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Old 04-11-2014, 12:44 PM   #1
kreamcityquad
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Trip Report: DCL Fantasy / Western Caribbean / March 29, 2014

DCL Fantasy Trip Report / Western Caribbean / March 29, 2014

This is our 2nd DCL 7-nt Western Caribbean Cruise, but first time on the Fantasy. Me, DH, DS (9), DD (7)

This is mainly a trip report for non-Disney booked transportation and excursions.

We flew into Orlando airport late and stayed overnight at the Hyatt. VERY convenient so would recommend if you will be arriving on a late flight.

We hired a car service to take us to the port. HIGHLY recommend Sunrise Florida Transportation. (866-709-8769) I was a bit reluctant since I did not see many reviews but they had an excellent price - $93 one way for our party of 4 (taxes, tolls, tips included). I felt more comfortable with my decision once the Hyatt mentioned John by name. I originally requested a normal sedan but after some last minute luggage rearranging we ended up bringing more bags than expected since Southwest offered FREE checked bags. I called him the day prior to advise and he had no problem bringing a van instead. He mentioned that his earlier clients had a party of 10 so he has the extension for even more luggage!

Grand Cayman - We took a bus taxi to 7 Mile Beach. ($2.50 per person) You will want to go directly to the bus station to board. When you exit the cruise terminal, walk down Fort St to Edwards St; it is next to the library. Not a problem to find the correct bus – the ones with the blue license plates – they all stop along 7 Mile Beach. From other recommendations, we decided to stop at the Westin and use the Public Access Path to the beach. BEAUTIFUL and great snorkeling and not crowded on the public beach side, but in front of Westin it was more so. I think for me it was more of comfort level to be near a hotel and access to food/drinks if needed. When you are ready to return to the ship, there is a taxi stop right across the street so just wait for a blue licensed plate bus to approach & wave for them to stop. US Currency is accepted.

Costa Maya – I was not prepared for the devastation this town was subjected to during a hurricane from a few years ago. It has not rebuilt so lots of unoccupied, damaged buildings. From other recommendations, I did reserve chairs at Tropicante. No issues finding the correct taxi location that they mention on their web site and felt comfortable walking to it. Taxi was $2 per person. Tropicante is actually a restaurant owned by an expatriate Texan, so he will reserve tables and chairs so please plan on ordering food and drinks which were great. This is cash only and US Currency is accepted. Beach area was fabulous and snorkeling was fun for the kids….plus a view of the ship in the distance! Water was super warm, but we live in WI so most water is warm for us!

Cozumel – After looking a many reviews of locations for another beach day excursion, we decided on Paradise Beach. It was about a 15 minute taxi ride from the port. Paradise Beach was FABULOUS! It looks like a resort but without a hotel attached. Grounds and facilities were immaculate. If you are not interested in the beach, they have a beautiful pool with a swim up bar, so a very nice place to hang out for the day if you want to relax off the boat. The pool/beach access fee is $3 and $10 suggested food/beverage purchase. Food prices were more on the US vs MEX scale so it was not hard to reach $10. For the kids or kids at heart, they have fantastic inflatables in the ocean for them to play on. The water is deep so I would not recommend it for non-swimmers without parent’s assistance. They did have staff members in boats and on shore watching over, but would not leave smaller children unattended. Plenty of taxi’s lined up to take you back to the port. US Currency but you can also use major credit cards at the resort.

For our return back to Orlando, we had a late flight out that evening, so decided to rent a car and visit Downtown Disney. Enterprise was the least expensive with our late booking. All the car companies have automatic pick up spots so you do not have to call anyone when you debark. I was extremely happy that we rented with Enterprise as there was only one family in that line. The Budget Car Rental line was extremely long; I would say at least 50 families in it if not more. I felt bad for those families as I know when they reached the Budget location, they would be in another line for a while. For what we needed, Enterprise was less expensive, but after seeing that line, I think I would have paid more money not to be in it!

I hope this review is helpful for future Cruisers that like to handle their own excursions and travel. It was a fabulous trip with great weather and we are looking forward to booking a future cruise with DCL!

Please let me know if you have any questions & I will try to answer best I can.
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Old 04-17-2014, 10:13 AM   #2
ppoe65
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Thanks for the advice...I do have a question about the transportation: How was he in regards to punctuality? was he there on time for pick up?

TIA
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Old 04-22-2014, 02:19 PM   #3
Dprincesses2013
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Great information. Thanks so much for sharing!!
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