May 3 – 10 Western Caribbean Trip Report

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by bobbi565, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. CruisinEars

    CruisinEars Engaged at WDW 8/23/95!

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    We were at table 40 with Godwin and Alvin. They were great. I haven't downloaded my pics yet so I don't know what I have. In Animators you were at a table just across the aisle from us. I also saw you at the pool alot. I couldn't get my dd out of Mickey!! Yes, we did rebook I think on Tue of the cruise. Just a dummy date till we can figure out dates to go again. My dh absolutely loved the cruise.
     
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  3. dreamcometrue

    dreamcometrue <font color=blue>Laughed on her wedding night<br><

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    love your trippie!! We had Sylvester at Palo too and loved him!! We'll be doing the Western next year and I can't wait to hear the rest of it! We were on the Magic the week before you guys and had a GREAT time! :lovestruc
     
  4. poffles

    poffles Dreamin' Disney

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    Beautiful formal night pictures. Everyone looks like they were having a magical time!
     
  5. CruisinEars

    CruisinEars Engaged at WDW 8/23/95!

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    Bobbi, I see my dad's head in the picture of you and your ds at Lumiere's. We were at the table in the corner just to the right of the entrance.
     
  6. frdeb1999

    frdeb1999 DIS Veteran

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    Love the TR and pix!! Your son is too cute in the tux!! Glad you had a wonderful time! :)
     
  7. bobbi565

    bobbi565 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks, all, for the positive feedback. I'm getting to work on Grand Cayman day!

    Do you mean that little piece of gray head poking out from behind my curls at the table with the nice looking teenage boys? I do have another picture where you can see that table more clearly, but I'll have to pm that one to you because it's not one I care to publish for the public! :laughing:
     
  8. CruisinEars

    CruisinEars Engaged at WDW 8/23/95!

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    Yep, that's him. :rotfl2: You can email it to me at thelisterlady at gmail dot com if you want. Thanks much!!
     
  9. solgent

    solgent DIS Veteran

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    I'm really enjoying your TR. Great photos of your lovely family! We are doing our first cruise, a 3-night trip, in August and I would love to rebook a 7-night Western. We visited the easternmost point in Maine a few years ago and I want to go to the southernmost point!
     
  10. bobbi565

    bobbi565 DIS Veteran

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    Once again, I was up EARLY, grabbing a cup of coffee from Deck 9, delivering my fish extender gifts, scribbling in my travel journal, and watching the clock for the opening of the fitness center. After another three mile run and a quick shower, I was ready for breakfast with both my boys this morning. As we got dressed, DH was getting psyched for the day and joking with DS, saying, “I want to get some breakfast off the buffet and watch the big TV!!” I was surprised to see in the Navigator that Pirate Night was going to be THIS night instead of Cozumel night as expected. It didn’t take long for the rumors to spread that we’d be docked in Cozumel until 1:00 AM because of the Magic’s impending departure to the west coast. Once the boys were up and about, we headed up to Topsiders and filled our trays. I lead the boys back to the Goofy Pool and found our table in front of the Ariel Screen from the morning before open, so we grabbed it and dug in!
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    The weather was beautiful and after enjoying “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” over breakfast, we grabbed some sunbeds and relaxed while watching “Handy Manny” before going back to our room to fetch our stuff and go catch a tender to Grand Cayman.
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    I had read that guests who book DCL excursions got priority placement on the tender boats, and since we planned to do Boatswain Beach on our own, I anticipated a long wait. When we reached the Buena Vista theatre, we were quickly and efficiently directed to our seats and DS was delighted to see Playhouse Disney programming on the movie screen. “Mama!” he pointed at the screen. “It’s Tigger and Pooh!” Maybe the wait for a tender boat wouldn’t quite be interminable. We recognized the CM directing the tendering process in the Buena Vista Theatre from the sail away party and would see her entertaining us several more times before the cruise’s end (including this night’s pirate party!). After about ten minutes, she announced that we had a tender boat and would be boarding it shortly. They counted off the four rows in the back, we were two more rows down, so we knew we would be next. Leaning back in the comfy theatre seats and glancing at DS engrossed in the movie screen, DH commented, “If you’ve got to wait for a boat out, this is the way to do it!” After another few minutes, the CM announced there was another tender boat ready for boarding. The next four rows were directed to follow another crew member, and we were lead through the halls and down the stairs to the Forward Deck 1 gangway. We boarded a large catamaran and found ourselves seated beside imheather and family.
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    I was a little concerned about the tender boat ride, because recent reports on the board had described rough seas as making the trip extremely unpleasant, but our waters were smooth as glass, the sun was shining, and DS and imheather’s DS were excited to see the pirate ship we passed in the water.
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    We docked at the pier and disembarked. We encountered a couple of taxi kiosks at the port, but I had read that while taxi fare would run us about $15 each way, there was a private bus service that would take us from Georgetown to Westbay for $2.50 per person. The trick was finding a bus stop. We got directions at one of the taxi kiosks and ended up walking a few blocks (about a ¼ mile) to the bus stop. The trip took around 20 minutes and afforded us an interesting tour of the island with commentary provided by a fellow passenger, a colorful character who claimed to be a construction worker. He pointed out a ritzy oceanfront condominium building and claimed that Bill Gates had bought two penthouse units for which our new friend had worked on the crew that had demolished the dividing walls to provide Mr. Gates with a suitably spacious living area. When we finally reached Boatswain Beach (on which our friend had also worked construction!) we were ready for an afternoon of fun in the sun. We paid our admission, got our bracelets, and exited the reception area out into the turtle farm. DH and I were intrigued by the many large turtle tanks, but our hot and sweaty boy was anxious to get to the beach, so we decided to hike over to the snorkel lagoon and return to the turtle farm at the end of the day. The park was beautiful, with brightly painted artisan cottages lining the walkways and a large restaurant/bar area on the way to the lagoon. The man made snorkel lagoon had a broad shallow beach with plenty of room for non-swimmers to play.
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    DS and I changed in the nearby changing rooms, and then walked over to the counter where they were distributing the snorkel gear included in admission. While we got into the water, DH put on his suit. I’ve never snorkeled before, so DS and I played around with the equipment in the shallows. After DH came back, I explored the lagoon a bit and found the first drop-off point just beyond the bend of the children’s beach area, and it was densely populated with all sorts of fish. I swam back into the shallows and breathlessly reported my findings to the boys. The smaller one was more excited than the bigger one, who’d been itching to take a stroll back to the bar to sample a pina colada, so I played with DS some more while DH went off to satisfy his craving.
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    After a while, DH returned with a cupful of colada for me which I enjoyed in the water while floating lazily in my snorkel vest. After a second frozen beverage for DH, I was ready to explore the entire snorkel route.
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    The lagoon extends away from the beach in a donut formation with three distinct drop-off points, and the large predators tank at the far end. It’s a good thing the snorkel guy gives you the lay of the land before you set off on your snorkeling adventure, because the predators are separated from the rest of the snorkel lagoon by a sheet of Plexiglas. When swimming, it’s not possible to tell this until you are close enough to bump into the glass. It would be a heart-stopping moment come upon those sharks without knowing you are safely sealed apart from them! When I returned from the snorkel route, I found my boys in the shallows playing with DS’s snorkel. “Mama,” he reported excitedly, “I breathed underwater! Watch!” I helped him get his mask and snorkel back on, and he demonstrated taking a quick breathe before rsurfacing to pull off his gear. Before long, we decided to change and grab a bite At Schooner’s Bar & Grill whose outdoor deck sits atop the large predator’s tank and overlooks the far end of the snorkel lagoon. The food was fresh and tasty, the beverage menu extensive, and the service acceptable afte a long initial wait for a server to come to the table. After eating, we headed back to the turtle farm area. They had two large banks of turtle tanks containing turtles of all different ages and sizes, including a rare species (forget the name) with which DH was familiar and amazed to see. We delighted in handling the baby turtles, and DH, who early in his career as a journalist covered a story about an elderly sea tortoise who received a cataract operation as a joint effort between the National Aquarium and the Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Clinic, got to satisfy his affinity for turtles.
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    I helped DS pick up some babies and instructed him to hold them over the water so they wouldn’t get hurt if he dropped them.
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    I was surprised that this area was unstaffed. Trying to get a picture of him holding one by himself was funny, because the babies would patiently allow themselves to be held for only about 15 seconds before they’d start flailing their little flippers wildly in an attempt to free themselves. Since DH had wandered over to the other side of the next group of tanks, I made a couple of abortive attempts to get DS set up with a docile baby, then train the camera on him only to catch the frantic turtle making his getaway. Finally, DH came over and we had a bit more success. After a visit to the gift shop yielded goodies for everyone, it was back out to the bus stop. It only took a couple of minutes for the bus to arrive, and then the ride back to Royal Walters Pier. When we got through security and down to the dock, there was a tender waiting to provide another pleasant trip, this time back to the ship.
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    We got back in plenty of time for a little rest in our room before getting decked out in our pirate gear, (as a former Drama Teacher, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to get into full costume!) and heading up to the lobby atrium for portraits with Pirate Mickey. He was supposed to be posing from 5:15 – 5:45, and we got up there about 5:20 to find the line all the way down to the back entrance of Lumiere’s. We happened to be right behind jdabi and family, and the line moved slowly, but steadily forward, but as we approached the end of the hall at about 5:35, a CM approached and announced, “Mickey will be posing for about ten more minutes and will then be replaced by Minnie!” Nooooo --- I thought, we’ve already got Minnie! We want Mickey! All seven of us spent the next ten minutes inching our way close to the front of the line and willing Mickey to stay put for just one more shot until it was our turn. When jdabi and family took their place beside the Big Cheese, we celebrated for them and hoped our luck would hold out. Fortunately, it did, and DH confided in me later that he overheard the photo wrangler complain as we were leaving, “Where is Minnie? She’s late!” Thanks, Minnie!
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    We headed over to AP for dinner and got lots of appreciative comments from fellow guests and CMs alike. I have to say, a small percentage of adult cruisers go the whole hog with their pirate costumes, but I enjoyed all the extra attention it got us.
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    I thought the pirate night menu was terrific. I particularly enjoyed my Pearls of the Caribbean appetizer.
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    I also had the Spicy Vegetable Gumbo, the Beef Tenderloin, and the Lost Banana Treasure for dessert, all of which were delicious! We had an extra special evening because it was jdabi’s son’s 5th birthday that day, and we had a celebration at the table.
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    There was a fun conga line with servers waving their pirate flags at the end of dinner, and it was all very festive! After dinner, we headed over to Preludes to get a picture with Pirate Minnie and to “sign her in,” as DS calls getting an autograph.
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    After seeing Minnie, the boys wanted to rest up in the room for a while before the pirate party. They had also both decided they were through with the costumes for the night, so we all changed. Tonight, we had a bunny towel animal.
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    While the boys rested, I headed over to Shutters to see if we had Pirate Mickey pictures yet, and on my way over passed Kylie at the Future Cruise Desk chatting with a man who had lots of questions. I decided to wait, and after about five more minutes, the man rose to leave (without booking!), and Kylie started to shut down her laptop. “You’re not shutting down, are you?” I cried, “Because I’m ready to book!” “Well, in that case, no I’m not,” she responded, flipping her laptop back open. I booked with all the same specs that I’d done with Tracy at DU, but Kylie told me that stateroom 7120, a reclassified verandah, was available. I booked it and pondered if I’d keep that one or 7622, the standard Navigator’s Verandah that Tracy had booked for us. I headed back to the stateroom to drop off my reservation form and pick up the boys for the pirate party, but when I got there they were curled up in bed together (awwww!), and DH was out like a light bulb while DS was fading fast. He was gazing with glazed over eyes at the TV, and when I moved into his line of vision didn’t acknowledge me in any way. “Oh well,” I thought, “I guess I’m doing the pirate party solo!” So up I went to Deck 9. I enjoyed experiencing the sail away party from Deck 10, and I thought I saw an available table along one of the side rails, so I went up the stairs, but the table was occupied. I crossed in front of the stack across from the Ariel View, almost the precise spot we stood for the sail away, when I heard, “Bobbi! Hey, Bobbi!” I looked around, and there sitting right at the rail were imheather with her DD, and faith&hope from my meet thread. There was room for me to squeeze in, so I was happy to have some familiar company. There was still about a half an hour until party time, so we chatted a while and their families arrived. Then the party got underway. Before Goofy and the characters arrived, I heard, “Mama, Mama!” and turned around to see my sweet boy reaching his arms out to me.
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    I picked him up, and he clung to my neck while DH explained that he had awakened and become extremely distressed at my absence, crying pitifully that he missed his mama. Seeing that I hadn’t brought a walkie talkie handset with me, (oops! I thought the boys were down for the count), DH suggested that they come up and find me. They decided to go directly to the spot where we watched the sail away party!
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    I was happy that DS would get to see the pirate party and fireworks!
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    When Mickey zip corded in to the rescue, he appeared directly above our heads, much to DS’s delight!
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    Afterwards, we all grabbed a small snack from the buffet, and by that time, we were all ready to pass out!

    Next up, Coolin' It in Cozumel or Chillin' at Chankanaab...
     
  11. Hayloburger

    Hayloburger Mouseketeer

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    Love your trip report...we are doing western carr. next fall....thanks for taking the time to post (expecially with pics)...this is really helping my planning.

    I, also, want to do turtle farm and stingray city. Based on your experience, do you think that we would have time for both? My girls LOVE turtles and LOVE stingrays (we have done the CC stingray experience already and they loved that...I though that Grand Caymen would be a fun experience). We are hoping to do both, what do you think????

    Thanks again for all the great information!!!!
     
  12. bobbi565

    bobbi565 DIS Veteran

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    You can definitely do both! There's a company called Captain Marvin's, www.captainmarvins.com, that comes highly recommended, that does snorkel trips to Stingray City, and they can take you to Hell and the Turtle Farm either before or after your Stingray City adventure. Or you could just take a cab to the Turtle Farm on your own. Boatswain Beach has a less expensive admission option for just visiting the Turtle Farm and not the whole park!

    Glad you're finding my trippie helpful!
     
  13. poffles

    poffles Dreamin' Disney

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    Another awesome installment. Still loving the report.
     
  14. CruisinEars

    CruisinEars Engaged at WDW 8/23/95!

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    Glad to read about your trip to Boatswains. We did Stingray City with Capt. Marvins and had a marvelous time.

    Great pics of the Pirate Party.
     
  15. slk

    slk Mouseketeer

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    Wow! I just started reading some of your trip report and was looking at
    some of the pics and I noticed Cruisin Ears said she was seated at table
    40 with Godwin and Alvin and that caught my attention because we
    were at table 41 and 4 of the kids in our party were at table 39. Then,
    I noticed in the picture of you and your son the kids in our party are
    in the backgroud! Great trip report! We had a blast on the trip - we
    rebooked on the trip and will be going back to do the Eastern in
    early May of '10. We had 14 in our party and everyone had a great time! :)
     
  16. bobbi565

    bobbi565 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks! I was dying to do Stingray City, but I wasn't really sure either of my boys would be really into it, and there was the distinct possibility that DS would totally freak out. I had actually booked with Captain Marvins and ended up cancelling. I will do it next time...loved Grand Cayman and will return!

    Cool! Howdy neighbor...:wave2: We rebooked onboard for a 7 night Land/Sea in June '09. I hope to book an Eastern for sometime in 2010!
     
  17. CruisinEars

    CruisinEars Engaged at WDW 8/23/95!

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    Wow, SLk, I can't believe we were sitting next to Dis'ers the whole trip and didn't even know it. Your table of kids were so polite and well mannered. We did a lot of laughing because my mom and dad both had a hard time hearing Godwin when he would describe the menu so they would "make fun" of them. (okay, so did we ;) ) We had an awesome cruise and even canceled our Palo dinner so we wouldn't miss our family dinner. Check out my siggy for news of our next trip. :cool1: :thumbsup2
     
  18. CruisinEars

    CruisinEars Engaged at WDW 8/23/95!

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  19. DAKfever

    DAKfever "I only hope that we don't lose sight of one thing

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    What a great time! Wasn't the weather just perfect all week?
    :thumbsup2
     
  20. CruisinEars

    CruisinEars Engaged at WDW 8/23/95!

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    Yes! It was absolutely perfect. Except Key West. We got caught in the downpour about 3 blocks from the pier and embarked completely soaked.:rotfl2: So, we changed into our suits and headed to the pool. :thumbsup2
    This was a perfect cruise. I am almost afraid to cruise again in fear that the next one won't meet expectations.

    Thanks Bobbi for posting about our cruise. I am happy to "relive" it through you.:goodvibes
     
  21. ToodlesRN

    ToodlesRN Always Dreamin Of Disney

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    What a great trip report! We are going on our first DCL in Feb and enjoy reading everyones experiences. You mentioned that you got your fish extender from a ebayer member do you hapen to have there info? I really like it!
     

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