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Old 01-13-2013, 12:24 AM   #1
Meghatron
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PV: Las Caletas or Pirate Sail?

This will be our third time in PV and we book DCL excursions; otherwise my neurotic brain spends the whole day worried about getting back on the ship in a timely manner. I consider the DCL premium to be micro-travel insurance.

Previously we have done the Historic Towns & Tequila Making and Paradise Beach Adventure. We LOVED Paradise Beach, and it allowed us to visit my aunt who was wintering in Mexico (she paid for a local's day pass), but this will be our last vacation for a very long time so I don't want to repeat ourselves.

So I am trying to decide between the Las Caletas Hideaway and the Pirate Boat Sail & Snorkel. DS will be 9 months old, DD will be four. I love all things pirate and would be thrilled to do the tall ship, plus DD would enjoy the show and treasure hunt, but I also think that DD would love the kids' adventure park on Las Caletas if it's as fun as described.

Any opinions about those DCL excursions?
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:34 AM   #2
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Las Caletas is the most beautiful place I have ever been. Peaceful, yet the kids had so much fun they could barely contain their excitement. Food and drinks were great, and the animals were awesome. (Even the peeping Tom parrot who wanted into our change room!) We could see the pirate ships both in port and again from LC, I'm sure they were fun too. But you couldn't have payed me to trade places!!
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:23 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moomy-san
Las Caletas is the most beautiful place I have ever been. Peaceful, yet the kids had so much fun they could barely contain their excitement. Food and drinks were great, and the animals were awesome. (Even the peeping Tom parrot who wanted into our change room!) We could see the pirate ships both in port and again from LC, I'm sure they were fun too. But you couldn't have payed me to trade places!!
Thank you! Is everything included in the excursions price or would I need to have cash on hand?
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:59 PM   #4
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We LOVED Las Caletas! It was the highlight for us. We even saw whales on the boat ride back to the Wonder.

Our girls had an absolute blast at the kids' adventure park (included) and the meal was very good (also included). We don't drink alcohol, but I think a few drinks are included as well. I know our pop and lemonade were included.

We did the kayaking and DH took the girls out to snorkel (which didn't go well as the water was choppy, but they loved trying it) and that was also included. Other than spending a bunch of money on their pictures (which we love), we didn't spend any extra money. Oh! We tipped the boat guys! They were amazing and really kept it a party atmosphere on the way there and back. The ride out was really really choppy and a few folks did vomit on that ride. But the crew was amazing. They really deserved a big tip.

It's a lovely, lovely place.
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:22 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meghatron View Post

Previously we have done the Historic Towns & Tequila Making
Meghatron, a fellow WPBC 2013 cruiser here. I hope you don't mind me slightly changing the direction of your thread, but: Could you possibly tell us a bit more about the Historic Towns & Tequila Making excursion? DH and I are thinking about booking that. Thank you!
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:37 PM   #6
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Another vote for Las Caletas! It was great. The kids had a blast doing the Kids Canopy Adventure and playing on the beach. I wish DCL was still doing the Mexican Riviera cruises so we could go again.

Food and drink was included..even alcoholic beverages. The only thing we needed cash for was the wonderful pictures we purchased from the Kids Canopy Adventure (seriously, I love these photos...the photographer did a great job capturing awesome shots of all 3 of my kids...and the family photo they take at the beginning was great as well), and tips.
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Old 01-15-2013, 01:46 PM   #7
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Don't do the pirate ship!

We did the pirate ship on the Wonder PC 2011 cruise--the excursion was the worst out of all 5 cruises we have been on. DD5 was bored and didn't like the food and was scared of the bathrooms (skull-shaped toilets, if I remember correctly). They kept harassing us for tips and then donations to various "causes." And the absolute worst part for me was when we had to transfer from the pirate ship to a speed boat to get to the "private island" for an hour of playing in the sand--it was in the middle of the ocean, DD5 refused to transfer by herself, she was crying and shaking and they wouldn't let me help her--they basically just grabbed her and shoved her off the pirate ship into the arms of another worker on the speed boat . . . they essentially did the same thing in reverse when we went from the speed boat to the pirate ship. I could not fathom doing this with a 9 month old. DD still talks about it two years later--how scary the whole thing was. It was a horrible experience. Now, we did tell DCL about it, just to alert them for purposes of future cruisers, so I don't know whether recent cruisers' experiences are similar or not . . .
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moomy-san View Post
Las Caletas is the most beautiful place I have ever been. Peaceful, yet the kids had so much fun they could barely contain their excitement. Food and drinks were great, and the animals were awesome. (Even the peeping Tom parrot who wanted into our change room!) We could see the pirate ships both in port and again from LC, I'm sure they were fun too. But you couldn't have payed me to trade places!!
This.
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:44 PM   #9
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I booked the Pirate Sail & Snorkel for the December Panama Canal crossing last month. It was originally not offered, so I booked something else. The, at a later date, it became available, so I canceled the other excursion I had booked and booked it instead.

The day before we were to port in PV, I had a message waiting on my stateroom phone that the excursion had been "canceled due to lack of participation." So, with less than 24 hours notice, I had no excursion booked for PV. Luckily, I was able to join friends on another excursion (a city tour), but it kind of left me with a bad taste in my mouth.
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
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We did the pirate ship on the Wonder PC 2011 cruise--the excursion was the worst out of all 5 cruises we have been on. DD5 was bored and didn't like the food and was scared of the bathrooms (skull-shaped toilets, if I remember correctly). They kept harassing us for tips and then donations to various "causes." And the absolute worst part for me was when we had to transfer from the pirate ship to a speed boat to get to the "private island" for an hour of playing in the sand--it was in the middle of the ocean, DD5 refused to transfer by herself, she was crying and shaking and they wouldn't let me help her--they basically just grabbed her and shoved her off the pirate ship into the arms of another worker on the speed boat . . . they essentially did the same thing in reverse when we went from the speed boat to the pirate ship. I could not fathom doing this with a 9 month old. DD still talks about it two years later--how scary the whole thing was. It was a horrible experience. Now, we did tell DCL about it, just to alert them for purposes of future cruisers, so I don't know whether recent cruisers' experiences are similar or not . . .
We did the Pirate sail on our own and our friends did it through DCL the same day- 2 different boats. They were very unhappy with the DCL excursion- too many guests per worker so very bad service among other things- to the point that they received a partial refund. Our private excursion was fantastic. Drinks kept flowing, very fun pirate show, treated our kids very well, good food. I do agree with the transfer to the little boat to go to the beach. That was a bit unnerving.

We have not been on the other excursion but if I remember correctly from researching, wasn't it about an hour boat ride each way? Something to keep in mind but sure sounds like it's fun from the other posts.

Either way good luck.
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:15 AM   #11
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It is about an hour boat ride, but the crew is VERY entertaining, the coast is beautiful and there is food and drink available. It flies by- plus often you see whales on the way!
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:42 AM   #12
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Hi Meghan!
We were on the April 1 cruise with you last year

Anyway, I am short on time so can't write anything lengthy but myself, Matt, the kids and my friend Sarah went to Las Caletas for our PV day that cruise. It was great I wrote a trip report here on the boards. The main report is in my signature but here are the PV days directly. Lots of pics!

Part 1: http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...2&postcount=60


Part 2: http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...9&postcount=61

Hope that helps
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:59 PM   #13
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Las Caletas is the BEST!!!!
We did this excursion last year on the Christmas cruise. I have five kids, and each and every one of them had a blast!!
ALL food and activities are included!! My kids used the kayaks, snorkel equipment and so forth! My younger son did the kids adventure activities and had so much fun!!! They had face painting, zip line, monkeys, and so on....
ALL drinks are included. My older kids and husband and I took advantage of this. We had a waiter that constantly came to us, bringing drinks. He was happy to do it, and we gave him a huge tip when we finally had to leave the island. He was SO appreciative and thankful it was amazing.
Boat ride over and back is scenic and fun and part of the whole experience!!
I will do Las Caletas again, it is a beautiful private beach setting and has an outstanding private island rating on trip advisor too
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:43 PM   #14
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We did the pirate sail last April and really enjoyed it. But I'm not sure I would recommend it over the many positive reviews I have seen for Las Caletas though.

We booked through DCL and I thought the crew did a fantastic job. They really worked their backsides off. They were constantly getting drinks for people, serving meals, etc. When they weren't doing that, they were doing the pirate show which was cute. Then when we got to the beach, they worked just as hard helping with the activities. I did not feel like we were hounded for tips at all, and I did give our "personal pirate" a very good tip because I thought he definitely earned it.

One big problem with this excursion was that many people got seasick and the crew spent a good amount of time running back and forth with bags, etc. We were prepared with Bonine so we had no problem at all. One family was taken back to the ship by other means because they were all so sick. The advantage of booking with DCL was that there was a DCL representitive on board to help the family.

The transfer to the smaller boats was interesting and I would not have wanted to do it with a small child. But with older children, we thought this was a fun excursion.
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Old 01-16-2013, 02:33 PM   #15
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Thanks, everyone (hi, mom2aidannpiper!). DH was leaning towards Las Caletas and the inconsistent reviews of the Pirate Sail has me going for it, too. I just can't take the risk, with that much money involved, that we would get one that was bad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by annichan View Post
Meghatron, a fellow WPBC 2013 cruiser here. I hope you don't mind me slightly changing the direction of your thread, but: Could you possibly tell us a bit more about the Historic Towns & Tequila Making excursion? DH and I are thinking about booking that. Thank you!
The tequila place was great -- in-depth tour, tastings of multiple kinds and flavours. But to get there you have to sit through hours of the "historic towns" touring, which are not actually historic (as is, having relevance to the history of Mexico) but are just small and old. I am not usually one for booking excursions on my own, but the distillery does private tours so if that's what you're interested in, do it on your own.
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