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Old 05-18-2014, 11:26 PM   #1
tnshsms
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Western Fantasy Cruise – May 10-17, 2014

I want to start off by saying I’ve never written a trip report so bear with me if I’m not as eloquent as other writers just yet.  I mean, you can probably tell by my boring title!

This was our second DCL cruise but our first on the Fantasy. Cast of characters: Me, a thirty something accountant in the retirement world; the hubby, a thirty something accountant in the banking world and our 5 year old daughter who is all about princesses. I also want to point out that I enjoy food, but am not a food picture person. So if you are looking for some food pictures, you will be disappointed. Sorry!!

We always try to fly down the day before just to avoid any “I’m going to miss the ship” problems so once again, we flew down on Friday. Our flight was delayed 3 hours so that was a bummer. Our 4pm arrival time ended up being more like 7:10. We then took the hotel’s transfers which were outsourced to Cocoa Beach Shuttle. Worst shuttle experience ever. DO NOT USE THEM. We landed at 7:10, called them at baggage claim at 7:29, didn’t get picked up at the airport until 8:09, picked up another couple on the other side of the airport, he took a phone call and then we picked up a random person in a dark office building parking lot at 8:30 at night. After our drive to Cocoa Beach, the 10 min conversation he had with the other couple when dropping them off, then taking us to the Sheraton, it was 9:27 before we got to the hotel. It was awful. Once we got to the Sheraton 4 Points in Cocoa Beach, it was a nice hotel and we were able to stay on reward points. It was clean and our room was mostly quiet. We were in 401 right next to the entrance from the parking garage where you have to scan your key to get into the hallway and people let that door slam quite often throughout the night. We ate dinner at the restaurant on property with the huge fish tank. Food was good, cost us about $16 a pizza we shared with a tip. I did a little repacking that night to prepare for a few hours without our bags and went to bed.
The next morning we slept in a little since we were about 10 min from the port. Our breakfast at the shark pit the next morning was adequate but we didn’t get much. An egg for the girl, an eggs and potatoes for me and an actual meal for the hubby. $16 with tip again. The hotel has a shuttle that takes you to the port so we hopped on that and were to the port around 10:45. We got thru security quickly because we were fortunate enough to get pulled out of line to start a new security line in a different location. We hopped in line for Minnie and then checked in.
We were group #7 when we checked in at 11:20 and we were on the ship by noon. We headed to Cabana’s for lunch and as soon as we had some food in our belly, the hubby and kid were off to the aqua duck & pool. After a few rounds we headed to see our room. We were in 6080, midship which was very nice for me who is prone to seasickness. We had an aft balcony 3 years ago and although it didn’t ruin my cruise, it wasn’t as enjoyable as it could have been. I’m very prone to car sickness so it’s something I’m used to but in any event, never fun to feel queasy during vacation.

After checking out the room we headed down to the kids club to get the kid her bracelet and check it out with her. She’s a little on the shy side so I wasn’t sure how she was going to be in the kids club. We didn’t plan on her going into the kids club a lot because as two working parents we see vacation time as time to spend as a family but there were a few events in which some time in the kids club might be fun for her. More on that later……

At this point it was time for our Dis Meet and Greet. I had joined the facebook page several months prior to the cruise so it was fun to meet all those people who were counting down with me in person! We didn’t stick around for too long because the kid wanted to swim some more. We headed back to the room and our bags were already there at 3:30! I unpacked a little while the kid watched some Disney shorts on TV. We met Rapunzel and headed down for our muster drill. Our station was on deck 4 and it took about 30 min for everyone to check in and for us to be released. Then we headed up to the sail away party. We were able to get right in front and I took video.

We had early dining so after the sail away party we headed to our room to freshen up and then headed down to our first meal: Royal Court. The restaurant is decorated very nice and it’s a very pretty restaurant but its boring to a 5 year old. Through the dis meet we were able to find 2 other families with 5 year old girls and we all set together…so we had a table of 12! The girls had a great time playing during dinner and it was nice to have someone else to talk to at dinner since the hubby and I did the same thing all day. If it was just us the conversation would be “So what did you do today…oh, the same thing I did…ok” Annnnnd….crickets. So having tablemates was nice.
After dinner, the kid and hubby went up to ride the aquaduck and swim while no one was up there. I think they rode it about 7 or 8 times before I said its bedtime. I wanted her to be well rested for Bippidity Boppity and anything else fun we might do the next day.

Day 2, up next………..
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WDW - Twice in the 90s & adults only in March 2007
Disney Dream - May 2011
WDW - POR and CS May 2011 (after our flight was cancelled and we were stranded at WDW for 3 days)
Disneyland - May 2013
Disney Fantasy - May 2014
Disney Magic - May 2015

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Old 05-19-2014, 08:56 AM   #2
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looking forward to your report. we are on this cruise next may!
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Old 05-19-2014, 01:32 PM   #3
tnshsms
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Happy Mother’s day!

We woke up in a panic because it was later than we thought it should be. The clock in the room said 8:15 but we had a wake-up call for 7:45…what happened! We think we figured out that the clock was set to the wrong time and we never noticed it before that morning…so alas we woke up in a panic and it was only 7:15. Ooops! We headed up to eat at Cabana’s. I found the food selection to be ok for breakfast. I’m not a huge breakfast person so I usually had eggs and some kind of potato with a yogurt every day. The kid almost always had a pancake and the hubby had a variety of foods. It was all good and DH found it to be a good selection but he also likes breakfast more than I do.

We headed to the pool to try to beat the rush since it was our first sea day. The two of them swam and I went down to sign DH up for the 5K and I dropped off our future cruise paper in the box. I had never booked on board before and that was interesting…more on that later.

After a couple of hours in the pool, we headed back to the room to prepare for the princess gathering. Its really a nice setup for a kid who loves princesses because you get 6 princesses in one setting. DH headed down about 35 min before the gathering was to start to get a place in line. There were 9 people in front of him. I got the kid ready and headed down about 5 min to 11am. This worked out well since she hates waiting for the characters. She loves to meet them but doesn't want to wait. We met Cinderella, Ariel, Jasmine, Rapunzel, Belle & Tiana. Once it was our turn to start the line of princesses, DH ran upstairs to get in line for Sofia who was at 11:15. He was about 10th in line which worked out well. We got thru the princesses and headed upstairs to get there just in time to meet Sofia. They did this exact same timing on the second sea day but since we did it on the first sea day we didn't go again. After all that we headed back to Cabana’s for lunch. Lunch had a better variety and we always found good things to eat there. We headed back to the room for a little rest before our BBB appointment! We brought our Elsa dress from home so she changed into her dress. (We were very lucky to snag the last Elsa dress one afternoon at JcPenney’s…I was concealing my find because I was afraid someone might attack me for the dress…I can’t believe how hard they are to find! We had many questions on the cruise if BBB had the dresses and if that’s where we got it. But no, BBB did not have either Elsa or Anna on board to dress up as). She chose the fairy tale option and had her hair put into a bun, eye shadow, lip gloss, fingernail polish and a ton of pixie dust. I’m still finding pixie dust in her hair a week later. We chose the smaller package and this all cost 59.95. I felt like it was worth the money and she had a great time doing it. We didn't realize it but she got to keep all the makeup and fingernail polish when she was done. And they told us that if she wanted more pixie dust at any time during the trip, they would be happy to give us some.

After BBB, we headed down to the shops and the kid bought a Minnie souvenir. She headed to the kids club, somewhat under pressure from us, so we could do something adult like. It wasn’t until after she was in the kids club that we were like…now what? So we headed to Disney Tune Trivia…which was super hard for us….but it was fun. Then we had a mixology class scheduled through our disboards group so we headed over there. DH isn’t much of a drinker so he didn’t sign up but he was just gonna watch from the sidelines. About 15 min into the class the kid wanted to be picked up. The activity they were doing was over and she was done with the club. Mixology was fun. We had 5 drinks…well 4 drinks and a shot. Some were really good, some were just ok. But in any event, it was a fun time.

It was formal night so we got ready and headed down to meet formal night Minnie. The kid is Minnie obsessed so we met her a lot. Tonight we were in animator’s palate so we headed there for our talk with crush. We weren’t chosen to talk with him this time because our table was oddly positioned. We were between two “rooms” which made it kind of awkward. It was fun either way, but I was hoping the kid would get to talk to crush since last time she didn’t either. Oh well. Maybe next time! After dinner, we met Ariel again and then grabbed a seat for the show: Aladdin the musical. It was a super cute show and the kid loved it. The kid was in bed around 10:30 this night and we were in bed around 11:15.

Day 3 in Cozumel is next…..
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WDW - Twice in the 90s & adults only in March 2007
Disney Dream - May 2011
WDW - POR and CS May 2011 (after our flight was cancelled and we were stranded at WDW for 3 days)
Disneyland - May 2013
Disney Fantasy - May 2014
Disney Magic - May 2015
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Old 05-19-2014, 01:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MC0810 View Post
looking forward to your report. we are on this cruise next may!
You will love it!!
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Disney Dream - May 2011
WDW - POR and CS May 2011 (after our flight was cancelled and we were stranded at WDW for 3 days)
Disneyland - May 2013
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Old 05-19-2014, 02:56 PM   #5
FeliTomy2014
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Thanks for sharing your experience!! We have booked the Fantasy Western for Sept 2014, will be our first cruise!!!
Looking forward for your report to continue!!!
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Old 05-19-2014, 02:58 PM   #6
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Great start to your trip report! We leave on Saturday for the same cruise with our 3 year old princess obsessed daughter! Can't wait to read more!
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Old 05-19-2014, 05:32 PM   #7
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Day 3...staying onboard

We wake up early again…this time at 6:30…DH was up and ready to run! He ran around deck 4 to prepare a little for the 5k and the kid and I attempted to sleep a little more. (Does anyone else think he's crazy for exercising while on vacation!?) Once he was back we headed up to Cabanas to eat breakfast and then headed to the Mickey pool. We chose to not get off in Cozumel because we wanted to enjoy an empty ship and boy were we not disappointed! At 8:30 the pool was a little crowded before everyone went ashore but by 9am, the kid was the only one in the Mickey pool. That’s right, the only one! We rode the Aquaduck & Mickey slide with no line and swam for about 2 hours. We went back to the room for a quick shower and a little down time and then went back to cabanas for lunch. We never tried the dining rooms for lunch even though I thought about it frequently. I just wasn’t sure if the kid could handle that formal of a setting two times in one day. After lunch we looked for Hidden Mickeys(I went to the library, checked out the book, made copies of the pages and brought them with us). We got through about half of them when she started to get whiney so it was time for a nap. She doesn’t really nap at home but it had been quite a few late nights and early mornings recently so she ended up napping for about 2 hours while we sat on the balcony watching people as they hurried to the ship. I’m pretty sure we left a couple in Cozumel because they waited too long to get back to the ship. It was about 10 min after all aboard and these people come running…and then we see them walk away from the ship with their heads down. Not sure exactly what happened but I think it’s just a reminder to make sure to get back on time!

We became detectives after the nap and had a lot of fun playing midship detective. The kid loved it. Tonight’s dinner was Enchanted Garden and one of our families opted to skip so it was just 6 of us tonight. After dinner, we did another round of midship detective because now she loved it and then went to bed. We skipped the show this night because it was a hypnotist or something like that and it just wasn’t our thing. I wanted to make sure we were all well rested for our big day in Grand Cayman. We were going to swim with the dolphins!!
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WDW - Twice in the 90s & adults only in March 2007
Disney Dream - May 2011
WDW - POR and CS May 2011 (after our flight was cancelled and we were stranded at WDW for 3 days)
Disneyland - May 2013
Disney Fantasy - May 2014
Disney Magic - May 2015
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Old 05-20-2014, 07:42 PM   #8
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Day 4.....Grand Cayman

Was awaken by the kid around 6:30 and then we laid in bed til about 7. After breakfast in cabanas, we played some more midship detective. The kid really loved it. Because we had an excursion today, we chose to order room service for an early lunch before we met our excursion group at 11:15. We ordered a couple of turkey sandwiches and some chicken fingers. We wanted to make sure we had full tummies. We met the group in the D Lounge and it was fairly well organized. We each got a flounder sticker and waited for our group to get called. We followed the herd downstairs to load onto the ferry boat. It was about 11:45 by the time we went downstairs, got on the ferry boat and reached land. We were then given wrist bands for our excursion and then we waited another 20 min or so. We were split up into buses that sat about 20 people at a time. The bus took us for a 20 min ride through a main street on Grand Cayman. We had been here 10 years ago for our honeymoon so it was neat to be back looking around at everything that had changed and seeing our honeymoon hotel. We enjoyed the scenery more than those around us since we had a different perspective on the whole thing. Most of the other passengers were commenting how we were on the “wrong” side of the street. We arrived at Dolphin Discovery and were told to go to the Turtle Farm again. Again, we had been here before 10 years ago but I didn’t remember much of our visit. It had changed a little but it still wasn’t all that exciting. We had 30 min to tour the Turtle farm and that was plenty. The kid and DH held a turtle, we watched a short video and then stopped for a potty break before walking over to Dolphin Discovery. We were ushered into an area that had lockers and life jackets. We were told to get one of each and then meet over near the life jackets. We got our locker, got fitted for a life jacket and then waited for about a group of 15 to form. Once we had our group, they took us to the water area where the Dolphins were hanging out with their trainers. We were asked to walked down about 5 stairs into very cold water onto a metal grate like floor. The tank was deeper than that but they had us standing in about 4 feet of water. Water shoes came in very handy here. We were then allowed to pet the dolphin as he swam by, shake “hands” with the dophin and give him a kiss. There wasn’t much swimming involved, more of a stand-here-while-the-dophin-swims-to-you. So if you are scared of the idea of swimming with dolphins, don’t be. Strong swimmers are not necessary. It was fun and the kid had a great time. Once we were done, we were told the bus would pick us at 3. It was 2pm. Ooookkkkk…now what? So we waited and watched another group go and about 2:40 we walked to the door where the bus was to see if it was possible to get on an early bus. A bus was there waiting to get filled up so we got on and left shortly after that. We were back on the ship by 3pm. Another Disney difference was the towel to wipe my face off and the water to drink before getting onto the ferry. The kid watched a movie while we both showered and got ready for princess night. The kid wore her Elsa dress and the other two little girls at our table had gone to BBB that day so they were all dressed in their princess dresses too. It was very cute to see them all together. Two of the girls went to the kids club right after we were done with the main course to decorate cupcakes in the kids club and then the two moms went back to the dining room to finish dessert. We did a little shopping before getting the kid again so we could go to the show “Wishes”. It was a cute show about 3 high school seniors. After the show we decided we were all tired and went to the room for bed.
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WDW - Twice in the 90s & adults only in March 2007
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Old 05-20-2014, 07:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Disgirl83 View Post
Great start to your trip report! We leave on Saturday for the same cruise with our 3 year old princess obsessed daughter! Can't wait to read more!
I highly suggest sending the hubby down about 30 min early for the princess gathering and entertaining the little princess while he waits, it will pay off in the end, I promise!
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WDW - Twice in the 90s & adults only in March 2007
Disney Dream - May 2011
WDW - POR and CS May 2011 (after our flight was cancelled and we were stranded at WDW for 3 days)
Disneyland - May 2013
Disney Fantasy - May 2014
Disney Magic - May 2015
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Old 05-20-2014, 07:45 PM   #10
tnshsms
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FeliTomy2014 View Post
Thanks for sharing your experience!! We have booked the Fantasy Western for Sept 2014, will be our first cruise!!!
Looking forward for your report to continue!!!
Thanks for reading!
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WDW - Twice in the 90s & adults only in March 2007
Disney Dream - May 2011
WDW - POR and CS May 2011 (after our flight was cancelled and we were stranded at WDW for 3 days)
Disneyland - May 2013
Disney Fantasy - May 2014
Disney Magic - May 2015
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Old 05-20-2014, 09:57 PM   #11
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Day 5.....Jamaica

We were up at 7. DH ran and the kid and I got ready for breakfast. This is another port that we decided not to get off the ship. There wasn't much as far as excursions went that appealed to us as well as the five-year-old so we chose to take advantage of an empty ship. I chose to do laundry on this cruise to save some space in the suitcases so I took the laundry to get washed. We brought detergent from home as well as a dryer sheet but it was $2 to wash and $2 to dry. We've been using the laundry bag in the closet to store our dirty laundry. We learned that a full DCL laundry bag equals 2 loads of wash. We were able to put most of that stuff into one dryer, however. We ended up hanging up some the stuff in our cabin. It took about an hour to wash but I was able to leave it, go to breakfast and come back down and then move it to the dryer which also took about an hour. The stateroom host told me that a port day is a perfect day to do laundry because otherwise the laundry room would be full on a sea day. After we moved the stuff from the washer to the dryer and played a little bit more midship Detective and then headed to the pool. We spent the remaining morning at the pool and then we had lunch. After that we headed to the room for a little bit of relaxation and to get ready for pirate night. We wanted to get ready early since we had the early dining rotation, because we had seen a couple of pirate activities that we want to take part in before dinner. One of those activities was a parrot craft for the kids. We had a great time with that. There was also some meet and greets in the lobby of the characters in the pirate outfits so we also wanted to participate in that. The kid was able to get a picture with Chip and dale, Daisy and Minnie. We were a little late for dinner that night because he wanted to see so many characters. I know they say that there is a pirate menu on pirate night but the menu didn't really feel piratey, it just felt like any other night. After dinner we went to deck 11 to watch the Mickey pirate show. It was cute and the kid liked it. We met a few more characters, shopped a little, ate some ice cream (choc, vanilla, strawberry & banana were the options). We got in position for fireworks about 30 min before the start. We like to stand by the aquaduck sign but a little past the top of the stairs on deck 12. It gets too crowded on 11 and I think it may be too hard for little ones to see the fireworks on 11. We just found that spot by dumb luck on the dream but this time we positioned ourselves there. I won't know where to go on the magic next year!

The kid loved the fireworks and we were to the captain steered us away from storms so we could get them...I'm not sure if it's true or not, it had been raining earlier in the day....we went back to the room and was in bed around midnight.
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WDW - Twice in the 90s & adults only in March 2007
Disney Dream - May 2011
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Old 05-21-2014, 12:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnshsms View Post
I highly suggest sending the hubby down about 30 min early for the princess gathering and entertaining the little princess while he waits, it will pay off in the end, I promise!
Thanks for the tip! I may just have to put him to work!!!
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Old 05-21-2014, 08:11 PM   #13
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Day 6....sea day

We actually slept in finally! And by sleep in I mean 8:45. To us that’s huge! We ate breakfast and then played around the Oceaneer club during their open house. The kid then stayed for the Tinkerbell Talent show and we talked to shutters, the onboard booking agent briefly and then packed a little. About an hour after dropping her off in the kids club, she wanted to be picked up so DH went and brought her back to the room while I finished packing what I could. We went to meet Princess Minnie – as much as she is princess obsessed, we are pretty sure she is more Minnie obsessed. We had to see every time she was out. We ate lunch in Cabana’s and then went back to the atrium for the dance party. The main characters come out to dance with the kiddos for about 20 min and the kids all have a great time. But here is where I get somewhat annoyed. I despise autograph books on a cruise. I am totally fine with it in the park but why would you carry around an autograph book, waste the people in line’s time while the character signs all 3 autograph books for all 3 of your kids and then take 4 pictures…one of all of them and then one of each kid. Just take that book to guest services and have them signed and brought back to your room. Most of the time the kid doesn’t want to mess with the book, its you, the parent forcing it on them and if you ask any of the characters and their “friends”, they will tell you that the autograph books are extremely annoying. Take your items to guest services and let the rest of us meet the characters in a timely manner. I bring this up here because here we are at a dance party in which the cast member clearly says that no one is posing for pictures or doing autographs and here comes 3 or 4 parents with autograph books…really people?!! Ok..off my soap box now…..

After the dance party we went to the buckets and boards show which was very entertaining and cute. We headed back to the room for a nap at this point because I wanted to make sure the kid was well rested for tomorrow on castaway cay. DH and I hung out on the balcony and then we all went to dinner in animator’s palate. We soon realized the nap backfired because she was groggy through dinner and wide awake by the time the drawing show came on during dessert. The 3rd night in animator’s palate…or second night if you only go in there twice, you draw a picture and then the server takes it from you. Then, during dessert, you watch your drawing come to life on the screen. It’s really cool and the kid loved it.

After dinner we went back to the room so we could all sleep well the night before CC. Since she was so wide awake it took a while for her to settle down to go back to sleep again but luckily she did and wasn’t cranky the next day.
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WDW - Twice in the 90s & adults only in March 2007
Disney Dream - May 2011
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Old 05-21-2014, 08:23 PM   #14
carolbeech
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Such a good tip! Thank you - I'll remember that. I'm not getting off the boat in Jamaica, so I'll make that my laundry day.
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Old 05-21-2014, 08:42 PM   #15
MC0810
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following along. Looks like I need to make sure we do the midship detective game with our boys!!
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