San Juan- reviews of Kids Activities on Castillo San Cristobal excursion?

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by KEichman, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. KEichman

    KEichman Mouseketeer

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    It's a good bit of money, compared to doing this on your own, but the youth activity adds a nice dimension. A little bit of free time in port will be great, since or child has issues that prevent her from walking long distances, especially with hills and uneven surfaces. I'm really hoping to hear from someone who chose the Kids Activity option for this tour, to find out if it's worth the extra cost.

    Anyone do this excursion with Kids Activity with DCL Youth Counselors?
     
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  3. faithtrustpixie

    faithtrustpixie Mouseketeer

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    We're doing this excursion in February. When are you cruising? We can post a report when we get back if that would help.
     
  4. KEichman

    KEichman Mouseketeer

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    That would be great. We're sailing in April. Thank you!
     
  5. ruadisneyfan2

    ruadisneyfan2 DIS Veteran

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    We were there in Nov. It's an easy walk from the port (unless you're disabled) and cost $10 for all 4 of us to enter. Kids enter free and we bought the combo ticket that allows entry to the other fort (Morro) but we never had time to get there too.
    It was crazy hot that day and by the time we were done, most of us just wanted some pool time. There's a shuttle service that stops right on the main street to take you to the other fort but we just missed it and waited so long for the next one, we realized there's not enough time to see the next fort and still get back to the ship in time.


    From NPS.org website:

    Adults (16 +) / per fortification $3.00 - Day
    Valid ticket for 24 hours.

    Both fortifications (16+) $5.00
    Valid ticket for 7 days

    Children 15 and under Free!


    I don't know what DCL is charging but if it's more than say $10 pp you are getting robbed. Even at $10 we would have paid $40, when really all we paid was $10. Had we known in advance there wasn't enough time to see both forts, we could have paid $6 for all 4 of us to enter the one fort.

    oops. I just read the part about having issues walking up hills or uneven ground. You could always take a taxi but there were a good bit of stairs & hills inside the fort itself. I wasn't thinking at the time if it was wheelchair accessible.
     
  6. KEichman

    KEichman Mouseketeer

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    Thanks...we're ok with inside the fort, I think. It's just longer distances that pose a problem. Disney charges substantially more, but includes a bus tour of Old San Juan, and time at the Children's Discovery Center. Disney youth counselors do some activities with the kids, allowing about an hour of free time for parents. I'm hoping to hear from anyone who participated in the bus tour and kids activity to see if this is worth the additional cost.
     
  7. sgc1107

    sgc1107 sgc1107

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    We did this through disney!.... Old San Juan and Bacardi tour... Do it on your own!! We were so rushed at the fort we didn't see everything! Driving through old San Juan was ok thought it would be more walking around not a quick drive! The best part about the Bacardi tour was the two free drinks!! You don't even see the real distillery! Huge disappointment!! Was rushed the entire day!! Needless to say that we didn't tip much for that tour! We paid $59 pp(I think that's correct) for DH and I! Wish we had done the fort ourselves!
     
  8. KEichman

    KEichman Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for sharing your experience. I'm really hoping to hear from someone who did the Fort excursion with Kids Activity. That's the main addition that adds to the premium cost, I'm sure. So I'm hoping to find out whether it is remotely worth it.
     
  9. FabFivePA

    FabFivePA Mouseketeer

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    We haven't yet, but I looked into it and decided to do it on our own. It looks like the Youth activity is one you can also do on your own, the Little Masons.

    This is all I could really find on it. http://www.nps.gov/saju/parknews/gr...center-at-san-juan-national-historic-site.htm

    So we're going to do the activity on our own as well, can't find if or what charge it would be.

    Sorry I couldn't be more help either. We cruise in March, so can at least come back and let you know if it worked out doing it on our own or not and what the costs were so you can weigh the costs of the excursion vs on your own.

    Hopefully somebody who's done it already pops in!
     
  10. KEichman

    KEichman Mouseketeer

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    Thanks! I do see that the Little Masons piece is available for anyone at the Children's Discovery Center. I had trouble finding info on that, too. I think the DLC "add on" is this:

    "Disney Cruise Line Youth Activities Counselors will join the children as they mold and paint a clay memento of their new learned trade, allowing parents to enjoy approximately one hour of free time, if so desired, to explore Old San Juan or shop."

    I'll be eagerly looking out for your posts upon your return. Enjoy your trip!
     
  11. SlickWilly

    SlickWilly Mouseketeer

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    We are just off the Fantasy and did this excursion. I wasn't able to find out much ahead of time, but I wanted to share our experience simce there is so little info out there.

    The DCL Port Adventure was great for our boys (9&6). My 9yo thought is would be good up to age 10, but older kids probably wouldn't get as much out of it.

    We got a driving tour (15-20 min) on a motor coach, a guided tour of the fort (about an hour), and the kids program (50 min). The fort tour included locals portraying period characters, including Ponce de Leon, a General, a Soldier, and we were led by Spanish "soldiers" and a drummer carrying a flag. People were stopping to video and photograph our guided tour.

    The kids program is in an air conditioned building next to the fort on Calle Norzagaray. It is led by a NPS ranger (we had 2) and several DCL counselors who come off the ship.

    I talked to the ranger staff and learned that this is definitely NOT something you can do on your own, despite what the NPS website suggests. Disney basically rents it out for the day and runs the program jointly with NPS. The rangers generally do not lead programs here on other days and they do not accept drop ins on days the Fantasy is in port. While you could drop in other days if you were visiting PR or lived there, there is no organized program for drop ins. Parents must guide their kids and it is not set up like a kids museum.

    All in all it was a great time. They provided us water and we could explore the fort or OSJ while the kids were in the program (we chose the fort). I would recommend it. All the kids seemed to have fun and everyone took home several certificates and a craft they made.
     
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  12. Ofinn

    Ofinn DIS Veteran

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    San Juan is port where you don't need to spend any money. Everything is walking distance. I would never pay Disney's high prices to tour the city fort.
     
  13. SlickWilly

    SlickWilly Mouseketeer

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    Ofinn, understand that this isnt about whether you should do this tour or go on your own. This is answering the question of what this tour is - there is really no info out there. Keep in mind this isn't just a fort tour but it includes a youth program. I agree about OSJ being excellent to walk around, but if you want something interactive for the kids off the ship this turned out to be an excellent program. Pricey? Yes. But well worth it for us.

    Parents who are looking into this type of program don't want to hear "tour on your own" - that really isnt helpful to most of us. They want some details so they can make the best decision for them.
     
  14. alaska8

    alaska8 Mouseketeer

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    Not sure how helpful this reply is but we booked that tour then decided to cancel it and do the tour on our own. We followed a free internet walking tour (but there is a free trolley bus that takes you to El Morro and San Cristobal and goes inbetween the two. We paid $5 each adult for a day ticket for entrance in forts. We have a 10 year old and he enjoyed just exploring around. Our tablemates had three kids ranging from 6-12 years old and did the tour you are talking about. They said it was nice but they wished they had just done the same walking tour as us as there didn't seem to be much to their tour.
     
  15. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    On the other hand, if parents think this is the only interesting tour you can take of the forts, having that other info can be great. The forts are VERY cool, VERY fun to tour on your own. And very very cheap.

    And...you still haven't provided much info on what the kid activity was...perhaps you can expand more on that?
     
  16. SlickWilly

    SlickWilly Mouseketeer

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    Sure. There was an interactive program with examples of period military uniforms for the kids to try on, a brief video about the fort (kid level), mixing traditional mortar and spreading it on a sample wall (shown in the DCL port adventures photos), and painting a ceramic take home craft made from the same type of mortar (pre-made).

    Keep in mind this portion was about an hour out of the total 3.5 hour excursion.

    There were defiinitely other options for touring, including on your own. Be aware that this excursion only includes one fort (San Cristobal).
     

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