A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of cruising the Eastern Caribbean with my family for 7 days on the Allure of the Seas. My family consists of me and my wife, my 10 year old son and 4 year old daughter. Here are some Eastern Caribbean Cruise Tips for Families:
Nassau, Bahamas Tips
In Nassau, we decided to hit the water park and aquarium at the enormous resort The Atlantis. $4 per person each way cab ride from the ship. $400 for full access to the water park, aquarium, and beaches for a family of four. The kids loved the water slides, kid pools, lazy river, and aquarium. For the adults, the water slides like the Leap of Faith and the Challenger are pretty intense. I had a blast going down the slides. The lines were not too long, and we did everything we wanted to do in a few hours.
While we had a great time at Atlantis… but we made a few mistakes. We brought our daughter’s floaties and 4 beach towels from the cruise ship. Atlantis provides life jackets and towels at the water park. So, make it easy on yourself and leave the floaties and towels on your cruise ship.
Atlantis also has lockers to rent. Just make sure you return the key to the locker, or you will get charge a $50 replacement fee.
PRO Savings TIP: You can save $100 – $60, by buying a room at the Comfort Suite next door to the Atlantis which comes with a day pass for up to 4 people. Sounds counter-intuitive, but it works.
PRO TIP: The last 2 times we’ve went to the Atlantis while cruising, we hit traffic on the way back to the ship that made our cab ride take 45 minutes. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get back to the cruise ship. There is only one bridge back over to the ship and it has been severely backed up for us the last 2 cruises.
Magen’s Bay, St. Thomas Tips
We are a beach family. We enjoy playing with the kids in the ocean and on the beach. We also like to do things on our own schedule, so at most ports we just get off the ship and find a cab or shuttle to one of the closest beaches.
Magen’s Bay St. Thomas – $8 per person each way cab ride from the ship.
There is a bar and restaurant on the beach. $15 minimum spend [3.5 beers] to use the credit card and they will let you run a tab. It seems to be a trustworthy establishment.
Magen’s Bay is a fairly crowded beach, but if you are willing to walk down the beach a little ways, the crowd thins out nicely and you can get a nice piece of the beach to yourself as you can see in the pictures. We brought our daughter’s floaties and she loved floating out in the bay.
Pro Tip: Don’t feed the iguanas :). The Cruise Line Excursion to Megan’s Bay is a good bit more expensive for a day at Megan’s Bay then just getting off the ship and doing it yourself. Remember the Ship departs on ‘Ship time’. Always have watch set to ‘Ship Time’ because cell phones can pick up/display times that are incorrect.
Le Galion Beach, St. Maarten Tips
Le Galion Beach is one of the Caribbean best kept secrets. I guess you could say was a well kept secret. We loved it so much, that I was truly tempted not to share it. Le Galion is on the French side of the Island and is closer to the cruise ship terminal than the popular and crowded Orient Beach. From the photos, you can see that similar to Magens Bay, St Thomas, Le Galion Beach is surrounded by luscious green hills. The bay is protected by the Atlantic Ocean by a reef. We met a family who’d been on St. Maarten for the week and they were back for a 2nd time to Le Galion Beach because out of the 4 beaches they’d visited on the island, it was their favorite.
There is a bar/restaurant on the beach. We did not eat there, but the food did look good with a noticeable French influence.
We brought towels from the Allure of the Seas to layout on and my daughter’s floaties. It is $7 per person each way cab ride from the ship.
Pro Tip: The restaurant/bar at Le Galion Beach will call a cab for you when you are ready to be picked up. We got the cab driver who drove us from the pier to the beach and called him from the restaurant to come pick us up.
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More Eastern Caribbean Photos
Want to see more pics from our Allure of the Seas Vacation? click here-> Allure of the Seas Vacation Photos.