For Families: Top 10 Can’t-Miss Shore Excursions

On a cruise vacation, you really can please everyone.
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Cruises are one of the most popular vacations among multi-generational families looking for an ideal getaway—with their range of destinations, onboard dining options, onboard activities, and shore excursions, you’re sure to find a mix that suits everyone in your crew. And while there are a bunch of cool things you can do on a cruise vacation, it can be tough to pick what works best for you and your family.

We’ve helped make your choices easier by highlighting ten of the best shore excursions you and your whole family can enjoy with Royal Caribbean. They’re designed for guests of all ages, but even better, they come with true bragging rights when you experience them. All of the picks on this list are listed as Family Connections, one of six categories of shore excursions that Royal Caribbean offers.

Meet an Alaskan musher with their team of dogs at a dog sled camp.

Credit: Royal Caribbean

1. White Pass Railroad And Alaskan Dog Sled Experience

Skagway, Alaska

Journey along the world-famous White Pass & Yukon Railroad to visit a dog sled camp. There, you’ll meet a young, aspiring Iditarod musher accompanied by his four-legged teammates, and take in a live racing demo. Your visit will even help fund their upcoming Iditarod competitions. You’ll then summit in an 1898 vintage railcar along the narrow gauge railway along the way.

2. Pattaya Elephant Village

Bangkok, Thailand

At Pattaya Elephant Village, observe the close bond between the majestic elephants and their handlers; you’ll see what bath time is like for the animals and how they work together with the staff. Then you can enjoy the chance to feed these gentle giants before taking a ride with them, guided by an expert handler.

3. Be A Gladiator And City Highlights

Rome, Italy

The You Yangs Regional Park introduces you to 200 bird species along with koalas and kangaroos, magnificent views and bushwalks.

Credit: Royal Caribbean

Learn the art of Roman gladiator combat with a hands-on fighting lesson before visiting the Eternal City’s ancient landmarks. You’ll browse through a museum to see the actual combat equipment used by these ancient fighters, and then take a guided walking tour past the Colosseum amphitheater where they battled.

4. Kangaroos And Koalas

Melbourne, Australia

Visit two of this region’s best wildlife research sanctuaries during an eco-tour where you’ll meet the country’s best ambassadors—kangaroos and koalas—in their natural habitat. At Serendip Sanctuary and You Yangs Regional Park you’ll see them ranging the fields and trees, and have the chance to spot more than 200 species of birds and other native animals as you explore two miles of land and natural bush surroundings.

5. Amazing Secret River And Playa Del Carmen

Cozumel, Mexico

Discover an amazing underground world and one of the more interesting natural attractions in the region. You’ll walk, wade or swim through an incredible labyrinth of caverns and underground waterways, surrounded by stalactites and stalagmites, while a guide explains this fascinating world.

Roar down the side of the mountain on a thrilling alpine coaster ride through a series of dips, waves and curves.

Credit: Royal Caribbean

6. Dragon’s Tail Coaster

Labadee, Haiti

Brace yourself for dips, waves and curves when you jump on Dragon’s Tail roller coaster. You’ll roar through a gorgeous mountainside forest at 30 miles per hour, reaching nearly 700 feet, and enjoy glimpses of Labadee’s breathtaking beauty on one thrilling ride.

7. Crocodile Safari

Queensland, Australia

On this safari down the Proserpine River, touring the area’s Melaleuca forest and mangrove ecosystem, you’ll cruise the unique Australian wetlands of the coastal fringe—where saltwater crocodiles live and breed in the estuaries. You’ll then enjoy lunch before continuing your expedition on a tractor-drawn wagon through the wetlands.

8. Sorrento With Pizza Making For Families

Naples, Italy

Gather the gang and head along breathtaking Amalfi Coast, marked with pastel-colored villages hugging cliffs and the gorgeous cobalt-blue sea. In Sorrento, stroll the main square and side street, discovering flower-draped balconies connected by medieval arches while breathing in the scent of lemons from nearby groves. Then you’re off to pizza-cooking school to learn how to make an authentic Neapolitan pie. The best part? You’ll feast on your creation for lunch.

Visit the lush green pastures of Hobbiton, a ten-acre site where the film series, “Lord of the Rings,” was shot.

Credit: Royal Caribbean

9. Lord Of The Rings – Hobbiton Movie Set Encounter

Auckland, New Zealand

Visit the lush green pastures of Hobbiton, a ten-acre site where the epic high-fantasy film series Lord of the Rings was shot. Here, you can insert yourself into the history of Middle Earth as you explore the rolling hills and buildings you’ll recognize from the movies. You’ll enjoy a farm-style lunch during your visit, too.

10. Sharks, Rays And Island Getaway

Belize City, Belize

Embark on an exhilarating underwater quest during a half-day tour of the Belize Barrier Reef, exploring its colorful coral reefs and coming face-to-face with resident sea life. You’ll take a scenic boat ride, swim along the reef, and encounter the underwater locals, including sharks, stingrays and more than 500 species of fish.

Royal Caribbean offers a broad range of shore excursions that are particularly suitable for young children, or appeal to kids, parents and grandparents alike. To check out all of the cruise line’s itineraries and shore excursions, head here.