Fantasy Cruise - April 6-13
Just got off the Fantasy ship on Saturday. Thought I would give you some thoughts of the cruise.
My DW and i departed the midwest on Thursday afternoon the 4th for our 1250 mile drive to Port Canaveral for the cruise departing on the 6trh. Split the drive up and stopped over in Tupelo MS for the evening. Stayed at the Holiday Inn Select there. Nice room with free breakfast!
Got on the road about 7am for the 740 miles. Let me tell you, from my experiences if you are in Memphis take 78 East (great drive) and then highway 231 south instad of hitting the interstate to atlanta. I made great time. On 231 you do drive through some towns, but it is far better than the mess in Atlanta.
Anyway, got to the Inn and Garden Suites at the Orlando Airport at about 8:30pm. Picked up our DD from the airport at about 11:30pm.
Got up on the 6th and departed the hotel about 10am. Arrived at the cruise terminal at about 10:55am. Check-in was easy as normal and we only waited a little while to board. At 11:30 they called our boarding number, number #1 (Platinum)! Got on board very qucikly.
Our dinner rotation was ROAROAR and we had main dining. Our server was Santos and the Asst Server was Julio. More on the service in a minute.
Got in our room, room 7570 a midship room at 1pm. Don' recall the room steward's name but he did do a pretty good job. Luggage arrived at around 2pm, pretty early condering the number of cruisers on board. Drill was at 3:45, the nice thing about room 7570 is that your assigned drill letter is F! Meaning you get to meet in the Walt Disney Theater for the drill! You get to sit IF you arrive early like we do.
The deck party starts pretty much after the drill but we don't attend anymore. Been there, done that I guess.
At 5pm, we headed out for our 7-day cruise. So we thought......
So, as we thought we left port at approximately 5pm. Our dinner time was at 5:45 so we got dressed and went to dinner. Service was extremely slow the first night, at about 8:00 pm I looked outside right before the evening show and noticed we could still see lights. Usually we are farther out and connot see the lights, at least this close.
After the show we went to the room, it was about 9:30. We went out on the balcony, and to our surprise we were in the canal leading out of Port Canaveral out to sea. Apparently we returned to port to drop off 2 cruisers due to medical issues.
So, we had left port again, this time at around 9:00pm.
We had two days at sea for we would arrive at St. Maarten, followed by San Juan, and then CC.
I would like to stop here for a minute and tell you opinion on the difference between the new ships compared to the older class ships.
First, I was really disappointed in September 2012 when we took our first Fantasy Cruise. A gave the experience up to the fact that the ship and a lot of the crew were new. After the cruise this last week, I am convinced I am a classic cruiser.
If you like the norm and just like to be one of the 4,000 cruises and 1,500 CM's, then these new ships are for you. Don't expect alot of one on one service unless you pay the huge price for concierge. There are just too many folks and too vast of area to get the service that I am used to on my 6 Disney Magic Cruises. They just didn't seem to care that we were on board.
For example, as a Platinum guest we are offered a choice of sparkeling wine, a small box of chocolates, or a fruit plate. On the Magic, I request a box of the chocolates for me and the fruit plate for the DW. I explained that my DW doesn't care for the chocolate, and prefers the fruit plate. On the Magic, a beautiful plate of SLICED fruit consisting of many types of fruit and of course my chocolate. I was expecting the same from the Fantasy, but no! I did get my chocolates, but the fruit plate was whole fruit consisting of 2 apples, 2 oranges, 1 pear, and 1 banana. We ate one pear and banana. Terribly disappointed!!
Dinner service was also a disappointment. There was the goal to provide excellent service speach, but they NEVER went the extra mile. On the first night, my DD gave me the lemon provided her in her tea. She isn't a fan of lemons. They never caught on during the cruise. Everytime my DD got a refill there was lemon. And my Diet Coke, which always had a lemon from my DD, never had a lemon. Not my expectation of Disney.
And, by the way, my DD could have said no lemon. That wan't the point, that's not excellent service. Also, my DW is NOT a fish eater at all! Every night, the server pushed fish on my DW, which she never got. Let's just say she ate a lot of sirloin steak. Also, the wait staff would not give us what we ordered, but what someone else from the table ordered.
Our Head Server was a nice girl, about 25ish, zero managment skills. Would ask if we liked our meal, we would give the standard, it was fine comment. Because it was fine! Not excellent. She never did the deep dive to find ourt how to do better. For our first cruise ever, we did not give excellent marks for dining. To add to these issues, very little of the food was served hot. I had a baked potato that the butter did not melt.
Uggg, I need a break for a minute. I will start back in a minute.
I did a back-2-back cruise on the Fantasy. And I will say the service we had was great and we got one on one service(I feel) and weren't concierge. So I like reading your view on the cruise. As for servers I will say I've had worse servers on the smaller ships then I had on the Fantasy so far, and all the servers I've had after 19 cruises were good, some on the Wonder were just a little less good:lmao:
I'm interested to hear what you thought of San Juan, we loved that port. We are either looking into a cruise on Magic from there or Fantasy that goes to Jamaica
I did not feel that OUR staff aboard the fantasy lived up to the new standard that George and Jose established. And, by the way I do my best to support my statements with facts when I submit a trip report. And, yes on the Magic I have had service not so excellent, but nothing compared to the service on the Fantasy on either of my two cruises. I really think that the distance CM's have to walk and the tightness of the table locations add additional stress to their jobs. I am in know way trying to speak for all servers on the Fantasy. More to come....
Feel free to check out my trip report if you want. I know I love seeing how different trips are.
We also were on this sailing and I have to agree with you for the most part. We are used to fantastic, over the top super service on DCL. For the most part it was great but our dining room servers left a little 'meat on the bone' shall we say.
We are still not sure what happened that required us to turn around. Some in our group heard 4 short blasts followed by one long one right after muster and I heard a Bright Star around 7pm as the first show was letting out. We did notice a coast guard escorting us back in too. Any idea what happened? We seemed to sit in port for a bit too before leaving.
As for San Juan - we LOVED it! Have been many times before but were happy to show our kids around. Hired a taxi - retired firefighter - 2hrs for our party of 7 was $100.00 and he took us everywhere. Including Quinones (sp) which was really neat to see.
Did hear from a few CMs that Channing Tatum will be on within the next few weeks to film.
As far as the broadway shows go, I would recommend Aladdin with two thumbs up and give Believe a one thumbs up. The Genie is great in both! We sit through Wishes but it is kind of pieced together in my opinion.
Palo Brunch was incredible, even when compared to the Magic. The new space is just really nice. They offer more entrees than on the Magic and the views are awesome.
At St. John we did the Best of St. Thomas Tour and Shopping. We didn't do much shopping. The tour was nice with 3 stops along the route for pictures.
San Juan was really nice. We did the El Yunque Rainforest Tour and Hike. Wasn't much of a hike but the area we walked was really nice. There visited a tour and was able to walk up the 96-steps to take some pictures.
After that tour we walked over to the San Cristobel Fortress. The extrance cost is just $5 for adults and $3 for kids. Some really great pictures and a cheap way to see San Juan. It's work the little money to get in the place. You can just leave the ship and walk to the Fortress, you can't miss it.
We arrived at the port around 6:45 am and departed about 5:30 pm. Do NOT miss one of those times to get pictures from the ship. Beautiful Fort Pictures and coastal shots.
Apparently there was a 77 year old man with chest pains and a 6 year old with a diabetic episode that led to us going back to port.
From what I understand, cruise ships will always get an escort when leaving or arriving back at the port in the US (maybe otherwise too) as a means of protection.
We didn't hear the Brightstar announcement, we were finishing dinner at 7pm, but I was standing in line at Guest Services around 7:20pm when Clayton announced we were going back to the port due to a "medical emergency". While back at Port Canaveral, DH and I both powered our phones back up to google the happenings...and folks were already posting in various places online that they got the details through local police scanners and saw an ambulance leaving the port.
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