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View Full Version : February 25th Magic Western - Mid-Winter Magic


rjh8115
03-20-2006, 12:29 PM
Mid-Winter Magic
Cruise: 7-Night Western Caribbean
When: February 25 – March 4, 2006
Cast: Myself, DW, DS6, DS8, DM, and DA

This was the third DCL cruise for me, DW and both kids and the first one for DM and DA. I booked this cruise for the four of us after we returned from a 4-night trip on the Wonder last February. Our kids' school had their mid-winter break a week after President's Week so the price was pretty reasonable. My DM and DA booked in the fall and almost paid as much for two as we did for four. It pays to book early . . .

Friday, February 24th – Pre-cruise and transit to FL

I managed to snag four round-trip airline tickets on NWA using my FF miles, so that covered our trip down to Orlando and back. My DM and DA had driven down to Florida earlier in the winter to have some much needed sun and warmth. Also, they met up with my sister's family for a week at WDW. We flew down from Detroit on Friday afternoon. I like to have that buffer day (just in case) so we always fly down the day before the cruise departs. Since DM and DA were already there, they picked us up from the airport and we spent the night at the Marriott Orlando Airport ($65.00 per room via Priceline). I got my original bid for this hotel. It is in the 3* category on Priceline. If you fly in the night before and do not want to drive out to Cape Canaveral or Cocoa Beach, then I highly recommend this hotel. It was very nice and very clean. The only downer was that breakfast was not included. So we opted to check out and catch breakfast on the way to the part.

rjh8115
03-20-2006, 12:31 PM
The next morning, we stopped for a quick breakfast by the hotel and started the trek out to the port. The tolls are still the same ($1.25 each way between the airport and the port). 45 minutes later, we climbed the bridge and saw the Magic waiting for us. Since we were a bit early (around 10:00), we drove past the port and headed into town. After the requisite stops at Ron Jon's and Publix (needed bottled water and wine), we headed back to the port. We pulled up to the curb and dumped out our luggage. Usually parking for the Magic is in the lot adjacent to the port building (parking for the Wonder is across the street).

After parking the car ($84.00 for the week – paid up front), we got into the security line. I was surprised to find such a long line (wrapped around a single queue in the lobby and out the door almost to the luggage drop-off area). On our other two DCL cruises, the security line was pretty minimal. It seems that the entire port was shut down for a time being that morning due to a bomb scare and a left bag over by the Carnival dock. The line moved along and soon we were on our way up the escalators (with boarding group 15). We were next in line for the Castaway Club check-in line. Disney has just started offering on-line document check-in so we didn't have to fill out the forms that came in our cruise packet (except for the Bahamas forms). Check-in took 10 minutes tops. While we were finishing check-in, our boarding group was called, so we walked on-board (stopping to sanitize our hands and get our picture taken).

I love entering the atrium and hearing our name announced as we board. We were met by a very friendly CM that directed us to Parrot Cay for lunch. As we approached the restaurant, another CM directed us up to Deck 9 to avoid waiting for a table in Parrot Cay. Since we were still full from breakfast, we decided to skip Topsiders and head straight to the Goofy Pool. The kids changed into their swimsuits and we went to Pinocchio's for our first foo-foo drink of the cruise. While the kids were playing in the pool, we met up with some of our DIS group. Soon it was time to head down to the cabin to get ready for the safety drill.

We booked another category 10 for this tip, on Deck 2 again. This time, we were in 2103 (last year we were in 2601 on the Wonder). I just love the cat 10 cabins. They are plenty big for four (still haven't used up all the storage space). I like having the bed in the back of the cabin. We again brought a few LED nightlights to help illuminate our way to the bathroom at night. A couple of our cases had been delivered, so I started unpacking before we donned our life vests and walked up to Deck 4.

The assembly drill took about 15-20 minutes (the new life vests are much more comfortable to wear). We were assigned to station N which is on the port (shady) side of the ship. Last year we were on the sunny side and boy was it hot. After the drill, we ran back to the room to dump our life vests and then ran up to Deck 9 for the sail away party. We camped out on Deck 9 to watch and participate in the party. One of these days I will remember my video camera to actually record the ship's horn . . . . Since we had early seating for dinner, we went back down to the cabin to finish unpacking and to get ready for dinner right after the party ended.

We asked for early dinner when we booked this cruise. Now with the staggered dining times, our 6:00 dinner became 5:30 (we had APLAPLA rotation). Now I like the staggered times, but 5:30 is just too early for me. We always seemed to be rushing to get ready for dinner. We're actually toying with the idea of switching to late dinner for our next cruise.

We had our own table for the six of us (the reservations were linked together by our TA). Our service team consisted of Pirom from Thailand (server), Oksana from Russia (assistant server), and Gaspare from Italy (head server). Pirom and Oksana were fantastic! They really tried to engage our kids (they are a bit shy). They moved through the meal at a good pace. We never really waited for anything, nor did they rush us to get out. Since we did not have any issues during our dining experience, we really didn't interact with Gaspare much. However, he did stop by our table each night to make sure we were enjoying our dinners. I liked the new ending to the AP show now with Sorcerer Mickey coming by the restaurant. It really adds to the overall show.

After dinner, DM and DA went off to their first Bingo game of the cruise. We stopped by the Lab to register the boys and to pick up our pager. The club and lab now have family time the first night (cannot leave the kids). At first I was a bit put off by this change. However, I think that my kids really enjoyed the family time. It allowed them to become comfortable with the CMs and to meet some of the other kids. After a bit, we left to see the Welcome Aboard show.

This show had juggler David DiMuzio, comedian Gary Delena and the Disney Magic dancers. It was a quick, cute show that allowed for quick bits from David and Gary (wetting the appetite for their shows later in the cruise). After the show, we spent some time in Quarter Masters and then watched some of Around the World in 80 Days on the Dumbotron. Man, I want one of those screens in my house. Of course, I'd have to mount it on the outside of my neighbor's house . . . . We called it a night around 11:30 . . . .

rjh8115
03-20-2006, 12:33 PM
I awoke first and went out in search of coffee. It was a very sunny morning, although a bit windy up on deck. After fetching some java, I went back to the room to see who was stirring. Today was our character breakfast, so we made our way up to Parrot Cay for our 8:30 seating. Breakfast was fun (still can't get that Chip and Dale tune out of my head), although DS8 was a bit grumpy since he was up so late last night.

After breakfast, we hit the Goofy pool while DM and DA tried their hands at bingo again. While swimming around, the Cruise Director Rachel came on to announce that a cold front was approaching Key West. It should get there just about the same time as we were docking. The downside, was that many shore excursions were cancelled. True to form, as we were getting off the ship, the sky opened up. We made a dash for a covered porch to reconnoiter. The kids decided that they wanted to stay on the ship and play in the club and lab.

After the rain let up a bit, I took the kids back on board and checked them into the club and lab while DW, DM, and DA set off to shop Key West. I met up with DW on shore briefly to hit the ATM machine and check out a couple of stores. Since I was unsure about the coverage distance on the pager, I went back onto the ship and spent some quality "me" time at Cove Café.

What a wonder place Cove Café is. The specialty coffees are out of this world (as well as the wonderful service). I really enjoyed sitting inside, reading a book, drinking a Café Latte, and listening to the news. They have a big screen TV that was tuned to CNN with wireless headsets so you could hear the audio.

After everyone came back on board, we cleaned up and went to dinner at Parrot Cay. After dinner, DS8 went off to the lab (had to pry him out of there each night), while the rest of us went to the TV Tunes game in the Promenade Lounge. We did pretty good (came in tied for second place). After that, we went to see Gary Delana do his full family show in the Walt Disney Theatre. We rapped up the night by watching Who Wants To Be A Mouseketeer? (didn't get selected) and enjoying Finding Nemo on the Dumbotron (including some late-night pizza).

rjh8115
03-20-2006, 12:34 PM
Again, I was the first to wake up so I went up to Deck 9 for my morning caffeine hit. Today, we let the kids sleep in so we decided to order room service for breakfast. The kids really like the fact that breakfast can come to them! I like the new process for room service. They print out a receipt for $0.00 and a space to include a tip. This way, you can tip the delivery person without having to have a bunch of singles on hand. Very convenient . . .

We spent a good chunk of the day lounging around the Goofy Pool with the kids. DS8 spent some quality time in the Lab with his friends. DM and DA hit bingo again, and DW and I tried our hands at the chip-it golf contest in the Lobby. Soon it was time to clean up for Formal Night.

We made it to the Lobby around 5:00 to meet Captain Thord and partake in the complementary cocktails before dinner in Lumiere's. After dinner, we took DS8 to the Lab and went to check out the pictures at Shutters. We then made our way to the Walt Disney Theater to see the Golden Mickeys.

After the show, DS6 wanted to swim and watch Miracle on the Dumbotron (let's not forget the late-night pizza). I was able to see just about the entire film before heading down to the Lab to get DS8 for the night. We called it a day around 12:30.

rjh8115
03-20-2006, 12:36 PM
Today, we had pre-booked an excursion with Captain Marvin's for a trip to Stingray City and Coral Gardens (2 ½ hours, total cost for 6 was around US$195.00). Since our bus did not leave until 11:15, we had a bit of a cushion to get off the ship. This was our first experience with tendering on Disney. They have you gather your entire party and proceed to the Buena Vista Theater (Deck 5, Aft) to get tender tickets. Once a boat became available, they released the exact amount of people and escorted them to the correct tender lobby (they were using both the Aft and Forward tender lobbies on Deck 1). This cut down on traffic in the stairwells. Like everything else they do, Disney knows how to move people.

We all met up for breakfast in Parrot Cay. Then we gathered our stuff and made our way to Deck 5. After a short wait, we were escorted to the Aft tender lobby. We made it to shore around 9:30 so we had a bit of time to kill before meeting our group. We browsed through some stores as we made our way north of the tender piers. Captain Marvin's office in town is about a 5 minute walk up Harbour Drive (the street parallel to the waterfront).

While waiting for our tour to board the bus, we hung out with some other DISers and took some pictures of the Magic anchored in the bay. Around 11:15, we boarded our bus and were driven up to the marina. There we met our captain, mate, and camera person for the trip. They briefed us where we were going, what to do, etc. and then we were off. It was quite breezy, so it made for some chop along the way.

Unfortunately, the rough seas made for very difficult snorkeling conditions. Our first stop was Coral Gardens. Both our boys were scared of the high waves and opted out of snorkeling here. DW, DA, I gave it a shot. Boy was it hard. I did get a chance to see some fish, but the best views were down a bit. It was difficult to dive down, then come back up and clear the snorkel with the waves. Next, we headed off to Stingray City.

For those of you who have never been there, Stingray City is a sandbar out in the middle of the North Sound. The water is around 3 feet deep which makes it very nice for the kids as they can stand. However, the waves made this pretty tricky. This time, we got DS6 in the water (DS8 tried and went back on board the boat). The waves made standing still very difficult, but we did get some quality time with the stingrays. At one point, one of our group got "away" and the crew dropped everything they were doing and swam off to help her. After the requisite photos, kisses, massages, etc., we were on our way back to shore.

After we returned to town, the six of us set off for Senior Frogs for some lunch (and a margarita or two). I had forgotten how expensive Grand Cayman can be. It seemed like everything on the menu was CI$10.00. Total bill for the six of us was around US$140.00 (ouch!). We did a bit more shopping and made one of the last tenders back to the Magic. This is one port where you really need to pay attention to the time. The last tender leaves at 4:00. If you miss it, you get to watch your ship leave without you!

We got cleaned up and then it was time to shuffle everyone to different activities. This was Palo Dinner Night for DW and I so we had the kids head up to their clubs for dinner. DM and DA went to AP for dinner and DW and I went up to Palo. What a fantastic dinner! Each course was delicious and the service was impeccable. Of course, we had to top off the dinner with the chocolate soufflé desert (wildly decadent and delicious!)

Once they rolled us out of Palo, we wandered the ship a bit. We caught the adult cabaret show in the Rockin' Bar D before fetching DS6 from the Club (DS8 closed the Lab again!). Bedtime was around 12:30-1:00am again . . . If this keeps up, I'm going to need a vacation from my vacation . . .

rjh8115
03-20-2006, 12:37 PM
This was the one port I was really looking forward to visiting. Of all the ports on this trip, we've never been to Costa Maya before. When we first heard that Cozumel was being replaced, I was a bit bummed. We were planning on a beach day at Paradise Beach. However, after I started researching Costa Maya, I was intrigued. This place looked very different from anything I'd ever seen before. We pre-booked a Mayan ruins tour through David and Ivan ($43/person).

Since all-ashore wasn't until 10:00, we all had a late morning. Breakfast was in the room again. DM and DA decided to skip the ruins tour as they were just beat from Grand Cayman, so the four of us set off after the ship docked.

Costa Maya is a port facility that the Mexican government built to increase tourism for the southern "Mexican Riviera." Basically, they purpose built a port facility in consultation with the cruise lines. There is enough room for three ships to dock. They built a salt-water pool, entertainment, food, and shops all in an enclosed compound. The little village of Majahual is about 5km south of the port facility.

We did a quick look around the port facilities, then got in line for a shuttle to Majahual. The port authority has an exclusive contract for transportation out of the port. Everyone going to Majahaul (and most excursions) must use their shuttle van system. It costs US$3.00 per person to go into town. You must purchase tickets before getting on the bus. Returning from town, you must use a yellow taxi cab ($2.00 per person). Even if you do not have any excursions planned, I would recommend a trip into Majahual. It is like going back in time to what Cancun and Cozumel were like 30-40 years ago. Their big change was the establishment of electricity just a couple of years ago!

We met our tour guides just inside the town boarders at a beach-side restaurant called the Cats Meow. If we had more time, we would have loved to try the food (prices seemed pretty reasonable). While we were waiting for our tour bus, our guide described how the culture is changing with all the tourism the new port has brought to the area. It was fascinating to hear about the changes that these people are grappling with and how much has changed just in this generation.

After a 50-60 minute bus trip (air conditioned), we arrived at the Chacchoben Mayan Ruins. Ivan then took our small group around the different ruins that have been discovered so far. He believes that they have only scratched the surface and that there are many more buildings to be found. He told us about Mayan life, which was really fascinating. You see, he is Mayan and grew up with is large family in this area. This tour was the highlight of the trip! Just talking with Ivan and seeing these sights was incredible. As we were leaving the park, the cruise ship tours arrived. If you're going, I would recommend booking with David and Ivan. We had about 12-15 people in our group compared to the hundreds in the cruise ship tours.

After a quick snack, we set off back to the port. DW decided to do some shopping in the port area, so I took the kids back on board to get some late lunch and take a much needed swim in the pool. Since tonight was Pirate Night, we soon headed off to the cabin to get changed.

The Pirate dinner for us was in Parrot Cay (best place for Pirate Night IMHO). We had fun parading around the restaurant and doing a bit of limbo. After dinner, the WDT was showing the new movie Eight Below. The kids enjoyed the movie, but DS8 was ready to head up to the Sports Deck (Deck 10, Forward) to join the Lab for the evening. DS6, DW, and I settled into a spot on Deck 10 to watch the Pirates IN the Caribbean party. This is a must attend party. Also the fireworks are very cool! How many ships intentionally setoff fireworks during a party! After the deck party, there is a fair size dessert and pirate-themed buffet on Deck 9. We got a great shot of DS6 using two hands to hold his turkey leg!

We finished off the night watching the movie Pirates of the Caribbean on the Dumbotron. After another long day, we called it a night around midnight.

rjh8115
03-20-2006, 12:38 PM
Ah, lazy sea days! Gotta love 'em . . . :goodvibes :cheer2: :woohoo:

We decided to head up to Topsiders (Deck 9, Aft) for breakfast this morning. We got a nice table outside on the back patio area. While we were eating, I watched the Magic just dust a Carnival ship. The captain said we were doing about 19 knots, so the other ship must have been dogging it some. Today's plan was to lounge around until it was time for our Palo High Tea. We all spent some amounts of time swimming, sunning, reading, playing, etc. Both kids wanted to meet up with some other kids to dual with their Yu-Gi-Oh cards so DW took them and they camped out in the area outside of the WDT. This allowed yours truly to have some nice alone time up on Deck 10. Oh I miss the sun already . . .

Soon it was time to get changed for Palo and shuffle the kids off to their respective groups. DW and I met DM and DA up in Palo and had a wonderful time sipping tea (pinky fingers out please!) and snacking on warm scones and fresh sandwiches. After Palo, we picked up DS8 and then went to watch DS6 in the D-Sea-U "graduation" ceremony. If you have kids in the programs, they are encouraged to participate. During the show, they display tons of pictures from the cruise. We saw a bunch of pictures of both kids (money making opportunity here DCL – make them available for purchase in Shutters!). It was a cute show, but then we had to quickly get the kids changed for semi-formal night (DW and I were already dressed). After dinner in Lumiere's, both boys wanted to go back into their clubs. This gave DW and I a bit of adult time, so we set off for the Quite Cove pools.

While we were soaking in the pool, the captain came on and said that we needed to make a quick stop in Miami to drop off a sick passenger. However, we were still on for Castaway Cay, so all was OK. It was funny as we approached Florida, everyone seemed to grab their cell phones to make calls. I overheard one person get chastised by their caller for calling so late . . . Anyway, we all made it to bed around midnight again . . . .

rjh8115
03-20-2006, 12:39 PM
Getting up early today was not in the cards for this family. However, I did make up onto deck in time to see the Magic back into port at Castaway Cay. Since the kids and DW were dragging still, I set off onto the island with DM and DA to setup base camp for the day. After staking our claims, we set off for Serenity Bay (adult beach) for a look see. Once there, we needed to partake in a Konk Kooler (yum!) and did a bit of sightseeing.

We then headed back to the family beach so I could do a bit of snorkeling. Soon, DW and the boys made their way off the ship and to the beach. Everyone had some fun in the water, then we went off to grab some lunch at Cookies BBQ. I just love the soft-serve cookie dough ice cream!

After lunch, we split up. DS6 and I went off to rent bikes and see the sights around the island while DS8 and DW went off to the Grouper Pavilion to get out of the sun and play some games. It was at this point that I noticed our brick of a digital camera decided to head south. It couldn't make up its mind on what to do. After losing some of the pictures I took (they were either all black or all white), I did what any normal male would do – I smacked it really hard. Surprise, surprise that fixed it! At lease we didn't lose all the pictures.

After riding bikes, we all met up and walked out to the Head Up Bar for some liquid refreshments. We then went back to the family beach to get some more time in the water. Soon it was time to head back to the ship. Here's a tip, don't wait until the end of the day, the lines to get back on were super long!

We got cleaned up and made our way down to AP for our last dinner of the cruise. This is fun and sad at the same time. We really got to know our service team and they did a fantastic job. At the end of dinner, they chefs come through the dining room parading the Baked Alaska and the servers all come through singing "It's A Small World." We got the final pictures with our team and then went off to pack up the room. DW took the kids to the Lab for one last evening of fun. I stayed behind to pack up our home for the week (we could not have brought this much stuff!!!). After getting the bags outside by 11:00pm, I set off to find everyone else. I stopped by Diversions to have a quick beer, then met up with DW and DS6 after the Remember the Magic – A Final Farewell show. We then picked up DS8 from the Lab and called it a night. We had a very early wakeup call the next morning. :hourglass

rjh8115
03-20-2006, 12:41 PM
The alarm clock went off at 5:45am. :sad2:

We had to be at breakfast in AP by 6:30 (yikes). We had a quick breakfast and said goodbye to our team. We then walked off the ship, found our bags (with the help of a porter), made our way through Customs and out to the car. I had hoped that we would be out of there by 9:00. We were on the road by 8:45 with plenty of time to make our 11:40 flight home out of Orlando.

Well, that's our story. I hope you enjoyed reading it. Please let me know if you have any questions about our trip. We had so much fun, that we rebooked while on board for the Feb 3rd 2007 Eastern trip. We're already counting down the days . . . .

:wave:

LisaSp
03-20-2006, 01:43 PM
Thanks for a great report! We got on the Magic the day you got off for the Eastern, and rebooked for a Western next time so now I am closely reading the Western reports! Glad you had a "magical" time on the ship!

OHJulie
03-20-2006, 03:23 PM
Thanks you so much for the wonderful trip report. I love all of your details - there was a lot here that I had not seen before. I am sooo looking forward to the Cove Cafe! Looks like you enjoyed the tea at Palo. We have this booked for our trip along with Dinner and Brunch- do you think it is worth it considering we will be in Palo two other times?

Thanks again for taking the time to report on your MAGICal trip!

lUVTOGO
03-20-2006, 03:32 PM
Great Report! We also did stingray city on our last cruise, and my little one was terrified of the stingrays. The next cruise we are doing the Eastern again as my husband likes the 3 days at sea! Glad you had a great time and I really enjoyed the report!!

anty30
03-20-2006, 03:55 PM
RJH,
Were your kids bored on the ruins tour in Costa Maya? I was thinking about doing it, but my kids are 8 & 5 and I am worried they will be bored and miserable in the heat. :confused3

repeatcruiser
03-20-2006, 04:49 PM
RJH,
Were your kids bored on the ruins tour in Costa Maya? I was thinking about doing it, but my kids are 8 & 5 and I am worried they will be bored and miserable in the heat. :confused3

We were on the same cruise and did this tour - our kids are 6 and 9 (boy/girl) and they loved it. It was warm (mid to high 80's), but much of the ruins is covered by very large trees, so much of the tour is in the shade. My daughter had just received the new American Girl book about Jess - who is a 10 year old girl from Michigan whose parents take her on a dig of Mayan ruins in Balize (which is very near the Chacchoben ruins) - so she really was interested in this trip. My son is very interested in history, so he liked it too. Of course, they did complain once or twice about the heat, but I reminded them that it was 15 degrees and snowing at home - they stopped complaining!

ibouncetoo
03-20-2006, 08:06 PM
Really enjoyed your report, Rick! I love the way you 'repaired' your digital camera.....so male ::yes::

I totally agree with you about Cove Cafe....is spent quite a bit of time there on my 4 day cruise and can't wait to take my coffee-loving, book-reading sister there on our 7 day Double Dip this November.

Glad to hear your thumbs-up review of the Costa Maya ruins tour. It's on the top of our list (along with the Royal Dolphin Swim in Cozumel....if Disney ever makes it back there!).

Babs417
03-20-2006, 09:12 PM
Thanks alot great trip report. :thumbsup2 :thanks: :sail: counting the days to my trip May 20

dlf246
03-20-2006, 09:25 PM
Everyone going to Majahaul (and most excursions) must use their shuttle van system. It costs US$3.00 per person to go into town. You must purchase tickets before getting on the bus. Returning from town, you must use a yellow taxi cab ($2.00 per person).
Great, great report!
I have one question: I thought you could walk past the line for the shuttle and just beyond you can get a taxi to majahaul, no problem...???

rjh8115
03-21-2006, 06:25 AM
Thanks you so much for the wonderful trip report. I love all of your details - there was a lot here that I had not seen before. I am sooo looking forward to the Cove Cafe! Looks like you enjoyed the tea at Palo. We have this booked for our trip along with Dinner and Brunch- do you think it is worth it considering we will be in Palo two other times?

Thanks again for taking the time to report on your MAGICal trip!

Thanks Julie! Yes Palo is worth it. Each meal is different, so doing all three will be a special treat! Enjoy . .

rjh8115
03-21-2006, 06:28 AM
RJH,
Were your kids bored on the ruins tour in Costa Maya? I was thinking about doing it, but my kids are 8 & 5 and I am worried they will be bored and miserable in the heat. :confused3

Hi Anty!

My DS6 started to complain a bit near the end of the tour. However, there was a nice mix of history and exploring (climbing some stairs, chasing around an animal, etc.) to keep the DS8 interested the whole time. It wasn't too hot as most of the park is under the tree canopy. David and Ivan provide bottled water along the way to help keep you hydrated. Funny side note, their bottled water was from Costco, but the labels were in Spanish . . .

rjh8115
03-21-2006, 06:30 AM
Great, great report!
I have one question: I thought you could walk past the line for the shuttle and just beyond you can get a taxi to majahaul, no problem...???

I don't think that is possible. The yellow taxis cannot pick anyone up from inside the port facility. I guess you could try to walk out of the gates and see if one would pick you up along the road, but it's not worth the risk. Otherwise, it's a dusty 5km walk to town. The line for the shuttles went pretty quickly, and this was with three ships in port (current limit).

michelle9343
03-21-2006, 07:04 AM
Thanks for a great report.

ansky922
03-21-2006, 08:48 AM
I must say excellent report. Alot of great info for when I go in july :thanks:

anty30
03-21-2006, 10:05 AM
Hi Anty!

My DS6 started to complain a bit near the end of the tour. However, there was a nice mix of history and exploring (climbing some stairs, chasing around an animal, etc.) to keep the DS8 interested the whole time. It wasn't too hot as most of the park is under the tree canopy. David and Ivan provide bottled water along the way to help keep you hydrated. Funny side note, their bottled water was from Costco, but the labels were in Spanish . . .


Thanks so much. Loved you report.
Anty

Jillpie
03-21-2006, 10:31 PM
Hi Rick, loved your report.

We'll be on the double dip cruise in June. My DH and oldest DS18 want to go on this ruin tour. How far ahead did you book it and where do you go to book it? How did you pay, online? How did you find out how to meet them, was it confusing to get there? What did you bring with you, did you bring a bag lunch from the ship? One last one, were you back on the ship by noonsh? I will be at Maj. beach with a bunch of Disers...I wonder if they could meet us there after the ruin tour, is that doable? Thanks so much!

rjh8115
03-22-2006, 06:28 AM
Hi Rick, loved your report.

We'll be on the double dip cruise in June. My DH and oldest DS18 want to go on this ruin tour. How far ahead did you book it and where do you go to book it? How did you pay, online? How did you find out how to meet them, was it confusing to get there? What did you bring with you, did you bring a bag lunch from the ship? One last one, were you back on the ship by noonsh? I will be at Maj. beach with a bunch of Disers...I wonder if they could meet us there after the ruin tour, is that doable? Thanks so much!

Hi Jillpie,
We booked directly with David and Ivan through their website (http://www.chacchobenruins.com/default.html). They did not require a CC number or pre-payment to secure our reservations. When we met our tour guides in Mahahual, we paid them the $43 per person in cash (they only accept cash at this time). Since our cruise itinierary was changed to Costa Maya from Cozumel only 3 weeks prior to sailing, we booked about then.

When you book with them, they will send you a map and directions when and where to meet. Basically, the tours leave approximately 1 hour after the ships dock. You take a shuttle from the port complex to town. The Cats Meow is the first beach front Restaurant you come to when you get to town.

We brought some snacks and drinks from the ship. They provide bottled water (from Costco). Also, along the way, we stopped in this tiny village and they got us some very fresh pinapple (best I've ever had).

We docked around 10:30, so our tour left around 11:30. We were back by 3:00 I think. The driver offered to drop us off in town or take us back to the port facility so we went back. You would still have time to meet up with others at one of the beach facilities in town.

I hope this helps. This was definitely the highlight of the trip.

Have a great time!

hmbbears
03-22-2006, 07:07 AM
Wonderful story!

Jillpie
03-22-2006, 11:00 AM
Rick, thank you so much for those answers, very helpful. The snacks you brought...did you find you really needed them since you just had breakfast? Also, did you need bug spray for this tour? Thanks alot for that link, I'll book my DH and DS today! :thumbsup2

rjh8115
03-22-2006, 02:45 PM
Rick, thank you so much for those answers, very helpful. The snacks you brought...did you find you really needed them since you just had breakfast? Also, did you need bug spray for this tour? Thanks alot for that link, I'll book my DH and DS today! :thumbsup2

Yes we did need them as my two boys love to eat :rotfl2: . . .

And yes, we did use bug spray. Although I didn't really see any around . . .

kellimomo3
03-23-2006, 06:14 AM
Hi Rick,

It's Kelli. We were on the cruise with you and I just wanted to chime it regarding Costa Maya. Yes, you CAN walk past the buses and get a cab into Mahajal. We had read about it here before we left and our party of 20 actually did this. You just walk out of the port and start down the road and as soon as you pass through the gate the taxis come right to you.
Griffin and Ryan say hi to Matt and Jason says hi to Zach!!

Kelli
:groom: princess: pirate: pirate: pirate:

disgal1
03-29-2006, 03:40 PM
Thanks for the terrific report!!

I also am on the June 24 double dip, and emailed David and Ivan to do the ruins tour.

I'll be going solo, since DH and DS are doing the jeep tour.
Any other solo gals going, I'd love to meet up with some other disers!

Thanks again for the great report!!

poconoboatniks
03-30-2006, 05:13 PM
HI Rick,

It's Ellen from last year's Wonder cruise. Glad to hear you guys liked the Magic! We leave next week for Western. :banana: :banana: Who was your server in Palo? We're hoping to see Florencia or Marco. Nice job on the camera. I wonder what Eileen had to say about that?

Pocono

rjh8115
03-31-2006, 01:03 PM
Hi Ellen,
It's so nice to hear from you again. You know, I have forgotten our server's name at Palo. He was from Italy if that helps . . . I can't believe I forgot his name . . .

The camera issue was just too funny. After I told Ilene what I did, she now is ready to "fix" it again. It gives me a reason to shop for a new one now . . . .

Have a great time on your trip. We loved the western trip. Our favorite stop (outside of Castaway Cay) was Costa Maya.

Take care . . .

rjh8115
03-31-2006, 01:04 PM
Hi Rick,

Griffin and Ryan say hi to Matt and Jason says hi to Zach!!

Kelli
:groom: princess: pirate: pirate: pirate:

Hi Kelli,
Matt and Zack miss your three boys . . . Let's hope we can travel together again in the future . . .

BethA
03-31-2006, 03:03 PM
We had Pirom a few years ago on the Magic and when we returned the next year he remembered us. My younger son loved him.

Great post---glad I read about the snacks for the tour. I never thought about it. I better remember to have something ti put them in.

We are also on the June 24--I saw another poster mention that cruise.