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GalwayGirl03

Costa Maya and Grand Cayman

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We have relatively short ports of call in both these places ( Grand Cayman 7a-3p and Costa Maya 11a-7p).  We will be traveling with our 10 year old daughter, 7 year old (almost 8 year old) son and 3.5 year old son.  I was almost going to book Royal's aqua adventure park excursion but I saw the minimum age was 5 and 48 inches so that is a no go.  We may just stick to the boat for one of these ports but I don't want to do that for both of them so for any suggestions I would greatly appreciate it!!

 

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 In Costa Maya, we greatly enjoyed our Native Choice Mayan Experience tour. We had an outstanding tour guide, and my son loved climbing on the Mayan ruins and making tortillas. It may be a bit challenging for families to reach the Native Choice office, as the port itself is a bit large (there is a free trolley down the boardwalk, but my son didn't want to wait) and it is a four block walk to the Native Choice offices after you clear the port (they suggest taking a cab if you have difficulties walking, but there were no cabs available when we reached the exit of the port).  It is a bus ride to minor Mayan ruins, which you can climb and then you have an authentic Mayan lunch, which was delicious and get a bit of a cooking lesson.   https://www.thenativechoice.com/tours/mayan-experience-tour

 

In Grand Cayman, the turtle farm is great for kids.  We went to stingray city pre-kids.  some people take their kids there, but do bear in mind they are wild stingrays with their stingers intact.  

 

 

You can look up Royal's aqua adventure park excursion.  If there are rides your kid is too short for, you might want to skip it.  If there are enough things for your younger one to do, you might want to consider booking it independently.  In Jamaica, the Princess tour to Dolphin's Cove with dolphin touch programs had a minimum age of 5.  If you booked directly through Dolphin's Cove, there were no age restrictions on the dolphin touch program (the dolphin swim had age restrictions).  Even with a private driver, we saved money over the cruise ship excursion, and were able to visit Scotchie's for a delicious lunch.  

 

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You could easily DIY in Grand Cayman and take a bus to the turtle farm.  Very easy to do.  Bus depot is near library, and is an easy walk from the port.  You could also just take a cab there.  Here is a link for the turtle farm  https://www.turtle.ky/

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Grand Cayman (with our 3 and 7 yr old boys) we did the dolphin and string ray experience.  Our 3 yr old was a little nervous about being so close to the dolphin, but he settled and eventually worked up the nerve to touch one.  Our 7 year old loved this.  Unfortunately, our boat to the string ray area malfunctioned and we never made it there.  We were refunded some of the money.  However, just even the experience of being out on the smaller ship was fun for them.

 

Costa Maya- I can't say enough about Maya Chan if you are able to go.  It has remained one of our favorite stops.  We are planning another cruise that will include this port next year and we can't wait to go back to this place.  The food was scrumptious.  We were given our own cabana with chairs and a hammock.  They had beach toys at our assigned cabana, ready for our kids.  We took the boys out on the kayaks, which were included in the price.  The drinks were great and never ending.  The staff was amazing and attentive.  Look up their reviews and you will see that people are raving about them.  One thing to note though- they tell you up front that this is not a pristine "Disney" beach.  They sometimes get sea grass, but they have an employee that will always work to get it out of the way.  This isn't a "luxury" location, but it is one of the most relaxing and friendly locations I have ever been to.

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we love beach time at both destinations.

We like Blue Kay at Costa Maya (taxi is $3 pp), and once you get there, it's $12 pp for a chaise and any 2 drinks. Totally worth the money. It's clean and nice, not luxurious, but we have fun beach time with snorkeling and swimming.

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Thanks everyone!! We decided on doing the turtle place excursion with the kids...turtles and a water slide...what else could they want?? ha! We also booked Maya Chan in Costa Maya after a lot of research...we may leave the kids on the boat for the day b/c they just LOVE LOVE the kid's club and have a relaxing day just the 2 of us or bring them along...they even supply beach toys for the kids there!

 

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