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First-time Disney Cruise: Excursions?

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In April our family of four (with 5 and 8 year olds) will take our first cruise on Disney Magic in Eastern Caribbean. I read extensively in this site and Disney Cruise website, but I need a little help in deciding which shore excursions to book. We will be stopping at St. Marteen, St. Thomas, and Castaway Cay.

First, is it practical to plan many excursions with 5 and 8 year-olds in tow? I noticed that most excursions leave early in the morning, and the kids will be fairly tired after a day full of activities including late-night theater.
Second, we are not snorkler types, but we love visiting historical sites, architecture, shopping, and good food. Is it something that we can do around the port on foot, or should we book a shore excursions, or rent a taxi and do on our own?
Third, some people warn the lack of safety in St. Marteen and St. Thomas. Should we really be discouraged from going on our own?
Fourth, one thing I am interested in is St. John island tour, since I heard that it is a beautiful island. Anybody experienced this tour, and was it worth the price?
Fifth, we are going to dabble in snorkeling in Castaway Cay, since we have all day there and it sounds like a very relaxed atmosphere, but is this a good idea?
Last, if there is any good website to find out more about shore excursions in general in that area, please let me know.

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