Last year, we took our kids on the trip of a lifetime. Going on a cruise with Carnival has been a dream for my whole family for a while and we finally could make this come true. Carnival has a lot of awesome cruises and a lot of great stops. The ports that we stopped at were magical and I couldn’t help but take a ton of pictures. Check out the ports we visited while on our Carnival Cruise with kids!
If you think you have seen pure beauty before, you haven’t visited Amber Cove before. This is simply a beautiful location right in Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic.
There is plenty of historical architecture to see and the waterfront property is picture perfect. Amber Cove Cruise Center offers a variety of activities. When you want to get away from the ship and explore, you can’t go wrong with this cruise destination. There are activities like the pool and a swim up bar. Of course, we had the kids with us, so I was not able to sit at the swim up bar as much as I would have liked. There are also shore excursions like…
- Dolphin swims – This would be a dream come true for some of you.
- Amber Cove Cabanas- Relaxing in a cabana is on my list for next time.
- Enjoying Puerto Plata City!
- Deep Sea fishing tour
- So many museums to see and you can also check out Fort San Felipe.
- Take a Mega Truck Adventure
While we were in Amber Cove, we decided to visit Ocean World which the kids loved! The day started off a little rainy so I was nervous about visiting an outdoor park but the rain came and went and we had a great time. We met our guide at the Amer Cove port and then boarded a bus that took us to Ocean World – maybe a 20 minute drive?
Ocean World is right on the ocean so there are some incredible views. There was a sea lion show, dolphin show and a tropical bird show. We booked the Ocean World Day Pass through Carnival but there were additional options to sign up for a swim with the dolphins or a shark encounter.
We also had lunch at Ocean World as they had a few options – it was okay, just standard fare like burgers and pizza but the kids seemed to like it.
A note about Ocean World: While we were there, there were A TON of flying bugs – they were all over us during the sea lion show and while we were eating. I’ve never seen so many! Luckily, we bought bug spray with us and also had the kids wear bug bracelets (my husband and I wore them too!) and we were never bitten by the bugs.
Ocean World was definitely a highlight of the trip though, if we ever went again I’d love to have my kids do the dolphin swim! It’s such a once in a lifetime experience!
Seeing Amber Cove was amazing, but we had an equally amazing time at Grand Turk. Getting off the ship and being able to explore was something unforgettable. First, the beauty is unmatched, it’s a port for a reason. There are tons of beaches to check out. There are also plenty of sights and attractions to see. The best part of Grand Turk is that you could literally hang around for days and not get bored. The Salt House, Turks and Caicos Museum, the Grand Turk Salinas, and the Grand Turk Lighthouse are just a few of the places you don’t want to miss out on visiting. There is also plenty of dining and shopping to be done.
I actually think Grand Turk was our favorite island. Since Amber Cove was a port stop that we wanted to make sure was for the kids, my husband and I wanted to make sure we did something that we would really enjoy. We both love history so we opted to take the Historical Homes, Town and Museum Tour. It’s a 2.5 hour tour on an air conditioned bus. It makes frequent stops where you can get off and on to tour the historical sites. I was a little worried that the kids would get bored but they had a great time and several people complimented us on how good the kids were during the tour!
After the tour, we had lunch at the Grand Turk Margaritaville. I’m a bit of a Parrothead so I was really looking forward to this meal and it didn’t disappoint. This Margaritaville was amazing – you could spend your whole port day there with the pool, food and activities!
We only had a little bit of time after lunch so we wandered around some of the shops where we let the kids get their souvenirs and then we spent some time on the beach – it was rocky but beautiful!
Grand Turk was definitely our favorite port – we can’t wait to visit again! Make sure to check out all of the Grand Turk Shore Excursions Carnival has to offer because there is SO much to do!
Half Moon Cay
Another short excursion from our Carnival Cruise Ship is known as Half Moon Cay. Half Moon Cay is Carnival’s private island and we were SO looking forward to this port. We decided that this would be our beach day since we did Ocean World in Amber Cove and the tour on Grand Turk. There are so many different excursions you can do on Half Moon Cay but this was going to be our relaxing day.
I can’t believe how gorgeous Half Moon Cay is. I was in AWE of how beautiful it is and it’s one of the most amazing places I have ever seen. One of our favorite parts was wading in the turquoise sea. Unfortunately, we only were able to spend about 20 minutes in the water before it started to POUR.
It was a huge thunderstorm and of course there was a mass exodus to get back on the ship. After taking cover for about an hour – and huge props to Carnival crew members handing out extra warm towels – we decided to brave it to the FREE buffet on the island. We were able to eat undercover and the kids really enjoyed the meal (so did I!). There was salad, burgers, hot dogs, pasta and fruit to choose from. The kids loved the wild chickens wandering around too. The rain was still pretty steady so after lunch we decided to just head back to the ship.
As we took the boat back to the Carnival Sunshine, you can see the rain has stopped and the sun was shining! I was so disappointed not to take advantage of all that Half Moon Cay has to offer but hey, that just means we have to go back!
Whenever you’re at any of these 3 ports, you can’t go wrong. We got in a ton of family time at each cruise port. If you happen to cruise with Carnival, I hope you get to stop at these three ports and enjoy yourself, just as much as we did!
Make sure to check out my other Cruising Carnival with Kids posts:
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Disclosure: A huge thanks to Carnival Cruise Line for hosting us on a 7 day cruise on the Carnival Sunshine. All thoughts and opinions are my own.