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SandieT
09-27-2005, 10:50 AM
Can anyone give me some feedback on excursions? I was looking at the Atlantis Sub Adventure. I am cruising with husband, 2 girls 3 & 7 and my 84 year old father. I need excursions we can all do and my dad hates to be IN the water (to get wet). Through Disney the age limit is 4 but if you go directly to the excursion place it is for 36 in and taller. (my 3 yr old is 37.5). Is Disney a real stickler to the age thing? I would rather book through them to keep things simple.
Any opinion on the butterfly farm tour or french riviera beach rendezvous?
How does it work if you are done with your scheduled excursion but want to go shopping or something? If we did shopping we would have to make sure my dad got back to the ship, he hates shopping too.
Our trip is in Jan 2006 so I am about a month shy of reservation time.

gydell
09-27-2005, 10:56 AM
We are looking at the same excursions and I think we are on the same cruise!

SandieT
09-27-2005, 11:15 AM
Yes we are and I am getting a little nervous because I have no idea what to plan and it is coming up so fast. We have never been on a cruise and planning around an age difference of 81 years is proving tough!
I know their are people out there.
HELP US!!!!!!!!!! :earseek:

gydell
09-27-2005, 11:25 AM
We only have a difference of 50 years and it is still hard to plan. I thought I read in the passporter that anyone over 36" that can climb a ladder could go on the DCL sub excursion. I know that we are going to do the Butterfly farm on our own because we don't want to shop with a 4 year old and we can do it cheaper and stay as long as we want. When I checked the sub prices they were the same and then you had to get your transportation on your own so even though the reviews are very mixed and I have done a sub before and was not thrilled I think the 4yo will like being in the sub. I also heard that there are 2 times for the sub. Which one are you thinking about?

PoohJen
09-27-2005, 11:26 AM
re: sub. My DH took my twin 7yos on the Atlantis sub on the Eastern last Nov; very enjoyable by all. You pick up the excursion right off the Magic. The sub submerges around 80 ft, I believe; DH was impressed by how clear the water was that deep. The tour guides provide charts of local marine life to be spotted.

Shopping in St. Thomas is also right at the docks, so you can do both the excursion and shop. Your Dad, if he's not up for much walking, can enjoy a quiet afternoon up on deck! :sunny:

Btw, I enjoyed staying behind w/ my 12yo; we walked/shopped a little, and took advantage of the quiet upper decks! Have a great time, and Happy Planning!!! :wave2:

SandieT
09-27-2005, 07:56 PM
Still looking for input on Eastern excursions!!!
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE :confused3 :confused3 :confused3 :confused3 :confused3 :confused3 :confused3 :confused3 :confused3

Joel110
09-27-2005, 09:03 PM
Still looking for input on Eastern excursions!!!
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE :confused3 :confused3 :confused3 :confused3 :confused3 :confused3 :confused3 :confused3 :confused3

We did the Eastern in January. Our favorite part was visiting Maho Beach in St. Maarten. Maho beach is on approach for the St. Maarten International Airport. This airport has the shortest runway in the world that can allow a 747 to land. As a result, the 747's coming in from Europe around 1:30-2:30pm must fly super low and slow over the beach. They literally fly 30 feet over your head just before touching down on the runway. It's quite the rush. After about an hour to unload and reload, the 747's back up to the fence to take off. Locals (and my dad and two brother-in-laws) hold on to the fence to feel the jet engine windstorm created on takeoff.

My suggestion is to do something in the morning like the Butterfly farm or shopping, and then head to Maho for lunch. There's a real good beach bar at Maho that had great food and drinks there called the Sunset Beach Bar. It's a good beach to enjoy the afternoon of relaxing and plane watching. We had 7 kids under age of 6 with us, as well as my dad who was celebrating his 69th b-day the day we were in St. Maarten port and all enjoyed.

Some caveats: As with all St. Maarten beaches, there may be a topless bather or so. We never felt uncomfortable. The big issue is time and getting back to the ship for the 7pm departure. It looks like a short trip, but there's a drawbridge the goes up every night around 5pm on the route back and horrible traffic. If we did it again, we'd probably work it out with a taxi driver to be comfortable as it took us about 2 hours to get back, drop off the car and just made it to the Magic w/10 minutes to spare. Very nerve racking.

Here's some video of the landing and takeoff of a KLM 747. My BIL is seen in the landing, he's a 737 pilot. In the takeoff, my dad and 2 BILs are on the left side getting jet washed.

If possible, please download and then watch. The website limits the number of monthly downloads.

http://www4.streamload.com/Nodes/Node.asp?cxInstID=45488971&nodeID=60586900

tvguy
09-27-2005, 09:17 PM
If you want the sub, book early. It was sold out within an our of when reservations opened up on our cruise.

cruisin4fun
09-27-2005, 09:46 PM
Anyone have advice for these excursions in January - are any of the beaches/snorkeling spots particularly warmer than others?

I really want to snorkel. We have DS7 and DD5 who love the water but have never snorkeled. Does the water get very rough or cloudy this time of year - since it is after Hurricane season?

Thanks!

joksten2000
09-28-2005, 05:37 AM
My wife and I 62 & 63 find it very relaxing to stay on the ship and enjoy the peace and quiet while in port. I love the kids & gkids, and we do a lot with them on the ship, but it's nice to get a break and focus on us. Besides its like a job trying to keep up with everyone

SandieT
09-29-2005, 09:25 AM
Need help with eastern excursions in January. I have tons of questions so if someone likes to talk and has experienced this cruise please respond. I have DD3, DD7, and my dad 84, DH and myself.
Thanks!!!

S.S.Oceanlover
09-29-2005, 09:41 AM
Need help with eastern excursions in January. I have tons of questions so if someone likes to talk and has experienced this cruise please respond. I have DD3, DD7, and my dad 84, DH and myself.
Thanks!!!

Sandie,
What type of things are your family interested in? Beach, sightseeing, etc.
I'm not familiar with Disney's Eastern port of calls. Where are they stopping.

Bill

TheWog
09-29-2005, 09:48 AM
I did the Atlantis Sub excursion. DS6 at the time and I loved the trip and it was worth it to do it. You take a boat out to Buck Island, about 15 minute ride. You climb off the boat and onto the sub. You climb down the ladder and sit in your seat. The seats face out the windows and there are usually two seats to a window. We got to see a lot of fish including, sharks, barracuda, stingrays as well as turtles, lobster, some ship wreck parts, coral, you name it. It is neat to go way down like poohjen said, about 80 feet, and watch the color of your lips and clothes change. Light gets filtered out so you lose the reds and such. It is really pretty neat. We took pictures and found that the pictures taken out the opposite side of the sub came out better, the ones taken out of our window farther down were just all green. You get a "dive certificate" at the completion of the trip that certifies you did it. Neat to have.

We booked through DCL, but essentially found our way there on our own once off the ship. We tendered that day, so we were dropped at the pier and then just walked over to where the boat was and climbed aboard. I believe DCL is pretty strict about age restrictions so you may be best doing it on your own. The meet point is right at the end of the pier where the ships dock.

It appears right now if you book online you not only get 10% off your booking you also get a free gift. Check it out.

http://www.atlantisadventures.com/destinations.php?site=13

I can answer any questions you may have about that particular excursion. Let me know.

SandieT
10-01-2005, 08:10 AM
TheWog,
Thank you so much, that helps. Having never been on a cruise, I have visions of wandering off the ship and having to find our own way through some foreign county. But it sounds simple enough.
I also have a somewhat small fear of the excursion itself. 80 feet under water is very deep. Can you tell me if it seemed like a safe excursion. Did you feel safe?
What other excursions did you do on that trip. It looks like you went in Jan too. Does the slighly cooler weather make a difference in the excursions? Were you able to go in the water on or off the ship or was it too chilly?
Thanks so much for the help. I could go on asking questions all day but I'll stop here.
Sandie :wave2:

cruisin4fun
10-06-2005, 07:08 PM
Bump!

sweetsue
10-06-2005, 07:54 PM
Sandie,

Here are answers to some of your questions.

If you book through DCL you will literally follow a guide to exactly where you need to go. If you book on your own, you will have to find it yourself. It is very easy to find stuff in the Caribbean. The locals will be MORE than helpful.

Any shore excursion will drop you at the entrance to the ship. If the ship is tendering, you will be dropped off at the tendering location. If the ship is at the pier, you will be dropped off as close to the pier as cars can get. Once dropped off you can go wherever you want - either back to the ship or into town for shopping. Disney has changed where they dock in St. Thomas, so if you dock at the Crown Bay marina, there is very, very, very little shopping. Downtown is about 2 miles away.

As for the difference in ages, just remember that you don't all have to do the same things. You'll be spending many hours together over a 7-day period. It won't seem "weird" at all if your group splits up a bit for the shore excursions. Instead, take advantage of using different excursions for everyone to enjoy. Consider having your DH take the kids on a snorkeling adventure while you spend some quality time with your Dad doing a city tour.

We planned an Eastern cruise with 4 generations of people. All of our planning was for nothing - the cruise ended up being a Western due to the weather. My mom did a city tour followed by butterfly farm in Grand Cayman. She highly recommended the butterfly farm for my DD4, so I imagine it would be similar. You might consider Coral World as an option. It's got a beautiful underwater window onto the REAL coral reef, not an aquarium. Your dad can enjoy this staying very, very dry. Later there is a beach area (Coki) where you can enjoy surf and sun, possibly sending you Dad back to the ship.

Caribbean waters are warm year round - even in January! Unless you're from the tropics, you'll feel very comfortable.

I hope this helped!

Sweet Sue

DOOGIERUNNER
10-08-2005, 06:14 AM
We're heading on our 5th 7-day next Month. The best excursion we've ever done was through www.offshoresunsations.com in St. Martin. It was a day trip to Anguilla on a Cigarette boat. We visited other small islands and very small beaches and Cays. It was beautiful.

TheWog
10-11-2005, 10:09 AM
TheWog,
Thank you so much, that helps. Having never been on a cruise, I have visions of wandering off the ship and having to find our own way through some foreign county. But it sounds simple enough.
I also have a somewhat small fear of the excursion itself. 80 feet under water is very deep. Can you tell me if it seemed like a safe excursion. Did you feel safe?
What other excursions did you do on that trip. It looks like you went in Jan too. Does the slighly cooler weather make a difference in the excursions? Were you able to go in the water on or off the ship or was it too chilly?
Thanks so much for the help. I could go on asking questions all day but I'll stop here.
Sandie :wave2:
Did you get my PM?