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Old 07-06-2012, 06:43 PM   #1
verygfy
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Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude Western Fantasy!! Day 1 Complete

It’s Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes
Nothing remains quite the same
With all of our running and all of our cunning
If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane!!


Welcome to the theme song for our recent cruise among the beautiful Disney Fantasy heading to the Western Caribbean. For a bit of background we have been Disney fans for years and years, going to the parks each and every year, many of those years we took multiple trips. Finally in 2010 my DS proclaimed no more Disney parks . With me a self proclaimed lover of all things Disney and a 4 year old Princess I just could not imagine a year without character meet and greets, castles and beautiful Walt Disney World details and themes. So to appease the boy and to get my Disney fix we decided to try Disney Cruise Lines and sail on the Wonder for 4 days to Nassau and Castaway Cay and finish the trip with a day at the World for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. This turned out to be one of the best family vacations in ages!!

So as any good DISer we had rebooked on board with a dummy date and then on opening day in October of 2010 we moved our date to the May 26, 2012 Western Caribbean aboard the brand new Fantasy !!

Immediately I got involved in the meet thread for the cruise and spent the following 18 months, watching the Fantasy being built, planning excursions and daily activities, dreaming and drooling over the day we would step on board the Fantasy!

Well as any good planner knows, the best laid plans, lol…

Let me introduce you to the gang:


Here is DH and I at DHS. I am the over planner and DH, well he is happy when I am happy!! He would prefer to vacation at places other than Disney, but is happy to appease my obsession. His requirements for vacation--- relaxing.



There is DD who is a 5 and has proclaimed her name to be Princess Haley, no middle name, no last name just Princess Haley.



There is DS who is 14, the one who started it all he loves all things electronics and really is not into anything Disney (still trying to figure out where I went wrong)

Now that you have met the crew, let’s begin…

Last edited by verygfy; 07-08-2012 at 01:19 PM. Reason: title
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:50 PM   #2
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Graduation and Road Trip!!

Our first change of plans happened a few weeks before the cruise. See for months before the cruise DH could not decide when he wanted to leave. The Fantasy leaves on Saturday so no matter what we were leaving at 6pm on Friday. I tried to convince him to leave Thursday or worse case scenario Friday morning so we could be well rested for embarkation day.

A few weeks before the cruise we were informed DD would have her kindergarten graduation at 10:30am and DS asked not to go to school the last day since there was no point, they were only going to be having parties and signing yearbooks and he had already gotten a lot of his friends to sign his yearbook. He is in 8th grade and is ready to head to high school. It was at this point, DH finally agreed to take Friday off of work and we would head out just after DD's Kindergarten graduation.


With not knowing when we would leave I had not booked a pre-cruise hotel room and in all of my planning for the cruise the one thing that I seemed to forget was that this was Memorial Day weekend , oh did I mention our meet name was Mickey’s Memorial Day Fantasy…. So once DH decided he would take Friday off it was then time for me to look for a hotel room for Friday night. Initially we wanted either the Radisson or Country Inn and Suites near the port just like we had last cruise. Well when I began to look the rooms were around $170 per night. That seemed a little excessive to me since we paid somewhere around $60 last time we sailed. We then tried to use our DVC for a room, but the only thing that was available were 2 bedrooms (That weekend is also Star Wars weekend) and I was not interested in using that many points for just the night.

So my next plan of attack was to do Priceline and bid on a hotel room around Downtown Disney area. My bid was a 3 star or better for $80. We won with the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress.

The morning of traveling DD went off to school at 7:00am and DH, DS and I stayed home to pack up the car and get any final errands handled before DD’s graduation at 10:30am.




After DD’s graduation we pulled out and headed south. The trip was relatively uneventful well if you count seeing a car on fire and a car whose engine blew up on the turnpike within a .5 mile of each other. After about 5 hours DD began the “Are we there yet” chant every half hour…

At 7:30 we pulled into the Hyatt Regency and all of us were blown away by how beautiful the property was.



















I got out to do check in and at the front desk I was kindly greeted with 2 complimentary glasses of champagne!! Oh yes, we are on vacation.



Then the lady at the desk informed me that we were on the 6th floor and we would have a great view of the Magic Kingdom fireworks at 9:30 this evening from our room. Score!!




Everyone was starving and the kids had been begging to go swimming once we got to the hotel so we headed up to the room to meet bell service to drop off our bags and the kids did a quick change into their bathing suits and we made a beeline to Cascade restaurant on property. Service was a little slow, but the restaurant was beautiful and it was nice to finally stop for a moment.

The food was really good. I had to the Tortilla Soup which was listed as an appetizer, but was quite large and very filling. DH had the Angus burger that he thought was very fresh and tasty. DS had the Margarita Flatbread and enjoyed that. DD had Spaghetti and Meatballs and enjoyed it. Sorry about the lack of pics, but the camera was up in the room with the bags and I was too exhausted to go back up and get it.

After we finally got food in everyone’s bellies we headed out to the pool area. This place was amazing, the pool had a beautiful waterfall and wrapped all around the property with a grotto that ran underneath a rock formation
with a pool bar underneath. The kids swam for only about 30 minutes because we wanted to head back up to the room and have them shower and changed for the fireworks so we could turn in for tomorrow.

We checked out the hotel as we headed back and sat by the firepit for a while, DH and I noticed that the lounge chairs by the pool had a bar service button next to them. We would have loved to stay and extra day just to utilize that. They also had a putting green, rock climbing wall and paddle boats that are for the guests to use as well.

Once back in the room DD had a quick bath and then it was into pajamas and her and I sat out on the little balcony and watched the MK fireworks while the guys showered. It was a great way to end the evening.




...Next up Embarkation, would the Fantasy being everything we fantasized about???

Last edited by verygfy; 07-06-2012 at 07:57 PM. Reason: update
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Old 07-06-2012, 10:01 PM   #3
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Great so far! You may have just convinced me to stay offsite for our two days Pre cruise.
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Old 07-07-2012, 12:02 PM   #4
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Oh boy, Oh boy - a great trip report. Eagerly awaiting more !
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Old 07-07-2012, 12:19 PM   #5
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Great trip report so far! Loving all of the pictures! Can't wait to read more!!!
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Old 07-07-2012, 01:24 PM   #6
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Looking forward to reading all about your cruise!
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Old 07-07-2012, 05:32 PM   #7
verygfy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohboyx3 View Post
Great so far! You may have just convinced me to stay offsite for our two days Pre cruise.
It really was a great hotel.
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Old 07-07-2012, 05:59 PM   #8
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It's a Journey to reach your Fantasy!!

I just realized I forgot to post the pictures of the room in the last post...









We had an 11am check in at the port, prior to leaving we had Google mapped the distance from our hotel to the Port and it was about an hour. So we wanted to be out of the hotel around 8am, grab a quick bite to eat and then drive over to the port. We had booked Park and Cruise for the week and knew that it would take some time to unload the car and load there shuttle. Normally, I am notoriously late to everything. So knowing this DH was up bright and early and had headed downstairs in search of some coffee for me.


They had Starbucks on site so he grabbed two and came back to wake me before the kids. On schedule everyone had woken and we had repacked our suitcases and finally put our tags on our luggage.




(Bright eyed and ready to go)




Bell service came up and helped with the bags and we were out of the hotel right on time. What we did not plan for was the mob scene we would encounter at McDonalds in Downtown Disney. This place was jamming at 8am.

We were able to grab our hotcakes and sausage and even get back on the road right around 9am. The drive over to the port was a pretty easy drive, one road; a few tolls (I think we passed through 3 or 4 that were .75 cents each) and then you get to see this!!







Park and Cruise was also pretty easy to find. It was the exit before the port and they have a big blimpie balloon pointing to the exit. We got off the highway and turned in. They had a shuttle waiting for us as soon as we arrived so we had to quickly unload the truck and while the shuttle driver loaded our bags DH went and parked the truck. Once DH arrived back we were off and on our way. I definitely recommend Park and Cruise, they treated us great, our truck was safe the whole week (they have a fence around the whole property and they have 24 hour camera surveillance), free shuttle to the port, and it was half the price as the port.




We pulled into the port around 10:40am and I thought with the new port arrival times and check in process we would not see the line like we saw on our last cruise. Boy was I wrong, the line was all the way down the sidewalk and there were bags everywhere. It didn’t take long before we were going through the gates and up the escalator to check in.





We got in line for Castaway Club Members and we were second in line. When we got up to check in the computers went down and none of the printers were working so we could not get our keys. It seemed that all of the stations were having this problem and in true Disney fashion they were working very hard to get this resolved and get people moving. We got boarding number 5.

After checking in we all went outside to see her in person. She was finally here and we were about to board the beautiful Fantasy that we had been watching for the last year and a half. It was hot and humid this morning, so if you are planning to keep your hair beautiful and frizz free for boarding pictures I would highly recommend staying in the ac!!




Once we were done ohhing and ahhing the Fantasy we headed back inside to check DD into her club and get her wristband. The line was pretty long, but it did move really fast and we were through in no time. While we were checking in Sailor Goofy headed out into the lobby for pics. It still amazes me how fast that line forms when the characters get out. We decided we would wait until once on the ship and say hi to Goofy then.


(Isn't he cute)


(I told you that humidity was brutal)

Before we knew it they were calling the Family of the Day and allowing boarding #1 aboard!! They called #5 within about 10 minutes and we were going through the Mickey ears and heading towards our home for the next week.
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Old 07-07-2012, 07:40 PM   #9
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Off to a great start!

Jill in CO
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Old 07-07-2012, 09:22 PM   #10
disneychic
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Great TR! Can't wait to read more! I'm going on the Fantasy on 9/1 - also a Western Caribbean and I can't wait!!
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Old 07-12-2012, 01:58 AM   #11
Dclnut143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by verygfy View Post
I just realized I forgot to post the pictures of the room in the last post...









We had an 11am check in at the port, prior to leaving we had Google mapped the distance from our hotel to the Port and it was about an hour. So we wanted to be out of the hotel around 8am, grab a quick bite to eat and then drive over to the port. We had booked Park and Cruise for the week and knew that it would take some time to unload the car and load there shuttle. Normally, I am notoriously late to everything. So knowing this DH was up bright and early and had headed downstairs in search of some coffee for me.


They had Starbucks on site so he grabbed two and came back to wake me before the kids. On schedule everyone had woken and we had repacked our suitcases and finally put our tags on our luggage.




(Bright eyed and ready to go)




Bell service came up and helped with the bags and we were out of the hotel right on time. What we did not plan for was the mob scene we would encounter at McDonalds in Downtown Disney. This place was jamming at 8am.

We were able to grab our hotcakes and sausage and even get back on the road right around 9am. The drive over to the port was a pretty easy drive, one road; a few tolls (I think we passed through 3 or 4 that were .75 cents each) and then you get to see this!!







Park and Cruise was also pretty easy to find. It was the exit before the port and they have a big blimpie balloon pointing to the exit. We got off the highway and turned in. They had a shuttle waiting for us as soon as we arrived so we had to quickly unload the truck and while the shuttle driver loaded our bags DH went and parked the truck. Once DH arrived back we were off and on our way. I definitely recommend Park and Cruise, they treated us great, our truck was safe the whole week (they have a fence around the whole property and they have 24 hour camera surveillance), free shuttle to the port, and it was half the price as the port.




We pulled into the port around 10:40am and I thought with the new port arrival times and check in process we would not see the line like we saw on our last cruise. Boy was I wrong, the line was all the way down the sidewalk and there were bags everywhere. It didn’t take long before we were going through the gates and up the escalator to check in.





We got in line for Castaway Club Members and we were second in line. When we got up to check in the computers went down and none of the printers were working so we could not get our keys. It seemed that all of the stations were having this problem and in true Disney fashion they were working very hard to get this resolved and get people moving. We got boarding number 5.

After checking in we all went outside to see her in person. She was finally here and we were about to board the beautiful Fantasy that we had been watching for the last year and a half. It was hot and humid this morning, so if you are planning to keep your hair beautiful and frizz free for boarding pictures I would highly recommend staying in the ac!!




Once we were done ohhing and ahhing the Fantasy we headed back inside to check DD into her club and get her wristband. The line was pretty long, but it did move really fast and we were through in no time. While we were checking in Sailor Goofy headed out into the lobby for pics. It still amazes me how fast that line forms when the characters get out. We decided we would wait until once on the ship and say hi to Goofy then.


(Isn't he cute)


(I told you that humidity was brutal)

Before we knew it they were calling the Family of the Day and allowing boarding #1 aboard!! They called #5 within about 10 minutes and we were going through the Mickey ears and heading towards our home for the next week.
We were on the dream that weekend and we also waited for the computer problem. I hope they got it fixed by now. I have also stayed at that hotel even tho i live in orlando . Its beautiful!!!! Cant wait to read more
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:27 AM   #12
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Great trip report! I can't wait for more
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Old 07-12-2012, 12:10 AM   #13
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We are taking this cruise in February. Really enjoying your TR!
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Old 07-27-2012, 12:24 PM   #14
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great trip reports looking forward to more!!!
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Old 07-27-2012, 01:45 PM   #15
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Enjoying the report! So with no shoes in line for AquaDuck is the deck really hot on your feet? Looking forward to AquaLab and Nemo's Reef with my 4 yr old. And I am thrilled with the Matinee shows! I was worried about DD making it for the late show.
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