July 12, 2023


Ep. 330 - Bonus - It's a Kind of Magic: Sailing the Southern Caribbean

Hosted by

Brian Sam
Ep. 330 - Bonus - It's a Kind of Magic: Sailing the Southern Caribbean
DCL Duo Podcast: A Disney Cruise Line Fan Podcast
Ep. 330 - Bonus - It's a Kind of Magic: Sailing the Southern Caribbean

Jul 12 2023 | 00:53:20


Show Notes

Carin joins Sam this week to chat all about her Southern Caribbean sailing aboard the recently refurbished Disney Magic. We couldn't wait to chat with Carin all about the amazing Southern Caribbean port on this Disney Cruise Line Itinerary. We also couldn't resist getting Carin's thoughts on some of DCL's recent upgrades to the Magic. We cover that and so much more on this week's bonus episode.

If you want to join the DCL Duo Inaugural Podcast Cruise aboard the Disney Magic for her three-night sailing on June 19, 2024 from Ft. Lauderdale to Nassau and Lighthouse Point, you can head over our to our booking page at My Path Unwinding Travel to secure your room today!! Rooms are going fast and some categories are already sold out.  So, book today to ensure you can join us for all the fun in Summer 2024!!  We've got so many exciting things planned, you won't want to miss this opportunity.

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Episode Transcript

00:00.00 dclduo Welcome back. Everyone to another bonus episode of the dcl duo podcast brought to you by my path unwinding travel I am solo today. So it is just me sam as your host Brian is currently on. Royal caribbean docked in Nasa today but hanging out on the independence of the seas and I am lucky enough to be chatting with listener and friend of the show Karen welcome to the show. Karen. 00:28.55 Carin Thanks Sam I'm glad to be here. 00:31.95 dclduo And yeah, we're so excited to have you on I know we've been trying to get you on for a while now and you recently got off of the Disney magic and this was its first sailing post dry dock. 00:46.13 Carin Yes. 00:48.11 dclduo And so we're going to talk a little bit about the upgrades but we're also going to talk a little bit about the ports because this was ah a unique itinerary. But before we get there Karen I want on you to give us you know your Disney creds. Ah how did you get started with Disney Cruise line how many cruises have you been on. And how did you get into cruising in general and. 01:09.68 Carin So um I took my first cruise when I was about thirty years old so that was a couple decades ago took that with a friend and then sailed once with my older children on carnival so my first was on royal second was on carnival. And kind of decided cruising really wasn't for me. Um, my youngest son has some developmental challenges and does not speak much so something that was interesting for him was that every time he went to Costco he pointed up at the sign with the fab 4 and said Disney Cruise Disney Cruz and after years of him doing that after years of him doing that I thought you know I should probably book us on a Disney Cruise so um our first cruise was on the fantasy in 2016 and we fell in love with it. 01:46.91 dclduo And wow. 02:04.46 Carin Um, but even before we stepped foot on the ship I had already booked a second cruise it was more of a itinerary I wanted to do it was the med over um on the magic ah traveling out of Barcelona um, but now we're up to 19 cruises. Including the two that we just did on the magic. 02:22.60 dclduo Amazing. So you're close to pearl getting there. You're similar to Brian and I getting getting up to in the platinum range getting up to pearl that's kind of amazing though. Karen that your son you know who's who has limited verbal ability. 02:28.61 Carin Yep. 02:40.27 dclduo Got the words Disney Cruise this and maybe not the easiest phrase. Um, what where where do you think that came from. Did he see like ads for the cruise or where do you think he got some of that familiarity with the cruise line and. 02:42.21 Carin Right. 02:54.69 Carin The only thing that I can think is that he probably saw ads for it on the Disney channel which he was a big fan of at the time. Um, and then our weekly trips to Costco he kept seeing Mickey and Minnie standing there with goofy and Donald and I made even pluto. Um. But he was consistent every it was almost to the point that but I knew it was coming I knew as soon as he saw that sign he was going to be telling me Disney Cruise Disney Cruise and um, just another case of Malcolm knowing more than I did. 03:28.99 dclduo Ah, ah, you know we learn a lot from our children I will say and I think we can. There's a lot that neurotypical people can learn from the disabled community that we don't realize a lot of the time. So yeah, well, that's pretty amazing. Um, so. 03:30.45 Carin We do. 03:38.26 Carin Yeah, definitely. 03:46.65 dclduo Let's talk about the cruise you you know Cruise is I should say you just got off of on the magic. What made you choose to sail on the magic um in particular or on this selling post dry dock. What was sort of the calculus behind this cruise. So. 04:01.54 Carin So I saw that the magic was going to be in the Southern Caribbean and this has kind of been on my target list of of a place that we we might want to try because we've done the Eastern Caribbean we've done the western caribbean a couple of times. But. All of these ports excluding San Juan they were all new to us so when I was looking at the cruises I I couldn't decide and I thought you know if we're traveling from the West Coast all the way to San Juan let's just go ahead and and do both weeks. Um, so we we were able to experience many new ports. The only repeat on the 2 cruises was st lucia which was one of the ports I really wanted to visit so that was even better. 04:55.69 dclduo That's um, amazing. So let's talk about the 2 itineraries. Um, and then we'll go. We'll dive right into the ports and and maybe talk a little bit about the upgrades of course on the magic as we know that she was out of dry dock. Ah, directly when you sailed, but what? what was the itinerary for the first of the 2 cruises you were on. 05:16.11 Carin Ah, so we left out of San Juan and the very next day we were in saint kit's and after that we went to st lucia we had a c day then we went to bonare and Aruba corsel. 05:31.42 Carin Went back to San Juan after another c day um went to st martin and then St John's Antiqua and then Dominica ah excuse me dominicica and back to St Lucia and then Barbados and then after one more c day. We were back in San Juan and headed home. 05:54.26 dclduo Wow, that sounds like an amazing and amazing itinerary or itineraries I should say um because I mean one disney doesn't go to those ports very often I know that they obviously they switch up. What the southern itinerary looks like year over year and sometimes it's you know, 7 nights sometimes there is a nine or eleven night sometimes you're sailing at a port canaveral. Sometimes you're sailing at a San Juan sometimes you're on the fantasy this one is on the magic of course right? So they've done some different things. But. 06:20.37 Carin Right? right. 06:28.81 dclduo Of course you you never know which ports you're going to get because these are not their sort of standard ports. How did you kind of figure out what you wanted to do in the ports like were there resources that you look to outside of you know, just the Disney Cruise line website and looking at their. Um. Port excursions because I imagine with some of these itineraries being or some of these ports being not sort of regular Disney Ports I imagine there wasn't as many port excursions to choose from as compared to I don't know let's say st thomas for example. 07:01.40 Carin Right? So going into the disney facebook groups that we belong to I wasn't finding a lot of information. Um I scoured podcasts even even resources for like royal who is in that area more often. And I really wasn't finding a lot of guidance on what to do in every port. Um I watched more Youtube on these cruises than I could have ever imagined and um, when it came down to it I relied on a lot on tripvisor. Um. And then people in our cruise group that had been to the islands before and we did most of our excursions through Disney which is actually unusual for us. 07:54.95 dclduo Um, nice. Yeah, um, we tend to do more of our excursions through Disney as well. Of course. Um I think the general prose with doing excursions through Disney are one. You've got vetted. Um you know port excursions. And then 2 is really the the guarantee that you'll be back on the ship. Ah or they'll reunite you with the ship if the ship has to leave without you if the port excursion goes over time. But of course the big con I think is a price right? The price of Disney Port Excursions typically is more expensive. 08:16.21 Carin Right. 08:27.50 dclduo And then choice can be a con as well. Just because there are obviously more shore excursions available through outside vendors than what um Disney offers. So but let's let's go through and and talk about some of these amazing ports that you were at because like I said this is. Just such a cool cool too cool you unique itineraries. Now you start off at San Juan obviously that's your embarkation port. Um, but did you guys spend some time in San Juan before 08:52.29 Carin Is it. 08:57.82 Carin So we had a red-eye flight on Wednesday so we arrived on Thursday and we stayed very near the port. Not at one of the hotels that Disney arranges transportation with but we were at the hyatt house and. We were so surprised when we got up to our room and opened the blinds that we could see the ship because she had she had come in the day before we knew she had come of the day before but did not expect to be able to see her from our hotel room so that was really fun. Yeah that's always. 09:30.50 dclduo So awesome! Cool yeah I awesome now is this just you and Malcolm sailing for these two ah to these two cruises. 09:32.59 Carin That's always cool to be able to see that from your window. 09:40.15 Carin In our stateroom. Yes, we did meet up with friends that we had met in 2021 and so they did both of these cruises with us in their own stateroom. Yes, yes. 09:50.14 dclduo Um, oh some Disney so Disney Cruise friends oh cruising friends are the best friends I love that well awesome that sounds like a fun just ah, a fun way to travel of course. So let's let's. 09:58.80 Carin They are the best. 10:08.69 dclduo Chat about these individual ports. Um, let's start it. We'll start at the beginning right? I mean that's it's like ah like they say in the sound of music start at the very beginning a very good place to start so saint kit's is your first. 10:12.26 Carin Okay. 10:18.32 Carin Yeah. 10:23.61 dclduo Court. What did you all decide to do in St kit's. 10:28.13 Carin We ended up on a great excursion. It was called the cat catta moran fantasy and um, it was a great way to start the cruise. So ah, just like it sounds. We hopped on the cat of Moran. Um, there were probably. 40 or 50 other people with us on the catamaan. Um, they took us out and we cruised along the the coast of saint kits and ended up in a little bay where we got to snorkel and. My snnorkeling experience has been mostly like the west coast of the us. So like excuse me not the us Northern Ah northern america so down in Mexico. Um, and also we've also snoreled in San Juan and 11:08.63 dclduo Yep money. 11:20.20 Carin I could not believe my eyes when we got in that water and the types of fish that we were seeing I was just blown away by it was the first time I'd ever seen live coral. Um, it was beautiful. It was absolutely amazing. So then they. 11:30.49 dclduo And. 11:38.59 Carin After maybe an hour maybe 45 minute hour maybe 45 minutes to an hour of snorkeling. They loaded us back up and took us over to Nevis which is where Alexander Hamilton was born and raised. We got to get off and play at a beach There had a wonderful wonderful day. They took us back to the port and the next morning we woke up in st lucia. 12:00.96 dclduo Now it at Nevis is it Nevis or Nevis I can't remember. 12:05.30 Carin Oh I That's a I don't know for sure. Sorry you're probably right? No no, no, you're probably right. 12:09.69 dclduo And okay, well I'm going to say Nevis and I'm probably saying it wrong. But I don't know no no I'm probably wrong because I've I've never been there but um, did you get to see any of like like any Alexander Hamilton historic sites or anything that. 12:25.49 Carin We did not because our tour included both stops our stop. There was just at the beat and they actually wasn't until we were coming back but I thought wait a minute. Let me get on Google here I think I remember this from the from the musical. Ah, that he was born in the caribbean where was it and sure enough. That's where he had been born. So. 12:47.98 dclduo Yeah, yes yes I I'm like the song is going through my head right now. Ah the the opening song Alexander Hamilton where they talk about him. You know all the tragedy that ensues when he's living in Nevis. 12:59.38 Carin Um, yes, yes, right right. 13:05.27 dclduo And and how he has to you know work his way out and all of that. So I love that. Okay, so your next stop was in St Lucia and as you said at the start this was a stop that you got to go on both itineraries. But what was your what? what did you do for your first. 13:18.43 Carin Yes. 13:24.70 dclduo Ah, stop at St lucia. 13:26.52 Carin So you're going to hear a theme here and it's it's gonna sound a lot like catta moran so we went on another. We did the best of the west side by Cat Moran um so it took us from the pier out to. 13:31.22 dclduo I. 13:43.84 Carin West Coast of st lucia up to the pitons and we stopped in a couple little. Yes, yes, this was. 13:49.95 dclduo And who the pitons. Yes I see this on. Um, ok so I'm going to people are going to laugh when they hear this so I like to watch below deck and. 14:00.27 Carin Um, okay. 14:01.12 dclduo And below deck which is like the show about yachting and it's on riz a bravo reality show. Um because I like all kinds of you know water ah travel I've never been on a yacht and never had the good fortune to stay on a yacht. Um, but yeah I remember actually in. Several of the up one of the seasons I can't remember which one it was but they were down in the caribbean or not the I guess the Southern Caribbean and they're looking at the they park the boat or dock. Whatever they call it um anchor the boat with the view of the pitons I hear that's beautiful. 14:32.96 Carin It was it was everything I had hoped. They were absolutely gorgeous and you don't see them from ah from the pier you have to travel quite a ways before they they kind of you know, start to peek up behind other mountains. Um, and I actually they're not the tallest mountains on the island which surprised me but right there at the coast I mean they just stand majestically they're just beautiful and Lush Green just absolutely gorgeous and along the way. 14:50.33 dclduo Oh interesting. 15:05.70 Carin Our guide kept pointing out oh the next time you come back to St Lucia you can see at this resort if you want this type of experience and you know there were there were resorts where athletes stay where there's no television and no wifi where you can totally disconnect I'm like that's probably not for me and then there's there's. 15:22.53 dclduo Ah, same. 15:23.68 Carin Other resorts where you can go that are open air so that you know you are basically out in the elements. All the not in the elements. But um, you know you don't have windows and that looked absolutely gorgeous, but all these wonderful resorts along the way. Um. 15:38.80 dclduo Oh nice. 15:41.51 Carin Like I said we stopped at a couple of beaches. There was one that was just like that beautiful sugar sand Um, and that was a wonderful place to get out and swim and cool off and our friends had brought their snoll snorkel gear and. 16:00.81 Carin 1 of the two hopped in and went over and sorrkeled closer to the rocks where they told us you know don't really stand on the rocks over there. There's a lot of fire coral in that area and but she said the snorkeling there was really good as well. 16:15.70 dclduo Oh Wow Yeah well I feel like those coral reefs are just like amazing places to see all kinds of different you know sea wildlife right? They you can see like anemones and um, but also fish and sometimes eels and turtles. And yeah, just all. 16:29.14 Carin Right? Charles yes, yes and sting rays. Yeah yeah. 16:33.20 dclduo Yeah, all kinds of stuff. Oh amazing. That sounds fantastic now. Um was this so it sounds like this was probably kind of a full day one um, similar to the other one you you guys are off the ship for a pretty good amount of time with these excursions right. 16:44.97 Carin Yes, yes, yes, we would get back maybe an hour or tw hour before the ship set sail. So. 16:56.52 dclduo Yeah, yeah, all right? Well we got to travel to down to the Abc islands right? and head to bon air. Um, tell us what you did in bon air. 17:01.95 Carin Write write. So this is where we kind of did a detour and did not take a disney excursion. We instead worked with a company called sea cow snorkeling. And ah, they normally so they normally set off at eight thirty in the morning but we were not doking until I think Eight fifteen and so there was no way we were going to be able to get there in time and so I reached out to them and said hey you know there's a few of us from the ship that would love to do this. Would you consider having um a later start time and they were able to accommodate us so we had to hop off jump in a taxi and luckily we all made it into the same taxi and get over to the pier to do this drift snorkeling which is something I had never heard of. Never experienced of course and this was the highlight of both weeks. This excursion. So it's they take you to a current and you hop out and the current helps you move along. They are. 18:04.37 dclduo Oh what is we? Well what is drift snorkeling I've never heard of this for. 18:20.90 Carin They've got their boat and there or yeah, it's a boat rather than a catr moran I believe so they're kind of sailing a little bit ahead of us so that you can't get away. You can't stray away and they had 20 of us on the boat. They broke us up into groups of 6 or 7 and each of us each group got a guide who talked us through everything we were seeing so you could either leave your ears out of the water or pop your head up every once in a while if you wanted to hear about what you were seeing. You would just pop your head up to hear what the guide was telling you our guide talked. The entire time. This was like a 3 or 4 hour excursion so she was able to tell us absolutely everything that we were seeing she was able to find things for us. We were in the current took us right along the reef. 18:57.98 dclduo Wow. 19:16.83 Carin So If you kind of went off to the side you were like looking out into it felt like you were looking out into outer space every once in a while a dieescuba divver would come up from from the side of the reef and it was like whoa. There's a space space guy out there coming up. It was really cool. 19:40.72 dclduo That sounds incredible. Um I you know like I realize I forgot to ask for each of these ports and that we've talked about thus far. So ah, st kit's St Lucia and now bonare. Which ones were tender ports versus ah versus I forget what you call it but basically ports that you sail right up to in park. Um I am always curious about that because obviously when you have a tenderport just the the logistics are a little bit more. Difficult. It just takes more time to get on and off the ship and I was thinking of this when you're talking about trying to you know hop in this cab to make your excursion. 20:14.77 Carin Right. So I Don't think we had a tender port at any of these if I'm remembering correctly, right? So it really opens up possibilities for people that you know are bringing strollers or wheelchairs or you know any you know extra. 20:23.45 dclduo Oh that's the venist of. 20:38.50 Carin Cuba gear and are snuling gear. You know, whatever they're bringing with them. It's just a lot easier when you can walk off the ship. 20:42.87 dclduo Yes, so much more accessible for any kind of physical disability and also just more accessible as far as timing goes and like you said just you know just getting off with a stroller and being able to walk around the port as opposed to booking an excursion and and having to be you know. 20:50.87 Carin Yes. There. 21:02.10 dclduo Ah, taken somewhere by boat or by by a taxi or bus or or whatnot Well, that's that sounds amazing. Okay I'm going to look into drift snnorkling I'm going to look into this seaal. Okay. 21:05.41 Carin Right. 21:11.43 Carin So and our provider was sea cow I don't think I saw any other drift snorkel excursion through any other provider but seek out fit It was their ship. Their boat was pristine The the food they provided was. 21:27.86 dclduo Um, a. 21:30.70 Carin Fantastic. They were all Dutch inspired because they were Dutch. Um, just the food was great. The company was great. The tour was unbelievable. Unbelievable I really thought when they said that. 21:35.12 dclduo Um, who. 21:42.65 dclduo Well, that. 21:47.64 Carin Our guide would take us I thought our guide would just be showing us kind of what path to follow. But no, she was really really providing a great service. 21:51.61 dclduo Right. 21:57.20 dclduo Amazing. all all right let's talk about aruba that of of all the places that you've gone to I've been to saint kits I think Aruba and Barbados well st martin. Also. 22:03.40 Carin Listen. 22:13.29 dclduo But you've gone to a ton of ports I've never been to so I've never been to to st lucia ah bonare cururisow antigu do dominica yeah I mean this is like a crazy amazing port. So what? what did you get up to on Aruba. 22:18.60 Carin Oh I'm losing you Sam. 22:28.52 Carin So in Aruba we had a bit of a late start. We didn't book an excursion through Disney we got off the boat the ship and kind of walked around the port area a little bit to see what that was about I was ready for some Starbucks. After a few days of Disney Coffee um and then we took a taxi out to Eagle Beach we 22:54.95 dclduo I have to interrupt you there and and just tell you I love that you noted that you had to go to Starbucks because that broy's golf is so so so I I just need to give a shout out to Starbucks because Jo is coffee. 23:08.32 Carin Um. 23:12.86 dclduo Is terrible I know no disrespect to cove cafe because I actually do enjoy the coffee in cove cafe but that Joffrey stuff is the worst sorry continue. Yeah. 23:22.88 Carin Be it. Yeah and being born and raised in Seattle I just can't get with the the syrup coffee but ah so so we had our Starbucks and then we hopped in a cab. Out to Eagle Beach and we probably looking back in retrospect, we probably could have done a later start getting out to the beach because we knew we were spending the rest of the day. Um at the beach because our real attraction that day was like a sunset cattamaran dinner cruise. Um, that we booked outside of Disney and we were able to do that because the ship didn't set sail until 10 p m. 23:59.00 dclduo And wow. 24:09.91 dclduo That's amazing and quite unusual. Most of the itineraries you're leaving um the ports by five p M that's sort of the later the latest one so that I I wonder if that's because um. 24:17.79 Carin Yeah. 24:26.17 dclduo Aruba is so close to your next port which was barbados I'm I'm guessing. Yeah oh curs I sorry Curris out that's right? um. 24:34.23 Carin Right? Well actually the next port was Kurris how for us? Um, but those are all so so close. 24:43.61 dclduo Yeah, yeah, that right? What's why they call them the Abc islands right? They're like clustered together now. Um, so tell me about this this sunset Cruise I mean that's such an unusual experience. 24:58.00 Carin Right? And so we figured if we're on the island until ten o'clock at night. Let's do something different and so we we booked this well in advance of the cruise. Um I think we were the only the four of us were the only people from the ship on that. Dinner crews so they took us out and we saw again a lot of the shoreline they wanted to show us a lot of beautiful how beautiful homes that were built in that area. We sailed from what I am guessing is the hotel district. It was called. Im want to say Pete's pier in Aruba um, but we saw a lot of like big hotels and casinos on our way to the pier tons of restaurants very very active so I think that that's probably where a lot of their tourists are centered. 25:52.29 dclduo And yeah I wonder if a lot of the folks from the cruise just decided to go. You know, have dinner or something like that in that area or frankly I wonder if some people went back to the ship to do their dinner and their show for the night right? Yeah, it's kind of a. 25:53.30 Carin In that area. 26:08.49 Carin Um, yeah, true true. 26:11.40 dclduo Ah, tough call right? You don't usually get time in port but it is hard ah particularly if you haven't been on the ships before and seen all the shows and all of that to to miss out on a night and for you that probably wasn't such a big deal being as how you had one back to back cruising and. 26:19.60 Carin Um, write wrong. 26:27.75 dclduo To have been on the ships before. 26:28.80 Carin Right? We've seen these shows I mean this was our seventh and eighth cruise on the magic. So we've seen these shows a few times I think no hope. 26:37.43 dclduo Oh well. Ah, just a couple just a couple you don't need to see twice charmed again and again it's key I like to like it. It's cute. But yeah, you don't need to see it 12 times. Probably yeah, all right? So your last port was. 26:46.95 Carin Yeah, right? um. 26:55.30 dclduo Kiow What did you all get up to in curow. 26:57.39 Carin So on that day we did book through Disney we did a fun day at the beach I'm let's see what exactly was this called I want to say it was called fun beach express if I'm remembering correctly. And I would say it wasn't that fun. Um, it turned out that the beach they took it it no I know it was so the first part they took us kind of on a tour to show us. 27:20.53 dclduo So we so the name so the name was not accurate. 27:35.47 Carin The agriculture of the island they showed us. They took us to an area where flamingos kind of populate the and the flamingos were way far away from the bus which was fine with me I've I've seen flamingos I've smelled them before I knew it was better to see them from afar. So. 27:55.18 dclduo But ah. 27:55.18 Carin Um, and then you know they did show us some interesting things about the agriculture on the island and then they took us to a beach. Um, and my dad we did not bring water shoes with us on this excursion which would have been helpful because the The. Beach was very rocky full of coral so it was really difficult to get into the water. Um, luckily that wasn't the entirety of the trip on the way back. They did kind of a tour of the old town and that part was the highlight for me. 28:25.81 dclduo Um. 28:32.25 Carin Um, they showed us a lot of street art. They showed us a lot of historical sites and they were all within walking distance of the ship. So when we got back to the ship. We grabbed our friends and we went back out and I just wanted to see those places up close and see that art that you. 28:41.41 dclduo Nice. 28:50.88 Carin I Couldn't believe the art like this is definitely a port that is focused on art. So if you are somebody that's looking for maybe a unique piece of art. This is probably the port that you want to buy it in. 29:04.22 dclduo Oh amazing that sounds awesome now from this from this itinerary. Ah, what would you say was your favorite port. You had 5 different ports because we're not going to count San Juan because that's your embarkation and debarkation port. 29:21.12 Carin Ah. 29:21.76 dclduo But what would you say was your favorite of the the 5 ports. 29:27.36 Carin Ah, the highlight would have been bon air with that wonderful drift snorkel If you take the excursions out I would probably say curs out. 29:30.49 dclduo Um, yeah. 29:36.10 dclduo Oh nice. Yeah and what would you say was Malcolm's favorite 29:43.51 Carin Oh gosh Malcolm um, let me think I think he loved the cata moran ride in St Lucia 29:53.58 dclduo Oh nice. 29:56.49 Carin The people that were hosting put on a great party. They were playing lively music. We don't know how but he seemed to know the local music so he was getting to do karaoke with the crew was he it was He was having a great time. 30:05.58 dclduo Um, oh that's amazing. Oh I love that I love that you know it's always like good and fun when they get like the. Kids like involved because I feel like that just makes the excursion even better for them like like we did this 1 excursion in um Cabo that was salsa and salsa and Nathan had never like actually liked salsa before like the food I mean um. 30:25.10 Carin Oh yeah. 30:35.26 Carin Ah. 30:38.37 Carin A. 30:40.96 dclduo He he doesn't know how to salsa dance he likes to dance but he was not He wasn't into guacamole or salsa before but the act of like making it and being like a part of the process. He now says he likes salsa and guacamole. So just. 30:53.22 Carin Yeah, yeah, it totally changes the experience and it makes it. You know those core memories right. 30:58.86 dclduo Yeah, yeah for sure I love and core memories. You know you have to you know he loved. He also loves inside out. So. 31:07.50 Carin Wonderful. Ah, okay, right. 31:10.62 dclduo All right? So let's let's talk about cruise number 2 because you of course head back to San Juan there's embarcation or debarcation embarkation day. Um in San Juan but let's talk about the first port because you had 5 ports. Um again not counting San Juan 1 being a repeat of st lucia but let's talk about st martin I've I have been there before I know they have a huge zip line like 1 of the biggest in um, the world. Ah yes, yes, um, and I've been on that and it's terrifying but also fun. Um. 31:36.63 Carin Um, this I think is the steepest. Yeah yeah. 31:46.18 dclduo But I'm curious to hear what you guys got up to in st martin I know Disney does have quite a few excursions in st martin because it is sometimes on their eastern caribbean itinerary not always though. 31:55.77 Carin Oh so St Martin I was pretty sure that we would want a break from the beaches. Um, in retrospect I now know that we don't need a break from beaches. We just love beaches. We love cat and Morans we could do it every day but we booked. Um. 32:01.29 dclduo Um, yeah, yeah. 32:13.20 Carin We booked the aerial explorer and that is the same location where you do that zipline so we took the zipline up Neither one of us are really adventure seekers so we had no intention of doing the zipline. Um. 32:19.37 dclduo Yeah, yeah. 32:25.89 dclduo Maybe. 32:32.66 Carin At the top as you know there's that lookout that you can walk around and they have signs showing you all the islands that you're seeing in the distance and that's when you really realize these islands are very close together. 32:33.86 dclduo Yes. 32:44.73 dclduo Um, yeah. 32:49.00 Carin Um, because you could see many of the islands we had been at or were going to from that lookout that was really cool. Um, when we were up there. We did find the bar they had mentioned that there was a bar at the top. Um, and so I thought you know we're here. We've got to try a run punch and um. 33:09.75 dclduo Ah, right when in the Caribbean yeah to year right? I mean when when in the Caribbean drink rum right? That's just but. 33:10.18 Carin Ah, when the bartender served it to Me. He said enjoy your ride and it exactly but this bar is located directly next to or adjacent to The. The steep zip line that people were the main attraction right? And so when he handed me that and he said enjoy your ride I panicked I said no no, no, no, we did not sign up for that zip line and it's funny because on the way up I. 33:30.46 dclduo Um, if right? yeah. 33:45.49 Carin Had been texting my daughter who was back home and saying we're on but we're on this ride. Um up a mountain and I'm not seeing anybody coming back down. It's like a skew lift so you would expect to see people coming back down but there was nobody coming down. 33:57.95 dclduo Ah. 34:01.17 dclduo Um, right right is way now. It's not the only way down. But yeah I'm sure. But for most people that is the way down. So yeah, most people don't take the lift. 34:02.90 Carin And when he said to me enjoy your ride I Suddenly thought is this the only way down. 34:11.44 Carin Um, yes, yes and we did. We did happily let me tell you um and then we had intended to stop. 34:16.44 dclduo Back down? Yeah, but. 34:27.10 Carin To see the Yoda guy museum before going back to the ship. Um, and time ran out because our transportation had a malfunction on the way back to the ship. Um, so by the time we got back. We probably did have enough time but we were just so hot and just kind of beat that we just. 34:27.17 dclduo You. 34:36.37 dclduo Oh. 34:42.53 dclduo Yeah, yeah, yeah, next I mean listen, there's always an next time right? It's then St Martin is a beautiful place all right? So yeah, so next is Antigua. 34:46.13 Carin We skipped it. We'll do that next time after doing a beach day next time. Ah yeah, oh I could tell. 35:00.86 dclduo What what did you guys? get up to an Antigua god you just had like 1 amazing port after another I'm like so freaking jealous care with yeah. 35:06.74 Carin It they were nonstop nonstop amazing ports. So this next one was was also really good in antique while we did through Disney we did a catamaran and lobster lunch. Um. 35:23.58 Carin It was I mean what? what can I say it was just it was fantastic. More snorkelling more swimming meeting more people from the ship. Yeah, and and then served a lobster lunch. They so on these catamarans oftentimes they bring food on and they serve it to you after you've been snorkeling. Um. 35:30.18 dclduo Um, a lobster. Yeah. 35:38.80 dclduo Me here. 35:41.75 Carin Whether it's snacks or whether it's a full meal on this catamaran. They literally cooked the food on the catamaran. So like they were barbecuing the lobster for us. Ah, it was delicious. So if if you like lobster they give you a half lobster. 35:48.26 dclduo Well I love that? Yeah yes. 36:00.72 Carin Um, with salad and beans and rice and it was fantastic. The food was fantastic. The snorkeling was wonderful. We met really great people on that excursion that we met again. Met up again with later in the cruise too. So that was nice. 36:05.19 dclduo Um, down. 36:15.77 dclduo Oh awesome. You know it's funny. My one of my favorite excursions to this day. Um was in I'm trying to remember the name of the port. It's the it's another Southern Caribbean Port but it's a french ah. French own owned. You know it was a french colony and I'm trying to remember yes martinique. Thank you? That's exactly the one so we went to martinique and we did this amazing catamaran excursion it through Disney. 36:34.81 Carin Um, maybe martinique. 36:45.42 dclduo We made friends our friends tracecy and Michael who've been on the show as guests. That's where we met them on this catamaran and it was very similar experience. It wasn't lobster I have to say it was but it was like ah a beautiful local fish and they cooked it all on board and it was just like. 36:47.49 Carin Movement. Ah. 37:03.48 dclduo This magnificent day and I it's it's talking about this cattamaran excursion and meeting people and enjoying the food and the company and all that is just bringing back those amazing memories and so I would highly recommend 1 people try a cattamaran excursion. There's a million of. 37:03.48 Carin Yeah. 37:22.22 dclduo But amazing ones in the caribbean and in the Southern Caribbean in particular and make friends be friendly. Yeah yeah, exactly. 37:29.26 Carin Yes, yes, definitely Even if you are traveling with a large group. You're still going to meet people. You have something in common. You all love Disney cruising so make friends. Ah think that's right, but. 37:41.42 dclduo Exact you're all giving your money to the mouse. Ah, all right? So Dominica I know like nothing about dominicica so tell me what what did you guys get up to there. 37:55.23 Carin So we had booked the River tubing um and waterfall experience and it was at the end of their season. So when we arrived First of all, it was. 38:12.61 Carin Want to say seventeen miles of hairpin turns is how our driver described the route to get there and um I just can't tell you how terrifying that was it was um, a really unpleasant ride to getting there. 38:24.28 dclduo Oh my goodness. Oh yeah. 38:32.13 Carin But um, for anyone who gets car sick not great seventeen miles of hairpin turns not good. So no, that part was not great and then when we arrived there they said you know we're really sorry about. 38:36.75 dclduo Oh yeah, I that might that would not be good for me. Yeah. 38:50.62 Carin Condition of the river um, it's late in the season and the water's pretty low and that ended up being that they manually pushed us down eat for an hour and a half over six inches of water. 38:55.50 dclduo Now. 39:01.49 dclduo Oh my goodness. 39:08.90 dclduo Oh god. 39:10.80 Carin But and rocks so we were either bottoming out or skimming rocks the entire way and it was ah it was not what I had expected I was hoping for something more similar to what they offer in Jamaica that option that always sells out. 39:22.41 dclduo Um, how. 39:26.37 dclduo Has. 39:28.52 Carin River tubing in Jamaica um, and this ended up not being a highlight for us. But when we got back because I am sure we're gonna do this route again I asked people what did you do? What did you love and I kept caring again and again that there was a cooking excursion. 39:37.77 dclduo Okay. 39:46.50 Carin That was really really good. So next time we're doing that. 39:46.54 dclduo Um, oh yeah, well, that's good. Yeah that's a that's actually a great tip for people who are listening. Um, you know sometimes you get an excursion and it's a dud and it doesn't you know it's unfortunately you know disappointing and there's nothing you can do about it after the fact really except you tell you can tell Disney it was a dud and um, you know it's good to give that feedback because then they may you know decide to not you. Not offer that tour to future cruisers which I think helps your you know helps your friends and family in the disney cruising community. Um, but it's a great idea to ask? Yeah, what were the good excursions and then you know plan you have something to plan for next time. 40:19.60 Carin Um, if no. 40:22.60 Carin Right. 40:30.88 Carin My yeah. 40:32.48 dclduo All right? Well so we had you know one bummer of an excursion amongst a whole bunch of stars but you got to go back to St Lucia and I'm curious what you did on your second visit to st lucia. 40:43.25 Carin So our second excursion again through Disney was titled Amazing Jeep Safari and sailing cattamaran now after having this seventeen miles of hairpin turns and then knowing I was going to be getting on a jeep the next day I went to. 40:59.82 dclduo I knew. 41:02.94 Carin Go talk to shore adventures and or excuse me port adventures and they were closed because I was really hoping that we could change that I didn't want to be on a jeep two days in a row even though the. 41:15.67 dclduo Right. 41:20.62 Carin The day before had been a bus. It really did kind of feel like a jeep anyway, they were closed. Never got back to change it. So I said okay, we're going on this and good luck to us I hope we enjoy the catamaran part and this turned out to be I'm so glad that we got on that jeep. Because we had um basically like a 2 hour tour of St Lucia not the touristy parts. We were back in with the banana trees and the cocon nuts and we would pull off. Um there would be people. Yeah that just pop up little stands on the side of the road. To sell fruit and to sell artwork and it was so authentic and really really a lovely experience in my opinion. Um, absolutely loved the tour which then sent us on a catamaran ride. Um, and that was interesting. Um, so they took a Samarica Bay which we had been to the week before um, got on the catamoran and 1 of the first things I noticed was that they weren't using the motor once we got out. Of the bay and that was lovely to sail without that motor really is a different experience so we got to go down to the pitons once again and see them and on the way back they so were not turning on the motor which was I thought was lovely. 42:44.27 dclduo Oh yeah. 42:58.78 Carin Then come to realize the motor was not working and ah and we but yeah, so we ended up taking about 2 hours longer to get back to the ship which in my opinion being stuck. 43:02.10 dclduo Um, oh no I was I was wondering if that's where you were going because oh my god. 43:12.82 dclduo Wow wow. 43:17.67 Carin In St Lucia on academy moran for 2 hours more than I expected but still getting back to the ship on time I was like bonus bonus bonus like this was the best thing ever. It was I loved it. But i. 43:29.16 dclduo Ah, ah. 43:33.95 Carin I Then realize you know for us it worked out but for some people that had plans back on the ship that didn't work out for them. You know they were missing bibiity. Ah Biity Bobbyty Boo they were missing maybe um, getting ready for Pao or you know things that they had planned is spa treatments things like that. 43:37.74 dclduo Right? right. 43:47.51 dclduo Um, or spa treatment. Yeah. 43:52.72 Carin Um I had hoped to do a little shopping when we got back but the ship was leaving in 15 minutes so we had to get on the shipping and go. So um I do understand that that that um, unexpected inconvenience wasn't great for some but for us, we loved it. 43:58.69 dclduo Um, right? yeah. 44:09.23 dclduo Yeah, well and I will say I mean it. It is a reminder for of 2 things 1 the issue you know the the pro of being on a Disney excursion right? like because things do happen and so. 44:20.95 Carin Can write. 44:25.50 dclduo In your so circumstance you were on a disney excursion. You guys did get back in time but they would have held the ship if you were just going to be a little bit late right? They would have held the ship and you probably had on your catamaran. It was probably full of other people from from Disney Cruise line so you know they're not going to leave you know. 44:29.53 Carin Here. 44:38.62 Carin Um, oh yes. 44:43.45 Carin Right? right. 44:43.83 dclduo 30 people behind. Um, they're going to hold the ship for that and then the other thing I think it it does also give ah a nice reminder of you might not want to book an excursion even through you know through Disney ore through a third party that ends. Close to when the ship is leaving port right? I mean you you had a 2 hour buffer so or actually more than right? So 2 hours 30 minutes 2 hours 15 minutes whatever it was. You had a buffer and that buffer did get used up right because of the ah ship malfunction or boat malfunction. So. 45:02.11 Carin Ah, right right. 45:15.91 Carin Yep yep. 45:18.16 dclduo Just ah, ah, just kind of this a reminder to folks if you are booking an excursion even through Disney like probably not if you have if there's an earlier one that gets back with some time probably a little bit smarter than booking the one that comes back. You know 10 minutes before your schedule leave. 45:36.82 Carin Definitely definitely. Yeah when we we book outside of Disney we always try to come back at least an hour or two preferably 2 hours before the ship leaves because you don't know what you're going to find yourself up against so. 45:37.84 dclduo But. 45:45.82 dclduo Yeah, absolutely I was on an excursion 1 time where it was just you know traffic was so bad coming back from the excursion and we. 45:52.46 Carin Yeah. 45:57.56 Carin Write the. 46:00.99 dclduo You know it. It took like an extra hour I think to get back and we were fine. We had plenty of time. It was sort of um it was It wasn't a full day excursion. So it ended up. You know, not being a huge deal except for a spot appointment that I had so I ended up having to yeah the nice thing was is that the ship was aware that I was not. 46:11.29 Carin School. 46:18.60 Carin With the oh that's good. 46:19.53 dclduo On board right? So they actually just automatically rescheduled me for later in the day. Um, yeah, so they had like the spa had obviously checked. Um with I don't know who it is but you know the folks who check you in and they could tell I wasn't on board yet. 46:31.60 Carin Yeah. 46:34.75 dclduo And so you know I didn't get any kind of penalty. They just ah, rebooked me and and figured out that I had been on ah an excursion that um you know just got back late all right? So your last ah your final port was Barbados. 46:42.60 Carin Um, yeah. 46:46.74 Carin Yes. 46:48.48 dclduo Um, that's actually one I have been to from our our eleven night Southern Caribbean in 2019 but I'd love to hear what you got up to on Barbados of course it's a team i. 46:54.55 Carin So we had to end the trip with a cata ran excursion and this one this one included a turtle encounter and so I wasn't really sure what to expect on this. It did involve a lot of sailing along the coastline. And I wasn't sure what that turtle experience would be like like how do you know that you're going to see turtles but they did take us to an area. We got. We were able to get off at a couple different stops and snorkel and it was the second stop where turtles were just everywhere in the ocean. And they wanted to interact. It seemed like because they they were down at the bottom of the ocean and you know maybe fifteen or twenty feet below us and you would see them coming up coming up coming up and they would just pop up almost with an arm's reach of you and of course you're not allowed to touch them. You're not allowed to. 47:36.78 dclduo Oh wow. 47:48.87 dclduo Um, ah yeah, you not supposed to swim towards them pet them feed them all those things. 47:51.93 Carin Um, you know, try to swim Toward. You're not supposed to harass them right? No no, no, no, but when they pop her up right next to you I mean you can't ah you can't avoid it and that was so cool. Just have that little turtle pup. Its little head out right there next to you and it was that was a really fun excursion as well. 48:14.81 dclduo Its amazing all right? So I got to you know wrap up that cruise with the the big question. What was your favorite ported. 48:24.61 Carin Oh um, my favorite port was probably St Lucia with Barbados with Barbados a close second a close second. Um, and. 48:32.27 dclduo Um, yeah, awesome and Malcolm's 48:41.93 Carin Malcolms would have probably been st lusa again. 48:45.21 dclduo Nice. Yeah, yeah, yeah, that's awesome. Okay, so I feel like I'd be remiss to not ask you at least you know a little bit about the magic upgrades um post dry duck I won't talk about. 48:58.97 Carin Her. 49:03.70 dclduo We'll kind of skip over the drama that was the air conditioning the soda machines the ice cream machine. All that crazy stuff because one I've talked to a couple other people who were on that first cruise of yours. Um, and and reviewed that stuff with them. But um. 49:06.88 Carin And. 49:22.58 dclduo To you know you? The good thing is you were off the ship a lot but but I feel like I got to ask you what you thought in particular of the Soul Cat lounge. 49:24.91 Carin Yes, yes, but. 49:34.37 dclduo And then of the incanto celebration which you would have had at least a couple opportunities to to see because they were it was on both of your cruises. So. 49:35.53 Carin Oh right? Yes, yes, so I would say the soulcat lounge beyond what you could really capture in in photo or video. Something that they were just really great Disney touches where because they showed the movie on the ship on the funnel vision and we took the opportunity to watch that on I think the second cruise um and what I noticed right away was in the movie. They have some of the same portraits on the walls of of Joe's apartment and of the lounge where he was seeing ah where he was playing some of those same portraits are on the wall in the sk cat lounge. Um, so little touches like that. 50:21.41 dclduo Oh I Love that? yeah. 50:27.56 Carin I'm not sure. Um, if anybody has mentioned that there's like a little hidden 22 in the soul cat lounge which is it's actually for me. It was a little hard to i. It took me a while to find it. Um I it was interesting. Soulcat lounge on the first cruise was packed completely packed Second cruise very sparse. So yeah, yes, and I think it just has to do with you know who is on the sailing what they you know a lot of I think we only had one c day on our second sailing. 50:46.25 dclduo Are really. 51:04.78 Carin So people were on the go go go the whole time. Um, which doesn't leave a lot of time for lounging. 51:12.86 dclduo And yeah, that that definitely makes sense but that's just it's interesting I would have thought that it would have been kind of packed both times I am curious about whether or not you tried one of the Zepas um in the lounge because I have heard. It's basically. Similar to the benies in the French Quarter lounge on the wonder except it's like a cinnamon and sugar instead of powdered sugar. 51:36.47 Carin So I did not realize that they were serving food I didn't see anyone ordered any food at Soulcat Lounge I did order the smoked old fashioned Um, but it would have. 51:41.79 dclduo Um, ah yeah. 51:45.96 dclduo Oh what? you think then not your thing. Okay, fair that I yeah. 51:52.26 Carin Um, it I like I like scotch I like Whiskey Um, and I like smoky scotch So I was expecting it to be a lot smokier it in my opinion was an old fashioned. So. 52:06.45 dclduo Oh interesting. Yeah, ah. 52:10.99 Carin Ah, it was it was fine. It was fine. No no unfortunately. 52:16.38 dclduo Ah, but nothing parade home about I Guess yeah well I I have to thank you so much for the the video and the pictures you sent us of the Soul Cat Lounge I thought it was ah fabulous. Um, you know you capture it I think the spirit. Very well. Um, of course I haven't been there. Um, and I of course I was you know disappointed when I when it was confirmed. It was not going to be the snuggly duckling. Um and that it was the Soul Cat lounge and ah you know it's which is fine but you know of course we all have our opinions that. 52:41.90 Carin Right? yeah. 52:49.38 dclduo Ah, you know they could have re themed keys to be the soul cat lounge and given us a snugly duckling in the promenade lounge but whatever you know Disney makes its own decisions and they don't listen to me if they did I'd be making a lot more money than I currently do. 53:02.82 Carin Mean maybe they'll rethinkme Keys to snuggly duckling someday right. 53:07.56 dclduo Yeah, see that would be great. Oh yeah, but I think my guess is it just needs a longer a longer dry dock. Um and they already had probably too much on their plate. Um given given all the the trouble that they did have um in finishing things. 53:16.19 Carin I would imagine. 53:23.46 dclduo But um, the other thing like I said I wanted to ask you about was the incanto celebration which I know was I'm going to just preview for folks. It basically was a in part a meet and greet with um Mirabelle and Bruno. 53:25.35 Carin Oh right. 53:38.33 Carin I sure. 53:40.72 dclduo Ah, but it was also in part a singalong trivia and crafts experience as well as they had some adult beverages available for purchase and it was held in the D lounge. Um what what was your you know. 53:44.90 Carin Right. 53:56.10 dclduo Would you give this a thumbs up a thumbs down more neutral I'm curious as to what you thought of this up. Yeah. 54:00.46 Carin Well, we went twice so that should speak for itself right? there we enjoyed it. It is very loud I think that something like this could be done outside possibly as a beck party. It would make trivia a lot harder but it it got really loud. Um the target target audience is probably kids under the age of 12 and that is mostly who was in attendance those children and their parents on the second week they had already made some adjustments. 54:19.66 dclduo I. 54:38.14 Carin So first week I think Jennifer had reported how difficult it was to kind of collect your craft items get to your table get everything done so when we walked in all that had every table already had the craft items set there so you just walked in found a table sat down and you were ready to start crafting. 54:43.50 dclduo Yes. 54:54.60 dclduo Oh nice. 54:57.56 Carin Yes, so big improvement right? there? Um second we the first week. Um, as we walked in, they they kept telling people. The bar is open. The bar is open and so the first we got I walked over to the bar and the poor bartender was overwhelmed with all these people there was only I think 1 bartender making drinks. So. 55:12.27 dclduo And if right yeah. 55:17.10 Carin You know I didn't need a drink and there was nothing advertised as far as but um, like anything unique for for the event so you know I didn't need a drink at that time of day. So The second week I had heard that there were like the inconto cocktails and and um. Virgin cocktails as well and Colombian sodas and Colombian beers that were supposed to be on board So I was anxious to get back to the bar and see what because the the virgin drink actually looked really good. Um, and so I went to the bar and I said oh do you have the menu for the special cocktails. And the bartender had no idea what I was talking about. So yeah, so I don't know I don't know if because I've heard that they're doing this on the wonder as well I had heard that. So. 55:57.38 dclduo Oh no way. 56:06.21 dclduo Oh is that right I haven't heard that interesting. Yeah. 56:11.85 Carin I Don't know if that menu came from the wonder but on the magic they had no idea about any of those drinks. Um I'm guessing they had the beer and the soda but we're not big I don't drink beer. My son is fine having soda on the poolback. So. 56:17.39 dclduo Wow. 56:28.34 dclduo Let me. 56:31.16 Carin Um, so we didn't get to try any of the beverages but eventually I'm sure we won't so. 56:35.75 dclduo Um, well it sounds like it was you know a fun experience I'm excited for us to get to check it out. We'll be on the magic in September. And obviously Nathan is in the the target range for this activity. Although I will say in conto is it's not his favorite movie but he loves the music from the movie as do I surface pressure I'm sorry for those who love we don't talk about Bruno it is a fabulous song. 57:00.13 Carin Aha. 57:06.62 dclduo But surface pressure is the best song from that. Yeah, but he does so but I'm definitely looking forward to that well Karen thank you so much for coming on sharing your experience with these amazing Southern Caribbean ports as well as talking with me a little bit about. 57:08.83 Carin Um, it is the best. Yeah I I agree. 57:25.68 dclduo The upgrades to the magic. Um, it's been fabulous. Having you on as I mentioned at the beginning of the show you have been listening to our show now for several years and um. 57:36.55 Carin Um, yes, it is. 57:38.25 dclduo This is your first time on our show surprisingly and we've been trying to figure out something for you to come and talk to us about and I'm so glad that we got to talk about this cruise or these I should say cruise is with such unique and amazing ports. So thanks so much for coming on. 57:53.60 Carin Thanks Sam and I hope to sail with you someday. All right. 57:56.62 dclduo Yes, absolutely.

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