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DiaLady 02-10-2014 09:08 PM

Disney Fantasy 7 Day Western - 2/1/2014
Time to share our wonderful experience on the Fantasy, but first a bit of background.

We have been blessed to cruise with Disney five previous times. Four on the Magic and our initial 4 day on the Wonder. We've done the Panama Canal Cruise, Westbound Transatlantic, Eastern and Western. However it had been over 3 years since we last cruised. With high school graduation and getting our oldest settled in university, the pocketbook wasn't stretching far enough.

But at last it was time to enjoy one of the new ships. Our cast of characters features myself (DW), DH, and our youngest DS (17). Our oldest DS would have to stay behind at university :( This would be the last cruise Mom and Dad would be paying for for DS so he was excited.

We live in SE Virginia where it only snows every few years - EXCEPT this year. The two weeks before the cruise featured 3.5 snow days / week! Needless to say there were a number of last minute things that didn't get finished before we left. We were thankful it wasn't snowing the day we left.

Now on to the Trip Report . . .

DiaLady 02-10-2014 09:29 PM

Day 1 - Getting There
We were blessed to have an early morning direct flight to Orlando. When we arrived it was chilly and raining so we opted not to go Sea World as planned. Instead we went shopping at the outlet mall and Florida Mall for all the things I wasn't able to buy before we left due to the crazy snow. Things like khakis for the DS and swim trunks for DH.

Sadly as soon as we landed, I discovered a significant problem on my server (I own a website design company). My promise to DH not to work on this vacation was going right out the window. Fortunately, my great tech guy got it all resolved in about an hour (except for one pesky issue that got resolved later in the day). So while we did do shopping and I did some work, I was able to put everything away for the rest of the trip :)

Time was flying and it was soon time to head to our hotel. We were staying at the Country Inn and Suites in Port Canaveral. We'd stayed there before. We liked it because of the free breakfast and it's closeness to the port.

After getting settled and meeting all the Square Dance Conventioneers going on the Carnival cruise, we headed to dinner in Cocoa Beach. We were in the mood for Italian.

I love the Tripadvisor app. I can be anywhere and find a well rated restaurant or hotel. Just down the street from the hotel was Brano's Italian Grill. You know a local restaurant is good when the parking lot is still full at 7 PM at night. The food and service were fabulous! We highly recommend the place (especially their garlic rolls!). Our tummy's were full and we headed back to the hotel for one more sleep before our Fantasy trip began.

DiaLady 02-10-2014 10:03 PM

Day 2 - But where is the Fantasy?
After a quick breakfast we made a quick trip back into Cocoa Beach to stop at the Publix for one thing I forgot. That put us a little behind our original plan, but we got to the ship about 10:30. We couldn't see it until we were right on top of her because of the dense morning fog.

DH dropped us off with the luggage and raced to return the car to Budget. DS and I got into a long line entering the Disney cruise terminal. Boy was this different from previous cruises. Couldn't believe there were so many people there by 10:30!! Even more surprising was our boarding number of 13!! Highest we'd ever gotten. DH returned about 10 minutes before boarding began. By 11:30 we were headed to yellow Mickey Ears and on to the Fantasy.

it was breathtaking to walk into the entrance the first time (did I mention we skipped the pictures). It touches me every time when they announce our family name and clap to bring us aboard. The new atrium was so much bigger than the Magic. Wow!

You'll notice we like a lot of the sit down dinners. While DH and DS enjoy the buffets, I'm much prefer to order and have the hot food brought to the table. Pretty silly I know. So with this in mind, we headed downstairs to the Enchanted Gardens. We were awed by the decorations and how bright the room was. We headed to the buffet and enjoyed sitting down to the white table clothes and great service. Everything was delicious!!

After eating I headed forward to the Spa on Deck 11. Sense Spa was so beautiful. You just had to walk inside to start feeling relaxed! I was planning to use the Rainforest Room for the week. I liked that they had a little SENSES sticker to add to my Key to the World card. I couldn't wait to enjoy my first evening relaxing in the saunas - but more on that later.

We walked around the ship a bit. DS was anxious to find VIBE. it's kind of hidden. You have to go outside on the jogging track on Deck 4 all the way forward until you find the steps going up to VIBE. DS liked it being out of the way because no one bothered the teens there. VIBE was incredible - especially compared to the smaller spaces on the Magic. They had an interior area and exterior area with their own pool. DH and I wanted to take the huge movie couch home with us. it was so comfy.

At last our room was ready. We were in a corner room all the way forward. We trusted our travel agent to put us in a good room on the new ship and boy did he come through for us. The room was actually roomie compared to cabins we had in the same 9C category on the Magic. While the porthole was smaller, it brought in some great light. Plus you could look out and see the bow of the ship and watch where we were headed - just like the captain. We could also see into part of the teen outdoor area to keep an eye on DS :)

We quickly unpacked before the fire drill. DH insisted on putting on his lifejacket to make sure it worked. DS and I were glad we no longer had to put them on or even bring them along for the drill. I must say it was hot standing out on deck 4 for 10 minutes during the drill. So many people in one small space, but just like other drills it was necessary for our safety. i just kept reminding my family that at least it wasn't snowing!

As DH and I headed back to the cabin to finish unpacking, DS headed for the first of many afternoons at the Vibe :)

We typically do late seating so we have more time to relax after excursions and this trip was no exception. Before dinner I ventured down for my first time in the rainforest.

I've just gotta say WOW! I started with the very hottest wet sauna. Just felt all the stress releasing from me. I had to laugh when an older gentleman remarked that I had to watch how long I spent in there. I've been so cold all winter, it would probably take me all week to really thaw out. I tried some of the showers and then the dry sauna. The porthole in the dry sauna offers amazing views. Warmth and sea ... what more could you ask for . . .well how about the sunset. Just as the sun was starting to set I went into the outdoor hot tubs to enjoy it. Such a great start to this trip!!! Then I spend about 30 minutes relaxing on the warm tiled chairs and reading. I had to remember to get up for our first dinner.. . LOL. I enjoyed a refreshing rain shower and then headed back to our cabin. i would repeat this routine in some part every night so i won't repeat it for you again . . .

Our dinner rotation was ERAERRA. So off to the Enchanted Gardens we went. We discovered we were not seated alone, but with another lovely family. This is the first time we'd been paired with anyone so we were hopeful! Our servers were Alfredo and Alexandre. Alexandre was from France so I was excited to work on my long dormant French. Both gentlemen were lovely, fun, and very attentive!! The family we sat with had a DS16 so my DS17 had an instant buddy. Our table buddies were overcoming the woosiness from their first day at sea. We had many dinners to enjoy together.

After dinner, DS headed back to the Vibe (he did this all the time so i won't keep repeating it . . but I'll talk about his experience a bit later). DH and I were excited to head to the Tube for Match your Mate. If you've never experienced this games show it is an absolute blast! We look forward to it on every cruise. Tesa was our MC. Did that girl have energy or what!! We just loved her throughout the cruise. Match your mate was a great kick off.

After the show was over, DH and I retired to the cabin to start catching up on our much needed sleep. I don't think I sleep any better any where then on a cruise. Between the comfy beds, the warm weather, the soft moonlight through the porthole and rocking of the boat, I'm out like a light . . .

allears 02-10-2014 10:41 PM

Wow, you're fast! We were on the same sailing and I've barely gotten our laundry done let alone start a trip report! It was an awesome trip! So wish we were still on board and warm!

aussieGeorge68 02-15-2014 01:10 AM

Thanks for posting
Look forward to the rest of the report.

I love the trip-advisor app as well.

My2Qtz0205 02-15-2014 07:12 PM

Hi, I'm also from SE VA! This winter has been like no other I can remember!

We are sailing on the Fantasy for a Western Caribbean cruise in April.

sbag 02-17-2014 05:09 PM

Great trip report so far! Can't wait to read the rest!

DVClurkerRob 02-24-2014 07:57 PM

I'm excited to hear about the rest of your cruise. My wife and I will be on the same itinerary in just a few weeks!:banana:

marquislaura 02-26-2014 11:57 AM

reading along

marquislaura 02-26-2014 12:05 PM

reading along

Grumpy's Wife 02-26-2014 05:33 PM

I can't wait to read along and hear all about your vacation.

jilliusc 03-05-2014 10:29 PM

Joining in!

mtchurchmonica 03-05-2014 10:53 PM

It's been a while. I hope you are okay.

pepe3penelope 03-05-2014 11:13 PM

Following along! :)

JulieODC 03-17-2014 09:15 AM

Another winter-weary Virginian here....booked on the Fantasy wester carib in May!

Look forward to hearing more!

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