s also a shopping haven, making it a hot destination for travelers of all walks of life.

Stingray Snorkel Tour

For an experience of a lifetime, you can swim with the stingrays and snorkel at Coral Gardens Reef. The stingray sandbar is shallow, so depth and swimming ability don’t need to be concerns and it’s suitable for the entire family. The tropical fish that you’ll encounter on this sandbar are as friendly as they are beautiful. All of the gear you’ll need, transportation, and food are included in this excursion.

Beach Horseback Ride

Horseback riding on the beach is a great way to experience the natural beauty of the Cayman Islands. After choosing the horse you’ll ride, you can visit West Bay, as well as the beach, where your family will experience the gorgeous Cayman countryside. This excursion includes a guide that will take you and your family along the beach via horseback, a journey during which you’ll see local people, wildlife, and unparalleled vistas.

6. Up Close with Wildlife in Miami, FL

Miami is a port that many cruises originate from, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a thrilling destination in itself. You might think of Miami’s nightlife and urban lifestyle when you picture this popular city, and that’s certainly an attraction for many. If your family prefers wildlife to nightlife, however, there are many excursions you can explore before or after your cruise docks.

Airboat Adventure in the Everglades

An airboat eco-adventure will take you across the Florida Everglades where you’ll be up close with native wildlife. The airboat will escort you to a reptile exhibit where your family will learn more about Florida alligators, and even get the chance to hold a baby alligator! An exotic wildlife exhibit completes your day, featuring panthers, tigers, and birds of prey.

Jungle Island

This is Miami’s number one family attraction! Jungle Island is a wildlife experience like no other. Jungle Island is home to white tigers and a white lion, a high-wire bicycle-riding cockatoo, the only tame Cassowary on earth, and the world’s largest jungle cat, a liger. While you’re there, you’ll have the opportunity to meet Pumpkin and Peanut, orangutan twins.

Best yet, this attraction is very close to the airport and will accommodate cruisers with luggage storage. Visiting Jungle Island is a great way to spend your last day of vacation, making memories in sunny Florida.

Plan the Perfect Family Vacation

Family vacations are important to everyone in your family, the kids and the adults. We want your family to have fun without having to worry about the details.

DestyDo takes into account your preferred shore excursions, travel dates, and applicable regions. You tell us what you’re looking for in a cruise, including length, features, cost, and more. Our search engine makes it easy to find the best cruise for your family.

You start by selecting the activities your family wants to do most, so we can show you the cruises that fit your interests. Then, once you select a cruise, we’ll help plan your itinerary by booking your shore excursions for every port you’ll visit.

DestyDo makes it easy for people to book an amazing family cruise, simply. Whether you’re an experienced cruiser looking for a new way to find exciting experiences, or a family just getting started with cruise-based vacations, we can help. Our site is set up for cruisers of all experience levels.

Start planning your ideal family vacation today!

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