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Old 05-14-2013, 07:42 PM   #181
tokyodisneydad
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I would love to hear about your cruise and see pictures. We want to take a Royal Caribbean cruise sometime...just don't know when it will happen! Glad to hear you had a great time and the weather was good for you!
Can't be this year... U guys have the NYE cruise with me.....Drew didn't tell you about that yet?
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Old 05-16-2013, 01:07 PM   #182
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Can't be this year... U guys have the NYE cruise with me.....Drew didn't tell you about that yet?
That would be a great surprise birthday present to me! Since we share the same b-day, we should share the same cruise! Unfortunately, your cruise doesn't even show up as available anymore
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Old 05-22-2013, 06:28 PM   #183
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Ok ...I thought u guys were on a Disney Ship not Carnival....this TR keeps getting stuck so Im not sure.... Lol.
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Old 05-23-2013, 10:55 AM   #184
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Originally Posted by tokyodisneydad View Post
Ok ...I thought u guys were on a Disney Ship not Carnival....this TR keeps getting stuck so Im not sure.... Lol.


Still stuck?
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:54 PM   #185
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Yes! Where did he go? We've been waiting a long time.
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Old 05-26-2013, 05:00 PM   #186
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Fantastic report!
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:49 AM   #187
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Well, since we haven't had an update lately, I'll share the pictures of my Royal Caribbean Transatlantic cruise. Most of them aren't captioned yet, and there are A LOT of pictures. If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

Beth
Pictures of the ship--Royal Caribbean's Adventure of The Seas: https://plus.google.com/photos/11327...PG4wNf__trmpwE

St. Thomas, USVI: https://plus.google.com/photos/11327...LCx_K6-4pTTkwE

St. Maarten/St. Martin: https://plus.google.com/photos/11327...CKOqt7Pv3pukVg

St. Lucia: https://plus.google.com/photos/11327...CPSOy6LvuqSTYw

St. Kitts (we didn't spend much time on this island, only got off to do a bit of shopping!):
https://plus.google.com/photos/11327...CK7g58KNwYrOZg

San Miguel, Azores: https://plus.google.com/photos/11327...J7q_ZK0pP21pwE

Stonehenge (and the trip through the English countryside to get there):
https://plus.google.com/photos/11327...PbQi4rwp4vR9QE

London: https://plus.google.com/photos/11327...CO3myamK6MbuFA

Stratford/Leamington Spa (we have a friend who lives in Leamington Spa so we ended up taking a few pictures there, too!:
https://plus.google.com/photos/11327...CMDz4MvHjrfPPQ

The London Transportation System (absolutely amazing!):
https://plus.google.com/photos/11327...CNmSlYaL6JPBLQ

Professional pictures by the ship's photographers: https://plus.google.com/photos/11327...Lvf1pvA0pGCwAE

St. George's Hotel, London where we stayed for four nights: https://plus.google.com/photos/11327...JKXuOCnyq3N8QE
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Old 06-09-2013, 01:47 AM   #188
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Guess we'll never see the end of this one
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Old 06-09-2013, 01:31 PM   #189
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It looks like you guys have such a great time. I wish we could travel with friends like you. Have fun on your next adventure.
Thanks! You just never know about who you will travel with when you do what we did. The nice thing is that you know if you are around DISers you are around people with passion for Disney...and for what they do in life. As we are that way, it tends to work out. We were extremely lucky this time with the group we ended up with....and are very thankful!

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Hi Drew and Deanna! Susan and I enjoyed meeting and cruising with you and are also enjoying reliving it through your TR. Perhaps we'll see you again on another cruise.
Hi Jeff! I've seen your FB posts..you guys are busy! Likewise it was great meeting you guys!

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Nice to see you back. Somehow I wasn't updated that you had not fallen off the edge of the earth.
OOOooohhh mixology class looks just like something for me.
We shall see what they offer in December.
The end of the earth keeps moving. Sometimes it feels like I find it and then it moves away again!

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Been following your trip report Drew. You are doing a fantastic job. DW and I are booked for the East Bound Panama Canal crossing for 2014..........a ways off!!! We were wondering if you and your wife did any of the behind the scenes tours? Like the bridge tour, the galley tour, or the entertainment tour? And do you know how you sign up for one or all of these tours?
Thanks! Dw already answered your question so I won't bore anyone. Thanks for following along!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tokyodisneydad View Post
Can't be this year... U guys have the NYE cruise with me.....Drew didn't tell you about that yet?


Quote:
Originally Posted by tokyodisneydad View Post
Ok ...I thought u guys were on a Disney Ship not Carnival....this TR keeps getting stuck so Im not sure.... Lol.
hahaha! I'm extremely glad I wasn't swallowing my drink. Keyboard would have been soaked. By the way, I have not forgotten your graphics...I have about 1/2 done and am working on the others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MelSpees View Post
Yes! Where did he go? We've been waiting a long time.
I know, I know. I appreciate the patience. My goal was to drive up the views and since you guys keep bumping it up I get more and more.

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Originally Posted by Jillpie View Post
Fantastic report!
Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MelSpees View Post
Guess we'll never see the end of this one
Oh yes you will. I always finish. It's just that sometimes it takes years. Hopefully not this time though!

Sorry for the hiatus and thanks for the kind words and readership...next episode coming up!

DZ
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Old 06-09-2013, 02:20 PM   #190
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Chapter 14 (I think) Costa Maya!

Holy cow, I had to go back 3 pages to find my last installment. Thank you all for sticking around, and again I apologize for disappearing. Things got busy, and frankly I just forgot. Then DW told me that a lynch mob was starting up so I figured I better get off my rear end and get this thing done.

So today is Friday, December 21, 2012. It is the end of the world as we know it. Or at least that's what we had been told and promised because the Mayan Calendar was ending and the Mayan's know everything there is to know about anything!

We got up early (around 7am, wow, I have a terrific memory) so we could get ready and get some food at BBB. We got off the ship just after 8am and waited for the rest of our group to join us. One of the DISers in the group (Julie) had set up today's excursion to the ruins, so we all needed to head up there together. We signed up through Native Choice, once again not going with the Disney excursions and once again saving ourselves some money.

Here we are just off the ship...that USC shirt is starting to look familiar.

To get to the meeting spot for Native Choice we had to wind our way through the shopping area by the cruise dock (we would spend some time there later). This area was only accessible to Cruise ship passengers and had lots of bars, restaurants and stores. One place even had a pool with a small beach. pretty impressive. As with anything where they make it convenient...it was expensive. We exited out and headed a few blocks down to meet Native Choice . The place we met was an old shopping mall of some sort. you could clearly tell that Costa Maya was still hurting from the hurricane...and from what we understand the number of cruise ships has really declined. It used to be multiple a day...but now they only get a couple a week. Really sad and you can imagine the impact to the economy when they rely on that!

Then it was time to load up on our bus. Ivan, who was one of the owners, was our guide. He was very good and had alot of really good stories. We were going to the Chacchoben Mayan Ruins.

Our bus full of DISers.

Ivan lived among the ruins when he was a kid. At least that's what he told us. Since that time we have talked with many different people who have done tours like this. They all seem to have heard the same thing. So either there were a whole bunch of people who lived there or perhaps it was a little white lie. However it made the story neat...which continued like this: He lived there when he was little and has alot of souvenirs because they would go out and find stuff all the time. His mom owned the land up until Mexico came and took it from them. The even lived on the land while they were excavating these exact ruins...and he had a couple of pictures of before and after. He only had a couple of pictures left because the rest were ruined by the Hurricane. Well, there you go. You can decide if it is real or not.

Our first look at a ruin

Ivan talked about how the ruins were built...and that was pretty incredible. Essentially every 55 years (at least I think it was 55 years), they had to rebuild the temples. I always assumed these temples were kind of like the Pyramids...with hallow interiors. But apparently not. They started out small and every 55 years they added another layer to them...thus eventually making them huge. How thick the layer was depended upon the economy. During the good years the layer would be thick and colorful...when the economy was poor the layer would be very thin. Many times these temples would get closer and closer together as they got bigger, and eventually had to be combined because they were so large...making even bigger ones.

When you stand there and look out...you see many hills in the distance. Every one of the hills is a ruin as the landscape is extremely flat. It will be hundreds of years before they will uncover al the ruins...if they ever do. Cool stuff.

Here we are on a ruin!

The entire Dis group

And a close-up of us!

Dw going up some stairs

Audrey and I doing the same!

Here you can kind of see the various layers as they redid the temples.

Here you can see some red color on the stucco of one of the layers. Must have been a good year looting the other people!

Look at them thar hills in the distance...oh wait, those aren't hills!

DW on the edge of a steep hill. If you understand DW's fear of heights, you feel for her right now!

Another Ruin posing with us

Doug and Deanna

And another ruin...

Ivan teaching us about the calendar. This was very instructive because basically they Mayan's didn't predict the end of the world (obviously), Their calendar is set up to last forever essentially. They have 4-5 layers of numbers, some associated with days, years, etc. Essentially the days had progressed far enough along that everything was clicking over to a new number at the top level. Kind of like the year 2000...but more like 20000000 or something. And obviously the world did not end. Actually all of us felt that both Disney and Costa Maya missed out not printing t-shirst that said "I survived the end of the world in Costa Maya!". I would have bought one. Harumph...wish I had thought of it, I could have made a profit onboard!

Another picture of us

This is some sort of tablet. There used to be a ton of these, but many of them got stolen so they were moved off-site. I can't remember if this was a real one or a replica (my gut tells me it is a replica).

All-in-all it was a terrific excursion. We really enjoyed seeing all the neat stuff and we highly recommend Native Choice...even if Ivan may or may not have lived amongst the ruins!

Now it was time to head back...but of course not without being able to visit the stores at the ruins. We knew we had to negotiate..which I really enjoy actually. We ended up buying a keychain (which we would turn into a christmas ornament...we always buy christmas ornaments when we go on vacation...but alot of places do not have them...keychains work just as well), and a stone chess set for the boys. Dw didn't bother to write down how much I haggled them down...but I got what I felt like was a really good deal. Which, of course, likely means I paid twice as much as I should have.

Then it was back on the bus! One of the main crops in the Costa Maya area is pineapple. Of course the best Pineapple gets shipped off and sold elsewhere...but there is alot of pineapple that doesn't make the cut. This gets chopped up and put into bags and there are a ton of ladies on the side of the road offering to sell it. In addition they have this chili powder that they give with it which is sprinkled onto the pineapple. It sounds gross...but we are very open minded.

One little tidbit which I found interesting...the sanitary conditions are not that great there. So the people of that region sprinkle the chili powder on everything....which helps kill the bacteria which might make you sick. Pretty ingenious!

Ivan had talked about this on the way to the ruins and many of us asked to stop on the way back and get some. Ivan getting pineapple for us
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Old 06-09-2013, 02:21 PM   #191
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Chapter 14 part 2

We actually had to stop twice as we bought out the first stand and then most of the second. DW and I also asked to get a bag of the chili powder that they make. We still have some!

Here I am enjoying my chili powder pineapple. Just don't breath in before you take a bite!

The pineapple, for the record, was fabulous. The chili powder made an interesting sweet, spicy and salty combination. It was really, really good. we bought two bags. I finished mine and most of DW's. good stuff!

We passed this checkpoint going each way...armed soldiers. Nice. nothing at all scary about that. nope. nothing.

After we got back we hooked up with Doug and Audrey and did some shopping. There was a little store right where they dropped us off. We bought a couple of things (a bowl with chilies painted on it) and we found several picture opportunities.

Dw and a woman. Hmmm, DW something you need to tell us??

Oh wait, it was my girlfriend. That explains it.

I have no idea why this was outside. I've seen various cities with Pigs on parade...cows on parade..never a dilapidated horse with it's skeleton painted on it. Of course we took a picture with it...why wouldn't we???

Then we walked back to the cruise terminal and did some more shopping. We didn't buy anything...but we did validate that the price we paid for the stuff we got by the ruins was better than what we would have paid here. So that was nice. Maybe I only paid 50% more than I should have.

There were more good picture opportunities:

AHHHH! Danger will robinson!

DW and Audrey found Jack Sparrow. He doesn't look at good anymore.

Doug and I, apparently, will be fighting over this one. This picture was almost X-rated, but DW made me put my hand down.

They apparently put the flag of the ship in port up. It made for a nice picture.

Had to get a pic with the Wonder in the background

And our friends from Canada. Eh.

DW waves from our balcony

Here was the little port

And here were the armed guys in a boat that escorted us out. or chased us off??

On the dock they had painted logos of the ships that dock there...kind of cool.

When we got back on the ship we went up an got a little bit to eat from the grill (we both got pulled pork sandwiches which were great. We got ready to eat and headed down for dinner and one of our entertaining moments of the cruise. Audrey had brought a bottle of champagne down to share with everyone. Dina was pouring it for us...and while doing so she was chatting with us as always...and apparently got distracted as she dropped the bottle a little bit and broke a water glass.

Man, poor Dina...she turned bright red...and as we already had a relationship with her she got razzed pretty good for it. But we all told her it was no big deal...it got cleaned up and we moved on. It was very funny though...mainly because she is so careful and so service oriented...i know, that's mean...but it was funny.

After dinner we went and saw the comedy and music of John Charles. He is great...and makes up lots of different songs (including Disney ones), and could also play and sing just about any kind of song you can think of. He would walk through the crowd and get suggestions and do it. I believe we saw him years ago on the Magic...and he is just terrific. Don't miss this one.

But alas the end of the day has arrived. and the end of the cruise is quickly approaching. Sadly. but also not sadly as at this point I think we were ready to head home. Or alternatively have another week at sea...but Christmas is right around the corner so that won't work!
Our towel animal. I think an octopus?

Thanks for sticking around everyone...hopefully the next episode won't be far off!

DZ
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Old 06-09-2013, 07:57 PM   #192
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I had to bring my IPad right over to my DH for him to read all about your excursion, he went on the same one, but back in 2006!, with our son. I headed over to a beach with our other 2 sons. Anyway, it brought back great memories for him, he's like "hey there's Ivan!", he says that was the best experience he has ever had on any of our trips over the years. He recognized everything in your pictures, said there were no pineapple to try at the time, but knew that very stand. Again, fantastic report!
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Old 06-09-2013, 08:59 PM   #193
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I have a PC cruise coming up so I'm loving your trip report. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but I think one of those statues was giving you the finger.
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Old 06-09-2013, 09:50 PM   #194
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I have a PC cruise coming up so I'm loving your trip report. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but I think one of those statues was giving you the finger.
jjje, are you on the Sept 2013 EBPC ?
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Old 06-09-2013, 09:51 PM   #195
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Nope, not sailing the PC till September next year.
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