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Old 11-21-2012, 02:59 PM   #16
kristinfly2
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We just did boatswains on our own two weeks ago! They give you a 20% discount when you buy the tickets online! . We were on the same bus as the DCL people. Everyone there was super nice and made sure we were on the right bus and back in time. The bus back stopped at 7 mile beach if you wanted to get off there. Send them an email or call them and they will give you the schedule. Bus driver was super nice and have us a little tour on the way there! . I read on the other thread that DCL people got a buffet lunch, but we saved over $300 on our family of six by booking direct! I ordered the kids two orders of fries (yummy) then headed back to the ship for a late lunch! Turtles were cool. Pool, waterslide and lagoon were awesome!
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:05 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by kristinfly2 View Post
We just did boatswains on our own two weeks ago! They give you a 20% discount when you buy the tickets online! . We were on the same bus as the DCL people. Everyone there was super nice and made sure we were on the right bus and back in time. The bus back stopped at 7 mile beach if you wanted to get off there. Send them an email or call them and they will give you the schedule. Bus driver was super nice and have us a little tour on the way there! . I read on the other thread that DCL people got a buffet lunch, but we saved over $300 on our family of six by booking direct! I ordered the kids two orders of fries (yummy) then headed back to the ship for a late lunch! Turtles were cool. Pool, waterslide and lagoon were awesome!
Can you tell me how long your were in Grand Cayman & how long you stayed at the turtle farm. Our port time in GC says 11:30am to 4:45pm. I just want to make sure we have enough time to play it safe.

We sure aren't going to eat over $200 worth of food!
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:12 PM   #18
kristinfly2
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Wow ! Our port time was longer! 730 to 4. We caught the bus over at 830 i think and the bus back at 12. We booked this because our kids love to swim and it has the largest pool in grand cayman. We took our 4 youngest on the cruise 11, 9, 5 and 3. Our 11 yo and 3 yo loved the turtle part but the other 2 kids couldn't wait to get in the pool. DCL wanted $479 for this excursion and I paid $135!
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:30 PM   #19
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Wow ! Our port time was longer! 730 to 4. We caught the bus over at 830 i think and the bus back at 12. We booked this because our kids love to swim and it has the largest pool in grand cayman. We took our 4 youngest on the cruise 11, 9, 5 and 3. Our 11 yo and 3 yo loved the turtle part but the other 2 kids couldn't wait to get in the pool. DCL wanted $479 for this excursion and I paid $135!
Thanks Kristinfly2! I know you have answered questions for me on other threads and your responses are always so helpful

I was afraid you had a longer port time. I just can't decide.... If we catch a bus right at 11:30 and get there around noon I'd probably want to stay maybe 3 hours?? If we catch bus back at 3:00, ship leaves at 4:45, just now sure if I am comfortable with this

I may have to begin looking at the extra $200 as insurance that DCL gets us back to the boat, as others have said. I really want to see Grand Cayman as this is probably a "once in a long time" trip for us.
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Old 11-21-2012, 04:17 PM   #20
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Unless this is incorrect I hate to spend over $200 more and be on the same bus.
That's not the only thing you have to consider. You have to consider worse case scenario, which is why you're purchasing the "insurance."

Ok, say you are on the same bus as others who purchased through DCL. Bad accident or whatever and you're really late. The captain may have to leave without you guys. Purchasing thru DCL doesn't mean they'll wait, it means they'll get you to the next port on their dime. So, they might pay for hotels and transportation for those DCL purchased people, buy you'll be out of pocket.

That's the scenario you need to consider if it's worth the extra $200 or not.
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:12 PM   #21
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That's not the only thing you have to consider. You have to consider worse case scenario, which is why you're purchasing the "insurance."

Ok, say you are on the same bus as others who purchased through DCL. Bad accident or whatever and you're really late. The captain may have to leave without you guys. Purchasing thru DCL doesn't mean they'll wait, it means they'll get you to the next port on their dime. So, they might pay for hotels and transportation for those DCL purchased people, buy you'll be out of pocket.

That's the scenario you need to consider if it's worth the extra $200 or not.
Good point! Thank you!!
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:04 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by believinthemagic View Post
Thanks Kristinfly2! I know you have answered questions for me on other threads and your responses are always so helpful

I was afraid you had a longer port time. I just can't decide.... If we catch a bus right at 11:30 and get there around noon I'd probably want to stay maybe 3 hours?? If we catch bus back at 3:00, ship leaves at 4:45, just now sure if I am comfortable with this

I may have to begin looking at the extra $200 as insurance that DCL gets us back to the boat, as others have said. I really want to see Grand Cayman as this is probably a "once in a long time" trip for us.
If port time begins at 11:30 you'll be lucky to catch a bus by noon. There's usually a mad rush to catch the tenders. Non-Disney-shore-excursion people wait their turn in the theatres, so you'd have to line up, tender ashore, then get on the bus.

DCL shore excursion people have tenders reserved for them so they go ashore before the mere mortals and don't have to wait for hundreds of other passengers in line ahead of them.
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:11 PM   #23
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If port time begins at 11:30 you'll be lucky to catch a bus by noon. There's usually a mad rush to catch the tenders. Non-Disney-shore-excursion people wait their turn in the theatres, so you'd have to line up, tender ashore, then get on the bus.

DCL shore excursion people have tenders reserved for them so they go ashore before the mere mortals and don't have to wait for hundreds of other passengers in line ahead of them.
Thanks for the info! I have now re-booked for the DCL excursion. Feeling much better now about spending the money
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Old 11-22-2012, 12:03 AM   #24
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One other perk -- some DCL shore excursions are actually scheduled to return after everyone else is expected to be onboard. Then the tenders are available for the shore-excursion people.
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Old 11-22-2012, 12:44 AM   #25
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We were on this tour last week, and we also loved it. My kids are animal lovers, and were thrilled by the turtles, the birds in the aviary, the crocodile, the fish in the lagoon and the predator tank, the wild chickens, and the wild iguanas.

We did book through DCL. We were one of the first groups to tender to Grand Cayman. I don't know about later buses, but our bus was full of only people who had booked through DCL. (Only people who booked through DCL were off the ship at that point, and only people who had been waiting in the lounge with us for that particular shore excursion were on the bus.) We were on one of the first buses to arrive at the turtle farm, and in the first group a tour guide took in.

We were given tickets for a buffet lunch. I know I've heard a few people complaining about it, but we were pleasantly surprised. It was rice and beans, cole slaw, fried plantains, and a choice of barbecue chicken or fried fish. We thought it was pretty good; better than some of the meals we'd had on the ship, but that's another story. The included drink choices were fruit punch, lemonade, or iced tea, I believe.

There was a moment of confusion at the end of our tour because what DCL called the tour and what the Boatswain's people call the tour was slightly different. We booked something DCL called "Boatswain's Adventure Marine Park", or some name like that. The guide asked us if any of us were on the "Deluxe Tour," and he got a lot of blank stares. But at the end of his tour, I asked him what the white tickets were for, and apparently, they meant we were on the Deluxe Tour. Apparently, the deluxe tour means that in addition to getting the wristbands that give you access to the whole park, which includes the snorkel lagoon, aviary, predator tank, and large pool, you also get the tickets that entitle you to the buffet.

There was also a restaurant in the same area where some people, I suppose those not on the tour, ordered off a menu.

One other note... I think that if you book the combination tour of stingray city and turtle farm, you don't get access to the "adventure park" part. You get access to the front half of it, with the turtles and the crocodile, including the touching/wading with turtles part. I think you don't get access to the swimming pool, snorkel lagoon, predator tank, and aviary. There isn't really time in a 4.5 hour excursion to do the full park and the stingrays. I think this is also be true of the island tour. To get access to the back half, I think you have to book the adventure park excursion.
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