To the Fantasy & Beyond: Private Mixology; Beer Exchange; July 20, 2013
I loved all the trip reports I read prior to our second Disney cruise. Hope this helps some fellow travelers.
Our Motley Crew:
Eight adults (grandma, grandpa, four brothers, two wives).
Eight children (14, 14, 11, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5).
16 in all. Spread out over 6 rooms on the 10th floor.
Going to start with some items/events that stood out and then will do a day by day.
Hope you enjoy!
Beer Exchange Pics
Day One - Debarture & Embarkation
Boot Camp/Body Sculpt/Gym & Exercise Report
Cruise Meet & Muster Drill
Day One Night Time Fun: Beer Mugs, Funnel Vision & Aqua Duck
First Sea Day Morning
Palo Brunch & Formal Night Prep & Pics
Royal Court Dinner, Karoke & Return of the Titans
I noticed a thread on the boards about a Beer Exchange. I LOVED this idea, so proposed it to our cruise meet. Nine people agreed to bring a 12 pack of a local/favorite beer to share.
Transport of Beer
We were flying so had to look into options for checking beer. Found a beer shipping box and ordered two - the shipping of the boxes cost more than the actual boxes. It looked secure enough but we also added some bubble wrap & a large plastic bag around the Styrofoam. I threw it around a bit with the beer & it seemed sound. Marked it up fragile (Must be Italian).
Our choice of beer was Boulevard Pale Ale produced by a local Kansas City company. It is one of their signature beers and very tasty.
Location of Beer Exchange
We initially scheduled the Exchange for 2:00 pm on our first sea day (2nd day of the trip) at the Cove Cafe which is located on the adult deck near the adult pool. It is a coffee shop/bar. There was talk that they might not appreciate us with our beer not bought on the ship. We thought maybe a room but that might not be too comfortable and apparently nobody was staying in the Walt Disney suite. :)
I emailed the lady (Alma) from DCL who helped us set up our private mixology and asked for a room for 15 people for a "gift exchange." She offered us the Outlook located on the top deck of the ship, near the Edge. So that works.
The room itself was fine. If I had gotten there earlier, I would have arranged the chairs to open it up a bit. It was a very business meeting like set up. But what a fun great room.
We started by setting up the beers on different tables. Everyone introduced themselves and their beers. There was quite a variety - Wisconsin, Florida, NJ, KS & MO. Then we walked around the room and picked up the beers and filled up our beer containers.
People opened a few & we shared. I had coasters made for the event and each family got one. It lasted about an hour and it was nice b/c now we knew some more people - all who loved beer!
Cleaned up the room a bit and we took off.
Love the idea. I am a bit of a beer lover (and wine lover I guess too) myself. Might have to try it on our cruise. Love Boulevard. Pretty common where I am from. One of the best wheat beers out there IMHO. Looking forward to the rest of the TR!
A beer exchange sounds great - we are doing a candy/chocolate exchange on our first day but I love the idea of something a bit more 'adult' (would say grown up but men+beer is often anything but ;) )
We are working with Alma too - isn't she just great?
Pics of Beer Exchange
The beer mats are great, did you design those yourself? Very professional :thumbsup2
Day One - Departure & Embarkation
After furious planning for months, the day had arrived for our departure. My alarm went off at 4 a.m. for our 7 a.m. flight. I wanted to feed the kids prior to leaving for the airport, so we sat down to some sausage, peaches & cinnamon rolls! We had packed the car the night before so we basically just rolled into the car.
Curbside check-in was open when we pulled up to the curb, so I jumped out with luggage and kids while Steve parked the car. For five people, we had six pieces of luggage and three boxes! Fish Extenders & Beer Exchange took up a lot of room. As we were finishing with check-in, the other members of our family pulled up in their shuttle.
We ended up meeting at the gate where the kids watched some television and the adults were all in a flutter with excitement. The plane ride was uneventful and we arrived at MCO at 10:30. We made our way to the bus where we were loaded promptly & headed for Port.
The terminal was pretty empty as we headed up at 12:30 and we were onboard at 1:00 p.m. We were able to take a pic of the whole family on the stairs and it turned out great.
Enchanted Garden Lunch
On our previous cruise, we never ate at any of the MDR's for breakfast or lunch and that was part of my cruise bucket list. So we headed to Enchanted Garden for a buffet lunch. I ordered the drink of the day thinking it would be some fruity yumminess but it was a gin and basil drink. I only drank half.
The buffet was fine. I was able to make a big salad and enjoyed some seafood as well. Our group scattered & my family made it's way to our two adjoining staterooms.
Can't wait to read more, we Sail Oct 12th Can't stop thinking about it
On our Dream cruise we had a family stateroom for five and that felt pretty crowded. This time it was adjoining staterooms with a veranda. And wow - these rooms feel small.
No luggage yet but we had the following on our desk/dresser:
I was highly unorganized for our first cruise so I really wanted to stay on top of it for this one. We put all necessary paperwork in Steve's backpack and trashed the rest.
I had a list of things I wanted to accomplish that afternoon which included:
Steve took off with the kids to get kids club bands and explore the ship while I worked on my to-do list.
We met Marissa our stateroom host who was very sweet and accommodating. Our room was located next to the "towel" room so there were always people around our front door. No problem - you couldn't hear them or anything. Then my SIL & I set off for the gym.
We entered the raffle and spoke to the trainer about the boot camp class and spinning class. They open up the list for the spinning class at 5 pm the night prior to class. For the bootcamp, you sign up for a class or for the week. We both signed up for the week.
Off to the reservation desk for hair appointments. The formal day hair appointments go quick. We were able to book three appointments for late morning.
A quick drink of the day - this time fruity & yummy - at the adult pool capped off our afternoon before we headed for our Cruise Meet.
Love the trip report! Looking forward to reading more as we are sailing on the Fantasy next month!
Did you find the pools too crowded for your kids? After reading some other posts on the cruise board I'm a little concerned about overcrowding..
Thanks for reading!
Boot Camp, Exercise Room, etc. . . .
I am active at home and wanted to keep that up on the ship. On the Dream, it seemed that all the classes were quite full quite quickly, so I went to the gym straight-away to find out the scoop on classes.
I spoke to Regina who is the only trainer on board and teaches all the classes. She suggested the boot camp class which was offered every day. It says on the Navigator: nominal fee. The cost for four classes was $140, so I would not call that nominal - I would call that substantial. But you did get to go to all six if you paid for the four. Or each individual class was $50 and you could pick and choose.
My SIL and I both decided to sign up for the whole week of boot camp. It was offered at 9:00 a.m. each day except for Cozumel & Castaway Cay when it was at 8:00 a.m.
On the first sea day, we showed up at the gym at 8:50 a.m. & there were six others waiting to take the class. Regina showed us the exercises we would be doing and gave us suggestions on the size of the weights. We then followed her up to the basketball court where class would be held. So everyone waiting in the AuqaDuck got a good view of us working our butts off.
Basically it was a 35-40 minute boot camp class that incorporated weights, body weight, stretching and ab work. It was a great workout that really got my heart rate up.
That being said - I only went three times (1st day at sea, Costa Maya & Castaway Cay). Either I was up and not feeling so great or I wanted to spend that breakfast and early morning time with my kids. If I did it all over again, I would go a couple of times and then just use Deck 4 for walking. Which I used every day & loved. It was never crowded early in the morning and fun to see the ship so quiet.
The gym is crazy at the beginning of the cruise and seemed to be a ghost town on the last two days.
There are yogo & ab classes offered at 7 a.m. on the pool deck every morning. Got a shot although I did not participate.
Howdy from a former KCite!! :wave2: I'm not a beer fan but had the opportunity to see the Boulevard Brewery one time...its really cool! The beer exchange is a really great idea!
$140 is a nominal fee!??!?!? Holy mackerel! Good for you for keeping up your exercise routine on the ship.
Can't wait to hear more about your trip.
Jill in CO
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