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Old 04-30-2014, 05:37 PM   #31
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I really am loving you updates on this cruise. Food looks great and I love the group shots.

Pity about the spa and pools. That's such a shame that they were over crowded.
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:55 PM   #32
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I think lounging out in the sun and drinking are the best parts of any cruise!!!

And that blue thingy at the end looks mighty good!

I agree with the icky kids pool. Just. Eww.

I let my kids get in them but I won't set a foot in them! All that pee! In such a tiny space!!!

I did get in the adult pool on the Dream and I suspect I will on the Fantasy too. Chair space, on sea days, on ANY cruise line.. is always a high commodity item.

Also, I have no idea what you mean by saying the kids were 'lucky' to get Mickey Bars.

It's the standard daily dinner choice for SOMEONE every night when we Disney Cruise.



Great update! I'm 31 days away. Eek!!!! So excited!
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Old 05-01-2014, 10:44 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessInOz View Post
I really am loving you updates on this cruise. Food looks great and I love the group shots.

Pity about the spa and pools. That's such a shame that they were over crowded.
I'm sort of disappointed in how few pictures I took. I've been trying to get my friends to give me a copy of their pictures, but they have yet to get around to it.

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I think lounging out in the sun and drinking are the best parts of any cruise!!!

And that blue thingy at the end looks mighty good!

I agree with the icky kids pool. Just. Eww.

I let my kids get in them but I won't set a foot in them! All that pee! In such a tiny space!!!

I did get in the adult pool on the Dream and I suspect I will on the Fantasy too. Chair space, on sea days, on ANY cruise line.. is always a high commodity item.

Also, I have no idea what you mean by saying the kids were 'lucky' to get Mickey Bars.

It's the standard daily dinner choice for SOMEONE every night when we Disney Cruise.



Great update! I'm 31 days away. Eek!!!! So excited!
See, I'm really not much of a lounge around in the sun guy. It was fine for a few hours though.

It's really a shame that so many chairs are just saved empty for who knows how long. At the adult pool, more than half the chairs were empty with stuff on them to save the spot. You would think they could implement a system where that wouldn't be allowed.

I actually ordered a Mickey Bar myself at Parrot Cay, their dessert list was less than impressive.
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Old 05-01-2014, 02:08 PM   #34
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Lots of updates to catch up on! Love it!!

Dinner the first night looked fun -- everyone seemed excited to be on vacation!!

Not a bad spot for breakfast!

The crowded pools always look pretty unappealing to me....we'll have to scope out some out of the way hangouts.

Animator's Palate looks fun -- neat concept!
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Old 05-21-2014, 09:10 AM   #35
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Lots of updates to catch up on! Love it!!

Dinner the first night looked fun -- everyone seemed excited to be on vacation!!

Not a bad spot for breakfast!

The crowded pools always look pretty unappealing to me....we'll have to scope out some out of the way hangouts.

Animator's Palate looks fun -- neat concept!
Looks like you are just about ready to take off on your cruise. Have fuN!
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Old 05-21-2014, 09:21 AM   #36
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Day 4 - Cozumel

Sorry for the delay between postings...work has been crazy busy for weeks and i have just not had the time to post. I've made an extra long update to make up for it!

Before I get into the update - more news regarding our next WDW trip. So, as you may remember, DW and I decided to buy DVC points, and the points we bought had some "freebie" points which have to be used by Nov 30th.

So after a seemingly eternal wait - actually 73 days - we got our DVC Membership information. We had already booked an airfare when the rates were low on SWA for October 16th-20th, so we're hoping to get something for those four nights.

Once I logged on the website, I discovered the there was ZERO availability for a studio at ANY DVC resort for those days. Not even using some sort of split stay.

I then looked to one bedrooms - which fortunately we had enough points to afford if we used them all - and there was still very little, but we were able to get FOUR nights at Saratoga Springs in a 1-bedroom. I would've preferred a studio and sold the extra points, but knew this was a possibility going in.

So, our flights and our room is booked for October. Food and Wine - a couples retreat! Now we just have to come up with the money to cover the trip! (Usually I pay for all vacations, but DW is saving for this one also to share the costs, because we have no money in our budget to pay for it!) Fortunately, we had a free flight and no cost on lodging, so we're only at $225 so far! Anyone got some leftover park tickets?


Back to the update for Day 4

Today is our first port day, and we awoke to a bright sunny day overlooking the Mexican resort of Cozumel. While there were a ton of options as far as excursions – I think about 30 Disney sanctioned ones – there was really only one that I wanted to do, and also DD, and that’s swim with the Dolphins.

It’s funny, while we were planning the trip one thing we said with our friends is that we were did not have to do the same excursion. However, when talking with “Tom” one day we were talking about the different excursions, and he said that he wanted more than anything to do the Dolphin Swim. When they were on their honeymoon in Hawaii, they were booked in for the Dolphin Swim at there resort, but when they got there they had cancelled it because one (or more) of the Dolphins was pregnant.

Well, turns out this is exactly my reasoning for wanting to do the Dolphin Swim, right down to the same resort in Hawaii – except that we couldn’t even get the Dolphin Swim booked – so we agreed we would join together to go on the same excursion.

Like much of what was going on with the cruise, we really didn’t know what we were doing. We were supposed to meet down in a certain lounge at a certain time (I think it was 8:30 AM.) so we got up in the morning and went up and had breakfast again in the same spot – and it was the same breakfast of course, except this time we were tied to a dock.

They gathered us up and led us off the ship. The dock was sandwhiched between a Norwegian Cruise line ship and ours.





It gave us a chance to really get a better view of the outside of the ship.





The view of Cozumel from the dock.





They gathered all the people going to this Dolphin encounter together, and led us all through the port facility. The area was basically a little open air shopping mall with all these shops selling junky souvenirs for us tourists. The area had a bit of a run-down feel to it, but it didn’t feel unsafe or anything, and I think because we were in a big group being led somewhere no-one was bothering to accost us to buy stuff.

Eventually after walking through the top level and then back through the bottom level of these shops, they led our group to a taxi stand. There were a good 50-70 people here, but fortunately because there was eight of us total, we got our own taxi-van to take us out to the Dolpin swim. This was about 20 minutes up the road at a place called Chankanaab. It was a marine preserve that had a bunch of different stuff there, but we didn’t really get to see that much. Pretty much a Tourist Trap with a capital TT.







We went into the place and they split us up by own experience we had signed up for. For us, it was the Dolphin Push Pull and Swim. In other words, you got three experiences with the dolphins, one where they came up to you and gave you a kiss, another where they towed you across the swim area, and a third where they pushed you by the feet.

Before going in, we had to change into our swim gear. At least they gave us free lockers for this. We then were given a life vest and were then led out onto a big dock that had a large open area in the middle along with several pen areas along the side. The good news is it really didn’t seem like these Dolphins were being treated badly other than that they were stuck in captivity. However, when we asked about it, they said they are either all rescue dolphins or both into captivity.

Anyways, here’s a picture of the dock area:




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Old 05-21-2014, 09:22 AM   #37
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Day 4 - Dolphin Swim

I had brought my water camera, but no such luck, they were NOT allowing you to take your own pictures. Yup, either buy their memories or forget it. Well, we ended up in the end buying it. By combining all our pictures, the disk was only like $200 American (BLECH!) but at least splitting it two ways made it nto so bad. Below are some of the pictures of our experience. I choose to only including my family as I didn’t think it necessary to share the O’Malley’s shots.



















DW













Me












I sorted these pictures out, but in reality we took turns amongst the 12 people that were in the water (us and one other family). Overall, we were probably in the water for over an hour, it was very hard to judge exactly.

I don’t know quite how this is possible, but I felt like while the price they charged for this was a total tourist rip-off, at the same time I felt like it was totally worth what we paid (well maybe not the pictures). I consider this is something I’ve wanted to do my entire life, and its not something that is easy or cheap to arrange any other way. I only felt it was a rip-off because I was thinking these poor employees are probably making $5 an hour while we’re paying $135 to be in the water with the dolphins, and someone was getting very very rich off of us tourists. But, that said, it was really a wonderful experience, and certainly if I was paying that in the US I probably wouldn’t be complaining.
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December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
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November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"

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Old 05-21-2014, 09:23 AM   #38
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Day 4 - Shore excursion wrap-up

After the swim we were allowed to stick around the preserve and swim or see the sights. Most of us stayed, but DW wanted to do a little shopping – more on this later – but first we all were hungry. There was a small outdoor café where we could order some lunch. Standard fast food at not-bad prices (don’t know if it was not-bad for Mexico or not).



There was some jungle walks, a pool, a beach and also a sea lion show. DD basically wanted to swim. It was a neat pool, boasting several different layers of depth.













The Sea Lion show involved a couple of different Sea Lions doing mostly standard tricks. It was a nice little arena for this, and the Sea Lions seemed well taken care of. The show was in both Spanish and English, again obviously catering to the tourists.









We took a taxi back to the port after all of this. When we got back to the boat, we had to go through the on-boat cleansing ritual We were all pretty beat and had plans for the evening. It turned out we had a lot better day than DW. She had somehow lost her glasses in the transition out of the park back to Cozumel. In a panic she had returned back to the Dolphin encounter to try and find them, thinking that she had dropped them outside the locker. She didn’t find them either place though – and was stuck with not getting any shopping done and also losing a $400 pair of glasses. So, she was NOT a happy camper, but mostly worried that I was going to yell at her. Fortunately, I had the smarts not to get worked up about it, simply because what could we do? Don’t want it to ruin the rest of the vacation – though leaves it tough for her as she would need to wear her contacts all the time.
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December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
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November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"

October 2014 Pre Trip Report- "Let us plan our Escape !" LINK
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Old 05-21-2014, 06:01 PM   #39
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What an amazing experience to be able to swim with the dolphins. Like you, I would have worried about what sort of life the dolphins are having and it seems like these ones have a reasonable amount of space to swim in.

Despite the $$$, those are great pictures of the 3 of you with the dolphins.

Pity about the lost sunglasses. I hope DW was okay for the rest of the trip.
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Old 05-21-2014, 06:57 PM   #40
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Pity about the lost sunglasses. I hope DW was okay for the rest of the trip.
Not sunglasses, regular perscription glasses. She still hasn't replaced them as our medical insurance won't cover until June.
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December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
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The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"

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Old 05-22-2014, 01:51 AM   #41
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Not sunglasses, regular perscription glasses. She still hasn't replaced them as our medical insurance won't cover until June.
Prescription glasses???

Commiserations. That really is an awful thing to have happen.



BTW - I forgot to congratulate you and DW on your DVC booking. Sounds like you have a fantastic trip coming up.
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Old 05-22-2014, 08:45 AM   #42
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Prescription glasses???

Commiserations. That really is an awful thing to have happen.



BTW - I forgot to congratulate you and DW on your DVC booking. Sounds like you have a fantastic trip coming up.
We have some friends in Houston who I was helping with booking a trip (4th one this year, I should start charging commission) they are driving from Houston, but they also don't like to finish their vacation on Sunday, so they are only going to Disney for 4 days (Mon-Thurs) and leaving on Friday. They think that this is a long time to spend there.

I had to laugh and say - I guess it depends on your point of view, since we are planning 4 days at Disney as a "weekend getaway". I can't help but be excited for the idea, even though it's a ways off and I know its going to be way too short.
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October 14-20,2006 - First on-site (POFQ), first w/ DD3 and DMIL. September 22-29, 2007 with freinds @ POFQ! August 23-31, 2008. Just us 3...dining for free!
December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
October 15-25, 2010 @ AKL Trip Report!
November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"

October 2014 Pre Trip Report- "Let us plan our Escape !" LINK
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Old 05-22-2014, 09:10 AM   #43
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We did Chacknaab (or however you spell it without going to look it up) on our own in 2008. Comparing it to Discovery Cove- we liked Discovery Cove better. But for the price we paid- it was OK at the time & it allowed Sarah- then 3- to do the dolphin encounter as well.

The pictures will always get you. Always. Back in 2008 we couldn't get digital and only could 'buy' the pictures each. Of course, we did... for the girls.

Cozumel is probably my least favorite port out of the entire Carribean. I wish more ships diverted to Costa Maya instead....... which I happen to love.

Sorry about DW's glasses- that stinks.

And YHEA on the DVC trip!!!

I'm one week 2 days till cruise! I'm so swamped with everything I even failed my goal to get my November Cruise TR done before the cruise!!!!
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Old 05-22-2014, 09:41 AM   #44
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We did Chacknaab (or however you spell it without going to look it up) on our own in 2008. Comparing it to Discovery Cove- we liked Discovery Cove better. But for the price we paid- it was OK at the time & it allowed Sarah- then 3- to do the dolphin encounter as well.

The pictures will always get you. Always. Back in 2008 we couldn't get digital and only could 'buy' the pictures each. Of course, we did... for the girls.

Cozumel is probably my least favorite port out of the entire Carribean. I wish more ships diverted to Costa Maya instead....... which I happen to love.

Sorry about DW's glasses- that stinks.

And YHEA on the DVC trip!!!

I'm one week 2 days till cruise! I'm so swamped with everything I even failed my goal to get my November Cruise TR done before the cruise!!!!
Yeah, Cozumel overall was pretty *meh* to me. Not impressed.

Awesome that your cruise is just 10 days away. Hope you guys have a great time. Again seems to be no time to skype. Maybe after that!
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October 14-20,2006 - First on-site (POFQ), first w/ DD3 and DMIL. September 22-29, 2007 with freinds @ POFQ! August 23-31, 2008. Just us 3...dining for free!
December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
October 15-25, 2010 @ AKL Trip Report!
November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"

October 2014 Pre Trip Report- "Let us plan our Escape !" LINK
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Old 05-22-2014, 07:55 PM   #45
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Enjoying your TR.....we went to. Chanakaab a few years ago ....we snorkeled and loved it...nice place.

We actually joined DVC off that cruise in 2010. We also got extra points that had to be used we went all out on a 2 bedroom Easter week. You will love the space of 1 bedroom. We are a family of. 5, so we need the space.

We love being able to eat our breakfast and some lunches in the room.

Welcome to DVC!
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