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Piper
08-19-2012, 03:46 PM
Hi, everyone. This will be an unusual trip report (I hope.) It is my idea to have several of the posters from our cruise meet thread go together to give you a group trip report. Hopefully, we will be able to give you the perspective of several different families. We hope to offer lots of pictures (including pictures of rooms and activities.) Some of us will be doing different excursions or in my case staying on the ship!

I am Paula (Piper) and I am a "senior" so I am going to tell you about my experiences from my viewpoint. I also use an ECV on a daily basis and have a HC veranda room reserved. I will be travelling with my sister, Nancy who is 11 years my junior.

Here are some pictures to introduce my sister and I.Here I am

http://inlinethumb17.webshots.com/6160/2111587270067077547S500x500Q85.jpg

And here is my sister with her granddaughter (her first)

https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/525600_3390992450989_1133821177_n.jpg

I am going to close for a few days to give other people a chance to introduce themselves. Hopefully, we'll soon have a variety!

IlovemythreeC's
08-19-2012, 07:49 PM
It is so great to see you:) Looking forward to meeting you on the cruise. My family would like to participate also:)

Here is a recent picture of us

http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a355/colbycheese1996/293258_4212838396567_872391660_n.jpg

Jason, Tammy, Colby (16), Cassidy (12) and Caleb (6)

We are so excited about this cruise!!

We are Disney World addicts and go several times a year ~ we recently sailed for a 3 night preview of the Disney Fantasy (this was our first cruise ever) ~ it was an INCREDIBLE experience and left us wanting more!! We are so thrilled to be on this 7 night cruise~

My name is Tammy and this trip is especially exciting for me in that I will be finished with a 2 year internship for my license as a professional counselor the day before we sail. I have 3 beautiful children and a sweet husband that you can see pictured above. We also own a travel agency :)

My husband's name is Jason and he works in managment at AT&T. He loves travelling to Disney as much as I do:) He coaches our son's T-ball and is an avid golfer and pin collector.

My son, Colby, is 16 years old. He's a Junior at Evangel Christian Academy and plays basketball and baseball. He loves the Denver Broncos. He has big aspirations in life. A big pin trader and wants to be a Big Wig of the Magic Kingdom park. You will find him at the vibe, basketball courts, and wherever there is food.

My daughter, Cassidy, is 12 years old and a sweetheart!! She loves to sing, fix her hair, paint her nails, and is always looking for a fun time. You may be able to see her sing Karaoke in the evenings, draw at the Art of Animation, swim in the pool and she loves DISNEY TRIVIA!

Our sweet son, Caleb (6), is a joy to our family~ He loved hanging out at the Kids Club while on the Disney Fantasy. He also loved the Mickey Mouse waterside and hot tub. Our amazing server, Peter, brought him all the french fries he could eat last sailing and Caleb is counting on that for this cruise also. You will also probably find him getting ice cream throughout the day.

We are also so happy to have very special life long friends traveling with us. They are blessed with 6 precious children who are so excited to go on the cruise. We are looking forward to this time together!

We have not decided what excursions we will go on yet, but are looking at the Nachi Cocum in Cozumel. We are open to suggestions:)

Looking very forward to meet new friends on this sailing

Belle6000
08-20-2012, 09:13 AM
http://i1076.photobucket.com/albums/w459/Belle6000/Facebook/Disneyland%202011/078fe2a3.jpg

This will be our 2nd Disney cruise. We took a 3 night Bahama cruise in 2009. It was great, but not nearly long enough!

Our perspective is a family with tweens/teens.

A little about us...

My DH just enjoys relaxing on the ship. Having a drink, soaking in the hot tub, etc. He's pretty laid back.

I like to see and do everything!! Sometimes my vacations are so exhausting I need another one just to recover! :) I love the shows onboard and watching movies in the theater. I, too, like the hot tub and a nice tropical drink. I'm going to bring workout clothes on this cruise so we'll see if I get around to going to the gym on board or not. As of right now, I have really good intentions!

My DS is 14 and will be hanging out in the teen area this time. He's very excited. He also likes the sports deck and is a very frequent visitor to the ice cream machine!

My DD is 9, almost 10. She'll be in the kids area. Last time we cruised she was 6 and was only in the oceaneer's club. From what I understand, they have changed things up a little and she will be able to go to either the club or the lab. She still likes meeting the characters and she loves to swim.

And we all LOVE the food!

Or plans for this cruise are:

Cozumel: We have booked the Cozumel Highlights and Ruins tour. It includes a tour of Mayan ruins, a tour of a tequila factory and some sightseeing.
If we aren't too tired in the afternoon, we may do a little shopping or visit the chocolate factory.

Costa Maya: We are just going to explore on our own... maybe some shopping or swimming in the pools, or maybe head down to the beach for a massage.

Grand Cayman: We are still trying to decide. I think we are going to explore on our own. Some of the things we might do include the car museum, the Tortuga rum cake factory, a semi sub tour or maybe the Grand Cayman museum. My DH would like to snorkel, but no one else wants to go so he probably won't do it by himself.

I'll be sure to post a review of whatever we end up doing.

Phelpsie70
08-22-2012, 07:17 AM
Hello, I thought I would join in as well. :thumbsup2

This will be our fourth Disney cruise, and our third on the Magic. We first went on the Magic in 2007, and so I have a soft spot for her. It will be myself (Michele), my husband Chris, and our son Connor (nearly 10) on this cruise. So I guess I will give the parents of an only child perspective. ;) We love cruising Disney because while we can all be together, it also gives us the opportunity to do separate things. My son can play with other kids and not be stuck with his parents the whole time, and my husband and I get time alone as well.

Chris recently got his scuba certification, so he'll be doing scuba excursions on Cozumel and Grand Cayman. Connor and I just love being on the ship, so at least for Grand Cayman, we'll be spending the day together on board. We may get off at Cozumel and check out Paradise Beach. We are all doing a beach day at Costa Maya at the Almaplena Beach Resort.

Looking forward to the cruise and meeting everyone!

TxMermaid1
08-22-2012, 08:01 AM
Hi, I am Jill and I will be traveling with a friend (Bev) I met on the EBTA last year. This will be our 4th cruise together. Amazing the friends you make on a DCL cruise! Hubby and I will be on the Galveston Inaugural Cruise leaving on Sept. 22. Bev is also on that cruise. She and I decided we needed another week so we are staying on for this cruise and doing a B2B. I live in Fort Worth and Bev lives in Ca.

The last few weeks I have been working on FE gifts. I am making them not only for me but for several of my family members that will be on the Inaugural cruise. We have 5 cabins on that cruise. This cruise will be more of a relaxing cruise for us.

DH and I are both scuba instructors so I have to pack my gear for the Inaugural cruise. I plan to send it back home with him and not dive on this cruise. I think we will just relax and do whatever we decide at the time.
I have 9 grandchildren and sure wish some of them were on the cruise with me. The pic below is a pic of my middle grand daughter and myself on the Panama Canal cruise last year. This will be my 9th Disney Cruise and yes, I am a Disneyholic. I have been to WDW, DL Euro-Disney & Tokyo Disney. I need to make it to China's Disney to make it complete.

Here's the pic of my grand daughter and I. Looking forward to meeting everyone.

http://i1237.photobucket.com/albums/ff471/TxMermaid1/Disney%20pics/59500612.jpg

Piper
08-22-2012, 10:13 AM
I am so glad to see others posting on our group report!! We may even have some others join later.

I thought I would post a picture of my sister, brother and I when Nancy was a baby:

https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/19441_1272656373911_5234774_n.jpg

Nancy is a very busy lady. She runs my brother's business (he is retired) and has a very high stress job. She is really looking forward to relaxing on our trip. Her husband, Dan is going to dog sit with my service dog Lucy and their dog Pepper. I know Lucy will be a lot happier with Dan than in a kennel!

I am a retired teacher. I've been retired since the close of the 2009-10 school year. I have lived my whole life with challenges. I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis at the age of 12. I also have Neurofibromatosis, type I, Lupus, Diabetes, and high blood pressure. My mobility has declined a lot during the last few years. I use a forearm crutch and have my own ECV that I use daily at home.

Lucy is my diabetes alert dog. I won't be bringing her on the cruise....I am not sure how she will do being separated form me. She takes her job very seriously! Here is her picture (she is in the basket of my ECV.) http://inlinethumb64.webshots.com/47039/2854403710067077547S500x500Q85.jpg

I have been very busy making FE gifts. I will post pictures after we sail so they will be a surprise. I am also making a list of things not to forget to pack. Here is what I have so far:

power strip with extension (to charge ECV at night)
dollar bills for room service tips and five dollar bills for tips for luggage handlers
hangers with clips (for bathing suit drying)
phone & charging cord
Camera & charger
Kindle & charger
collapsing clothes hamper
quart zip lock bags
pashmina
sweater
Fish extenders
FE gifts

That is what I have right now--feel free to add your must packs to the thread.
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Belle6000
08-22-2012, 12:32 PM
I have also started makinig my packing list. I have some of the same things as you Piper, but here are a few more...

beach bag
sunscreen
fanny pack
air/room freshener
my own box of nice, soft Kleenex :)
extra hangers (I bring cheap ones that come from the store. We never seem to have enough provided in the room when we travel.)
Wine & corkscrew
Laundry detergent
scissors (for cutting zip ties on luggage)
safety pins
fold up bag (that can be unfolded and used as a carry on the day we leave the ship)
insect repellant (I read that we are going to Cozumel during mosquito season!)
OTC medicine & bandaids
Empty water bottles & cups
over the door shoe organizer (for our shoes) and another pocket organizer that is smaller to hang on the inside of the bathroom door.

jtanddolly
08-23-2012, 11:32 PM
I thought I would let you know I will be following your thread as I'm planning a cruise out of Galveston next year. I look forward to hearing all of your cruise tips and tricks and things you loved and maybe didn't love so much so that I can plan a wonderful trip for my family. Thanks for posting for those of us going on future trips out of Galveston!

One tip that I have seen that I will probably use is get one of those behind the door shoe organizers with pockets for shoes. Then you can hang it up in the bathroom (or some place in the cabin) to store all of your bathroom items, make up, etc. Also, take water bottles so that you can fill them up with water and sodas at the free drink stations on board.

Piper
08-24-2012, 04:53 AM
I thought I would let you know I will be following your thread as I'm planning a cruise out of Galveston next year. I look forward to hearing all of your cruise tips and tricks and things you loved and maybe didn't love so much so that I can plan a wonderful trip for my family. Thanks for posting for those of us going on future trips out of Galveston!

One tip that I have seen that I will probably use is get one of those behind the door shoe organizers with pockets for shoes. Then you can hang it up in the bathroom (or some place in the cabin) to store all of your bathroom items, make up, etc. Also, take water bottles so that you can fill them up with water and sodas at the free drink stations on board.

Great! That is what I had hoped to do--provide a perspective for future cruisers. I hope that having several different views will be helpful. We're flying "blind" here because the previous cruisers will be disembarking when we're embarking--so no tips for us!

Staceykins
08-24-2012, 11:23 AM
Hi! We are super excited for this cruise! It is our first cruise EVER and we are thrilled to be cruising Disney!


My name is Stacey, I am 28 yrs old. I am a SAHM. My husband is Jeremy and he is 29. He works at a large web hosting company here in San Antonio. Our daughter is Layla and she is 3 yrs old. She is super smart and has the best personality. She can be quiet and timid but she is so much fun and has the best manners.

Here is a recent photo of my family:
https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/305515_10151536900210291_785908552_n.jpg

We are traveling with a group of friends from our playgroup.
In Grand Cayman we plan to snorkel, in CM we plan to do a beach day, and maybe do some shopping in Cozumel if we decide to get off the ship.

We are so excited that our cruise is just around the corner and we can't wait to meet everyone and just have the best time! I am sure Disney will live up to our expectations!

Staceykins
08-24-2012, 11:33 AM
Here is a list I put together of things past cruisers wished they had packed:


Light up & waterproof watch
Journal
Bigger cups
Bathroom night light
Over-door shoe organizer
Sharpies
Command hooks
Zip-lock bags
Highlighters
Lanyard for card
Single $1s
Power strip for room
Address labels for post cards
Business cards w/ personal info
Medicine
Clock for room w/ light up face
Clothespins
Bathroom air freshener
4-6 hangers
Scissors
Ponchos
Sanitizer
Shout wipes
Tissues
Zip ties
Dawn detergent sheets
Downy wrinkle releaser
Storage cube

ukintheus
08-24-2012, 02:12 PM
I am so excited to see a TR for a Galveston departure! :cool1: Thank you to everyone in advance! :worship: We are on the 10/13 sailing so I will be keeping up with you all to get the scoop! ::yes::

Boarding process is a biggie for me as my Mum is 84 and so I'm interested to know how smoothly this goes, or if I will be needing to find a place for her to get settled for a while etc. :thumbsup2 Piper will be a great resource from her TR update for that. :cutie:

Looking forward to hearing about all your pre-trip planning and post-trip thoughts. :love: Plus, do any of us really need an excuse to be obsessive about planning our vacations? :rotfl2:

Belle6000
08-24-2012, 06:01 PM
We finally settled on what we are planning to do in each port.

Grand Cayman: Turtle farm (Boatswain Beach) I booked this online directly through them. It was a lot cheaper than doing it through disney. You get a 20% discount for booking online too and they have free shuttles that run from the port to the farm at 2 different times in the morning. They also run back to the port 2 different times in the afternoon. I beleive they are for people who have prebooked with them. http://www.turtle.ky/
And at least a couple of us will also be going to the car museum. http://www.caymanmotormuseum.com/new/

Costa Maya: We're going to Tropicante. I have never seen so many good reviews in my life!!! I've already emailed the guy and reserved our lounge chairs on the beach. Check them out here: http://www.sandalsandskis.com/massage_Tropicante.html
Trip Advisor also has several reviews of them...all great! I'm really excited about this one!!

Cozumel: We booked the Cozumel Highlights and Mayan ruins tour through Disney. I also hope to shop a little here and if there's time make it to the chocolate factory. http://www.chocolateskaokao.com/

So that is what we have planned. I will be sure to post a review of everything with pictures when we get back.

Piper
08-25-2012, 12:54 PM
My cruise documents came today. That makes it seem more real. I booked on April 8, 2011, so it has been a long, long time in the planning! I've started putting things I will need on the cruise, but not use before in my carry-on bag. I also made sure to update my medical alert bracelet with current info.

I am thinking about taking Lucy to Galveston with me since I will be in a different room from my sister and Dan at the hotel. Then Dan can just take her back to Katy with him since he is dog sitting for me. She has a seat belt and just sits or lays down in the back seat, so she isn't any trouble to transport.

Actually, I'd even feel safer if I had her with me on the cruise, but I don't think that is an option right now. Plus, I am not sure how she would do physically on a ship--do dogs get sea sick?

Piper
09-02-2012, 03:06 PM
I thought I would post pictures of my FE. I also made lanyards for Nancy and me.

http://inlinethumb08.webshots.com/49031/2135040280067077547S425x425Q85.jpg

I have been working on my gifts. I only have a few to finish. I am slow with my sewing lately because my arms have been going numb when I keep them raised to sew. It isn't a "biggie" but since I started early, I can take my time.

I have been going over my wardrobe--deciding what to take and what to leave. I already have 2 swimsuits and I think I will bring capris for during the day. I have 2 pair of bermuda shorts (or walking shorts) so I will probably stick those in also. My wardrobe is a little limited as I no longer work, but I still have plenty to choose from.

I will be dressing for formal and informal night as well as Pirate night--so that is taken care of! I am not sure if I am bringing 1 large or 2 smaller cases. Probably just the large one. I can check it at the port and just have my carry on bag that has meds, camera, kindle, phone and all the charging cords in it!

My list of "extras" that are not clothing items is longer than my list of clothes! Somehow, that just doesn't seem right. But it is what it is!!

blessedmom4
09-05-2012, 04:28 PM
Hi Piper (and everyone else)!! SO excited that you are doing this PTR, THANK YOU for letting me know! My dream is to go on a cruise one day and a Disney Cruise would be the best! :love::love: I am excited to read all the fun and live vicariously through you! :flower3: Love your FE and lanyards!! :goodvibes

Piper
09-05-2012, 04:30 PM
Judy, it is good to "see" you here. Even though I will be on this cruise, I am looking forward to reading everyone else's thoughts and adventures!

Belle6000
09-12-2012, 04:46 PM
This is the first time we will be participating in the Fish Extender gift exchange. I'm very excited! Making and buying all the gifts was really fun! I can't wait to give them out and my kids will love finding stuff in their pockets, I'm sure. I'll post pics of the gifts that I gave after the cruise, but here's a pic of my FE...

http://i1076.photobucket.com/albums/w459/Belle6000/Facebook/Untitled%20Album/644694_4050689159949_481034834_n.jpg

I do not sew so I was a little intimidated by this project at first, but I can do amazing things with a tube of E6000 glue!! :lmao:

The pockets turned out a little small so I put a cute hook at the bottom so bigger stuff can hang off of it. I also added some red and yellow balloons around our name, but this picture was taken before that was done.

I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone's FE's. I know there are lots of creative Disney folks out there! :)

Piper
09-12-2012, 04:52 PM
This is the first time we will be participating in the Fish Extender gift exchange. I'm very excited! Making and buying all the gifts was really fun! I can't wait to give them out and my kids will love finding stuff in their pockets, I'm sure. I'll post pics of the gifts that I gave after the cruise, but here's a pic of my FE...

http://i1076.photobucket.com/albums/w459/Belle6000/Facebook/Untitled%20Album/644694_4050689159949_481034834_n.jpg

I do not sew so I was a little intimidated by this project at first, but I can do amazing things with a tube of E6000 glue!! :lmao:

The pockets turned out a little small so I put a cute hook at the bottom so bigger stuff can hang off of it. I also added some red and yellow balloons around our name, but this picture was taken before that was done.

I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone's FE's. I know there are lots of creative Disney folks out there! :)

Cute FE! I am waiting to post pictures of the gifts I made until after the cruise, also. I leave for Galveston 2 weeks from tomorrow!!! excited!

I love E6000!

Piper
09-17-2012, 06:21 AM
It is Monday morning and just 12 days until we sail!!:dance3: It is only 10 days until I leave for Galveston. I am a little concerned about a few things--that I probably shouldn't worry about! My ECV is only 6 months old. I had my old one for 5 years and it was super simple to take apart. The batteries were self-contained..you just lifted up the container and that was it. The new one has to have the batteries disconnected to be taken apart. This worries me a little. I am afraid, I won't get it back together correctly!! And I can't walk more than 20-30 feet or stand comfortably for more than 3 or 4 minutes without a lot of "discomfort" as the doctors say. It is also a little heavier than the old one.

I am probably worrying about nothing and it will be fine. I am also a little worried that the hotel (The San Luis Resort) won't really have accessible transportation. They say they do, but I've encountered this before. When push comes to shove, they don't really have a way to load the ECV. I am staying there because that is where my sister and BIL's convention is. Worse case scenario is that we have to disassemble the ECV to load it (but since we have to do that to get it to Galveston, I should know what I am doing by then---right?:confused3)

On a happier note......I have set aside the clothes that I am going to wear on one side of my closet and gathered some of the "stuff" I am taking in my sewing room. The FE gifts are ready and a few "extras" for some of the children of people who joined our cruise thread late is ready. I didn't sew for them, but I do have some "Disney" stuff.

The closer it gets, the more I am looking forward to this!

dryvithome
09-18-2012, 10:59 PM
Going to join in and listen (read) all the updates. We're scheduled for the first December cruise out of Galveston, so we're definitely looking forward to the reviews! We haven't quite decided what to book for excursions, but have a 2 and 4 year old going with us, so may skip out on most things. Looking forward to reading more as time goes. Hope you all have a great inaugural Galveston cruise! :thumbsup2

Piper
09-19-2012, 05:54 AM
Going to join in and listen (read) all the updates. We're scheduled for the first December cruise out of Galveston, so we're definitely looking forward to the reviews! We haven't quite decided what to book for excursions, but have a 2 and 4 year old going with us, so may skip out on most things. Looking forward to reading more as time goes. Hope you all have a great inaugural Galveston cruise! :thumbsup2

Welcome to the thread! I am sure we can answer some of your questions. We'll know more in a little over a week!

Piper
09-20-2012, 06:39 AM
We are in single digits---9 days!!!

luvugoofy
09-23-2012, 11:49 AM
Please scan and post your Navigators when you return. We are on the 11/17 Thanksgiving cruise and are beyond ready to finalize our plans.

ukintheus
09-28-2012, 08:37 AM
Just popping in to say Bon Voyage :wave2: and have a wonderful trip!! :cool1:

I'll be watching you leave on the port cam - wish I could talk DH into driving back down there again tomorrow :drive:, but that would probably be pushing my luck. ;)

Can't wait to hear about it when you get back. ::yes::

Staceykins
09-29-2012, 07:33 AM
Just popping in to say bye. We set sail today! I just woke up and I am letting my DH and DD sleep in a little longer.

I would DEFINITELY recommend The Hilton on Galveston Island! It is a beautiful hotel, our room is great, and they have shuttle service to the port, so we can leave our car here during the trip.

Anyway, like I said, just dropping by!

:cool1:

Belle6000
10-06-2012, 08:26 PM
Got back today. The cruise was awesome!! I'm going to be blogging about it this week so I'll post the links on this thread. I don't know why but we didn't have the Golden Mickeys on this cruise. But we got to see the premiere of Frankenweenie. :) I have menus and personal navigators so if anyone has any specific questions just ask and I'll try to answer them. :)

ukintheus
10-06-2012, 09:12 PM
Got back today. The cruise was awesome!! I'm going to be blogging about it this week so I'll post the links on this thread. I don't know why but we didn't have the Golden Mickeys on this cruise. But we got to see the premiere of Frankenweenie. :) I have menus and personal navigators so if anyone has any specific questions just ask and I'll try to answer them. :)

If you have anything from embarkation last week (with the other cruise ship in port) that was noteworthy, I'd love to hear it. :goodvibes

I'd love to see menus if you have time to post them, but understand it takes a while, and we are leaving next Sat (13th). :cheer2:

Looking forward to catching your blogs as you post them, and glad to hear that your cruise was awesome!!! :cool1:

Belle6000
10-07-2012, 10:50 AM
If you have anything from embarkation last week (with the other cruise ship in port) that was noteworthy, I'd love to hear it. :goodvibes

I'd love to see menus if you have time to post them, but understand it takes a while, and we are leaving next Sat (13th). :cheer2:

Looking forward to catching your blogs as you post them, and glad to hear that your cruise was awesome!!! :cool1:

Emarkation was a lot different than in Florida. Galveston is not nearly as organized or nice. It was raining when we arrived and it was a bit of a mad house. We had an 11:00 am check in time. We got there about 10:45 and had to wait in a line outside the doors until 11:00. Once we got in and Disney took over it was a breeze though. Check in was fast. We got our personal navigators right there in the terminal. They have an area to get your kids' Mickey bands in the port too. We did that then so we didn't have to do it on the ship. They had an area with Characters there too. We met Mickey with virtually no line. I heard Minnie came out after him. We boarded about 12:00 I think...it wasn't long at all.

Our cruise was not full...I think about 2400 were on board. We heard that the one that boarded right after us was completely booked though. The next one...on the 13th I don't think was full though.

Hope some of this is helpful. I'm still unpacking so I don't have things scanned in yet....going to be working on all that this week! :)

Piper
10-07-2012, 10:57 AM
As others have posted, we're back! I really enjoyed the FE gifts.....so many great gifts! I fell at the hotel, the Thursday before we sailed and it exacerbated my dizzy spells and some other difficulties, so it may be a little while before I post again. I don't have a lot of pictures. I intended to keep my camera in my ECV basket, but the servers took it and parked it at each meal and I was afraid it would go missing. I do have some that I will post that I took the first day. I will post them soon.

soccermom1422
10-07-2012, 04:53 PM
We just got off the Magic yesterday, and it was the greatest trip! We live in the DFW area, and we have 4 boys - an almost 14 yo, an almost 12 yo, a 9 yo, and a 2 yo. We are homeschoolers, and I love being able to go on Disney vacations when most kids are in school. We have been to WDW a few times, and the boys all said they liked the cruise even better!

Probably my least favorite part of the whole trip was packing. I found it very stressful to oversee packing for six, including a toddler. Instead of just telling everyone how many days of clothes they needed to throw in their bags, we had to make sure everyone had casual clothes for daytime, clothes for dinner at night, casual and dress shoes, swim suits, candy for the cast members, and all of our FE stuff. Then we weren't sure it would all fit in the car. It would have been close to impossible to fly with all that we had packed. But once we were on our way I was really excited!

We drove down to Houston the day before the cruise and stayed at my parents' house. My mom drove us to Galveston Saturday morning and dropped us off at Terminal 2. It worked out great since it was raining, and we didn't have to worry about parking. We arrived about 11:00 and check in was very easy. Our boarding group was 6, and our boarding time was 11:30. I took the 2 yo to see Minnie Mousein the terminal, and I was happy to see that he liked her and wasn't going to be scared of the characters on board. The line to register for the kids club was long, so I decided to wait until we got on the ship. Before we knew it they had called group 6 and we walked on board. It was so exciting as we walked on and they announced our name and clapped for us.

I went straight to guest services and turned in a photo mat and autograph books to be signed by the characters, along with some candy for the cast members. Next we went to Topsiders for lunch. After we ate I took the 2 yo to see the nursery, which he loved, and the 9 yo to the Oceaneer Lab to get his wristband for the week. I'm glad we waited because there was no line. My husband took the older boys to the Edge and the Vibe. We weren't sure how strict Disney would be about the ages since our oldest's 14th birthday is a few days after the cruise. They not only let him go to the Vibe, but they said he could go between the Vibe and the Edge if he wanted to. Our rooms were ready by 1:30, so we started to unpack and settle in. We were in rooms 2012 and 2013, across the hall from each other.

We had just enough time for the little one to get a nap in before the boat drill, and then we went straight up to deck 10 to get a spot for the sail away party. The rain had stopped, and the party was really fun. We even saw some dolphins as we were leaving.

Our dining rotation was LAPLAPL, and we had the late seating. We were traveling with friends and family, so when we got to dinner at Lumiere's we had 2 tables. The 8 adults were at one table (along with our 2 yo) and the 6 kids were at the other table. We met our wait staff, who were wonderful. My 9 yo had ordered a steak, and they even cut it for him. The creme brle I had for dessert was to die for! Every meal we had was great, as was each restaurant. My husband is a picky eater, and our server was trying to find out what he liked to eat. One night I jokingly said that he would love it if you had some mozzarella sticks. The next night a plate of fried mozzarella sticks appeared at his place! I had read that sometimes the servers would let you keep some of the menus, but not usually since they needed to use them again. I was surprised that our servers let us keep the menus several nights. On the last night they even brought us special menus from formal night (the Prince and Princess one) that was in several different languages.

We really didn't see our older 3 boys much during the day or after dinner. They had a blast in their kids' clubs and spent most of their time there. They made lots of friends and loved the counselors. And since they were not at our table for dinner we really didn't get to catch up with them then either. The older 2 normally stayed at the Vibe and the Edge until after midnight. It was fun to be able to give them the freedom and independence to come and go on their own. My husband would go pick the 9 yo around 11:45PM from the Oceaneer Lab and then they would order cookies and milk from room service for a bedtime snack. Besides the clubs they also loved being able to get pizza or chicken strips or ice cream whenever they wanted to.

We sent the 2 yo to the nursery on our second night, which was formal night. He walked right in on his own with no crying. When we picked him up he was playing with a little plastic pig, and he didn't want to leave it, so they said he could keep it and bring it back the next night. Well, it ended up coming back to the room the next night too! He slept with the pig every night. By the end of the week the nursery staff told him he could keep it. After putting him in the nursery twice during our dinner time, we decided that we would take him with us to dinner so he could eat with us and then go drop him in the nursery for the second half of our meal. That worked out better.

We weren't sure how much there would be for a 2 yo to do, but there was plenty. He loved to go walk around deck 9, or get a drink or an ice cream cone. We took him to the splash area once, but he didn't play there much. He preferred walking around or climbing up and down the stairs. He loved seeing the characters and going to the shows in the evening. He is still talking about Timon and Pumbaa from Disney Dreams. He also had fun at the deck parties, but the fireworks on pirate night scared him. We also took him to watch Toy Story 3 and Finding Nemo at the movie theater.

We were very happy with our shore excursions. In Grand Cayman the 2 older boys and I went on Disney's Shipwreck and Reef Snorkel. We thought it was great, and I loved that we were right next to the Magic. In Costa Maya we all went to the beach at the Tropicante. My husband and a couple of the boys rented wave runners, the kids played in the sand and water, and I had a massage. We did the chocolate factory tour in Cozumel. Joshua (the tour guide) was so entertaining! And all of the varieties of chocolate were delicious. We paid $6 for the larger chocolate bars and $3 for the smaller ones. We found out that our friends who bought them at a store near the port paid $9 and $5. We brought some back for our wait staff, and they were so happy.

I'm so glad we decided to participate in the FE gift exchange. It was so much fun. I enjoyed delivering my gifts and seeing everyone's FEs. We got some really neat and creative gifts, and they were all very much appreciated. Even on day 6 when we had run out of fruit snacks for our little one, someone put some in our FE. I tried to take pictures of everything.

We didn't end up swimming in the ship pools much at all. There was too much other stuff to do. I also didn't get as many family pictures as I would have liked. It was hard to get all of the kids together at the same time. I kind of wanted to work out at the gym just to see what it was like, but I never did. Besides I ended up taking the stairs a lot, and I thought delivering my FE gifts to all the different floors was a pretty good work out.

Although we were all sad to have to pack up, take down our door decorations and FEs, and put our suitcases in the hall on the last night, it felt like we had had a nice long vacation. Maybe because we never had to get in our car and drive anywhere, the days did not seem to fly by as they sometimes do when we are really busy. The 3 older boys all got T-shirts signed by their club counselors and friends. I also delivered treats that we had brought (candy, microwave popcorn, and gum) to the workers in the nursery and all the kids' clubs. We also gave treats to our stateroom host. He had taken really good care of us and even made a dinosaur out of towels for our little one.

I was really happy with our late dinner seating since that meant the later breakfast on disembarkation day. We brought all of our stuff up to deck 3 for our breakfast at Lumiere's at 8:45. The line of people to walk off the ship was horrible and went on forever. We leisurely went to breakfast then stopped for one last picture. When we went to walk off the boys were dancing as "Under the Sea" was playing, and there was no line. We walked right off, and by then most of the luggage had been picked up, so we went straight to ours. We walked right through customs and outside where my mom was waiting to pick us up. We can't wait to go on another Disney cruise! I will try to post some pictures soon.:cool1:

Belle6000
10-08-2012, 12:04 PM
Grand Cayman was a great stop! We chose to go on our own to the Turtle Farm. It was very easy. When you get off the boat there's lots of people who want to take you on a tour or give you a ride. At first, we went to the taxis. Then, we found out they were $8 per person! We asked around about the city bus and we were directed outside the little touristy cruise area and walked about a block. Their buses are really just vans. The driver was very nice and it was only 2.50 per person. He took us to the Turtle Farm and we told him to come back at 1:00 pm...which he did. The "bus" didn't have A/C...don't know if it didn't have it or if it just wasn't on, but the windows were down and it wasn't too bad. On the way back he picked up a few other people, but we didn't mind that.

Right down the street from the turtle farm is the Cayman Motor Museum and the Tortuga Rum Cake Factory. Across the street is the Dolphin experience. We didn't do the dolphin thing, but I took my son to the motor museum. This is a good place for a car lover, but it's pricey and small so I'd only send the car lover in and not pay for any extra people...they could all stay at the turtle farm! :) The museum has the original batmobile from the TV show though so that's why I went...I wanted to see that. My son, who is into cars, enjoyed it.

Don't bother going to the Tortuga Rum Cake factory by the Turtle farm if you want to buy rum. They can't sell it to you. I never did quite understand, but when they sell it they have to send it straight to your ship. If you're on Disney they can't send it to that ship. So you need to go to the location that is right by the ship. When you buy it they take it to customs for you and then you get right on the ship with it.

I've posted some pictures from our time in Grand Cayman on my blog if you want to check it out. I have the hardest time posting pics on the Disboards so I'll just give you the link to my blog:
http://aimeesland.blogspot.com/2012/10/grand-cayman.html

Belle6000
10-08-2012, 02:26 PM
Thought some future Galveston cruisers might be interested in seeing the voyage navigator from our cruise...

http://i1076.photobucket.com/albums/w459/Belle6000/Facebook/Untitled%20Album/Scan_Pic0111_zpsde1382fa.jpg

Belle6000
10-08-2012, 02:52 PM
Here's the personal navigator from the first day. I'm sure things can change from cruise to cruise, but this should give you a peek at what awaits you!

http://i1076.photobucket.com/albums/w459/Belle6000/Facebook/Untitled%20Album/Day1_zps46e81f83.jpg

I'll post the other days in separate posts.

Belle6000
10-08-2012, 02:54 PM
Day 2: The twice charmed show was really good! Perfect for any Cinderella fan.

http://i1076.photobucket.com/albums/w459/Belle6000/Facebook/Untitled%20Album/Day2_zps33719fa6.jpg

Belle6000
10-08-2012, 02:56 PM
The John Charles show was great. Don't know if he'll be on all the cruises or not, but he was really funny. We saw his adult show the night before and it was great too!

http://i1076.photobucket.com/albums/w459/Belle6000/Facebook/Untitled%20Album/Day3_zps8db6df60.jpg

Belle6000
10-08-2012, 02:57 PM
http://i1076.photobucket.com/albums/w459/Belle6000/Facebook/Untitled%20Album/Day4_zpsecf0319a.jpg

Belle6000
10-08-2012, 02:59 PM
We stayed extra long at the beach so we didn't see the Villians tonight show, but I heard it was fantastic! Also, we originally thought the ship would only be in Costa Maya until 5 pm, but it ended up being there until 11 pm so watch for that in case they change it up again.

http://i1076.photobucket.com/albums/w459/Belle6000/Facebook/Untitled%20Album/Day5_zps71af6cdc.jpg

Belle6000
10-08-2012, 03:00 PM
The Disney Dreams show was great!

http://i1076.photobucket.com/albums/w459/Belle6000/Facebook/Untitled%20Album/Day6_zpsc9ce553a.jpg

Belle6000
10-08-2012, 03:02 PM
The final show (Remember the Magic) was just ok, in my opinion. I wish I would have skipped it and gone back to the rainforest room instead. It's just several variety acts that were on the cruise earlier and then a little bit of the Dreams cast doing some segments.
Sorry about the messy navigator for this day. The only one I ended up bringing home was the one we wrote on.

http://i1076.photobucket.com/albums/w459/Belle6000/Facebook/Untitled%20Album/Day7_zps2a15319b.jpg

ukintheus
10-08-2012, 04:03 PM
Thanks for all the updates and reviews/blogs so far. pixiedust: We leave this coming Saturday so I'm reading!! :goodvibes Lots of good information from everyone. :thanks:

llqool
10-08-2012, 05:53 PM
.

Our dining rotation was LAPLAPL, and we had the late seating.


Can you tell me which day your character breakfast was? And do you remember what time it started?

.
We did the chocolate factory tour in Cozumel. Joshua (the tour guide) was so entertaining! And all of the varieties of chocolate were delicious. We paid $6 for the larger chocolate bars and $3 for the smaller ones. We found out that our friends who bought them at a store near the port paid $9 and $5. We brought some back for our wait staff, and they were so happy.
Did you take the kids to this? If so, did they like it? And if not, would it be appropriate to take kids to (we have two girls, 10 and 7). Did you reserve it ahead of time and take a taxi to get there?

TIA for the info! I'm an obsessive planner -- 33 days til our cruise!

soccermom1422
10-08-2012, 09:14 PM
Can you tell me which day your character breakfast was? And do you remember what time it started?

Our character breakfast was on Monday, and I believe it was at 9:30. We are not early morning people, so it was nice not having to have the whole family ready for an early breakfast. I had read that the character breakfast was the first at sea day after you eat at Animator's Palette, and that is how it worked for us.

Did you take the kids to this? If so, did they like it? And if not, would it be appropriate to take kids to (we have two girls, 10 and 7). Did you reserve it ahead of time and take a taxi to get there?

Yes, we took all 4 kids, and they all liked it. Well, I'm not sure if the 2yo loved it, but he seemed pretty happy until he fell asleep in the middle of the tour. The kids got to grind some of the caocao beans, and they loved tasting all the varieties of chocolate. It is a small "mom and pop" business, so you do need to reserve it ahead of time (but you don't have to pay until the end of the tour). I would have liked an earlier time, but by the time I made my reservations, the only time available was 1:00. They sent me back a detailed map and written directions. I'm glad we brought these with us because it is located in a residential area and the taxi driver had to drive around the block a couple of times before he found it. It only took about 10 minutes to get there. We arrived about 30 minutes early and had to ring the door bell for them to let us in. Joshua, the tour guide, was awesome. He gave us lots of the history of the Mayans and chocolate and the science behind making it. He also explained the difference behind his chocolate and Hershey's.

soccermom1422
10-08-2012, 09:24 PM
https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/545268_4653070974715_607053110_n.jpg

https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc7/385085_4653068774660_10973910_n.jpg

https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/554376_4653071534729_1290022371_n.jpg

I can't figure out how to post photos, but maybe these links will work.

llqool
10-09-2012, 07:45 AM
Thanks for all the detailed info, soccermom! Do you remember about how much the taxi to the factory was? We are trying to make Cozumel our inexpensive, no-excursion day, but this looks very interesting!

Did you do any shopping in the port? Did you eat anywhere in Cozumel?

soccermom1422
10-09-2012, 08:19 AM
Thanks for all the detailed info, soccermom! Do you remember about how much the taxi to the factory was? We are trying to make Cozumel our inexpensive, no-excursion day, but this looks very interesting!

Did you do any shopping in the port? Did you eat anywhere in Cozumel?

I think the taxi was around $15 each way. We didn't shop in Cozumel other than the chocolate we bought. We didn't eat there either. I hated to spend extra money on food when we could eat on the ship.

llqool
10-09-2012, 09:16 AM
We didn't eat there either. I hated to spend extra money on food when we could eat on the ship.

We're the same way! On the Alaska cruise, we only ate once off the ship, and that was out of utter necessity. Except...you live in TX, so you have a lot of access to good Mexican food, which we don't here in VA. My husband grew up right near you in Duncanville -- every time we go to visit his family, all we do is EAT :):):)

I emailed my husband the link to the chocolate place, and he said he's willing to go wherever I want to go, so I think I'm going to book it. My mom will like it, and the kids and my husband will like to sample it, if nothing else! ;)

llqool
10-09-2012, 09:32 AM
Also... did you have a problem finding a taxi that would fit your family? There would be five of us.

Belle6000
10-09-2012, 09:44 AM
Thanks for all the detailed info, soccermom! Do you remember about how much the taxi to the factory was? We are trying to make Cozumel our inexpensive, no-excursion day, but this looks very interesting!

Did you do any shopping in the port? Did you eat anywhere in Cozumel?

We did some shopping in Cozumel. We went to Los Cinco Soles. The big store on 8th st, not the little one in the plaza. We bought Mexican vanilla and tequila there. I had read that their vanilla was safe and good. They are a ways down from the ship on the same road as all of the other shops and restaurants. We walked and I think it was about 10-12 blocks.

Here is their website: http://www.loscincosoles.com

That's really all the shopping we did there so that's all I can comment on.

soccermom1422
10-09-2012, 09:52 AM
Also... did you have a problem finding a taxi that would fit your family? There would be five of us.

No problem at all. In fact there were 8 of us (including my in-laws), and we all fit in a taxi van. I was assuming we would have to split up and take 2 taxis, so it was a pleasant surprise. This was also the case in Costa Maya. There seemed to be plenty of taxi vans to fit larger parties.

Belle6000
10-09-2012, 10:13 AM
Costa Maya was one of our favorite stops! My advice is to walk right on through the new plaza area and take a taxi to the Tropicante! It's a little restaurant on the beach. If you email Steve ahead of time he'll have loungers reserved for you. :beach:

You can get a massage on the beach for $15 (1/2 hr.) or $25 (hour). I had the half hour and it was fantastic! There are waiters that will bring you drinks or food. We had eaten on the ship so we didn't get any food, but other people we were with got some and said it was really good. Their strawberry margarita was good. My husband got some beers. It was all really relaxing. The kids had a great time swimming and playing in the sand.

There are shops along the street too. If you want to buy anything they haggle more at the end of the day when the cruise ship passengers are going home. :)

To get to the Tropicante we walked through the plaza area to the Hard Rock Cafe. There is a taxi stand there that will take you straight to the Tropicante for $2 per person. The ones in the plaza charge you $3. Anyway, if you are interested in going to the Tropicante check out the link below and email Steve ahead of time. He will send you directions on what to do and how to get there.

I'd like to add that I felt totally safe here. The "safe" plaza area is really nice, but it is full of pricy shops. Seriously, the postcards were $2 each!! They do have a really nice big pool though which would probably be the only thing I'd do there.

I have some pics on my blog: http://aimeesland.blogspot.com/2012/10/costa-maya.html

Here's the link for the Tropicante: http://www.sandalsandskis.com/Tropicante.html

nikki331
10-09-2012, 06:56 PM
Hello. we are leaving for this cruise on saturday. My sons (3 year old twins) want to go see "sea turtles with baby eggs" would you recommend this for them? also, where did you book online? there is one for "hell and sea turtles" that's on my travel agent site but it's only for 2 hours and the sea turtle place is only for like 30 minutes. thanks for your help.

kimwhitt93
10-10-2012, 12:06 AM
Can you give me examples of what people(men,women,teens, and kids) were wearing on the formal and semi-formal nights?

Thank you for the info that has been posted on this board. It's great to see what has been going on, on the ships and things you have done onshore.

kimwhitt93
10-10-2012, 12:09 AM
Did anyone use internet while on board? If so, how did it work?


I saw that someone went to Tropicante. I saw on their website that they have free wifi. Did your phones work or able to connect to internet?


Thank you for the info.

Belle6000
10-10-2012, 09:51 AM
Hello. we are leaving for this cruise on saturday. My sons (3 year old twins) want to go see "sea turtles with baby eggs" would you recommend this for them? also, where did you book online? there is one for "hell and sea turtles" that's on my travel agent site but it's only for 2 hours and the sea turtle place is only for like 30 minutes. thanks for your help.

I think 3 year olds would love it! There is a pool to swim in with a slide too. My 5 yr old neice was with us and went to swim there while we snorkled in the lagoon.

I just bought our tickets online: http://www.turtle.ky/
I took my confirmation # with me and they looked me up when we got there. It was very easy. We did have to take our own transportation there though. We used the city bus (really a van) for 2.50 per person.

Belle6000
10-10-2012, 10:02 AM
Can you give me examples of what people(men,women,teens, and kids) were wearing on the formal and semi-formal nights?

Thank you for the info that has been posted on this board. It's great to see what has been going on, on the ships and things you have done onshore.

Our kids are 14 and 9. The pics below show what we wore. I saw a few tuxedos on Formal night. I also saw just regular suits and nice shirts with slacks and a tie. I think most of the boys had slacks and nice shirts.

Semi formal night...no tuxes that I saw. More of a little black dress night for women and nice slacks and shirts for men...some with ties and jackets. Lots of little girls wore their princess costumes on each of the nights.

Us on Formal night...
http://i1076.photobucket.com/albums/w459/Belle6000/Facebook/Untitled%20Album/117_zps7dda8227.jpg


Us on Semi Formal night...
http://i1076.photobucket.com/albums/w459/Belle6000/Facebook/Untitled%20Album/520_zpse589c9d2.jpg

Amandalovesminnie
10-11-2012, 07:46 PM
We're the same way! On the Alaska cruise, we only ate once off the ship, and that was out of utter necessity. Except...you live in TX, so you have a lot of access to good Mexican food, which we don't here in VA. My husband grew up right near you in Duncanville -- every time we go to visit his family, all we do is EAT :):):)

I emailed my husband the link to the chocolate place, and he said he's willing to go wherever I want to go, so I think I'm going to book it. My mom will like it, and the kids and my husband will like to sample it, if nothing else! ;)

We ate Mexican food in both Cozumel & Costa Maya and thought it was awful. The first place we stopped at on our way home to Dallas was Pappasitos for some yummy tex -mex.

llqool
10-11-2012, 08:36 PM
We did some shopping in Cozumel. We went to Los Cinco Soles. The big store on 8th st, not the little one in the plaza. We bought Mexican vanilla and tequila there. I had read that their vanilla was safe and good. They are a ways down from the ship on the same road as all of the other shops and restaurants. We walked and I think it was about 10-12 blocks.

Here is their website: http://www.loscincosoles.com

That's really all the shopping we did there so that's all I can comment on.

That's the store I've heard praised here and on other forums. Was it worth the walk? I looked at their website and there are no prices, but the items look interesting!

WoodlandsMom
10-11-2012, 08:43 PM
Can you give me examples of what people(men,women,teens, and kids) were wearing on the formal and semi-formal nights?

Thank you for the info that has been posted on this board. It's great to see what has been going on, on the ships and things you have done onshore.


For my 4 year old, I had her wear a pretty dress, I wore a black skirt and top with pretty jewelry and my husband wore a suit and tie.

For semi formal, I wore a summery dress with a shawl, my husband wore a suit with no coat and although I had a some-what fancy dress for my dd, she ended up wearing a cute dress we bought in Cozumel.

WoodlandsMom
10-11-2012, 08:57 PM
In Grand Cayman we went to Rum Point Beach
In Costa Maya we swam with dolphins
In Cozumel we went on the submarine.

All the excursions were booked by the cruise line. Being our first cruise, we didnt want to branch off and do anything on our own. We loved all of the excursions and are glad we did all of them! The Beach was very relaxing and the water was beautiful. We were given coupons for free lunch and free tea. The alcohol was a bit expensive so we decided to not drink there.

"Swimming" with the dolphins was a neat experience but it wasn't really swimming, it was "kissing" and "dancing" for apx 45 minutes. There were 10 of us in each group and we took turns petting the dolphin, etc. My dd isnt old enough to actually swim with the dolphins (I think the age is 8) and she was a bit disappointed, but it was still fun.

The submarine went 110ft below the water. You obviously dont know what you will see, as far as marine life goes, but the scenery is beautiful and it was neat.

Overall, our first 2 days on the cruise were exhausting! We felt like we were always rushing, as to not miss the Princesses or characters. But after we got most of the autographs and pictures, we were able to relax for the rest of the cruise. The food was wonderful, the service top notch. Room service took apx 30-45 minutes and had sandwiches, hot dogs, pizza, soup, cheese, cake, hamburgers, etc. All of that is free but if you want a can of coke it costs $2 (but there is 24 hour fountain drinks on floor 9 that is free).

One thing I was the most happy we had - TWO over the door shoe holders.
Oh, and air freshener!!!! lol.

One thing I wish we had - a little fan. It was a bit warmer than we like it, humid outside (so couldnt leave the door open) and no air flow.

__________________________________________________ _____
DOCTOR
I got very sick on the ship. I didnt want to go to the onboard doctor, but when I couldnt walk without struggling to breathe, my husband demanded I go. Cost to see the dr (during on call hours, which are 7-11am and 4-8pm apx) was $144. Cost to see the dr during off hours - $224.
With nebulizer treatment, inhaler and steroid medicine, our total bill was apx $400. BUT!
We purchased travelers insurance since it is hurricane season. We didnt know that they will reimburse us for the medical bills (with a $50 deductible). The doctor and nurses were wonderful, very caring and had everything they needed to treat the sick or injured.

I hope some of what Ive written has helped someone! Let me know if anyone has any questions.

Belle6000
10-12-2012, 08:06 PM
That's the store I've heard praised here and on other forums. Was it worth the walk? I looked at their website and there are no prices, but the items look interesting!

There's a Los Cinco Soles store in the mall area right when you get off the ship...it's smaller and I don't know if the prices are higher or not. My experience was that everything in the plaza areas right when you get off the ship was more expensive. It is a long walk though so if you don't have the time I'd suggest just going to the smaller one.

From what I read online I was expecting more of a local supermarket type of store. It was not that. There was a big supermarket the other way down the street (it had escalators!). I think I'd check that out if I ever go there again. Los Cinco Soles was more of a gift shop type of store. It was large though and had a good selection of tequila if you happen to be looking for that. It wasn't super cheap though. We paid $15 for a 1 liter bottle of just regular tequila...not the fancy stuff. The vanilla came in 4 different sizes. The small bottle was 3.99. The biggest bottle was around 12.00, I think. I bought the next to the biggest which was 500mL and I think I paid around $9.
Sorry, I don't know where the receipts are. :)

They also have the chocolate bars from the chocolate factory. They are $5 and $9, I think...at least $2 more than they are at the chocolate factory. It really is some of the best chocolate I've ever put in my mouth though!

Hope some of this info helps!

MissDaisyofTexas
10-13-2012, 09:45 PM
I'm enjoying this trip report! We are sailing out of Galveston in February.

Question about the chocolate factory...their website says they have 3 guided tours a day. Do you have to sign up for the tour? Or can you look around the factory on your own time? I also thought I read there is an age requirement for the tour (now I can't find where I read that)...just wondering if I can take my 2-year-old and 4-year-old?

Thanks!

riofriotex
10-13-2012, 11:27 PM
We ate Mexican food in both Cozumel & Costa Maya and thought it was awful. The first place we stopped at on our way home to Dallas was Pappasitos for some yummy tex -mex.

The food in Mexico is real ethnic food, not Tex-Mex like we get back home in Texas.

On our last trip to Cozumel, for authentic Yucatan food, our taxi driver recommended Casa Denis, which is about half a block off the plaza on Calle 1 Sur just across from the yellow Plaza Del Sol. My husband had Cochinita Pabil (Mayan pork - spicy!) and I had sopa de lima (a soup made with a mixture of fresh vegetables and chicken which has been marinated in lime juice). Yum! Kids probably would not like these, though.

Viva Mexico and Los Cinco Soles both have high quality items made in Mexico (and less pushy salespeople). I've bought vanilla at one or the other on the last two visits and never been ill.

soccermom1422
10-14-2012, 12:17 AM
I'm enjoying this trip report! We are sailing out of Galveston in February.

Question about the chocolate factory...their website says they have 3 guided tours a day. Do you have to sign up for the tour? Or can you look around the factory on your own time? I also thought I read there is an age requirement for the tour (now I can't find where I read that)...just wondering if I can take my 2-year-old and 4-year-old?

Thanks!

Yes, you do need to sign up for a tour because there is limited space. It is a small place, and the "tour" only took place in 2 rooms. Don't get me wrong - we loved it. What made it fun was not so much seeing the factory, but listening to Joshua explain how the chocolate is made, helping grind the beans, and tasting all the flavors. I'm sure you can go in during business hours just to shop, but make sure they know you are coming. We arrived about a half hour early for our tour, and the door was locked. We had to ring the doorbell for someone to let us in.

There is not an age requirement that I know of. We took our 2-year-old with no problem (except that he fell asleep in the middle of the tour).

IMHO, I don't think it would be worth it just to go there to look around without doing the tour. There is really not that much to look at, and the tour was fun. The tour is only $10/person, and the kids are free. And the chocolate is really yummy.

MissDaisyofTexas
10-14-2012, 07:46 AM
Yes, you do need to sign up for a tour because there is limited space. It is a small place, and the "tour" only took place in 2 rooms. Don't get me wrong - we loved it. What made it fun was not so much seeing the factory, but listening to Joshua explain how the chocolate is made, helping grind the beans, and tasting all the flavors. I'm sure you can go in during business hours just to shop, but make sure they know you are coming. We arrived about a half hour early for our tour, and the door was locked. We had to ring the doorbell for someone to let us in.

There is not an age requirement that I know of. We took our 2-year-old with no problem (except that he fell asleep in the middle of the tour).

IMHO, I don't think it would be worth it just to go there to look around without doing the tour. There is really not that much to look at, and the tour was fun. The tour is only $10/person, and the kids are free. And the chocolate is really yummy.

Thanks for the info!

Menada1115
10-14-2012, 09:30 AM
I am really enjoying reading all of your reports. We are taking this cruise- sailing on Dec. 1. We are really wanting to do the Turtle Farm and the Dolphin Extreme Swim. Are these 2 places the ones that you mentioned are right across the street from each other? I copied the Turtle Farm link, do you happen to have info for the dolphin place? I would much rather book on my own, than through Disney.
Thank you so much for all the reviews. It really helps so much when planning our cruise. Thanks!!!

Belle6000
10-14-2012, 09:07 PM
We booked through Disney with this one. We weren't extremely happy with it. It ran late and had too many vendors. There's pictures and a whole review of it on my blog if there's anyone out there thinking of doing it.

http://aimeesland.blogspot.com/2012/10/cozumel.html

Belle6000
10-14-2012, 09:09 PM
I am really enjoying reading all of your reports. We are taking this cruise- sailing on Dec. 1. We are really wanting to do the Turtle Farm and the Dolphin Extreme Swim. Are these 2 places the ones that you mentioned are right across the street from each other? I copied the Turtle Farm link, do you happen to have info for the dolphin place? I would much rather book on my own, than through Disney.
Thank you so much for all the reviews. It really helps so much when planning our cruise. Thanks!!!

Yes, those are the ones. And they are literally right across the street!

We didn't do the dolphin one but I think this is the link:
http://www.dolphindiscovery.com/grand-cayman/cayman-activities-dolphin-royal-swim.asp

It says that you get admission into boatswain beach (the turtle farm) with the dolphin admission.

llqool
10-15-2012, 06:08 AM
Weird question....did they give you guys towels when you left the ship at Grand Cayman, etc?

Also, did you guys bring your passports on shore with you? I hear lots of debate on the topic, and I honestly don't know what to do -- on the one hand, I don't want my passport stolen, and I know that I can get on the ship w/my KTTW card. BUT, if something should happen, a medical or other emergency, and we couldn't get on the ship, I'd hate to be trapped in a foreign country w/no passport. And I believe the US won't let you back in without one, even if you are a US citizen and have ID.

Belle6000
10-15-2012, 05:47 PM
Weird question....did they give you guys towels when you left the ship at Grand Cayman, etc?

Also, did you guys bring your passports on shore with you? I hear lots of debate on the topic, and I honestly don't know what to do -- on the one hand, I don't want my passport stolen, and I know that I can get on the ship w/my KTTW card. BUT, if something should happen, a medical or other emergency, and we couldn't get on the ship, I'd hate to be trapped in a foreign country w/no passport. And I believe the US won't let you back in without one, even if you are a US citizen and have ID.

They had towels for us as we left the ship for one of the ports. For the other ports we had to get them from the deck 9 pool area. They don't care if you take their pool towels off with you...just bring them back. :)

I think it was Grand Cayman that they had them for us when we disembarked. They also had a little covered area by the tenders with lemonade and water when we were going to get back on the ship and they had a bin for you to put your used towels in right there before you got on the tender to take you back to the ship. The other ports they had a towel collection bin when you got back on the ship and went through x-ray.

We took our passports with us but I don't think we ever needed them. The only time we were asked for them was when we were disembarking in Galveston at the end of the trip.

pllanez12
10-15-2012, 10:29 PM
Nice to see all the reports. My cruise isn't till next year, but gettin plenty of tips and ideas. Thanks to all who put in a review.

niki2576
10-16-2012, 03:56 PM
Thanks for all the great tips. My daughter and I leave 12/29 out of Galveston and I am so excited! I am already making packing lists LOL

pllanez12
10-17-2012, 10:37 PM
Have a question for anyone who has returned recently from the Galveston Cruise. How were the sea's and the overall weather????? Any problem with rough seas????? Just wondering cause I'm taking my first DC next year this time.

Thanks
Phil :cool1:

pllanez12
10-17-2012, 11:11 PM
346 days till CRUISE

:cool1:

WoodlandsMom
10-18-2012, 01:27 AM
Have a question for anyone who has returned recently from the Galveston Cruise. How were the sea's and the overall weather????? Any problem with rough seas????? Just wondering cause I'm taking my first DC next year this time.

Thanks
Phil :cool1:


Sept 29 - Oct 6
The first day - leaving Galveston - was the "roughest" although it was not very rough (it was raining in Galveston). When we arrived in Cozumel on Thursday it was lightly raining. Those that had the beach excursion complained because it was a wet day.

WoodlandsMom
10-18-2012, 01:28 AM
They had towels for us as we left the ship for one of the ports. For the other ports we had to get them from the deck 9 pool area. They don't care if you take their pool towels off with you...just bring them back. :)

I think it was Grand Cayman that they had them for us when we disembarked. They also had a little covered area by the tenders with lemonade and water when we were going to get back on the ship and they had a bin for you to put your used towels in right there before you got on the tender to take you back to the ship. The other ports they had a towel collection bin when you got back on the ship and went through x-ray.

We took our passports with us but I don't think we ever needed them. The only time we were asked for them was when we were disembarking in Galveston at the end of the trip.

That's funny, we must have overlooked the towel bin. lol. We just put our used towels in our bathtub back in our room.

pllanez12
10-18-2012, 05:04 PM
Thanks for the info.