Fantasy Eastern Feb 8-15 2014-Cupids in the Caribbean-TRIP REPORT COMPLETED 7/17!
Welcome to our adventures on the Disney Fantasy! This trip was a long time in the making and I had so much fun with the planning that lead to an awesome vacation. I am hoping by doing this report I can hold on to the magic just a little bit longer!
I have included an index with links to all updates in the second post.
Our journey includes DD10
DH and me
Our planning for this adventure began in 2012. We had decided that for our next family vacation we wanted to take a cruise. We looked at several options, but we just kept coming back to Disney. We decided to book on opening day for first time Disney cruisers which was December 6, 2012, for the February 8, 2014, Eastern Caribbean sailing. The only problem was we now needed to wait 430 days until our cruise!
We ended up booking a category 4C stateroom, which means we had a deluxe family oceanview stateroom with verandah on deck 7 midship. Our particular stateroom would sleep 5 because it had the additional Murphy bed. We had stateroom 7596, which we felt was a great location. We tried to use the stairs as much as possible while cruising to justify all the food that we were eating and we felt like deck 7 allowed us to never be too far from any one location.
Another thing that we did was to join our groups Facebook page and FE exchange. I would highly recommend doing this. There were many people in the Facebook group that were previous cruisers and they were a wealth of information. I wasn’t sure about joining the FE exchange since this was our first cruise, but the kids ended up having such a great time both passing out gifts and checking their pouches for treats each time they came back to the room. DH was skeptical of the whole thing, but while it was going on he commented that it was really fun to see the girls’ reactions to all of the awesome gifts we received.
I can by no means sew, so I found a blog that explained how to make a no-sew FE. This was right up my alley and I was satisfied how it turned out, especially since it cost under $10 for the supplies.
For our FE the girls and I made magnets out of Perler beads of different Disney characters. Our intent was for people to be able to put them on their doors for decoration during the week and bring them home for refrigerator decorations after the cruise. Unfortunately I learned my lesson the hard way that we couldn't rely on the adhesive that was on the magnets to stick to the beads. They all stuck fine at home, but several were falling off after the travels and the humidity. If anyone tries to make these be sure to use some other type of adhesive to make sure the magnet is secure. I felt awful that they didn't work out as I had hoped, especially after we received such amazing gifts from our fellow travelers. Our intentions were good!
Up next: The day has finally come!
Table of Contents:
February 7-Travel Day:
Travel Day and the LaQuinta Oceanfront
February 8-Boarding Day:
Sunrise at Cocoa Beach
There she is!
Lunch and Exploring
Oceaneer Club and Lab
Boarding Day Continues!
Sail Away Party
Wrapping up our boarding day
February 9-Sea Day:
Our First Sea Day
February 10-Sea Day:
Well, it hurt!
More Sea Day Fun
February 11-St. Maarten and Pirate Night
Bernard's Tours Iguana Farm
Bernard's Tours Oyster Pond
Bernard's Tours Orient Beach
Bernard's Tours Marigot
Bernard's Tours Maho Beach
February 12-St. Thomas
Doubloon Turtle Cove Sail and Snorkel-Part 1
Look, it's a TURTLE!
Mama meets her favorite!
February 13-Sea Day
Can you believe it is already Thursday?
Mom and Dad's Photo Shoot
A Princess in the making
Sea day fun continues!
February 14-Castaway Cay
My three hour tour!
My three hour tour! Part 2
My three hour tour! Part 3
You are my sunshine
My three hour tour! Part 4
Our arrival to paradise
Castaway Cay 5K
Parasailing Part 1
Parasailing Part 2-From the sky
Parasailing Part 3-From the sea
Parasailing Part 4-My turn!
I'm the Queen of the World!
Time for some relaxing
Time for some relaxing Part 2
An Unforgettable Journey
Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow
Trip Report Wrap Up
Top Moments According To DD7
Top Moments According To DD10
Top Moments According To DH
Top Moments According To Me Part 1
Top Moments According To Me Part 2
The day has finally come!
The day finally arrived and it was time make our way to Florida! We decided that we would fly in the day before since the weather can be sketchy in February. That has most definitely been the case this year! I have to admit that I lost a lot of sleep the week leading up to the cruise because I was afraid that we wouldn’t be able to get to Florida. Thankfully I had nothing to worry about and our flights went off without a hitch. We arrived in Orlando at about 3:30 on Friday and thankfully our checked baggage made it along with us! I had to laugh at myself because I put all of our FE stuff in my carry-on and all of my clothing was in the checked bag. If the bag hadn’t made it I would have been without clothes, but at least I had my FE stuff!
We decided that we would stay in Cocoa Beach the night before the cruise so we would have one less thing to worry about in the morning. We got a one-way rental from Avis where DH is able to get a personal rental at his corporate rate, so the rental was only $35 for the night. I really thought that it would be fun to ride the Disney transportation in the morning, but we just couldn’t justify the cost. We arrived in Cocoa Beach at about 5:20 and checked into our hotel, the LaQuinta Oceanfront. I got the room through Hotwire and it was a fun location for the night. The hotel is located right on the beach and is next to the pier.
All of the rooms at LaQuinta Oceanfront had views of the ocean.
After settling into our room we decided to have some supper at Fishlips. I would definitely recommend the lobster bisque. The lobster ravioli was also quite tasty. We had a nice time and it was such a comfort to know that we were in Florida and didn't have to worry about weather for a whole week!
After dinner we decided to stop at Publix and grab a few essentials that we didn’t have-such as wine! It is so nice that you are able to carry-on beverages for the cruise. It saved us quite a bit of money over the course of the week and it was nice to have a glass of wine in our room before dinner.
We decided that we needed to make a walk through Ron Jon Surf Shop before calling it a night.
Up next: Sunrise in Cocoa Beach
Great start!!! looking forward to more.:)
Enjoying your TR and pics so far! The magnets are really cute, where did you get them?
We actually made all of the magnets. We used Perler beads to create the characters and then you iron them to melt the beads together. You can buy the beads at craft stores like Michaels.
Can't wait to read more!
Sunrise in Cocoa Beach
I really thought DH and I would sleep like babies after a restless week leading up to the trip and getting up the day before at 3:30 am for our flight, but it was not meant to be. We were up before sunrise, so Stu decided to walk down to the beach to see the sunrise.
The girls were up minutes later, so we decided to take in the view from our balcony.
After a few minutes we decided that we needed to join DH down on the beach. We didn’t want to miss the sunrise, so we tossed on our sweatshirts and quickly made our way down to the beach. It was a cloudy morning, but it was still an adventure and we weren’t freezing cold!
The girls had a blast running in and out of the water!
We were so happy that we weren't wearing parkas!
DD10 was so cute. She said she wanted to practice her "C jump by the sea!"
DD7 had a great time gathering her "lucky shells."
These people must really be die-hards! We felt like it was warm because it wasn't -11 F, but I sure didn't think it was warm enough for surfing!
We decided to start making our way back to the hotel. You can see how close the hotel was to the pier and the beach.
We rinsed off our feet at the showers that they had by the pool before heading in for breakfast. LaQuinta had breakfast that included eggs, bacon, bagels, and cereal. It was a pretty typical hotel breakfast.
Up next: There she is!
:cheer2:Eagerly anticipating the rest of your report! So far it's great!
There she is!
We decided to take a little drive and find a gas station to fill up at before returning the car. While we were at the gas station filling up the car we received a message from our bank that they thought that there was some fraudulent activity on our debit card. I freaked out because of everything that has gone on with Target recently. By the time we finally got it all figured out we realized it was because we hadn’t notified the bank that we were traveling. I had contacted our credit card to let them know we were traveling, but not our debit card bank. We had used the debit card at dinner the night before, but it was declined when we tried to use it at Publix. It is nice to know that they were looking out for us, but I was stressed out for a little while.
At 10:00 we decided to head over Avis and return our car. There were quite a few people around because there were people waiting for their rentals and there were those that were waiting to go to port. By the time DH got through the line to return the car it was 10:16. It was nice that they wrote down the time you arrived, so when the shuttles started going to the port there was no question who was there first. We proceeded to sit and try to keep the kids occupied until a shuttle picked us up at about 11:00. Our PAT was 10:45-11:00, so we didn’t need to worry about arriving at the port too early.
The next hour was such a whirlwind! We got on the shuttle to start making our way to the Fantasy. Within minutes we were all excited, because there she is! It is funny how just barely seeing the stacks could make us so excited!
We got our luggage off of the shuttle and passed off to a porter except our precious carry-on with the FE and our other precious carry-on bag of wine. We made our way inside where check-in went very quickly. We received boarding group #4. At this point my head was spinning because we were finally here, but there was so much going on around us!
We jumped in line for our first character meet with Goofy. I pointed out the line for the kids club registration was really long, so we decided to wait until we got onto the ship.
While we were waiting for Goofy I heard them announce boarding group #9 already! Oh my goodness, we can get right on! We made our way through the Mickey ears and received our first hand wipe of the cruise. I have to admit I was happy to see that, especially since there was another cruise line just the week before that had to cut their trip short due to norovirus!
The moment we had waited for 430 days was finally here. When they announced our family I got a little weepy since it was official. We were on the Disney Fantasy!
Up next: Lunch and exploring
Reading along. Thanks for taking the time to do a trip report.
Joining in. :wave:
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