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Old 04-21-2013, 05:46 PM   #16
Weedy
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For a good souvenir: Our son loved the pin trading. You can go on E-bay and buy bulk Disney pins for just a few dollars. Then they can trade the pins with Disney employees. They make a great souvenir. You may want to go to the dollar tree and get a lanyard for them to keep the pins on.

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Old 04-21-2013, 06:49 PM   #17
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There's tons of stuff without port adventures, it's one of the great things with a cruise. We aren't doing anything except our included Disney day, but won't be getting any other port excursions. I'll go to Palo at least once, and maybe my DD will sucker me into some souvenirs
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Old 04-21-2013, 08:01 PM   #18
baleeve
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Very reassuring

Thank you. I was afraid I would feel like I was "missing out" if I didn't do port adventures. My boys are used to my frugal ways (coupons, sales etc) but when on vacation you want to live it up.

I like the idea of having the boys earn extra money before the cruise. This way they have THEIR money.
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Old 04-21-2013, 08:27 PM   #19
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We were on a 4 day Dream in Feb/March. We only planned on parasailing in castaway cay and walking around Nassau. Parasailing was cancelled ( too windy, but still a beautiful day). So we didn't do any excursions. Really enjoyed the second beach in castaway cay with the big slide, and just relaxing. Don't go to the first beach ( gets crowded). Left castaway cay early so the boat would be pretty empty and spent time on the aqua duck while there weren't any lines. No excursions- great trip. Just booked another and we are t interested in any of the excursions so we aren't even bothering this time. No need to spend a lot of money. $250 is plenty!
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Old 04-21-2013, 08:38 PM   #20
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Don't forget your gratuities and tips...

I'd rent bikes on CC--that is a lot of fun. Float rentals-- so many people just abandon them--i was amazed at how many were floating away all day. A CM on a jet ski was constantly retrieving them. If you do decide to rent one--just rent one of the long lounger types and two can hang on it easily.
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:14 PM   #21
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We only did a port adventure on our first cruise. After that we just did whatever was available. A cheap way to have fun on CC is to rent bikes!! I think it's about $6 per hour per bike. DH and I did it and left the kids in the club in the island. We rented for only an hour, and it was great fun.
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:14 PM   #22
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You bet you can. I am a single mom to 2 boys and we went 10/2011. My boys were 6 & 12. We did not do any excursions because like you we were on a budget. With it being our first cruise we also didn't know what we would have liked to do. At first I thought maybe we'd feel out of place or regret that we didn't do them. Honestly, it was the opposite. I didn't have any idea how people did excursions and still found time to "play" on the ship. We didn't spend much at all. My family got the boys gift cards for their birthdays so they used that for the arcade. We brought floats that we got on clearance before we left for $1 each. Same thing with pirate stuff, we bought ours all on clearance or at the dollar store (it helped that we went in October) but think you can find this stuff all the time. Just go to have fun and believe me it's definitely doable!
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:09 PM   #23
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As it's been said...

Castaway
Castaway
Castaway

The fish are unbelievable...maybe I have a photo around here, let me see...
https://www.box.com/s/ogetnscqfgfwle5jalnr
Let's see if that works...

Ok so all I had to get my photos was a pair of goggles (and a mermaid fin off of mermagica.com but that is up to you, although being a mermaid obviously is my preferred method of swimming with the fish, not to mention that I like my dolphin kick single monofin for propulsion) but rambling aside, if you have a pair of goggles or a mask, and get your bright yellow life floaty free as a safety precaution at the snorkel equipment hut (I tied mine around my waist so I could still use my shells and be a more authentic mermaid) and you have some willingness to get to where the fish are, you can see all this for free! (or well included in the price of your cruise)

LOVE castaway!!!! So many fishes! And safe! Lifeguards posted everywhere and a boundary from the TOO BIG fishes...
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Old 04-21-2013, 11:03 PM   #24
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You absolutely can have fun with out port excursions. At Nassau we went to the Straw Market looked around and purchased a Rum Cake. Under $20 dollars was spent there total. I did not spend anything at Castaway Cay except for one drink for DH and one for me but this time we are sticking to free soda. On the ship we bought quite a few souvenirs because we lucked out and won an OBC that could only be used on ship. Maybe something you and your boys might be interested in as a family souvenir is a ship model of the Dream and have the Captain sign it. It is somewhere between 32-35 dollars. As far as character pics just like in the parks a CM will take some shots with you personal camera. That saves $$$$ on photos. We only bought one set of 5 X 6 to give one to my mom and one for us of Chip and Dale in their Tuxes.
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Old 04-21-2013, 11:08 PM   #25
TwinPrincessMermaids
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Oh Look! The Twin Princess Mermaids have arrived!!! (new avatar!)

yay.
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Old 04-22-2013, 12:25 AM   #26
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My husband and I rarely book excursions. They are a special occasion only splurge. We have yet to run out of fun!
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:51 AM   #27
baleeve
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Thank you all for putting my mind at ease. I can't stand the mommy guilt I impose on myself....listen to me...I'm a single Mom taking my two boys on a Disney cruise and I have Mommy guilt about not doing excursions. Seriously?!?!

Luckily my boys are not too big of "can we's and gimmees" so I think I'll be fine. They love the beach and lake and will swim until they have blue lips (we are from New England) LOL

They do however want to go parasailing so I may save up and spring for that...because I don't see us in the Bahamas again for a few years. But
the June 11th paid in full date has me stressed so I was perhaps over worrying about $$$. I have July and August to put aside money for the extras.

Thanks again.
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:04 AM   #28
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We had to take out a whole credit line on a disney chase for our trip to be able to make it to our parent's anniversary cruise. I realize that isn't the most responsible way to handle things, but it's time we could never get back and passing on it because our friends asked us to join them on a carnival the month before wasn't really an option.

My point is that even though we are a bit strapped from the trip, we did buy one excursion of a lifetime and I'm SO glad we did. Castaway will be an excursion on its own. In our case, it was the only time all 3 of us girls have been in the bahamas (we all live in different states) so we did the Sea Lion encounter at $115 but it included the ferry and beach activities and snorkeling at Blue Lagoon (cuz we have our own goggles and equipment we bring with us) so for me, that was the excursion of a life time.

You never know. What about grandma and grandpa, aunts uncles etc? MAybe they can help kick in a little towards the kids dream of parasailing?

Either way, on a DCL, it is a GREAT family investment. Honestly if you never even got OFF the ship at all, it would be an amazing amazing trip. So yeah, you are good, no matter what you decide.

And no more of that guilt, mommy! Disney is the happy only zone! You are a tremendous single mother and your kids will never forget it. Only happy wishes and energies I am sending to you!
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Old 04-22-2013, 02:57 PM   #29
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Please note:

Snorkeling on Castaway Cay is free IF you bring your own gear. You can do it with just mask and snorkel; fins are nice, but they do take up a lot of luggage space. You have to wear an inflatable vest while snorkeling. The vest does not have to be inflated, and the vest is provided at no charge. There is a charge to rent snorkel, mask, and fins.

You can have a great time on the ship and entire cruise without purchasing extras. Enjoy!!
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Old 04-22-2013, 03:03 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinPrincessMermaids View Post
if you have a pair of goggles or a mask, and get your bright yellow life floaty free as a safety precaution at the snorkel equipment hut and you have some willingness to get to where the fish are, you can see all this for free! (or well included in the price of your cruise)
I would have thought they would have seen that they have to bring their own equipment for it to be free...
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