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Old 08-29-2013, 12:44 PM   #16
PrincessForLife
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Congrats on your wedding...

Your pictures look amazing and I love the Grey Stuff pictures! The beast's castle was beautiful. (we just got home from our anniversary trip last night and the beast's castle was my favorite area). Your prince/princess shirts were a great idea.

Cannot wait to hear about your fantasy cruise. That was one of our favorite ships.
Thank you!

I'll be starting the cruise portion as soon as I can! It's a little crazy right now with Labor Day coming up...
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Old 09-03-2013, 12:53 PM   #17
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Getting On Board

Getting our cruise pick up quite an ordeal for us since the hotel reservation was under my name and the cruise was under my DH's name. They didn't deliver it to the room because he wasn't the primary guest on the reservation. Lucky, concierge was very accommodating, giving us 2 letters about pick up as well as having bell services call us to confirm luggage pick up at 8am on the morning we left. Note to other travelers: put all the reservations under one person's name! It makes it so much easier in the longer run... Even though all parties that were staying at the Grand Floridian had different boarding times, the DCL bus picked us all up at 11am and then made a second stop at the Polynesian to pick up more guests. We got to port about 12:30 and quickly got in line for check in. (We were in a little bit of a rush since we wanted to get spots for the mixology class and martini tasting.)






Our first look at the Fantasy!!



As I mentioned in the PTR, I have never spent more than 5 mins in the terminal and I really wanted to enjoy it. NOPE. After check in, I snapped a couple pictures of the area and we quickly got in line to get on board. We decided to take the pre-cruise photo and maybe buy it to commemorate the trip. Little did we realize that when we went to Shutters to look at pictures we had taken at the end of the cruise, the pre-cruise photo was the only one we got...so we decided not to get it. lol



Mickey & Minnie were preoccupied with the masses of people so we skipped them....



As we walked up the gang plank, I was super excited to see the lobby since I've been stalking other trip reports and loving every single photo! I didn't get many photos and some of the quality isn't very good, but it's the thought that counts. As we walked up to the crew and they asked us for our family name, I was tickled pink that my DH and I were officially the Kaucher family for the first time. Then the beauty of the lobby hit me. It felt like I was walking onto the remodeled Titanic (if it was still around). It had such old world cruise line charm from the 1920's. There is so much beautiful detail and sparkle that you feel like a dog in a room filled with squirrels. You just don't know where to look first!!




My favorite part of the ship: the chandelier!!




After we got over the shock of the beauty of the ship, we quickly asked a crew member where La Piazza was located and quickly went in that direction to book our tastings. It took us a little while to find it because all the corridors and areas of the ship are so curvy that it takes a couple days to get your barrings and not get lost. Once in Europa, we got our first view of all the different bars and lounges. We had no desire to go to the pub, so I snapped a picture and we took a quick look at Oh La La. It was so pretty and couldn't wait to have a drink in there!! We also wanted to get a drink in Skyline since I really wanted to see the changing scenery.







We finally found our way to La Piazza and quickly booked the tasting before they ran out of spots. We decided that this would be our hang out because of the pianist playing there every night....or so we thought.... (more on that later)




The bathrooms in Europa were amazing! They were all mosaic and done in a Spanish style. Each set of bathrooms also had a different mural. Check out all of them when you go!! This is truly a Disney touch!
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:53 PM   #18
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Cupcake Tables and First Exploration

After we booked the tastings it was time for lunch! We like to start out our cruises with a sit down meal rather than a pure buffet. Instead of going to Cabanas we went to Enchanted Garden for the first time! I was so excited to eat there because it looked soooo pretty! We ended up asking for one of the cupcake tables and we got the end one right next to the buffet line. It was epic. The food on the lunch buffet is always good. I love piling my plate with shrimp and pasta. One unique feature that Enchanted Garden has that Parrot Cay didn't have is an ice cream counter. The ice cream was really good and they had a great variety of flavors that included Rock Road, Pistachio, and many others! (I failed to get a picture of the ice cream....)


I was super excited that we got a cupcake table!




By the time we were done eating it was 2pm and we were ready to check out our stateroom. We were on deck 8 and our stateroom was 8148. The stateroom was a nice corner stateroom next to the laundry and deluxe family rooms. We didn't have a connecting door which was our number one priority. I love the staterooms on the Fantasy! They are so crisp and nicely decorated. Our stateroom host was Arman and even though we only saw him passing by occasionally, he was awesome! He gave me the H2O products 2 times each day! (I collect those and bring them back with me to use when I'm feeling Disney homesick.) The verandah was nice but we didn't use it as much as I thought we would. I think we also would have used it more if the people in the next rooms over didn't smoke all the time. I'm really happy that DCL is instating the rule of no more smoking on the verandahs because it really isn't pleasant if you are stuck next to a smoking verandah when you don't smoke! After hanging out on the balcony for a little while and taking some pictures of the Carnival Dream and our view, we went up top to explore a little more before the spa raffle.


I wanted this pillow so bad! Too bad it was almost $200....

Kevin discovering the power of on demand in our stateroom






The only thing I didn't like about the Fantasy is that the whole Deck 11 Aft is Cabanas. I know it's pretty and convenient for food, I didn't really like that we had to walk through the buffet lines in order to get to the pools and everything else on 11. I always felt awkward as we went through the empty Cabanas and the crew members cleaning would stare at you as you walked by. Creepy... However, I did get some great photos of Cabanas with no one around!!









Mine! Mine! Mine!

After checking out Cabanas and what they offered, we made our way forward. We were excited about the snacks on deck and they were actually really good. Kevin always got the hot dogs saying that they were some of the best ever! After going past the family pools we made our way to the Quiet Cove area. The pool was a little small but there was rarely anyone in there when we went swimming. The hot tubs were really nice because they were up against the glass wall and had glass bottoms to see the ocean beneath you! It was so cool. It was sooooo quiet on decks 11, 12, & 13 forward. DCL did a great job of isolating the adult areas. And even though there were a few families that would bring there kids up there, the bar servers were on patrol and politely reminded the guest that children were not allowed up there.







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Old 09-09-2013, 10:50 AM   #19
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Sailing Away and Raffle Prizes

We were really excited about spending some time at Satellite Falls. From other pictures, the place looked like such a great little relaxing area. Since we had some time to kill before the spa raffle, we sat by the wadding pool for a little while. It was only about 2 feet deep and it had a gentle rain with very cool water. I was a little dissapointed that the rain was only in operation for the disembarkation. It was such a cool feature and they should have at least turned it on when we were in port when there was no wind.









After that, we went down to Deck 11 for a tour of the spa and enter the spa raffle. We were pleasantly surprised when Kevin won a $50 credit toward any spa service!! With that credit we booked a couples villa for our first day at sea. (More on that in the next couple of sections!)




All giddy and excited for our spa service the next day, we wandered over to the sail away party for a couple of drinks of the days. We stayed for a couple minutes and watched the characters dance while we sucked down the combination of strawberry daiquiri and pina colada. Even though the drinks are a little expensive, you get to keep the glasses! These are great for the rest of the sailing when you need a soda fix for your room service meals.













The party area was starting to get really crowded and hot so we decided to go to our verandah to watch the ship sail out of port. We had a gorgeous view of the sailing and I got some really pretty pictures of the shoreline!










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Old 09-09-2013, 11:57 AM   #20
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New Friends and Finding our Hangout

We started the cruise off by seeing the opening show, "A Fantasy Come True." It was really fun and probably one of the better shows on the ship. I only got one picture of the theater because crew members were always patrolling and making sure no one got too many pictures even before the shows started. It was then time for out before dinner drinks!



One of our favorite things to do on the cruise is attend the live piano every evening. We were a little bummed that the great Tim Moss wasn't on ship but we were excited to here someone new. The piano session was in La Piazza and a keyboard-like piano was used by Laurence J. Blackler. He was pretty good and he had a very nice voice. The energy was a little down though. He reminded us of a lounge singer more than an entertainer. The drinks we had were also ok. They were very Italian and we couldn't pronounce half of the ingredients. When we asked for recommendations from the bar server, she said he never had any of them because she was in the second week of bar service. Shouldn't the servers at least try them before working there so they can sell products and make personal recommendations??


Laurence J. Blackler

Just some ok drinks...

Our dinner rotation was REARAER and we were in the Royal Court for the first dinner. I also called last September right after we booked it to request a table to ourselves. It's usually unheard of to get a table for 2 but someone we got one! We were very excited!! Our table was located very close to the enterance so we didn't get to see much of the restaurant but that was ok. I saw so many pictures from other people that it's like I already saw them. I did get a couple pictures of the princess details though!! We were table 27 and our assistant server was Danni from Australia and our main server was Marajon from Croatia. They were fantastic and very personable.




What? We got our own table?!?!?!?







Our epic servers, Danni (left) and Marajon (right)!

Since we are big martini people, we decided to go to Skyline and start our passport. The passport is a booklet that ou perchase for about $60 and it's good for 7 martinis. This is a great deal because it's like buying 6 martinis and getting one free! They also had an excellent selection of VERY yummy martinis.


All our favorites came with globe cubes! We got a total of 9 glow cubes from the trip!!




Skyline was also our favortie bar and hangout for the ENTIRE cruise for before dinner drinks. (we ditched La Piazza after the bad experience...) The lounge looks like a hip little bar in a modern skyrise that over looks some of the most picturesque cities of the world be night. There are also little hints of Disney such as Mickey waving out of windows or the Magic in the port of Barcelona, Spain! It was so cool. There we also met our favorite crew members, bar servers Alonso and Pedrique and Ti the bartender. All the guys welcomed us loving every day and really took care of us. They were our buddies and they always hung out with us because we were the only people in there before the second rotation for dinner. We will never forget them!!


Our besties Alonso and Pedrique!!





















It's the glow cube monster!!!!

And finally, the last picture of the night!
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Old 09-09-2013, 01:02 PM   #21
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You two are tooooo adorable! Congratulations on your happy ever after! I love that you took up pin trading. We are huge fans of Figment, too. Thanks for sharing. I have been on the Dream, but Fantasy looks cool.
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Old 09-09-2013, 01:09 PM   #22
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You two are tooooo adorable! Congratulations on your happy ever after! I love that you took up pin trading. We are huge fans of Figment, too. Thanks for sharing. I have been on the Dream, but Fantasy looks cool.
Awww, thank you! I really want to do the Dream but we took the opportunity of vacationing on the newly renovated Magic next Easter! Thanks for joining me!
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:02 PM   #23
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Day 1 at Sea: Couple Villa and Mixology!

Hi Everyone!

Sorry I haven't posted in a month!! It's been so crazy post-wedding with the name change, pictures, thank you's, etc. BUT I finally have a little free time and I plan on continuing this report and finishing it out by the end of the month at the latest!!

I left off the last segment with the end of the sailing away and the night's activities. The next morning we booked our couple's villa at the spa. We were going to do it on our day at St. Martin but the manager was courteous and let us use the certificate Kevin won for a day at sea. I have to say, if you have never done the couple's villa, DO IT! It is such an amazing experience and you get pampered up the wazoo!! It starts by changing into your swimsuit in the locker rooms. You are them let to the waiting room where you fill out the wellness disclaimer and relax in large, comfy chairs with soothing music.



Once you are called, your hostess leads you two to your private villa complete with bathroom, shower, and open-air verandah. The hostesses first have you sit on the verandah while they do a sea salt scrub on your feet and lower legs. They even provide a grass pad to rest your feet on!! Next, you two get about 20 minutes in the private, 2 person whirlpool on the verandah. Like the whirlpools that come with the rainforest room, they have contoured bottoms and lights. It was so soothing to cuddle in the whirlpool with my DH and watch the sea go by. After that, we took a shower and changed out of our swimsuit to get ready for our massages.



You have a choice of 3 massages: the hot stone Swedish massage, the the herbal poultice massage, or the bamboo deep tissue massage. My DH has never had a massage so he opted for the hot stone massage while I got the oh so painful but amazing deep tissue massage. It was really fun and special to be next to my husband while they did the massages. At the end of the full-body, they join the hands of the couple and have you open you eyes looking at each other. It was so romantic!! We finished out the villa with a tea ceremony on the verandah which included herbal tea, fruit kabobs, and chocolate-covered strawberries! It was so relaxing! We were then instructed to drink lots of water and to relax.....but we didn't. Instead, we went to our Mixology class RIGHT after the treatment.





Mixology was done in Skyline with our favorite bar staff. The class was only about 10-12 people and it was a blast! We ended up making 5 drinks. I couldn't tell you all of them or their descriptions. All I know is that they were delicious and the ship seemed to be hitting some pretty large waves after we left the class. Kevin volunteered as a part of the first group and made this awesome martini. He even got to use the shaker, strainer, and look all around bad-***. lol











I did the next one which was a blueberry mojito. We got to muddle blueberries and mint and then pour the liquor. I was the only one to try the stop bubble and I failed miserably at it. I also lost the bottle too trying to look cool. Everyone else was too.















When you get a group of people together who love to drink and don't really know how to properly mix, it gets pretty entertaining. Kevin also made the final shot called a Baby Guinness.









Overall, we really enjoyed the class. We made some cool drinks and met some great people! You should seriously try it if you like mixed drinks!!
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:11 PM   #24
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Sounds like a perfect day so far.
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Old 10-03-2013, 06:19 PM   #25
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Sounds like a wonderful day so far! Can't wait to read more
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Old 10-03-2013, 07:16 PM   #26
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Old 10-03-2013, 08:56 PM   #27
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Old 10-04-2013, 07:59 AM   #28
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Old 10-04-2013, 09:22 AM   #29
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Thank you everyone for joining me!!
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Old 10-04-2013, 10:41 AM   #30
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Emergency Stop and Animator's Palette

After Mixology we ran to the Walt Disney Theater to see Aladdin which was probably the best show on board. Ship was still hitting some pretty big waves. hehe.


The beautiful theatre!

An announcement then came over the ship that we were making a short emergency stop at the island of San Salvador due to a medical emergency. There was even a special announcement on the ship channel as well as a course change on the itinerary map. We decided to wander to deck 13 forward and watch us pull up to the island. We weren't able to dock because the island could not accommodate us so the crew members took a tender boat ashore. We never did find out what the medical emergency was but I hope the person is okay!!









Then the rain came. This was the ONLY time during the whole cruise it rained. While parked at San Salvador, we could see the small mass of rain above the island. Before we knew it, the Jaws theme started and the mass moved toward the ship at a rapid pace. It's a good thing we were by the Satellite Falls shelter or we would have had to run quick! It rained for maybe 15-20 and the sun was back out. It was just too funny that the one unexpected stop brought rain!


The rain appears!

It darkens...

(Insert Jaws theme here...)

We then wandered around the atrium, took a couple pictures, and then went back to the room to rest before the next showing of Aladdin. We were also running around the atrium to all the magical pictures. If you stand in front of them, them come to life. And if you stand there long enough, they will do something different! It was so cool.




Same picture, moving Mickey!








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