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Old 06-20-2012, 10:26 AM   #1
kathrynlip
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Join Date: May 2012
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Returned from Fantasy, Eastern Caribbean

Sorry it has taken me a while to write a recap. Was on the June 2nd departure in 10518. Let me say it was by far the greatest vacation I have ever been on. Better than St Lucia and even better than Venice (that's a close one).

I was a first time cruiser with my DW and DS 15 and DS 8. I will try to write a daily recap to give a better idea of what we did so I can answer any questions people have. I asked many before we went and so many of you helped us. THANK YOU!

General thoughts to give you an idea of how we spent our time: We were almost never at the pools in main area as our kids are older. We loved going to the adult section at night, and we never went to a show. Just cannot do it all and I am amazed by how Disney can provide so much that people on the same cruise can have totally different, yet equally fantastic experiences.

DAY 1:

Had an official check in time for 1pm but arrived at 11:45am. So easy and smooth. Got DS8 registered at port and were on the ship by 12:30pm. While the others went to the pools I went to take care of the spa and restaurants as we could not get anything on line (we were very later booking and nothing was left on line). Everyone on DIS told me not to worry -- and they were right. Booked a massage for myself and DW and Palo Brunch and Remy dinner. Went to guest services to rent a 3rd Wave Phone for DS15. By 2pm we are together relaxing and having a drink.We took the advice and went one deck above the craziness as we left port. FANTASTIC IDEA! You can see everything and relax.

As our kids are older we had signed up for the 2nd seating (8:15pm). Bags are at our room by 4:30pm so no issues with showering and getting ready for dinner. On way down (we were AERAERA) I look at our cards and see they say 5:45. OOPS!!!! Of course no problem -- they change it and give us the same servers we would have had at 5:45, and now we are correctly in 2nd seating all week.

Dinner is great fun talking to Crush, and our servers (Sheree and Ivan) are wonderful. Food was very good. We learned quickly that seafood is the way to go -- the red meat is average -- everything else is really good.

DS15 wants out of there to get to the VIBE. DS8 is apprehensive but willing to try the Oceaneer Lab (he ended up loving it and we had to get him out of there to do things with him all week).

DW and I end up in Skyline and Lou takes great care of us. What a quiet and fantastic bar with great drinks.

Go pick up DS8 at midnight and call DS15 to come back to room and crash hard!
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Old 06-20-2012, 11:04 AM   #2
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Sounds great! Tell us more!
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Old 06-20-2012, 12:37 PM   #3
kathrynlip
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Day 2:

We ordered a room service breakfast almost every morning. We like to stay up late and sleep in, so a 9am delivery seemed perfect, and we did this most mornings.

While the rest of the family began the day on the Aquaduck, my DW insisted that I started the trip with a massage. Oh Darn!!!!! This was of course to "get work out of me" and move into vacation mode. It certainly worked (witht he help of some great drinks also). Afterwards I went to the Cove for my typical morning Latte (I am a coffee snob) and then we met at Cabanas for lunch. Cabanas is great -- lots of variety and easy to get in and out, and on with your day. The three boys (I include myself based upon mental age) played many games of putt putt and one ball even ended up in the ocean -- sorry Disney -- while my wife went to the adult section for some quiet and sun.

DW and I then did the champagne tasting -- FANTASTIC! Learned lots and really enjoyed it. The new Ice Champagne is amazing!

We met up for some more aquaduck and then got dressed for dinner. Lobster, scallops, shrimp, etc -- what a dinner. Oh and make the mistake of saying "what dessert do you recommend" and all of them will show up at your table.

The boys went to their clubs and we went back to Skyline Bar -- bought the special that gets you a drink from each city and the really cool book that is stamped after each drink.

Pick up DS8 at midnight and DS15 comes in at 1am. Another great day!

Also -- I apologize and I may mess up and put an activity ont he wrong day -- I have no notes. But it all happened so I guess it really does not matter.
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Old 06-20-2012, 12:49 PM   #4
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Your updates are great, thus far!! Can't wait to hear more! We're sailing in September on the Fantasy, so it's always nice to hear other cruiser's advice and points of view...keep' em coming!
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Old 06-20-2012, 01:11 PM   #5
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I love the short and sweet review!

We're sailing the Fantasy next March, so I also love hearing about others' experiences!

Thank you for taking the time to do this!
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Old 06-20-2012, 01:47 PM   #6
kathrynlip
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Day 3:

We have a board on our door saying where we are from and markers for others to say also.

Daytona
Orlando
Jamaica
TN
Quincy, IL
KY
Alabama
London

Fun to see all of the notes!

Room service breakfast again. Then while Mom goes to relax, I take the boys to bingo. Never done bingo before and it is a blast. Very interactive with the crowd. Last game, with the biggest prize, is blackout. We have three left but there are already some standers (meaning they have one left). And then .... we hit one of them .... and then another ..... and literally on the third straight ball we win! $365 which will definitely help as our on-board bill is growing exponentially every day. Of course we give lots of it back playing every time from then on -- but it was a fun "boys only" activity for our family.

Now it is time for brunch with DW at Palo. Yeah ..... spectacular. Caviar, crab, scallops, etc. If you go, get the strawberry soup -- one of the best foods I have ever eaten. As usual the desserts are obscene. Why choose? Just eat until you cannot eat anymore (and then have one more bite HAHA).

The boys during this time have been in their clubs and then went together to Cabanas for lunch. Then we meet up for some lying around on the boat and DS8 does the investigator game on board (walk around boat and solve a crime using interactive media).

Dinner that night was good, not great, but still very good. Lots of fun as it was pirate night and we were dressed up. Some dress up, most do not. We did as it is great fun and we got some good pictures. We met the DJ for the on board parties and "adopted" him into our family. He ate with us every night from then on.

Great Pirate Party on deck later with dancing and fireworks. Fireworks going off in the middle of the ocean is really cool! DS8 even gets invited under the rope to stand with the DJ and then say good night to him -- what a VIP!

The boys want to go to their clubs and I decide to give DS8 signing out privileges. This means that now he can sign himself out of the club whenever he wants instead of having to have an adult get him. I figured this was a great time to start allowing him some independence. We set some ground rules and went for it - it worked out great by the way.
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Old 06-20-2012, 01:56 PM   #7
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Thanks for the review! We're sailing in Dec 2013 but so excited!
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Old 06-20-2012, 01:57 PM   #8
kathrynlip
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A good time for some short notes before I get to day 4 (Sint Maarten)

I felt a little sea sick the first couple of days, but only at dinner. You are low on the ship and really feel the rocking. I wore sea bands on my wrists and that helped. By day 4 I had my sea legs and enjoyed the slow movement.

10518 is high up and forward. One afternoon we could really hear the gym (right above us) but besides that it was perfect -- great location! We have already rebooked this room for our next cruise.

You will see the list of "things to bring." The most brilliant is the over the door shoe holder. We put it on the closed adjoining door and organized sun screen, sun glasses, and lots of little things this way.

We took beach towels because we were told we would need them for excursions. Dont do it. Takes up lots of space and Disney provides them for you -- even an easy drop off outside the boat when you reboard

Split bathroom is really great

We had a verandah. Did we use it every day -- yes. But not lots. At the same time being able to just step out, or just see out, whenever we wanted to was worth the price for our family.
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Old 06-20-2012, 02:26 PM   #9
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I'm enjoying your review! One quick question, I thought that pirate night was the night of the St. Marteen day? You refer to it on a sea day.

Glad you had such a great cruise!
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Old 06-20-2012, 02:29 PM   #10
kathrynlip
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You are correct-- told you I would mess up the days!

My wife told me to keep notes throughout the trip -- I refused as I did not want to do any work -- plus it gives her more of a chance to correct me later
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Old 06-20-2012, 02:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathrynlip View Post
I felt a little sea sick the first couple of days, but only at dinner. You are low on the ship and really feel the rocking. I wore sea bands on my wrists and that helped. By day 4 I had my sea legs and enjoyed the slow movement.
We were on this cruise, too. It actually was one of our smoothest cruises, out of the 8 we've done on DCL. In fact, it was so smooth that I missed being rocked to sleep! I barely felt any ship motion, even in the dining rooms. This was our first time on the Fantasy and we've never been on the Dream, so I was wondering if the new ships have smoother sailing. If so, it's back to the Magic/Wonder for me!
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Old 06-20-2012, 03:22 PM   #12
kathrynlip
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Day 4:

Sint Maarten. Spelled many different ways based upon location/language. This was my favorite so I am going with it.

Could not get an excursion through Disney so it was suggested (thanks again!) to go to shoreexcursions. Booked a 54 foot sailboat called the Rando Wind for my family and 20 others. What a day -- sailing from cove to cove to snorkel, lie on the beach and just basically have lots of fun. Rum punch was flowing; great lunch on board; trapeze swing to fly off the boat and do tricks.

My 8 year old proceeds to have motion sickness and every time the boat is moving he is throwing up off the back of the boat. Then when we stop, he jumps off and starts swimming and snorkeling. Happens 3 seperate times -- I am impressed as I know I would be curled up in the fetal position.

We feed a big school of Amber Jacks -- so cool to have them swarming you and feel them all over you while they are eating out of your hands.

My 15 year old spends a little more time on one beach than usual, as typically he would rather be in the water. I am not sure why until I realize, fancy that, it's the French beach and is topless. He comes back to the boat, my wife just shakes her head, and I give him a covert high 5.

A great 5 hours out on the boat and then we stop (French side) at a great pastry shop for some dessert and coffee.

Now a taxi back to the ship and board for dinner. Yes -- this time it really is Pirate Night.

That night we have a quiet time on the verandah with a bottle of champagne we brought ourselves, and had the boys back in the room by 11pm as we needed to get some rest for St Thomas the next day. St Thomas is a short day (back on ship at 3:30pm) so we needed to be ready to go early.
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Old 06-20-2012, 03:48 PM   #13
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Enjoying your review! We are sailing the Eastern on the Fantasy next month and this is great!
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Old 06-20-2012, 04:02 PM   #14
kathrynlip
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Day 5:

St. Thomas

Everyone is tired but as we pull into port it is SOOOOOO beautiful that we are energized and ready to go. After running up to get a triple latte', I am ready also.

We get a taxi to Coki Beach because it is supposed to have good snorkeling for the kids. We spend about 2 hours there snorkeling, swimming and lying in beach chairs drinking bushwackers (the official drink of St Thomas I think HEHE).

My wife and DS15 want to scuba (guy walking along beach is offering and obviously knows his stuff). DS8 is distraught as he is not old enough and thinks this is a massive injustice. Angry at DW for going without him. Ah parenting. So I leave with DS8 and take a taxi to downtown. We ask the taxi driver for the best authentic food and she sends us to Cuzzins. Never knew an 8 year old could eat so many conch fritters. He ordered crab and pasta and I ordered curried shrimp, peas and rice, and a local dish made of corn meal and okra (like yummy polenta) and a bushwacker.

We then walk around downtown and do some shopping for t-shirts, hats, etc. Just little things, no rolexes, but wow is there some amazing jewelry shopping if you are interested. DS8 begs for a coin from a shipwreck and we get it.

By now it is 3pm and we taxi back to the ship and soon after, leave port.

Sitting on the verandah watching the island get smaller and smaller is something special.

We send the boys to their clubs (as if we needed to -- they were begging to get back in there) and DW and I go and get in the adult pool and swim up to the bar for something fun.

a couple of hours in the adult section relaxing and it is time to shower and get ready for dinner. We meet the boys at dinner, then play some putt-putt and relax for the evening.

Oh -- I almost forgot -- there was bingo that night and of course the boys all went. We did not win but fun was had by all.
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Old 06-20-2012, 05:20 PM   #15
kathrynlip
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Day 6:

Loved the excursions, but I think my favorite is just being on the ship. Great food, great people, great service, lots of family and adult only time. What could be better.

I send DW for a massage while I play with the boys. There was some bingo in there, lots of Aquaduck, some putt-putt, lunch, you get the drift. Oh, and we went to breakfast that morning at one of the restaurants. Very nice, but I think room service with a limited menu was even better for our needs.

We had a relaxing afternoon sitting in the sun and playing. Then at 6:30pm DW and I went to Remy. We had already changed our reservation twice as I first booked it on line, then changed it to the last night, and then changed it again so we would not miss Animators on the last night. I had requested Gustav's room, but Zoe (what a great host) had called that morning to say a large part was taking it. What a surprise we had when we walked in and ended up in Gustav's room! Oh thank you Zoe -- you are the best!

We were at Remy for over 3 hours. I have been fortunate to eat at some amazing restaurants -- Remy is the finest meal I have ever had. I wish we could have gone more than once! My wife got a wine pairing and I just stuck to one glass I knew I would enjoy. Literally there were moments when we would taste one of her wines, dislike it, then find it perfect after we had the food it was paired with. We each got a tasting menu, but replaced things as we wanted. I just cannot adequately say how nice it was.
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