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Old 11-21-2012, 06:50 PM   #241
Dawncala
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A Childs’ Garden of Mystery Meals

Tonight DH and I had reservations in Remy. I will get to our adventure shortly, but first I will share with you the kids’ experience at the Enchanted Garden restaurant.

The kids had a choice of eating in Cabanas, getting quick service, room service… I guess they could have had free flowing ice cream for dinner for all we would have known, but they chose to go to our scheduled rotational restaurant. DD brought her camera and took photos. (I’m not sure why most of them turned out blurry. Perhaps she turned off the image stabilizer.)

DD only took a photo of the appetizer side of the menu, but no actual photos of appetizers. She did however take photos of the entrees and desserts. Without the menu I don’t know exactly what they are so let’s play “name that mystery dish” shall we?



Appetizer/Soup/Salad menu


Creativity with the Fig and Date Ciabatta bread


Some sort of stuffed ravioli


Pork or turkey?


Chocolate mousse?


Looks like creme brulee, but also kind of like cheesecake, but neither of those usually comes with ice cream so who knows.


I got this one. Even though DH wasn't at dinner his fresh berries and whipped cream arrived anyway.
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:20 PM   #242
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Meridian

Meridian is an adult-only cocktail and cigar bar located between Palo and Remy on deck 12 aft. It provides a subtle travel theme with a variety of compass shapes throughout the room and a small display of travel themed items, but other than that it just has that dark leather cozy feel of a den. The drink menu is comprised of an equal blend of unique cocktails, sipping drinks for the more distinguished palate, and some beverages reserved for those with a larger cruise budget.

The two times I was in there it had a very quiet and sophisticated atmosphere. This was where we were asked to wait before the maître d escorted us to our table for dinner in Remy. I took a some photos in here on two separate occasions, but I’ll include them all in this post.



Shiny floor sign with compass ceiling light reflection


Drink menu cover


Drink menu


Travel themed lighting


View of empty seating area and bar one mid-afternoon at sea


Unique back cushions resemble luggage


Outdoor cigar/smoking area
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:30 PM   #243
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The Storm and the Cheese (part 1)

Tonight DH and I had dinner reservations at Remy, the adult-only French cuisine restaurant available exclusively on the Disney Dream and Fantasy. There is an upcharge of $75 per person, but if you like sensational food, impeccable presentation and outstanding service they hit the mark in every area.

DH ran to the room to get my DSLR camera because my point and shoot battery was nearly dead. I went up to Remy to check in. We were already running late because we stayed to watch DS in the juggling show. (no regrets)





The wall mural in the stairwell outside Remy & Palo

I checked in at the hostess station, which serves both Palo and Remy, and was invited to wait in Meridian. DH arrived a few minutes later. Next, the maître d for Remy, who had a soft, but intense French accent, came in to greet us. He shook DH’s hand courteously and lightly kissed mine. (ooh la la) As he escorted us into Remy he quietly pointed out special features of the restaurants such as the blown glass lights and the glass wall case filled with a selection of very special wines. (It is just one of the many wine storage areas up here) He specifically pointed out two of the wines that are featured in the movie Ratatouille and a bottle of wine worth $35,000. I’ll spare you the suspense now, we did not order that wine.


Beautiful glass lighting


Bottles featured in the movie Ratatouille

There are several rooms in Remy and there are sliding doors that can separate them for privacy. We were sat in the farthest room, at the farthest table, next to the window. This turned out to be a lucky happenstance. (I'll explain why later) There were only about 8 tables total in the room and there was only one other couple in the room with us the whole night. Let me tell you, it was darn quiet in there. Whisper quiet.

We kind of had a view of Costa Maya out the window. It was really dark, so we could only vaguely see the lights in the Port Plaza, but we did have a really great view of the storm. Sometime between 4:00 when we came back on board, and now (8:30 PM) a nasty storm had moved in. Throughout our entire dinner it poured outside, and there was some lightening too. We felt sorry for the Fantasy crew who had the night off. We couldn’t imagine them having to spend their night off in Costa Maya in that downpour. We could just make out the tram driving back and forth all evening so I assume some crew and guests were coming and going and making use of the extended port hours.

We were greeted by Linda who introduced herself as our main server for the evening. She was also French. Then another server, Christopher, (also French…are you sensing a theme?) came by with a cart to make us Remy’s signature champagne cocktail. It was like an 8 step process and he described it to us in great detail. Christopher has a very thick French accent so we only caught about ½ of what he said and filled in the gaps by deducing as best we could.



Remy signature champagne coctail


Custom place settings

Next a completely different server (Belgian I believe) came over to offer us bread and butter. The butter was a creamy spread that came under a little silver cover. Alongside they served two different types of exotic salts for flavoring. At this point we decided that the reason Remy was an additional $75 was because each course had its own server and the butter dishes needed silver chapeaus.


Remy menu and a glimpse of a bread roll


Remy-made butter and exotic salts

There are two menu options in Remy. You can order dishes ala carte or order what they call a “tasting menu” comprised of a pre-set five courses. There are two tasting menus to choose from, but don’t let the word “tasting” fool you. Each comes with plenty of food. There are also hidden courses so you end up being served more like 8 courses throughout the evening. We went with Linda’s recommendation and ordered one of each “tasting menu” so we could try as many dishes as possible.


Dining offerings: Taste menus on top, ala carte on the bottom

Stay tuned for part 2
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:35 AM   #244
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The Storm and the Cheese (part 2) AKA: Here Come the Courses

We chose to decline the wine pairings package. It includes a pre-selected wine paired to compliment each course. Since I can’t drink wine, and DH just knew he wouldn’t be able to drink that much, he asked Linda for a couple of recommendations. She sent over the wine sommelier, Christopher. (The same CM who made our champagne cocktails) He asked DH a few questions about what he liked in wines and made a few suggestions. DH told him to pick two of his favorites and send them out with the courses they would pair best with.

Then we chatted with Christopher for a bit. Believe it or not our DD (when she was 9 or 10) decided that one of the many careers she was going to have someday is sommelier. We decided to ask Christopher how he became one because we figured if DD could combine the sommelier thing with her Disney passion, then all the better. Through his heavy French accent he told us a bit about his education process and we followed along as best we could. Then he offered to take DD on a tour of the Remy wine cellars and answer questions for her if she was interested. It was a wonderful offer and we told him we’d let DD know. (More on this later) By the way, DH said both wine selections Christopher made for him were outstanding.

Next the dinner courses began to arrive. I believe the first actual course was some kind of breaded puff filled with tomato soup. (sorry, forgot to photograph that one) The first thing we noticed about every course was that the presentation was exceptional. Each plate was a work of art that almost looked too pretty to eat…almost.

I took photos of nearly every course. Unfortunately, since I didn’t take notes during the dinner, I cannot give particularly detailed descriptions of each dish. Let me assure you that each tasted as good as it looked. DH and I had a wonderful time exchanging bites so we could try everything.



Saint Jacques: Scallop with black olive and fennel This one and the next are great examples of the artistic presentation at Remy.


Smoked Buffalo


Wild Turbot with lemon-capers and spinach


Grosse Crevette: Large Florida Shrimp in a lettuce cream


Roasted Vermont Quail: This one sticks out in my mind as being particularly delicious


Cabillaud Girolles: This means Cod and Mushrooms. I just remember the uniqueness of the foam topping and there being a fragrant broth underneath.


Kurobuta Pork Tenderloin and Belly: Another outstanding dish. Yes, that really is popcorn incorporated into the garnish. I loved the extensive presentation on this dish. So many textures and tastes.


Boeuf de Wagyu: This is a very tender, high quality beef from Japan.


I do not remember what this was. It was not part of the regular menu. Linda just brought it for us to taste. I remember it was not quite thin enough to be soup. It was more like a pudding.

I forgot to mention the room décor. Our table not only had a great view of the storm raging outside, we had a “view” of the kitchen from Ratatouille on one wall and a “view” overlooking Paris on the other.


The "Kitchen". I thought it would have been cool for this mural to be animated. It would have been neat to see Remy, Linguini and other characters occasionally appear to cook in the kitchen.


Our romantic Paris view table.
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:24 PM   #245
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The Storm and the Cheese (part 3) AKA: The Cheese

By now we had little to no room left in our tummies. We had completely lost track of how many courses had already come and no idea how many were left to go. We were hoping dessert would arrive next to signify that we were nearly done. But then the cheese arrived.

The Belgian server was back with a covered cart filled with cheeses. For the next 20 minutes he described, in great detail, the names, types, nationalities, textures, tastes, and aging processes of each cheese in turn. To be honest, when he was finished the information was all blurred together, but we were thankful for some time to just sit and digest. We ended up ordering two plates; one with the mild cheeses, and one with the more pungent cheeses. There were also some fruits to compliment the cheeses and we got some of those too.



The Cheese Cart

Around the time our cheese sample plates were set before us DH and I had suddenly become quite giggly. With every cheese we sniffed and tasted we laughed a little more. Since we couldn’t remember any of the actual cheese descriptions we started making up our own which only made us laugh harder. For example…“This precocious brie spent its infancy stored in a mink lined cask where it was sung cantatas to nightly by Norwegian monks. It has the nose of a wet NY Yankees sweat sock after game 3 of the World Series, the texture of a #2 Ticonderoga pencil eraser and the full bodied taste of a full grown Himalayan Mountain Hippo.”


The mild cheeses. My favorite was the small wedge on the upper right of the plate. It's an ashy goat cheese, and although it looks like it was dropped in the dirt, it was delicious.


The smelly cheeses. If I'm remembering correctly the smelliest ones were the one that looks like a plop of mayonnaise and the marbled blue cheese wedge on the left side of the plate.

By the time we got to the strongest, smelliest cheeses on the plate, (and I should warn you, it was really smelly) we had tears streaming down our faces and couldn’t even look at the cheese anymore without losing it. Thank goodness the other couple in the room had already left. We noticed they were taking their meal quite seriously, and I think they were annoyed that we were having such a good time.

We only had enough room to taste each cheese so we asked Linda to package the rest to-go because we knew DD would love to try them. (DD was thrilled and especially loved the smelliest cheeses in the bunch.)
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Old 12-06-2012, 05:35 PM   #246
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The Storm and the Cheese (part 4) AKA: NEXT!

So we finished tasting all the cheeses and dabbing the remaining tears from our eyes. DH, who had leaned back in his chair to give his full stomach some more room to expand, happily exclaimed “Next!” to what we both thought was an empty room. It wasn’t however. Linda was just outside the door. She came hurrying in and said in an amused voice “yes, sir” which started us laughing all over again.

The next course was dessert. YEAH! Again, the presentation was amazing. DH's was called Paris-Brest, which was basically a trio of delicious hazelnut profiteroles, and I got this crazy frozen Peruvian chocolate cylinder wrapped in a chocolate sail with some sort of shimmery fruit gel and caramel caviar on the side. The caramel caviar was unlike anything I’d had before and I loved them. I joked with DH that I was going to ask for a bowl of them next time I saw Linda. Looking back on it I should have actually asked. This was a Disney cruise after all and she might have granted my wish. I was also served a chocolate yolk floating in some sort of liqueur. I let DH have it. I was simply too full to eat it, but it earned me brownie point with him anyway.



Paris-Brest: AKA hazelnut puffs


Peruvian chocolate cylinder. The Nike style sparkling swoosh was some sort of fruit gel and the little golden balls are caramel caviar.


Chocolate yolk in a liqueur. You eat it like an oyster-on-the-half-shell.

With dessert we were offered coffee or tea. DH ordered an espresso and I ordered some hot mint tea. I was hoping it might help the digestive process move more quickly. By this point I wasn’t sure I’d be able to walk out of there under my own power. As Linda cleared our dessert plates and walked away she quietly said with a French accented giggle. “Next!” DH and I were practically on the floor laughing.

Well, Linda wasn’t kidding. Next she brought out a plate (a big one) full of house-made sweets. Homemade marshmallows, caramels, chocolates... We groaned and DH said “Are you kidding me?” Linda asked us if we would like them wrapped to-go and we practically shouted “Yes please!” She told us to eat the hazelnut one because it wouldn’t keep. (I don’t seem to have photos of the sweets plate.)

Roughly 3 hours after arriving at Remy our experience was complete. We signed the tab and with our doggie bags in hand we slowly, and I mean snail’s pace, made our way back to the room. I'm not sure how long it took us to waddle down three flights of stairs and to mid-ship, but it seemed like an eternity. DH and I passed the time arguing over who was fuller.

The kids were watching a movie on the TV but were excited to show us what had arrived while we were gone. Lying on the bed was a Thank You card from Remy, a red rose and a box of gourmet chocolates. When I opened the box I half expected there to be a single word written inside the lid… “Next!”



Special Remy surprises and the to-go bag of house-made sweets


Next up: Day 5
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:59 AM   #247
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u have done a great job so far no complaints here .
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:43 PM   #248
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Where “Fast Food” Has Duel Meanings

I passed through the dining district on deck 11 on my way to Cabanas for breakfast this morning. This is where you can find quick counter service dining options such as hamburgers, sandwiches, pizza and the ever popular free-flowing ice cream station. On the Fantasy (and Dream) the food portion of the area has a Cars theme which provides some tongue-in-cheek humor to the term “fast food”.

The food options are located on the port side of the ship. Later today this area will be bustling with activity and swarming with wet families, but at this early hour everything was closed, and the area completely empty, so I decided to grab some photos.

Sorry to say I cannot tell you how any of the food is as I never ate here. I can get sandwiches and pizza at home so when cruising I prefer to dine in the restaurants so I can try items I wouldn't make for myself.



This road leads to the "fast food" options


The fine print reads "Drive in empty and fill'er up"


Each character's area has a different color and theme to match their nationality and personality


Luigis serves pizza of course


Maters Grill serves the standard fast food items...burgers, chicken tenders, hot dogs, and fries which are available on request.


Fillmores has the healthier options...wraps, paninis and a make-you-own-salad option.


The salad toppings and other condiments can be found at Flo's serving station.


Theme details on the condiment station

On the starboard side you’ll find the Incredibles themed Frozone Treats which serves smoothies and beer, and Eye Scream, the self-serve soft ice cream station with a Monsters Inc. theme.


Something for the little kids and the big ones. This is the only station that has an up-charge.


Usually the busiest station of all
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Old 12-15-2012, 11:44 AM   #249
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Cozumel Adventure

We polished off a quick breakfast and went down to meet our excursion group in the Buena Vista Theater. The Fury Catamaran Snorkel and Beach Excursion was our one and only excursion on this cruise and we were excited to begin our adventure. I’m glad we got there early because we weren’t the only excursion meeting in there and it was beginning to get crowded.

We were directed to check in with the cast member down front with the clipboard. He checked us off his list and gave us stickers to wear to denote our excursion group. We were group Green Aladdin. Then we were pointed to the theater rows assigned to our group. While we waited, people kept flooding in until they were lining the stairs, sitting on the edge of the stage and basically taking up all the space available in the theater.



Don't forget to bring your tickets. You will find them in your cabin when you board. They also tell you the meet location and meet time.


Green Aladdin stickers

When everyone was checked in a cast member made a brief announcement then group by group we were led out of the theater. You basically just follow the cast member carrying a paddle with the same character and color as your sticker. Lining the theater walls, along the exit routes, were tables stacked with white pool towels. As you passed by you were welcome to take towels for your excursion. We scooped up four towels and stowed them in our bag.

Our cast member led us downstairs and out of the boat to the Cozumel dock. Sitting a short distance away at the same dock was our Catamaran. They checked our names off another list and we boarded. Just onboard we were handed a life vest, mask and snorkel, then they positioned us for a photo with the Fantasy behind us. This photo, and others, were available for purchase at the end of the trip. (more on that later)



Our catamaran parked at the dock. It was so close we didn't even have to actually go into Cozumel to board it.



Tips: Remember to bring your excursion tickets. Get there early if you want to have a seat while waiting. Bring an extra bag to carry towels if you are going on an excursion that includes water. Don’t forget sunscreen, no matter how grey the day looks.
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Old 12-17-2012, 05:34 PM   #250
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Fury Catamaran: The Ride (The First Part)

The catamaran itself had three sections and is built kind of like a tri-level house. The first section is an open deck taking up the front half of the catamaran. From there you can go up or down. The lower back half is a covered deck which has lots of seating, a bar area and the bathrooms. Directly above that is an upper deck and the sails.

For the ride to the snorkeling spot we were all asked to sit in the covered lower section while the crew got things ready up front. I think it was about a 20 minute ride along the coastline to the spot where we would be snorkeling. Everyone mostly chatted, put on sunscreen, adjusted gear for their kids and took photos.



Shorline view from the Catamaran


Our captain steering with his foot


Small lighthouse


Margaritaville Cozumel


Hotels and a neat looking conical thatched roof


Perry trying on his gear.
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Old 12-17-2012, 06:31 PM   #251
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Fury Catamaran: The Snorkel Part

When we arrived at the snorkeling spot a crew member instructed everyone as to how to put on, adjust and inflate our life vests, how to use our masks and snorkels, how to signal for help if necessary and how we would all exit and reboard the catamaran. We were told we’d have about 45 minutes to snorkel. (just long enough in my opinion)

We went up to the front of the catamaran and began to put on our gear. DS and DD had not really snorkeled before (only in a pool) so we helped them adjust everything. We were also told that we could exit the catamaran in one of two ways. The first was down a set of stairs lowered between the pontoons. The second was to jump off the side of the catamaran which I’d guess was about a 10 to 12 foot jump. We asked the kids which exit they wanted to use. DH and I planned to jump in, but told them they could use the stairs if they preferred. They wanted to jump too. Thankfully we were the last people jumping because this was where things got funny. (at least to DH and I)



DH and the kids getting their gear on.

We walked to the edge where a crew member instructed us on how to hold our mask and jump away from the boat. Since I’ve done this before I volunteered to go first so the kids could see how it was done. It was an easy jump and seconds later I was bobbing in the tepid blue water. I swam a short way away and waited for the family to join me.

When DS neared the jump spot he realized how high up it seemed and quickly backed away to let DD go first. Then DD stepped up, got the same height fright, and backed off. We told them it was OK if they went down the stairs, but they were determined to jump in so DS stepped up to try again. After much coaxing and countdowns from DH and me there was still no actual jump. DD said “If I do it will you do it?” He said yes and quickly backed out of her way.

Once again DD stepped to the edge and prepared to jump. You could see her hesitation as she cautiously peered straight down at the water. At this point the crew member positioned there and DH were laughing and DH asked him if he wanted to place any bets. Again DH and I coaxed and instructed her to hold her mask. We counted 1…2…3…and she jumped! Seeing DD jump was enough for DS. He wasn’t going to let her outdo him so he walked up, waited for his count of three and he jumped somewhere around five. DH quickly put on his gear and joined us.

It was an okay snorkeling area. DH and I are jaded because we’ve gone scuba diving in some pretty sensational spots so this was really tame for us. The kids thought it was outstanding though. I think the crew said the spot ranged between 25 and 40 feet deep. It had small scattered coral clusters and the fish mainly consisted of small black and black and yellow striped fish, and some larger silver fish. (No idea what kinds they were)

We had two cameras with us. One was DS’s new GoPro sport video camera in a waterproof case. We shot pretty much the entire dive from the jumping in part to when we exited the water using that. DS wanted to hold it (of course) so much of the footage is crazy blurry because he couldn’t figure out how to swim with one arm and hold the camera steady with the other. Our other camera was a simple disposable 25 shot point-and-shoot. We all took turns taking a few photos with that, but since the day was so overcast the photos are pretty dark. I did include a few below.



DH dove about 15 feet down for this shot.


You can kind of see all the black and yellow striped fish swimming behind DH


One of the larger silver fish

There were buoys set up in the water with a crew member stationed near each and we were asked to stay within that perimeter. If someone swam outside, or too close to the buoy they were politely herded back into the circle. Sometime, without trying, the current would push you past the perimeter and suddenly someone was tapping you on the shoulder to get your attention.

During our time out a photographer was in the water with us trying to get group photos. We didn’t bump into her during our swim, but she caught us just before we got back onboard.




45 minutes passed quickly and soon we were being herded toward the catamaran to reboard. The waves were sloshing around pretty good by the stairwell so as the group neared the opening we were all being pushed into each other. You could hear a lot of “excuse me”, “so sorry”, and “don’t worry about it” coming from everyone as we tried to tread water and hold our positions in line. The closer you got to the stairs the more turbulent it became.

We were told to take off our fins and hand them up first so we helped the kids get theirs off, handed them off to the crew then pushed DS and DD up onto the stairs. Eventually DH and I worked our way in too. I discovered that if you timed it right the tide would push you up to about the fourth step. Trying to get on while the tide was going the other way was nearly impossible, but fun to watch people try to do.
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Old 12-17-2012, 06:48 PM   #252
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Fury Catamaran: The Ride (The Middle Part)

Back on board we handed off the rest of our gear and went to find our towels. While the crew prepared the boat to depart we were told that we could now roam freely around the catamaran using all the space. They also began serving water and sodas for everyone, and beer and margaritas for the adults. These are included in the excursion and do not require additional payment. The crew basically just walked around with them handing them out during the rest of our time onboard.

The kids spread their towels on the upper deck to lay out and dry off, and I took some photos while DH had some beer. I think this part of the trip took about 15 minutes.



Resting/drying on the upper deck


Perry on the upper stairs. You can see the bar area on the lower deck between the stair slats.


The front of the catamaran. The stairwell (currently raised) is on the lower left side of the photo.

The coolest part of the ride was seeing the flying fish. Every so often a winged fish would fly out of the ocean, soar about a foot above the water for an astounding number of seconds (10 to 20 seconds I’d guess), before it dove in again. They were amazing to watch and we saw at least a dozen during our ride.

Finally we began to pass several beaches filled with lounge chairs, umbrellas and water toys. We were told some belonged to hotels and others were privately owned. The crew asked us to all go below towards the back. We needed to shift the weight in the catamaran because they were going to pull directly onto the beach and needed the front pontoons up as high as they could go.



One of the beach play areas we passed.


Our destination: Fury Beach
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:49 PM   #253
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I'm enjoying your trip report! It's amazing! Love all the pictures and details
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:50 PM   #254
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[

One of the beach play areas we passed.

This is were our shore excursion was. Playamia. We did a Mexican cooking class(in the small white building), then had beach time. Under the big white canopy was the buffet and seating area.
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:39 AM   #255
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Thank you Pizzie for the kind words.

Hi Strawberry! Thanks for the info. I was wondering the purpose of the white tent and you have solved the mystery. What did you cook? Would you recommend the excursion?
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