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Old 02-05-2013, 10:33 PM   #16
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 144

Originally Posted by avinsmomma View Post
We must be from the sane general area in Missouri. We are driving to Galveston and mapquest shows it to be a 12 hour drive. Did you stop midway for the night or just do one long day?
We are from the Springfield area and we did the whole drive in one long day.
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:01 PM   #17
Join Date: Oct 2012
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Day 4

Our 4th day started at 6:30 but we had set our clocks back before going to bed the night before to get on Grand Cayman time, so we'd lost an hour and it felt like 5:30 to us. Knowing it was going to be an early morning we had also ordered breakfast from room service the night before. We were going to spend the day in the water so we didn't take much time getting ready.

At 7:15 we headed to the Buena Vista Theater to meet my parents and gathered to be taken to the tender in groups. When I got there I realized that there were no towels there for us so I ran up to deck 9 to grab some from pool side.

When I got back we were all able to go into the theater as a group (they have you wait until your entire group is together). We had a little wait but were able to sit which was good for my mom as she had woken up with a very sore knee. From there we were taken to the tender and all loaded on for our ride to Grand Cayman.

Once at the dock we walked right into a small shopping village. There are not too many shops but enough for us to spend a little time (we were waiting for Cozumel to do most of our shopping).

We had booked an excursion outside of Disney and gone with Capt. Marvin's 2 stop Stringray City tour (a stop at Stringray City and a stop for snorkeling). Never having done anything like this before I was somewhat hesitant about going with an outside company with possible complications and being left behind if we didn't make that last tender at 4:00. Of course I had checked and rechecked the times of the tour and left plenty of time both before and after just to be safe, but you know, foreign country, me being the only one in our party with a passport.... you worry.

Everything went fine and I can HIGHLY recommend Capt. Marvin's! We had booked the excursion with a credit card but weren't charged until arriving. My mother was really having a bad day with her knee and had decided she wasn't going to be able to do the excursion but knew decided to ride the boat with us because she knew it was too late to cancel.

After shopping for a bit we decided to walk around the town a little as we had a couple of hours before we needed to be at Capt. Marvin's. We meandered around and came upon a little sign that lead us to a secluded free beach. It was small but we found some interesting shells and sea life and had a great view of the Magic just off shore. When we headed back to the road we ran into a very friendly local and asked how far it was to Capt. Marvin's he said we would want to get a cab. We walked to a nearby gas station where the attendant called us a cab and we bought some unusual sodas and candy.

The cab driver looked at the information I had printed about Capt. Marvin's and knew exactly where we wanted to go. Funny thing is he took us right back to the dock we had started from. In our wandering we had walked a block behind the building and missed it all together. We didn't mind though because we had seen some of the island and found that great beach.

Once we arrived at Capt. Marvin's my dad asked if they could get a discount since my mom wasn't going to be able to do everything. We thought it was a long shot but you never know if you don't ask. They said that if she didn't want to go she wouldn't have to pay, my Dad wasn't comfortable leaving her and they said that if he wanted to stay with her they wouldn't charge him either. They didn't have to do that and we were very thankful.

So we parted from my parents (who spent the day exploring, shopping and eating in a local restaurant) and loaded into a bus for the ride across the island to Capt. Marvin's dock.

We took a boat ride out to Stingray City where we were given a little lesson in how to handle the Stingrays and then we all got into the water. We were pretty apprehensive but we tried it. I even managed to feed them some squid but got pretty scared when I realized that holding squid in the water called in a lot more stingrays than I was ready for!

The kids decided to go back to the boat. The captain of our boat (Vernon) was bringing a large stingray over to whoever wanted to hold it and take pictures. I wanted to have a picture with it so he brought it over to the boat where the kids could take my picture (with our NOT water proof camera). After my turn, Vernon called for Maizie to come in and get her picture. She wasn't interested but he wouldn't hear it and somehow managed to talk her into it. (By the end of the day I was certain that Vernon had some kind of Jedi powers!) I couldn't believe it, Maizie jumped right back into the water and held the stingray, she even gave it a kiss and let it give her a back rub. Right after her, I was again surprised to see that Vernon had talked Ben into it, and before I knew it Ben was climbing in and holding that big Stingray too. We didn't manage to talk William into it but he enjoyed watching us and he can say he's swam with them.

After everyone had a turn holding the Stingrays we moved on to a deeper place where we could snorkel. They had snorkel gear, flippers and life-vests (for anyone who wanted them.) I went in without a vest and, as soon as I got in, a big wave went over my head.

Now I have to pause here to tell you I am THE biggest 'fraidy-cat when it comes to the ocean. It's my one true fear. I once talked myself into swimming out to a sunbathing platform in Hawaii and could not make myself get back into the water. I actually cried until a nice man brought his kayak out for me to use. I really only forced myself to do this excursion to keep from passing this fear on to my kids and to allow them to have the experience.

Once that wave went over my head I started to have a mini panic attack. I felt like I couldn't catch my breath and suddenly feared that maybe had been wrong and I really couldn't swim after all. I told the kids I needed to head back to the boat (which we had drifted from) to get a life vest. William started to get scared and I noticed that he was practically climbing up Maizie to get out of the water. Well that's all it took for MOM to kick in and I forgot my momentary fear and held William. I instantly realized that the water was so full of salt that I really was almost floating without the life-vest. With hardly any movement of the flippers I was able to move easily and had no problem floating right on top of the water to snorkel.

I was unable to convince William though and he decided he was ready to head in. As we made our way back to the boat Vernon came by and asked if we were ok. I told him William wasn't able to use the snorkel and we were heading back in. Vernon showed William how to use the snorkel and give him a tube to hold onto. He told William to look through the middle of the tube and somehow that made William feel safe (I'm sure Vernon's Jedi powers were again at work here). Vernon spent the rest of our time right there holding on to William. He only let go of him when William asked him to catch one of the fish in his hands. I was able to snorkel near them and VERY MUCH enjoyed it. It was beautiful and quiet and I'm so glad I had a chance to do it. I even managed to let the fish eat squid right out of my hand (right up until a small fish mistook my finger for the squid and took a nibble. It didn't hurt at all but I screamed and threw the squid.) We all thoroughly enjoyed this trip and I can not recommend Capt. Marvin's enough, they helped all of us to overcome our fears and do things we never thought we could do.

After a short ride back to shore and a bus ride back to the cruise ship docks we had a few minutes to look around in some of the little shops, bought a fresh coconut (which was more for the experience than the flavor) and caught a tender back to the Magic. We were back in plenty of time and when we were all showered and dressed in our pirate gear we could still see people filling back on board out our window.

We rounded out the evening with a great dinner and some limbo at Animators Pallet, got pictures with Pirate Mickey, Chip and Dale, and Captain Jack and watched fireworks from deck 10 at the Pirate Party.

After the party Ben headed back to Vibe and we headed off to order our good night cookies and fell asleep watching Donald swallow his alarm clock for the umpteenth time. (which somehow we never tired of!)
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:09 PM   #18
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Old 02-06-2013, 03:03 PM   #19
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The picture of the stingray "hugging" you son is scary, LOL

I saw one of those on Castaway Cay last week and ran as fast I could.
He is a brave soul.

Looks like he enjoyed it very much.

Great report.
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Old 02-07-2013, 01:33 PM   #20
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Feb 2013
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Great report! I actually got teary eyed about you walking the decks with your son. My son is 16 months and I hope he wants to walk with me when he is a teen! Lucky mom! Great report!!
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:31 PM   #21
Join Date: Oct 2012
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Day 5

We met my parents at Topsider's for breakfast and loved it again! Ben enjoyed the idea of endless bacon. It was easy for all of us to find something we loved.

After breakfast I ran up to deck 9 for towels again and we headed down to deck 1 for a short wait to go ashore to Cozumel.

From the ship, it was a short walk to a large escalator that lead to an open air mall. The vendors were friendly and very willing to haggle. We had a little time before our excursion so we spent it shopping. We didn't want to have to carry a lot of packages with us to our excursion so we tried not to buy too much.

After about 45 minutes we headed down to get a cab to our excursion. We had booked a jungle ATV excursion online ahead of time through Shore Excersioneer. We took a short cab ride to a nice resort where we met our excursion leaders. We then loaded into an open air bus and drove across the island to a little lot full of ATVs.

We had booked three of the normal ATVs but when we got there they offered us the side by side ATVs if we wanted them. Everyone jumped at that idea but I gave the kids the "look" and asked what the cost difference would be (I had not booked the side by side's because they were more expensive) they said it was all the same price so we happily loaded into the side by side's. My parents in one, Maizie and Ben in another and William and me in another. I wasn't sure how Maizie would do since she's always been a little timid and cautious about driving. But Ben doesn't have a license so she agreed to drive. We all got goggles and helmets and headed out down the road to a sandy trail through the jungle.

We were three in a line of maybe 15 ATV's. Once we reached the sandy jungle road the lead guide took off and we were all off through the jungle. It was a one lane trail with jungle on both sides. We wound our we deeper and deeper, sometimes loosing site of the ATV's in front of us but always knowing we'd catch them. Sometimes there were rocks to jump over and we could slow down and get a gap between us and the next ATV so we could get up to speed and really fly over them. It was so fun. William and I pretended we were in Jurassic Park and being chased by a T-Rex. After a while I realized I was smiling so much that my teeth were dusty from the trail.

We stopped to take some pictures at a beautiful spot by a beach and I was able to ask Maizie how she was doing. She was having a BLAST ! Soon we were back on the trail. After more winding and jumping, we came to a small Mayan Ruin. It wasn't much and unless we were told we really wouldn't have thought much of it. It was interesting to see though and we got a chance to take a few pictures, walk out to the waters edge (the waves were STRONG and the beach was rocky, certainly not the place for swimming) we all got water bottles and reapplied sunscreen and then we turned the whole train around and started back through the jungle again.

This time William and I pretended he was Indiana Jones and we were being chased by villagers for taking Mayan treasures. We all had an absolute blast. Maizie said this was the most fun she's ever had.

When we arrived back at the little lot we turned our goggles and helmets back in and loaded back into the bus. The tour guide announce that we would be making an unplanned stop at a tequila factory (another thing that would have cost extra to book online). I was a little nervous because we still supposed to have lunch at the resort, William was wanting to play at the beach and we all wanted to do more shopping. We had a little time and apparently someone had asked about the tequila tour so I didn't say anything.

We did a quick tour of the tequila factory (just a very small workshop, nothing like a "factory" in the way you would think of a factory in the U.S.) and learned a little about the process of making tequila. Then the bus ride back to the resort.

I was getting pretty nervous about our time so Maizie and I took William over to the beach while everyone else waited for lunch. Lunch and the beach were both at the resort and included in our excursion. William and Maizie built sand castles, something William had REALLY looked forward too. We got back to the table when lunch was being delivered. After lunch (which we ate pretty quickly) we hopped in a cab back to the port. We only had about an hour to be back on the ship but we all had things we wanted to buy. We split up and did a mad dash back through the mall.

Ben went back to a little stand where he had worked out a deal for a poncho/hoodie that morning. The seller had told him $25 in the morning so he went back with cash in hand. This time he asked and the woman told him they were $150 but she would sell it to him for $80 . He went to get my dad. When my dad came over the woman told him the same thing. My dad said that just that morning she had told them $25, she smiled and said "ok, you give me $50. Haha, they got it for $25 in the end, but it was a funny exchange. That's one of Ben's favorite stories!

We all managed to get the souvenirs we had found that morning and even found some more deals that we couldn't pass up. With Ben and my Dad threatening to leave us behind we finally dragged ourselves out of the stores, back to the escalator and then back onto the Magic.

When we stepped back onto the ship we were just below our floor and as we walked up the stairs William said "we're almost home." It was cute, our little 2022 did feel like home.

We all cleaned up and relaxed for a bit and then went to dinner at Parrot Cay again. We always enjoyed seeing our servers and chatting with them about their families and where they were from.

Later we saw Disney Dreams. We had heard that this was a great show and we were not disappointed! A girl working in one of the stores had told Maizie that she teared up the first time she saw it. We were expecting a lot and I have to say we teared up too!! It was just so magical.

Again, Ben was off to Vibe and Maizie, William and I split up from my parents and went back to our room. That night we decided to order some pizza with our nightly cookies but it took so long that William and I fell asleep waiting. After waiting up, even Maizie got tired of waiting and called down to cancel the order. She fell asleep and then.... a knock at the door. We had noticed before that room service gets pretty busy at night. None of us were really hungry so it wasn't too disappointing.
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:38 PM   #22
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:46 PM   #23
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How did you like your room? We were on Deck 6, but originally were to be on Deck2. Did you have a lot of noise? How was the motion and convenience? TIA
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Disney Magic Western Caribbean 2013
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:03 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by violetmonarch View Post
How did you like your room? We were on Deck 6, but originally were to be on Deck2. Did you have a lot of noise? How was the motion and convenience? TIA
We loved our room. It wasn't noisy at all. On the morning we arrived in the Grand Cayman we could hear the anchor being dropped but we thought that was cool and we were already up. Other than that we never heard any "ship" noise. I saw before we left that our room was right under Sessions Piano Bar and I was concerned about that, but even trying I never heard anything.

We were very convenient to the Walt Disney Theater and shopping and we liked that. We never felt far from anything. The Magic is a nice size and we felt like even running up to fill our drinks on deck 9 aft was just a short jaunt.
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