The McSparklesons Sail the Magic... AGAIN! $500 Potato Chips! 3/13

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by karajeboo, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. karajeboo

    karajeboo DISmom by land and by sea!

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    I think that is one of the few places I could spend a whole week and be happy..... My back would be so sunburned though from snorkeling all day!

    OK, you sound like you're from my neck of the woods. "y'all" and "fixin" - I UNDERSTAND YOU!!!! :rotfl2:
     
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  3. stitch101

    stitch101 Earning My Ears

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    Can't wait to hear more.....I mean read more about your trip!
     
  4. karajeboo

    karajeboo DISmom by land and by sea!

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    I almost forgot these little snippets!!!

    Here Comes the Fantasy - VIDEO - click to play!

    It was shortly after the Fantasy arrived that it was time to say....

    "Hellooooooo Captain Cutie!!!" I do believe that Tammie and I may have drooled that out in unison, but her reaction may have been from almost being knocked out cold getting into the van!

    They don't let her out much in Colorado I don't think....:duck:

    Seriously.

    We were told to meet our pickup van outside the HardRock Cafe and I think we tried to make it way more difficult than it was. HardRock is on a corner, so which side should we meet him - how will he know who we are - what will he be driving - should we jump up and down - should we sit - should we stand......

    When in all actuality, they arrive down the main road that faces the harbor, and turn the corner by the "main" entrance of the HardRock and they are driving a minivan with "Fat Fish Adventures" emblazoned on the side.

    It really wasn't that tough.....

    Well, again, Tammie might argue. Poor thing cracked her head so hard getting in the van!!! If she was going for mouth to mouth from Captain Cutie she needed to at least draw blood or lose consiousness. C'mon Tammie, take one for the team next time!!!!!

    We had about a 15 minute drive to their waterfront office where we signed our release forms, paid our balance, got fitted for fins and life vests, and then we were off!

    Captain Cutie introduced himself to us as Jordan, and apologized for eating a McDonald's biscuit while he drove us to the office. Jeff said that was one of the things he liked about him, that he was just a laid back, beach bum kinda guy, maybe even a little bit hungover from the night before.

    I just liked pretending I was that biscuit......

    OK, I digress....... But it's so much FUN to digress!!!!

    We had such great service when we got to the office, there was a woman who handled all the paperwork and finances, while Jordan and another Captain (almost as yummy as our Jordan!) helped us all get fitted for fins and vests. Second Captain then headed off to take a jetski tour group.

    It took us no more than 10-15 minutes to get everything together, store our things in the boat, and off we went!

    Now one thing I learned about Grand Cayman is that there is way more waterfront property than there is oceanfront land.

    That's because the whole island is built with canals everywhere! So that's where we started. It was almost a residential area, built on this particular canal. It only took us a minute or two to get to the mouth of the canal and all we saw in front of us was beautiful blue..... WATER! Get your minds out of the gutter! We were here to snorkel, right????

    Do I look relaxed yet?

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    Cause I wasn't. Not yet.

    Kara: Our ship leaves at 4. We need to be back by 4.
    Jordan: Don't worry, I'll have you back by 2.
    Kara: Back on land, or back to the tender?
    Jordan: Don't worry. We've never been late before.
    Kara: I just want to make sure we don't miss the ship.
    Jordan: You won't miss the ship.
    Kara: What if we break down, or something happens? We just can't cut it too close.
    Jordan (to Jeff): Sheesh, she's a little high strung, huh?
    Jeff: You don't know the half of it.....

    Jordan told us we were going to go snorkeling first, then to Stingray City, then to Rum Point for lunch, then to Starfish Beach. Okie Dokie!

    About halfway out to the reef to snorkel, he changed his mind. He noticed that there were only a few boats at Stingray City so we went there first before it got too crowded.

    Not gonna kid you, I was nervous. We you tubed a lot of Stingray vids before going, and all three of us were a bit hesitant about this part of the trip.

    Until I got there. OMG!!!! I want a pet stingray!!!!!

    Ally, however, would be telling me its either her or the stingray! And I'd have to make a list of pros and cons and that point....

    We all got off the boat on the sand bar, the water about up to our waists. Jordan told us to shuffle our feet so as not to step on the rays (they let me call them that cause we go way back....) and break their spines. Well, there was no chance of Ally stepping on a ray, cause she grabbed hold of me and wrapped her legs around my waist and made it perfectly clear she was NOT swimming with stingrays this trip.

    The worst part for me was that I was missing these magical creatures. I never had a chance to get scared or nervous. The only thing I was nervous about was having a wardrobe malfunction since I was wearing a strapless suit and Ally was all over me! And if you know the McSparklesons, you know they have wardrobe malfunctions on cruises.....

    I had to take Ally back to the boat, while she was clinging to me like a baby chimp to its mama.... wait, what does that say about ME?????

    She was not very happy.....

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    Sorry, but as pitiful as that photo is, it just cracks me up!!!

    I made my way back to everyone else, all feeding the rays, petting the rays, kissing the rays, and then I realized - that Ray is one lucky dude!!!!! :rotfl2:

    Oh, I crack myself up!

    OK, so back I went to our group, and I fell in love instantly. Sorry, Jordan, you're OUT! The rays are IN! Like I said, all the hubbub with Ally allowed me to forget my fears by the time I was back in the water.

    They were magical.

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    I couldn't get over how SOFT they felt, and how gentle these creatures are. Then Jordan told us how the numbers of stingrays are dwindling due to shark attacks (Kara the worrier's first comment "SHARKS? Where?") at night when the rays leave the sandbar and head out to sea. They bury themselves in the sand at the bottom of the ocean to hid, and the sharks have learned to dive into the sand, hitting the rays and breaking their backs, paralyzing them. Then they eat their wings. It's so sad!

    I can't remember the exact numbers, but it was something like 600 rays 5 years ago and now down to 125. It was a drastic reduction in a short amount of time.

    And to see these beasts, so sweet and "cuddly" it just broke my heart.

    I asked Jeff if he'd get one for me to take home.... didn't happen.

    But Jordan had his favorite. Freckles. He said all the captains have thier favorites. And the rays have their favorite captains too. They are just like dogs, or horses! Only they are flat. With long tails. And they swim. JUST LIKE DOGS, only not.

    [​IMG]

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    They would brush right up against you looking for food (see? Just like dogs!)....

    [​IMG]

    When Jordan asked me to turn around for a backrub, I thought, but Jeff's right over there!!!!! And then I realized it was Freckles giving me a back rub!!!

    [​IMG]

    I also learned that nobody has ever been stung in Grand Cayman. Some "say" they have, but if anything, it was a slight sting on the foot if they stepped on a ray, but nothing requiring a hospital visit.

    Of course, Jordan knew how to put my mind at ease. Because OF COURSE I researched stingray injuries in Grand Cayman!!!

    The long tail is NOT the stinger. The stinger is only a few inches long, and its under the tail at the base, up by the body.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    See? He's not just a pretty face, he also taught me something.....

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    Pretending I"m Freckles now.....

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    Awe.... Jeff gave Freckles a kiss!!!

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    Tammi getting her backrub

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    Aren't they beautiful???

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    My underwater camera picked this day to die..... so thank goodness Tammi's got us some good shots!!!

    Jordan and Freckles - VIDEO - click to play!

    [​IMG]

    The worst part of the day was trying to get back into the boat on that sandbar. It was bouncing all over the place - I'm surprised Ally wasn't tossed out while she was sitting in there!

    Once we got in, Jordan looked out around the water and decided on a snorkel spot where there were no other boats. He was good to take us to reefs where we could be alone. It was so romantic.... uh, I mean, it was nice of him to offer such good service!!!!

    Again, I don't have underwater shots, but I did have my Flip turned on, in the underwater case I bought, and didn't realize it.

    Snorkeling in Grand Cayman - VIDEO - click to play!

    What is so funny is that at about :11 you can see the camera go all wonky. That's because I saw a "wild" stingray that I wasn't too sure of. I know, I know, they are fine. But there was something about them at Stingray City - even though it's wild too, I just didn't like the looks of this guy. He looked like he was from the wrong side of the reef, if ya know what I mean....

    The water was so salty here that we didn't even need our vests, just relax and float on top of the water.....

    Ally did great, too. At first she would only hover around the boat, until Jeff and I took her hands and started flippering (my word) out over a reef. She forgot her fears and loved it!!!!

    Looking back, I really wish Jordan had taken us snorkeling first, then maybe, just MAYBE, she would have been okay with the rays at Stingray City.

    Up next, Rum Point and Starfish Beach!

     
  5. kid-at-heart

    kid-at-heart DIS Veteran

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    :lmao: When we used to visit my aunt in the south she would give us, as a treat, a biscuit with syrup (cane syrup) in it. Yummmm. Kinda like your captain...
     
  6. Cheryl726

    Cheryl726 DIS Veteran

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    Have you done the Castaway Ray's excursion on CC? We did it last summer and we enjoyed it. They give you info on the rays, told us to shuffle our feet, and we got to feed them then swim with them. My boys loved it! Looks like you had a great day in Grand Cayman!
     
  7. tokyodisneydad

    tokyodisneydad DIS Veteran

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    Love the pictures and info about the stingray swim. We are planning to do it at Castaway Cay on our 2013 NYE cruise....if the water isn't freezing.
     
  8. karajeboo

    karajeboo DISmom by land and by sea!

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    He was pure sugar!!!!!

    No, this was our first experience with the stingrays. I loved that they were wild. They were not in any type of enclosure. But yet they were very "tame." We are doing the same excursion next April on Royal Caribbean!

    I have too much sand gravity at CC..... can't seem to break free of the beach. :confused3
     
  9. luvslikepi

    luvslikepi DIS Veteran

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    Love the Sting Ray story - I've pet plenty of them at Aquariums but never had the chance to swim with them.
     
  10. RGirl

    RGirl Change Is Good

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    Okay, I have spent my breaks at work reading this report on my phone, and I just have to join in even though I'm quite late! I am new to cruising, having just taken our first cruise, but I get it now! I am loving reading about your trip! I feel like I have read one of your TRs before, but I am too dang old and addled with mommy brain to remember for sure. :eek: Maybe I read one of the DIS Moms TRs? Who knows?! Honestly, who cares?!

    I am in for the rest of the cruise and looking forward to more! :cool1:
     
  11. anewmac

    anewmac Ive got nothing planned whats an OCVP to do?

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    ya Im with Alley.. I would be all over you too. Thats the one thing I still cant do on a cruise.. sting rays.. no thank yoU!@
     
  12. jenseib

    jenseib Mommy to Claire

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    I want to touch a sting ray now.
     
  13. MAGICFOR2

    MAGICFOR2 DIS Veteran

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    So far, so dreamy! :rotfl2: Captain Matt, I mean Ray, I mean Jordan still has my vote! I have touched rays at Sea World, but I wasn't sure I would want to swim with them. Your excursion makes me re-think it. Looks like alot of fun!
     
  14. rndmr2

    rndmr2 DIS Veteran

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    Awesome pics of your excursion! Stingray city looks so cool, I wanted to do that when we went there on our HM cruise but DH didn't want to, we did the submarine thing instead, which was neat but I am sorry we didn't get to swim with the stingrays. I will definitely do that if we ever get there again.

    Definitely a Yummy Captain! :thumbsup2
     
  15. TheTexasGal

    TheTexasGal Mouseketeer

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    We are headed to Rum Point in October - cant wait to hear all about it. We are just doing Rum Point though - we did stingrays last time and this time we have a little one so we are just doing beach only. Super excited! Can't wait to read more!
     
  16. msbiscuit

    msbiscuit Mouseketeer

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    You had me at the Kathy Bates picture...:rotfl2:
     
  17. stinksmom

    stinksmom Friends are the family you choose....

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    Catching up again! First, captain Jordan was yummy! We actually had a yummy captain on a booze cruise in Puerto Rico, then a couple nights later we went to a local bar for sushi and were talking about. Came to find out we were sitting next to Captain Brian's (adorable) girlfriend :rotfl: It was all good - she was sweet and I've actually stayed in touch with a friend of hers!

    I can't believe how the stingray population has diminished! We went to Stingray City inn 2003 and there were so many. I got in the water for a little while and they were amazing but they did make me nervous. I got back in the ship early to make sure the drinks were all in order for the rest of the group :)

    And finally great shot of the Fantasy! We've been on the Dream twice but the shots of the Fantasy coming into caymans looks so cool! And we are going to be on it.... In less than 18 months.... Yes, it's the NYE cruise on the Fantasy in 2013!! I promise not to stalk you but sure would love to meet you at some point.
     
  18. karajeboo

    karajeboo DISmom by land and by sea!

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    If you ever get the chance I HIGHLY recommend it!!!!

    I've written a lot of TRs, so it could be any of those OR the DISmoms! But you're right, who cares???? Just glad you enjoy it!!! :goodvibes

    Wimp......

    That almost sounds dirty..... :rotfl2:

    DO IT!!!! They are so big and intimidating, but it's like a cat rubbing up against your leg. Seriously. Oh, and I like stingrays WAAAAAY more than cats!!!

    I touched a stingray at the zoo and was creeped out by it. But this was different. A), they were in the wild, B) they were a LOT larger than the ones in the zoo, and C) it was like they were someone's pet!!!

    Did you get the special drink at Rum Point? Chocolate milk? Or something like a mudslide. HOld on, it's in my next installment....

    :rotfl2::rotfl2::rotfl2:

    I just found some more video that Jeff never uploaded so I'm going to try to nab that later and add. There are more shots of the Fantasy...... Remember, we saw the Fantasy THREE times on this cruise!!!

    And what???? YOU on the Fantasy NYE too???? That is going to be a GREAT cruise!!! Can't wait to meet you!!!
     
  19. Beth D

    Beth D DIS Veteran

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    That looks awesome! We did stingrays on CC and a turtle snorkle on St. Thomas for our Eastern. This looks like the best of both! :thumbsup2

    Can't wait to see your beach pics!
     
  20. RGirl

    RGirl Change Is Good

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    Looks like I will need to use my weekend to read the DISMoms report from start to now to ensure some regular Kara updates! :laughing:
     
  21. karajeboo

    karajeboo DISmom by land and by sea!

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    Oh it was so awesome! Still trying to figure out how to build a stingray pond in my backyard.... I'm sure the neighbors would love it! :sad2:

    Well of course you do! I mean, what else do you have to do? Clean house? Play with Willow? Let's get priorities straight! :rotfl2:
     

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