If you love cruising to tropical locations, chances are you also love visiting beautiful beaches. Luckily for you, there’s no shortage of warm sand in the Bahamas and Caribbean where our ships frequent throughout the year. But deciding which glorious stretch of sand is a good fit for your family isn’t always easy.
Our Port Adventures are the best way for your family to experience a hassle-free beach day, and we’ve worked with tour operators to take you to some of the best beaches in the places we visit. Here’s a look at my favorites in 10 of our tropical destinations:
1. Castaway Family Beach, Castaway Cay (Bahamas)
Most cruises from Florida include a stop at our private island, Castaway Cay, and if you’re traveling with little ones, Castaway Family Beach is the perfect spot for you. The beach is lined with umbrellas, chairs and hammocks for your complimentary use, and the water is sectioned off for swimming, floating and snorkeling. Plus, the Pelican Plunge water slide is within swimming distance from shore and the all-you-care-to-eat lunch buffet is steps away.
2. Blue Lagoon Island, Nassau (Bahamas)
This spectacular private island is just a half-hour boat ride from the port of Nassau. We offer several excursions there with different options for what your family would like to do, whether that’s swimming with dolphins, snuggling with sea lions or swaying in hammocks! The family-owned island has all of the amenities you need, yet it’s set apart by its untouched natural environment and authentic Bahamian experience.
3. Playa Mia, Cozumel (Mexico)
With its water park, water trampolines and water bicycles (just to name a few!), Playa Mia is an active family’s paradise on the island of Cozumel. The full-facility beach also has plenty of space where you can relax, including lounge chairs both on the beach and by the pool. Our Cozumel Beach Break excursion is a convenient way to get time at this popular locale, with a delicious lunch buffet included!
4. Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman (Cayman Islands)
Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman is famous for its long stretch of coral sand and clear blue water, and it’s just a short ride from the port. On our Family Beach Day at Tiki Beach Port Adventure, you’ll have access to full amenities there, including lounge chairs, fresh-water showers, a restaurant and not to mention a gorgeous view!
5. Magen’s Bay Beach, St. Thomas (US Virgin Islands)
With its calm waters and half-mile stretch of white sand, Magen’s Bay is home to St. Thomas’ premier beach. The beachside café in this untouched environment makes it a great option for families, especially on our Magens Bay Beach Break excursion, which also includes a stop at Drake’s Seat to enjoy the panoramic view of the bay.
6. Orient Bay Beach, St. Maarten (West Indies)
Known as the “French Riviera of the Caribbean,” Orient Bay is the most famous beach in St. Maarten. Adventures like our Afternoon Beach Bash Tour and French Riviera Beach Rendezvous are great options if you want to just relax in this stunning locale. For a more active day, our Family Fun, Beach and Nature Walk adds the option to boogie board and join a guided walk through part of a nature reserve.
7. Isla Verde Beach, San Juan (Puerto Rico)
Isla Verde Beach in San Juan, Puerto Rico is especially popular for families with its gentle waves, huge expanse of white sand and access to amenities. If you’re visiting San Juan during your cruise, you can join our Isla Verde Beach Escape or our San Juan Family Beach Day, both including a lunch buffet and the chance to play beach volleyball!
8. Rose Hall Beach, Falmouth (Jamaica)
Rose Hall Beach in Jamaica is home to several upscale resorts, adding an air of exclusivity to this beautiful stretch of sand. We give Disney cruisers the chance to enjoy time at one of these beautiful resorts on our Resort Beach Break – All Inclusive Port Adventure. Access to the resort’s amenities, including pools, slides and dining, makes this excursion a great day for families.
9. Cane Garden Bay Beach, Tortola (British Virgin Islands)
Tortola’s Cane Garden Bay is considered by many to be finest beach on the island. Restaurants, bars and shops are steps from the beach, making it an ideal spot for families. We just announced Tortola as a destination in 2016 and are working with local operators to develop family-friendly Port Adventures so you can enjoy this destination to its fullest. Stay tuned!
10. Crandon Park Beach, Miami (Florida)
Miami is one of our homeports for cruises to the Bahamas and Caribbean, and no visit there is complete without stopping by one of the area beaches. My top pick for families is Crandon Park Beach, located on Key Biscayne in front of a sandbar that keeps the surf calm. This park also has an amusement center, picnic areas and plenty of other amenities for a comfortable family beach day.
All of these beaches are sure to be enjoyed by cruisers of all ages, but later this week I’ll give more recommendations in these same locations for adults traveling without the little ones. Until then, are there any family-friendly beaches in these destinations that you want to add to this list?