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Old 05-16-2013, 06:47 PM   #16
mousefan5
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I have read that for the most part they leave on time and have left people. However, there may be a circumstance where it is not a good idea to leave such as other children in the kids club. I just know that I would never want to be that person that is scrambling to get to the ship on time.

Sounds like you had a great time!
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Old 05-16-2013, 06:54 PM   #17
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We tipped the host an extra $40 (in addition to the recommended tip) because of how much we appreciated this. How does this compare?


Thanks for the detailed report. I had similar thoughts about the food and service on our first cruise (Magic W. Caribbean Dec. 2011).

We also blew off the boarding pic in favor getting on the ship quicker.

$40 above recommended gratuity for your room host/hostess (and waitstaff) is a good tip excellent service. We were in that range as well. Some may thinks that's too generous but the staff really works their xxx off on these ships and IMHO deserve every penny.
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Old 05-16-2013, 09:57 PM   #18
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Thumbs up Great info, thanks!

Thank you so much for your review/thoughts on your trip. All of your comments were very helpful to me, an experienced cruiser who is new to DCL. I too worry my expectations may be too high, but I keep reading reports like yours which are definitely reassuring. Thanks for taking the time to share!
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Old 05-17-2013, 10:07 AM   #19
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Thank you so much for your report we are going in December for the first time...
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Old 05-17-2013, 02:49 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brentm77 View Post


Food and Service. I didn't know what to expect with the food so many different opinions on Dis-Boards. My wife has a gluten allergy. The ship was fantastic for that she would pre-order the next day's food and they would tell her to order anything she wanted for breakfast and lunch. They literally made anything she requested gluten free. Dessert was always recommended to be "Chefs choice" and was usually good. I loved the oatmeal they served for breakfast with all the toppings (dried bananas, coconut, cranberrys etc). It was better than what I make at home. Lunches were good we usually ate at Cabanas. Dinners were good to great. I thought most were much better than what you get at most of Disneyland's eateries (I've never been to Disneyworld), better than most chain restaurants, but not as good as a fine dining restaurant. This was a pleasant surprise after having been disappointed with what Disney offers in the parks for ridiculous prices. Of course, the food varied a bit. Some nights were delicious (the sea bass and short ribs for example). Some were so-so (lobster). But none of it was inedible. I think the sides were the most lacking. They often too small, not very creative, or flavorless. The server gave great suggestions to me each night. I even liked the popcorn soup, which is a love it or hate it thing on these boards. By the end of the week though, it all seemed to have a similar flavor or was less appetizing I was tiring of the food for some reason. Probably had just eaten too much.

Palos brunch was nice. But by the time we went on Thursday, I never felt hungry, even skipping breakfast. Because of that, it probably didn't enjoy it as much. Also, the server wasn't that impressive. He showed us around the buffet, said here are the things you can order, and then never came to see what we wanted to order. I finally hunted him down to place our order. One of the servers was showing her group their options and said, "whether your table orders this dish or not, I am ordering for you because it is too good to pass up." That is the kind of pampering I was hoping for. Instead, our waiter made the rude remark "now I will translate what she just said to English." He was trying to be funny, but she was offended and it made it awkward for us. The food didn't seem that much of an upgrade from the dining rooms. Shortly into our meal they said they were closing the kitchen down and to place any final orders (we had a 12:45 seating), which I didn't think was very classy - at least they warned us. That said, it was a great date with my wife and I am glad we did it. The view and ambiance were great.

Is the first cruise always better than the rest? Or are they all just as magical? They are all just as magical in their own way.
How was Palo brunch for your gluten-free wife? Were they able to make GF pizza? Any yummy GF foods to take the place of the large spread of wheat-filled carby foods (cinnamon rolls, stollen, etc)? Any chance she had the chicken parm? Last cruise I was not GF. I now must be GF and I hope I enjoy Palo brunch GF as much as I did pre-GF!
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Old 05-17-2013, 03:20 PM   #21
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Thank you for the great information! My family is going on our first cruise in November!
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Old 05-17-2013, 04:43 PM   #22
brentm77
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Thank you for all the nice comments above. I hope I didn't dwell on the few negative things too much, as it was one of the best vacations of my life.

Also, thanks to all the Dis Board members who provided fantastic tips and responses to my questions before the trip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Candy Apple View Post
How was Palo brunch for your gluten-free wife? Were they able to make GF pizza? Any yummy GF foods to take the place of the large spread of wheat-filled carby foods (cinnamon rolls, stollen, etc)? Any chance she had the chicken parm? Last cruise I was not GF. I now must be GF and I hope I enjoy Palo brunch GF as much as I did pre-GF!
Palo was excellent for GF. The one thing the server did that was helpful was to get the chef. The chef came out and walked around with my wife to go over her options. There were many GF options on the buffet. He then said he could prepare just about anything for her that she wanted. She ordered GF pizza, which my wife said was very good. She raved to the chef about it and he brought out the UPC from the box for the crust they used. We were a bit disappointed to see that it was Amy's pizza crust, because we know that Amy's is not made in a GF free factory. Disney claims to be very aware of cross-contamination, so I am surprised they wouldn't know better about purchasing from GF factories too. But, my wife didn't have any reaction to the pizza. She didn't order anything else, and the waiter didn't offer to bring her any GF deserts. I don't recall if there were any already available, but she didn't get any.

My wife really liked the GF cookies from room service. One night, I ordered 3 of them (she saved 2 for the next day).

One other thing that I forgot in the initial report - I did not think the water at Castaway Cay was uncomfortably cold. I had worried about that based on some reports. But it was so hot on the island, that the water felt great. It was a bit shocking one you first got in - but I have the same reaction to most pools in the summer too. Within a few seconds it was just right and refreshing. By comparison, it felt much warmer than the Pacific ocean in California or Oregon - which you just have to get numb to to enjoy, even in mid-summer.
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Old 05-17-2013, 06:01 PM   #23
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Thanks for your review, sounds great.

I don't know if I would have expressly booed those passengers, but it is extremely inconsiderate of them. Regardless of what caused them to be late (traffic?), unless it was a medical emergency, they got mugged, etc., it annoys me when people feel like they're so special that they don't have to follow the same rules as the 3,996 other people on board. It's just simply rude and inconsiderate.
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Old 05-17-2013, 06:27 PM   #24
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Thanks for your review....glad your had a fabulous first cruise....

The first is always magical, however, all of mine have been magical to me....


Thanks for sharing your thoughts
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Old 05-17-2013, 06:43 PM   #25
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Thanks for a really great report.....oh yes always take something for seasickness. It happen to me on our first cruise and I always come prepared.


We too always found the stateroom host and dining room staff to be excellent and we too always tip more.

And we find there is never enough time to do everything that is offered.

My DH and I never make to the adult area at night...we too are always too pooped!
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Old 05-17-2013, 07:02 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brentm77 View Post
Thank you for all the nice comments above. I hope I didn't dwell on the few negative things too much, as it was one of the best vacations of my life.

Also, thanks to all the Dis Board members who provided fantastic tips and responses to my questions before the trip.



Palo was excellent for GF. The one thing the server did that was helpful was to get the chef. The chef came out and walked around with my wife to go over her options. There were many GF options on the buffet. He then said he could prepare just about anything for her that she wanted. She ordered GF pizza, which my wife said was very good. She raved to the chef about it and he brought out the UPC from the box for the crust they used. We were a bit disappointed to see that it was Amy's pizza crust, because we know that Amy's is not made in a GF free factory. Disney claims to be very aware of cross-contamination, so I am surprised they wouldn't know better about purchasing from GF factories too. But, my wife didn't have any reaction to the pizza. She didn't order anything else, and the waiter didn't offer to bring her any GF deserts. I don't recall if there were any already available, but she didn't get any.

My wife really liked the GF cookies from room service. One night, I ordered 3 of them (she saved 2 for the next day).
Thanks for the GF Palo review. I've never had Amy's pizza crust because I make my own. I may need to try it for the grape pizza. I'll be on the Magic next month. Since the Magic will be in the Med, it may be a different company for the pizza crust.

I didn't know you could order GF cookies from room service. I've always been told room service is a no-go for allergies (DS15 has been GF for a few cruises). Were they the pre-packaged cookies?
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Old 05-17-2013, 08:43 PM   #27
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Yes. GF cookies from room service were prepackaged. But there was no extra charge for them. They warmed them up, unless you asked for them not to warm them, in which case they were slightly frozen.
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Old 05-18-2013, 11:10 PM   #28
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All of the cruises are magical. Just some are more magical than others

Loved your trip report. Thank you for sharing.
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Old 05-19-2013, 02:32 AM   #29
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Loved your report!

My hubby loves relaxing on the verandah (he naps) while I get ready and get DD ready. I love to see that.

Best sleep I ever have is on a ship. I love Castaway Cay.....exhale...so relaxing I never want to go eat.

Before cruising, my nightmares, us missing the boat, me just missing the boat (and no one notices), forgot bathing suit, forgot make up.
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Old 05-20-2013, 02:44 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brentm77 View Post
Initial thoughts: We returned from our cruise to the Eastern Caribbean on the Fantasy last Saturday (May 11, 2013). I don't have enough interesting things to post an trip report, but wanted to share some of my thoughts. This was my families first cruise (I took a cheap Baja cruise as a teenager). It was with my wife and two young girls.

The Fantasy was breathtaking. What a work of engineering and art put together. It was spotless everywhere we went. In many ways, it was nicer than a Ritz Carlton I stayed at.

Is the first cruise always better than the rest? Or are they all just as magical?
That was our second Disney cruise - and I think the staff make and people you meet make it even more magical. This 7 day was Awesome, the 3 day dream was way to short, but just as magical.
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