A Christmas Vacation Fantasy
I haven't written a trip report before but absolutely love reading other trip reports so I thought it was my turn. However this will be short and sweet.
Cruise-Disney Fantasy Eastern Dec 15-22/2012
Day 1-Flew into MCO on Friday evening and stayed at Hyatt. Very convenient and since we got in late a perfect choice. Do be aware that most of the food places close in the later evening. We got in around 10 pm and only had 2 dinner options, thankfully Chikfila was one of them.
Day 2-Embarkation Day. We woke up early to be sure we were on the first Disney Bus. This was our first time doing the disney transfers and we actually preferred it to renting a care which is what we typically have done on our Disney cruises. Disney Transfers were just easier, less stress. I believe they opened around 8:30. We got to the terminal around 10:30 and were let in immediately. We were one of the first in the doors and which I thought would give us an early boarding pass but no. When I chose online my terminal check in time I chose the earliest available, 12:00. Your boarding pass goes off of that not your terminal arrival time. Yuck! However the lady we checked in with changed it for us to group 4. Very nice.
We got on the ship and immediately changed into swimsuits, ate some chicken strips and burgers poolside. We even got to ride the Aqua Duck around 1. Lines were light because most people do not pack their suits and carry on themselves. I highly recommend this. We immediately start enjoying the ship and there is hardly anyone enjoying the pools before 3.
We stayed on deck 6 aft in a verandah room and it was fine exactly what we expected. No noises really and we liked staying aft.
Day 2 and 3 were Sea days. We enjoyed both. The weather was ok on Day 2 but good on Day 3. Both days were warm but Day 2 was overcast while day 3 was sunny/cloudy. We loved playing the midship detective agency with our son, the movies, and the trivia games. I run in the mornings and really love Deck 3's running track. Only thing I don't care for are people who do not follow the rules and run/walk in the wrong direction. Collisions can happen I am sure they have around the aft and forward corners.
St. Thomas-was our least favorite island. Excursion was snorkel Turtle cove and half moon bay beach. We did see turtles and enjoyed the snorkeling but the sail over to the beach was too long which made our beach time very limited (2hrs), lunch was just ok. We think it was over priced for what you got too. If we go to St. Thomas again would just do something on our own since everyone speaks english and it felt safe.
Puerto Rico-We loved this island even though it rained (downpour) the first 2 hrs. We did the Disney fort excursion with kids activity. We all loved the fort, my son loved the activity and loved the hour of shopping I got while he was doing his activity. Would do this excursion again or a different fort excursion. Well worth it!
Cast away Cay-unfortunately the weather wasn't cooperating for us and we had maybe an hour on the beach before the wind and rain kicked up. :sad2:
We ended our CC day early along with everyone else. However we have been there several times and now how great it is.
Our final sea day was great weather. Again we enjoyed the pools and poolside food completely.
Restaurants-Food was much better then the Magic and Wonder. A very marked improvement and neither my husband nor I could stop raving about the seabass in Enchanted Garden. Did Palo brunch which was fine but since the dining rooms food was really good this time we actually thought Palo brunch was unnecessary and may not do it on our next Fantasy cruise. Decided not to do Remy but will next cruise maybe in place of Palo.
Animators Palate-do not miss one single night here. We loved it. They have really improved AP (compared to Magic and Wonder) and I didn't think it was possible till I experienced it for myself. Show night is fabulous and a not to missed experience.
Shows-always good and they were all new to us.
Oceaners Lab and club-My 7 yr old son loved them. He thought they were much better then. He spent most of his time in the lab but would go to club if they had an activity he wanted to participate in.
Adult pool-empty so much of the time and same with satellite falls which was our favorite.
Spa-I did a massage and liked it but disappointed I couldn't wait in the rainforest room before my appt. That takes away from the experience so next time will probably just book rainforest time.
Adult activities-there are plenty to choose from. We enjoy the pop culture trivia games and tastings.
Biggest surprise-the animated art work. one moment the picture on the wall is stationary the next it comes alive. Loved the dueling ship and fort pictures the most. Take a stroll to check out the art work it was great!
One Bummer...we will not take another Christmas cruise. The ship was packed and people everywhere all the time. Activities and evening festivities were always crowded. Just adds more stress. Also we didn't feel like Christmas was around the corner till we got off the ship and realized we still had some prep to do befor the holiday. Ship's christmas decorations were nice but it wasn't fabulous, and I prefer mine over theirs. Just something about your christmas decorations and ornaments that bring meaning to the holiday that a Disney cruise just can't replicate.
All in all we love Disney cruises and we loved the Fantasy and just will not go back to the Magic or Wonder unless they have a must do itinerary. We booked onboard as usual for a Fantasy Western April 2014.
Short and sweet but I am happy to answer any questions. :dance3:
Great short report!
You have a point about a Christmas cruise...I've always believed that Christmas is best spent at home as much as I love Disney!:thumbsup2
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