Disney Wonder Nov 16-23: To Galveston and Beyond!

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by FergusBC, Nov 30, 2013.

  1. FergusBC

    FergusBC DIS Veteran

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    That's very cool! It was a complicated emotion...we felt sorry that you guys had to get off but on the other hand, we were all 'hurry up and get off our ship!'... :lmao:

    But then when we came back I knew there was people watching the ship and thinking the same thing about us. One of these days I'd love to do a back to back so I can be all smug because I know I'm going to get off and then get back ON!

    But I digress...

    Usually...

    DH: Have you written up Cozumel yet?

    Me: Um...I think we're still in Grand Cayman.

    What can I say? I just don't want it to end!
     
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  3. FergusBC

    FergusBC DIS Veteran

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    Okay, so meanwhile, back at the ranch...er...port!

    We were hot, tired and yes, very hungry! But the girls reminded me that we had promised they could do some souvenir shopping (we would have to have girls!).

    DH bravely offered to test out the local libations while we surveyed some of the shops:
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    We browsed around a couple of the stalls. K picked out a cool white and black shirt that coloured in the sun. I saw tops & dresses that I would have liked but I was too hot and tired to be bothered dig out my wallet. All I could think of was the drink of the day!

    Oh yeah, and remember the cool candy store that we were going to go back to? Totally forgot about it. Totally.

    K shows daddy her new shirt!
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    Random shot of the port area. Yeah, I think that's the candy store in the background there. And yet we still didn't remember to go back in.
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    Now that we managed to get DH out of the local watering hole, it was back to the tender because mama wanted her drink of the day (today's offering: Sunken Treasure!).

    Ooooh...she's getting closer!
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    Sigh...he just had to touch it...
    Good thing it wasn't a canvas tent.
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    A Gretzky ship!
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    And we sat there...and sat there...and sat there...

    It took FOREVER to get up the stairs and off the tender and into the line up and through the security check...

    Okay, maybe it wasn't forever but it took a long time, and when you're really hungry and really hot and really, really need a drink...it seems like forever!

    I did notice them taking away conch shells from people boarding ahead of us. Part of me was 'ooh, wish I'd gotten one of those'...the part that wasn't obsessing about a cold Sunken Treasure, that is. So word of warning, if you're buying/obtaining conch shells, make sure you know what the criteria are for being allowed to bring it back on board!

    But we didn't have any so we cleared with me only stressing a bit about the miniscule bit of sand in our backpack :hyper:

    Once we were through, it was a beeline back to the cabin to dump our stuff, then while the others freshened up I ran up to the deck for a couple of Sunken Treasures and some food (notice my priorities there..!) I found out it's very hard to carry any food when you have two drinks to carry. So back to the cabin to press gang a child into accompanying me back to the deck for more food...food...and more food! I didn't really care what, I just wanted to get a bit from each of the quick service places..pizza & chicken strips and...oh my! This was the day we made the delightful discovery of the goodies at Goofy's Galley! Paninis and wraps and salad (yes, K said she just wanted salad - not sure whose kid she is really). I made a mental note that next trip we would smuggle a tray out of Beach Blanket Buffet for days like this (make a note of that: first day, borrow a tray!). Thankfully our cabin wasn't far but man, when you're hungry (and apparently I get cranky when I'm hungry. I think that's what I heard DH mumble one time just before he ran away...)

    Once we'd gotten some food into us and finished freshening up, it was decision time. Tonight, instead of a show, they were showing Thor: Dark World. We really, really wanted to see Thor and had purposely not gone to see it at the theatre at home, knowing that we could see it for 'free' on the ship. But it was also pirate night. PIRATE NIGHT! That's our favourite night! So we decided to forego the movie to make sure we had enough time to prepare for...PIRATE NIGHT! One of my other Mama must do's was get a family photo with Cap'n Jack. Sorry Thor, on Pirate Night Cap'n Jack takes precedence! :love:

    I'm not sure where the kids went during this time. I'm sure at the time I knew where they were... Actually they may have stayed in the cabin to watch cartoons. But I do know DH and I ended up at Diversions for the Pub Quiz. We weren't sure what that involved but it was in a bar and there was going to be trivia. So right away we knew it was our kind of activity! They were already on question 2 when we got there but kindly let us catch up. I thought it would be all Disney questions but better, it was just general trivia type stuff. We love trivia. Can't remember my kid's names half the time but I know Jack and Karen were the other two main characters on the Will & Grace show! Sad, I know. Anyway, it paid off as we won! Dh and I were just congratulating each other when the CM came back with prizes. PRIZES!? I didn't know there was prizes! A DCL hat and earbuds. Score :)

    Hey, I found our answer sheet! Make up your own questions to match :)
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    And so now fed, hydrated and victorious...it was time to become...PIRATES!
     
  4. Stephandy03

    Stephandy03 Mouseketeer

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    Love seeing all your photos! Great TR so far. We just got off the Wonder after the NYE cruise. Looks like y'all had a blast.
     
  5. FergusBC

    FergusBC DIS Veteran

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    Argh...Pirate Night. Yes, we do enjoy our pirates. We are not, in general, a dress-up kind of family. The kids do the Halloween thing but other than that, we are pretty boring old folk.

    Ah, but then comes pirate night, when our inner buccaneers want to come out and play! Now we don't go completely nuts - no expensive, custom made costumes or anything like that. But if you stalk the thrift stores long enough, all the pieces will eventually come together. Not to mention Value Village's after Halloween sale :rotfl:

    So before dinner, it was back to the cabin to get dressed and then check a couple more items off Mom's to-do list. I was NOT leaving that ship until I had a photo with Cap'n Jack Sparrow! On our last cruise, we didn't even see him (we were too busy partying up on deck). So momma had a mission ... but she also has kids. "I want a picture with Pirate Stitch" "I want a picture with Peter Pan". Momma stomps her feet - "NO, Not till momma gets her Capn Jack!" - and then held her breath until she got her way.

    Okay, it wasn't quite that dramatic (or childish LOL) but of course, they had back to back photo ops, in different areas. We figured the Capn Jack line would be longest so we went early to Preludes to claim our spot in line. Wow, some of the outfits were amazing. And man, they must have been hot! DH was suffering enough in his jacket & wig. I can't imagine the guys decked out in full kit. Conversely, the female pirates mostly seemed to be missing much of their costumes. Hmm, go figure.

    Oh oh oh, but then he was there. The line up moves fast and yet they never seem to rush anyone. It's so entertaining to watch the interactions between character and guests.

    Our turn!
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    What can I say? I am a pirate groupie pirate:

    And then it was the race back down to the Atrium for Stitch. But wait? Who are these fuzzy scallywags? Yay, Chip and Dale (my non-human favourites!)

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    But wait, there's more! Time for K to get a hug from her favourite pirate:
    (Is it weird that her left foot is pointing the same direction as her right foot?)
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    Even V managed to get her picture with Peter Pan. She met up with one of our tablemates and they ran off.

    And we even had time for a pre-dinner drink. Still not sure how we fit it all in but luckily there were ship photogs every time we turned around :rotfl:

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    Arghh...she's a born pirate!
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    Dinner was in Triton's tonight - we were upscale pirates, I guess. I wanted to video the parade through the dining room. I love the 'dance' version of the pirate song! But our assistant (I had to spell this out because when I tried to abbreviate it, the computer thinks I'm swearing!) server pulled K & I up to dance. Can't say no to pirate dancing!!

    After dinner, we were slow to get up on deck for the party - too much relaxing and socializing - what were we thinking? :rolleyes1 The deck was packed so we just hung out at the edge to watch. Before long a CM walked through to let us know we wouldn't be able to see the fireworks from where we were so we edged our way out towards the hot tub so that we could see.

    But first! Pirate Mickey saves the day!
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    This was an accidental shot - I thought I had the camera set to video. And then once I pushed the button I had to wait for the shutter to open again.
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    Once the fireworks ended, the deck cleared out a bit as the dance party started. K enjoyed the fact that she had room to cartwheel.
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    And we got a kick over people's reactions when she dropped into this:
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    I was looking forward to watching the Pirates of the Caribbean movie on funnel vision. Last time they started it about midnight. I have no idea if they even showed it or not because we all hit the wall about 11pm! Pretty faint hearted pirates we make!!!

    So it was gather the crew together and press-gang them back to the cabin for a good night's sleep.
     
  6. SweetMickey

    SweetMickey Earning My Ears

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    Thanks for such a fun review with all these great pictures. You crack me up!

    Looks like you had an awesome trip - we're doing the Western trip on the Fantasy later this year. You've given us a great preview and some fun ideas!

    Your family is so super cute. I'm impressed by your daughter's cartwheels and the full-on split. At my age I can barely touch my toes!

    You've also inspired me to set a goal to try every DoD! Thanks for encouraging me to set the bar nice and high. :rotfl:

    Thanks again for taking the time to share with all of us..... :wave2:
     
  7. nickymaria

    nickymaria Mouseketeer

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    Love your TR! We'll be cruising on the Wonder with our two girls at the end of March and it's so fun to read about your experiences - keep them coming!!
     
  8. DisneyCruiseMAD

    DisneyCruiseMAD Have Earned My Ears For 7 Years

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    Yay we are super excited we are going on the Wonder for the first time in April , I appreciate that you put pictures up of the Tender process cause I was a little nervous about it. We are doing a excursion in the morning and afterwards was going to walk around the island is everything pretty much within walking distance there?

    Its also great to see some pictures of the Wonder since everyone is hung up on the slides of the other boats.


    Gina
     
  9. FergusBC

    FergusBC DIS Veteran

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    Aww..thank you all for the kind comments.
    As I gather my thoughts for the next installment, let me start you off with some sunrise in the Caribbean photos.

    The view to the stern from Beach Blanket Buffet
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    Lots of tables available at 7 am!
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  10. FergusBC

    FergusBC DIS Veteran

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    I always knew I'd be an inspiration for someone some day!!! Good luck. I have to say, it remains the only to do list I've actually completed in the last few years! :drinking1
     
  11. Shaydi

    Shaydi Earning My Ears

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    just found your review today while thinking of our Wonder cruise next month and watching the snow fall yet again. really enjoy your humor. thanks.:lmao:
     
  12. kaylychee

    kaylychee Earning My Ears

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    Spent the day reading your review- it's WONDERful!!!

    Thanks so much for talking the time. :D

    We are going on Wonder this November for our anniversary and belated honeymoon. It's still so far away, reading your review gave me a piece of sanity. :p

    Def gonna get DoD everyday!
     
  13. FergusBC

    FergusBC DIS Veteran

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    Hey mom,….aren’t you ever going to finish the trip report?

    I'm working on it! I'm working on it! Why?


    I dunno…I just want to know how it ends.

    Um…weren't you there?!

    :scratchin
     
  14. FergusBC

    FergusBC DIS Veteran

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    November 21, morning. Ah yes, I remember it well.

    Well, actually it was four and a half months ago so some of the details might be fuzzy. Good thing I take hundreds of photos as visual aids :)

    I know we woke up once again to another beautiful, sunny morning. Does anyone remember the movie L.A. Story? Steve Martin plays a weatherman who pre-records the same weather report every day because the weather’s so boringly, predictably beautiful in L.A.? That’s kind of how I felt about the weather on the trip – oh, it’s just another gorgeous day. Ho hum. And NO, that is NOT a complaint! In this case, boring was AWESOME!

    The view from our balcony.
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    And again, as per usual. I got up early to go exploring. I was stalking the sunrise today. Also on my goals list were sunrise and sunset photos. And I was well aware time was running out!

    If you haven’t already picked up on it, early morning is my favourite time to wander the ship. It’s almost deserted other than a few CMs and other morning nuts like yourself :banana:

    A very quiet Mickey pool in the morning.
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    The sun was rising behind us (hey, that means we were sailing west, right?!) so I meandered back to the stern. I snapped a few photos from Deck 10:

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    ...but there were CMs doing some early morning power washing and I didn’t feel like having a shower yet so I moved down to the Beach Blanket Buffet on Deck 9.

    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]

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    In the course of writing this part of the trip report, I did come to the conclusion that I don't need 52 sunrise photos so for the sake of my aging hard drive (on my computer!) approximately 35 photos hit the virtual trash can. So if you’re thinking I’ve shared too many sunrise photos, remember it could have been worse! And we still haven't gotten to the sunset photos <insert evil grin here>.

    Aghhhhhhhhhhh…my retinas!
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  15. TCB in FLA

    TCB in FLA Mouseketeer

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    Sunny. 72.
     
  16. FergusBC

    FergusBC DIS Veteran

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    Okay, the thrill of the sunrise was over. Now it was time to head back through BBB to the family. You know it’s early when breakfast isn’t even ready at the buffet yet!

    There are stairs at the back of BBB that take you down to Deck 8. If your cabin is at the stern, it’s a very handy access point to run up for drinks, snacks, etc. and not everybody knows they are there. I didn’t get a picture of the stairs but presumably from where the photo is placed in my collection this hallway is at some point between BBB and our cabin on Deck 7. Otherwise, why would I have taken a photo? At least it wasn’t another sunrise pic! LOL

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    And of course, more random artwork from the stairway landings.
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    My dh should be thankful we’re not rich or our house would so be decorated with these! Although maybe he’d appreciate the change from all dog pictures.

    I’m considering ‘taking photos of all ship artwork’ for my next must-do list. Don’t laugh, you’ll get a taste of what I mean when I get to the alphabet photos on the last sea day. Consider that a promise or a threat. It could work both ways.

    Note to self: buy more memory cards.

    And back to the cabin by 8am to check out how close to Mexico we were!
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    And depressingly, this map shows that most of the trip is now behind us <insert sobbing sounds here>
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    You can tell this one is really upset about it. Well, I’m sure she would be if she were AWAKE!
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    By the way, the orange blanket is not DCL issue. That’s her own blanket from home that she carried all the way (with her THREE stuffies). Some day I hope they learn to travel light.

    There is a gap in my memory at this point as I have no recollection of what we did for breakfast this day! How could I forget about food?! We must have eaten something at some point. Hopefully a family member will read this and chime in with the details. I know we spent a great deal of time just watching the action from our balcony as we approached Cozumel.

    And once again, we get front row seats to the Pilot boat
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    And look! They even put out a rainbow for us.
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    Land Ahoy!
    Hey, how did Carnival get here before us?
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    Cozumel:
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  17. ukintheus

    ukintheus DIS Veteran

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    Yay! So glad to see that you are updating your TR. :-)
     
  18. FergusBC

    FergusBC DIS Veteran

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    Yep, it's called being in extreme work avoidance mode :scared: !!
     
  19. FergusBC

    FergusBC DIS Veteran

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    So pretending I’ve fascinated you with glorious tales of what was apparently our very forgettable breakfast (Dh thinks this was the morning where he went up to BBB and brought back snacks), we’ll move on to when we finished getting ready for Cozumel.

    This was the only port where we had booked an excursion through Disney. Originally we had the San Gervasio ruins and beach break tour booked.

    Now this is the confession portion of our trip report: we lied to our children. Yes. Yes, it’s true. Although technically it wasn’t so much we lied, as we just forgot to tell them something. No, no…actually we lied.

    When we first told the kids about the cruise, we had the excursions already booked so gave them all the info on what we were doing. But somehow we ‘forgot’ to tell them when we changed to the dolphin encounter at Chankanaab Park! We continued to wax rhapsodic about how much fun we would have walking around the ruins…and they never suspected a thing.

    Without going into too much detail or standing on too high of a soap box, I have ethical objections to the so-called dolphin adventures and had refused to even consider them when we first start planning. Somehow my ethics got derailed and the next thing I knew we were slapping on ‘dolphin encounter’ wristbands and waiting in Diversions with the rest of our tour group. There. I’m a hypocrite. Now I have to live with myself. Well, actually Dh has to live with me, so really he’s the one that deserves the sympathy.

    Anyhoooooooooo…..back to the post-breakfast scene...we packed up our swim gear, sun screen, towels, assorted odds and ends and wandered down to Diversions as per our excursion instructions. We were banded and released into the wild…oh wait, no…we had two wristbands, presumably these told the powers that be what we had paid for.

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    We also got our excursion stickers – we were in the Timon group (Timon’s the meerkat, right? Is it meerkat or meercat? I know we have a mere cat. But that’s different.)

    We grabbed a booth at Diversions and waited as the people wandered in and the CMs got them organized. The checker board came out and Dh and V entertained themselves for a while. K on the other hand, was starting to catch on to why there was a photo of a dolphin on her wristband. I was trying to distract her before V overheard her.

    Look! Look at the pretty baseball painting!
    (Hey, at least I didn’t tell her to look at the flowers!)*
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    * disturbing reference to The Walking Dead

    Eventually we were herded off the ship. It’s a looong walk down that pier. At that point we were fresh and raring to go. Later, it was a different story.

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    The Mexican Navy (?) was doing some sort of exercise right next to where we were docked.
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    It was actually rather interesting and I would have liked to have been able to observe for a while, but no rest for the wicked and we kept walking.

    We met up with our tour guide and as he explained the system to us, the penny dropped for V.

    I know she says “I hate you” but we know she really means “I love you” LOL….

    From there it was a long, meandering walk out of the port area, across a walkway into a mall type area, around a hundred corners, down a few escalators (okay, I may be exaggerating a bit) until we finally got down to the street area…Our guide (I think it was Arón) was in charge of assigning us into taxis that would take us to Chankanaab Park. It was a quick and fairly painless process to get to Chankanaab. And yeah, I just like typing Chankanaab. Once we piled out of the cab, we had to wait for the group to reassemble and our tour guide to arrive (he came last to make sure everyone got there).

    This is one of the main reasons why we went with private tours for the other ports – I hate being part of the herd and playing the hurry-up-and-wait-game. Fortunately there was lots to look at and distract us so it didn’t seem that long that we waited. Our tablemate and her daughter had also arrived by cab as they were doing the dolphin swim on their own, so the kids entertained themselves as well.

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    Once he arrived, the tour guide gave us the low down on what we could see and do there, highly recommending everyone try the real handmade tortillas there as opposed to the ones from Taco Hell. We were also advised/warned/threatened that the last cab would leave for the port at 3:30 so we MUST NOT BE LATE. I take these warnings very seriously as I have no desire to be standing on shore watching my ship sail away without me <sob>.

    We were in one of the first groups scheduled for the dolphin encounter so we and many others were directed to the ‘dolphin guide’ (for lack of a better term!). We were shown where the lockers were (free!) and given time to change before congregating again at the dolphin pools.

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    You can’t put on sunscreen before entering the dolphin pools unless it’s biodegradable so we were glancing nervously at the sky and wondering how long before we fried like an egg! We were lined up by the pools – I think there were three or four of them? – and had to leave our hats & sunglasses, etc. in a bin while we waited for our guide to let us down the stairs, into the pool. We walked down onto a ledge until we were about chest high in the water. We all had lifejackets on, and poor K sometimes could stand and other times we had to hang on to her to keep her from floating into the pool itself.

    We had a mama dolphin and her baby in our pool. We were told to make sure we did not try and touch the baby or mama might get upset with us. Poor K got worried because baby swam by her and touched her and she was most concerned that this would get her into trouble. We had to reassure her that if baby wanted to say hi, that was fine and nothing she could do. We just didn’t want mama dolphin to think we were trying to hurt her baby. At least I was hoping that was the case. Either way, mother dolphin didn’t go all mama bear on us so I guess we were okay.

    We spent…oooh…at least a half hour or more in the water. There were about 12 of us altogether and we all got turns with the dolphin. Ugh..I’m so embarrassed I can’t remember mama dolphin’s name! The trainer would tell us to hold out our hands and then direct the dolphin past so that we could touch her. Then each person got to ask the dolphin to dance, or jump and of course, offer a kiss. I do feel guilty but yeah, I really enjoyed it and it was really, really cool. Damnit.

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    Once you’re out of the water, they take you blatantly through the store area so that you can order your photos. Um. Yeah. Very cool photos. You’re not allowed to take your own pictures so if you want pics you have to buy them…and you’d better be prepared to mortgage the house to pay for them! We had budgeted for a deposit on a future cruise which we no longer needed (more about that still to come!), so I rationalized buying the CD that way. Or maybe it was all the time we spent in the hot sun. Either way, we ended up with some very nice – and expensive - dolphin photos.

    Once the order was placed, it was back to the lockers to get some clothes, the camera and sunscreen! The girls wanted to stay in their swim suits because, K especially, they were eyeing up the pool. But the sea lion show was just starting so we ducked in for that while we had the chance. At the end, V decided she had to get in line for a photo. Hey, guess what? Paid for that too LOL.

    We went to check out the eating choices as we were getting pretty rumbly in the tumbly. There was a sit down restaurant with a buffet option right there that we opted for. Because it was right there. It was okay – it was food. It wasn’t cheap but certainly not outrageous, all things considered. Everything was priced in pesos which was kind of refreshing, but hard on my mathematically disinclined brain. I’m used to doing the Canadian to US conversion easily enough but to go from Canadian to US to Pesos just about made my head explode! So I tried not to worry about it. K was the only one who ordered off the menu – I can’t remember what and I don’t think she ate much anyway, because she was pouting at having to be inside (shade, glorious shade!) when there was a pool waiting for her.

    When we finished up we made use of the facilities, at which point I had to explain to V to NOT put the toilet paper in the toilet. And no, I was NOT joking. She was not amused. Welcome to international travel, my dear…you go with the…er…flow!

    Then finally, the kids were released to frolic in the pool. Which they did admirably. I joined them briefly, while Dh returned to the lockers to..I can’t remember why…probably to get the rest of our stuff. The kids loved the pool – and once we realized there was a SWIM UP BAR, then so did we. The drinks weren’t nearly as good as on the ship but hey, it was a SWIM UP BAR!

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    Eventually I got restless in the pool – after all, we have pools back home (sadly lacking in SWIM UP BARS) so wheedled the kids into getting out so that we could check out the beach/lagoon area.
     
  20. ukintheus

    ukintheus DIS Veteran

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    :thumbsup2 DH and I have come to love Cozumel, despite it being considered the "dud" of the Western ports. I guess it grows on you. :rotfl:
     
  21. FergusBC

    FergusBC DIS Veteran

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    From what we saw of it it seemed very nice - safe & clean & friendly. Of course, the only other Mexican port we can compare it with is Ensenada :scratchin:rotfl2:
     

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