Magic, Mickey and Mayans - A Pre-trip Report

Discussion in 'UK Trip Reports Board' started by dolphingirl47, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. tiggrbaby

    tiggrbaby <font color=deeppink><marquee>We must work harder

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    Sounds like you found a winner! Can't wait to see your flower pics.
     
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  3. franandaj

    franandaj I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!

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    That sounds like a really fun day! I would enjoy.that more than sitting on a beach.
     
  4. dolphingirl47

    dolphingirl47 In Search of the Tag Fairy

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    I will make sure that I will take plenty. I have bought an extra memory card so that I don't have to worry about how many photos I take.

    I normally love heading for the beach and swimming in the see, but I am really looking forward to this excursion.

    Corinna
     
  5. dolphingirl47

    dolphingirl47 In Search of the Tag Fairy

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    To Do List Revisited

    Four weeks from today we will be on our way to Houston so I thought it was time to review the to do list:

    Book airport hotel for the night prior to departure - done
    Book transfers in Houston
    Add Disney Dining Plan - done
    Buy ticket for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party - done
    Buy Premium Annual Pass - done
    Buy one day ticket to Walt Disney World for Graham - no longer needed (see below)
    Book Disney's The Magic Behind Our Steam Trains Tour - not operating while we are there
    Buy extra memory card - done
    Call Big River Grille & Brewing Works for Priority Seating
    Get a couple more dresses to wear for dinner on the cruise - done, one back-ordered
    Research what to do on Grand Cayman - done
    Book excursion in Grand Cayman - done
    Get 9" Create Your Own Vinylmation to be signed by characters - done and waiting to arrive
    Make door magnets - in progress
    Get Sharpies for signing Vinylmation - done
    Make Fish Extender gifts
    Order new hat for pirate costume - done and waiting to arrive
    Update ESTAs - done
    Pre-order Photo Pass CD
    Buy new noise-cancelling headphones - done
    Finalize Fish Extender List
    Send out link for Fish Extender List to everybody participating
    Print out all confirmations, vouchers, dining spreadsheet, etc.
    Put together quick guide to dining plan for Graham

    Corinna
     
  6. Pinkocto

    Pinkocto DIS Veteran

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    Your Grand Cayman plans sound like fun, glad you were able to find something :)

    You're well on your way with all the preparations. I hope time flies and you're on vacation before you know it!
     
  7. dolphingirl47

    dolphingirl47 In Search of the Tag Fairy

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    Time is definitely flying. This week is the last normal full work week. Next week and most of the week after I am in training. I have so much still to do at work that it is scary. Still, it will all be done in its own sweet time.

    Corinna
     
  8. dolphingirl47

    dolphingirl47 In Search of the Tag Fairy

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    Formal Wear

    Formal night is one of my favourite parts of every cruise. I love getting the chance to play princess. I have a number of evening gowns, but for some reason I had none in my favourite colours, which are royal blue and lilac. I put this right this time round. I had this dress made in both colours:

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    I am going to wear the royal blue one on formal night and as the theme of the menu on that night is Prince and Princess, I got myself a tiara from Ebay to go with the dress. As far as jewellery is concerned, I will wear my vow renewal jewellery with this.

    I will wear the lilac dress for semi-formal night and for this dress I will carry on with the tradition that I started for my first cruise. For every Disney cruise I have taken, I have commissioned a special piece of jewellery for either formal or semi-formal night. The jewellery for this cruise is based on my favourite bag:

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    I provided all the crystals, beads and the charms. I love how this has worked out and can't wait to wear it.

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    Corinna
     
  9. Pinkocto

    Pinkocto DIS Veteran

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    Can't wait to see the dresses. Beautiful style.

    Can I ask who makes your jewelry? That is just gorgeous.
     
  10. dolphingirl47

    dolphingirl47 In Search of the Tag Fairy

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  11. franandaj

    franandaj I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!

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    Yikes! I'm a month and two weeks out and haven't even considered what dresses to wear, bring or buy! I did just take three of my fancies to the cleaners last week.

    I still have no idea on FE gifts, you are so organized!
     
  12. dolphingirl47

    dolphingirl47 In Search of the Tag Fairy

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    I have to be organized. A lot of my goodies come from overseas and quite a few are custom made so I have to schedule some extra time for that. At the moment I have two packages that have been tracked in Miami for days now. At least they can keep each other company. ;) I have another package with an estimated delivery date of November 6th, which is cutting it a bit fine. This is the last day I will be able to get mail. I am so used to have anything between 1 and 2 years to plan that having about 2.5 months to plan has thrown me for a loop.

    Corinna
     
  13. Pinkocto

    Pinkocto DIS Veteran

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    Thanks. I want too many pieces, they're all so beautiful.
     
  14. dolphingirl47

    dolphingirl47 In Search of the Tag Fairy

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    Costa Maya

    Costa Maya is the port that I am looking forward to the most that trip and it is probably also the most unusual port that we have visited. To start of with, Costa Maya is a very young port. It only opened in 2001. From everything that I have read about it, it is also in the middle of nowhere. All the facilities there were built with cruise passengers in mind and include swimming pools that are free to use, bars and tourist shops. A lot of people seem to stay right there and enjoy the facilities.

    I have different plans for Costa Maya. It has been a life-long dream of mine to visit some Mayan ruins and if I am honest, I started to suspect that this is what it would remain. So I was over the moon when I spotted this cruise. There are plenty of places on the Yucatan Peninsular to see Mayan ruins and the most famous one is Tulum. We are headed for Chaccoben.

    Chaccoben are the closest Mayan ruins from Costa Maya and as we are only there for half a day, they were the only ones that were possible to visit. Chaccoben is the Mayan word for "the place of red corn". There has been a Mayan settlement at the site since approximately 200 BC and the structures date from 700 AD. Excavation on this site started in 1994 and it was opened to the public in 2002. Only a fraction of the site has been excavated and at present, three excavated and restored pyramids, as well as many walls and staircases can be found there. I have read many reviews and most of them have been absolutely glowing. There also seem to be a lot of animals about like monkeys, deer, armadillo and various birds.

    I can't wait to do this excursion. It has been a life-long dream of mine to see some Mayan ruins. I still can't quite believe that this is actually happening. I just bought myself a new memory card so I am ready.
     
  15. franandaj

    franandaj I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!

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    That sounds like a neat excursion! Is this a dock or tender port?
     
  16. dolphingirl47

    dolphingirl47 In Search of the Tag Fairy

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    Dock, Grand Cayman is the only tender port on this itinerary.

    Corinna
     
  17. Pinkocto

    Pinkocto DIS Veteran

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    Sounds like a great excursion. Very excited for you to be crossing something off your bucket list. I've seen a few Mayan sites and it was amazing and humbling and the same time.
     
  18. dolphingirl47

    dolphingirl47 In Search of the Tag Fairy

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    I really can't wait. I have heard though bug spray is a must.

    Corinna
     
  19. dolphingirl47

    dolphingirl47 In Search of the Tag Fairy

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    Cozumel

    This is another port that we had been to in 2009 and the main reason why I was always hoping to do another Western Caribbean cruise. This was my first Mexican port. Before we went, I had been told that Cozumel is essentially Nassau on steroids. Fortunately this was not my experience at all. I am sure that there are parts of Cozumel where this applies, but we found a real gem.

    I really wanted to do a dolphin swim. There are two options for this in Cozumel: Dolphinaris and Dolphin Discoveries. Dolphinaris is a stand alone facility quite close to the port and Dolphin Discoveries is located inside the Chankanaab National Park. In the end, I opted for Dolphin Discoveries as they offered an observer pass as well and there was enough there to keep Graham amused. We both loved our day there. The dolphin interaction was great even though standing on a slippery metal platform in the ocean did freak me out a little and Graham was very happy swimming in the sea. This was before we mastered snorkelling, which was a real shame. After my dolphin swim, I joined Graham. Both of us were wearing our wetsuits. Graham was absolutely swarmed by colourful tropical fish. We found out afterwards that the staff there feed the fish and they just happen to wear very similar wetsuits to ours.

    I have never even considered anything but going back to Chankanaab. This time we will just get a taxi there and will be there for opening time. Apart from the various dolphin interactions, Dolphin Discoveries now offers a sealion interaction and a manatee interaction. The manatee interaction really appeals to me. When I first encountered manatees at Seaworld, I was decidedly underwhelmed, but ever since I had the chance to bottle-feed an orphaned baby manatee at Seaworld on Thangsgiving 2007, they have had a special little place in my heart. So having the chance to be in the water with manatees feels like a real treat. According to the description, there will be a hug, kiss, swim by, feeding and some free time with a manatee involved. This was pretty good value. I paid $59 for this and this already includes the admission to Chankanaab, which is normally $21. I managed to snag a 10:00 interaction. I had to be a bit creative when filling out the details. When I selected that I was coming in on the Disney Magic, it told me to book through DCL. I would happily have done this, but they only offer the various dolphin programmes, but not the Manatee Interaction. So I had to pretend we were staying at a hotel. I probably could have sorted this out when we get there, but I would be so disappointed if it then had been fully booked. I ordered some bio-degradable sunscreen today.

    Corinna
     
  20. dolphingirl47

    dolphingirl47 In Search of the Tag Fairy

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    I am having a very happy Friday. My letter of approval for British Citizenship arrived today. Graham emailed me at work to let me know that an official looking brown envelope had arrived. I rang him as soon as I saw this and asked him if he opened it, which he had not. I asked him to open it. The letter is actually dated 12th October. I asked him what the date on the letter was, but I knew the answer before he told me. Last Friday I had one of my admin days at work. Amongst other things, they are there so that we can do our call monitoring, which to say the least is not my favourite part of the job. Still, I was fine and getting on with the job at hand. Suddenly around 15:00, I got really antsy, could not concentrate and just could not settle down to anything. This lasted for about 45 minutes and then I was fine again. I am sure that this is when the case worker looked at my file and made the decision.

    Actually strictly speaking, I did not get a letter of approval. I got the invitation to a citizenship ceremony, which normally comes a bit later. So I don't know what happened to the actual approval letter. Still, this has everything on it that I need.I rang the local council straightaway to try to organize the citizenship ceremony, but they have not received the paperwork from the Home Office yet. I did manage to get out of the person I spoke to that they are currently scheduling citizenship ceremonies for 7th November, which is of course precisely the date I want (and incidentally the first official day of this vacation). I need to ring back on Monday. Keep your fingers crossed for me that they still have slots for this on Monday. Today we will celebrate with steak and chips and a bottle of Rosa Regale.

    Corinna
     
  21. ForTheLoveOfDCL

    ForTheLoveOfDCL A Dream is a wish your

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    Joining in. so excited to read all this. I love the type on the ferry and dolphins. You will have to let me know how that goes. Would love to do it when we get of the magic as we dont fly home till sat morning. Would love to see the dolphins. We are going to do dolphins in cozumel just deciding which one to go to.
     

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