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Old 04-02-2013, 03:51 PM   #1
Lisa Lisa
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Off the Fantasy on Saturday - Miscellaneous Tips to Share

Embarkation day: This has been mentioned many times here, but make sure you pack swimsuits and a small tube of sunscreen in your carry-on bag! Last year on the Dream we received our luggage very quickly, so we didnt bother to do this. Big mistake. We didnt get our luggage until about 5:00 p.m. DD was dying to go swimming, so it was a huge bummer. Even after this experience I still wouldnt bother packing clothes for dinner, though.

Try to find potential friends for your kids before the cruise. Last year on the Dream, DD (who was 8 at the time and an only child) would not set foot in the kids club after we took her in on the first afternoon. This time, we reached out to a couple of people via our DIS board meet group. DD had a great time hanging out with another girl her age and went with her to the Lab on day 3 for a scheduled activity. She enjoyed it and ended up going back after dinner for the last 3 nights of the cruise. She also hung out with her all day at CC and had a blast!

Future Cruise Desk: I went on the first evening as soon as they opened for business, thinking that would be a quiet time. Unfortunately, a bunch of other people had the same idea. I ended up waiting for about 45 minutes, primarily because one desk didnt turn over for 30 minutes. The woman there must have had no clue what she wanted to book. I ended up going back to book a second cruise later in the week (Wednesday, I think). They were supposed to open at 4:00 and I was the first one there at 3:55. I was in and out in 5 minutes. Do not wait until the last evening of the cruse. I was told that for the previous cruise, the wait was 2 hours. If you are re-shopping a cruise you've already booked, take your confirmation e-mail with you. If you plan to designate a TA and their address and phone number are not on file from your current cruise, make sure you take that info with you. They will ask for an individual's name as well, but one is not required if you are using Costco. If you do not get a printed confirmation, ask for one.

Items for CMs to sign: On our first cruise we dropped off a pillowcase and photo mat, and we were happy with the way they turned out. This time we took a solid color 9" Mickey Vinylmation with Sharpies and included a bag of Hershey's miniatures. I'm not sure if the candy made a difference or if it was just luck of the draw, but we got about 30 signatures and the Vinylmation looks amazing!

Shutters: I had decided ahead of time that I wanted to buy 10 photos on CD, so I made a point to have plenty of pictures taken. On formal night, the line for photos on the staircase was crazy long, so we opted to have our photo taken next to Minnie instead because the line was much shorter. The photo turned out great and you can actually see the staircase in the background. Shutters is open on disembarkation day from 7:00-9:00 a.m. and we were advised to stop by closer to 8:00 to avoid crowds. We went right at 8:00 and there was no wait.

Coffee: As most know, the coffee on the ship is Nescafe. I have to have one good up per day, so I opted for espresso drinks (mostly cappuccinos) which you can get at the following locations: Cove Café (deck 11, forward), Vista Café (deck 4, midship) the coffee bar at the far aft of Cabanas, and the MDRs.

If you get the opportunity, go to Meridian (deck 12, aft) for a cocktail regardless of whether you have reservations at Palo or Remy. The setting at the top of the ship overlooking the ship's wake is gorgeous, and so is Daniel the bartender (although he rotates and is not always at Meridian).

Sunscreen: In retrospect I would not have brought so much from home (6 tubes/bottles). It is sold right next to the pool, and the prices were not as ridiculous as I had anticipated. I ended up buying a large spray bottle of Coppertone Kids, and it only cost a couple of dollars more than I would have paid at home.

Sorry for the novel, but I wanted to get the info out there while it's still fresh in my mind!
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Disney Dream ~ September 1-5, 2013 * Trip Report: Living the Suite Life on the Dream ~ Sept. 1-5, 2013
Disney Fantasy ~ April 19-26, 2014

Last edited by Lisa Lisa; 04-02-2013 at 04:31 PM.
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:04 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa Lisa View Post
I ended up buying a large spray bottle of Coppertone Kids, and it only cost a couple of dollars more than I would have paid at home.
Ah, this is good to know.
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:14 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa Lisa View Post
Embarkation day: This has been mentioned many times here, but make sure you pack swimsuits and a small tube of sunscreen in your carry-on bag! Last year on the Dream we received our luggage very quickly, so we didnt bother to do this. Big mistake. We didnt get our luggage until about 5:00 p.m. DD was dying to go swimming, so it was a huge bummer. Even after this experience I still wouldnt bother packing clothes for dinner, though. Worst case scenario, we could have eaten at Cabanas that first night.
Cabanas is not open the first night. If your luggage doesn't get there before dinner, just go as you are.
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:18 PM   #4
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I have had heard the pillow case thing a while back and have never done it. Im considering doing it as a surprise for my sister who is taking her very first cruise in the summer. I heard the pillow signing had a cost. Do you mind sharing how much this was? TIA
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:20 PM   #5
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Thanks for the great tips!!
We're on the June 8 Fantasy, and I'm trying to compile suggestions without making myself crazy! Yours are good ones!
We've cruised DCL before, but it was in 2003 (Wonder) and 2005 (Magic). So it feels like we're newbies again!!

I was looking earlier at the thread with the menus, and it seems so much more confusing than before on the Wonder and Magic! I know it's still typical rotational dining, but the Princess night is new, and I have a "princess" who will be 6 on the cruise, so I'm thinking this will be a BIG deal for our family! I'll have to do more research...But again, I don't want to make myself crazy!

Thanks again for the tips! We're getting really excited, and reading posts like yours make it even better!!
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:24 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Candy Apple View Post
Cabanas is not open the first night. If your luggage doesn't get there before dinner, just go as you are.
You're right! I guess it wouldn't have been the end of the world to go to the MDR in our travel clothes.
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disneyfan888 View Post
I have had heard the pillow case thing a while back and have never done it. Im considering doing it as a surprise for my sister who is taking her very first cruise in the summer. I heard the pillow signing had a cost. Do you mind sharing how much this was? TIA
There is no charge to have items signed. You are allowed 2 per stateroom. Just put whatever you want to have signed in a Ziploc-type bag with some Sharpies. Candy or gum for the CMs is appreciated, but not required.
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Disney Dream ~ February 12-16, 2012
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Disney Dream ~ September 1-5, 2013 * Trip Report: Living the Suite Life on the Dream ~ Sept. 1-5, 2013
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrizJen View Post
Thanks for the great tips!!
We're on the June 8 Fantasy, and I'm trying to compile suggestions without making myself crazy! Yours are good ones!
We've cruised DCL before, but it was in 2003 (Wonder) and 2005 (Magic). So it feels like we're newbies again!!

I was looking earlier at the thread with the menus, and it seems so much more confusing than before on the Wonder and Magic! I know it's still typical rotational dining, but the Princess night is new, and I have a "princess" who will be 6 on the cruise, so I'm thinking this will be a BIG deal for our family! I'll have to do more research...But again, I don't want to make myself crazy!

Thanks again for the tips! We're getting really excited, and reading posts like yours make it even better!!
Don't worry about the rotational dining. It's a piece of cake! My DD is past the princess stage so that was just another night for us, but pirate night was another story. If you don't already have an appointment for Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, I highly recommend it. You can make an appointment after you board as they hold quite a few slots back. My DD went for Pirate night and she loved it!
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:53 PM   #9
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I have never lined up to rebook. I just fill out the card, drop at desk, get confirmation at my room later. No need to line up.
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:12 PM   #10
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I have never lined up to rebook. I just fill out the card, drop at desk, get confirmation at my room later. No need to line up.
This I filled mine out at embarkation lunch in Cabanas and it was booked the next day. No lines

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Old 04-02-2013, 06:34 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Lisa Lisa View Post
There is no charge to have items signed. You are allowed 2 per stateroom. Just put whatever you want to have signed in a Ziploc-type bag with some Sharpies. Candy or gum for the CMs is appreciated, but not required.
Thank you!!
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:40 PM   #12
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Thanks for the great info. We will be on the Fantasy in less than 3 weeks! I have a question about more movement/rocking of the ship. I was reading about folks on a recent Fantasy cruise who were complaining about the stabilizers not working properly due to increased rocking even when the seas were not rough. This is my first cruise and I am very concerned about seasickness. Some folks did think it may have been due to heavy winds. I was wondering if you found it rougher than usual and if anyone mentioned issues with the ships stabilizers. Thanks.
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:50 PM   #13
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Thanks for the great info. We will be on the Fantasy in less than 3 weeks! I have a question about more movement/rocking of the ship. I was reading about folks on a recent Fantasy cruise who were complaining about the stabilizers not working properly due to increased rocking even when the seas were not rough. This is my first cruise and I am very concerned about seasickness. Some folks did think it may have been due to heavy winds. I was wondering if you found it rougher than usual and if anyone mentioned issues with the ships stabilizers. Thanks.
I did notice movement on a few of the days. I'm prone to motion sickness, so I always take Bonine starting the day we fly to FL. I took one each morning and never has a problem. I also drank at least 2 beers or cocktails per day and never experienced any side effects whatsoever. I would not travel without it!
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:59 PM   #14
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Thanks for the quick response! I was planning on taking Bonine daily starting on Friday when we fly to FL. And even continue for a few days after our return. I am glad it worked for you, I am relieved, may be it was the weather conditions on that cruise a few weeks ago. I still may call and get a script for the patch as a back up. Thank you. You have helped ease my mind.
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:59 PM   #15
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Sorry, but that makes me smile. Our cruise was VERY calm the first couple nights compared to other cruises where we have experienced 20+ foot swells, once with 50 knot headwinds and the pools closed all day. I was asked by someone if the ship always rocked so much on day 2. I hadn't felt much movement at all by that point. We did feel the movement a bit more on Thursday because we had to increase speed to get from San Juan to CC, but it wasn't as bad as we have felt in the past. So as a person who was on their 10th DCL cruise last week [1 3-night, 4 westerns, 3 easterns, Alaska, PC repo] I thought that the Fantasy's stabilizers were working great. It was actually one of our calmest cruises in the Carribean.
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