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carniva cruise key west and cozumel in august 2014

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Hi travelers,

Me and my girlfriends with our kids (ages 2-15) total 8 in our group are going on a carnival cruise to Key West and Cozumel. I need suggestions please as to excursions we can do with the age group that we have. In Key West (7:30- 4:00 PM) we are thinking of doing the conch tour, any suggestion of a cheap and reliable tour guide? We also want to just lay on the beach and let the kids play and swim, we don't like to party and we don't like crowded places. Any suggestions of a kid friendly beach(free) that we can have lunch by the beach in Key West? We are also up to any other suggestions you may have for activities (6-7 hrs.)

We also would like to explore Cozumel, our ship docks at 1:30 PM-10 PM. We like to try the Tulum mayan ruins and explore the beach below it. Are there any souvenir shops near the Tulum ruins? Are they expensive? We are thinking of renting a Van and a driver ($250 for 6 hrs. for a  party of 8) to take us to Tulum and any nearby beach to swim and have dinner, is that a reasonable price? My other concerns are that we will start in the afternoon and not sure how late Tulum is open and if we have enough time to get there and do some sightseeing and swimming and shopping. Is there any other activities we can do at night that is ideal for the kids? We also would like to try great authentic Mexican cuisine preferably seafood. We like the mom and pop restaurant vibe by the beach and do not care for 5 star treatment.

Also, I have heard that there are a lot of taxi or tour guides in the pier where Carnival docks or by the ferry terminal at Cozumel or Playa Del Carmen that will offer you their services at a much cheaper price than the ones advertised in the internet and we have someone in our party that speaks Spanish but I don't know if this is true and safe. Would anyone recommend that we try that instead?

I apologize for asking too much questions and any suggestions will be much appreciated.

Thank You,
Ana

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