Ths DIS is a great place to ask Disney Cruise Line questions and share tips.
Dreams Unlimited Travel - The official sponsor of the Disney Cruise Forums Dreams Unlimited Travel - the official sponsor of the Disney Cruise Forums  

Go Back   The DIS Discussion Forums - DISboards.com > Disney Cruise Line > Disney Cruise Line Forum > Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports
Find Hotel Specials & DIScounts
 
facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS UpdatesDIS email updates
Register Chat FAQ Tickers Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read



Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 01-16-2013, 07:23 AM   #1
Woodmnky
DIS Veteran
 
Woodmnky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: NC
Posts: 1,114

Fantasy with a Toddler

Disney Fantasy December 1 – 8, 2012
We booked this cruise about 70 days out when the Guarantee rates were released. This cruise was just before DS’s 2nd birthday, so he was considered an infant. The rates at the time for 2 adults and 1 infant were around $2100 for the Inside Guarantee and $2500 for the Veranda Guarantee. For the $400 difference we chose the VGT knowing that even if our balcony was obstructed we would at least have a larger room than the smallest inside rooms. Our room was assigned 13 days before sailing and we were assigned stateroom 9140. This was about 5 rooms forward from the aft elevators. This is a location that we would have chosen had we picked a cabin since most of the attractions for us were aft to midship. We did not want a forward room since the forward elevators exit into the adult’s only areas on deck 11.

Our traveling party consisted of DH & I. We are both in our early 30’s and have cruised 8 times prior with Princess Cruises. We enjoyed our time cruising Princess when it was just the two of us because we focused mainly on shore excursions during the day, we enjoyed the anytime dining & food, plus we appreciated the comedy shows. We cruised on Princess over DS’s 1st birthday and just felt that there was little for us to do while traveling with a young child. DH & I have considered Disney in the past, but the cost was always too high. When the GT rates came out, we chose to cancel our WDW vacation and cruise instead.


Family portrait with Mickey

After we returned from our vacation I started to write a long detailed day by day review, however, with a toddler that proved nearly impossible. So, I am hoping to get in the highlights as well as share insight into cruising with a high needs toddler. My son is extremely shy & stranger phobic. The checkout clerk at the grocery store saying “Hi” to my son can result in terrified sobbing. He is not even fully comfortable with his Grandmother whom he sees several times a week. Combine this with several symptoms of Sensory Processing Disorder and it means that we have to be very thoughtful with our planning for a vacation. We do everything that we can to minimize stresses, while still allowing him to grow and learn from the world around him.


DS & I
Woodmnky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2013, 07:26 AM   #2
Woodmnky
DIS Veteran
 
Woodmnky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: NC
Posts: 1,114

Stateroom: We had the veranda room and loved it. We really didnt use the veranda all that much, but I enjoyed being able to look out the window. I would have been just as happy with one of the rooms that have the large porthole. A note about the veranda itself  I had heard that the doors were difficult to open. I didnt find this to be the case, but it wasnt until half way through the cruise that I noticed the lock that was up high. Without this lock engaged the door was very difficult, but not impossible for my son to open. With the lock engaged there is no way a child could open the door.


Upper door lock



DS is 38 inches tall and this is him opening the balcony door from the outside.

The storage in the stateroom was great. I was a bit worried because we had 4 large suitcases, our carry ons and a stroller. The bed was high enough that our stroller slid beneath the bed as did the suitcases when we nestled them into the two largest suitcases. There is a trunk in the room that acts as storage/coffee table. We used this for DSs toys. I knew that if I tried to put anything else in here it would just end up being taken out by him as he explored. This worked really well. The lid closes gently so we were able to avoid the smashed fingers that I was worried about.
The refrigerator in the room worked very well to keep things cold. In the first morning on the water we had put in the night before was frozen slightly so we had to turn the temp down. The fridge was pretty small, but it worked great. We loved the On Demand TV. There was a selection of many Disney/Pixar movies as well as some other non-Disney movies. We were able to see Madagascar 3 on demand and it had just come out on video. I did think it was a bit odd that Brave is out on DVD, but it was not on Demand. There is also a good selection of Disney channel & Disney Junior shows. We ended up watching all 7 episodes of Jake & the Neverland Pirates at least 5 times each.
Our bathroom did not have the round shower with the overhead rain spout, but we still had a handheld shower wand and the bathtub. I loved having a bathtub. It was very nice to be able to let DS wind down each night in the bath. On Princess only suites have bathtubs. Unless an adult was super tiny there is no way that they would be able to take a bath, but the tub did work well for a small child. I brought a couple very small bath toys with us that I had picked up at the dollar store. Having the bath separate from the shower was pretty nice and I can see how it would have been even nicer for a larger family.






(Please excuse the messy stateroom. I forgot to take pictures before it turned into this)

Last edited by Woodmnky; 01-16-2013 at 08:12 AM.
Woodmnky is offline   Reply With Quote
|
The DIS
Register to remove

Join Date: 1997
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,000,000
Old 01-16-2013, 07:31 AM   #3
Woodmnky
DIS Veteran
 
Woodmnky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: NC
Posts: 1,114

When we arrived in our stateroom the attendant had already placed a Diaper Genie & Pack ‘n Play in the room for us. We did not request these beforehand, so DCL must have flagged us for these based upon DS’s age. We moved the Diaper Genie into the bathroom with the shower and kept it in front of the sink. I left a note letting the stateroom attendant know that we would not need the Pack ‘n Play nor would we need another bed made up for DS as we cosleep. The Pack ‘n Play disappeared when we were at dinner.
Our stateroom attendant was Weeks from Costa Rica. He was great. I have never seen another stateroom attendant get tasks accomplished at the rate of speed that he had. He was the first attendant that we have ever had who was able to always have our room made up before we returned from breakfast or dinner. We tend to spend a fair amount of time in the room, so we are often there when the attendant arrives.




Some of our stateroom pets.
Woodmnky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2013, 07:32 AM   #4
Woodmnky
DIS Veteran
 
Woodmnky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: NC
Posts: 1,114

There is more to come, but Mommy duty calls. If anyone has any questions, I am happy to answer anything that I can.
Woodmnky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2013, 08:10 AM   #5
Woodmnky
DIS Veteran
 
Woodmnky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: NC
Posts: 1,114

Dining:
We were assigned AERAERA. We requested a table for just our family before sailing and this request was granted. We immediately informed our servers of DS being very shy and asked that they pretty much ignore him. I know that this is not the normal request, but our servers did excellent with this request and even passed this request on to the head server. The first night in the dining room, the table was already set with toddler sized silverware, a high chair, and a cup with lid. The highchairs on Fantasy are a lot smaller than normal restaurant highchairs. This probably isn’t a problem for most, but DS is very big for his age and had a hard time getting in and out of the chair. We used the highchairs in the dining room, but opted for a chair with arms when in the buffet. I was a bit concerned about the regular cup that had been fitted with a plastic lid, but DS knocked it over twice and the lid never came off.



Child sized silverware in comparison to adult knife.

We were given crayons each night for DS to use on the kids menu. It had activities to suit older kids and the younger ones could color.



The first night our servers made sure to check and see if there were any allergies they needed to be wary of and also asked if we would like to make a standing drink order. I really liked being able to have iced tea & water waiting for us when we walked in the dining room from that night on. There was always a kids menu on the table, but we alternated ordering from this and the adult menu for DS. Also, the kids menu was the only place that had a normal garden salad listed. I ordered this several times.
Woodmnky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2013, 08:17 AM   #6
Woodmnky
DIS Veteran
 
Woodmnky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: NC
Posts: 1,114

I was excited to be assigned to Animator’s Palate 3 times during the cruise, but I guess I neglected to consider a few things. Animator’s Palate is VERY loud. DS was really uncomfortable from the time we entered. Then Crush came out and started talking to him and this made things a lot worse. I know that this is not the norm for kids, but it may be something for parents of special needs kids to consider. We also went to AP on Pirate night. That night was a lot better because they just played the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack and showed pictures on the wall. Unfortunately that night in AP ended pretty quickly as DS choked on a piece of corn bread and threw up. The staff handled this wonderfully and sent our food to the room. The Head Server even called later to check on us.



Animator's Palate on Pirate Night

Overall I found the food, both in the buffet and in the dining rooms, to be superior to what we had previously experienced with Princess. I know that food can be so subjective as someone else that was on our cruise commented that they felt the food wasn’t very good, but we really enjoyed most everything that we ate. DH & I both love steak and ordered the beef entrée most nights. It was almost always a perfect medium rare and seasoned well. The desserts were kind of hit or miss. None were bad, but not all were great. We actually left before dessert on several nights. Two of those nights I went up to Cabanas and had no problem getting some desserts to go. I just asked at the podium and was directed to the counter where they were being handed out. It was a quick and easy way to get some sweets without having to keep a fussy toddler in the dining room longer than need be.

While on the subject of food I will include the one part that really did not live up to our expectations – hamburgers & pizza. We ordered hamburgers at Flo’s V8 Café, once in the dining room for DS, and then on Castaway Cay. Each time they were horrible. I hate to say that, but when a 2 yo who will eat any fast food burger turns his nose up at a hamburger and eats all of his veggies instead it is a pretty bad hamburger. From what I understand the pizza served onboard is typical Disney pizza and it really wasn’t very good. Inspite of these disappointments we always had plenty of options to each.



The chips & cookies at Tow Mater's Grill were awesome.




Self serve ice cream



Drink selections. Coffee & tea were also offered. Juice was available in the mornings and somedays it was still out when we went to lunch. Juice choices were apple, orange, cranberry, (& maybe something else that I don't recall).
Woodmnky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2013, 08:21 PM   #7
lorenni
DIS Veteran
 
lorenni's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 603

Thank you very much for writing your TR. My son will be 20 months when we cruise this spring and this is the best description of Nemo's Reef and other toddler specific info that I have found!

A couple of quick question - were you able to use the cups with lids during the day or did you bring your own sippy cups?

And did you do any excursions with your son?
__________________
The worst disease you never heard of - Epidermolysis Bullosa. Awareness is the first step in finding a cure.
lorenni is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2013, 08:55 PM   #8
Meliss32
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 10

Thanks

Just wanted to thank you for the information, It was really helpful we are going in March with a 23 mo....
Meliss32 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2013, 09:56 AM   #9
Nala 84
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 11

Aww, what a wonderful trip report, thank you very much ! We'll go on our first cruise in June, but onboard of the Magic instead of the Fantasy. But we'll have a toddler with us aswell, I'm really curious how it'll be for him.

I'm looking forward to the rest of your report
Nala 84 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2014, 10:21 PM   #10
PixieDustandEeyore
DIS Veteran
 
PixieDustandEeyore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,947

Loving all your information. May I ask what baby carrier you're using Im in the market for one for our next cruise. Sometimes my ds just wants to be held and its hard to hold him the old fashion way for long periods of time
PixieDustandEeyore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2014, 07:26 AM   #11
DisneYE
Mouseketeer
 
DisneYE's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Toronto
Posts: 202

Very nice TR. Very informative for those traveling with a toddler like your DS.
Enjoyed reading it.. You seemed to have fun... you guys reminded me of my DW and I when we did our first DCL a few years ago with our then DD4.
Thanks for sharing..
__________________
DisneYE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2013, 11:08 AM   #12
Woodmnky
DIS Veteran
 
Woodmnky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: NC
Posts: 1,114

Quote:
Originally Posted by lorenni View Post
Thank you very much for writing your TR. My son will be 20 months when we cruise this spring and this is the best description of Nemo's Reef and other toddler specific info that I have found!

A couple of quick question - were you able to use the cups with lids during the day or did you bring your own sippy cups?

And did you do any excursions with your son?
There are paper cups with lids and straws available at the drink station by the pool and we used these some. I also brought a couple of sippy cups that we used part of the time as well. There wasn't any cups with lids available in the buffet.

We did not do any excursions with DS. I have learned that with my son lower key is better, so we just hung out on the ship. I never got bored and neither did DS. DH was starting to get a bit restless in San Juan so he walked to the forts on his own.
Woodmnky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2013, 10:59 AM   #13
Mom3NY
Earning My Ears
 
Mom3NY's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 71

Hello I have a question regarding onboard charges. Is there any way to prepay excursions, bar purchases and gift shop purchases? I want to avoid getting a invoice left at my stateroom. So hoping if I prepay no one has to see how much was actually spent.
__________________

DH
DW (me)

DD turning (13) in Jan
DS turning (9) in Feb
DD turning (5) on cruise
Mom3NY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2013, 11:13 AM   #14
Woodmnky
DIS Veteran
 
Woodmnky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: NC
Posts: 1,114

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom3NY View Post
Hello I have a question regarding onboard charges. Is there any way to prepay excursions, bar purchases and gift shop purchases? I want to avoid getting a invoice left at my stateroom. So hoping if I prepay no one has to see how much was actually spent.
All onboard purchases are charged to your stateroom account. If you really don't want anyone seeing your print out check with guest services. Even if you leave a payment of cash on your account they will still give you a statement showing the charges and credits to the account. I always get a print out early on the last day so that I have time to review it and make sure the charges are correct.
Woodmnky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2013, 11:59 AM   #15
lilpooh108
DIS Veteran
 
lilpooh108's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Depends on the moment
Posts: 4,314

My daughter also displayed symptoms of SPD at that age (when we were cruising the Dream) and your pirate night observations are right on point.

She hated the dancing, the fireworks, etc. We took her down, she calmed down alot and had more fun. The craziness really upset her...

Other than that she was fine with the rest of our cruise. Thanks for talking about the Silk milk. DD needs that too. We're cruising the Magic soon, so hopefully they'll have it too.
lilpooh108 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates
GET OUR DIS UPDATES DELIVERED BY EMAIL



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:59 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 1997-2014, Werner Technologies, LLC. All Rights Reserved.