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Old 12-20-2012, 03:49 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2010
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Short Port Times Fantasy Western

Hello everyone - I leave very soon for my January 5th Fantasy Western. So excited!

I'm not doing any DCL excursions and have things pretty planned but of course as the date approaches I start to worry. One thing that is very concerning to me is the short port times on this cruise.

I think when we went on the western on the Magic in 2010 we had a pretty full day in both Grand Cayman and Key West as well as Cozumel. This time, the only full day is Cozumel (8 - 530) while Grand Cayman is only 11:30 to 4:45 and Costa Maya 1 - 5:30. Why so short? Anyone have any insight?

Can cruisers from previous Fantasy westerns comment on how short those days felt and if they felt they could do outside operator excursions?

I have Maya Chan booked for Costa Maya and he assures me he is used to it and will make sure we get there, enjoy and make it back with time to spare. I feel pretty confident with him. I just booked Botswain's Turtle farm directly through their website and now I'm a little concerned whether, considering tender time, I'm going to have enough time to enjoy it. How far from the port is it? Anyone else done this on their own with this schedule?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 12-20-2012, 04:10 PM   #2
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We were just on the Fantasy last week. Didn't feel that the short port time as an issue in any of the ports.

In GC we did a Dolphin Encounter/Turtle Farm tour booked through the ship. Spent a couple of hours on that and still had plenty of time to shop downtown before returning to the ship.

We didn't do any tours in Costa Maya or Cozumel, just shopping. In Costa Maya there really isn't much to do unless you take the tour of the ruins. We opted for shopping (wife got some nice silver jewelry) and back to the ship to enjoy ourselves there.

In Cozumel we wandered around the shops near the ship (again more silver jewelry for the wife) and returned to the cabin for some rest. It was sprinkling in Cozumel so we weren't inclined to do much more exploring there.
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Old 12-20-2012, 04:30 PM   #3
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Key West was always a stop after noon on the Magic's Western. The vendors are use to the port time since it has been consistent since the Fantasy started cruising. The only one that would concern me is GC since it is a tender port. Our last trip there we found a vendor giving tours and it took about 2 hours to get to everything. We weren't off the ship very long.

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Old 12-20-2012, 11:16 PM   #4
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Thanks guys. I'm going to try the Turtle Farm and stick with our Maya Chan reservation and make the most of our time in port.
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Old 12-21-2012, 11:53 AM   #5
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We were on the W. Caribbean the week after Thanksgiving - and were concerned about the short port times too. And because of that, we booked through Disney.

Which actually worked out in Costa Maya - because the road to the ruins was under construction. We (along with 10 other buses) were blocked for 30 minutes and missed the all aboard time by 25 minutes.

If we were with an independent operator, I would be needing medication for ulcers right now....
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Old 12-21-2012, 11:02 PM   #6
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Hi! We are on the same cruise, and I was worried about the same thing! I booked our excursions via Disney to save myself the drama. I know I could have saved a few $$ but if we miss the all aboard time I know that $$ I saved will not really be worth it!

See ya in two weeks!

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Old 12-23-2012, 08:38 AM   #7
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Hi we are on the same cruise-did not book excursions,doing the beaches on our own.

My question is why so late getting off in Castaway Cay-945am? All aboard is 430 too. In 2009 on the Magic it was 9a-5p. Why so short?

Something to do with the larger capacity ship and ability to unload/reload everything from the island?

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Old 12-24-2012, 01:49 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by momof2minnies View Post
My question is why so late getting off in Castaway Cay-945am? All aboard is 430 too.
We were just there on the Fantasy a week and a half ago, and I wondered the same thing (having remembered -- perhaps just imagined! -- a much earlier arrival on the Dream last year). We didn't actually dock the ship until about 9:00, so it was not a matter of sitting there for a couple of hours wondering why we couldn't get off. We love CC as much as any port and would have loved to have more time there, but alas...

We had early dining, so we would have been getting back on board by about 4:30 anyway (but I realize that's only an issue for half the ship). My guess is that a lot of the cast members who get off the ship and work on CC also have jobs to do on the ship in the morning and early evening, so they're trying to make the most efficient use of all of them by limiting the CC time to when most passengers would be off the ship anyway.

Interestingly, I felt more rushed at CC with a 7-hour day than I did in some of the others with the much shorter port times!
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