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Old 11-04-2012, 05:40 PM   #211
Dawncala
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I am so sorry for disappearing for so long. I wish I could say I had been kidnapped by Mickey and Goofy and was being held captive in Epcot, but I never have such good luck. It was just a crazy busy time and some writers block. Things have finally chilled out and I'll try to finish up this report as quickly as possible.
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Old 11-04-2012, 06:13 PM   #212
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Crushing on Crush: Dinner in Animator’s Palate (part 2: The Food)

The table settings in Animator’s Palate are super cute, AND you CAN purchase some of them in the gift shop to take home with you. The gift shop sells both the plates and paintbrush shaped butter knives. I wish the bread basket had been available too. (for bread or fruit, not so DD could add it to her hat collection…see below)


Our themed table number centerpiece


Themed plate and butter knife


DD thinks the bread basket could have additional uses

NOTE: If you do purchase the artistic paintbrush butter knives remember to pack it in the luggage that is going under the plane, or ship it home. I’m sure airport security would confiscate them in a heartbeat. I hear they’re trying to collect the whole set. (JK)


Our adorable assistant server Precious brought us our menus, and I asked to get a photo of her in her themed costume for the evening.



The menus are shaped like art folios, or maybe they are script books. Either way, they are well themed too.





Of course dinner was delicious. The favorites had to be the black truffle pasta, creamy baked potato cheddar cheese soup and the trio of veal.


Black Truffle Pasta Purseittes


Wild Mushroom Risotto & Porcini Twist


Smoked Salmon Tartare


Creamy Butternut Squash Soup


Baked Potato & Cheddar Cheese Soup


White Shrimp Pennette Pasta


Animator's Trio of Veal


Grilled Pacific Black Cod

Time for dessert



For dessert the previous night DH had decided that he wanted some fresh mixed berries with whipped cream. It wasn’t on the menu, but Siri disappeared for a few moments and came back with exactly what he wanted. It was so good that he decided to have it again tonight, and from tonight on it arrived every night without him even asking for it. We’ve noticed that happens often with Disney. They remember your favorite drink and that you like ketchup or steak sauce, and if you tell them you love something and could eat it every night you might just get your wish.


Crunchy Walnut Cake


Fresh berries with whipped cream
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Old 11-04-2012, 06:40 PM   #213
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Crushing on Crush: Dinner in Animator’s Palate (part 3: The Show)

The show the first night in Animator’s Palate was Turtle Talk with Crush. We are fans of the ones in Disneyland and The Living Seas at Epcot, and thought it was a clever idea to add to a dining room. What a fun way to pass the time while waiting for each course to arrive.

To be honest with you a part of me was a little disappointed because I thought installing Turtle Talk was a bit of a “been there done that” and it would have been nice if they had selected a different set of characters for the show. It is Animator’s Palate after all and it doesn’t specifically have to be a sea theme just because we are at sea. How about different characters on different nights? How cool would it be to talk to the cast of Toy Story one night and The Incredibles on another?





Before and after the show the screens displayed rough drafts of artwork from Finding Nemo

The show began shortly after we arrived and continued right through dessert. The main characters, of course, were Crush, Nemo, Dory and Marlin. The characters didn’t appear on each screen all at once, but appeared in small groups and swam from screen to screen interacting with dining guests or each other. I assume they replayed the same scenes throughout the dining room, but we never saw a repeat. The dining room is quite large and I think the paintbrush supports and server stations are cleverly placed so we can only see the handful of screens in our immediate area.

We were at a table in between two sections, so we could see and hear the interactions from two of the larger main screens and see about 6 of the medium sized ones. If I’m remembering correctly the characters only interacted from the large main screens.



Dory talking "human" to us


The ceiling recesses and filmstrip border changed colors throughout the evening.

Throughout the evening, when the characters weren’t interacting with guests, the silver fish were creating fun drawings for us to guess. At the very end they created a birthday cake and we were all invited to sing happy birthday to those celebrating.


The silver fish creating some jellyfish


Can anyone guess what the silver fish are making?


Happy Birthday from Crush and the silver fish

Things that stuck with me about the show.
  • The characters didn’t chat with every table. I know it was probably not possible in the time allowed, but I only remember a couple of interactions in each of the sections we bordered. I thought they’d interact much more than they did.
  • It wasn’t always a child the characters talked to first. I thought that was nice. The adults enjoyed some interaction too and the kids got a kick out of Crush making fun of their daddy.
  • Characters seemed to talk to the tables that were more directly in line with the screen. (probably due to microphone placement in the room)
  • There wasn’t constant interaction, but there was always something to look at.
  • I never did see the same scene going on in two locations at once.




After dinner these cute little puppies magically lit up along the walkways.

TIP: If you aren’t sure, ask your server which screen belongs to your table. Crush may not talk to you anyway, but you don’t want to be focused on one screen and miss him trying to get your attention on another.
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:33 AM   #214
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Listen to the Sound of My Voice

After dinner the kids disappeared to wherever free roaming Disney Cruise Line children go and DH and I went to see the adult show in The Tube at 10:30. We tried to arrive early so we could sit in the room and not have to sit in the La Piazza overflow seating again. It was still super crowded when we arrived, but we were able to get some seats at the farthest end of the bar. It happened that we sat next to one of the couples from our DIS meet group and we had a great time talking to them before and after the show.

The act tonight was Dale K., a Hypnotist and comedian, and definitely the funniest show we saw on this cruise. I couldn’t do justice trying to explain any specific bits in his show, but I’ll try to give you a brief overview. First he selected about 14 volunteers from the audience. Then he began his process used to hypnotize them. Some, especially one girl who had been hypnotized before, fell right asleep nearly falling out of her chair several times throughout the night. (Apparently, if you’ve been hypnotized before, you are easier to hypnotize again) Volunteers who never really went under were thanked and released.

Dale asked the group to do simple things at first like pretending to drive a fast car and flirt with people who weren’t really there. Then after releasing some more people who weren’t taking to the hypnotic suggestions, he began to seriously play with the 6 or 7 who were really under. This is where it got truly hilarious. As I said, I could never retell it properly, but the show included three men giving birth, a plastic baby, Barney the Dinosaur and toast down one man’s pants. (use your imaginations)

If you get a chance to see Dale K. perform, I highly recommend it.
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Old 11-06-2012, 06:49 PM   #215
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Awesome trip report
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:30 AM   #216
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Day 4

Let Them Eat Donuts

Since we weren’t scheduled to dock in Costa Maya until 11:45 AM, and we didn’t have any excursions booked, we felt no rush this morning. After we got dressed we went for breakfast at the Royal Court restaurant where we had a leisurely breakfast and DD had her favorite food on the planet…donuts.


Royal Table breakfast menu


Mmmmmmm....donuts!


Watching the world drift by


Traditional Eggs Benedict


Three Egg Omelet


Waffle Sandwich. Read the description on this one. It was sweeter than the donuts.
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:20 AM   #217
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Amateur Animators

After breakfast DD and I noticed there was an animation class in the D Lounge at 9:30. She and I love to go to the Animation Academy at the parks, and we’ve done an animation session on the Wonder too, so we were interested in attending this class. DS ran off to see who was in The Edge, and DH came with us.

Here are some photos I took of the D Lounge. The wooden backed chairs are more comfortable than they look, and there are lots of ottomans and small hexagonal stools to provide extra seating for the large variety of activities that take place here. (game shows, bingo, karaoke, family dance parties and all types of classes)





"Oh, there you are Perry."

Upon arrival we picked up drawing paper, an animation booklet handout and mini pencil. We discovered that we’d missed the first in a series of four animation classes so some pages in the booklet had already been covered. Now that we were aware of the classes we made it a point to attend sessions 3 and 4 as well, but I’m just going to review them all here in one combined post.



Our cast member instructor (I can’t remember his name) was super nice, and he tried hard, but we were used to the seasoned animators at the parks and we could tell he was still learning how to teach these sessions. He fumbled a bit here and there and he was not practiced at drawing the characters.

At each session we first watched a video explaining an aspect of animation such as How to Illustrate Movement, Staging a Scene and Perspective and how Walt Disney used them to enhance his movies. Then we did a worksheet to reinforce the subject area. I happened to bring home the worksheets we did on Staging a Scene.



DH's scene


My scene

Next we learned to draw a character. We drew Goofy, which I’ve done before, and also Pooh and Buzz Lightyear, which I hadn’t.


My Goofy


DD's Pooh bear


DH's Buzz Lightyear

If you like to draw this is a fun way to spend 45 minutes.

One last D Lounge photo for you. Early one morning we happened past the D Lounge and noticed the wrap around screen was cycling a familiar PC user error message.


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Old 11-07-2012, 12:08 PM   #218
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Those are some great pics of the menus! I can actually read them! Thanks so much for that.
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:48 AM   #219
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Meet Me at the Cove (Café)


Here are a couple of photos of the Cove Café. (Located next to the adult pool area on deck 11) Hubby loves his coffee drinks, and DD is following in his footsteps (although she is still limited to decaf), so we visited the café at least once per day. If DH and I had to split up we usually planned the Cove as our meet up spot.





They make all types of specialty coffee drinks, teas and chai for an additional charge, and there are pastries and other snacks available for free.

Tip: The Cove Café has a frequent buyer card available. If they don’t give you one with your drink purchase just ask. For every five drinks you purchase you get the 6th one free.




If you forget your card in your room, like we often do, and end up with several cards with one or two stamps on them, just take them all back once you have five stamps and they will honor the free drink. When we got home I discovered that we still had 5 partial cards with 8 stamps so we will just bring those on our next cruise and DH can have his first drink on board for free.
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Old 11-09-2012, 06:50 PM   #220
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Goofy’s Golf

After the pools, the Goofy’s Golf putt-putt area was DS’s favorite place on the ship. He played the 9 hole course at least once a day, usually with his sister or friends from The Edge, but today he challenged DH and me to a round.

The course begins on the starboard side of the sports area (deck 13, aft) where you pick up a club, ball, score card and mini pencil. We decided to keep track of the scores in our head, which worked out for me because I always seem to be the one juggling the pencil and card. I was already juggling my camera and that was enough.



Equipment bags at the start of the course



Lesson posters adorn the walls

Each hole has two starting tees. For the easier, straighter shot, stand on Max’s small footprints. For the more difficult shot, which usually involves a ricochet, or multiple ricochets, stand on Goofy’s large footprints. The idea is to putt your ball on the dotted line for a successful shot. Of course it is easier said than done.

DS went first, and I went next and we were both happy to make par. Then DH steps up and gets a hole-in-one. The rest of the game was somewhat similar. DH is not a golfer, but today he was on fire and beat DS and I by several points.



DH tees off on hole #1


DH's 1st hole-in-one


Hole #2


Hole #3


Hole #4: I thought maybe my luck would improve if I took my stance correctly on Goofy's feet. Sadly not.


Hole #5: Sometimes you have to get inventive with your stance.


Hole #6: Perry confers with Agent C


Still hole #6: Perry's turn


Hole #7: That cannon was almost impossible to hit a ball through


Hole #8


Hole #9

On the plus side it’s a really cute course and there never seemed to be a wait to play. For me there was also a big negative…there is no shelter up there. We were playing at 11:00 AM, in the full sun, so it was incredibly hot and humid. By hole 9 we were all sweaty and sticky. It can also be pretty windy, especially when the ship is moving which I hear can affect how the ball rolls.

Tip: If there are no clubs or balls in the bins at hole 1, check the return location at hole 9. Also, I would recommend wearing sun screen during day games.
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:08 AM   #221
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Thank you for finishing your report! I love your photos and your family is adorable!
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Old 11-10-2012, 02:53 PM   #222
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Costa Maya Coastline

While playing Goofy’s Golf we had a perfect view of Costa Maya off the back of the ship. The Fantasy had docked already and we were able to watch them prepare for the 11:45 debarking. The pier is incredibly long so they were busy setting up a tram to transport passengers down the long pier to the customs area. I don’t know if the tram belonged to Costa Maya or if Disney brought it with them. It wouldn’t surprise me if they had it stored under the ship just for this port.



Part of the very long pier leading to the Costa Maya port area


At the back of the port area we could see what looked like a Mayan pyramid


The tram is connected and ready for passengers


The lighthouse and village off in the distance


Some passengers waiting for the tram to return and others choosing to walk
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:41 PM   #223
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Quick Lunch at Cabanas

I took a couple of quick photos at lunch. This one of DS illustrates how hot and sweaty he was after our putt-putt game.


One hot, sweaty and hungry boy. Time to carb-load.


As the saying goes...there is always room for jello
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:57 PM   #224
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Extended Port Hours

Originally Costa Maya had the shortest shore time. (4 1/2 hours) We learned that occasionally DCL extends their hours in certain ports so that crew with free time can take some shore leave. This was one of those times so the Fantasy was now scheduled to stay docked in Costa Maya until 1:00 AM. (nearly 12 full hours) Passengers were welcome to stay ashore as well, so our family didn’t feel a need to hurry off the ship. We wandered out around 12:30.

Here are a few photos I took of the back of the Fantasy as we headed into Costa Maya. We decided to take the tram which made for a quick trip down that very long pier.



Dumbo and Timothy look so small on the back of the ship, but in reality Dumbo is 8 feet tall and 2,300 pounds.




Looking back on the ship from nearly the other end of the pier.
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Old 11-13-2012, 07:33 PM   #225
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Costa Maya Port Plaza

The tram dropped us at the far end of the pier near the arched opening leading into the Costa Maya port plaza. We didn’t have to show our passports or cruise cards here, but there were many armed guards patrolling the area.



The plaza area was flying the flags for Mexico, Costa Maya and Disney Cruise Line


Armed guards quietly patrolled the plaza


The port area is a mix of history and commerce. I would have liked this photo better without the Hard Rock sign in the background.


The main plaza was lined with pitched grass roofed huts filled with jewelry, clothing and many types of souvenirs.






The kids were still not happy about the humidity so DD found a shady spot while I took photos.


The plaza fountain with the viewing tower behind

Just beyond the fountain there was a tower. It was about four stories tall and offered great views of the plaza, the surrounding countryside and the Disney Fantasy docked under the sunny blue cloud-filled skies. We took several panoramic photos.


View out the front of the tower towards the pier area


View out the back of the tower. the small brown building toward the left center is the guard gate where you need to show your credentials.


Looking back down towards the fountain
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