MIAMI — Carnival Cruise Line has dramatically expanded its shore excursion offerings, adding exclusive new landside experiences and customized private tours, as well as new family-friendly enhancements, including complimentary beachside activities, value pricing and free tours in select ports for children under age five.
The new options build upon Carnival’s position in the shore excursion arena, with nearly 1,200 unique landside experiences offered by the line in more than 50 ports of call throughout the Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii, Bahamas, Canada, New England and Central and South America.
The new tours include:
- La Casa en la Playa (Cozumel) – Recently named Carnival’s ‘Tour of the Year’, this five-hour-long tour offers an exclusive luxury experience limited to 30 participants with access to a beach house with 5-star service for the day, complete with a personal chef and wait staff. Participants can also learn how to cook authentic Mexican cuisine, make margaritas and mojitos or relax on a white-sand beach.
- Eat, Drink & Dance (Ocho Rios) – After savoring spicy samples at a traditional jerk hut, guests enjoy a meal at Miss T’s Kitchen which was featured on Guy Fieri’s Family Vacation on Food Network. The day continues with a visit to a beachside bar where mixologists create hand-crafted Jamaican rum cocktails and concludes with a reggae dance lesson.
- Jamaican Home for the Day (Ocho Rios) – Just like the name implies, this day-long tour offers guests their own Jamaican home for a day where they can relax and enjoy a home-cooked island lunch. The tour also includes full use of the expansive property that features a secluded beach where guests can enjoy refreshing frozen daiquiris and other rum-infused cocktails.
- Photo Safari & Beach Expedition (Cozumel) – Taking place over the course of two days, the tour begins with a one-hour photo seminar on board led by the ships’ photographers who offer tips on camera equipment, lighting, photo composition and more. The tour continues the following day with a visit to Mexican beaches and a national park where participants are offered an informative hands-on demonstration.
- Eat, Drink & Walk (St. Thomas) – This self-described ‘walking culinary/culture tour’ begins with a drive through the lush countryside to St. Peter Mountain Great House & Botanical Gardens, home to diverse plant and animal life and an observation level where guests can see the 15 islands that comprise the Virgin Islands chain. Participants can sample 24 different island rums as they learn how to make banana daiquiris and nosh on island-inspired food like saltfish, plantains, jonny cakes and West Indian pumpkin soup.
Carnival is offering new ‘family friendly’ shore excursion options in ports throughout the Caribbean, Bahamas and Mexico, with tours offered at multiple price points to provide parents the ultimate in flexibility, value and convenience. Children age five and under receive complimentary beach excursions with their parents’ paid tour.
Sample excursions include:
- Family Beach Escape (Freeport) – Designed with all-ages appeal, this tour begins with an air-conditioned ride to a beachside resort. Here, under the eye of trained youth specialists, kids can enjoy such activities as sandcastle-making competitions, treasure hunts and face-painting while parents can relax under oversized umbrellas and sip a cool tropical drink. Lunch is included and water toys, paddle boats, kayaks and other watercraft are available for rent.
- Island Beach Escape for Families by Power Catamaran (Cozumel) – After a power catamaran ride, families arrive at Passion Island, which boasts white-sand beaches and clear turquoise waters along with full resort facilities with plentiful beach chairs and hammocks. Guests of all ages can enjoy volleyball, water trampolines and pedal boats, while kids get their own special beachside play area. A Mexican-style buffet with guacamole, grilled mahi-mahi and a kids’ menu is included in the price.
- Family Treasure Hunt with Lunch at Blue Lagoon (Nassau).
- All Inclusive Family Beach Resort Getaway (Montego Bay) – Hosted at the Mediterranean-inspired Seawinds Beach Club, one of Jamaica’s premier oceanfront properties, this tour includes lively island entertainment, along with a complimentary buffet lunch and drinks. When it’s time to cool off, families can take a dip in the ocean or one of the many on-property pools and enjoy fun water sports like sailing, snorkeling and kayaking.
All of these new offerings complement Carnival’s programs such as the Shore Excursion Best Price Guarantee. The only one of its kind in the cruise industry, the program provides a 110% refund in the form of a shipboard credit should consumers find a better price on a similar tour.
Each of Carnival’s 24 ships also offers a dedicated shore excursion desk with trained and experienced staff members who can recommend particular tours and answer any questions guests may have. Shore excursion personnel also personally experience the wide array of landside options in every port and obtain feedback from guests to strive for continuous improvement in the line’s shore excursion choices.
Carnival has also revamped the shore excursion section of its website to include a greater variety of photos and videos, enhanced navigation and online reservations for both desktop and mobile devices, as well as guest-written reviews of the various options ashore.
For additional information and reservations, call 1-800-327-9501 (individual) or 1-800-327-5782 (groups) or visit the line’s travel agent Internet portal, GoCCL.com.