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Old 07-16-2012, 01:40 PM   #16
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Saturday, July 7th!

I am an insanely early riser on vacation, so I woke around 6 AM and decided to walk around and head to the lobby for the free hot breakfast. At times I was the only person in the room. The breakfast was good, and included sausage, eggs, a waffle maker and a variety of breads, bagels, donuts, muffins, yogurt and cold cereals. I spent a while catching up on my travel journal, then walked down to Ron Jon Surf Shop and back. I snuck back in the room and read until my husband and son woke up.

Once they woke and got dressed it was back to the lobby for their breakfast. At this point (around 8 AM) the large room for breakfast was very crowded. There was still a good supply of everything, but it was hard to get to the different stations due to the crowd.

We headed back to our room where we took our time getting ready and repacking our bags. After loading the car we checked out and walked over to Ron Jon Surf Shop. That place is huge and definitely worth checking out. There is a water fountain inside where my son and I made wishes. I wished for a great cruise. My wish definitely came true!



We decided it was time to head over to the port. The Carnival Dream was blocking our view for a while, but finally, there she was!



As I've mentioned, we've sailed on the Dream, so we know how big these ships are, but the Fantasy is still magnificent, stunning and HUGE when you first see her! I was so excited to know this would be our home for the next week!

Our scheduled arrival time was 12:30-1PM. We pulled up at 11:45. We were directed to a porter where we unloaded our luggage, then we parked in the garage on the first level. The ground level entrance to the terminal looked very crowded, so we went up the elevator to the 3rd floor walkover. The security area on that level was deserted, so we were through security and inside the terminal in less than a minute. We quickly filled out a health form and walked to the "Castaway Club" line. There was no line so we went straight to a CM who quickly checked us in, handed us our lanyards and boarding number and sent us on our way. We had boarding number 21 and they called 19 as we walked away from the counter.

Captain Mickey was out and my son really wanted to meet him, so we hopped in line. While we were waiting (only a few minutes) they called our boarding number. We took a few pictures with Mickey, grabbed our carry ons and headed through the Mickey ears to begin our best vacation ever!

I think my son's face in this pic accurately expresses the excitement we were all feeling!




We were announced by our Cruise Director, Brent Davies, and directed to Enchanted Garden for lunch. We ate at Cabana's on the dream, so Enchanted Garden is where I planned to go anyway. We were seated at one of the coveted round tables. When we first arrived there was a bit of a line for the buffet, but within minutes the line was gone and there was no wait for food. The food was all good. There is, of course, a limited selection compared to what you would find at Cabanas, but we liked having drink service and the chance to take our time and enjoy the beautiful restaurant.



To give you and idea of how fast things were moving in the terminal - we drove up at 11:45 and at 12:05 I was sitting in Enchanted Garden with a plate of food, so we were on board in no time, it seems to me!

Up next - our room, checking out the ship and SAILING AWAY!
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Old 07-16-2012, 06:14 PM   #17
Meredith Santana
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It sure sounds like you guys had a blast!! My boyfriend and I are going on the Disney Fantasy in September and we are so looking forward to it ! Can't wait to hear more about your trip! & your son is so cute! & i love your shirts : )
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Old 07-16-2012, 09:17 PM   #18
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Thanks and welcome to every who is following along! It's so nice to go through my pictures and travel journal and relive the trip this way!


The room upgrade stunned me. I must have checked that room number 10 times to be sure I was reading it correctly! It was a very nice room with plenty of space for the 3 of us! And yes, we were definitely spoiled by it!


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i love your shirts : )
Thank you! We love our matching shirts! We received many comments and compliments from security, Disney CMs and other cruisers!
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Old 07-17-2012, 12:41 AM   #19
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Enjoying your trip report.....waiting to hear more! (New to Dis board-learning to navigate)
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:19 AM   #20
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Subscribing, can't wait to read more.
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Old 07-17-2012, 12:01 PM   #21
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Sounds wonderful! Can't wait to hear more....
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Old 07-17-2012, 01:09 PM   #22
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Reading along with my 6 yr old daughter, she is very very excited about going on Disney cruise again !!! Thanks for sharing.... We have a 12:00 boarding time !!


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Old 07-17-2012, 09:31 PM   #23
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Joining to hear more
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:01 PM   #24
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Can't wait to hear more!
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Old 07-18-2012, 02:20 PM   #25
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After lunch we headed up to Deck 11 to walk around some. We had already forgotten how hot and humid it was, as soon as we stepped off the elevator it hit us! We stayed in the shade, and around 1:25 we walked through Cabana's to the Aft elevators. We walked down to Deck 10, where we waited just a few minutes until the rope dropped and we could check out our room.


The Room
As I've mentioned before, we were in a Cat 4A, deluxe family oceanview with verandah. On the Dream in November we were in a 5C. The difference in size is quite noticable, and the 4A rooms also have twice as many drawers and cabinets as the 5C. This allowed me to neatly unpack and store everything we needed without it being crammed in.

Here is the room, complete with our Castaway Club gift!





Checking out the Verandah:


On Deck 7 the area above the Verandah doesn't bump out like this, so you have a "larger" view, but we will happily take a larger room over the larger view!


My son demonstrates how much room is under the bed. We were able to easily store all of our suitcases, bags and his folded up MacLaren stroller, and he still had room to crawl underneath when he wanted!


Everyone has seen pictures of the split bathrooms, but here are mine. My son LOVED taking baths in the round tub with the handheld shower. Every night when we went back to the room he would ask to take a "shower bath".





Checking out the Ship, and a Drink of the Day!
It was naptime for our son, so my husband stayed in the room while I walked around exploring the ship. I found a drink of the day and settled down in the quiet cove area for a while. The family pools were packed, but the quiet cove/adult area was almost empty.









Just before 3 I headed towards the Vista Cafe to meet my fellow DISers! It was great to put faces and voices to the names and have a chance to talk with many of you! Definitely attend the meetup on your cruise if you can. We would run into eachother throughout the week and it was so nice to "know" some people.

Muster Drill
After the meetup I headed back to the room to get my husband and son ready for the muster drill. All of our luggage was waiting outside the door, so I quickly unpacked as much as I could before we had to go. On the dream our station was in the Buena Vista theater, so we were seated in air conditioning. This time we were packed like sweaty sardines on Deck 4, with frequent reminders to pack even closer together. It seemed like a lot of people were late, and we stood there sweating on eachother for a LONG time. (Please don't be late to these drills -the sooner we all get there the sooner we all get done!) When the drill ended there were a couple thousand people trying to get somewhere, so we ended up going up a crew stairwell to Vibe (I have no idea how we did that).

Vibe
Vibe was having an open house, so we decided to check it out for a while. This has got to be the coolest place on the ship. Every adult man in there wanted to stay and play video games and lounge around. One teenaged boy walked through and very nastily asked "What are all of these adults doing in here" as though we were contaminating the space with our uncool. They need to build another Vibe for adults. Or turn the smoothie bar into a bar bar and have an over-21 open house one night.







Nursery/Oceaneer's Club
We asked our son if he wanted to go to the sail away party or check out the kids club and he voted for the Kids Club so off we went! We checked out the It's A Small World Nursery first, where he was ready to play! I made a one hour reservation for him for the following day. The staff seemed great, and I felt pretty comfortable about it. We never tried to leave him on the Dream, so this would be a first!

After that we headed into the Oceaneer's Club, where they were also having an open house. If you have kids definitely check out the open house hours whenever you can! There will be other kids to play with, and the CMs organize activities and really interact with the kids to make sure they are having fun. Several open houses included characters and dance parties, etc, so it's a fun way to get them moving and burn off some of the excited energy!

Magic dance floor:


Andy's Room:


Sail Away:
We finally broke away from the Kids Clubs and headed up to the Sail Away party, which was already underway. We saw a few songs and dances, counted down, heard that wonderful horn, and said goodbye to Port Canaveral! We had a better view of the stage than we did on the Dream, and I was really impressed by the energy of the CMs and characters. It was HOT under that sun but they were giving it all they had.

I have to admit, I got teary-eyed a couple of times as the horn blew and we sailed away and I knew the BEST VACATION EVER was just beginning.

My son is growing up so fast, and whenever I can I try to remind myself to live in the moment, and enjoy life with him, and through his eyes, and watching his excitement and delight as he took everything in... well, you know, it just gets to a Mama.



Up next: dinner at Royal Court and day one comes to an end.
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Old 07-18-2012, 04:10 PM   #26
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And I have to wait 38 more days to get on her, ugggggg !!! Thanks for all the posts and pics, looks awesome !!!
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Old 07-18-2012, 11:23 PM   #27
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Loving hearing about your trip!!! We went on the Dream back in March and I loved reading all about it and seeing pics all year long last year up until our trip so that's my obsession again this year except with the Fantasy(we will be going 6/1/2013)! 5 days was awesome but 7 will be even better(especially different itinerary)since we missed Pirate night due to the wrong night being listed online so we were at Palo and missed it all My son and I both cried a bit since it's what we both so looked forward to. Just another reason to go back

I love your shirts to! We did matching custom shirts to which looked really cool with 7 of us wearing them. We had a ton of CM's ask us where we got them. I wanted to try a TR but I don't know how to do one so maybe next years trip i'll try. Can't wait to hear more about your trip!
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Old 07-18-2012, 11:27 PM   #28
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Subbing!!

So excited for more pictures, I have a whopping 214 days until we're on the Fantasy!
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Old 07-19-2012, 01:59 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCMouseFans View Post
On Deck 7 the area above the Verandah doesn't bump out like this, so you have a "larger" view, but we will happily take a larger room over the larger view!
.
How obstructed was the view with the overhang (and not taking the larger room into account- I love the size of the room too) how did you feel about it? We are going on the Fantasty in August and we are staying on deck 10....hmmmm. ...it seems like you might feel pretty closed in when out on the verandah. Would appreciate your thoughts on this. Thanks
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Old 07-19-2012, 03:28 PM   #30
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Dinner: (where you quickly learn I'm not a food photographer!)

After the sail away party we headed back to our room to finish unpacking and get ready for dinner. We had early dining and our rotation was RAERAAE. We were in Royal Court the first night.

We arrived at Royal Court at 5:45 and were immediately seated. We were initially seated at an 8-top table, and it was obvious that a family of 5 would be seated with us. Our server was great, and he immediately brought out bread and took our orders. Our assistant server was not so great. It was pretty obvious that she was not going to take our drink orders, or even pour us one drop of water, until the other people arrived at the table. My son was begging for juice and I was quite disappointed. After at least ten minutes of waiting I was getting ready to flag our server down. Thankfully at that moment the resturant manager appeared and told me he had a 4-top table available and we could change tables immediately. I accepted and we were quickly reseated.

Our new server Jose and assistant server Lucia were FANTASTIC! I kept an eye on our old table and night after night the other family was 20-30 minutes late for dinner, so we either would have been waiting for them or would have been completely off from their meal timing, and if that assistant server had her way we would have been waiting! As it was, we finally got to know why people request the same servers over and over on their cruises. Our servers on the Dream were OK, but our servers on the Fantasy did everything they could to make every meal special. They were the best, and we will definitely request them on our next Fantasy cruise!

So, on with the food!
I started with the Spinach and Cheese souffle, which was excellent.


DH tried the escargot. I sampled it as well and it was quite good. I'm glad he decided to try it! (This is, quite possibly, the least appetizing photo of escargot ever posted)


For the soup course I had Belle's French Onion soup and DH tried the cauliflouwer soup. His soup was rather bland, but we both really like the French Onion soup. I've always read people raving about it, but when we tried it on the Dream it was disappointing. This time it was very good, and I'm glad I gave it a second try.

For dinner I had the beef tenderloin and he had the salmon. Both were very good. Our son had chicken fingers and Mickey's Mac and Cheese. It was served with french fries and peas. He picked at it, as toddlers tend to do. I tried a bite of everything on his plate and it was all good. I'd say it was as good or better than most kids meals at most "standard" restaurants.

For dessert I ordered the Sweet Temptations Trio and DH ordered the peanut butter chocolate dessert (I can't remember the exact name). We also ordered a Grand Marnier souffle to share. The souffle was excellent, as was the creme brule from the trio. The peanut butter dessert was OK, and the mango cheesecake was disappointing. I took one taste and left it on the plate.



Our son had the Royal Cupcakes, and he enjoyed picking off each Mickey sprinkle and eating just the frosting.



After dinner we took a sunset walk around the promenade deck.


Then headed to The Tube for a family dance party. We really enjoyed these dance parties and I would recommend anyone with kids check them out. There is a DJ and a CM encouraging the kids to dance and leading dances like the cupid shuffle. She always kept dancing, and some of the more timid girls would follow her around matching her steps. And parents - don't be shy - get out there and dance with your kids! I did!


On our way back to our room we noticed a Carnival cruise ship in the distance, between us and Florida.


We had to call guest services to request a bed rail for our son. We had hoped to catch the room host and ask him, but we never saw him earlier in the day. He arrived promptly and set it up for us.
A quick overview for those who aren't familiar with these rooms. Above this couch is a pull down bunk bed. The brown unit behind the chair is a Murphy bed.


Stay tuned for Day Two - Day at Sea!
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