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Old 07-15-2012, 10:18 AM   #1
SCMouseFans
Earning My Ears
 
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Our Last Minute Disney Fantasy: July 7 - 14 UPDATED 10-26 Days 1-4 Complete!

We stepped off the 14th sailing of the Disney Fantasy just over 26 hours ago. It was the best vacation yet! I've always enjoyed reading other trip reports, and I've decided to pay it back by writing our own. I'm looking forward to reliving our Fantasy as I share our experiences here.

The cast:
Me - Stephanie (34)
DH (40)
DS (2 1/2)

A little background:
Our first cruise was a 3 night on the Dream in November 2011. Our son was a couple of weeks shy of 2 years old then. We had a fantastic time, but 3 nights was no time at all. There were entire areas of the ship we never even saw! While on board we booked a 7 night Eastern Caribbean on the Fantasy for March 2013, and we promised each other - no more 3 night cruises!

My Mom's birthday is in June, and DH's birthday is in July, so we planned a road trip in the middle to celebrate both. 23 days out my Mom learned she would likely be getting a part time job and she cancelled on us. DH had the week off from work, and we desperately needed a vacation, so I checked DCL and saw a Western Caribbean cruise on the Fantasy for the week DH had off. There were IGT/OGT/VGT rates available, so I called him, he said YES, and I called our travel agent. We were booked for an IGT, paid and confirmed within 4 hours!


The Pixie Dust begins: Our Room Assignment!
I checked the DCL website daily for our room assignment. I joined an FB group for our cruise, and eventually people who booked VGTs started reporting their room assignment. The next day, 15 days out, on a Friday afternoon, our assignment appeared. Can you say PIXIE DUST? We were assigned a Cat 4A, Stateroom 10612! (So yes, sometimes an IGT booking DOES get upgraded to a Verandah!)

One last note for now:
I'm really glad our Dream cruise was our first, and this was our second. We thought we had a great time on the Dream, but this cruise on the Fantasy surpassed our every expectation. If we had experienced this first we would have been disappointed on the Dream. We weren't able to dock at Castaway Cay on the Dream in November, and I'm glad I didn't know what we were missing, now I know and if we ever miss it again I will be so upset!

I'm working on sorting out our pictures, and hope to be back soon with my next update!
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Old 07-15-2012, 10:19 AM   #2
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Table of Contents

Table of Contents:


Pre-Cruise Friday, July 6th: Driving to Cocoa Beach
Pre-Cruise Continued: Jetty Park and Dinner (and finally some pictures!)

Day One:
Saturday, July 7: Boarding the Fantasy and Lunch in Enchanted Garden
Our Room, Kids Clubs and Sailing Away!
Dinner and a Dance Party

Day Two
Day at Sea
Formal Night

Day Three
Grand Cayman

Day Four
Costa Maya
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Old 07-15-2012, 10:36 AM   #3
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Pre-Cruise: Friday, July 6

I spent Thursday packing, packing and packing due to my personal belief that vacations do not include time spent doing laundry. I may have to change my belief, because packing for 3 people for 8 days is a bit insane. And besides that DH wore the same pair of shorts 4 days in a row, so obviously he only needs two outfits for a week!

Florida Bound:
We loaded the car early Friday morning and hit the road. We stopped at a Waffle House in Point South, SC for breakfast, then hit I-95 South! We stopped at the Florida Welcome Center for potty breaks, free orange juice and a chance to stretch our legs. The Florida Welcome Center is a large one, and if you walk around all of the picnic areas it's a nice little stroll. We always stop there to let our son run around a bit.

We stopped again outside of Jacksonville for Starbucks for us and Chic Fil A for DS. I was driving at this point and I proclaimed there would be no more stops until Port Canaveral.

Cocoa Beach:
We were booked for the night at the Comfort Inn Cocoa Beach. We arrived at 3 PM, exactly check in time, and our room was ready! The staff at the front desk were some of the friendliest people I've ever met in a hotel. It's a great location - right across the street from the Starbucks in the Sheraton, and a short block away from Ron Jon's Surf Shop and the beach. The room wasn't much, but the price was right.

I really liked the Cocoa Beach area, and in the future we will stay there rather than at the hotels closer to the port. We were only 10 minutes from the port, and there were a lot of things we could walk to. There are many public beach access areas in Cocoa Beach. There were a lot of people walking everywhere and it just seemed like a very fun and laid back place.

We took our hotel bag into the room, then headed out for Jetty Park and dinner.

To be continued...
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Old 07-15-2012, 11:50 AM   #4
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What a nice bit of pixie dust for you!!! Looking forward to hearing about your Fantasy sailing!
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Old 07-15-2012, 01:21 PM   #5
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We went out to Jetty Park to watch the cruise ship sail out and let our son expend some energy on the playground. It's $10 a car to get into the park, and it has a large playground, a beach, and a pier.

The playground is very nice and the equipment was not hot despite the Florida sun and heat. Our son enjoyed running around and trying out all of the slides.







Around 4:30 I noticed the ship was on the move and we sat on the rocks to wave. As it approached I saw it was the Monarch of the Seas.





We walked out the pier and onto the beach, then it was time for dinner. We headed over to Grills Seafood Deck and Tiki Bar. We ate there the night before our Dream cruise and we really liked it.

We had the sweet potato fries and conch fritters appetizers and DH and I each had fish tacos. The conch fritters weren't the best, but I can't get them at home so they were good enough for me. The fish tacos were great, just as I remembered them. I also had a Key Lime Colada drink, which seemed like a great way to start vacation!





After dinner we drove around a bit, and our son grabbed the tourist map and proceeded to navigate for us. His only directions were "Go left. To the beach!"


We headed back to the hotel, and I took a little walk while my husband got our son ready for bed. I found this playground in the courtyard of our Comfort Inn. I'm a big fan of playgrounds at hotels, now that I have an active boy of my own to wear out!


I crossed the street behind the hotel, crossed a public boardwalk and took a stroll on the beach. The beach is even closer than the map they gave me at check in made it seem. This is when I decided I love cocoa beach, and will be staying here the night before all future Port Canaveral cruises!


Stay tuned for the next update - where we visit a surf shop and see the Fantasy for the first time!
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Old 07-15-2012, 02:49 PM   #6
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Joining in! Can't wait to hear more about your trip
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Old 07-15-2012, 03:17 PM   #7
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How do I subscribe so I can hear more about your trip.....
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Old 07-15-2012, 04:49 PM   #8
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Fantastic upgrade!! Course now you are spoiled big time!!!
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Old 07-15-2012, 05:51 PM   #9
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Wonderful upgrade

Playgrounds are a gift to active children and a welcome relief to parents. I had forgotten but now have rediscovered with our grandchildren

Looking forward to more of your report.
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Old 07-15-2012, 07:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stitch101 View Post
How do I subscribe so I can hear more about your trip.....
Welcome! When you reply you can scroll down to "Additional Options" (under the box you type your reply in) and you'll see the notification/subscription options. HTH!
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Old 07-15-2012, 09:09 PM   #11
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Upgrade to 4A??!!! Jackpot Can't wait to hear all about it- and your son is adorable!!!
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Old 07-15-2012, 09:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCMouseFans View Post
Welcome! When you reply you can scroll down to "Additional Options" (under the box you type your reply in) and you'll see the notification/subscription options. HTH!
Thanks.....i look fwd. To reading more.
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Old 07-15-2012, 11:14 PM   #13
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Great trip report so far! What a great upgrade! Subscribing to read more!
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Old 07-16-2012, 10:39 AM   #14
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We r on the Fantasy in August !!!! Looking fwd to your review !!!
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Old 07-16-2012, 10:44 AM   #15
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Subscribed.......I think
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