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Old 06-03-2012, 04:14 AM   #16
Boomerang4
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Originally Posted by gumbo1009 View Post
Thank you for your insightful review; I look forward to hearing more of your thoughts on the cruise...
Can't wait to hear more of your trip report! [/QUOTE]

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Great Reviews!!!!
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Originally Posted by ProudMommyof2 View Post
Awesome reviews!!
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Great informative trip report! Enjoyed reading it.
Thanks for the kind words. The style is less narrative as I was shooting for mainly conveying some of the info that I looked for before my own first and second cruises. Hope it's helpful to some.

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Hi Meg!!! Great reviews! Agree 100% on Remy, worth every penny. I too drink Sauvignon Blanc but drank the other Marlborough regional bottle. Being there without DH, still bought a bottle at dinner and they stored it for me. I found 2 bottles to work well for me for the week and quite economical!
Mati
Hey Mati, great to hear from you. I loved that Kim Crawford. I heard two other ladies coming back from Castaway Cay talking about it and we got into a nice conversation about the wine. I had never run into it before. Just goes to show that a really good bottle of wine, can, in fact, have a screw top!

[QUOTE=twinmom108;45058065]ok I'm subscribing to your thread. DH & I have a Fantasy Eastern/Western B2B booked (and almost paid off) for Nov 2013. We're booked in one of those larger balcony rooms on deck 5 - same room for both cruises.

Wow, the best of all worlds, it sounds like. Good for you. I'm going to write more later about the B2B process, but if you have any questions, let me know.

Meg
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Old 06-03-2012, 05:35 AM   #17
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Excellent report!

I second your comment on how annoying it is to login to the My Reservations section, especially if you are managing more than one.
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Old 06-03-2012, 06:29 AM   #18
Boomerang4
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Excellent report!

I second your comment on how annoying it is to login to the My Reservations section, especially if you are managing more than one.
yes, this really is mystifying as Disney is the king of technical wizardry. My guess is that it's less about a lack of interest in providing us with an easier interface and more about a security issue, but it still seems excessive. I filled out a survey about the website last year and they had a specific section on ease of use in logging in, so they are probably aware of the issue. Maybe it is an improvement we can look forward to.
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Old 06-03-2012, 10:00 AM   #19
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thank you so much for posting! we are doing B2B in Dec Eastern and Western, so really interested to hear your thoughts! How was the process of getting off and getting back on the ship?
Would love to hear about which excursions you did and how you found them
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Old 06-03-2012, 02:35 PM   #20
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Great review. Thank you
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Old 06-03-2012, 03:24 PM   #21
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thank you so much for posting! we are doing B2B in Dec Eastern and Western, so really interested to hear your thoughts! How was the process of getting off and getting back on the ship?
Would love to hear about which excursions you did and how you found them
Debsx
The transition from cruise to cruise was easy. They delivered a note to us two nights before telling us what to do (more or less) and people are well familiar with B2Bers, the staff will help you along. They're particularly helpful getting you back on board as soon as possible, which is nice.

The short answer is that you disembark with ID and a customs form (and some reading material), pass through customs and return directly to the departures hall...which is completely empty. You have to reregister and the counters open at 9:30, so you will have to kill a few minutes before they're ready for you. They give you new keys to the world, with a new dining rotation, and a second set of lanyards. We tried to not be wasteful and return the lanyards, but they said "just give them to someone for Christmas, we have to give them out." Then they will seat you in the concierge section until the computer system has switched over onboard. Then someone will come get you and escort you to the door. You'll enter with no fanfare and no arrival photo, but it's so quiet onboard. We had coffee at vista cafe and played shuffleboard while we watched the viewing deck to see if we could see any of our family members who were joining us on the second cruise.

You don't have to pack anything in your stateroom or otherwise change anything at all. Try not to tell people you're doing B2B as you get off, though...you'll get the hairy eyeball for sure. We all know how awful that departure day is.

Meg
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:28 PM   #22
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trying to sort out posting of pics...can't quite make it work with shutterfly. yet.
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Old 06-04-2012, 01:16 PM   #23
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Great report, Boomerang! It was great getting to meet you on board (we were right behind you during the muster drill.)
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Old 06-04-2012, 01:38 PM   #24
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Drink Packages


Tip** Don't miss the Kim Crawford Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Super!
Hands down my favorite wine!
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Old 06-04-2012, 10:58 PM   #25
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As far as I can tell, the embarkation times people are issued are another brilliant demonstration of Disney’s successful conquest of crowd control. I didn’t see anyway or anywhere that they were checking the assigned times, and I can’t imagine them turning people away if they came at the wrong time. That said, if all 4,000 people arrived to jump on the Fantasy at the same time, the hall would be chock a block and the ship would be listing heavily to the Starboard...

We arrived at 11:00 for our first cruise and found the process to be quick, but the hall was pretty full at the time. We were handed a Group 3 boarding card and were onboard no more than 20 minutes after the first group through.

The hall itself is pretty self explanatory. Straight ahead once you enter there are mandatory medical disclaimers to fill out and don’t forget to grab your first navigators at these tables. Check in is to the far left and enrollment in the kids club is to the far right, which must be done after you’ve checked in and received your keys to the world. Restrooms are immediately to your right when entering the hall.

All the way at the far end of the hall is the concierge/platinum check in and a viewing deck open to everyone. Concierge/platinum guests board prior to or in the first group if they want to or at their arrival if later than 10:30. Back to back guests reboarding exit the ship at 9:00 and are reboarded as soon as they switch over the computer systems. For us that was around 10:15. We waited in the concierge lounge of the departure hall in between. It was really cool to be the only ones in there, a couple of concierge guests and one non-concierge guest arrived around 10:00 and all were boarded early. The only problem with this, if you consider it a problem, is that the photo shoot was not set up and they do not announce your arrival onboard.

Something that was kind of fun was after we reboarded at 10:15, we watched Disney shoot a segment of a TV show onboard (they used the ship’s real CM’s in it) as we sat in the Vista Cafe. Not sure which one, but saw blond parents around 30-yo and one or two blond kids. After that we watched the CM’s practice the arrivals (test the audio, etc.). They were joking around and announcing crazy stuff, crazy family names. It’s amazing that these guys, who work ridiculously hard, have so much genuine positive energy. Pretty cool.

If for some reason you don’t get your kids registered in the departure hall, you can register them at the kids’ club after 12:00, but ask for the perforated arm bands, they gave us a sticky band there and it came off in the surf later in the week (a whopping $50.00 charge for the lost lowjack). Kids’ clubs are open 12:00-6:00 for open house, with “secure programming” (or check your kids in) from 6:00. Anyone can go have a look during the open house, so adults with or without kids and older teens should take a peek to see how much fun it is.

Cabanas and one sit-down restaurant are open for lunch, and all the deck activities are open until the lifeboat drill. I did not notice if the fast food areas on deck 11 were open. Rooms are open from 1:30, and they cordon off the halls until that time. People were waiting on the landing and stairs for the ropes to be retracted, so if you’re limited to elevators or don’t like crowds, wait until 1:45.

The lifeboat drill was fast and painless. You are not required to wear life jackets. Your muster station is printed on your Key to the World, but it is also on the back of your stateroom door, along with a map of how to reach that location.

Sail away was fun, nice, little show. It is potentially best viewed from deck 12, especially for adults. If you have kids, deck 11 is a little better, but try to get little ones a seat on a towel cabinet or encourage mid-sized kids to move out on deck in front. People will let them through.

The first night show is a nice little pitch for adults to spend quality time together and talks specifically to tweens and teens about how there’s actually a lot of “cool” stuff to do onboard, even if they got razzed at home for going on a Disney cruise with their family.
Hello there thank you for the report! We cruised the Dream last summer and arrived at Port Canaveral at around 10:30am and they turned us around because the nobody was allowed to park before 11:00 am. Did you arrived before that time?
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Old 06-05-2012, 12:32 PM   #26
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we arrived by taxi at 11:00 for the first cruise. I don't know about parking at that time or earlier. for the second cruise, we exited the ship and reentered the departure hall without leaving the building. It was around 9:00. Around 9:30 or 9:40 someone else arrived, so somehow they got in at that time. I didn't speak with them, so I'm not sure how they got in. Maybe it's possible to get dropped off prior to 11:00, but not to park earlier than that.

Does anyone have experience with arriving prior to 11:00?
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Old 06-05-2012, 12:53 PM   #27
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Great report! I was on the Cruise with you (12-19th)! I have been thinking of doing a b2b cruise next time around. Glad to hear you all had a nice time.
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Old 06-05-2012, 02:14 PM   #28
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Fantastic report. Reading is a true pleasure. Informative and interesting. Especially enjoyable is correct spelling, proper grammar and lo and behold, punctuation. I am in awe.
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Old 06-07-2012, 01:54 PM   #29
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Great TR! I look forward to hearing the rest!
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Old 06-15-2012, 04:27 PM   #30
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Waiting for more of your report. Please. Your trip report is most enjoyable.
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