Carnival Cruise Ships
Photo By: Russell Otway

So you have decided to take the family on a luxury cruise vacation. Excellent choice! Now you get to make some additional fantastic choices about where to go and what to do on this incredible holiday aboard a large Carnival cruise ship. A cruise vacation is chock-full of fun and exciting activities for the whole family both on and off the ship. Consider the following ships for highly ranked shore excursions to enhance your cruise vacation getaway.

Carnival Freedom

Carnival Freedom
Photo By: Carnival Cruise Line

The Carnival Freedom cruises to the eastern and western Caribbean as well as the Panama Canal and Central America. Some of the most popular shore excursions for the eastern Caribbean include a visit to Atlantis Aquaventure, snorkeling, swimming with dolphins, and relaxing on the pristine Blue Lagoon Island beach. For western shore excursions zipline the rainforest canopy, take an air boat tour or a cave-tubing adventure, or explore the ancient Mayan ruins.

Carnival Fascination

Carnival Fascination
Photo By: Melissa Hillier (Creative Commons)

To travel further south into the Caribbean, book a vacation on the Carnival Fascination. Shore excursions include the opportunities to tour the islands of St. Thomas, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and St. Maarten. Along with ocean catamaran sailing and snorkeling, you can visit with locals and experience the culture of these beautiful islands while enjoying local food, drink and entertainment.

Carnival Triumph

Carnival Triumph
Photo By: Carnival Cruise Line

Board the Carnival Triumph departing New Orleans and hop off in Cozumel for a jeep tour of the jungle or take a horseback ride with a local guide. You can also rent dune buggies, motorcycles, scooters or segways and explore on your own. For nature lovers, swim with stingrays and manatees, take a cave tour or go on a helmet dive just like a Cousteau (who first made this former unknown fishing village popular in the 1960s).

Carnival Dream

Carnival Dream
Photo By: Carnival Cruise Line

Another highly ranked large Carnival ship for thrilling shore excursions is the Dream. While docked in Key West, take a trolley tour and visit Ernest Hemingway’s home and the southernmost city in the US. At the next stop in Freeport, take a culinary tour, visit the famous perfume factories and breweries, or enjoy the evening around a bonfire with local food, drink and entertainment. In Montego Bay, you can tour distilleries, Jamaican houses, city shops, sugarcane and pineapple plantations, and even a crocodile nursery.

Whichever shore excursions you consider, plan activities that are age appropriate for all members of your family. Unless you are traveling with a nanny or babysitter, you may want to choose only activities that can include younger children as well as teens and adults. Sometimes with a luxury cruise, babysitting services are available and that might be an option as well.

Also, physical fitness can be a large consideration in how to select excursions to enhance your luxury cruise experience. Many activities, particularly outside ones, may require a higher level of physical fitness. For those who love such a challenge, take advantage of all the shore excursion opportunities while on your cruise. Each activity will come with information about the level of strenuous exertion required.

Last, but certainly not least, is the amount of time you wish to spend off the ship. On board, you will have a slew of fun and relaxing activities to keep you entertained and pampered for days on end. The Carnival cruise ship of your choice will dock several times on your journey; and there are many exciting adventures and spectacular views to behold at each stop. The fun is that you get to decide whether to spend your time swimming with dolphins or simply sitting and enjoying the views.

Carnival Cruise Tips
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