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Old 04-04-2013, 11:05 PM   #1
petbren
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First Cruise--Gluten Free Me-Fantasy Eastern Mar.9-16

BACKGROUND

Our cast of characters includes

Me-40 something who has been Gluten Free for a year and a half
DH-age withheld at his request
DS-turned 17 4 days before cruise
DD-to turn 15 a month after cruise





We purchased DVC in 2009 with a gift my DM left us when she departed this earth. She loved all things Disney and we thought it fitting that we would take some "remember Grandma" time when we visited without her.

January, 2012, DH, man who has always proclaimed his dislike for sitting around on the beach, out of the blue says "I think next winter we should look at going away somewhere warm, an Island vacation somewhere"

What.......who are you??

I drop everything and immediately start looking at where we should go.
With my GF issues, I knew going to an Island, and eating at an all inclusive buffet, or where there was a language barrier, or where people just don't understand that gluten is in things other than bread, just wasn't an option for me.
We had not been to Disney since my diagnosis, but I knew I had read about them accommodating food allergies. I started researching, and figured a Disney Cruise would meet my/our needs.

By mid-February we had booked a Cat. 4C family Oceanview with verandah

Having DVC, I often planned 11 months out, but this was even longer.........
but finally the day arrived
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:36 PM   #2
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March 8th finally arrives!!

We live in Hamilton, Ontario, so 130km to Buffalo Airport, or 74km to Toronto Airport. Drive time however, 1hr 20 mins (+ boarder crossing) to Buffalo.....45 mins (technically) to Toronto. In reality, Toronto would be more like 1-2 hours depending of traffic, much more $$ to park and much higher flight costs.
We love SW airlines, and the Buffalo Airport

Our biggest worry was getting to the airport on time as DH worked in downtown TO until 7:30am, and our flight left BUF at 11:30.
DH called in some favours, and managed to get done an hour early, so we arrived and checked in at airport by 10:20
Flight left on time, we arrived 20 minutes ahead of schedule

Next, ME





We were the second stop........then Welcome Home



We didn't arrive at night, but the sign says it all.

We checked in at 4:10 and our room was ready.

We had reserved a Boardwalk View Deluxe studio for the one night.
This was our first time with a Boardwalk View as I usually just reserve what will be the least points, but with only one night, I spent the extra whole 2 points
We had room 3031--excellent views.....worth the 2 extra points.

For the Yacht Club Fans



Beach Club Fans


Boardwalk Fans


Scary Clown Pool Fans


We decided to freshen up and head over to Beaches and Cream for an early dinner. I knew they could do a GF hamburger and fries (baked not fried) so I was really looking forward to that..so much so that I had eaten half of it before I remembered to take a picture



Kids were too full for ice cream, but we promised to come back after our traditional round of mini-golf at Fantasia for take out.

Didn't think we'd have room for one of these..........don't know these people but they must really like ice cream, they ordered two "Kitchen Sinks" for 6 adults


Up next...more of our Boardwalk adventures, then finally off to The Fantasy
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:38 AM   #3
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We just returned from our 5 night Disney Wonder cruise out of Miami over the Easter Weekend. I too am GF for about a year now and knew that Disney had a great reputation for food allergies.
We spent a couple of days at BLT. First dinner at Ohana (the chef came out and spoke to me, prepared a separate set of vegetables, wings, etc, and the waitress knew which meats I could and could not eat). Only complaint was the GF bread/buns were dry but okay. Second dinner was a IlMulino at the Swan (easy, as they had seafood risotto).

Then onto the CRUISE!!! Each meal had numerous options, even for me. On the first night, the head server and waitress both spoke to me about my restrictions. The plan was for each night to show me the menu for the next night and they would specially prepare my selection GF!!! They could make about 75% of the menu. Excellent! Same complaint as above - the bread was dry and tasteless...same shape as Ohana, but Ohana's tasted better. GF waffles were okay at best, GF pancakes need serious work (try Hodgkin's Mill or some other box would be much better). No GF cereal available.
I'd go back again in a heartbeat...in fact we booked 2014 while on board!
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:50 AM   #4
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Looking forward to the rest of your review!
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:38 AM   #5
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Great start to your report!
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Old 04-06-2013, 11:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucy0558 View Post
Great start to your report!
Thanks everyone for reading along.
I was starting to think I was all alone out here


Quote:
Originally Posted by lizzyb View Post
Looking forward to the rest of your review!
Thanks........hope to add more tomorrow, have to do my weekly run into TO with my daughter for an event she does every Sat. afternoon--oh the things we do for our kids



Quote:
Originally Posted by 1GoofyDad View Post
We just returned from our 5 night Disney Wonder cruise out of Miami over the Easter Weekend. I too am GF for about a year now.

Same complaint as above - the bread was dry and tasteless...same shape as Ohana, but Ohana's tasted better. GF waffles were okay at best, GF pancakes need serious work (try Hodgkin's Mill or some other box would be much better). No GF cereal available.
I'd go back again in a heartbeat...in fact we booked 2014 while on board!
Glad you had a good experience too.
The dinner rolls were just awful on the cruise.
I tried to eat them with lots of butter and the spread of the day if it was OK for me. By the fourth night, I just couldn't eat them any more. I felt bad as the servers thought they were doing such a great thing for me.
I was looking forward to our dinner at Palo, which was very good, but the same GOD AWFUL BUNS............seriously
More on the fantastic meal at Palo later.
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Old 04-06-2013, 11:09 PM   #7
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BWV continued

After our Beaches and Cream dinner, we went to Beach Club Market Place as I had read they had Baby Cakes GF items. I got a nice looking donut, but alas, never did eat it
We then went back to the room to get settled.

DD and I stopped into the Community Hall and picked up some tennis gear and went to play(I use the term loosely), it was fun though.



We then went back to the room, retrieved the men, and walked over to Fantasia mini-golf.
This has become a family tradition, with each person getting a victory photo for their hole-in one.





I love the theming of this mini-golf--so unique



After all the exercise we got mini-golfing, we headed back to Beaches and Cream for our dessert. As we headed there, Illuminations was underway, and we got great views on the bridge over to Beach Club--no photos as I still can never get fireworks to turn out on any camera I have owned

We were beat by then, headed back to the room to relax and try to get some sleep before the big day.

Up next:--we finally see The Fantasy
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Old 04-08-2013, 05:39 PM   #8
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March 9
The big day finally arrives.

We have breakfast ressie for 8:30am at Kouzzina.
We last ate here for dinner in 2011, not long after it switched from Spoodles.
I really liked it, as I love Greek food, but none of the rest of my family was impressed.

The server got me the chef to go over my GF allergy and I went with-
Turkey-Sweet Potato Hash - With Two Eggs and Arugula Salad . This also came with the best GF toast I had all trip--yummy



After breakfast, it was back to the room to gather up everything else, and head out front to meet our Limo . We decided to go with Happy Limo. As our flight left at 8:30pm, on the way back, we were renting a car at the Port for the day, so needed Limo only one way.
I had left instructions that we wanted to be picked up at 10:30 and as we were rolling our suitcases outside at 10:20, our driver texted us that he was there.
We did have over the 4 suitcases recommended for a standard towncar, but they all fit no problem. My only issue was that the middle person in the back had a very hard seat and riding over the 'hump" all the way there was not comfortable. The driver was pleasant and courteous, but now I know the way, from driving it back, I would not hesitate to drive myself next time. Except for the numerous ( I think 4 tolls), it was a straight forward drive.
DH and the driver chatted all the way there, and the kids and I dozed in and out.
Before you knew it, we saw this in the distance.



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Old 04-08-2013, 11:34 PM   #9
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So...we unload our luggage, go through security, up the escalator, and into the check-in line. Our on-line check in time was 12-12:30, we were there about 12, we got boarding group 12. There is no line, so I get the paperwork I need to complete, and the CM tells me that our boarding group has been called so we are good to go now.
We were in that area for such a short time, I didn't even look around.
There was a bit of a line to get your Welcome Aboard photo done.



Next, we walk through and hear our name......we're finally here.

I have the kids go have a seat by guest services while DH and I get signed up for our Tasting classes. DH picks Cognac (on his own-all tastes like liquid fire to me), and we both sign up for Mixology, and the Tequila and Margarita classes.
We then head up to Cabanas for lunch.
I didn't ask for the chef to go over what I could eat, I just stuck to what I knew I could have--salad,fruit,seafood, etc.

We wondered around a bit more, checked out where we would be for dinner.

Our dining rotation was 8:15 -ERAERAE
I know some people have a preferred rotation, but for us, it really made no difference .

Some shots around the ship.





The ship you see behind DS and DD is.....



We found out on our second to last night what had happened to the poor people on that cruise..........wow , more bad luck for Carnival

More coming up on our first night.
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:00 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petbren View Post


We found out on our second to last night what had happened to the poor people on that cruise..........wow , more bad luck for Carnival

More coming up on our first night.
I got on the ship for a back-2-back cruise on Fantasy the Day you got off and agree, bad luck for Carnival people. Funny, someone at the car rental place in cocoa beach area asked if I was on the ship that broke down I said heck no going on DCL
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:58 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petbren View Post


I have been "stalking" the 2013 trip reports looking for a picture of the embarkation photo for Port Canaveral 2013. This will likely be the only picture we purchase from Shutters (if it is good). Thanks for posting. Looking forward to reading all about your trip.
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Old 04-09-2013, 04:45 PM   #12
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Subbing in from London ON...we are headed to the Eastern cruise next August!! Looking forward to your pics and story.
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http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3099534
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Old 04-09-2013, 10:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drischar View Post
I have been "stalking" the 2013 trip reports looking for a picture of the embarkation photo for Port Canaveral 2013. This will likely be the only picture we purchase from Shutters (if it is good). Thanks for posting. Looking forward to reading all about your trip.
We had no one to take the photo on our camera--and unlike during the Character Greets, no one offered either.
We ended up buying the 10 picture photo CD for $149 so we picked this as one of the 10.
Glad you're following along

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisParker View Post
Subbing in from London ON...we are headed to the Eastern cruise next August!! Looking forward to your pics and story.
There were tonnes of Canadians on our cruise--March Break .
Thanks for following along. I'm sure you will have a great time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DMMarla07860 View Post
I got on the ship for a back-2-back cruise on Fantasy the Day you got off and agree, bad luck for Carnival people. Funny, someone at the car rental place in cocoa beach area asked if I was on the ship that broke down I said heck no going on DCL
Yea, I try to tone down my "holier than thou" attitude when people say "Oh, I hope you didn't go with Carnival" and I say "oh we went Disney, so we had No Problem"
I know it could happen, but I am doubtful they would let issues like that go unresolved.
Back to Back--wow--hope you had a great time too.
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Old 04-09-2013, 10:50 PM   #14
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Enjoying your report. We are doing our first cruise next March and plan on doing one DVC night before too. Happy to hear how much you got done! I still don't know how to quote from my phone - but did you say for $149 you get a CD with just your favorite 10 pictures? OUCH
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:10 PM   #15
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We decided to take the Walking Ship Tour at 1pm while we waited for our room to get ready.
We thought this would be a good way to see the ship and start to know our way around. There were only us and 3 other families on the tour.
The two CM Martin and Matt,who did the tour were quite entertaining, young and British. DD was quite taken with one of them. We were rolling along our one carry on and Martin rolled it around most of the time for us.
The Tour allowed the kids to get to walk through all 4 bars, something they couldn't usually do as Oh La La, and Skyline don't allow kids at any time.

Here they are in the fancy chairs in Oh La La




The tour lasted an hour, so we headed up to the room
3 of our 6 bags had arrived.
We loved the room--view from the balcony was great(not really in Port, but the rest of the time).






We booked our cruise through Dreams Unlimited, Merrie Thomas was our agent. We got a nice on board credit booking with them too.We didn't really require much, but she always e-mailed when she would be away, or about upcoming dates, etc. We were very happy with her, and would use her again.
We found this welcome basket from Dreams when we arrived.







We were room #7594. It was Starboard side (which was great in CC), not far from the mid-ship elevators.



Much more on Castaway Cay later in the report.

Gotta call it a night.......still haven't made it through the first day
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