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View Full Version : Back from the 4/8-15 Western


lak
04-18-2006, 12:04 AM
Report---rambling, (I apologize).

This was our first cruise. The biggest advice I have, (in my opinion) is to RELAX. Don't get wrapped up in so many details ahead of time. Don't plan every moment and you'll enjoy yourself.

Didn't reserve anything in advance for Grand Cayman or Key West. But did the submarine at Cozumel.

Key West: Walked to Jimmy Buffet's place to buy t-shirts. Then back on the ship. Was a nice stroll that wasn't too much. Stopped at a drug store to have photos transferred to disk...only cost $2.99.
Noticed a walking tour that was difficult for all the people to hear...some were lost in the back.

Grand Cayman: On the ship, booked the stingray, rum point excursion. Blew off the sting ray because we were too relaxed at rum point. I didnt think rum point was that great. But relaxing the beach and watching the girls play in the water was worth it.

Cozumel: Strolled through a few shops. Then Submarine - was awesome. Another family told us later they walked clear down to a beach that was past the family beach you hear of. (blank on the name). No one was there and had a server pretty much to themselves. They said beach was beautiful.

Castaway Cay...LOVE it! Kids just played and played. Note...if your children go to the play structure, or are on a floatie, you are to be with them. Saw a boy get trapped in his intertube. Lifeguard dove in, put him on her board..took him to shore. She checked his wristband, whipped out the list of children's names...and I'm sure, made the mom provide the password. SO impressed by the security!

Tendering: Didnt spend much time in the theater waiting for our turn. Must have timed it perfectly.

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Day before: Stayed in Cocoa Beach at Courtyard. Hotel is great. But Cocoa Beach is not. If you stay at Courtyard...they now serve meals in the dining room.

Checking into the ship: I think we were the first ones in line outside. DH stayed with luggage waiting for gate to open, while the kids and I went down to the entrance gate. They let us walk right in at about 11:00. DH met us inside. Was able to change our dining time from late to early - 5:45. Was perfect for us.

Shows: Twice Charmed had technical difficulties, so they switched the night...which fell on the evening we had Palo reservations, and the Pirate party. But we made it work. Went from Palo, to Twice Charmed to Pirate party. Because of the high winds, they repositioned the ship for the pirate party. Kids just had on the scarfs they provide at dinner, (which we missed due to Palo dinner..but we just went to the dining room, found our servers and they gave them to us). Jeff, the head server, pulled strings at Palo to move our time from 6:30 to 6:00 so that we wouldn't miss the show.

Loved all the shows.

We missed the first night show. We chose to see a movie...probably only about 12 of us in the theater. Loved going to the movie theater. Because of the Twice Charmed problem, they surprised cruise with the premere of The Wild. But we didn't make it to that one.

Kids Clubs: Each day, just had our kids look at the Navigator to decide what they wanted to do. if Kids clubs were doing something "cool"...we let them go--unless there was something special we wanted to do as a family.

You just can't do everything. So much less stressful to not even try. Took me 2 days to relax and get out of that Planning mode. That is my biggest regret.

Biggest complaint: I had cancelled a spa reservation 2 days before the cruise. Had a message in the staterooom that I had missed my 8:00 facial! They told me they wouldn't charge me if I would reschedule. They wouldn't let me out of it. SO...I scheduled one--only time available was during the character breakfast!!! Jeff, the head server, was fantastic. He was able to change our breakfast to late seating so that I wouldn't miss it. I've had some fantastic facials..but this was not one of them. WAY overpriced. My opinion...Save your money and time....you can always get that kind of thing at home.

I also was amazed at the number of people who throw things on chairs around the pool to save seats..early in the morning....and there were only 2 people at the pool!

Don't stack your pictures at Shutters as was advized. They have signs everywhere to not do that because they move pictures around. I stacked mine one day---took forever to find them because they were moved. Be prepared for total chaose at Shutters on the last night. And they charge a ton of money. We bought our formal night pictures....$20 for an 8x10.

Feel free to ask me questions. I'm tired and rambling!

cruisin4disney
04-18-2006, 08:10 AM
Thank you for taking the time to post a trip report! We are also on a western cruise in June and will be staying at the Courtyard prior to the cruise. What did you think of the beach? How was the pool?

UMTerp
04-18-2006, 09:36 AM
Lori - Great trip report! Sorry I didn't get to meet you but glad you had a good time!

UMTerp