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Old 05-09-2013, 05:47 PM   #331
franandaj

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So here are the Navigators for our Third full day, which includes tendering at Grand Cayman.













Here is the Map for Grand Cayman







And here is the Tendering guidelines they left in our room



Today we have a Duck tour booked. Our tickets said to meet on the Pier at 11:45AM. We talked about these documents before going to bed, and decided that the best course of action would be to order only coffee, orange juice and chocolate milk with our Room Service order. That way we would be hungry and be more motivated to go to breakfast and get off the ship sooner rather than later.

Now at this point (Tuesday morning) we have been on the boat for almost 72 hours. I do have to say that a good half of that time we have spent in our cabin. Obviously the bulk of those hours were spent asleep, but Fran and I tend to have funny sleeping habits. Sometimes either of us will wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to fall back asleep for a while. At home we leave the television on because Fran will sometimes go the whole time from when we go to bed until 5 or 6 in the morning without being able to fall asleep. It does funny things for my dreams when her TV programs work their way in to my sleep.

On the other hand, on vacation, I sometimes can't sleep well in a strange bed, maybe it's the lack of cats! But I wake up in the middle of the night and catch a few hours of something that I've already seen (in case I don't make it to the end because I fall asleep).

Also in the mornings when I am awake and I am trying to get Fran to come to consciousness and get dressed, I’ll watch the TV. At home it is usually the news, but since there is no live news on the ship I resorted to the Disney entertainment. By this time I had already seen the last half of Men in Black III, The Little Mermaid, Pinocchio, Mary Poppins, we were able to finish Journey 2: Mysterious Island that we started on our previous cruise. By the end of the cruise, I think I also saw Ratatouille, The Lion King, all the Good Morning America at Sea Episodes, several episodes of “My Yard Goes Disney” and a program on the retrofitting of the Magic in 2010.

I know it seems silly to brag about how much TV I watched on the cruise, but we’re not folks who leave the cabin just to “be out of the cabin”. RA is a very painful disease and in addition, doing anything tires Fran out. I would rather she wore herself out doing something she enjoys than just traipsing around for the heck of it. So if we’re going to be hanging out in the room, enjoying Disney movies is a great way to pass the time!

OK, so back to our third full day on the ship. A day at Grand Cayman!

We had arrived in the bay of the Island at around 7:30AM. I was awakened with our Mickey phone call just before we were cleared for tendering. Shortly after that our coffee and OJ arrived. Sorry no pic!

We were pretty far out to sea. Oh, OK, I see it there!



So our plan was to get breakfast at Top Siders and head to the Buena Vista Theater to get a Tender boat. The sheet said to allow 45 minutes for travel time so I knew that we had to be there no later than 10:45. When we got to the buffet, we practically had the place to ourselves. They had a great spread going on. I think most of this is self explanatory.























Fran was a little annoyed with me that I took a little while getting to the table, so I could take a picture of her plate. Isn’t that sweet that she waited?



My plate.



We had a nice view out the back of the ship.





[Continued in Next Post]
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Old 05-09-2013, 05:48 PM   #332
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[Continued from Previous Post]

Now I don’t have a picture, but the reason that I took so long getting to the table was that they have a cooked to order station at the back of the buffet. I really wanted an egg over easy because I like my eggs freshly cooked when I eat them. Not sitting in a buffet tray for a few hours. I had one and Fran ate the other. By around 10AM we were done with breakfast and ready to go ashore.



We headed off to the Buena Vista Theater and we were directed to sit in the back row so that Fran didn’t have to do any steps. The same CM who introduced the chef at the tasting Monday, Lori, was the one keeping us entertained while we waited to go downstairs for tendering. We must have sat there for at least 20 minutes before they finally let us go down. Most of the people just took the stairs, but Fran and I were able to take the elevator along with other folks who couldn’t do the stairs.

The tendering process in Cabo looked quite challenging, whereas these boats were very easy to load and the seas were very calm.



As soon as we boarded they directed us to the first seats.



There were two other boats docked in the harbor. You can only see one of them in this picture.



The boat was fairly packed, and pretty soon we were on our way.













We wondered if these people would be stranded, or worse yet, lose passengers!



There was a pirate ship in the bay.



And then we saw our boat/bus.





Looking back



When we arrived on land there was a fenced in area where only cruise passengers and other properly credentialed folks could enter. I guess that cuts down on the pickpockets and other riff raff hassling the tourists until they decided to leave the area. There were still plenty of people trying to sell us taxi rides to 7 Mile Beach and other locations.









We had about 45 minutes to kill before our tour, so we decided to venture out. Fran had seen a Harley store on the way tendering in, and knew she wanted to hit that. It was a bit of a ways away so we decided to go there after the tour. There was a mini Harley store inside the cruise complex, but she didn’t find anything she wanted there. We ventured out into the street and saw a “Diamonds International” store. They get big press on the Disney ships and so we thought we would go have a look.

On our way crossing the street the 10AM duck boat tour was making it’s way back to the station.



Nothing in there really caught my eye. I’m plenty happy with all my Disney jewelry, so we started back to the cruise area. It was really hot and humid and Fran was starting to hurt and needed to sit down. We waited a few minutes in the shade and then I saw a guy with a paddle and a Parrots of the Caribbean shirt. I talked to him and found out that Disney would have a table set up near the gate where we came out and would start checking people in shortly. I went back to tell this to Fran and by the time I came back, the line was HUGE!

I got everything squared away, and soon our group was assembled. Fran was able to wait in the shade because our guide said that we would walk right past her on our way to the bus. Once our group was assembled we started to leave the area. We had to wait an extra five minutes or more for a couple who had to go to the bar and get strawberry daiquiris. Did you bring enough for everyone?

I took this shot because I thought it was funny that “Gaybrew” is the beer of the Cayman Islands.



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Old 05-09-2013, 07:05 PM   #333
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All that delicious food and here I'm starving waiting to go to dinner

Tendering doesn't look too bad. I'm surprised they waited for the couple who went off.
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Old 05-09-2013, 07:38 PM   #334
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So this year will be my 3rd attempt to see Grand Cayman...2008 could not tender, waters to rough, 2011 Hurricane Rina, ended up with a Eastern Caribbean last minute...this year keeping my fingers crossed and hoping we can tender.

so I am looking forward to seeing your pictures from there.

thanks for another installment
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Old 05-10-2013, 12:43 AM   #335
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinkocto View Post
All that delicious food and here I'm starving waiting to go to dinner

Tendering doesn't look too bad. I'm surprised they waited for the couple who went off.
I would love some never ending buffets filled with fruit, and other goodies right now!

I guess they told the guide they would be right back, but it was rather annoying to wait and find out that they had gone for cocktails!

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Originally Posted by Dixielady908 View Post
So this year will be my 3rd attempt to see Grand Cayman...2008 could not tender, waters to rough, 2011 Hurricane Rina, ended up with a Eastern Caribbean last minute...this year keeping my fingers crossed and hoping we can tender.

so I am looking forward to seeing your pictures from there.

thanks for another installment
I really hope that you get to see it. Our impression of the place is that it would be a nice place to some stay for a few days. I'll elaborate more on some of the things to do once I post the stuff they talked about on the tour which will be tomorrow morning.
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Old 05-10-2013, 02:56 AM   #336
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I am glad that the sea was calm for you and that the tendering was a smooth process. That little port area must have been manic with three ships in port.

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Old 05-10-2013, 04:25 AM   #337
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I think its great that you use your cabin as a place to relax and unwind - that's what vacations are for
Looks like the tendering process was really straightforward for you both
Isn't it cool to look back at the ship from the tender boats?
Looking forward to hearing all about your Duck Tour
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Old 05-10-2013, 05:39 AM   #338
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Glad that you got to Grand Cayman. Hope that Fran didn't hurt too much.

Buffet looked great!
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:36 AM   #339
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Nice update! What a beautiful blue sky. Looks like a perfect day to explore Grand Cayman. The tender looks well organized and like a nice smaller boat ride.

Breakfast looks yum and that was nice of Fran to wait so you could grab a photo. Looks like the butter was hard. That's good news for me because I can't resist room temp butter.
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:34 AM   #340
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franandaj View Post


If I had the room, I would probably get one for dessert every night, but there are just too many choices!
you say that like it is a bad thing....
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:42 AM   #341
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Thanks for the wonderful food porn, I am so hungry right now and it is all your fault!! HeHe HaHa...

Mickey bar then Mickey Waffles...

I may have to take a Disney Cruise just for the food...
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:25 PM   #342
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Your last post had me scratching my head. Tendering? I've never been on a cruise and clearly not read enough TR's to know this happens. I just assumed the ship docked at a port and you walked off. Hehehe. Does this happen at many stops? We are considering a 7Day Eastern Caribbean on the Fantasy. Loving your TR. It's full of such great info and tips.
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Old 05-11-2013, 02:17 AM   #343
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You've been busy posting away so I was four pages behind. Lovely pics of the two of you.

My DD and DSIL should have been with you for the Tequila tasting and then things wouldn't have been so blurry. Now if I would've gone you'd of scored a bunch more.
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Old 05-11-2013, 12:37 PM   #344
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dolphingirl47 View Post
I am glad that the sea was calm for you and that the tendering was a smooth process. That little port area must have been manic with three ships in port.

Corinna
Yes, I'm glad that it was so easy. In Cabo they didn't have those nice bridges to get from the Wonder to the tender boats so it would have been tough even to attempt it. This was nice.

What do you mean "manic"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda67 View Post
I think its great that you use your cabin as a place to relax and unwind - that's what vacations are for
Looks like the tendering process was really straightforward for you both
Isn't it cool to look back at the ship from the tender boats?
Looking forward to hearing all about your Duck Tour
So many people say that their room is only a place to go and sleep, but that's not the case with us. We spend a lot of time relaxing in our room, so it's important that we have good cable, internet and peace and quiet in the room. I love all the Disney, Pixar movie choices they had!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessInOz View Post
Glad that you got to Grand Cayman. Hope that Fran didn't hurt too much.

Buffet looked great!
Well both of us hurt, but at least this time she was smart about it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rentayenta View Post
Nice update! What a beautiful blue sky. Looks like a perfect day to explore Grand Cayman. The tender looks well organized and like a nice smaller boat ride.

Breakfast looks yum and that was nice of Fran to wait so you could grab a photo. Looks like the butter was hard. That's good news for me because I can't resist room temp butter.
The tender boat was a great and painless experience. Very easy to load and not at all scary.

I usually put the pats of butter in my pocket while I'm serving myself to warm it up!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dgbg100106 View Post
you say that like it is a bad thing....
It was! For my waistline!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dgbg100106 View Post
Thanks for the wonderful food porn, I am so hungry right now and it is all your fault!! HeHe HaHa...

Mickey bar then Mickey Waffles...

I may have to take a Disney Cruise just for the food...
I know I keep thinking about my posts and wondering, "Did we do anything else on this trip besides eat and drink too much?"

But then I say that like it's a bad thing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minniemum View Post
Your last post had me scratching my head. Tendering? I've never been on a cruise and clearly not read enough TR's to know this happens. I just assumed the ship docked at a port and you walked off. Hehehe. Does this happen at many stops? We are considering a 7Day Eastern Caribbean on the Fantasy. Loving your TR. It's full of such great info and tips.
Usually on the cruises I have been on there is only one tender stop. However, if you are going to a lot of small ports there could be more tender stops. A port needs a large terminal to accommodate cruise ships, they are very huge and Grand Cayman is really a small island. I know that to create Castaway Cay, Disney had to dredge a huge amount of ocean and that is how they created their barrier to the snorkeling area. Pam would know better about how many ports on the Fantasy are docked vs. tender.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ACDSNY View Post
You've been busy posting away so I was four pages behind. Lovely pics of the two of you.

My DD and DSIL should have been with you for the Tequila tasting and then things wouldn't have been so blurry. Now if I would've gone you'd of scored a bunch more.
I was trying to get my next post up! Someone mentioned a few pages back that they were going on the Duck tour and were interested in my pictures so I tried really hard to get to this update. I may slow down a bit after this as I need to get back to everyday life and things like installing door knobs and cleaning apartments. I have my first appointment to show the places today and they are not even completely ready yet!
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Old 05-11-2013, 12:46 PM   #345
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So here is our bus/boat.



And this is our tour guide. He had a lot of really corny jokes.



Here we are pulling out of the parking lot area. See the Harley store off in the distance, it’s the one next to the church and near the heavy equipment in the foreground.



See there it is off in the far distance.



We drove through the touristy part of town. These diamond stores are literally on every corner.



Once we got out of the main part of the waterfront, our guide pointed out to us that chickens ran wild on the island. I had already noticed some before we left the waterfront part of town.



I took this shot for my cleaning lady Darcy, does anyone else out there play the “Punch Buggy” game?



They do not have mail delivery in the Cayman Islands so everyone has to come to the post office to get their mail. I didn’t mean to get all these people in the picture.



Blue iguanas are native to the island. They almost became extinct, but their population was saved through education and kindness. Some artist made 10 of these statues which were strategically placed around the island. We passed three of them on our trip.





This is the front of the building where the cruise port is located.



And here is the diamond store that we visited while killing time until our tour.



Then we started to head out the coast to the area where the seven mile beach is located. We never actually got to the seven mile beach, but we did pass by some really nice resorts like the Four Seasons, and the mansion for the surviving family of the guy who invented Styrofoam. We caught a glimpse of our ship from the coast. For those of you who are on FB and friends with me, you'll recognize this as my cover photo.



Our guide told us that a lot of celebrities liked to come to the Cayman Islands because they have no Paparazzi there. Stars can put on a baseball cap a pair of sunglasses and just go out in public like any other normal person.



We drove all around golf courses and other resort areas and then finally passed by this shopping center/future city/business district. It was sort of the kind of place Walt imagined that Epcot would be. A place where people could live, work and have entertainment. The only movie theater in the Cayman Islands was located in this complex. He also explained to us that the two major industries in the Island were tourism and banking. They have no taxes whatsoever in the islands, so lots of people like to put their money there.



From there we began to head back towards the coast. He told us a rather morbid story about why caskets must be encased in concrete. You see the water table is so high, and flooding is so common. So prior to the concrete mandate, when the water flooded corpses would rise to the top of the dirt.



Then came the second half of our trip, the water.



Another shot of the ship



There were these large fishes in the water right next to where our boat entered the water.



Can you have too many gratuitous shots of the ship? I guess I’m making up for not getting any of the Wonder on our last cruise.



Here’s another couple shots of the pirate ship.






[Continued in Next Post]
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