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dgmommie 04-20-2013 11:20 PM

Fantasy - July 12-21, 2012
This is our first trip report to post here on DIS. My husband wrote this report, but he rarely posts on DIS though he does have a name here (OKDisneyDad), so he can't post with pictures. Thus, I am posting the report. He wrote one for this trip, and also for one that we took this past February. I will post that report after this one. Both reports are written; it's just a matter of me posting them with the pictures now.


Trip Members:

Allen (46)  5th cruise on Disney
Debbie (47)  5th cruise on Disney
Blake (just turned 18 on 7/4/12  this was also a high school graduation present)  3rd cruise on Disney
Connor (15)  3rd cruise on Disney
Elyssa (9)  3rd cruise on Disney
Jon (40, Allens Brother who lives in Denver, CO) – 1st cruise on Disney

dgmommie 04-20-2013 11:21 PM

Thursday, July 12th – Travel from Tulsa (Broken Arrow), OK to Dallas, TX
Trying to leave work at 2pm was a challenge for me as everyone decided to bring me their last minute problems. Finally at 2:45pm I was out of there and on my way home to pack last minute items and help load the car to get on the road to Dallas. Connor was driving so he could log some road time towards his driver education for his driver license. He drove for just over 3 hours and was doing great until we hit a downpour. He decided to pull over so I could drive the remaining hour. We stopped in Frisco to make a trip to IKEA and then have dinner at In N Out Burger (a family favorite not available in our hometown). Once we finished dinner, we drove over near DFW airport and found the hotel where we had reservations (Homewood Suites). We were leaving the next morning to fly to Orlando so decided to drive down the night before. When we got near the airport we encountered a huge traffic jam as they were doing road construction near the north entrance to the airport. We had to cut across four lanes of traffic to be able to make a U-turn in front of the entrance to the airport. Then we had to cut across six lanes of traffic to get over to the exit to the road that went to the hotel. This was all at about 10pm; there were hundreds of cars, and it took about 20 minutes to make it this short distance to the hotel. Finally we made it; good thing our flight tomorrow did not leave till 10:30am. This was a great place as the room had plenty of space for all five of us (Jon was flying from Denver on Friday morning and would meet us in Orlando). The room had two queen beds and a sofa that made into a double bed.

dgmommie 04-20-2013 11:23 PM

Friday, July 13th – Travel from Dallas, TX to Orlando, FL
OK, I know what you are thinking, traveling on Friday the 13th! Well, we could not have had a better trip to Orlando. We woke up, ate breakfast at the hotel, and drove over to long term parking at the airport. We had plenty of time and were not in a hurry. We only waited a few minutes for the parking lot shuttle bus to the airport. The bus made a few stops; then the next stop was for Spirit Airlines. We got off, and then went to the ticket counter. This airline charges you by the bag. When I bought the plane tickets, I also paid for five bags. When we packed everything, we ended up with six bags, so I paid for one more. Earlier this year when looking for plane tickets I happened upon Spirit Airlines who was starting service from Dallas to Orlando. I had been watching ticket prices from Tulsa to Orlando and the prices were outrageous. So, I started looking at options and happened upon a deal that was half the price of flying from Tulsa, we just had to drive to Dallas. With five of us, this was a bargain and kept us from having to drive two days each way to get to Orlando.

After checking the bags, we proceeded to the security lane which was fairly short. Just after we got in line, the line got really long. After 15 minutes we were at the gate and decided to buy a few drinks and snacks to take on the plane. Spirit Airlines charges for everything on the plane, so we just carried on a few things to tide us over. The plane was fairly full, and they were not very generous with the spacing of the seats, so we squeezed in. Before we knew it, the plane was landing in Orlando. We were on time, and it was a smooth ride. As soon as we touched down, I called Jon to make sure he made it. Yes, he landed about 45 minutes before us and was waiting outside of security. We made it off the plane and rode the train to the main building to get our luggage. All the bags made it, so we went down to the rental car counter. I reserved a car at Budget, so we could drop it off tomorrow at the port. We have always had good luck with Budget except for this trip. They tried giving us a small SUV to fit all six of us and seven bags of luggage plus carry-ons. This obviously would not work, so we asked for a minivan (like I reserved) and had to wait about 10 minutes for them to bring one around.

We piled in and were on our way to Downtown Disney for lunch. We went to Earl of Sandwich and were able to find seats after ordering. After filling our tummies with the yummy food, we wandered thru a few stores and decided to go to Disney Quest to kill some time. We have been there before, and each time it seems like they take away some of the magical effects that make it less magical. Now when you go up in the elevators after entering the building, they have covered over the screen that had the video with the Genie. We wandered around, and then rode Buzz Light Year’s Astro Blasters. This is a classic ride where two people ride in an enclosed bumper car that shoots small basketballs; one person drives and the other shoots. The line is usually fairly long since this only accommodates 10-12 people at a time, so we only rode it once. Then we did some of the virtual reality games which were interesting but definitely dated as the technology is not state of the art like when Disney Quest first opened. We did play some arcade games and found a four-way air hockey table. You can have up to four players with each side of the table having a goal. This was really cool, and we played it for awhile. After doing the Jungle Cruise and Pirates of the Caribbean virtual reality games, we decide we had enough. It was about 9pm, and we were hungry. We walked across from Disney Quest and ate at the House of Blues. Luckily there was no wait, so we were seated and had a good dinner. Their menu is decent, but it was a little pricy for all six of us. Oh well, after tomorrow we would not have to worry about paying a lot for meals. After dinner we headed to the Hampton Inn near Downtown Disney. I reserved two rooms since there were six of us. Now that we have teenagers you can’t just tell them they are sleeping on the floor like when they were younger. First day of the trip is over, and everything went great.

dgmommie 04-20-2013 11:29 PM

Saturday, July 14th – Drive to Port Canaveral and board the Disney Fantasy!
This was one of those mornings when we did not have any problem waking up; even the teenagers were up without having to threaten them. We packed up everything and put on the luggage tags for the ship. We put everything in the car, and then ate breakfast in the lobby with all of the other people who were going to the parks. This has got to be the largest breakfast dining area I have seen at a Hampton Inn, and it was packed! We got in line and got our food; we found a few seats on a sofa in the lobby and took turns so some of us could sit and eat. After seeing all of these people, we were glad we were not going to the parks. We usually go to WDW in the off season, and now I know why. After eating we got in the car and made a stop at a CVS Pharmacy to grab last minute items before heading towards the port.

We pulled up to the Disney terminal at 10:30am and were in a short line to drop off. We gave them our passports and cabin numbers, and they checked us in. Next we dropped off the bags, and everyone got out and headed into the terminal. I drove over to Budget to drop off the car. They had a bit of a line inside, and it took about 20 minutes to turn in the car. Then I got on the shuttle bus and made it back to the terminal. After a short line thru security, I made it up the escalator and found everyone. They had already checked me in. Since they had our photos from last years cruise on file, I did not need to take a picture.

We had boarding number 3, and it was time for us to board at 11:30am. We took our boarding picture, and then were introduced onto the ship. We were on the Dream last year so were fairly familiar with the ships layout. We took the midship elevators up to deck 11, and then walked slowly to the back of the ship. We entered Cabanas and noticed that they were not open yet; we walked around to the other side, and saw they were having a meeting with the crew. We have never been on the ship this early; we were one of the only ones on the ship. After a few minutes they started opening up. We had lunch and then explored the ship.

We went up to the Outlook on deck 14, then checked out the Edge on deck 13. Then we went to the Oceaneers Club and Lab to check in Elyssa. We played some of the computer games and checked out the different rooms; I am still amazed at the detail they have gone to in each room.

In the picture you will see Elyssa outside Pepes door. The door is just down the hall from the kids clubs. Make sure you look for it. Then find his phone number and call the number from your wave phone or stateroom phone. When you do, be sure to choose all of the options available, some more than once. There are some great things on there!

It was finally 1:30pm, so we went down to deck 2 to check out the rooms. We were in 2506 and 2508, right next to the forward elevators, and it was super convenient. We did not have any problems with noises or anything else; this was a perfect location, and I would definitely book these rooms again. We had adjoining rooms with a connecting door; the windows had a wide ledge with a pad, so you could sit in the window. This was Elyssas favorite place, and I have a lot of pictures during the cruise with her sitting in the window.

Before we knew it, it was time for the lifeboat drill. We were in the theatre, so we just had to walk up one flight of stairs, and we were there. After the drill we went to deck 12 to watch the Sail-Away Party.

We watched as the Disney port cast members were outside waving to the ship (love this part) and then watched as the ship headed out to sea. We went back to the room and relaxed for a bit before dinner. We had late seating and were in Royal Palace the first night. We had Dewayne from Jamaica as our server and Francisco (Franco) from Dominican Republic as our assistant server. They were both great and worked well as a team. They kept things moving, and we never had to wait very long for food and drinks and gladly shared information about the ship. I cant remember what we had to eat as we did not take pictures of what we had, but everything was good. After dinner we took Elyssa to the lab, and then Debbie and I went to Match Your Mate in The Tube. This is one of our favorite adult shows as there are usually some interesting couples who play this game (it is similar to the Newlywed Show show, only it is for newly married as well as long-time married). We really wanted to play so we yelled and cheered but were not lucky enough to be one of the three couples. Several cruises ago we were contestants and had a great time; we were known as couple #2 during that cruise as many people recognized us often around the ship after the game. The contestants on this cruise did not disappoint, and the show was very entertaining. After that we walked around the ship, and then it was time to pick up Elyssa from the lab and head back to the room. As usual, we had a towel animal on the bed to greet us.

dgmommie 04-20-2013 11:31 PM

Sunday, July 15th – Day at Sea (Formal Night)
I can’t remember where we had breakfast (probably Cabanas – it is a favorite place to eat), but Connor and I went to the Animation Class in D Lounge mid-morning and had fun. They showed a video where they had over 50 Disney characters, and we tried to identify all the characters. Then we started drawing some characters. After the class we went to the Disney Tune Trivia; Connor and I did OK, but there were several groups that did better than us. Then we went back to D Lounge to play Bingo, and of course did not win anything.

Elyssa and I then did the Muppets Mystery Game that is part of the Mid-Ship Detective Agency and had fun going all over the ship. We were able to narrow down the suspects, and then guessed who was guilty and were correct.

Then Elyssa went to the Princess Gathering. This is a chance for kids to meet all six of the Disney Princesses at one time. One by one they take pictures and talk with all of them. This is a tradition for Elyssa as she has pictures with Belle (her favorite) on all of the cruises she has been on, and the pictures hang on her bedroom wall.

After it was lunch time, and we ate in Cabanas. Later in the afternoon, Elyssa went to Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique for a makeover. This is one of the many extras that the Fantasy has and the Dream does not. She had fun and looked beautiful for this evening’s formal night at dinner. Connor and I went to the rainforest in the spa and enjoyed the saunas, showers and tiled loungers. Then we rode the Aquaduck twice as the line was fairly long.

We were in Animator’s Palate for dinner and got to see the interactive show with Crush and the other Finding Nemo characters; we saw this on the Dream last year, and it was just as good this time. After dinner we went back to the room, and the towel animals were waiting for us again.

dgmommie 04-20-2013 11:32 PM

Monday, July 16th – Day at Sea
For breakfast we ate at Enchanted Garden, then we went to O’Gills to play Giant Jenga. There were a bunch of people who wanted to play, so we split into two teams. Everyone took a turn, and it got interesting as the stack got taller, and all of the easy moves were gone. The ship was moving as we were going full speed, so the stack stared to sway a bit. Finally it was one of the crew member’s turn, and the stack toppled. This is always an interesting game to play on a moving cruise ship.

Dinner this evening was in Enchanted Garden. This is a nice dining room that changes from daylight to evening, and the lights open up like the flowers on a moonvine. We have a moonvine in our backyard at home, and I like to see it in the evening as it changes. After dinner, Franco amazed us with his entertainment as he balanced 2 forks on a toothpick that was hanging from a water glass. Every night he would amaze us with tricks or puzzles that we would sit there for awhile trying hard to figure out. Sometimes we’d be able to figure out the answer, but most times he’d have to tell us. After we left the dining room, we went back to the room, and there was a gorilla towel animal in one of our rooms and an Eskimo in the other. After that Debbie and I walked around the upper decks, and I snapped a few pictures. Then it was time for bed; we have a busy day planned tomorrow.

dgmommie 04-20-2013 11:51 PM

Tuesday, July 17th – Sint Maarten/Saint Martin
Land Ho! I got up and then wandered to the upper decks to watch the ship pull into port. It was sunny and warm outside. As I took pictures I noticed the camera lens was fogged over from the air conditioning inside, and it took awhile for it to warm up to the outside temperature. Connor and I wandered around, took pictures, and admired the beautiful blue water in the harbor and the mountains on the island.

We all went to breakfast, and then got ready to disembark for our tour of the island. We met the Bernard’s Tours folks and waited for a few others. Around 9am we walked over to the tour bus along with another 8-10 folks in our group. On the bus were two coolers filled with water, soft drinks, beer, and rum punch.

Sexy (yes, that was his name!) was our driver and tour guide. He told us briefly about the tour for the day, and then we headed out of the port area. We drove for 10-15 minutes to our first stop, the iguana farm. We pulled into a rustic area off of the main road; the iguanas were towards the back near a small pond. There were probably 50-60 of them, and they were not timid. We spent about 10 minutes, and then it was back on the bus.

We continued on the road and then crossed the border from the Dutch side to the French side. We then made a brief stop at an overlook by Oyster Pond.

Blake and I decide to try a rum punch, so Sexy poured us each a small cup. It was more like a shot than a drink (it was in a Dixie cup). It was also more rum than punch, and very strong.

We were now headed towards Le Galion where we made a brief stop to look at the bay. There were also a few ocean critters that were right by the edge of the water.
(This was our tour guide, Sexy.)

After a few pictures we got back on the bus and drove to Orient Beach. As we were approaching the beach, there was the clothing optional part of the beach and then the rest of the beach. We obviously stayed on our side of the beach, although the boys were trying to peak over on the other side. There is plenty of distance between the two areas, so no problems with any unwanted views. The most (least?) we saw was a man wearing a thong on the clothing beach. We were not planning on swimming today, so we just sat in a covered area at one of the restaurants/bars and enjoyed a few drinks. Since the legal drinking age here is very subjective, we let Blake and Connor enjoy an adult beverage. No alcohol for Elyssa – we do have our limits. Blake had a “sex on the beach” and Connor a mint mojito. Blake loved his drink. Connor slowly made his way thru his drink; he said he liked it, but from the incredibly slow speed he drank it, it was quite obvious he didn’t.

After an hour or so, we loaded up on the bus and then drove for about 30 minutes. We went thru Grand Case and then towards Marigot. There was a place to pull over on the side of the road, and we got out for a few minutes to take a few pictures.

They we went into Marigot and had a 30 minute break to grab something to eat. We walked to the bakery and noticed that they were without power. Evidentially this happens fairly frequently. We ordered some pastries and ate them quickly as it was time to get back on the bus.

Next up was the highlight of the whole day, Maho Beach. This is the famous beach next to the end of the airport runway. This is one of the items that was on Jon’s “bucket list” and one of the main reasons he was so easy to convince to come with us on this cruise. As we were getting close we saw a 747 take off; too bad we were not at the beach yet. We got off the bus and had about 30 minutes to be there. There was a plane from Miami and then one from Dallas that were scheduled to land. We waited and waited but neither one appeared. We did see a few small propeller planes that landed. It was time to leave, so we started walking back to the bus and some told us that we could stay for a little longer. Yay! We walked back to the beach and then saw a 757 that was leaving the airport terminal. Jackpot! We were standing on the beach behind the runway and watched the plane taxi to the end of the runway. I could only imagine the people on the plane wondering why everyone was watching the plane take-off. I ducked down a little to avoid some of the sand from the blast. Wow, that was incredible!

It was now after 2pm, and we had to start heading back to Phillipsburg. We went around the airport and then to Simpson Bay. We made a quick stop to take pictures from the top of the hill.

Now we were headed to Rima Beach World; this was a local souvenir store, and we had about 20 minutes to shop. The prices were very reasonable, and we were able to find something for everyone very quickly. Then we loaded back up to head to the port; it was about 3: 30 when we got back to the port. What a day! Blake, Connor, and Jon decided to go back to the ship.

Allen, Debbie and Elyssa decided to do some quick shopping in Phillipsburg; we rode the boat across the bay to the main dock. We found Hard Rock and got t-shirts, then looked at jewelry where Debbie bought a clasp for her Pandora bracelet. We also saw the Yoda Guy store and then decided to start heading back. The Bernard Tour was one of the most exciting excursions we have ever done. We got to see most of the island and had a fairly relaxed day (did not feel rushed). This is one of the most beautiful islands I have been to and would not hesitate spending a week on the island to explore. Having only been on 3-4 night cruises to Nassau and Castaway Cay, St. Maarten was a welcome pleasure.

Dinner was in Royal Palace again, and it was the pirate night dinner. We enjoyed dinner and then went to the upper decks to watch the fireworks. The area around the pools was very crowded for the pirate show, so we just waited along the side of the ship for the fireworks to start. They lasted for about 15 minutes and were spectacular. After that we went to Cabanas for the late night buffet and enjoyed the many deserts they had. Then back to the room for tonight’s towel animal (a dog).

dgmommie 04-20-2013 11:56 PM

Wednesday, July 18th – St. Thomas
We woke up and looked out the window to see the ship pulling into the port. It was another beautiful stop with a blue water and interesting scenery. We got ready for our morning excursion we had made a last minute decision to do the day before. We signed up for the Screaming Eagle jet boat ride. Jon suggested it, and it was a blast! Allen, Jon and Connor met in O’Gills for the tour group around 8am. We then grabbed towels (you will need them), and followed the group off the ship and to the beginning of the pier where the boat was waiting for us.

We did not know what to expect. They were selling sunglasses with straps, and we decided to get some. Good thing as this was the only way to see as the water was splashing in your face. We got on the boat and then headed to the middle of the bay. Then the captain picked up the speed and made a sharp turn that turned the boat around and sprayed everyone. This was a great way to wake-up. Then we continued around the bay and made some more turns. Then we made a sudden stop which brought a wall of water over the front of the boat; if anything was still dry before this stop it was now totally soaked. We then went behind a float plane that was getting ready to take off in the bay and got blasted as it took off. We then went around some of the small islands near the bay and then headed back. It was about a 45 minute trip and was a good way to see this side of the island from the water. We then got off the boat and gathered our things (they will watch your stuff as you do not want to bring anything that cannot get wet). We headed back to the ship and took showers to get rid of all of the sea water. It was time for breakfast, so we went to Enchanted Garden as Dwayne and Franco were working there this morning.

Then we decided to go do some shopping and explore St. Thomas. There was a large shopping area right next to the port. We wandered around and found a post office, so we bought a post card and stamp and then sent it to ourselves to see who got home first. It turns out that we lost as the post card was waiting for us when we got home; that was fast!

We took a taxi into town to see what stores they had. It was mostly jewelry and souvenir stores and nothing too exciting. As we were driving towards town I noticed that they drive on the left side of the road; this seemed weird as all of the cars were us with the steering wheel on the left. After buying a few things we found a taxi to get back to the port. This one was an open air taxi on the back of a truck. There were a lot of these, and they were able to accommodate a lot of people. We got back on the ship, and Allen and Elyssa decided to try the Aquaduck. There was a bit of a line, so we gave it a try, then the conveyor that takes the rafts to the top got stuck, so we had to carry them up the stairs with us. This worked out OK as we were about the only ones riding at this point.

Then Elyssa went to the Oceaneer Lab, and Debbie and I went to the Rainforest area in the Spa. We were sitting in one of the hot tubs as the ship was sailing away from St. Thomas. What a beautiful view!

We went back to the room to change and we got dressed for dinner. Before dinner we went to the Hypnosis Show with Ricky Kalmon. He had a great show and was very interesting. At the beginning of the show he asked for volunteers; Blake decided to go up there and was doing some of the things under hypnosis. After a bit it, wasn’t working anymore, so he came back to sit with us. I was impressed that Blake decided to go up on stage; he usually isn’t the type of person to want to do something like that.

Dinner tonight was in Animator’s Palette with the animation show where everyone creates a cartoon character and then turns it in so they can bring it to life. This was very impressive with the technology they used to bring them to life.

After dinner we returned to the room to find a frog and a stingray for towel animals.

dgmommie 04-20-2013 11:58 PM

Thursday, July 19th – Day At Sea
Today was our last full day at sea so I went out first thing in the morning to take so pictures and enjoy the quiet ship before everyone was up.

Breakfast was next, and then Connor and I played Goofy mini golf. Later it was time for lunch, and then Connor and I went to the towel folding class in the Tube; our stateroom host was teaching the class.

dgmommie 04-21-2013 12:00 AM

Friday, July 20th – Castaway Cay
It was a warm day, and the ship pulled into the dock at Castaway Cay. We had breakfast, and then got ready to get off the ship and enjoy the island.

The family beach was packed, something that happens with the Fantasy and Dream due to the number of people on the ship. We found seats near Pelican Pier, and settled in for the day. The weather was really hot, but random sprinkles would come and cool us off. After lunch, Allen, Jon, Blake and Connor had reservations for the wave runner tour to the other side of the island. This was a lot of fun as we got going very fast across the water. It was fairly smooth although we did hit a few waves that made us hold on tight. Allen and Connor shared a wave runner, and Blake and Jon each had their own. This is definitely an excursion we will try again.

dgmommie 04-21-2013 12:01 AM

Saturday, July 21th – Port Canaveral (Disembarkation)
It was hard to believe that the week was up, and we were back in Florida. This was a great trip and we enjoyed spending time with my brother Jon. We decided to have one last breakfast with our servers in Royal Palace. Then it was time to leave the ship. After going thru customs, we waited in a long line for the rental car shuttle. Then we got to the Budget location and had to wait about an hour for them to have a car that was ready. Good thing we were not in a hurry to get to the airport. We finally got a car and then piled in and went back to Downtown Disney to kill some time and do a little shopping. Then we started heading back to the airport. We had lunch at Chili’s in the airport, and then said our goodbye to Jon and headed to the gate. We were delayed about an hour before leaving and then made it to DFW. After gathering our luggage and taking the shuttle to the remote parking lot, we got in our car and started the drive home. It was very late, but we stopped by the In N Out Burger in Frisco as it was still open and got some food to go. Then it was a 3 and a half hour drive home. Another great trip, and we made it home safely!


rmcildw2m 04-21-2013 07:58 AM

I did this same cruise a year ago today , it was so awesome being on the first of the new sailings of the fantasy . I know you and your family have enjoyed it as well . Thanks for sharing .

debbieb04 04-26-2013 09:38 PM

I enjoyed your trip report, thank you for sharing.

aschaefer 05-14-2013 08:19 PM

Disney Fantasy here we come!

Cheryl726 05-14-2013 10:11 PM

Wow St. Maarten looks beautiful! I would love to do a 7nt cruise with that itinerary someday, as I too have mostly done the 4nt Bahamas! My boys would love the iguana farm, but I don't think 10 minutes would be long enough for them! Do you remember if it was really warm when you were there that time of year? Thanks!

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