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Old 01-05-2013, 11:45 AM   #91
dolphingirl47
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Originally Posted by irongirlof12 View Post
What a memorable day love your red gown
I love this one, too and it is even better as it was only £14.99 from Ebay.

Corinna
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Old 01-06-2013, 02:06 PM   #92
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Day 8

In a way this was the day that was the whole reason for this trip. This was my birthday and ever since we first got into cruising, I had dreamed that one year I would get to spend my birthday on a ship. This was also our day in Costa Maya, which would mean a childhood dream would come true: I would finally get to see some Mayan ruins. I was awake bright and early at 6:00, but as we had nowhere to be until much later, I snuggled down and went back to sleep. We both woke up at 8:30. We got up and got ready and headed out. We took a walk along deck 9 and 10 and I took a couple of photos. The ship was almost deserted even though it was not that early. I made good use of this and found myself a lounger with a view for a few minutes.









We still had plenty of time as breakfast at Parrot Cay was served between 9:30 and 12:30 that day. We decided to check out the photos from the previous night on one of the photo kiosks near Shutters. I also needed to get some bug spray. Graham had suggested that rather than buying some in the UK, we should get something that is more effective in the USA, but we never had got around to this in Galveston. Bug spray was listed on the excursion description as something that everybody should bring and other people who had visited various Mayan ruins had warned me that they had been eaten alive. As I am allergic to insect bites, this seemed to be a sensible precaution. We were just heading in the general direction of the shops when we saw Pluto heading in the same direction. He was heading for a meet and greet outside the Walt Disney Theater. I am not sure how I had missed this on the Navigator. So I decided that the bug spray could wait another 10 minutes or so and followed Pluto. There were not many people out and about that early in the morning so I got to spend some quality time with Pluto. I had put on the birthday button that Graham had been given on his official birthday and Pluto got rather excited about this. I was in heaven. When I had finished with Pluto, I quickly went into Treasure Ketch and got our bug spray. The price for this was very fair, too. I was back in time to witness something really funny. Graham had settled down in one of the chairs that had been set up in a semi-circle around the area where the meet and greet was taking place. He has never been overly keen on characters and for the most part, he just avoids them. When Pluto left to get his breakfast, he went right past Graham. However, rather than keep going, he stopped and licked the top of Graham's head. Graham was not impressed. I had found out that Goofy would be out shortly afterwards and we decided to hang around. We were soon joined by some of the people that we had sat with at lunch the first day. Graham stayed put, but the rest of us got in line for Goofy and carried on chatting. Goofy arrived a couple of minutes later. Again he headed towards Graham, stopped and licked the top of his head. I could not stop laughing. I think Pluto and Goofy must have a common very good friend. The line moved very quickly and there were only three or four families in front of me. Again, Goofy made a bit of a fuss of me when he saw my birthday button.















Once I had finished with Goofy, it was time to get some breakfast. Because of the opening times, I had hoped that it would be Brunch at Parrot Cay. On the Wonder they sometimes offered breakfast items on one side of the buffet and lunch items on the other. Unfortunately that day, only breakfast items were on offer. Still, I got Hash Browns, Sausages, Omelette and Biscuits with Gravy so I was happy. The biscuits were even nice and fluffy and not rock hard like they usually are on the ships. Graham had some fruit and yoghurt followed by Bacon, Sausage, Scrambled Eggs and French Toast.
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Old 01-06-2013, 02:13 PM   #93
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After breakfast, we went back to the cabin and then we both went to do separate things. Graham wanted to have a swim and I opted for heading for the Rainforest Room to relax in a heated tile lounger reading my book. I essentially had the Rainforest Room to myself that morning. Every now and again somebody briefly came in, but all left again very quickly. Once I was suitably chilled out, I had a quick shower, got changed and headed back to the cabin to drop off my stuff and get my camera.

I headed back up to deck 9 to watch our approach into Costa Maya. I mad heard a lot about this port and I have to admit not much of it was positive. Some people claim that it is a total dump and many people complain that there is really nothing there. I always approach a new port in the safe knowledge that nothing can be quite as bad as Nassau and so far I have not been proven wrong. As we got closer, it became very obvious just how remote Costa Maya is. I could see the port facilities, some beaches and a lot of jungle. I actually thought that this looked very pretty with colourful buildings peaking out in between the jungle. At some point Graham had joined me. We carried on watching until we were docked and then headed back to the cabin to get ready for our excursion.

















I quickly checked out the view from our balcony, put on the bug spray and sunscreen, grabbed my stuff and I was ready. Graham did not take long either and we went down to our meeting point Rockin Bar D in plenty of time. For me it was always clear that I would visit Mayan ruins on our stop in Costa Maya. This was the main motivation behind taking this cruise. Graham does not quite share my passion for this and initially he had booked a cycling and kayaking excursion. At some point he came around to the idea that he can go cycling and kayaking in a lot of places, but that he may not have such easy access to Mayan ruins again. So we cancelled his original excursion and booked him on this one. The check in process was quite smooth. They were not quite ready yet when we got to Rockin Bar D. We took a seat and shortly afterwards they asked one person from each party to come forward to check in. About another 5 minutes after this our group and one other group was escorted to deck 1. I think we were a little earlier than the tour operator had expected us. Our escort looked around as soon as we got off the ship, but there was nobody waiting for us. She walked us to the end of the dock and there we were handed over to the representative from the tour operator. The walk from the dock itself to the port facilities was a bit of a hike. They run a tram that goes up and down, but as we were in a group, we walked. We then had to walk through the area where all the shops and bars are and the buses waited for us on the other side of that. Once we got to the buses, the two groups were split again and we got on the bus. Our tour guide introduced himself and our driver and then we were off.

Chacchoben is about an hours drive from the port. We realised once again how far away from everything the port is. We drove for ages along a very long and straight road and there was nothing either side of the road apart from plants. At one point, we encountered a military check point, but they were not interested in buses. Soon after we joined one of the federal highways, we encountered a village. Our guide explained that a large proportion of the people living in that village are of Maya origin. I had always assumed that the Maya were an ancient civilization that had long since disappeared. This is not so. There are very few people left that are 100% Maya, but there are still plenty of people in Mexico and especially on the Yucatan peninsula that have Mayan ancestry. Our guide himself was 25% Maya.

Shortly after we passed through the village, we arrived at Chacchoben. Chacchoben is a little unusual as far as Mayan sites are concerned. The settlement there is much older than the bigger and better known sites like Tulum or Chichen Itza, but Chacchoben has only been excavated fairly recently. The presence of ruins there was reported to the Mexican government in 1972, but excavation did not start until 1994 and it was only opened to the public in 2002. The buildings are probably as pristine as any Mayan ruins you will find and there seems to have been very little erosion. Our guide told us that only about 8% of the site has been excavated so far, which is truly mind blowing as they have three huge pyramids plus some staircases, walls and archways there. I could not see any evidence of any current excavation work.

When we arrived at Chacchoben, we were given 10 minutes to use the restrooms and to have a look around the little market area near the buses. In the ned this became 15 minutes as the restrooms were so busy. I did not need the restroom so I just had a wander around. Once everybody was back, our guide gathered us around and laid down some ground rules. He do tell us that we would likely to encounter various wildlife and that snakes are known to be present at the site, including the very venomous Coral Snake. He explained that snakes very rarely show up in the public areas and he would maybe see one once a year or so, but if today was the day for a snake sighting, we would give it a respectful distance, not stop for photos and move away quickly. He also made sure that we knew the bus number in case that we got separated from the group. Just before we entered the site proper, he introduced us to our second guide. We then moved off. I had visions about a major hiked own jungle paths of dubious quality. However, what we did encounter was a nice wide gravel path that could have been in any park in the world and after only a couple of minutes, the first pyramid was right in front of us. This literally took my breath away. I had quite high expectations, but what I saw completely exceeded my expectations. The building was both beautiful and awe-inspiring. Unfortunately at this stage, we walked straight past it. There had been 5 buses at the front and it looked like that all the people that had come on those buses were congregated in front of this first pyramid. Our guide told us we would stop there on the way back when everybody else had moved on and we would actually be able to enjoy it. This of course made perfect sense. We moved on until we came to an ancient village square facing a pyramid. This was actually the back of the same pyramid we had just passed. Our guide pointed out a tree with a criss-cross design in the bark. He explained that people would cut the design in the bark and then put a bowl underneath the tree to collect the sap. The sap is then boiled and flavourings are added and this is actually natural chewing gum. There are still families producing this today and the chewing gum is sold in the little market near the buses. He explained a bit about Mayan society. Essentially, the village square was used for trade, socialising and also for court. On religious holidays, the people also watched from the square what was going on in the temple. The Maya also had a novel approach to architecture. When they wanted to expand their temple pyramid, they build the new pyramid around the all pyramid. The pyramid that we were looking at actually consisted of three pyramids. Once our guide had explained all of that, he let us loose to take photos and to explore. A lot of people climbed the pyramid, but I preferred to explore on ground level. We had about 15 minutes to explore and then we were called back.





























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Old 01-06-2013, 02:21 PM   #94
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As we moved on, the jungle grew denser. Suddenly some ruins started peaking out of the jungle. In this area, only the foundations and some low walls and stairs survived. Our guide explained that this would have been the residential area and the foundations that we could see used to be houses. He also pointed out a palm tree that was very common around this area. It seemed to have fruit hanging from it and Graham and I had wondered if this was a Date Palm. It was something completely different. The palm tree was a Cohun Palm. What looked like dates are actually nuts that are mainly used to make oil. The Cohun Palm was very important to the Maya. The leaves were used for roofs on the houses, the park was fed to livestock and the palm heart is also edible. Our guide explained that essentially if you an archeologist and are looking for Mayan ruins, all you need to do is look for Cohun Palms. Where they are found, the Mayan ruins will not be far away. While our guide was explaining this to us, our attention got distracted by some movement in the trees just ahead. We had been told that monkeys, parrots and toucans are quite common around Chacchoben, but so far we had not seen any evidence of them. Suddenly there was a monkey right in front of us. We spent a while watching him until he lost interest in us and moved on. We moved on shortly afterwards.













We had one more stop to make and our guide had hinted that this was the highlight of the site: twin pyramids that also still display some of the original red colouring that had given Chacchoben its name. What he had forgotten to mention is that those pyramids cannot actually be seen from ground level. All we saw when we got there was a never ending staircase with very uneven stairs. That left me with a bit of a problem. I have never been very good with heights, I have a few issues with my balance and the Maya obviously had not believed in banisters. For a minute or two I considered to not bother and to keep my feet on solid ground. Then both curiousity and the realisation that it would be a crying shame to miss essentially two thirds of what there is to be seen at Chacchoben. So I started mountaineering. Going up was not too bad and what I saw up top was truly breath-taking even though I did not spot any red colouration. I wandered around the plateau taking plenty of pictures. Considering the size of those pyramids, it is amazing that you would have no indication from ground level that they are there. Soon we had to head back down and this was a prospect that completely freaked me out. Still I got down in one piece.































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Old 01-06-2013, 02:26 PM   #95
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When everybody had their feet firmly back on the ground, our guide told us that we had 30 minutes until we needed to be back on the bus. A staggering amount of people headed straight back to the little market near the bus. I suppose they were the same people who I overheard later on the ship saying that this excursion had been a waste of time and that they could not understand why anybody would want to spend their day looking at a pile of rubble! We chatted with our guide for a bit about other Mayan ruin sites while we were walking back and then we had a good look around the front part of the first Mayan ruin. There was only about a dozen people around and it was sheer bliss being able to take photos and take it all in without having to dodge people.













When we got back to where we started, we had just enough time to visit the restroom and I had a very quick look at the market. When we got back to the bus, we were offered water or Mexican Coke. I went with the Coke as I had heard so much about this. Actually, it tasted precisely like the Coke over here, but it did taste quite different from the American version. We did not have a great deal of time when we got back to the port, but we still had a few minutes to take some photos. What we saw looked actually pretty nice, but I still could not imagine spending the whole day there. When we got to the pier, the tram was sitting there do we decided to take this back to the ship. We had done quite enough walking in a day.























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Old 01-06-2013, 02:29 PM   #96
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Unfortunately by the time we were back on the ship and had cleared security, we had again missed the sunset. We still went to sit on our balcony. I was hoping that we would get to hear the horn, but that unfortunately did not happen. Once we were well under way, I went to have a quick shower to get the bug spray off and got changed. We still had a bit of time until our Palo reservation so we headed down to the atrium to check out the photo opportunities. They had a backdrop with the ship and tropical fish that I had never seen before.











Soon it was time to head up to Palo. We were welcomed by the restaurant manager and my Susanna and taken to our table. We had decided to have a bottle of wine to celebrate my birthday and I had my heart set on the Enchanted Rose, but unfortunately they were out of this so we went with some Rosa Regale. Susanna brought as and Antipasti plate and I stuck pretty much to the Parmesan Cheese and the Garlic Pizza Bread. Graham had a little of everything. Graham went with the Cioppino, which was Italian Tomato Fish Stew with Calamari, Clams, Shrimp, and Halibut, scented with Garlic and Basil followed by Oregano and Parmesan Crusted Rack of Lamb with Sangiovese Roasted Shallots, Olive Oil baked Roma Tomatoes, Potato Pave, and Herb Jus. For dessert he had some Vanilla and Pistachio Gelato. I of course went with the Grilled Portobello Mushroom and Polenta with a Roasted Shallot Sauce and a Parmesan Crisp again, but also decided to try the Tuscan White Bean Soup with Prosciutto and Parmesan Cheese, which was delicious. For my main course, I went with the Beef Tenderloin "Palo" topped with melted Gorgonzola Cheese and the Palo signature Barolo Red Wine Sauce. I had asked to have this without the Spinach. For my dessert, I went with the Pistachio Gelato, which was heavenly. We both had some coffee and of course the Scropino. They had changed the recipe and apart from Lemon Sorbet, Vodka and Sparkling Wine, they also add a drop of Apple Brandy now. I was not too sure about this, but it was actually absolutely delicious. When Susanna came out with the bill, she also brought a square plate that had Happy Birthday written on it with chocolate. We headed back to our cabin and got ready for bed. I took a quick photo of our towel animal and the plate and then we went to sleep as we had an early start the next morning.









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Old 01-06-2013, 09:21 PM   #97
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I was way behind on your TR! and just got caught up today!

I love the Lobster Ravioli with Mascarpone and plan to have that again, I'm glad Graham like it. I can't believe you did dinner twice at Palo! That's awesome!

I loved the red dress and what you did to make it Piratey.

I can't believe what people said about the Mayan ruins. I wonder if that is something that Fran and I can even consider? She wouldn't go up the steps, but I'm not sure if she could even get ON the bus, much less get to it without her scooter.

That looked like an awesome excursion, I would really love to do it, but we'll have to see how her mobility is. Maybe I will book it and then cancel at the last minute if she is not up to it.

Thanks for showing me about both ports and giving me ideas. Oh yeah, the boats in Grand Cayman looked a lot more sturdy than the boats in Cabo!
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:58 AM   #98
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Birthday on a Disney cruise, sounds perfect.
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Old 01-07-2013, 01:38 PM   #99
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What a fabulous birthday! I'm so glad Graham decided to go with you on the excursion. Amazing ruins. I can't believe some people were complaining. Dud they not read the description of the excursion?

The next time you're in Cozumel you might want to check out the ones there. Not as big as these but still very fascinating.
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:22 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by franandaj View Post
I was way behind on your TR! and just got caught up today!

I love the Lobster Ravioli with Mascarpone and plan to have that again, I'm glad Graham like it. I can't believe you did dinner twice at Palo! That's awesome!

I loved the red dress and what you did to make it Piratey.

I can't believe what people said about the Mayan ruins. I wonder if that is something that Fran and I can even consider? She wouldn't go up the steps, but I'm not sure if she could even get ON the bus, much less get to it without her scooter.

That looked like an awesome excursion, I would really love to do it, but we'll have to see how her mobility is. Maybe I will book it and then cancel at the last minute if she is not up to it.

Thanks for showing me about both ports and giving me ideas. Oh yeah, the boats in Grand Cayman looked a lot more sturdy than the boats in Cabo!
I would not recommend Chacchoben with a scooter. The paths would be accessible, but you would only be able to see one of the pyramids.

The tenders on Grand Cayman are possibly luxurious now.

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Birthday on a Disney cruise, sounds perfect.
I cannot imagine anywhere I rather be for my birthday.

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What a fabulous birthday! I'm so glad Graham decided to go with you on the excursion. Amazing ruins. I can't believe some people were complaining. Dud they not read the description of the excursion?

The next time you're in Cozumel you might want to check out the ones there. Not as big as these but still very fascinating.
We may have to check this out the next time we are there, although Chankanaab may prove to be too tempting.

Corinna
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:32 PM   #101
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I would not recommend Chacchoben with a scooter. The paths would be accessible, but you would only be able to see one of the pyramids.

The tenders on Grand Cayman are possibly luxurious now.

Corinna
She would have to walk, they don't let scooters go on any of the excursions. We'll just have to see how she does, before all of this leg business she was doing great. She could even climb a flight of stairs to a second story apartment. There's still a few months.
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:04 AM   #102
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She would have to walk, they don't let scooters go on any of the excursions. We'll just have to see how she does, before all of this leg business she was doing great. She could even climb a flight of stairs to a second story apartment. There's still a few months.
I really hope you get to see this as it was really amazing. Are you stopping at Costa Maya though? A dear friend of mine and her family are going on a 6 night cruise on the Magic in February and they stop at Grand Cayman and Cozumel.

Corinna
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Old 01-11-2013, 04:03 PM   #103
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Day 9

We were up bright and early that morning. We had an early port arrival time that morning and people were allowed to leave the ship at 7:15. We wanted to be off the ship reasonably early so we got up at 6:30. I am not a breakfast person at the best of times and most certainly not that early in the morning so we just headed up to the Cove Cafe. Graham had an Americano with some mini Danish pastries of some description and a breakfast muffin. I had a Cafe Mocha, some of the Almond Bread that they also serve at Palo and a Chocolate Brioche. Once we had finished everything, we headed back to our cabin to pick up our stuff. I also took a couple of quick photos as there was something on the mainland that looked incredibly like a Mayan pyramid. Unfortunately it was quite hazy that morning so the photos are not too clear.





When we got off the ship, it was not as busy as I thought it would be. I suppose it was still early in the morning, but as we also left quite early, I expected more people to be around. We picked up a towel each and then we left the ship. The walk in Cozumel is not as far as at Costa Maya, but you do have to walk through a shopping centre to get to the tour buses and taxis. A number of people working in the shops were trying to attract our attention and were trying to convince us to come into their shops. They pretty much did take no for an answer. The only exception to this rule was actually not local. She was an American woman working in one of the jewellery shops. She just would not leave us alone, but eventually we escaped her as well.

We were doing our own thing that day. When we had been in Cozumel in 2009, we had gone on an excursion to Chankanaab National Park and thoroughly enjoyed it. We always knew that if we ever got back to Cozumel, this is were we would go. This time around, we did it on our own. Chankanaab National Park is also home to Dolphin Discoveries. Apart from their various dolphin programmes, they now also offer a Sealion Interaction and a Manatee Interaction. The prices for those were very fair and also included admission to the park. I hit a bit of a snag insofar that they have an exclusive agreement with Disney, which means that officially if you come to Cozumel with a Disney ship, you can only book the various programmes through Disney. I do not have a problem with this as such, but Disney only offers the dolphin programmes. So in order to book the Manatee Interaction ahead of time, I had to select the hotel option. I was not entirely happy having to make the booking under false pretences, but did not want to risk getting there only to find out that this was fully booked.

I have to admit I was a little bit nervous about doing this in a DIY fashion. I do not subscribe to the idea that I will be killed in Mexico, but in every Mexican port with the exception of Ensenada, we have encountered problems communicating as not everybody speaks English and we don't speak Spanish. However, this was easy. When we got to the taxi rank, there were loads of taxis waiting and although I don't think our driver spoke much English, he understood that we wanted to go to Chankanaab and told us that it would be $10. Chankanaab is a bit of a trek from the port so $10 was very fair. We got dropped right at the entrance plaza to the park. As soon as we got there, I saw a table set up for customers for Dolphin Discoveries. He checked my confirmation and issued me with the various wristbands. Graham had to go to the official ticket counter, which was right next to it to get his ticket, which was about $20. We had arrived before the official park opening, but we were still allowed in. This had somewhat changed since we last had been there. Additional attractions had been added and there was still some major building work going on, but that did not distract from the experience at all. I had been told at the entrance to check in near the interaction areas, but was told to come back nearer the time. We put our stuff in a locker and sat down on a bench to watch the dolphins. When the park was officially open, I walked with Graham to the beach. Once he was zipped into his wetsuit, I headed back towards the interaction area. After a quick bathroom stop and a look around the gift shop, it was time to check in.

Once I was checked off the list, I was asked to wait in front of the gift shop. I recognised the two people that were already there from the excursion in Costa Maya so they were from the Magic, too. Indeed, most of the people from our group seemed to have come from the Magic. I chatted with them for a bit until somebody came to collect us. We were equipped with life vests and then we were introduced to Angel, the trainer who would be working with us. He then walked us over to the area where the manatees live. To my immense relief, I was allowed to keep my water shoes on. I felt a bit more secure with them on the metal platform than I had without them on my previous visit. Angel introduced us to their three male manatees and told us a bit about manatees in general. He then explained what we would do during the interaction and taught us the hand signals. To my surprise they were the same hand signals that were used for dolphins. We would get a kiss, a flipper shake and a hug. To start off with though, they swam past a few times and gave us the opportunity to stroke them. I expected them to be a little slimy because of the algae that was growing on their skin, but they actually felt quite leathery. After we had got used to the manatees and they to us, Angel threw out some food for two of them so that they moved away. The third one then took turns giving us kisses. The current was strong that day and I was still not entirely happy to stand close to the edge of the platform even with the shoes on. The other people felt the same and we spontaneously started to hold on to the straps on the life vest of the person next to us if it was their turn to step up to the edge of the platform. Still, when it was my turn, the kiss on the mouth turned out great, but a wave caught me when the manatee tried to kiss me on the cheek and this did not really work out. So we had to try again. I was relieved when this went well and I was safely at the back of the platform again. Of course, this feeling was short-lived. For each behaviour, our trainer picked out somebody to do this again and for the kiss, this was me. Still, this time everything went off without a hitch. The flipper shake also went well.























After this came my favourite part of the programme. The last thing still outstanding was the hug and for this more space was needed as a manatee is pretty big. So our group was split in half and 6 of us and two of the manatees were sent away from the platform for a free swim. We were each given a mask so that we could observe the manatees under water. We were warned that they are pretty curious and that they would come to check out their new playmates. We were also told that if they approached us, we could touch them. We had about 15 minutes playtime with the manatees and this was amazing. At first all I saw was beautiful tropical fish, but suddenly a manatee was right next to me and stayed with me for a while. I was a little sad when we were called back to the platform and the second half of the group was sent out. It now was our turn to do the hug. We were supposed to kind of cradle a manatee in our arms and hold this while the photographer took some photos. Have I mentioned that a manatee is big and heavy? Even with the support of the water, I could not hold this position for very long and the photographer did not get a photo of this. So we had to try again. Once everybody had their hug, the other half of the group was called back to the platform and the manatees swam past a few more times so that we had the chance to say goodbye and then it was time to leave.







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Old 01-11-2013, 04:18 PM   #104
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Once we were out of the area where the interaction pens are, we handed in our life vests and masks and then headed to the gift shop to look at the photos. This is now a much better set up than it was in 2009. Then we were all herded in a small room where we were shown a slide show of the photos. If I had bought the photo CD then, I would have ended up with photos of everybody in the group. Now they have photo kiosks set up at the back of the gift shop. A member of staff helps to find the photos of your party and you only get the photos that are relevant to you. If you want to buy the CD, they print out an order code and you take this to pay. The price of the CD was very fair so I decided to go for it. On the price list it states that the CD is sent to you by courier service, but I received my CD there and then.

I took my CD to the locker and got my snorkelling equipment, my underwater camera and my wetsuit. I then headed towards the beach where I had left Graham. On the way, I got stopped a few times by people offering me henna tattoos, hair braiding and a table at the beach bar, but a quick " no thank you" put an end to this. When Graham saw me coming, he came out of the water to help me put on my wetsuit. There are some steps down into the water at that part of the beach, but as the current was quite strong that day, he suggested that we walk down to the other end of the beach where there is a sheltered lagoon that has access to the sea at the far end. We did this and then slowly swam back over to where we started. Initially I did not see a great deal other than some coral and some tiny silver fish, but the closer we got to the steps the more fish there were. The current around there was pretty strong and it was a challenge to snorkel without drowning and focus the camera on the fish. So I just pointed the camera in the general direction of the fish and clicked. This would not have been suited for people who are nervous around fish as I was totally surrounded. I was totally fascinated by this though. The other problem with swimming against a fairly strong current is that you get tired. After I had been in the water for about an hour, we both had enough and decided to call it a day.











































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Old 01-11-2013, 04:19 PM   #105
dolphingirl47
I will post my goodies once I am back
I have always been too worried to use the pillowcase
 
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I took a few photos of the beach and then we slowly wandered back towards Dolphin Discovery. We took off our wetsuits and had a quick dip in the freshwater pool before finding a bench to sit on while we drip dried. The bench overlooked one of the dolphin interaction areas, but there was no interaction in progress and the dolphins just had a play. It was great to watch them. As it was pretty hot that day and it took not long until we were dry. We gathered up our stuff and took our other belongings out of the locker and then headed towards the exit. There were plenty of taxis waiting and soon we were on our way back to the port. We were dropped right by the entrance. I had something to take of before we got back on the ship. One of my team members collects Hard Rock Cafe pins and had asked me if I could pick up a pin for her if I came across a Hard Rock Cafe on my travels. I had spotted one as we walked to the taxi rank in the morning. I was not sure if it was not open yet or if it was closed for good, but decided to check when we got back. When we arrived back at the port, it was open and I managed to get a pin. Graham found a route back to the ship that bypassed almost all of the shops and we just stopped briefly to take some photos of the Magic.





























By the time we were back on the ship, we were definitely hungry. Topsiders was still open so we quickly dropped our stuff off at the cabin and I got changed and then we headed up to Deck 9. The theme that day was a colonial buffet, which was a new one for us. They had big piles of Peel and Eat Shrimp so Graham was happy. He also had some Lamb Chops, some salad and some fish. I had a Steak, some Macaroni Cheese, some Meatballs and some kind of Mediterranean Stew. I also had some Corn Bread, but this was not to my liking. Graham ended up finishing it. They also had some Meat Paella so I got a bowl of this and that was very nice.

After lunch, we decided to get some Virgin Cocktails at the Promenade Lounge. I really love their Virgin Peach Daiquiri and Graham decided to have one, too. They were setting up for Cruising for Trivia at the time and asked us if we wanted to play. Initially we said no. Cruising for Trivia is definitely aimed more towards the Americans and the last time I tried this, I failed miserably. Still, we were still enjoying our drinks and had nowhere to be so we decided to have a go. This time they had some general knowledge questions, but also a lot of Disney questions. I did OK on those and I actually remembered a few answers for the general knowledge questions. So this time round, the result would not be embarrassing. We were still speechless when it turned out that we had won this. We got another set of key rings.
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