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Old 06-19-2012, 09:29 PM   #256
KSDisneyDad
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Originally Posted by 4newtocruise View Post
Welcome! My son is going to be thrilled about all the boys on this cruise! He will be 11 at the time of the cruise also. Now my daughter on the other hand needs to find someone her age. She will be 13.

Did you like the Fantasy better than the Dream? We loved the dream but it was our first 5 night and we just didn't feel it was long enough. Was your cruise full? Did it feel crowded?
Our three boys loved the cruise. Unfortunately, the found Eye Scream too soon.

My 10 year old is hoping for the Vibe next year as the clubs seemed a little juvenile for him. He still had a blast though especially with the mid-ship detective game, Aquaduck, pools, minigolf, ping pong and a movie or two. He seemed to make friends easy.

Our two teens really liked the Teen area. They participated in Zombified, lots of games and other activities including the slushie hours, etc.

I agree with you about 5 days being too short. We have not cruised on the Dream, so I cannot compare it to that. We had originally booked the Dream for Memorial Day 2011, but decided to reschedule it for the Fantasy in June 2012. We are so glad we did. Prior to this cruise, we had done two seven night cruises, two four nights and one fifteen night cruise. We think the shorter cruises are not nearly as fun as the longer ones as they seem to be more hectic, the Sea Day seems busier and the ship doesn't seem to really travel that far. I think part of the fun of a cruise is travelling 1,200 nautical miles from Florida, not just a short hop over to the Bahamas. Finally, we like the special meals and entertainment on the longer cruises.

We did not feel the ship was that crowded. Even on Sea Days, we never found the pools as crowded as on the Classic ships. It seemed that we could always find a peaceful place on the ship or go be with the crowds. The AquaDuck line was rarely more than 20 minutes (it was posted at 30 on Sea Days, but it took less than that). Even when we showed up at the pool at 2:00 pm after Remy lunch, we found chairs by the family pools. Satellite Falls was very quiet for us. We thought the MDRs seemed about the same as the Classic ships. You could tell they were larger, but our dining experience was similar. Even though the ship is bigger, we felt at home on it just like on the classic ships. I think Disney did a great job with space planning.

There were just a few things we missed from the Classic Ships:

1. No trays at Cabanas. This makes it had to take a breakfast tray back to the room before an excursion. We ordered room service the morning we had to meet at 7:30 am and they messed up our orders. I would have rather gone up to Cabanas for some protein rather than the continental breakfast through room service. Plus, without trays, it seemed you had to sit down before you got your drink.

2. I missed the Disney music throughout the ship. They played non-Disney music such as Jimmy Buffet, etc. I'm a big JB fan, but when on a Disney cruise, I like to hear that whimsical music.

3. No character breakfast (honestly, we often skip this, but it's still nice to have the option).

4. We didn't care for the having to insert your room key into the slot to operate the lights. We got used to it after a day or so, but it was inconvenient.

However, the positives were there too! I thought they made much better use of the pool decks and upper deck. There was the Aqualab, second wading pool, Satellite falls, great movie viewing from Deck 12, minigolf and of course, the Aquaduck. As with all of our cruises, there were so many things we wanted to do, but never did. We already have a list for next year!
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:36 PM   #257
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I am sure this year will fly by. Just got back from Aulani, now I can focus on planning this cruise. Very excited about it.
How was Aulani? At the DVC member event on the ship, they were really pushing Aulani hard (as well as AKL). I was really hoping to hear more about the new Grand Floridian Villas, but they were silent on that property and BLT. I am glad we purchased BLT on the cruise two years ago. It has made our vacations so much more enjoyable.

Back to Aulani. There was only one person in our group that had been to Aulani and although he had a great vacation, he commented about how expensive it was. It does sound like an awesome DVC property and it's definetely on our wish list for a future vacation, but we may have to do it sans kids to save some money!
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:38 PM   #258
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Last post tonight.

Is anyone visiting DLR before the cruise next year? We are planning a trip at te tail end of our Christmas break to visit Cars Land. We are really looking forward to revisiting the Original again!
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DCL Gold CC Member: Magic Western (Sep-05, Sep-06); Magic Panama Canal Repo (Aug-08); Wonder 4-night (Mar-10 and Sept-10) Fantasy Eastern (Jun-12)

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Old 06-20-2012, 04:44 AM   #259
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We were at WDW last week too. We did Star Wars Weekend on the 10th and Magic Kingdom on the 11th. Being from Denver, the heat and humidity took us off guard. I also felt that it was more crowded than we are used to. What did you think of the crowds? Despite the crowds, we still did everything we wanted (sometimes multiple times) and had time to spare.

I've never done a Trip Report, but I will post some pictures of our recent cruise day-by-day.

We had a great time on the Eastern. Our favorite port was St. Thomas/St. John.

We have done two Western's in the past and were unsure how we'd like the Eastern. As you can see, we loved it so much we booked another one for next year!
We arrived on the 10th and checked out on the 14th. The crowds were pretty intimidating but managable in all but Magic Kingdom. We did MK on Tuesday morning, and it was unbelievable! I was a bit taken aback by the sheer volume of people. Still, a great time was had by all.

Looking forward to seeing your pics!
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Old 06-22-2012, 10:54 PM   #260
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Thought I'd post a few pictures from our first day on the Fantasy.

Approaching the ship:



Boarding the ship:



The atrium:





Up for a quick ride on the Aquaduck:





And then to Cabanas for lunch:




More Day 1 to come
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DCL Gold CC Member: Magic Western (Sep-05, Sep-06); Magic Panama Canal Repo (Aug-08); Wonder 4-night (Mar-10 and Sept-10) Fantasy Eastern (Jun-12)

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Old 06-23-2012, 05:58 AM   #261
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Good morning fellow cruisers. Another week has gone by.
We now have only

weeks to go to the Fantasy.
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Old 06-23-2012, 06:04 AM   #262
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Thought I'd post a few pictures from our first day on the Fantasy.
More Day 1 to come
Awesome pics. We are off for our day 1 on the Fantasy in just a few hours. Unfortunately our weather is not nearly as nice. Lots of rain forecasted for day and Debby in the Gulf. Cloudy right now and hoping the rain stays away.

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Old 06-23-2012, 08:50 AM   #263
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Awesome pics. We are off for our day 1 on the Fantasy in just a few hours. Unfortunately our weather is not nearly as nice. Lots of rain forecasted for day and Debby in the Gulf. Cloudy right now and hoping the rain stays away.

I like your picture. Where were you when you took that picture? You seem to be north of the new ship terminal building. That's a great angle. (ETA: Nevermind - that seems to be a webcam).

Enjoy your cruise. I hope the weather turns nice for you. Who knows, you might have to go on an Eastern this week with Debby in the Gulf. I look forward to hearing your impressions of the ship as well.
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DLR - August 2008 and January 2013 at DLH
DCL Gold CC Member: Magic Western (Sep-05, Sep-06); Magic Panama Canal Repo (Aug-08); Wonder 4-night (Mar-10 and Sept-10) Fantasy Eastern (Jun-12)

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Old 06-25-2012, 12:56 PM   #264
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Originally Posted by KSDisneyDad View Post
Last post tonight.

Is anyone visiting DLR before the cruise next year? We are planning a trip at te tail end of our Christmas break to visit Cars Land. We are really looking forward to revisiting the Original again!
I live about 15 minutes away from Disneyland, so I've seen Cars Land a few times already. Let me know if there is anything you would like to know!

Melissa
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:16 PM   #265
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How was Aulani? At the DVC member event on the ship, they were really pushing Aulani hard (as well as AKL). I was really hoping to hear more about the new Grand Floridian Villas, but they were silent on that property and BLT. I am glad we purchased BLT on the cruise two years ago. It has made our vacations so much more enjoyable.

Back to Aulani. There was only one person in our group that had been to Aulani and although he had a great vacation, he commented about how expensive it was. It does sound like an awesome DVC property and it's definetely on our wish list for a future vacation, but we may have to do it sans kids to save some money!
We loved Aulani and Hawaii. It was our first trip to Hawaii, so we stayed busy doing all of the must do items. The resort is beautiful. Hawaii itself is little more expensive than we consider "resort/theme park pricings" We went to the grocery store and cooked in the room for several meals, and had easy breakfast, and sandwich stuff for some lunches. I think that made a big difference for us. I know that Disney is adjusting some of its pricing at Aulani and including other dining options. We would definetely recommend it.
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:41 PM   #266
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I live about 15 minutes away from Disneyland, so I've seen Cars Land a few times already. Let me know if there is anything you would like to know!

Melissa
We are just in planning stages and trying to pick a place to stay. The Hyatt 2 bedroom suite with 1 king, 2 queens and a sofa bed and over 700 sq ft and two baths is a little less than the DLR. Part of me wants to stay "on-site" at DLR but I'm not sure it's worth it. You may not be able to answer but if you have any on-site or off-site advice I'd appreciate it.

Also, what is the weather like around the first week of January?

Finally, do you have any park strategies or don't miss attractions?
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DLR - August 2008 and January 2013 at DLH
DCL Gold CC Member: Magic Western (Sep-05, Sep-06); Magic Panama Canal Repo (Aug-08); Wonder 4-night (Mar-10 and Sept-10) Fantasy Eastern (Jun-12)

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Old 06-25-2012, 09:47 PM   #267
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We loved Aulani and Hawaii. It was our first trip to Hawaii, so we stayed busy doing all of the must do items. The resort is beautiful. Hawaii itself is little more expensive than we consider "resort/theme park pricings" We went to the grocery store and cooked in the room for several meals, and had easy breakfast, and sandwich stuff for some lunches. I think that made a big difference for us. I know that Disney is adjusting some of its pricing at Aulani and including other dining options. We would definetely recommend it.
I think this would be an awesome vacation. My oldest wants to do back-to-back cruises for his graduation trip. Perhaps we might talk him into a Hawaii trip! I think it sounds great and I like your idea of fixing light meals in the room to save some money.

Did you see any other sights on the island! Was it convenient from Aulanai? What would you recommend doing such as Pearl Harbor, Waikiki, etc?
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DLR - August 2008 and January 2013 at DLH
DCL Gold CC Member: Magic Western (Sep-05, Sep-06); Magic Panama Canal Repo (Aug-08); Wonder 4-night (Mar-10 and Sept-10) Fantasy Eastern (Jun-12)

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Old 06-26-2012, 08:23 AM   #268
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I think this would be an awesome vacation. My oldest wants to do back-to-back cruises for his graduation trip. Perhaps we might talk him into a Hawaii trip! I think it sounds great and I like your idea of fixing light meals in the room to save some money.

Did you see any other sights on the island! Was it convenient from Aulanai? What would you recommend doing such as Pearl Harbor, Waikiki, etc?
We stayed 11 nights with the first night in Waikiki. We did a lot and would say all would be worth seeing:

* We used GyPS - GPS touring plan to Circle the Island with lots of stops that included - hiking Diamond Head, maze at the Dole Plantation, and Turtle Beach just to name a few - I highly recommend this way of exploring the island versus a tour bus. We did two days on this.
* Paradise Cover for the luau
* Kualoa Ranch - Jungle Tour, Movie Tour, and their Secret island beach break
* Pearl Harbor
* My DS and I did a day tour to the Big Island to see Volcano National Park
* Polynesian Cultural Center - did the tour, meal, and show

Aulani was about 30 minutes to Honolulu. Waikiki was our least favorite area. It was about an hour or so to the side of the island for the Ranch and PCC. It was a beautiful drive when you were away from Honolulu. Traffic could get pretty bad around there.

My DS is 13 currently and he did get a little bored on some of the island touring but loved everything else. We would go back to Hawaii in a heartbeat. Now we would like to explore some of the other islands.

They is an area about 5 miles or so from Aulani that had grocery stores, other shopping, fast food, and sit down dining.
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Old 06-26-2012, 02:11 PM   #269
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Originally Posted by KSDisneyDad View Post
We are just in planning stages and trying to pick a place to stay. The Hyatt 2 bedroom suite with 1 king, 2 queens and a sofa bed and over 700 sq ft and two baths is a little less than the DLR. Part of me wants to stay "on-site" at DLR but I'm not sure it's worth it. You may not be able to answer but if you have any on-site or off-site advice I'd appreciate it.

Also, what is the weather like around the first week of January?

Finally, do you have any park strategies or don't miss attractions?
Some things to consider on your hotel:

* the Hyatt is not within walking distance of DLR, so that means you will either have to drive or take the shuttle. Daily parking at the theme park means a $15/ day fee. I think there is also a mandatory parking fee at the hotel, but I haven't stayed there in almost 10 years. Also, I'm pretty sure the shuttle only runs once per hour.

* I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Disneyland Hotel, but it is EXPENSIVE. There is nothing quite like it at Disney World, it is truly a special place. There will be discounts released about six weeks before your travel dates, which historically have been anywhere from 20%-30% off.

As far a weather in January goes it is incredibly unpredictable. It could be sunny and 75, or it could rain for 5 days straight. Bring layers though, days almost always start off cool, then warm up (if its not raining), then temperatures drop again once the sun goes down.

In terms of park strategies, they really are similar to Disney World: get to the park for rope drop and make good use of Fastpass. Unlike WDW however, Disneyland still honors Fastpasses past their expiration time.


If you have any more questions as your planning shapes up please let me know!
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Old 06-28-2012, 04:26 PM   #270
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Some things to consider on your hotel:

* the Hyatt is not within walking distance of DLR, so that means you will either have to drive or take the shuttle. Daily parking at the theme park means a $15/ day fee. I think there is also a mandatory parking fee at the hotel, but I haven't stayed there in almost 10 years. Also, I'm pretty sure the shuttle only runs once per hour.

* I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Disneyland Hotel, but it is EXPENSIVE. There is nothing quite like it at Disney World, it is truly a special place. There will be discounts released about six weeks before your travel dates, which historically have been anywhere from 20%-30% off.

As far a weather in January goes it is incredibly unpredictable. It could be sunny and 75, or it could rain for 5 days straight. Bring layers though, days almost always start off cool, then warm up (if its not raining), then temperatures drop again once the sun goes down.

In terms of park strategies, they really are similar to Disney World: get to the park for rope drop and make good use of Fastpass. Unlike WDW however, Disneyland still honors Fastpasses past their expiration time.


If you have any more questions as your planning shapes up please let me know!
What makes the Disneyland Hotel so special? If we can get a discount, I think that will be the place we stay.
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WDW - BCV (Jun '12) BLT (Jun '11); Boardwalk (Sep '10); Poly (Aug '07), CR (Nov '06), AKL (Nov '04, Sept '06), Swan (Dec '05), POR (Dec '98, Mar '10), POFQ (Mar '05), CSR (Nov '02), CBR (Jun '03), Sports (Dec99, Oct '01, Dec '02), Music (Aug '09), Movies (Dec '00, Aug '07), Pop (Jun '04 Jun '05)
DLR - August 2008 and January 2013 at DLH
DCL Gold CC Member: Magic Western (Sep-05, Sep-06); Magic Panama Canal Repo (Aug-08); Wonder 4-night (Mar-10 and Sept-10) Fantasy Eastern (Jun-12)

Next Trip: 6/15/2013 - 7-Night Eastern Caribbean Fantasy and BLT!
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