Sarah's Fantasy come true (9-28 to 10-5)
Who we are: Sarah & Wayne Woodman (ages 30 & 28 ), this was our 3rd Disney cruise (second on the Fantasy). Our first was in 2008 September 28th to October 2nd on the Wonder. Our second was for NYE December 29th to January 5th on the Fantasy. Our latest was September 28th to October 5th on the Fantasy. This is my first trip report, I hope you enjoy!
Thursday September 26, 2013
Chattanooga, TN, after 45min. of sleep in my own bed my alarm goes off at 1:30am. I tap Wayne to wake up and get in the shower and doze back off while he takes his shower. After my shower I finished packing the last minute things like my hair brush and deodorant. By 3:40am the rental car was packed and we were Florida bound. With a few food and gas stops we arrived in Port Orange, FL around 1:30pm for a visit with Wayne’s grandparents. By 3pm we started the 1hr. drive south on I95 to Cocoa Beach, FL. After a quick check in at the comfort inn we unpacked our two days’ worth of stuff in room 609 (with a great view of the beach!) we headed to the beach for a stroll at sunset. For dinner we sought out a place that had alligator, neither of us had ever had it. We found this neat seafood place called Florida Seafood grill and bar. The hostess at the door was nice, she sat us in a great location (it was full of people my grandparent’s age so it was nice and quiet). 10 minutes went by and we still had not been greeted, 15 minutes and Wayne got up and asked the hostess for the manager. I hate complaining but hey those tasty alligator bits were on the house after we waited so long for service! After we got a server to help us all was great! Good food, good service, great overall experience, even though we waited for 15 minutes. After dinner we hit the pillows for an early rise to head into Orlando to SeaWorld.
Friday September 27, 2013 (Our 5 year anniversary)
Beep, beep, beep, alarm went off at 6:30am so we could catch breakfast at the hotel and head off to SeaWorld for opening at 9am. We had about an hour drive into Orlando, we paid $4.50 in tolls.... each way! We got to SeaWorld right at opening and walked in with no wait, we did have a small wait to redeem our dine-all-day tickets. For park tickets and the dine-all-day tickets we paid $176 and change (Special $50 tickets on week days). First we went to feed the dolphins, this was so much fun. You get a little basket (for $7 per person) with 4 or 5 fish and your hold it out (keeping an eye on the birds!) and when a dolphin comes over you pet it before you drop the fish in its mouth. We then made our way to the dolphin show. The dolphin show was our favorite, there was a great story line not just a bunch of tricks…. Although there were plenty of those from dolphins, birds and acrobats! Then we walked around saw some animals and got a bite to eat (had to eat our $32.99 worth!), then off to the killer whale show. What beautiful animals, kind of hard to see them that way but as a little girl I’ve always loved killer whales and had never seen one in person. After the show we headed over to Antarctica to see a few more animals, and then we headed towards the sea lion show but not before we stopped for a burrito (yummy). We came upon the underwater viewing of one the orca tank; by chance it was Tilikum (responsible for the deaths of 3 trainers at SeaWorld and the reason behind why the trainers are not allowed in the water anymore). He was beautiful to look at. He was close up to the window, only the glass between us. After 15 minutes we headed towards the sea lion show. The sea lion show was full of fun and humor, great for kids…. Like us! Wayne then rode the Manta (coaster) and we saw the last of the animals before heading towards the gate around 4pm, but not without a quick snack! Yes we ate our $32.99 worth of food! We actually were amazed not more people had the dine-all-day bracelets. Before heading back to the hotel in Cocoa Beach we drove across the street to say hello Wayne’s cousin Brenda who lives in Florida. We then traveled the 1hr back to the hotel, paid $4.50 in tolls again. Our feet hurt but we took a stroll on the beach before we crashed that night.
Saturday September 28, 2013
Beep, Beep, Beep, the alarm went off at 7am. I think both of us were up and wide awake with excitement. About 8:30am we headed down to eat breakfast at the hotel. After we ate we went back to the room and packed up our stuff, moved what had to be moved from our hotel bag to the cruise bag and packed the car. We then drove about a mile up the road to the dreams unlimited/disboards welcome center. Our shuttle was picking us up at 10am so we had to occupy ourselves for a bit. The lady we meet was very nice, helped us pass 20 minutes! She gave us a nice canvas bag with the DCL logo on it. We arrived back at the hotel around 9:30am, checked out and Wayne helped me move the bags to the waiting area for the shuttle while he went to park the car in the back lot at the hotel. We boarded the shuttle by 9:45am, 15 minutes early, we were excited! First we had to stop and drop off a bunch of people at the carnival terminal. We waited in their terminal for at least 30 minutes, there went the excitement of being early. Finally dropped everyone but us off and another family and we were off to the Fantasy! There was about 100-200 people inline, they still hadn’t opened the terminal! We were spotted by our first Dis friends (Susan & family), said a quick hello and found our spot inline. The line started to move and we said hello to a porter we saw on our NYE cruise and he suggested we should go up the stairs in the parking garage and get in the terminal from there, it would be faster he said…. He was WRONG! We waited for 20 minutes by this time there was no line downstairs, we could see from the window, but we had already been checked in. Standing in line we saw what looked like stairs so Wayne asked a CM if we could go down them to enter from downstairs and she said yes. Wayne came back to get me and in saying my name we then meet our second set of Dis friends(Pam & Family). In less than 5min. we were through security and checking in. We got boarding number 2, the lowest we’ve ever gotten! We got in line at the supervisor’s desk because we wanted to know if they were able to tell us if we got our dining requests fulfilled. After waiting 15min. a kind gentleman asked us what we were in line for and he said they couldn’t tell us, we’d have to wait to get onboard and there is a special location for dining requests and we’d have to go there. He then got us a navigator (now I know where to go to sneak one before you board!) so we could see where and what time to go ask about our dinning requests. I then started looking through the navigator to see what was going on around the ship. I instantly was drawn to the entertainment section…. Taylor Mason the ventriloquist! My excitement level went from my eyebrows to the moon! You see, we saw Taylor on our NYE cruise and I loved him. It takes a lot for me to laugh, I don’t laugh at stupid humor. I had liked his page on FB so I instantly took a picture with my iPhone and posted it on his wall telling him how excited I was!
“We are now boarding numbers 1 & 2” Once we got to the gangway door we instantly spotted Joshiie, one of your favorite CM’s! We requested him to welcome us aboard “Disney Fantasy welcome aboard the Woodman family!” by far the best intro ever! We headed over to guest services to book the art tour of the ship, while there Wayne thought to ask if they could check our dinning requests…. Good idea! We got what we asked for, AERAEER and a round booth in enchanted garden! Then we headed to cabanas for lunch. We found a table inside and I sat with our carryon bags while Wayne got his food. He came back with his plate and excitedly said “I just got the biggest hug from someone!” “I said who?” “He said Pat!” Our beverage waitress from our NYE cruise! I immediately went looking for her. I couldn’t believe how excited she was to see me; it felt so good that she remembered me, even my name because she was hard to understand at times. We found out from her that Henry our waiter from our NYE cruise was also onboard but not in cabanas at that time. We told her to let him know we would be looking for him. I did not request for dining room staff because I had requested two other things (rotation and booth) and my TA said I may be pushing my luck asking for 3 requests. I was just glad to know they were onboard, plus Joshiie, and Taylor Mason, I was so excited! By this time we still had 45 minutes before our room was ready (1:30pm) so we went to the atrium (stood at shutters) and watched people board. We spotted a few more Dis friends before heading down to our room. Got off the midship elevator and just around the corner was our room 7574, what a relief to drop off the bags! We then went exploring before our 3pm Disboards meet in the atrium lobby, we ended up at satellite falls with a few cocktails. At 2:45pm we headed down to the lobby, meet a bunch of families from our meet. There was about 30-50 people there, I asked Wayne to go back to the room and get my camera (I do photography in my spare time so I have a big DSLR camera I tote along everywhere) so we could take a group photo on the staircase. He came back and said all of our bags were there! We rallied everyone on the stairs and took a few pictures with the help of a nice CM, talked a bit more (to one talkative family) then headed back to our room to unpack before the muster drill. Number one priority…. Decorating the door! The last 2 cruises it’s been the favored door, I can’t give away all my fun ideas in case I cruise with you in the future! My magnet “favorite past staff” was in instant hit! A room host delivering luggage stopped by and pointed out who was onboard, come to find out our room host from NYE had just got off two weeks prior. Alban was his name he was great, he’d always drop what he was doing to open our door for us. Always said hello, we saw him multiple times a day and he was VERY appreciative of the candy we left him every day! So we had high hopes for our room host, slightly bummed we wouldn’t get to say hi to Alban seems how he wrote down when we were coming back. As we were unpacking our room host introduced his self, Rudolph from Jamaica. Before we knew it we needed to head to our muster station for the 4pm drill. Then onward directly to the sail away party! We set sail well ahead of the main sail away song, fine by us, we were ready! We then grabbed a quick snack by the pool with a couple of other dissers (Andy & Baja) as we sailed through the canal, a quick call to my mom (who was watching our dogs & sugar gliders) and airplane mode she went for 7 days! Went back to our room to finish unpacking and get ready for the 6:15pm show (welcome aboard). We were introduced to the cruise director Leslie (who we’ve never sailed with). After the show we went back to the room to change for dinner. Animators Palate (Pacific Rim cuisine, drink of the day was the Ooh La La) was our first stop, here we meet our dining room staff our beverage waiter Joel (Portugal), and our waitress Irena (Ukraine). The first few nights if was very hard to understand Irena’s accent, and we weren’t impressed with Joel either but we gave them some time to warm up to us and by the end we loved the service we got from them. We then raced to our room to change into something more comfortable and off to the adult show in The Tube “match your mate”. We had seen it before and decided we’d volunteer seems how on our last cruise they had a hard time finding someone to volunteer for the middle age couple. First they picked the newlyweds, then the older couple (who was a couple that was part of our dis group, JoAnne & her husband) and then we couldn’t believe 20 or so hands went in the air when he asked for the middle age couple! Frankie (the host) told us to yell out the number of years we had been married, Wayne yells 5 (it was our anniversary the day before) and Frankie says “Oh you’re still in training!” The show was still funny to watch, I wouldn’t recommend missing it, you never know what kind of truths are going to come out! After that we were bead after all the excitement, bed time.
Our Dis group
Us in Palo
Baja & Andy in Palo
(left to right) Wayne, Sarah, Sue, & Lenny
Well there is a good chunk to start with, I'm still working on photos from the rest of the cruise and I want to post them with my report so as I get the pics done I'll add to my report, hope you enjoyed the first few days!
Off to a great start! Can't wait to hear more about the cruise!
Jill in CO
Joining in. :wave:
Great start! Can't wait to read more.
subbing... luv your tr we are going on Nov 30 :cool1:
Joining in! :)
Loving it!! Can't wait to read more :) It was so great meeting you guys and running in to you all over the ship, eh ;)
Sunday September 29, 2013
Sea day (formal night): We slept in and skipped breakfast because we had brunch at Palo at 11am and wanted empty stomachs! The food was amazing, our waiter was Andrea (male from Italy)! We ordered the grape & goat cheese pizza to share, then each ordered chicken parmesan (this is to die for!) and our waiter talked us into lasagna to split too. After Palo we passed out our Fish Extender stuff (we needed the exercise!) and did some onboard trivia. We paired up with a few dissers (Baja & Andy) for some Disney tunes trivia, we only got 2 wrong… to bad another group got all of them right! Before we knew it time has flown by and it was ready to head towards the Walt Disney Theater for my favorite show Aladdin! During our NYE cruise we loved the theater staff and during the first night we noticed that the cast had changed. This I was extremely disappointed in because the genie we had for our NYE cruise was amazing! So I didn’t have my hopes up about a new genie but then Aladdin rubbed the lamp…… It WAS the same genie! I was so happy! The show was great as usual. We then headed to our room to change for formal night in Enchanted Garden (Continental Market Cuisine, drink of the day was Bahama Mama). The food was great! We finally got to meet our head waiter, and I don’t think he even said what his name was, we read his name tag, Liam. After dinner we changed for the adult show in The Tube Rickey Kalmon, the hypnotist (the adult only show!) Wayne went and got hypnotized and it was the most hilarious thing I’ve seen in a long time! I can’t type out all the things that were done or I’d be writing a novel, but he is a must see act for sure! Went to bed right after the show because we had plans (or I had plans) to get up and catch the sunrise with some fellow disers in the morning. I was relieved to see the reminder to change your clocks back, at least I could get another hour of sleep!
Monday September 30, 2013 (Halloween Night)
Grand Cayman (10:45am to 4:30pm): Wayne got up to go to the bathroom and woke me up and said look at the clock! It said 5:20am, the sunrise was at 6:15 and I needed an hour to open my eyes and take a shower before meeting everyone up there! I panicked and jumped in the shower real quick, did my hair and tried to wake Wayne before I left (I know he’d never get up on his own if I left the room!) I sat down on the bed and he says “I think I made a mistake…. I turned the clock forwards!” So now I’m thinking great I’ve got an hour to wait, not bad I’ll watch some TV. I decided it was a good idea to go up and get some coffee, when I was up there they were running some drills in the family pool and there were pressure washers everywhere, it seemed a little lifeless up there for 30 minutes till dawn! I went back to the room and at about 5:50am I looked out the verandah and the sky didn’t look like it was getting light out at all! I turned to the information station on the TV…. It was ONLY 4:50am!!!! Because the clock was supposed to go back and Wayne turned it forward I lost and hour there, plus then the time really went back making me wide awake 2hr early! I went back to sleep for an hour! I woke up at 5:50am (the real 5:50am!) and headed up to satellite falls to meet some other dissers (Kristie and her husband, and Troy) waiting to take some sunrise photos with me. I got some beautiful photos, after my lens was free of fog! (Tip: while you are getting ready put your camera on the verandah and it won’t fog up once outside, I forgot!) I was tired but it was well worth it! I went back to the room and to my surprise Wayne was awake (and well rested might I add!) we went to breakfast at cabanas, we walked through the door and there was our waiter Henry (from Honduras) from our NYE cruise. We shared a big hug and got an update on is 16 month old baby girl, it was so good to see him! He invited us to come down to Enchanted Garden on Tuesday to have breakfast with him. It was so hot outside compared to the previous day! After a quick breakfast we headed to the DLounge for our excursion meet. We choose the Reef & ship wreck snorkel. We were glad to have an excursion first thing in the morning seems how Grand Cayman is a tender port. We were on the first tender to the island! We had a short 5-10 minute walk to the charter boat. Once we hit land we felt a few sprinkles but the sun was still shining, no big deal we thought. We walked right beside a little cove and when we looked down in the water you could see tons if fish right there from the sidewalk! We boarded the boat and all of a sudden it started to down pour! Everyone started to take off their cloths so only their bathing suites were wet. There weren’t a lot of dry areas to store valuables (I had my big $1,500 DSLR camera) but we managed to keep most of our stuff dry. The first stop was at a nice shallow reef, they fed the fish so there were plenty to see! Some areas were deep but others shallow. Let me remind you its still pouring! The water was warm so the cool rain on our backs felt good, I’m sure it also helped prevent sun burn (Wayne refuses to wear sunscreen, we’ll get to this later!). We then were transported just a few minutes away to the Cali ship wreck, in the travel the sun peeked out. We gathered around our captain to hear the story of the Cali and it started pouring again! We never heard the story because it was raining so hard he said he would tell us individually if we were interested because we’d never hear him over the rain… we forgot to ask about the story later. The ship wreck was really neat, it was quite long. And if you were a good swimmer you could have snorkeled off the shore (there was an entry point right there) and made it to the wreck by yourself. When we finished there we headed back to land, it stopped raining just long enough for us to get off the boat then it started pouring again. We managed to huddle under a tent with some other fellow cruisers to try and stay dry. The rain let up a little and we dodged rain drops to cross the street to do some shopping. By the time we finished looking around a few stores it had subsided to a sprinkle, by this time I had found myself a trash bag! We walked for a minute and stopped in another store, bought some souvenirs and asked where the closest bathroom was (across the street), we paid and as soon as we stepped out the door it started raining again! The plan was to go to the bathroom then find some good food, after the jog to the bathrooms we decided enough was enough and chose to head back to the ship to dry off. We had about a 3 minute walk to the gate entrance but it felt like 30 minutes! My sundress I had bought for this cruise was soaked and about 3 inches longer than my legs so I was holding it up the entire time. After the depressing rain we had all day we hit up the candy store on our way to the tender boat! It felt so good to be back onboard and dry off! The most depressing thing about our day in Grand Cayman…. After we changed the sun came out! That night the show was Ricky Kalmon the hypnotist again, (the family show). Wayne went on stage again. After this night we were known around the ship for the rest of the cruise! He gave a suggestion to Wayne that every time he tapped his microphone Wayne would kick off his flip flop and hold it near and dear to his heart like it was Simba and then present it to the pride! I about died laughing, I had tears rolling down my cheeks it was so funny! After the show we had dinner in Royal Court (French dinner cuisine, drink of the day was Spooky Juice), by ourselves too, our table mates (who we met on dis and linked our dinner reservations with. Their names are Lenny & Sue) were having dinner in Palo. This was the dinner where our beverage waiter Joel started to come out of his shell, we started to see his personality shine through, and he was on top of his game! After dinner we caught part of the family superstar karaoke with 4 other dis families then we headed to the lobby atrium to catch the winner of the Halloween costume contest. There were some good ones, Buzz & gang (one of our dis families CT & family), Sully, Cruella de vil & a puppy (a family from our dis meet Tracey & Adam), Jack Skelton & Sally (runners up), Mr. Fredrickson & Kevin (the winners!)
Tuesday October 1, 2013
Costa Maya (1pm to 5:30pm): We got to sleep in a bit this morning because the all ashore time wasn’t until 1pm. However we did get up early enough to go eat breakfast with Henry in Enchanted Garden. This was the first time in 3 cruises we sat down and ate at one of the restaurants for breakfast. So glad we did it, not only was it like old times dining with Henry but the food was great! Once we were cleared by customs and could disembark we met up with some fellow dissers (also our table mates Lenny & Sue) to head to Tropicante. There were about 4/5 families from our meet that went there. I contacted the owner (Steve) of Tropicante and he reserved us some lounge chairs on the beach in front of his restaurant. Steve emailed me back some directions to follow to avoid the “show” while trying to get a taxi, we followed them and had no problems. Now I will warn you the pier is extremely long! And it was so hot, it felt like forever to get in the taxi. It was quite a walk in the heat to the taxi stand but we only paid $2 per person and all 4 of us fit in one car, one un-air conditioned car that is! It was a short 5 minute ride to tropicante, you are dropped off about 100 yards from the beach. There were tropicante employees there waiting and one of them took us right down to the beach and showed us our lounge chairs. We were all so hot and sweaty from the walk we went straight in the water! It wasn’t very refreshing, it was like hot bath water! What felt good was when you got out of the water and the breeze hit you. The water had some seaweed floating around and wasn’t clear for snorkeling. The sand was not soft like Castaway Cay, and the internet was slow (I couldn’t even upload a photo to Facebook) but I did manage to read a message from Taylor Mason on the post I made on his page at port he said “Sarah! See you Wednesday!” Despite these things we had a great time, a waiter came right to our lounge chairs and served us drinks and food. For food we got some chips and homemade salsa, Iguana eggs (fried jalapenos) and some shrimp tacos, it was all great! So great we forgot to get our $25 messages! Just when we were ready to head back to the port to do some shopping the owner Steve came over and introduced his self. Real nice guy from Texas, he moved to Costa Mays to start a real estate business. We ended up trading some US money for some Mexican coins. We saw some of our favorite CM’s, including Joshiie enjoying the beach at tropicante too. We took a picture with Steve and he directed us towards the taxi’s standing by. Back at the port the sales competition is horrible! We just didn’t look at them, and ignored their pleas to come into their stores. Then we started the long walk down the pier again, as soon as we stepped onboard we kicked off our sandals and walked bare foot on the nice soft carpet. Before we changed Wayne and I took a quick ride on the AquaDuck! When we got back to the room to change into something dry we got to see how sunburned Wayne was! I felt no pity, he choose not to wear sunscreen! The 6:15pm show was Disney’s Wishes, not my favorite but it was good. Dinner was in Animators Palate again (Prince & Princess Menu, drink of the day was Key lime Margarita), this time it was the show where you could draw a picture and it would dance on the screens! I drew a great picture of your server Irena, she loved it! The food was good except Wayne’s steak was over cooked (this was the first and only problem we had with food the entire cruise). Irina felt so bad and apologized like 100 times, we kept telling her it was ok and not her fault. Irina and Liam came out with a new steak (Liam was actually behind Wayne and I, we didn’t see him walk up at first) Irina and Liam looked closely as Wayne cut into the steak and they asked how it was and Wayne said “it’s ok, it will be fine” Liam takes the plate from in front of him and puts another one down and says “ok it’s good enough, try this one” Wayne cut it and immediately you could tell it was medium well not well done. We were so impressed that they had another one ready just in case it was anything but “excellent”! After dinner we changed and went to The Tube for 80’s trivia with Sue & Lenny, it was fun but very hard! Off to bed tomorrow was Cozumel day!
Henry and I
Hi Sarah: Love your trip report. Your pictures are amazing, as usual. Lucky you going on the Fantasy again!. Can't wait to see pictures of your door, I remember how great in was on the NYE cruise last year.
I love your photos. You are so talented! And your review is very helpful!
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