3rd Annual We are "NEVER" going to Disney in the summer again"

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by natebenma, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. LovintheLodge

    LovintheLodge DIS Veteran

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    Ditto on this advice! My family was there last August. Yes it is HOT, HOT, HOT but following this advice is a must! Take a break in the afternoon (back to resort for swimming or a leisurely lunch in an air conditioned restaurant). We followed this for the most part. There were some times we were park touring in those afternoon hours and they really wipe you out!
     
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  3. natebenma

    natebenma DIS Veteran

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    Just got back Monday night. We had a fantastic time in Mexico- lots of fun and great weather. I am still in the process of uploading and cleaning up my photos. I took around 1,500!

    I had lots of catching up to do on the thread when I returned. I think there were over 10 pages created during the week. I have lots of info to update there, too.

    I'll never forget my meeting with Teena either. We had exchanged a couple of PMs, but I was mostly a lurker on the Y&B board. I had asked a couple of questions about the room balconies and the coffee maker in the room.

    My husband and kids did not know what was going on when I walked into the Beach Club lobby, started hugging Teena and gave her the photo album I had made with BC guests I had contacted.
     
  4. dtr_angel

    dtr_angel You're really cute, but I have no idea what you ar

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    Thank you so much for the advice! I think I will buy a waterproof disposable camera for that day. I'm going back to re-read your trip report to see all the helpful tips you've included. Thanks again - I hope you enjoyed Mexico!
     
  5. pixarmom

    pixarmom DIS Veteran

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    Dee, it's cold out! Post Mexico photos soon - more than just one or two, please! I have a feeling that our Williamsburg/D.C. temps are not going to be anything close at the end of this month, so anything warm and Barcelo will do!
    (We did have 80's in D.C. last March, but that's not typical.)

    Everyone else reading Dee's trip report - she has this summer stuff down! We're long time WDW vets, and I've been going to Disney parks for over 35 years, but last July was our first summer trip. We used all of Dee's tips and had an outstanding time!
     
  6. natebenma

    natebenma DIS Veteran

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    Thanks so much for the compliment. I'm so glad your summer trip turned out well. I was waiting at home anxiously awaiting your report back, hoping you didn't absolutely hate it!

    I finally updated a bunch of pictures, so bending to popular demand (or at least your one request)- here we go. Probably won't include a lot of chit chat.
     
  7. natebenma

    natebenma DIS Veteran

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    Why we went:

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    Not enough pages and TMI:

    Two stories about the plane ride. You know it is going to be a long ride when you are on the aisle and your seatmate informs you as soon as he sits down that he has a weak bladder! If he hadn't said anything, I don't think I would have noticed anything. I probably matched him visit for visit to el banyo!

    I love to read, but I never get into a book at home because I have so many other things to do. So I look forward to a 3-4 hour stretch on the plane where I have nothing to do but READ! I'm a huge Stephen King fan, and he wrote a series of 7 novels called The Dark Tower (Gunslinger)- I had read volumes 1-4. I finished Wizards and Glass (4) in Jan 1998, in St. John, when I was pregnant with my first son. The Wolves of the Calla (5) has gone along with me on a few vacations but I am always hesitant to open it- It is like 900 pages, so it is tough to commit. But this time I decided I would do it, but I purchased the paperback with a Barnes and Noble gift card I had so it would be easier to carry around. I sat back, opened my book, and discovered...

    It started on PAGE 9!!! The book was missing the title page, the foreword, the dedication, the summary of the previous 4 stories- really could have used that, and the first 8 pages of the novel. Not ripped out. Just not printed. But I started from there and I was fine.


    Around the Barcelo resort, Monday Feb 21-Monday Feb 28, 2011

    We had a fantastic time in Mexico! We stayed at a resort called the Barcelo Maya, about an hour south of Cancun. Huge resort, 5 separate hotels, 3 different beaches- for snorkeling, wave jumping and swimming. We stayed there last February and it was VERY COLD (like everywhere last winter), but this year temps were in the mid-eighties and only a couple of episodes of rain.


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    It was very windy- a few red flag days and a few yellow (caution) days. Ben loved splashing it the huge waves, but the conditions were not as great as we would have liked for snorkeling

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    Thank goodness for the teen activities at the resort. Our 12 year old wants very little to do with the family at this time, so he spent most of the days at the resort playing volleyball, water polo, basketball, mini golf, soccer etc. with others of his kind.

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    Waterpark at the Colonial and new Splash Park- they also had a trampoline with a harness, playgrounds and a kids club. My boys did not use any of these:

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    Continued in Next Post

     
  8. natebenma

    natebenma DIS Veteran

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    Continued

    Feeding the Fish

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    This guy hung out at the pool for about 20 minutes one morning

    A funny bird, the pelican
    His beak holds more than his belly-can
    He holds in his beak
    Enough food for a week
    I don't know how the hell-he-can


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    Next up: Don't Look Down!!! Climbing the Coba Ruins and Xplor Adventure Park

     
  9. Queila

    Queila DIS Veteran

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    Welcome back!
    That looks like a beautiful place to get away from our Winter. Glad you guys had a good time. I could use that swimming pool right about now. :laughing:

    Q
     
  10. mickeystoontown

    mickeystoontown DIS Veteran

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    I know what you mean about now having time to read at home. I love to read but just don't have the time. Too many chores and too many family activities.

    The resort looks amazing! It's simply gorgeous.
     
  11. natebenma

    natebenma DIS Veteran

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    The resort is awesome! We loved the swimming pools- we went to this same resort last year and it was so cold that week that Ben was the only one who braved the pools. The ocean was warmer than the pools last year- this year it was about equal. Much better


    I have a backlog of reading material- as soon as we book a trip, I set aside the books I want to bring. I even manage to read when we stay at Disney- from about 5-6 every morning, on the balcony, accompanied by my coffee and camera.

    I can't say enough great things about the resort. The grounds are beautiful. The beaches are amazing. The food is decent and plentiful. We had access to 4 buffets, 4 beach grills, 8 a la carte restaurants. Drinks are plentiful if you so choose. Lots of activities to do, organized or otherwise. It is located very close to a lot of the interesting attractions in the area.

    There's even a website devoted entirely to this resort- a lot like the DIS- much smaller of course- with FAQs, a discussion forum, trip report forum.

    Let's face it- it ain't a vacation to me until I've overplanned it!
     
  12. pixarmom

    pixarmom DIS Veteran

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    Love it! Of course we especially love it because we were there a couple years ago - this brings back great memories (although lots of new stuff since they completed the construction!) A few questions when you have time:

    1) Are your boys feeling too old for the waterpark/splash areas? Or did they just not have time? We're getting close to the teen years with our oldest I'm wondering whether he will still be interested in any of that.

    2) What's the yummy looking drink?

    3) The fish feeding reminded me of the turtle release. Do they still do the turtle release? We released a turtle that our oldest named "Flash" and it was one of the highlights of the trip!
     
  13. natebenma

    natebenma DIS Veteran

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    1) Nate, at 11 did not use the waterpark at all LAST YEAR. He would have been a total PITA on this trip if it hadn't been for the teen activities. Can you picture my face when he is on a lounger, next to gorgeous pools, steps from the amazing ocean, saying "I'm bored!"

    Ben used the water park once or twice last year, we asked him a couple of times this year, but he wasn't interested. He enjoys just swimming in the pool and the ocean, so he was content with that.

    The "legal" cutoff age according to the resort is 12- 10 is probably a more realistic limit based on interest.

    2) Isle of Coconut- orange juice, rum, coconut cream, orgeat syrup (what is that???, maybe a typo) and lime juice. Isn't it beautiful??? Yummy, too!

    3) I have read on the unofficial Barcelo site about the turtle releases in the past, but I haven't seen anything lately. We didn't see any turtles out snorkeling, but lots of people there did. I tend to stay around the rocks and corals because I love the pretty colorful fish. The turtles are out in the eel grass or the sandy areas. I'll have some underwater pictures coming up. Mark saw one turtle when he was out kayaking with Ben.
     
  14. dtr_angel

    dtr_angel You're really cute, but I have no idea what you ar

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    That looks like the perfect winter get away!!! Your pictures make me so ready for summer!!! I cannot wait to sweat it out in Orlando in May :) I can't wait to read more about your trip! I love your trip reports.
     
  15. natebenma

    natebenma DIS Veteran

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    Thank you so much for the nice comment about my trip report! I really appreciate it!

    This has been such a nasty winter! I don't think the kids had a full week of school in January. We had one day that school was cancelled because there was too much snow on the all of the school roofs and there was a fear of collapse.

    We escaped a couple of days of terrible weather during our trip. Having the trip to look forward to really helps us get through the season.
     
  16. ntikos

    ntikos Mouseketeer

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    This has to be the best trip report I've ever read!

    I really appreciate it because we are going to BCV in August this year.

    I'm a bit worried about the dead of summer heat and now I'm worried because we are flying on AirTran! :rotfl:

    Thanks for all the tips and the great detail. This is our second trip to BC ( first at BCV ). We loved being in the Epcot area and the pool last time. Almost decided on AKL but the BC locale just can't be beat.
     
  17. natebenma

    natebenma DIS Veteran

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    :welcome: and Gosh, thank you so much!!!

    Sorry to scare you about Airtran- What do your flights look like now? They made the major change to our return flight a few months before our trip- I hope yours stay as they are.

    Have you been over to the Beach & Yacht Club thread? Follow the link in my signature and check out the first page. Sit and stay awhile- we are a very friendly and helpful group. I don't know much about the villas, but there are lots of folks on the board who are experts.
     
  18. natebenma

    natebenma DIS Veteran

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    We planned two excursions for the week of our trip- touring the Coba ruins and Xplor Adventure Park

    Last year, we visited the Tulum ruins, so we wanted to try something different. We would have loved to see Chitzen Itza, but the travel time is around 3 hours each way, so that was just too much time in a vehicle for us. Coba is a little more than an hour from our resort. It features the second largest Mayan pyramid (the first is Tikal in Guatemala), which is one of the few Mayan pyramids that you may still climb.

    Most of the tours you can book include stops to either swim in a cenote (water-filled caverns), zipline or a visit a Mayan village. Since we would be doing some of these activities later in the week, we just wanted to tour Coba¬ł maybe stop for lunch and then return to our resort.

    The week before our trip, I arranged transportation with Brant from USA Transfers. We used this company to and from the airport/resort last year and experienced excellent service. We had booked them this year as well. It was very easy to work with Brant and get a quote for this trip. I appreciated his flexibility about our pickup time and a possible stop for lunch.

    Our driver, Louis, arrived a couple of minutes before our designated time of 8:15. Upon arrival at the ruins, he accompanied us while we purchased our entrance tickets and hired a guide (William) for the long tour then returned to the van.

    The first area you tour is near the entrance and called the Coba group. It includes La Iglesia, the church. There is also a ball court.

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    Since Coba is so large, and there is more than a mile between the two major areas, you may rent bicycles to take you around or you can hire drivers to take you from place to place. My boys don’t ride bikes, so we used 2 pedicabs.

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    The next stop was to part of sacbeob, a section of the raised stone white roads which stretched up to 62 miles to other ancient cities. My photos do not really do justice capturing the impressiveness of the construction of these roads, so I am not going to post the ones I took.

    Next up was a restored ball court in excellent condition- the game was described to us as a tournament where two teams would attempt to score goals with heavy balls through the raised rings, using only their legs and hips- not their hands. Contrary to popular belief, we were told the games at this site, Coba, did not end with the human beheading of members of either team.

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    Next we visited Xaibe, which archaeologists believe was a trading and/or tax outpost:

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    Finally, we were off to Nohuch Mul (The Big Mound). This structure rises up to 138 feet, about 12 stories. William, our guide, took our picture and offered this sage advice for climbing:

    “Don’t look down!”

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    Nate scrambled fearlessly up the structure. Mark and Ben climbed together. Somewhere along the ascent, Ben looked down. And panicked. I was behind, huffing and puffing my way up, climbing the steps on all fours, and truth be told, I panicked a bit too when I started to think that my family would have to come back down again, a more difficult journey!

    As soon as he hit the top, Ben wanted right back down again, so we had no time for a family picture. I snapped a couple of quick photos, then psyched myself up for the return trip.

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    There is rope to hold onto to help, and we all went onto our rumps to make our descent.

    About halfway down, I felt comfortable enough to stop and snap a couple of pictures.

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    As we were headed down, I was dismayed to see a dad climbing the pyramid, holding his son who looked to be less than a year old. My mother’s heart was skipping a beat thinking about them coming back down, which they did without making use of the rope. I was glad when they made it back to safe ground.

    Our drivers brought us back to the entrance, we paid for the ride and tipped our drivers. My husband’s driver told him that they usually make about 3 runs a day between the entrance and the big pyramid.

    When we returned to meet up with Louis, it was around noon. We had originally thought we might stop along the way back to the resort for lunch, but it was an absolutely gorgeous day, so we decided to go directly back, have a delicious lunch at one of the luncheon grills, then hit the beach or pool.

    Early last year, around the time of our first trip to the Barcelo, there were claims that Nohuch Mul would be closed to climbing in April 2010, like similar pyramid in Tulum and Chitzen Itza, for both safety and preservation reasons. Clearly, this has not happened yet.

     
  19. DrMomof3

    DrMomof3 DIS Veteran

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    I am SO jealous of your Mexico trip! The resort looks beautiful! I can only imagine climbing the pyramid with baby in tow. :scared1:

    Amanda
     
  20. natebenma

    natebenma DIS Veteran

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    Seriously, why would you do that? Where was the mom? Is the kid going to remember? Can you take turns with other family members? They had another son, about 3 years old who made the climb too.

    I wasn't even sure that it was a good idea to let my family do it!!! :lmao:
     
  21. ntikos

    ntikos Mouseketeer

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    We are flying out of Philly 8am and returning on a late flight leaving MCO @ 6:40 pm. I pray they don't change it.

    I will check out the B&YC thread. thanks!
     

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