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Old 11-19-2012, 06:53 PM   #31
HarrisFamily4
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Originally Posted by Ariel224 View Post
DH and DS went on their X-rail excursion to Jade Caverns as scheduled. Came back covered head to toe in mud.
What was the review of this? I really want to go with my son, but want to make sure it's worth it vs a beach day :-)
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:27 PM   #32
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DH talked with some people who had been assigned a different stateroom at check in due to storm damage in the room they were originally assigned to. Other than that, the ship looked amazing.
Any idea what (or where) that room was?
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:29 PM   #33
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Not sure how to post the navigators, but I can answer questions about what's on them if you like.
The easiest way is to simply take a picture with your phone and attach it to a post
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:22 PM   #34
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There was a stingray swimming around the water on the beach that is before the family beach. This one has a climbing structure. Anyway he came in very shallow water, and just swam around for a while.

Waters were a little choppy beginning of cruise, and then totally smooth. The ship was really going fast and you could see huge waves from it. But nice and smooth!
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:04 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by HarrisFamily4 View Post
What was the review of this? I really want to go with my son, but want to make sure it's worth it vs a beach day :-)
I'm going to let my DH give a review here........

Hi, I'm the DH. First off, let me preface my description with a bit of personal history. I grew up in the high desert riding motorcycles and driving dune buggies and 4 wheel drives so as far as the off road experience the X-Buggy excursion provided, it was, well, comparatively tame. Many people there were completely freaked out by it though because they had never done anything even similar. The X-Buggies had obviously been up and down the trail many times before and were showing, um, signs of wear. The steering is not power assisted. You really need to put the muscle to the steering wheel to get the buggy to do what you want and avoid the trees. Two buggies in our 28 person tour (split into two groups) actually lost a front wheel. No worries though as we really weren't going very fast. There was a guide at the front and one bringing up the rear of both groups controlling the speed and dealing with lost front wheels.





The road was quite rough and bumpy with a few puddles here and there. The jungle (yes, real jungle) there is a thin layer of top soil over what appears to be sheets of rock that make up the island and keep it from eroding away from the wave action. I say this because the first stop on the outing was at a place called Aaktun Balam, a Mayan sort of a hurricane shelter. It has an intriguing entrance that was a small hole in the ground with a stairway leading down into it and a sign over it.



The cave is really interesting and kind of deceptive since the whole back side of the cave was open. The cave looked as though it had been dug out under a massive slab of stone that formed the roof. Outside, the roof of the cave was as densely vegetated as anywhere in the jungle.





Next, we bumped and jostled our way to the spectacular Jade Cavern, so named for the color of the water. It has a rickety stairway of maybe thirty or so steps and a boardwalk at the waters edge. Swimming was allowed with a life vest though I didn't do it because of the smell. I did speak to another guy in the other group who said he was led around to the side where he dove in head first off of a cliff into the part of the pool that is 64 feet deep.





We then headed back with a pass over a hump where the buggy almost jumped and a plunge in the mud hole near the end of the ride where we were told to gas it full throttle. We got a little muddy and so did a few others but the less brave went through slowly after seeing how we looked. Our heads were shielded from the mud for the most part by helmets and goggles. If you take a camera with you be sure it's well protected, especially if you do the mud splash. Ours survived well in its belt pouch with my shirt over it.



Overall, it was pretty fun and I'd say worth the money. Our boy LOVED it!

Ok, this is Ariel again. I made sure they both took old clothes and shoes that could be thrown away after the excursion. It was a good call; the mud is very sticky and silty, and hard to rinse off. DS showered, and I had to send him back for a second round to scrub hard with a washcloth. They kept their bandanas (sold for $2 each by the tour operator), and two days later, they are still soaking in my laundry sink.

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Any idea what (or where) that room was?
No, those specifics didn't come up.
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Last edited by Ariel224; 11-20-2012 at 12:11 AM.
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:49 AM   #36
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Did you do any of the cooking demos or other activities? Tastings? How did you like those?

Any general tips?

Did you take Disney transportation to/from the port?

My parents are on the 11/24 and I'm trying to prepare them as best as I can!
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:41 AM   #37
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ariel what operator did you end up going with on grand cayman? and did you enjoy stingray city? we booked stingray sailings leaving in 2 weeks!
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:26 AM   #38
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Jennrose, we were originally booked with Moby Dick. When I messed up the times, as I told you about in another thread, and we missed the departure, we literally walked up to another counter and they had a bus leaving right that second. The lady hustled us over as I was signing the waiver and DH was pulling payment out of his pocket. I couldn't tell you the name now of the company.

We did have a very nice time. I knew from tripadvisor reviews that it wasn't as good as Moby Dick would have been, but my DH, who didn't have that frame of reference, LOVED it. And we saved $70, so I really can't complain at all.

A guy I work with went with Stingray Sailings in August. Their catamaran is gorgeous, and he highly recommended them. Had I not already had the Moby Dick reservation at that point, I would have booked with them. I don't think you will be disappointed.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:35 AM   #39
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We are also just off the Fantasy. I didnt notice any damage. Everything looked great. I will say I did notice a lot of noise when the sea's were a little choppy. The railing outside our veranda was making a lot of noise, and other little creaks here and there. Dont know if that was like that before. We really enjoyed our cruise and loved our room (7540).

We did notice a lot of the plants were dead on CC. Hope they perk up. The leaves were all brown on a lot of the plants and palm tree's. Weather was perfect tho. Water was chilly at CC! My daughter didnt seem to mind. I just got a little chair and sat with my legs in the water. DH would not go in!

All excursions seemed to be up fine. We did the Island and Turtle Farm on GC, Mayan Ruins on CM, and the kids dolphin at Cozumel. They were all great. Really enjoyed the Ruins, we had such a great tour guide, he was a older guy. The weather was really nice the whole trip. In mexico. as long as you were in shade, it was really nice.

You will have a great time!
WOuld you be able to describe the Mayan Ruins excursion? Thanks!
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:15 PM   #40
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Whats the air temp like on deck at night?
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:34 PM   #41
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Thanks for the awesome Xrail photos and description! Looks awesome!
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:14 PM   #42
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I was surprised when i saw this itinerary how short the time in port is at Cayman. Did this cruise go to Costa Maya? We just booked for May 2013 and we re only there for 4 hours. I don't know what the point is in stopping there for such a short time. What did you think about that?
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:00 PM   #43
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I was surprised when i saw this itinerary how short the time in port is at Cayman. Did this cruise go to Costa Maya? We just booked for May 2013 and we re only there for 4 hours. I don't know what the point is in stopping there for such a short time. What did you think about that?
Yes the port times were short, which was a bit of a disappointment. Definitely not enough time in Grand Cayman.

We did go to Costa Maya. We took a cab to the Tropicante and hung out on the beach, ate good food, and I got an amazing 1 hour massage ($25). Highly recommended! In the immediate port area, the kids spent some time in the pool there. It would have been nice to have a couple more hours at that port.
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:41 PM   #44
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WOuld you be able to describe the Mayan Ruins excursion? Thanks!
Sure! We have done this one twice now. It's about a hour long bus ride each way, very comfortable huge buses. The ruins have 3 large pyramids. And some smaller stuff. You can climb on some of them to a certain point. I believe years ago when we went they didn't allow much climbing. The walk is very nice and scenic. Lots of shade. We seen a monkey swinging thru the tree's and parrot type bird. You have 2 hours at the ruins. There are a big set of stairs to climb, not bad. And then you have to go down more steps at the end to get down. Was easy for us, but we are36 and 41 with a 6 yr old. We had a lot of families. Last time we went it was a lot of older people, so it's not a bad walk or anything. We really enjoyed it. There is some shopping and a small place to get snacks and drinks. They do provide water when you get back on the bus. But I would bring it along for the walk etc.
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:08 PM   #45
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Sure! We have done this one twice now. It's about a hour long bus ride each way, very comfortable huge buses. The ruins have 3 large pyramids. And some smaller stuff. You can climb on some of them to a certain point. I believe years ago when we went they didn't allow much climbing. The walk is very nice and scenic. Lots of shade. We seen a monkey swinging thru the tree's and parrot type bird. You have 2 hours at the ruins. There are a big set of stairs to climb, not bad. And then you have to go down more steps at the end to get down. Was easy for us, but we are36 and 41 with a 6 yr old. We had a lot of families. Last time we went it was a lot of older people, so it's not a bad walk or anything. We really enjoyed it. There is some shopping and a small place to get snacks and drinks. They do provide water when you get back on the bus. But I would bring it along for the walk etc.
Great! Thanks for replying...appreciate it!
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