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Old 02-19-2013, 08:51 PM   #77
cblack
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Originally Posted by Ensusieasm
Thank you so much for letting me know that the Isla Verde beach excursion is at the Courtyard Marriott. I have been all over the Dis Boards trying to find out for months! I know it was but since I'm cruising in only 21 days I'm glad you let me know. Now I can settle back and enjoy your wonderful Trip Report!
Thank you! Thank you!
No problem at all!

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Originally Posted by maryr1oz
REALLY enjoying your report!!

Beautiful photos

My sister-in-law works in the Salon on the Fantasy, so i love reading reports to hear what's going on during her time
Thanks for reading along! How does she like working on the ship?

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Originally Posted by lizzyb
Waiting for the next installment!
Hopefully tonight!

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Originally Posted by Linda67
Loving your TR
You have some wonderful photos of DD with the characters
Thanks for reading along!
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:51 PM   #78
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Welcome to St. Thomas!






We started off this morning with quick snacks from the concierge lounge for breakfast. Julia, Alice, and Kemisha made sure that we had plenty of sunscreen, water, etc. We met for our excursion a little after 9 am in The Tube. Around 9:30 or so, we all headed down to deck 1 to get off of the ship. Just a little bit about excursions - if you book these ahead of time, you will get tickets in your room that tell you when and where to meet. When you get to the meeting location, they will make sure you have your Key to the World Card and ID (if over 18 ), as you will need these to get back on the ship. They will give you a sticker with a character on it. When you leave the ship, the crew will have a sign with that same character...the idea is, follow the sign with your character and you will make it to the right place.

5 other large ships were in port in St. Thomas on this day...at full capacity, they estimated that around 30,000 people would be stopping at St. Thomas. This definitely influenced our port adventure selection, and our plan was to get away from St. Thomas

We walked 3 ship lengths (I know because there were three ships there) to a small boat that was pulled right up behind the third ship. Immediately upon boarding the Kon Tiki, they offered everyone water and introduced themselves. The crew was great - all very friendly!



We went to the other dock in St. Thomas to pick up passengers from another cruise ship that was in port. They played music on the way, and Jayden entertained us (and a few others) with dancing:


I can't remember the other ship that was on our excursion, but there was definitely an, um, er....age difference They were fun, but did not get into the music atmosphere as much as us Disney folk! As we cruised from St. Thomas to Water Island (where this excursion goes), the crew gave us a bit of history about the island and did some music trivia. Once we got close to Water Island and Honeymoon Beach, the crew put the glass bottoms down so we could see fish (at least, that is what was supposed to happen). When no fish arrived, the crew threw fish food off of the side of the boat and then we saw lots of fish fighting over food:


As we putted up to the beach, we had a chance for a rare family photo:


Let me just say that this beach was beautiful - the sun was out, blue skies, soft sand, not too many waves - definitely a good beach day Unfortunately, and we knew this, we would only get to hang out at the beach for a little over an hour. We decided that we wouldn't get food on the beach (although you can), because we wanted to play the whole time. Here are a few shots from the day:






A couple thoughts - take sand toys if you have kids. Jayden shared hers' with another family, but there is no way to get them once you are there, and this is good sand to play in. Also, the Kon Tiki will honk its horn three times when it is time to go, so you don't have to worry about keeping track of time.

On our way back to the dock, the crew played music, did a conga line, limbo, and had snacks. The snacks were not overpriced and hit the spot (think chips, candy, etc.). This is a crew member and Jayden limboing:



After they dropped us off at the dock, we walked the three ship-lengths back to the Disney ship, although it felt like much longer. Hi, Dumbo!


We got lunch at Flo's Cafe (that's the name of the quick food place I mentioned earlier) and ate lunch in the room. Jayden declared that she was taking a nap. Again, I thought this was a good idea, and I joined her. Tonight, was pirate night:


We had dinner at Animator's Palette and it was great! This was, by far, my favorite main dining room meal. I know that some folks don't like it, but the short ribs were great. I don't have many pictures after this because we decided to just relax. Jayden is not a fan of pirates, anyway, so we just hung out in our room during all of the partying. We did get a few snacks in the concierge lounge right before it closed at 10pm. Jayden took a bath, and I got a few things ready for San Juan the next morning. We all felt much better after having dedicated "chill time" on this night, so I am so happy that we made that a priority. So, another suggestion...if you or your family are stressing, think about what you would do at home to relieve that stress. For us, staying home is a stress reliever because it seems like we are always going, and it did the trick! We walked out on deck 12 right before the fireworks started, we watched those, and then went to bed.

This was our second time visiting St. Thomas, and it didn't disappoint!



Up next: San Juan had quite the welcome for us!
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Last edited by cblack; 02-19-2013 at 10:12 PM.
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:30 AM   #79
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We are looking at the Kon tiki tour.. what time did you get back? I am wondering if we would have enough time to do that tour and the skyride.
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:32 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by lizzyb
We are looking at the Kon tiki tour.. what time did you get back? I am wondering if we would have enough time to do that tour and the skyride.
We got back to the ship around 2. I think that should allow enough time for paradise point.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:37 AM   #81
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[FONT="Century Gothic"]

After they dropped us off at the dock, we walked the three ship-lengths back to the Disney ship, although it felt like much longer. Hi, Dumbo!

This picture is so adorable!! And it makes me sad because that's right where our room was supposed to be for our May trip...darn military deployments. I'm living vicariously through your TR. Can't wait to read more.
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Old 02-23-2013, 12:40 PM   #83
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Cabana's does NOT have one single line to go through 10 different stations. There are supposed to be 10 different lines. There will be workers there telling you this...BELIEVE THEM! Getting lunch was a nightmare, because if you tried to do the lines like they told you to, people made snarky comments about how you need to get in the beginning of the line to get your food. It was painful to say the least. We only went back to Cabana's one other time and that was for breakfast. Next time, I will likely go to the rotational dining restaurant for lunch the first day.


Next up: Sailaway Party, the "Mustard" drill, Mad-Dash Unpacking, and Dinner at Animator's Pallette[/COLOR]
Joining in late... Read your pre trip report and loved it. We are going on our 2nd Disney Cruise in February 2014. Just a question about lunch on the first day, are all of the restaurants open right when you board? I didn't realize that was an option. TIA
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Old 02-23-2013, 01:55 PM   #84
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Joining in late... Read your pre trip report and loved it. We are going on our 2nd Disney Cruise in February 2014. Just a question about lunch on the first day, are all of the restaurants open right when you board? I didn't realize that was an option. TIA
On the first day only the buffet is open and 1 other dining room. On the Magic/Wonder that will be Parrot Cay and on the Dream/Fantasy it will be Enchanted Garden. On the Navigator that is given to you in the port you will see the serving times listed. The dining room will close earlier than the buffet area.
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Old 02-23-2013, 09:24 PM   #85
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Your little girl is tooooooo Cute!!! We will be taking the eastern cruise next May. Cant wait. I am really enjoying all of the details your have included. Thank you for taking the time!!
I was glad to see that you took your little one on an excursion.
You mentioned Kon Tiki. Is that the tour group?
What did it include? How much? How long??
What beach does it go to.
Would you do it again??
I am a nervous mother. I have 2 children, they will be DD9, DS5 at time of travel.
We took a cruise last year, and did not do any excursions. So we are looking foward to taking a few this time.
Thank you!
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:02 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by luvslikepi

This picture is so adorable!! And it makes me sad because that's right where our room was supposed to be for our May trip...darn military deployments. I'm living vicariously through your TR. Can't wait to read more.
Thanks! So sorry you won't get to go in May. Are you being deployed? I hope to have another installment with beautiful San Juan soon!

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Originally Posted by Linda67
Looks like you had a lot of fun on your excursion
We had a lot of fun. It wasn't very long, but allowed time for a nap afterwards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poohcandi

Joining in late... Read your pre trip report and loved it. We are going on our 2nd Disney Cruise in February 2014. Just a question about lunch on the first day, are all of the restaurants open right when you board? I didn't realize that was an option. TIA
Thanks for joining in! As jilljill said, there is a buffet in Cabanas and Enchanted Garden available for lunch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jilljill

On the first day only the buffet is open and 1 other dining room. On the Magic/Wonder that will be Parrot Cay and on the Dream/Fantasy it will be Enchanted Garden. On the Navigator that is given to you in the port you will see the serving times listed. The dining room will close earlier than the buffet area.
Hi, Jilljill! When is your next cruise?

Quote:
Originally Posted by annabug
Your little girl is tooooooo Cute!!! We will be taking the eastern cruise next May. Cant wait. I am really enjoying all of the details your have included. Thank you for taking the time!!
I was glad to see that you took your little one on an excursion.
You mentioned Kon Tiki. Is that the tour group?
What did it include? How much? How long??
What beach does it go to.
Would you do it again??
I am a nervous mother. I have 2 children, they will be DD9, DS5 at time of travel.
We took a cruise last year, and did not do any excursions. So we are looking foward to taking a few this time.
Thank you!
Welcome aboard! Kon Tiki was the name of the boat that we went on. The Disney excursion title includes Kon Tiki...something like the great Kon tiki escape. It included a ride on the boat with music, a bit of history about the island, an hour and a half at Honeymoon Beach, and a ride back to the ship in the boat. We left at 930am and we were back around 2pm. I can't remember the price, but we did it through Disney, so the price is on their web site. I think it was around $60/person. I would do it again, but would also enjoy going to Magen's Bay in St. Thomas. Disney makes excursions VERY easy. You meet in a location as a group, they walk you off of the ship to wherever you are going, and you are brought back to the ship. Enjoy your cruise!
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Old 02-24-2013, 12:04 AM   #87
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We're going for different scenery our next 2 cruises. We're doing the LA-Vancouver repo and the first AK cruise in May. Then we have the first Southern Caribbean, 9/20/14.
When are you cruising again?
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Old 02-24-2013, 12:21 AM   #88
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We're going for different scenery our next 2 cruises. We're doing the LA-Vancouver repo and the first AK cruise in May. Then we have the first Southern Caribbean, 9/20/14.
When are you cruising again?
We are on the second southern Caribbean, so we will just miss you. We are also planning a WDW trip for December of this year.
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Old 02-24-2013, 12:43 AM   #89
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We are on the second southern Caribbean, so we will just miss you. We are also planning a WDW trip for December of this year.
I'm heading to WDW on Tuesday, actually to visit my daughter and bother her. I haven't decided how much time I'll spend down there this summer.
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:39 AM   #90
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Why, Thank You, San Juan! I Love Rainbows! (Part 1)

In the month leading up to our trip, I religiously checked the 25-day forecast, and then the 10-day forecast to see if we would get good weather. I was so afraid that we would have a lot of rain, but we really didn't. The rain was timed very well. Today, we are visiting San Juan. Something woke me up around 7, so I got up to see if we were in port, and we were pulling in. It was a bit rainy, so I went back to sleep until we were planning to get up around 8am. When the alarm went off, I headed back out to get a better look at San Juan and it had just stopped raining and the sun was peaking out...so here is the treat I got for sleeping in a bit:






San Juan is BEAUTIFUL!!! The forts look amazing from the ship, so I can only imagine how cool they are to visit! Next time, we will, for sure! Jayden woke up well-rested for the first time on this trip, which for every parent out there, you know that this is a win! We decided the night before that we would have breakfast delivered to our room for this morning. I believe you need to be in a 1-bedroom suite or the Royal suite to have hot food delivered, but I could be wrong. We just told Kemisha the night before what we wanted and it was all delivered right on time. We had pastries, pancakes, Mickey Waffles, eggs, bacon, and to my surprise, we had a nice bowl of Strawberry soup. I commented earlier in the week that I love it, so I think Kemisha may have added it to the order

We met at the The Tube for this excursion around 9:30 am. By 9:40, we were all there and walking off of the ship to the bus. The bus was waiting for us right at the end of the dock. Here are a couple photos as we walked to the bus:




The bus ride was short -- approximately 10 minutes or so. While we were driving, our tour guide explained what we would have access to at the resort and gave us all green armbands to wear while we were there. For this excursion, you go to the Courtyard Marriott on the Isla Verde beach. At the resort, you have access to the beach, each person has a beach chair and there are umbrellas for every few chairs, you have access to the pool, and you get lunch. The waves were CRAZY today (it was a "red flag" day, meaning we weren't supposed to be in the ocean, but here are our photos to prove we can't follow directions):






As you can see, Jayden quickly escaped to Mom on the sand and Jeremy got beat up by the waves. I decided I would go in with Jayden, but hold her so she felt safer. About three waves in, the sand collapsed below my foot, and my big toe and the inside part of my foot somehow folded underneath the rest of my foot. Needless to say, I was done with the ocean at that point and so was Jayden. We tried to play in the sand, but it was really sticky. I know that sounds weird, and maybe it was because of the crazy waves, but the sand just wouldn't come off. There was also quite a bit of debris in the sand, as this is a public beach, and apparently isn't cleaned often. Another downside here, the incline of the beach near the water is really steep, so it is more difficult to navigate (I supposed all beaches can't be nice and flat like Castaway Cay). This sounds like we didn't have much fun, but we really did; I just want to make sure folks know what to expect when they go. The good news with this excursion is that we could escape to a wonderful pool where they had floaties and rings you could "rent."






Another good thing about the excursion was the food - it was really good. I would say it was tamed-down Puerto Rican food, but good! After lunch, we had about an hour to swim before leaving. FYI - take a watch or phone on this excursion, as no one will tell you when it is time to go. We watched closely and followed people around, but our tour guide did not ensure we headed back to the bus.
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