Creating memories that will last a lifetime, that is why we Disney Cruise. Our seven-night western Caribbean cruise a few weeks ago (July 2018) was nothing short of amazing. This was our first time sailing this itinerary, so we got to experience some fantastic new ports of call with incredible port adventures. Let’s take a closer look at some of the Disney Cruise Western Caribbean Port Adventures.
All-Terrain Buggy and Snorkel at Punta Sur National Park – Cozumel, Mexico
As an extra special early birthday present, I chose this adventure for my son specifically. Littlest stayed on the ship and enjoyed the Oceaneer’s Club and Lab all day! With a quick walk off the boat to our ATVs, the tour hit the road pretty quick! With a scenic 25 km drive to the Punta Sur Eco Park, it was a great way to see the city.
Once inside the park, words can’t describe how beautiful the area was. That’s what I love as a mom the most, educational and FUN! My son ( as well as me and my husband) learned a lot about the Mayan culture and the history of the island. Did you know that when a Mayan woman was pregnant, they would canoe over to the island to come to the temple for prayer, and THEN, canoe back to the mainland?! Or that the bigger temple was the first alert for incoming hurricanes by using conch shells!
Full disclosure it was HOT! Everyone in the tour by the end was begging to get to the beach LOL! If you didn’t bring your gear to snorkel, the tour guides provided your fins, mask, and life vest (I brought our masks). Omar took us out for a nice 30-minute swim. He showed us a real-life conch, snapper, and I got to touch a sea cucumber! Afterward, we enjoyed an amazing lunch at the shack on the beach!
Cayman Dolphin Encounter – George Town, Grand Cayman
Back in fifth grade, a friend of mine went to Cancun and swam with the dolphins. Since then, it has been a LIFE GOAL of mine to swim with the dolphins. This vacation I got to have the experience of a LIFETIME with my whole family.
Grand Cayman is an interesting island because the waters are shallow ships can’t pull into “port.” We had to tender into George Town, which was surprisingly easy. The tender boats ran all day back and forth nonstop (no need to stress).
It was a 45-minute bus drive (fun riding on the wrong side of the road) along the coast to Dolphin Discovery. Upon arrival, life vests were handed out, and directions were given on how to interact with “your” dolphin for the dolphin encounter. Littlest was even able to follow along on the hand/arm signals (very easy). Once divided into groups (around 10), we walked down to the tanks.
Look at our faces (in the pictures) with the dolphin – PURE HAPPINESS! Everyone got to kiss the dolphin on the lips, get kissed on the cheek, dance and then hold it. Our son got picked to do one other behavior – with his arm moving in a circle the dolphin would then move in a circle “standing” up. Because littlest needed to go potty, my husband didn’t get his “own” time, but he didn’t care! Between guests interactions, our dolphin trainer was sure to include fun facts about dolphins! Did you know they are born with all their teeth?
Disclaimer – you are NOT allowed to take your own video or photos. That being said, our photo package for the “three” of us was $170. My husband was NOT happy about that, but he knew what this meant to me. I got the digital download through the app which I downloaded once we returned home. Despite the photo fiasco, we’re already talking about doing the Dolphin extreme port adventure next time!
Dunn’s River Falls Express – Falmouth, Jamaica
Initially, we planned to do the Jamaica Bobsled and Dunn’s River Falls adventure for our parents’ only day off the ship. Well, we were informed by the Oceaneer’s Club that with the little tykes they only like the family to be gone for no more than four hours. Last minute aka the night before at 10 pm, I made a quick (frantic) call to Guest Relations. They were able to move us into the Dunn’s River Fall Express tour with no problems!
Disclaimer – this port adventure is NOT for young kids (I say middle school or older), adults who are not in good shape or the elderly; Water shoes are a MUST; Make sure to have cash on hand to get some Jerk Chicken -$10/plate
Falmouth I have to say is stunning port! Our group was greeted, once off the ship, by our tour guide Grace Anne (from Chukka Tours), and we boarded the bus. During our 45-minute bus ride, Grace provided us with interesting facts and history of the areas we drove through like where aluminum comes from and where Bob Marley grew up. She also taught us how to speak Patois which was fun! Because some people did NOT get the memo about water shoes, we made a pit stop at a shop so guests could purchase them. I decided to grab a drink at the local bar for a Malibu Breeze! Just before arriving at the park, Grace took orders for the world-famous Scotchies’ jerk chicken, so we could have some lunch once we returned to the bus.
Our group on the bus ended up getting split up between two different falls’ guides. When you see pictures online, you only see the top half of the waterfalls. THEY ARE HUGE over 600 feet tall! Starting at the bottom everyone forms a giant human chain, and slowly you start the climb. Because other ships were in port, the park was packed! That would be my only complaint. I will say you get close with the people you’re climbing with since you’re in their hands and vice versa LOL! Some older people from our group ended up bowing out, and I saw some younger kids who were struggling next to our chain.
The water was chilly, but it felt great. Our videographer tagged along the whole way up and was a blast! There was a section to slide down and a deeper area where we all fell in backward. Once we got higher up, the crowds thinned out. It felt like we were in the rainforest. Halfway up I thought we were done, yea NOPE! Everyone was in good spirits though and had a blast. Finally, at the top, it was great seeing the congratulatory sign! After that crazy adventure, we were ready for the jerk chicken waiting for us on the bus! Our stateroom host and server were from that area of Jamaica and said we had to eat it! Well, they weren’t kidding, it was DELICIOUS! I didn’t put too much of the jerk sauce on because it was SPICY, but still, it was scrumptious!
The countries visited and the port adventures we chose were incredible! Our family gives Disney Cruise Western Caribbean Port Adventures two thumbs WAY up! The overarching theme for this Disney cruise vacation is it “just keeps getting better!” To find out more information on what port adventures are available, check out https://disneycruise.disney.go.com/port-adventures/overview/. For more Disney Cruise tips read Disney Cruise Family Tips.
Life is too short not to live YOUR happily ever after, so my husband and I decided to move the family out of the D.C. suburbs to live in the land of the mouse. I’m raising 2 kids on pixie dust and dole whip behind the castle. Everyday is a new adventure with Mickey! I look forward to sharing my pro mom tips to help you create your own magical adventure.