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Old 10-13-2014, 08:21 PM   #1
BK2014
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Milwaukee, WI.
Posts: 36

Adults Only on the Eastern Caribbean - Oct 4-11, 2014

Introduction

We just got off the Fantasy on October 11th. Our traveling party consisted of me and my DW, both in our early 30s with no children. Also traveling with us was a high school friend of mine (F1) and his wife (F2) who also have no children.

As way of background, all four of us have varying levels of experience as castmembers at WDW. F1 and I both did the college program together for a summer after our first year of college. DW also participated in the college program for a semester while she was in college. F1 continued to work as a part-time castmember, where he met F2, who had also done the college program and continued after that for some time. However, DW and I currently live in Wisconsin and F1 and F2 still reside in Florida but are no longer castmembers. This was the first cruise on any line for DW and I. F1 and F2 had previously done a shorter Carnival cruise.

I am writing this trip report not only to help me remember the details of our trip, but also with the hopes that it might be helpful to anyone who is planning their first cruise. I know that some of the observations I will make have been mentioned before, and obviously my report is written from the perspective of someone who does not have any kids. While this report summarizes my experiences during the 10/4/14-10/11/14 sailing on the Fantasy, I realize that someone else on my same sailing may have completely different observations/opinions.

Unfortunately, this trip report will not include any pictures. Not because there were no pictures taken, but because figuring out how to include them would take a long time. Finally, except for the beginning and end, this report will not be written on a strictly day by day basis, but rather divided into observations regarding different parts of the cruise experience. All of this is done without the benefit of any notes taken during the cruise, so I am trying to do this quickly before my memory fades.

Pre-Cruise

Before the cruise left on 10/4/14, DW and traveled to Orlando on 10/2/14 for a couple days of pre-cruise relaxation. Our flight left WI at 5:50am, and we arrived in Orlando early at 9:30am. We were staying at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, and I had arranged for Happy Limo to pick us up from the airport in a Lincoln Towncar.

When we arrived at the baggage claim, we were met by Abraham, our driver from Happy Limo. He was very friendly and easy to talk to, both at the airport and during the ride to the Hilton Bonnet Creek. Our trip did include a complimentary 15 minute stop at Publix for groceries, and Abraham did not make us feel rushed at all. While I had made a reservation for a Towncar, we were upgraded at no extra charge to a nice Chevy Suburban for unknown reasons. Overall, we were very pleased with our Happy Limo experience and would not hesitate to recommend them.

We had chosen to stay at the Hilton Bonnet Creek based on the recommendation of family members who had stayed there last year, as well as online reviews. A large factor in our decision was their large pool area and lazy river, which did not disappoint. You do need to buy your own inner tubes, but we knew that in advance and had purchased ours at Publix on the way to the hotel. Our inner tubes were larger and less expensive than the ones sold at the hotel’s shop.

Our room at the hotel was very nice. I had originally booked a standard king room with a Disney view, but opted for an upgrade to a junior suite at a reduced price. The room was very spacious and had two large windows with views of Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the Swan Hotel. When I say we had views of these place, they were visible but at a distance. However, we were able to see the fireworks from the parks from our room if we looked out our window to the right.

On 10/3/14, the day before our cruise, DW and I went to Downtown Disney for lunch. The Hilton Bonnet Creek does have a shuttle that runs to the parks and Downtown Disney, but the stops at Downtown Disney did not start until later in the day so we took a cab. Prior to our trip, DW had mentioned that she would like to have a caricature done, and we found place at Downtown Disney near the Ghirardelli Chocolate shop. After getting the caricature done, we headed over to Ragland Road, the Irish restaurant for lunch. Because 10/3 was DW’s birthday, we had made lunch reservations at Ragland Road, but the reservation was probably unnecessary since the restaurant was not that busy. Ragland Road had very good food and good service. I had their version of Shepherd’s Pie, which was very good. DW had a risotto which she also seemed to enjoy.

After eating lunch, it was hot outside, so we decided to head back to the hotel. We had originally planned to take the Hilton’s shuttle back to the hotel, but the next bus would not pick us up from Downtown Disney for a couple of hours. Instead of waiting, or paying for another cab we decided to take an out of the way, but mostly air-conditioned, route back to the hotel.
To get back to the hotel we took the complimentary bus from Downtown Disney to the Grand Floridian resort. The reason we chose that Grand Floridian bus was because it was the first bus that went to one of the resorts on the monorail line. I really wanted to ride the monorail, even though we were not going to the park. From the Grand Floridian, we took the monorail to the Contemporary, then to the Magic Kingdon, and finally to the Ticket and Transportation Center. It was nice getting to see some of the Magic Kingdom areas, even though we were not going to the parks. Finally, from the ticket and transportation center we took the hotel shuttle back to the hotel.

All told, our pre-cruise days were a nice, relaxing start to our vacation. By the time we were ready to check out of the Hilton on Saturday morning, it seemed like longer than 2 days since we had left work and Wisconsin behind.

Last edited by BK2014; 10-13-2014 at 08:33 PM.
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Old 10-13-2014, 08:23 PM   #2
BK2014
Earning My Ears
 
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Arrival/Embarkation/Stateroom

Arrival at Port Canaveral/Embarkation

So, after booking our cruise in February of 2013, many nights reading Disboards and over researching, the day was finally here! F1 and F2 picked us up from the hotel, and we loaded our luggage into their car for the drive to Port Canaveral. We had a port arrival time of 10:30-10:45 and we were right on time.

The line for parking at the port was long, even that early. It seemed to take forever to get into the parking lot and to drop of the luggage at the front before F1 parked the car in the garage. I didn’t find the porters to be as pushy and some others have noted, but they were helpful.

The check-in process at the port went rather quickly. Before long, we had our Key to the World Cards and boarding group numbers. I didn’t make any notes, but I believe we waited about 30-45 minutes before our boarding group was being called. During that time the port was very crowded, and seating was at a premium. I would have liked for there to be more seating available, but that is a small issue in the grand scheme of things.
Walking onto the ship was surreal. After more than a year and a half of planning, and visualizing what it would be like, hearing our name announced as we boarded is now blur in my memory. We didn’t take much time to take in the beauty of the atrium before heading to the elevators to head to Cabanas for lunch.

I don’t know if it was just the excitement of that first lunch, but the food at Cabanas never seemed to be as good during the rest of the cruise. From Cabanas we found our way to Satellite Falls which was largely empty, and quite relaxing. We eventually dried off and decided to go checkout our staterooms.

Stateroom

DW and I had reserved a Category 4A Deluxe Family Oceanview Stateroom With Verandah. We were on the port side, deck 9 in room 9074, which was just down the hall from the mid-ship elevators. This room was chosen for the extra space and for its location. While the room is designed to fit 3-5 people, we thought it was the perfect size for the two of us. We especially enjoyed our verandah first thing in the mornings on port days, and in the evening. For me, there is something relaxing about just feeling the breeze and hearing/watching the ocean as the ship moves through the water.
When we arrived at our stateroom at about 2:30pm on the first day, our luggage was not yet there. 2 of our 3 checked bags arrived outside the door a little later. For some reason, I had been under the impression that the luggage would be placed in our room when delivered, but instead it was placed outside the door in the hallway. And even though we were in the room when it arrived, there was no knock on the door to let us know it had arrived.

The final piece of luggage had not arrived by 5:30pm, so I called guest services to ask about it. They asked for a description of the luggage, and asked questions that seemed designed to make me second guess whether or not it had ever been dropped off at the terminal. But I had personally handed the bags to the porter, and knew that they had all been on his cart. To their credit, guest service (or whoever actually took care of it) located the bag within 10 minutes and it was delivered to our room. We are still not sure how it got separated from our other bags, or why it was not routed to our room with the luggage tag still attached.

Throughout the week, our stateroom host did a good job of keeping our room clean, though DW and I do not usually leave our rooms that messy. But it was nice to have the room made up during the day, and the turn down service at night. Our interaction with our stateroom host is one area where I realized that each person’s cruise experience could vary dramatically.
In the months of reading the Disboards, I have read about fun interactions between cruisers and their stateroom hosts, and how special those relationships had been for some. With our stateroom host it was quite the opposite. I have no complaints about the job he did taking care of our room, but we had very little interaction with him. He never introduced himself to us. In fact, the few times he knocked on the door while we were in the room, he apologized and immediately said he would come back later.
Now this was not a negative for DW and me, but it is just an example of how some of our expectations were shaped by what I had read on Disboards. Because we had heard of so many people having such fun interactions with their hosts, it almost made us question if we had done something to make our stateroom host not want to talk to us. But as the week went on, we observed that he was always busy working and just seemed to be a little more reserved than some of the other stateroom hosts we ran into in the hallway. Again, we were pleased with the service he provided.

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Old 10-13-2014, 08:26 PM   #3
BK2014
Earning My Ears
 
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Dining

Dining

Our dining rotation was RAERAER, or Royal Court, followed by Animator’s Palate, and Enchanted Garden for those who do not recognize the initials. The order was repeated twice Royal Court being our restaurant on the last night of the cruise and the morning of debarkation.

My personal favorite menus in the main dining rooms were the first night and last nights of the cruise, which were both in Royal Court. The first night I had the lobster macaroni and cheese. On the final night I had the beef wellington with a side of the sea food linguine. There was only one night on which I did not find much on the menu that intrigued me, but I simply ordered macaroni and cheese off the children’s menu. Our servers were more than happy to oblige, and brought me a double portion.
Since our reservations were linked, DW and I were placed at a table with F1 and F2. It was just the four of us, and that was fine by us. I did notice that there seemed to be several tables of 10+ which leads me to believe there were some large groups traveling together.

Our server and assistant server were Dipo and Yunes respectively. I do not remember our head server’s name as she only appeared briefly every evening to ask us how things were going, or to address a mistake with regards to how well my beef had been cooked. I should note that I did not complain about the beef, as she came out preemptively to tell me it had not been cooked properly and they were cooking another. This was done before they even brought me my meal, and in reality I probably would not have noticed the mistake. But it was nice to know that they were actively making sure that things were cooked properly.

I must admit that, after the first evening, I was not impressed with our service team in regards to the warmness of their interactions with us. In fact, the four of us talked about how we had all had great expectations of bonding with our service team as we had heard from others’ experiences. But the service was great, and we couldn’t really expect the servers to bond with all their guests. Maybe that magic was reserved for families with children? Obviously, there could be any number of reasons for us not connecting with our servers.

But after the first night, things began to change. I honestly don’t know if they did anything different, if we did anything different, or if the first night was just a fluke. But from the second night on, we had a great time with Dipo and Yunes. We really enjoyed talking to them, and had a lot of fun joking around with them. The funny thing is, that the more we engaged with them, the more distracted they seemed to become with aspects of the dinner service. There were a couple of nights where they would greet us and talk to us, but forget to take our drink order. Or one of them would be changing out the silverware and stop while talking to us and forget to put down the last person’s silverware. Small and slightly humorous mistakes. In the end, I can honestly say that I was a little sad to say goodbye to Dipo and Yunes at breakfast the final morning.

The second night at Animator’s Palate, the whole dinner experienced seemed very rush. Our server’s told us that there was only one appetizer and soup because it was “part of the show”. I suspect what they meant is that it made it quicker to get dinner served so everyone could finish before the animation show that would follow. I thought the show with everyone’s drawings was neat, but would have liked to see each set of drawings on screen for a few seconds longer.

One thing that I have seen discussed at length on Disboards is the pressure placed on guests by some servers to mark only “excellent” on the comment card at the end of the cruise. I thought our team handled this very well. I was prepared to put a stop to any pressure that we might encounter, but it was not necessary. They simply mentioned at the beginning of the cruise that their goal was to provide excellent service, and that we should let them know if there was anything they could do to meet that goal. Then on the final night the head server reminded us of that goal and asked us to reflect on the comment card whether or not they had met that goal.

PALO

DW and I dined at Palo twice. We had brunch the first morning of the cruise. This was definitely one experience that had not been over-sold on the Disboards. Our experience lived up to everything I had read about, and I would recommend that everyone try it if possible. Our server was Ivica, and he was amazing. The food was also amazing. And the restaurant itself, was (you guessed it) amazing. For the entrée I had the much-hyped chicken parmesan on risotto, and it lived up to its reputation. I also had the eggs benedict. I was so stuffed after the buffet and the entrees that I was not able to eat any dessert. DW had the rum pancakes and strawberry soup and said both were also very good. The only bad thing about eating Palo brunch the first morning was that everything else served the rest of the cruise would seem to fall short in comparison.
We had dinner at Palo on Pirate Night. Because he was so amazing at brunch, we requested Ivica as our server again. He was equally amazing at dinner. DW and I both ordered the highly recommend beef tenderloin “Palo”. We also shared a side of the wild mushroom risotto. Both were excellent, but I think the risotto might have been even better than the beef. For dessert, we both had the chocolate soufflé, which was a first for both of us. It might be our new favorite dessert. All in all, I highly recommend Palo for both lunch and dinner. However, if pressed to choose just one, I would choose brunch, if only because I like the ocean view from the restaurant during the day.

Room Service/Quick Service

We only ordered room service a few times, and we were pleased with both the quality of the food, and the promptness of its delivery. I found the peperoni pizza from room service to be better than the pizza on deck at Luigi’s. However, the barbeque chicken pizza on deck was also good.
The quick service food on deck was about what you would expect. Nothing spectacular, but definitely a good option if you do not want to leave the deck to go to Cabanas or one of the sit down restaurants.
As the week went on, preferred to go to one of the MDRs for breakfast, rather than cabanas. It was much less crowded/hectic, but did not take long. One of the MDRs had a smaller buffet for breakfast, while the other had a menu service. No matter where you eat, I highly recommend the donuts. I believe that they are Krispy Kreme, but they are served chilled, which I found to be amazing.

Last edited by BK2014; 10-13-2014 at 08:33 PM.
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Old 10-13-2014, 08:28 PM   #4
BK2014
Earning My Ears
 
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Ship Layout & Ports

Ship Layout/Design

Most of my observations regarding the layout/design of theFantasy are well-documented. The ship is very impressive overall, and well maintained. Two design features I don’t think I will ever understand are 1) the placement of the Aft elevators in Cabanas, and 2) the design of the quiet cove pool. I am sure that building Cabanas around the elevator shaft was done out of necessity, but it sure makes things confusing, especially on the first couple days of the cruise.

The quiet cove pool is nice, and under-utilized at night. We often had it to ourselves in the evening. However, I do not understand why the end with the bar is ¼ of an inch deep. I like that the middle of the pool is 5.5 feet. It would have been nice if it had been designed as a true swim up bar, rather than a bar situated over a wet floor.

Satellite falls was a nice retreat for adults. It would have been nice for the water level to be a little higher when sitting in there, but that would have led to more water overflowing during really windy days.
We really enjoyed the Tube the few times that we were there. Match Your Mate is a really fun show to attend. However, it seemed like the other bars/lounges were severely under-utilized at night.

Ports/Excursions

In both St. Maarten and St. Thomas we arranged excursions through DCL. In St. Maarten we did the Rhino Rider and Snorkeling excursion. This was a blast. We zipped around part of the island in these inflatable boat/jetski hybrids before snorkeling at a secluded beach area. Be warned, for the snorkeling, the boats are tethered together offshore aways, so you have to be able to swim to the beach if you want to actually be on the beach. They do require you to wear lifejackets throughout the entire excursion. The excursion lasted approximately 3 hours.

In St. Thomas we did the Best of Island and Shopping Tour. Now the name is somewhat misleading because the actual excursion does not include shopping. After the island tour the driver will drop you off at the shopping area, but then you are on your own for getting back to the ship on time before it leaves port. This tour provided a nice scenic tour of the island, with stops at a large store on top of a mountain and a place called the Great House that has a botanical garden. The stop at each place lasted about ½ hour. There are plenty of opportunities for taking beautiful pictures of the island and surrounding waters and islands. The most “adventurous” part of this excursion is the traveling in the open air vehicle up and down the hills. There are some very steep roads in St. Thomas.

We scheduled both of our excursions early in the day, and we were glad that we did. On both days it very sunny and hot, and both excursions ended right around noon, before the hottest part of the day. After both excursions we were glad to get out of the heat and return to the ship.

On the Castaway Cay day we did not do any formal excursions. When we got off the ship we headed straight to Serenity Bay, where we found loungers under an umbrella. We had rented floats to use in the water, which we did. We swam and floated for about 2 hours before eating lunch and then making our way back to the ships via the few stores that are there. One thing that surprised me is that smoking is allowed on the beach. I did not expect this, and was surprised when the people next to us started smoking. I guess I would have thought that there would be a designated smoking area.
While Castaway Cay is well maintained, DW and I fell into the camp that were underwhelmed by it. It is hard to put into words, but there just didn’t seem to be anything magical or special about the island, other than the fact that it was clean and only open to those on our cruise that day. The food was good, but nothing special.
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Old 10-13-2014, 08:32 PM   #5
BK2014
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Other Observations

VIII. Other Observations

A couple of final observations from our cruise:

Shutters:
Shutters seems to be poorly designed, and there is a significant lack of cohesiveness between the digital shutters and the area where the folders and printed pictures are. First of all, I do not know why they waste so much ink and paper printing pictures that may ultimately not be purchased. But that being said, it easier to use the printed pictures to compare and see which ones you want to buy. However, if you are going to buy 10 or 20 digital print, you cannot simply select the 10 or 20 pictures from the folder with the printed folders and then take them to the castmember. If you want to order the 10 or 20 digital prints, you have to go to the digital shutters area, and select them from the computer. And you are not allowed to take that physical prints from the other shutters area to the digital shutters area to assist you. So after we had selected the pictures we wanted by looking in our folder in the shutters library area, we had to start all over on the computer if we wanted our pictures in a digital format.

So then we had to go through all our photos on the computer to select that ones we wanted in digital format. But it was much harder to see on the computer than when looking at the actual prints in the folder. What would have made it easier is if the prints in the folder had been labeled 1 of 40, 2 of 40 etc. so that we could simply write down the numbers we wanted, and then select them by number on the computer.

My other issue with digital shutters is that the computers were clearly built at a height accessible to children. And that is understandable. But it would have been nice if there were stools or chairs to sit on, so I could be a little closer to the screen, rather than standing and looking at a screen that is at knee height.

Character Photos

Even though we are a couple without children, we still wanted to take pictures with the characters, which we did. However, it was annoying when there was a limited time slot for pictures with the characters, and families were allowed to take pictures in a seemingly unlimited number of arrangements – ie – mom and dad only, kids only, mom and one child, dad and two children etc. However, it became clear when we finally looked at the Shutters prices that this was the only way to make the prices somewhat reasonable. 10 prints at shutters is 149.95. The disc with all your photos is $349. So the more poses/photos you take, the better your photo disc value. But when the time with the character is limited, it is not fair to let the time be monopolized by large families/groups taking multiple poses.

I would think that having adult only character photo opportunities would help
solve this problem. As a couple with no children, we only need one pose with each character. So the lines would go faster. And then adults without children in their parties would not be adding to the length of the lines in the regular character photo opportunities. I am sure that a family with a young prince or princess would hate to miss out on a photo with Mickey because two 30 years old were in front of them when Mickey’s scheduled time was up.

One other thing DW and I had thought would happen, based on what we had seen in DCL videos and commercials is spontaneous character interactions. We thought there would be times where characters would be seen just strolling the decks and meeting people, but all we saw were the scheduled character photo opportunities. Granted, it is very possible that this happened but we just weren’t there to witness it.

Children Running Free

One final thing that DW and I were surprised to observe was the number of children running free throughout the ship. I guess it really shouldn’t have caught me by surprise given the number of times that it gets discussed on the forums, but I guess I had underestimated the number of parents who would actually let their children roam unsupervised. During the day it wasn’t as much of a problem, but it got noticeably worse as the night when on. As more people were engaged in dinner, shows or sleeping, the more loud and rambunctious the groups of kids seemed to become. To my surprise, it didn’t seem to be the older teens who were running the halls or making yelling throughout the halls, it was younger children in the tween and younger range. In one instance I observed a group of what appeared to be siblings wrestling on the ground near the elevators, and when a castmember attempted to ask where there parents were, the kids simply ignored him.

I don’t doubt that parents deserve/need a break from their kids, after all this is their vacation too, but I don’t think it would be unreasonable for DCL to set an age limit for children to be allowed to roam the ship unsupervised. I think it is great that there are organized activities for the kids that go to midnight and beyond, but I think maybe a rule stating that children under a certain age must be accompanied by an adult unless in the clubs or at an organized activity. However, I must also say that we saw a large number of well-behaved children on the cruise.

All told we had a fantastic time on our cruise and can’t wait to be able to do it again. I know my report seems to be critical at points, but these are just a few things that stood out amongst all the great things that we experienced. It is hard to put into words the intangible excitement of simply being on such a large and beautifully designed ocean vessel. A lot of things that we had worried about before the trip, like motion sickness never presented as problems. We never had any truly negative interactions with other passengers or castmembers. And the areas that we would like to see improved are minor in comparison to how great the experience was. There was certainly nothing that would prevent us from going on another cruise.

Finally, thank you to all the people who have posted trip reports and answered questions on Disboards, your help with planning our cruise was invaluable.

If there are any questions about our trip, please feel free to ask! This trip report was typed very quickly because I know that if I didn’t get it done right away, it probably wouldn’t get done at all. So there are probably a lot of things I missed or glossed over.
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Old 10-13-2014, 10:10 PM   #6
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Hello. My wife and I were also on this sailing. Did you happen to witness the argument at serenity bay regarding the smoking? It was quite intense! Lol! Anyway, this was our first cruise and we were childless as well. Needless to say we had an unbelievable time. It completely met our expectations. So much so that we have already booked for the same week next year. It will be the western itinerary.

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Old 10-15-2014, 02:39 PM   #7
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We had Ivicia as our server at Palo as well. He was great to talk with and was a pleasure.

I agree with the Children on the cruise. We sailed the Magic 2 years ago and didn't have the herds of children running up and down the hallways. I wonder if part of it is due to the Mid Ship Detective agency? If that wasn't available, the children would not need to be running up and down the residential halls all hours of the day. That being said, we booked past the aft elevators for the next cruise so there should be fewer.


re: shutters. I think that the books are a great way to easily find your photos. But the problems of going between the digital and printout sections is a pain. There isn't enough space to actually look at them either.




Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkyMouse View Post
Hello. My wife and I were also on this sailing. Did you happen to witness the argument at serenity bay regarding the smoking? It was quite intense! Lol! Anyway, this was our first cruise and we were childless as well. Needless to say we had an unbelievable time. It completely met our expectations. So much so that we have already booked for the same week next year. It will be the western itinerary.

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Was that with the lady near the entrance to the beach? We arrived and there was someone carrying on and how it was 'disgraceful'. We moved on quickly because others problems are not going to ruin my vacation.
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Old 10-16-2014, 08:22 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Quellman View Post
We had Ivicia as our server at Palo as well. He was great to talk with and was a pleasure.

I agree with the Children on the cruise. We sailed the Magic 2 years ago and didn't have the herds of children running up and down the hallways. I wonder if part of it is due to the Mid Ship Detective agency? If that wasn't available, the children would not need to be running up and down the residential halls all hours of the day. That being said, we booked past the aft elevators for the next cruise so there should be fewer.


re: shutters. I think that the books are a great way to easily find your photos. But the problems of going between the digital and printout sections is a pain. There isn't enough space to actually look at them either.






Was that with the lady near the entrance to the beach? We arrived and there was someone carrying on and how it was 'disgraceful'. We moved on quickly because others problems are not going to ruin my vacation.

Yes, it was near the entrance to the beach at Serenity Bay. My wife and I were right next to her, but did not join in the confrontation. We did ask a castmember the smoking policy. He said that smoking allowed as long as it doesn't bother your neighbors. Rather than asserting our bothered state and asking for enforcement of the policy we just went in the water and had fun.
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Old 10-16-2014, 10:38 PM   #9
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I am childless as well and will be on the Fantasy in a few weeks with my mom. We cant wait.

Did you ride the Aquaduck? I've been on the Wonder and Magic many times, but there is no Aquaduck.
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Old 10-19-2014, 01:04 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by BK2014 View Post
For some reason, I had been under the impression that the luggage would be placed in our room when delivered, but instead it was placed outside the door in the hallway. And even though we were in the room when it arrived, there was no knock on the door to let us know it had arrived.
I agree with pretty much everything you've posted about your experiences on the Fantasy, and I've sailed on her (and all the other DCL ships) many times.

But the luggage issue definitely hits home. It's only been for my last couple of cruises that I noticed they stopped bringing the luggage INTO the cabin, and just silently left it outside the door. Both of those times I was in there specifically waiting for it so it wouldn't be sitting there while I was elsewhere, but I probably wasted a lot of time as it may have arrived right after I entered the cabin. The last time it was hand delivered INSIDE was when I was in a Cat. T suite, so either I'm unlucky or they no longer do so for non-Concierge staterooms.

And I completely agree regarding the characters! If I didn't love the characters I wouldn't sail on DCL, but I always feel guilty at the character meets/photos due to all the kids (I've never had any!). Unfortunately, I don't think it would be feasible, due to the entertainment cast, for them to have separate meets for adults. They've already cut the photo shoot times for them to about half what they were years ago.

Smokers: Even on the beach, smoking is a huge problem for us non-smokers who happen to be downwind, and worse if we're allergic. There's no easy solution if one doesn't want to escape to the water. I hide out in my cabana when I have one, and otherwise have been known to visit the island only for lunch, then return to enjoy the ship.

Thanks for the great trip report!
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Old 10-19-2014, 07:21 PM   #11
BK2014
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Originally Posted by Ajojo View Post
I am childless as well and will be on the Fantasy in a few weeks with my mom. We cant wait.

Did you ride the Aquaduck? I've been on the Wonder and Magic many times, but there is no Aquaduck.
We did ride the Aquaduck! We rode it on embarkation day when the line was only about 10 minutes. Then we rode it at night on the 6th night at around 9pm. It was slightly raining that evening and there was no line at all. It was cool to see the Aquaduck and ship lit up at night.
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Old 10-19-2014, 07:26 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by taswira View Post

And I completely agree regarding the characters! If I didn't love the characters I wouldn't sail on DCL, but I always feel guilty at the character meets/photos due to all the kids (I've never had any!). Unfortunately, I don't think it would be feasible, due to the entertainment cast, for them to have separate meets for adults. They've already cut the photo shoot times for them to about half what they were years ago.

I wonder if it would be feasible to have a couple of characters make an appearance someplace adults only, like the Tube, for 15-20 minutes each night? This was my first cruise, so I have no point of comparison, but it is sad to hear that the character appearances have diminished rather than increased.
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Old 10-19-2014, 07:31 PM   #13
taswira
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The number of characters appearing has increased, but their sets are shorter and their appearances (for particular characters) less frequent.

Again, entertainment casting is what determines availability of each character on any particular cruise, and that can vary depending on the current cast.

I can't imagine them ever setting aside an "adults only" character meet, but it would be nice!
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