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Old 08-12-2013, 12:48 PM   #1
littleaussie
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Southern Caribbean 2014. . . Let's Start the Planning!

Southern Caribbean Magic 2014 planning

If you are a geek like me, you love to plan. . . and plan. . . and plan your Disney Vacations. I thought it was time to get this party started and compile info on the 4 - 2014 Southern Caribbean DCL sailings.

2014 Sail Dates: September 20, 27, October 4, 11
***Consider adding on the 3 night repositioning cruise from San Juan to Port Canaverol on Oct. 18 - this includes a stop at Castaway Cay!!!

Itinerary Port - and links to each posting
Saturday - San Juan, Puerto Rico, All Aboard at 9:30 p.m?
Sunday - At Sea
Monday - Antigua - 7-4:45 p.m
Tuesday - St. Lucia - 7:15-4:45 p.m.
Wednesday - Grenada - 7-4:45 p.m.
Thursday - Barbados - 7-4:45 p.m.
Friday - St. Kitts - 12-5:30 p.m.
Saturday - San Juan, Puerto Rico, 7 a.m.

DCL will sail out of the Old San Juan pier, rumored to be Pier #4?

Hotels close to the pier:
Sheraton OSJ: http://www.sheratonoldsanjuan.com/ ** Closest to the pier. When booking direct with Sheraton, you must have a 2 night stay. Posters have been able to book one night only by going thru Travelocity, Orbitz, etc. . .
Hotel Casablanca: http://www.hotelcasablancapr.com/
Da House: http://dahousehotel.com/
Hotel Plaza de Armas: http://www.hotelplazadearmaspr.com/
Villa Herencia: http://villaherencia.com/

Disney is offering 2 hotels as part of their cruise package: Caribe Hilton San Juan ($237+/night) or San Juan Marriott & Stellaris Casino ($239+/night)

***Of course, there are chain hotels located on the way to Old San Juan from the airport, just google to find which ones.
If you are looking for a beach hotel, try the Isla Verde or Condado area.

Most area hotels do not offer a free shuttle to/from the pier/airport areas, please check with your prospective hotel before booking but it looks like you will need to pay for a taxi or organize Disney transportation with airport/pier connections.

Here's an opinion on hotels in OSJ: http://traveltips.usatoday.com/hotel...-pr-33138.html

This is a starting point to get you orientated with OSJ: http://www.puertoricodaytrips.com/ol...an-basic-info/

And a free trolley to get around in OSJ: http://www.puertoricodaytrips.com/fr...-old-san-juan/

Jckygrl is a local and offered her opinion of San Juan and things to do/places to eat: link

Disney is offering transportation from the airport to the pier at a price of $20.00 for one way or $40.00 round trip per person. (thanks eandesmom)

Taxis:
The metropolitan tourist area is divided into the following taxi zones:
" Zone 1 Luis Munoz Marin (SJU) Airport
" Zone 2 Hotels in the Isla Verde Area
" Zone 3 Hotels in the Condado and Miramar Areas
" Zone 4 Hotels & Piers in Old San Juan, Puerta de Tierra, Pan Am Pier & Miramar
" Zone 5 Convention Center & the Luis Rivas Dominichi Airport in Isla Grande
Rates from the airport to OSJ or pier will vary from $15-$19 (one way fare) plus surcharges that can include: extra passengers (more than 5 people?) and luggage charged at $1 per piece. There are conflicting reports that carry-on luggage is assessed this charge as well as your regular suitcases?

On your return journey by air:
Before checking in with your favorite airline at SJU, it is very important to notice if your destination or stop is located in the United States of America or elsewhere.
If the United States of America is the right answer, make sure that you visit the nearest USDA checkpoint to verify that all the bags to be checked in are under the law. This is to protect the flora and fauna of your destination. These checkpoints are located at the entrance of every terminal. If you are traveling with American Airlines, you will find a checkpoint right at the taxiway of the AA's terminal. If you are traveling with any other airline the nearest checkpoints are located right at the entrance of the Concourses A, B, and C terminal.

The Port of Calls and what I'm doing (lol):
DCL has previously visited all ports with the exception of Grenada. While DCL-sponsored excursions have not been released yet, a great starting point is found at: http://www.wdwinfo.com/disney-cruise-line/sanjuan.htm
Click on each highlighted Port that will take you to the excursions that were previously offered.

Antigua: I'm torn between winging it to a beach, Adventure Antigua (Eli's Eco Tour) or booking a day pass at Coconut Beach Club at $50/pp - www.coconutbeachclub.com

St. Lucia: Want to try one of the Land and sea tours (Herod's, Joe Knows, Spencer)

Grenada: Stan at JNJ tours - http://jnjtours.com/Home.html This guy is a former US military who gets good reviews on TA and that 'other' cruise site. A few of us from our cruise group are going to fill a few of his vans for an island tour at $50/pp. I am especially excited to see the old spice plantation!

Barbados: This one was easy: Sail Calabaza - www.calabazasailingcruises.com at $110/$90 ad/ch - swimming with the turtles and an intimate setting on a Catamaran!

St. Kitts: Debating on booking Javin with My Island Tours @ $65/$45 ad/ch or trying for the zip line

Cruise meet links!!!
9/20: Here
9/27: Here
10/4: Here
10/4 KIDS: Here
10/11: Here

Links to previous SC trip reports:
Disneynut1955
Prettyintink


***Please help a girl out and offer your opinions, plans, advice for these sailings. Let us know what you've booked for next year so far, and why. Correct me where I go wrong. Anything goes. I will continue to update this post. And so it goes. . .
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September 2014 - Southern Caribbean Disney Magic Cruise
January 2014 - Windsor Palms TR
September 2012 - Disney, a wedding & DVC. . . Oh MY
January 2012 - Celebrating engagement with a Disney trip with a stay at WH
January 2011 - WH trip that will not be repeated!
December 2009 - Oak Plantation stay with Disney visit disaster
May 2008 - Traveling the WB Repo 2008 with an ex. . .
January 2006 - WDW at Oak Plantation+ Disney Cruise to the Bahamas
2003 and earlier - Numerous family trips too many to count!

Last edited by littleaussie; 05-02-2014 at 08:46 AM. Reason: Constant change
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Old 08-12-2013, 01:31 PM   #2
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Sweet, thanks!
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Old 08-12-2013, 01:40 PM   #3
GoofyLovingFamily
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We are so excited to be going on this cruise. Thanks for your ideas.
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Old 08-12-2013, 05:04 PM   #4
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Thanks!! We have the September 20 booked.
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Old 08-12-2013, 05:15 PM   #5
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Yay!!!! A planning thread!

We've been booked on the Oct 4th sailing since day 2 of the release and we're SOOOOOOOOOO excited. The itinerary is so incredible--- my husband thinks that there's almost too many ports! He was like, "but what about the sea days? Where are the character breakfasts?" No time, buddy.

Let the planning begin!
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Old 08-12-2013, 05:26 PM   #6
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Oooo! The Oct 4th thread is a little slow - pulling all four together like this is a good idea! We are so stoked for this itinerary! Celebrating 3 years of marriage onboard!
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Old 08-12-2013, 05:53 PM   #7
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We are booked on the 9/20 cruise. Wondering if anyone knows why the all aboard time is 9:30 pm (on all 4 southern caribbean cruises). Seems really late & is making me rethink flying in the day before - we would have a non-stop flight from Orlando and could be in San Juan by mid morning. All the hotels in OSJ are very expensive and this could save us some money for all those ports!

Just to add - with the exception of 1 cruise, we've NEVER even contemplated flying in the same day. But we did do that on the recent EBTA - flew from Orlando to Houston on the first flight of the day, making sure there were a couple more flights on the same airline that would get us in to Houston in time for the ship. With such a late sailaway on this cruise out of San Juan, we're thinking about a same day flight. My only concern would be that after our flight was booked, DCL might change the sailaway time LOL!
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Old 08-12-2013, 06:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Debbru View Post
We are booked on the 9/20 cruise. Wondering if anyone knows why the all aboard time is 9:30 pm (on all 4 southern caribbean cruises). Seems really late & is making me rethink flying in the day before - we would have a non-stop flight from Orlando and could be in San Juan by mid morning. All the hotels in OSJ are very expensive and this could save us some money for all those ports!

Just to add - with the exception of 1 cruise, we've NEVER even contemplated flying in the same day. But we did do that on the recent EBTA - flew from Orlando to Houston on the first flight of the day, making sure there were a couple more flights on the same airline that would get us in to Houston in time for the ship. With such a late sailaway on this cruise out of San Juan, we're thinking about a same day flight. My only concern would be that after our flight was booked, DCL might change the sailaway time LOL!
I haven't had them change the sail away time, but they have changed the port times on me before for this summer's Med. I had to cancel Colosseum tickets in the morning and rebook b/c we weren't going to make it.

So I'd wait....just saying. 9:30 pm does seem super late.
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Old 08-12-2013, 06:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Debbru View Post
We are booked on the 9/20 cruise. Wondering if anyone knows why the all aboard time is 9:30 pm (on all 4 southern caribbean cruises). Seems really late & is making me rethink flying in the day before - we would have a non-stop flight from Orlando and could be in San Juan by mid morning. All the hotels in OSJ are very expensive and this could save us some money for all those ports!

Just to add - with the exception of 1 cruise, we've NEVER even contemplated flying in the same day. But we did do that on the recent EBTA - flew from Orlando to Houston on the first flight of the day, making sure there were a couple more flights on the same airline that would get us in to Houston in time for the ship. With such a late sailaway on this cruise out of San Juan, we're thinking about a same day flight. My only concern would be that after our flight was booked, DCL might change the sailaway time LOL!
We really don't want to stay over either... we need to work that Friday if at all possible. It almost has me contemplating paying DCL to get us flights. Almost.
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Old 08-12-2013, 06:12 PM   #10
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THANK YOU!!!
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Old 08-12-2013, 06:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilpooh108 View Post
Yay!!!! A planning thread!

We've been booked on the Oct 4th sailing since day 2 of the release and we're SOOOOOOOOOO excited. The itinerary is so incredible--- my husband thinks that there's almost too many ports! He was like, "but what about the sea days? Where are the character breakfasts?" No time, buddy.

Let the planning begin!
We are pm the oct 4th cruise as well. The facebook page is getting more active and its still over a year away.
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Old 08-12-2013, 06:31 PM   #12
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I'm on the 9/20 and really looking forward to it!

Jill in CO
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Old 08-12-2013, 06:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toontoy View Post
We are pm the oct 4th cruise as well. The facebook page is getting more active and its still over a year away.
I don't FB So I'll just have to follow the DIS thread. Super excited about the FE. We had limited luggage space last cruise and were restricted in terms of what we could do. For this trip we're not as tight on luggage so I get to think of more fun stuff.
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Old 08-12-2013, 09:56 PM   #14
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Great thread. Thanks! We are booked on the 9-20 cruise. We were on the first DCL Southern Caribbean a few years ago. We did a wave runner excursion in Barbados, a private St Lucia island tour and an all inclusive day pass in Antigua. We booked everything on our own and it worked perfectly. We were interviewed by Good Morning Antigua, LOL.
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Old 08-13-2013, 12:18 PM   #15
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Thanks for staying this. Will post a link to it in our meet thread.

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