Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude Western Fantasy!! Day 1 Complete
It’s Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes
Nothing remains quite the same
With all of our running and all of our cunning
If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane!!
Welcome to the theme song for our recent cruise among the beautiful Disney Fantasy heading to the Western Caribbean. For a bit of background we have been Disney fans for years and years, going to the parks each and every year, many of those years we took multiple trips. Finally in 2010 my DS proclaimed no more Disney parks :scared1:. With me a self proclaimed lover of all things Disney and a 4 year old Princess I just could not imagine a year without character meet and greets, castles and beautiful Walt Disney World details and themes. So to appease the boy and to get my Disney fix we decided to try Disney Cruise Lines and sail on the Wonder for 4 days to Nassau and Castaway Cay and finish the trip with a day at the World for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. This turned out to be one of the best family vacations in ages!!
So as any good DISer we had rebooked on board with a dummy date and then on opening day in October of 2010 we moved our date to the May 26, 2012 Western Caribbean aboard the brand new Fantasy :cheer2:!!
Immediately I got involved in the meet thread for the cruise and spent the following 18 months, watching the Fantasy being built, planning excursions and daily activities, dreaming and drooling over the day we would step on board the Fantasy!
Well as any good planner knows, the best laid plans:sad2:, lol…
Let me introduce you to the gang:
Here is DH and I at DHS. I am the over planner and DH, well he is happy when I am happy!! He would prefer to vacation at places other than Disney, but is happy to appease my obsession. His requirements for vacation--- relaxing.
There is DD who is a 5 and has proclaimed her name to be Princess Haley, no middle name, no last name just Princess Haley.
There is DS who is 14, the one who started it all :love: he loves all things electronics and really is not into anything Disney (still trying to figure out where I went wrong)
Now that you have met the crew, let’s begin…
Graduation and Road Trip!!
Our first change of plans happened a few weeks before the cruise. See for months before the cruise DH could not decide when he wanted to leave. The Fantasy leaves on Saturday so no matter what we were leaving at 6pm on Friday. I tried to convince him to leave Thursday or worse case scenario Friday morning so we could be well rested for embarkation day.
A few weeks before the cruise we were informed DD would have her kindergarten graduation at 10:30am and DS asked not to go to school the last day since there was no point, they were only going to be having parties and signing yearbooks and he had already gotten a lot of his friends to sign his yearbook. He is in 8th grade and is ready to head to high school. It was at this point, DH finally agreed to take Friday off of work and we would head out just after DD's Kindergarten graduation.
With not knowing when we would leave I had not booked a pre-cruise hotel room and in all of my planning for the cruise the one thing that I seemed to forget was that this was Memorial Day weekend :sad2:, oh did I mention our meet name was Mickey’s Memorial Day Fantasy…. So once DH decided he would take Friday off it was then time for me to look for a hotel room for Friday night. Initially we wanted either the Radisson or Country Inn and Suites near the port just like we had last cruise. Well when I began to look the rooms were around $170 per night. That seemed a little excessive to me since we paid somewhere around $60 last time we sailed. We then tried to use our DVC for a room, but the only thing that was available were 2 bedrooms (That weekend is also Star Wars weekend) and I was not interested in using that many points for just the night.
So my next plan of attack was to do Priceline and bid on a hotel room around Downtown Disney area. My bid was a 3 star or better for $80. We won with the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress.
The morning of traveling DD went off to school at 7:00am and DH, DS and I stayed home to pack up the car and get any final errands handled before DD’s graduation at 10:30am.
After DD’s graduation we pulled out and headed south. The trip was relatively uneventful well if you count seeing a car on fire and a car whose engine blew up on the turnpike within a .5 mile of each other. After about 5 hours DD began the “Are we there yet” chant every half hour…
At 7:30 we pulled into the Hyatt Regency and all of us were blown away by how beautiful the property was.
I got out to do check in and at the front desk I was kindly greeted with 2 complimentary glasses of champagne!! Oh yes, we are on vacation.
Then the lady at the desk informed me that we were on the 6th floor and we would have a great view of the Magic Kingdom fireworks at 9:30 this evening from our room. Score!!
Everyone was starving and the kids had been begging to go swimming once we got to the hotel so we headed up to the room to meet bell service to drop off our bags and the kids did a quick change into their bathing suits and we made a beeline to Cascade restaurant on property. Service was a little slow, but the restaurant was beautiful and it was nice to finally stop for a moment.
The food was really good. I had to the Tortilla Soup which was listed as an appetizer, but was quite large and very filling. DH had the Angus burger that he thought was very fresh and tasty. DS had the Margarita Flatbread and enjoyed that. DD had Spaghetti and Meatballs and enjoyed it. Sorry about the lack of pics, but the camera was up in the room with the bags and I was too exhausted to go back up and get it.
After we finally got food in everyone’s bellies we headed out to the pool area. This place was amazing, the pool had a beautiful waterfall and wrapped all around the property with a grotto that ran underneath a rock formation with a pool bar underneath. The kids swam for only about 30 minutes because we wanted to head back up to the room and have them shower and changed for the fireworks so we could turn in for tomorrow.
We checked out the hotel as we headed back and sat by the firepit for a while, DH and I noticed that the lounge chairs by the pool had a bar service button next to them. We would have loved to stay and extra day just to utilize that. They also had a putting green, rock climbing wall and paddle boats that are for the guests to use as well.
Once back in the room DD had a quick bath and then it was into pajamas and her and I sat out on the little balcony and watched the MK fireworks while the guys showered. It was a great way to end the evening.
...Next up Embarkation, would the Fantasy being everything we fantasized about???
Great so far! You may have just convinced me to stay offsite for our two days Pre cruise.
Oh boy, Oh boy - a great trip report. Eagerly awaiting more !:flower3:
Great trip report so far! Loving all of the pictures! Can't wait to read more!!!:cool1:
Looking forward to reading all about your cruise!
It's a Journey to reach your Fantasy!!
I just realized I forgot to post the pictures of the room in the last post...
We had an 11am check in at the port, prior to leaving we had Google mapped the distance from our hotel to the Port and it was about an hour. So we wanted to be out of the hotel around 8am, grab a quick bite to eat and then drive over to the port. We had booked Park and Cruise for the week and knew that it would take some time to unload the car and load there shuttle. Normally, I am notoriously late to everything. So knowing this DH was up bright and early and had headed downstairs in search of some coffee for me.
They had Starbucks on site so he grabbed two and came back to wake me before the kids. On schedule everyone had woken and we had repacked our suitcases and finally put our tags on our luggage.
(Bright eyed and ready to go)
Bell service came up and helped with the bags and we were out of the hotel right on time. What we did not plan for was the mob scene we would encounter at McDonalds in Downtown Disney. This place was jamming at 8am.
We were able to grab our hotcakes and sausage and even get back on the road right around 9am. The drive over to the port was a pretty easy drive, one road; a few tolls (I think we passed through 3 or 4 that were .75 cents each) and then you get to see this!!
Park and Cruise was also pretty easy to find. It was the exit before the port and they have a big blimpie balloon pointing to the exit. We got off the highway and turned in. They had a shuttle waiting for us as soon as we arrived so we had to quickly unload the truck and while the shuttle driver loaded our bags DH went and parked the truck. Once DH arrived back we were off and on our way. I definitely recommend Park and Cruise, they treated us great, our truck was safe the whole week (they have a fence around the whole property and they have 24 hour camera surveillance), free shuttle to the port, and it was half the price as the port.
We pulled into the port around 10:40am and I thought with the new port arrival times and check in process we would not see the line like we saw on our last cruise. Boy was I wrong, the line was all the way down the sidewalk and there were bags everywhere. It didn’t take long before we were going through the gates and up the escalator to check in.
We got in line for Castaway Club Members and we were second in line. When we got up to check in the computers went down and none of the printers were working so we could not get our keys. It seemed that all of the stations were having this problem and in true Disney fashion they were working very hard to get this resolved and get people moving. We got boarding number 5.
After checking in we all went outside to see her in person. She was finally here and we were about to board the beautiful Fantasy that we had been watching for the last year and a half. It was hot and humid this morning, so if you are planning to keep your hair beautiful and frizz free for boarding pictures I would highly recommend staying in the ac!!
Once we were done ohhing and ahhing the Fantasy we headed back inside to check DD into her club and get her wristband. The line was pretty long, but it did move really fast and we were through in no time. While we were checking in Sailor Goofy headed out into the lobby for pics. It still amazes me how fast that line forms when the characters get out. We decided we would wait until once on the ship and say hi to Goofy then.
(Isn't he cute)
(I told you that humidity was brutal)
Before we knew it they were calling the Family of the Day and allowing boarding #1 aboard!! They called #5 within about 10 minutes and we were going through the Mickey ears and heading towards our home for the next week.
Off to a great start!
Jill in CO
Great TR! Can't wait to read more! I'm going on the Fantasy on 9/1 - also a Western Caribbean and I can't wait!!
This is no Wonder!!
Once we stepped on the ship I was too much in awe of how amazing she looked I forgot to tell the CM’s what our name was. Luckily, DS remembered and we got our announcement!! I was tearied eyed and could not believe how much bigger the Fantasy was over the Wonder.
Since we had not eaten in 3 hours, we all headed straight for Cabanas for lunch!! All I knew was Cabanas was Aft, what I didn’t realize is AFT is really far on the Fantasy. So as we kept walking down the hall all I was hearing is “Mom are you sure we are going the right way?” “I believe so, not sure” “This seems much farther than on the old ship.” Yes children, this is No Wonder!!
We finally found our way and I have to say I love the way they have done Cabanas.
(This guy points you in the right direction)
They have 2 sides and it is huge. They had meat carving stations, salad bars, grilled meats, veggies and desserts. Just a note, both sides offer the same food. We all filled up quite nicely to hold us over until Dinner…
After lunch it was time to explore the ship. When you walk out of Cabanas you are right next to the Mickey Pool and Donald Pool. I had decided before we left that I wanted to have DD hair braided on the first day so that I would not have to worry about doing her hair 3 to 4 times each day so we made a quick stop by the hair braiding ladies and made DD an appointment for 9am the next morning. Mission accomplished.
The kids were begging to go check out their clubs, so we headed to the Vibe first. The Vibe is located on deck 5 Forward so we began to head that direction, but getting into the Vibe is a little tricky (I had wished I had paid closer attention to the boards on this one), you actually have to go down to 4 Starboard (I believe, still can't figure out Starboard from Port) and walk forward as if you are doing the lap around the deck and then go up a set of stairs and there is a door to the Vibe. There are signs pointing to the Vibe so in case you are like me and are trying to figure out where your teen is about to spend the next week you are covered. The other thing about the Vibe is that it is for Teens only and there cards are the only ones that work to open the door. More on this later, but I would recommend giving your teen one of the wave phones because if you are trying to get a hold of them any other way it is a bit of a mission.
There are not many times in my life I wish to go back to being a teenager, but the Vibe had me begging to be 16 again.
These pods had Ipod plugs in them so your teen could listen to there music, watch videos from there Ipod touch. From what I understand they played video games as well. Pretty neat.
(Even the little one thought the Pods were cool)
(there own media room to hang out and watch movies)
There pool deck looked like a lot of fun. There is another private door out here as well that locks and only the key will open.
After hanging out at the Vibe we headed to Oceaneer Lab and Oceaneer Club. This place is huge!! Are you seeing a theme hear, LOL…
Everything on the Fantasy seemed to be double and triple the size of the Wonder. It is kind of tricky in here as well because now that they have the Lab and the Club combined and there are so many little rooms that finding your child in here can be mission impossible also. The wristband did seem to have some kind of tracker in it, so when you went to check your kids out of the Club/ Lab area they usually could narrow it down to what side they were on. There is something for every child here.
(Andy's room, even the big kid could not get away from the large Mr. Potato Head)
(These were very cool game systems, it is like an Ipod Touch on steroids!!)
(ohh we found something that was on the Wonder, driving your own ship)
(we found DD in here a lot, this is where they played board games and read stories)
After playing in all of the clubs for awhile it was safe to say both of my kids could not wait until dinner so they could disburse to there clubs, but before dinner we needed to put our bags down and check out our new room.
Cabin, Dismeet, Dinner oh my!!
Unfortunately with all of the running and trying to find our way I did not take any pictures of our room when we first got in. And since we changed rooms on Day 3, more on that later, I never did take any pictures of our first cabin.
We booked a deluxe inside cabin, cabin 9579, we wanted to check out the new virtual porthole and since we had an inside cabin last time and it worked well for our family we thought we would try it again this time. Only this time we wanted the split bathroom which was a great addition for getting ready. Our room was in a great location and I would recommend it to anyone. It was located Midship in one of the side hallways. So there was hardly anyone ever outside our door. Being so close to Midship elevators I was nervous about the noise, but we did not hear anything.
When we arrived in our room most of our bags had arrived so it was time for another repeat moment from the Wonder, an order of a cheese platter and some big island cookies from room service to munch on while we unpacked ( so much for being full, LOL)…
The room fit our needs great. The porthole was a fun touch. DD was obsessed with watching it every time we were in the room.
To accommodate for the lack of drawers (there is only a small desk with 4 drawers total) and my over packing we requested more hangers from our room steward, he quickly brought us a handful more and it worked great. They also raised the legs on the bed which was wonderful; we were able to store our entire luggage underneath the bed and we kept one small duffle bag for items that we were not using frequently but would need. The bathrooms had plenty of storage space.
Before too long it was time for our DIS meet at Vista Café. In my true fashion I was running a minute or two behind and when I arrived there were DISer’s everywhere. I was in charge of the custom lanyards for our group and needed to pass out 137 landyards before the drill.
It was great to put some faces to names of DISers that I had been talking to for the last year. There are so many wonderful people on these boards!!
After the meet we needed to make our way down to the drill, lucky for us this time our meet was in Buena Vista Theater. So we all piled in for our quick meet and then the mad dash up on deck for the sail away party.
Unfortunately I had not brought my camera to the DIS meet and when we went to the drill I did not grab it from the room so I had no camera during Sail Away:sad:.
One quick note about Sail Away those CM’s get a great aerobic workout during that show and should really be commended on what a great job they do getting 4,000 people excited about sailing away!! And just as fast as it all started the horn blew and we were sailing away!!
So we stood there for a moment after sail away and felt like we had not done anything “fun” yet, DD suggested mini golf and that was where we were heading next!!
It was very windy so playing mini golf was pretty interesting. Sorry to the family behind us as we were chasing our ball up and down the deck…
After our round of goofy golf we headed back to our room to clean up for the evening.
We stopped in for Mirror Mirror in D Lounge which if I remember correctly we also watched on the Wonder.
This time was even more fun because DD got to participate.
She was able to participate in finish that song. Her team won!!
One of my favorite parts of DCL is the interaction with the characters and how you get up close and personal with them. DD loves this part too and thought it was so cool that Dopey was so close to her.
After Mirror Mirror we headed to the theater to watch tonight’s show which was A Fantasy Come True, it was variety show of all the different shows and acts for the week.
Our dining rotation this cruise was ERAERRA, which meant tonight was in Enchanted Gardens. Prior to the cruise this seemed like it would be my least favorite restaurant so DH and I booked Palo for our other night in Enchanted. It turned out I actually liked this restaurant a lot.
(the waiter you see in the background was Boran our waiter for the week)
We had one of the booth seats in the front entrance.
The restaurant is decorated like a garden and at the start of your meal it is daylight and then during your meal it turns into evening. It is a beautiful transformation.
Our waiter Boran (who by the way was amazing, loved him) had told us that it did not change during first seating. We did notice throughout the cruise that they were still trying to work out some kinks on the ship so maybe this was one of them.
For Apps DS and I ordered the Lobster Ravioli and thought it was great.
DD was doing Dine and Play so she ordered from the Kids Menu. It must have come fast because I did not get a picture of it and did not write down what she got.
For entrée’s DH and I ordered the Prime Rib and it was very good (there is just no good way to photograph a prime rib). DS had the scallops and loved them. He ate his cruise fare in seafood this cruise.
For dessert DS and I both had the Chocolate Torte and DH had the Bananas Foster sundae which he said was eeh.
After dessert DS quickly vanished to his club and DH found ourselves kidless for the evening. We sat at the restaurant and enjoyed our coffee for a bit.
(I love the place settings)
After enjoying our moment of peace DH and I decided to head over to The Tube for Match your Mate.
When we arrived it was pretty crowded and getting to almost standing room only. We were able to find a seat towards the front of the club.
Match your mate is a lot of fun, we laughed so hard. It was a great time. I love this new area on the ship. DH and I spent every evening here.
After Match your Mate DH and I both felt the long day catch up with us so we went and picked DD up from the club and then headed back to the room for our nightly ritual of cookies and milk from room service.
We gave DS a midnight curfew and he came in on time. It was a great first day.
Next up: A Day at Sea!!
Great start! :thumbsup2 Looking forward to the rest! popcorn::
Really enjoying reading about your trip. Can't wait for more!
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