One of the most anticipated planning aspects of any cruise is choosing and booking shore excursions, or, as Disney likes to call them, Port Adventures!
Typically Port Adventures include a variety of activities from active options like hiking or snorkeling to typical sightseeing via a bus tour to relaxing options like beach days! With the return to cruising and the need to keep both cruise passengers and local port area residents safe, fewer Port Adventures are being offered right now. Those that are being offered have been highly vetted, and the tour conductors agree to strict Covid testing and masking guidelines following local mandates.
Port Adventures are also booking into much smaller groups for the foreseeable future. Rather than a charter bus load full of people, you might have a 15-passenger van. On our recent cruise, for our Cozumel Port Adventure we had only one other family for a total of six people! In Costa Maya, we had a total of 12 in a large spacious van.
Mask mandates are pretty strict in Mexico at this time, so we were required to wear masks the entire time including outdoors unless we were eating or drinking! If you’re planning to do a Port Adventure, make sure everyone can handle wearing those masks for the duration of the tour especially during the heat outdoors!
For Disney Cruise Line sailings that stop in Nassau, mask mandates are similar and required on transportation and in all public areas.
Many of you may be wondering if there are additional restrictions on Port Adventures, and the answer is yes. There are a few important ones you should know.
First, if you’re traveling with anyone under the age of 12 and you want to get off the ship in any port other than Castaway Cay, you MUST book a Port Adventure through Disney Cruise Line! There are no exceptions to this. They simply will not allow you to debark! Travel parties who consist only of people ages 12 and up may choose to take a Disney Cruise Line Port Adventure, book their own excursions on their own, or simply walk off the ship and explore!
Second, if you are booked on a Disney Cruise Line Port Adventure, you must all leave the ship together, and you must ALL RETURN to the ship together. If you become separated from your group either accidentally or on purpose, your immediate party will be required to quarantine in your stateroom! In other words, stay with your group! Once you are onboard, if you would like to leave the ship on your own to shop or dine in the port area, you may do so, but you must return with your group first. (Also, note that anyone younger than 12 will still not be allowed to leave the ship!)
Finally, have fun! Even with masks and heat, we enjoyed both of our Port Adventures and are glad we ventured off the ship. In Cozumel, we learned about and got to help with coral reef restoration, and in Costa Maya, we learned about the Mayan people, met a local Mayan family, and got to see some Mayan ruins. Definitely get out there and adventure!