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Old 04-03-2008, 07:48 PM   #136
Ski-and-Sea
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Welcome Trimix......

How wonderful you finally get to live your DCL dream!!!!!

You are going to love the western itinerary.

We're avid snorkelers ourselves. We're interested in diving but haven't taken the classes/certification yet.

In Cozumel I would book with Eagle Ray Divers. We did the 3-reef snorkeling tour with them in 2006 and we will be booking that same tour in 2009.

I know DIS people have done their dives with Eagle Ray and loved it.

At Grand Cayman we plan to snorkel with one of the local operators - Captain Marvins is very popular so I will be checking them out. I don't know if any DIS people have done dives at Grand Cayman.

There is nothing wrong with booking the DCL excursions other than they tend to be on the shorter side and a bit more crowded. We've found its better to go with a different local shop. And usually cheaper, too.
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Old 04-03-2008, 11:51 PM   #137
trimix
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Thanks for the welcomes!

I will probably book Cozumel with Aldora; they use 120 cubic foot tanks - 50% larger than the common aluminum 80 cf tanks so you get more bottom time. There are also plenty of good ops on Grand Cayman. It would be tempting to do a two or three tank boat trip in the morning, then a beach dive or two in the afternoon. But if I spend more than half my shore time in the water my DW won't be very happy...

Experienced diver/cruisers have told me that the cruise line excursions involve an excessive amount of hand holding; they may have very experienced divers in the group but they will also have people who haven't been diving in several years, so they cater to the lowest common denominator. I look for an operator who will let me dive to the limits of my experience and computer's no decompression limit.

If you are really interested in learning to dive, let me suggest you do your training and certification dives at home. That way you will have an exposure to local diving, you will not pack all the training into two days and will be more likely to remember vital information, and without the rush you will have more time to master the basic skills. And when you are on your vacation you can enjoy the dives without having to take time out to demonstrate the skills your instructor will require.

Brian
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Old 04-04-2008, 08:19 AM   #138
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Welcome Trimix!

Great to have you and your family on board.
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Old 04-04-2008, 08:51 AM   #139
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We have alot of scouts because we are the oldest one in the area. 76years.
We are charted to a church. Alot of parents seek out our Pack because it does have a lot of parental involvement. Each family is required to hold some type of job. Setting up chiars before meeting, take down, pinewood derby, etc.

The 50 scouts are broken into 5 dens ( by grade 1-5). There are about 10 boys in each. The chursh has plenty of rooms for us to meet. The only time they meet together is at the Pack meeting once a month. Plus, the Boy Scouts meet in the basement dining room on the same night.
As you know, not everyone goes to every outing. But, there are always enough boys to make it fun.

They are going to spend the night on a submarine in June. DS is looking forward to it. I believe there are 25 scouts and 25 parent going. They will be sharing it with another group.

DD only has 7 girls in her troop. Maybe only 6. We are having a problem with one mom. She owes us cookie money. We are trying to figure out how to handle it. She has missed 5 weeks and always has some "outlandish" excuse why they couldn't not make it. The leader has assured the other moms that the council will place her on a collections list. But, we feel that she has ripped off the girls.

Oh, the drama
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Old 04-04-2008, 12:52 PM   #140
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They are going to spend the night on a submarine in June. DS is looking forward to it. I believe there are 25 scouts and 25 parent going. They will be sharing it with another group.

DD only has 7 girls in her troop. Maybe only 6. We are having a problem with one mom. She owes us cookie money. We are trying to figure out how to handle it. She has missed 5 weeks and always has some "outlandish" excuse why they couldn't not make it. The leader has assured the other moms that the council will place her on a collections list. But, we feel that she has ripped off the girls.

Oh, the drama
I'm the service unit cookie manager in our area and I am well aware of the cookie money collection problems. If the leader passed on the name of the mom to Council then Council will definitely handle that. Usually a single phone call from Council will get the late payers to pay. Otherwise it does go to a collection agency because the parent signed a consent form saying that she is responsible for payment. It is taken very seriously.

Its a shame when these things happen. But if the mom continues to not pay then Council will deduct the cost of her cookies from the troop cookie bill while Council goes after the mom.

We've had troops in our service unit sleep on the Battleship NJ. They loved it. Said it was a fantastic trip and recommend it highly.
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July 2003 DCL Western;
July 2004 DCL Western;
Aug 2005 Wonder & WDW;
Aug 2006 DCL Double Dip;
Aug 2007 Wonder & WDW;
Aug 17,2008 Wonder B2B - triple dip to CC
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Old 04-04-2008, 02:46 PM   #141
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Our leader is the cookie person for our area. She has assured us that we will get her money.

It is just very frustrating for everyone else.
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Old 04-04-2008, 02:52 PM   #142
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Good News!

DS made honorable mention in the schools science fair.

He is in 4th grade and was competing 4th-8th grade.
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Old 04-04-2008, 03:53 PM   #143
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Originally Posted by stsomewhere View Post
DS made honorable mention in the schools science fair.

He is in 4th grade and was competing 4th-8th grade.
Awesome.....cause those older kids can sure build some wicked stuff.

It is frustrating dealing with uncooperative moms in Scout troops. Its just plain selfish. I have heard stories where parents will "borrow" the cookie money because they are strapped financially.

I believe in kharma - what comes around goes around.
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July 2003 DCL Western;
July 2004 DCL Western;
Aug 2005 Wonder & WDW;
Aug 2006 DCL Double Dip;
Aug 2007 Wonder & WDW;
Aug 17,2008 Wonder B2B - triple dip to CC
Aug 22, 2009 Magic western
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Old 04-04-2008, 04:07 PM   #144
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Originally Posted by trimix View Post
Thanks for the welcomes!

I will probably book Cozumel with Aldora; they use 120 cubic foot tanks - 50% larger than the common aluminum 80 cf tanks so you get more bottom time. There are also plenty of good ops on Grand Cayman. It would be tempting to do a two or three tank boat trip in the morning, then a beach dive or two in the afternoon. But if I spend more than half my shore time in the water my DW won't be very happy...

Experienced diver/cruisers have told me that the cruise line excursions involve an excessive amount of hand holding; they may have very experienced divers in the group but they will also have people who haven't been diving in several years, so they cater to the lowest common denominator. I look for an operator who will let me dive to the limits of my experience and computer's no decompression limit.

If you are really interested in learning to dive, let me suggest you do your training and certification dives at home. That way you will have an exposure to local diving, you will not pack all the training into two days and will be more likely to remember vital information, and without the rush you will have more time to master the basic skills. And when you are on your vacation you can enjoy the dives without having to take time out to demonstrate the skills your instructor will require.

Brian
ITA!!!! Nothing against cruise excursions but there is so much "wasted" time that the actual amount of time doing the activity is minimal.

I am hoping that by 2009 that the fish population is sufficiently recovered in Cozumel. When we went snorkeling there in 2006 the fish population hadn't recovered from the hurricane a year earlier.

We still had a great time snorkeling but you didn't see the variety and amount of fish that existed before.

Funny enough....my memories of that trip were less of the snorkeling and more the great time we had with everyone else on the boat because there were only 12 of us and everyone was from the Magic. It took 90 minutes to get to the first reef and the kids sat on the boat's roof during the ride. Then right before it was time to head to the next reef all the kids were allowed to jump into the water from the boat's roof. Even some of the adults did it.
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July 2004 DCL Western;
Aug 2005 Wonder & WDW;
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Aug 22, 2009 Magic western
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Old 04-04-2008, 04:26 PM   #145
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ski-and-Sea View Post
.
It took 90 minutes to get to the first reef and the kids sat on the boat's roof during the ride. Then right before it was time to head to the next reef all the kids were allowed to jump into the water from the boat's roof. Even some of the adults did it.
My kids would love this. My dad has 2 boats-a large cabin cruiser and a speed/ ski baot. They can never decide which boat the want to yake because they enjoy tubing on one and jumping off the top deck on the other.

On cruise in Jan., we charted a 44ft sailboat. It was just the 4 of us with a capt. and first mate.
It was the kids first time snorkling.( Can't see much in the great lakes- they have practiced alot). We went to small coves off of St. John's. The guide was terrific. He would swim ahead and find different types of fish and coral. He would explain to us what we were seeing and swim down and point it out.

We saw so many different types of fish and coral. The highlights were moose antler coral, an octopus eating a conch, a sea turtle and a remora.
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Old 04-05-2008, 04:35 PM   #146
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bumping
i have been away for a week...have just read DHs posts. Now i have to add group scout badges to our packing lists. Does anyone else think its funny that so may of us are scouting families? maybe its all part of the madness...lol
I might bring some neckers...neckers anyone???
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Old 04-06-2008, 10:02 AM   #147
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Question

At what age do you let your kids sign themselves out?

DS will be 11 when we cruise. I was planning on putting him in the the Lab group. But, I have been reading about the Quest group and they don't have to sign in or out.

What are your thoughts or experience since some of you have teenagers? How did you deal with this?

I am sure that the subject will come up. I know he is responsible, but unsure how safe it will be. I don't like the idea of him wondering around alone.
Am I just being over protective?

What is the difference between Lab and Quest?

Thanks.


Maza- Do you mean neckerchiefs? Dh would probably like to bring those to. He needs to just get on here, too.
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Old 04-06-2008, 12:48 PM   #148
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This may change when the Magic goes through drydock later this year but as it stands now Ocean Quest is located on the second floor where the conference rooms used to be.

Its a place where ages 10-14 get to hang out and do unstructured activities. The bridge simulator machine is located there.

There are couches, a big screen TV, personal computers, tables to play board games. And counselors are there as well to play with the kids.

The big difference between OQ and the Lab is that OQ has no scheduled activities where at the lab there are set times to do set activities. Or the kids can hang out and play video games.

Yes, kids signs themselves in/out of OQ. Kids don't have to go to OQ at all. They can happily spend time at the Lab.

Now we are hearing rumors that OQ will be turned into a teen club for the 13-15 year olds. That might happen when the Magic is in drydock this fall.

I let my kids have the ability to sign themselves in/out of the clubs when it become a major pain in the butt to be constantly going back and forth to the clubs when the kids want to come/leave. My kids were in two different age groups with different schedules and DH & I were constantly running back and forth to sign in/out each kid. It meant we couldn't relax at all.

DD was 10 and DS was 11 at the time. They only needed to sign themselves out on the sea days and we worked out in advance where they were to meet us when they wanted to leave the clubs.

11 is not a bad age to try it. I believe DS can ask the lab counselors to page you when DS is ready to leave and then you know that he has left.

The only time we've had problems with the kids checking themselves out is when the kids decided on their own that they wanted to stay longer at the clubs and don't tell us. Then DH & I were left wondering what happened to them. So of course we head down to the lab looking for them and take one set of stairs while the kids headed back up to the room taking a different set of stairs and we couldn't find each other for a while. One of those comedy of errors things.
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July 2004 DCL Western;
Aug 2005 Wonder & WDW;
Aug 2006 DCL Double Dip;
Aug 2007 Wonder & WDW;
Aug 17,2008 Wonder B2B - triple dip to CC
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Old 04-07-2008, 08:43 AM   #149
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we let our youngest DD sign herself out last year..she was 11. No problems!
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Old 04-07-2008, 09:40 AM   #150
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stsomewhere View Post
My kids would love this. My dad has 2 boats-a large cabin cruiser and a speed/ ski baot. They can never decide which boat the want to yake because they enjoy tubing on one and jumping off the top deck on the other.
We are definitely snorkeling with Eagle Ray again. They have a 2 reef snorkeling trip and a 3 reef snorkeling trip. The 3 reef trip includes lunch at a private beach club. That was really neat - we sailed up to a dock and got off and literally sat down at a table to eat.

The only thing with the 3 reef is that is gets back rather late in the afternoon so its a bit of a push if you have early dinner seating.
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July 2004 DCL Western;
Aug 2005 Wonder & WDW;
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Aug 17,2008 Wonder B2B - triple dip to CC
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