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Old 08-21-2012, 09:24 PM   #16
pouncingpluto
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Was Witt Asian/Pacific? I think that was the name of our head waiter on the Wonder in 2011, and he was AMAZiNG. My daughter was 15 weeks old, and he bent over backwards to make things as easy as possible for us.
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:37 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by EngineerDad View Post
Are the show matinees a new thing, or perhaps only for the summer? I checked older navigators around the time we'd be cruising and there weren't any. I'm not sure my kids could stay up for the later shows after a full day of fun since we have early seating...
When the Fantasy launched, I recall reading that there was 1 matinee scheduled during the 7 night sailings.

Aladdin and Wishes were up first, and those, so far as I know, were planned matinees. The day before Believe, Brent mentioned that a matinee had been added. I assume he meant it wasn't planned. All matinees were on sea days. If you're on a Western, I don't know if they would do the matinee since there are only 2 sea days on a Western.

The nice thing about the cruise is that you can take your kids to the second show if there's no matinee. If they make it, great. If they don't, it's very easy to exit and go back to the stateroom.

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Thank you, SnackyStacky, that IS the excursion we have booked, and I am so excited! Good tip about the motion sickness meds, too. I spent many summers on boats, but I do get motion sickness in cars sometimes. I plan on taking Bonine the night before we cruise, and nightly during. I am unsure of how to let DCL know about our food allergies. Do I call them now, have our TA do it?
I appreciate all the info.
Your travel agent will have to do it for you. I'm a travel agent - and I would feel awful to think that one of my guests believed *I* messed up that badly in noting the allergies. We have absolutely no way of verifying that the agent notes them correctly. I can call back and check, but that's only word of mouth. I like it in writing, and currently, there's no way to review that information.

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Was Witt Asian/Pacific? I think that was the name of our head waiter on the Wonder in 2011, and he was AMAZiNG. My daughter was 15 weeks old, and he bent over backwards to make things as easy as possible for us.
Witt was from Thailand. When I say what I'm going to say, I want to be clear that I'm not downing how hard Witt tried. Because he did. I give him a lot of credit for trying.

But after we spoke to Guest Services, he tried TOO hard. The attention we got was excessive to the point of making us uncomfortable. And at that point, I really had written off the dining rooms and wasn't going to push anything any further. So we had his over-attention, with the main/assistant combos under-attention.
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:37 PM   #18
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have any navigators to post per chance?

Thanks for the awesome and thorough report!
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:40 PM   #19
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have any navigators to post per chance?

Thanks for the awesome and thorough report!
Yes. Have to bring out the scanner, though.
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:54 PM   #20
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Yes. Have to bring out the scanner, though.
Cool! Thanks!

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Old 08-22-2012, 05:23 AM   #21
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Thanks for the great review!!
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Old 08-22-2012, 05:51 AM   #22
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Hi there. We were on the cruise with you and had horrible service in the MDRs as well. After 4 cruises on the Magic with amazing service we were very disappointed. No allergies in my family so I don't know what the excuse was. Huge language barrier, incorrect items, timing WAY off. Our assistant server was great though!!
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Old 08-22-2012, 09:27 AM   #23
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Hi,

I was on the same sailing as well and we had horrible service in the dining rooms as well. We had the first seating and unless we skipped dessert, we would not finish dinner until 8:00 every night! We missed so much of the family entertainment and character experiences that were scheduled between the 7-7:30 start time. Our servers were very nice and worked hard but I honestly think they are overworked. They looked so tired and upon speaking to many different servers throughout the week.....most said they use their time off to sleep instead of getting off the ship (which I do feel bad about...). We did run into language barriers too....esp with our stateroom host and you could tell he was new. We had a hotel manager outside our room with him many days...and we could tell he was nervous. I also agree with the whole kids running around unsupervised. We had numerous instances of kids running down the halls after midnight and one night around 230 am they were actually kicking people's room service dishes up and down the hallway and slamming them into the hallway walls and breaking them.
I totally agree with the pool too. We could not find a chair on any sea day on the pool deck and the pools were so crowded and cloudy we did not let our 5 year old swim during the day...we did go on the aqua duck but only at night since during the day the wait was 60 minutes or more. The other thing we were disappointed in was that Nemos Reef was not open later for the little ones. It closes at 7. Many times at night I would not let my daughter go in the pool because there were kids unsupervised in the pool and they were rough. One night in the Mickey pool there were 3 kids....maybe 12, 8 and 6. They were wrestling each other and tossing water at each other with cups. Many people left the pool. I went to cast member and asked if they could help and they did ask them to stop but we were told that they can not ask them to leave the pool! What???? Kids are being rough, bothering other guests, and could possibly hurt themselves and they are UNSUPERVISED and you can't ask them to leave the pool? Totally baffling to me? So instead the children who had proper supervision and were acting appropriately had to leave the pool for their own safety??? I will never understand??? I told my husband I wanted to see how long it would take for a parent to come down to get them so I waited and watched the funnel vision movie. It took about an hour for the parents to show up....and when they did, they were all primped up with cocktails in their hands....they must have been at one of the adult clubs or maybe a Palo dinner....guess they don't believe in kids clubs.....but the kids being so young....swimming alone was not a safe option.
We were on the Magic the week prior and our experience was night and day. I have to admit I left the Fantasy a little disappointed. Now I fully understand the crew members fears on the Magic. They are so afraid they are going to lose their spots on the Magic and be transferred to the Fantasy. They all are begging to stay on the ship when their contract is up. Many of them are trying to stay under the radar....
Hopefully Disney can get things together on the Fantasy...it's a beautiful ship. I just hope Disney did not make it too crowded.
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:51 AM   #24
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Hearing how incredibly poor St Maarten is may alter our touring plans.... Thanks for such a detailed review!
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:56 AM   #25
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Based on the views at the different ports would you recommend a stateroom on the port side vs starboard? Or does it really matter?

Last edited by MickeyEarrings; 08-22-2012 at 11:03 AM. Reason: Duplication
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Old 08-22-2012, 11:37 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoThisIsLove View Post
Hi,

I was on the same sailing as well and we had horrible service in the dining rooms as well. We had the first seating and unless we skipped dessert, we would not finish dinner until 8:00 every night! We missed so much of the family entertainment and character experiences that were scheduled between the 7-7:30 start time. Our servers were very nice and worked hard but I honestly think they are overworked. They looked so tired and upon speaking to many different servers throughout the week.....most said they use their time off to sleep instead of getting off the ship (which I do feel bad about...). We did run into language barriers too....esp with our stateroom host and you could tell he was new. We had a hotel manager outside our room with him many days...and we could tell he was nervous. I also agree with the whole kids running around unsupervised. We had numerous instances of kids running down the halls after midnight and one night around 230 am they were actually kicking people's room service dishes up and down the hallway and slamming them into the hallway walls and breaking them.
I totally agree with the pool too. We could not find a chair on any sea day on the pool deck and the pools were so crowded and cloudy we did not let our 5 year old swim during the day...we did go on the aqua duck but only at night since during the day the wait was 60 minutes or more. The other thing we were disappointed in was that Nemos Reef was not open later for the little ones. It closes at 7. Many times at night I would not let my daughter go in the pool because there were kids unsupervised in the pool and they were rough. One night in the Mickey pool there were 3 kids....maybe 12, 8 and 6. They were wrestling each other and tossing water at each other with cups. Many people left the pool. I went to cast member and asked if they could help and they did ask them to stop but we were told that they can not ask them to leave the pool! What???? Kids are being rough, bothering other guests, and could possibly hurt themselves and they are UNSUPERVISED and you can't ask them to leave the pool? Totally baffling to me? So instead the children who had proper supervision and were acting appropriately had to leave the pool for their own safety??? I will never understand??? I told my husband I wanted to see how long it would take for a parent to come down to get them so I waited and watched the funnel vision movie. It took about an hour for the parents to show up....and when they did, they were all primped up with cocktails in their hands....they must have been at one of the adult clubs or maybe a Palo dinner....guess they don't believe in kids clubs.....but the kids being so young....swimming alone was not a safe option.
We were on the Magic the week prior and our experience was night and day. I have to admit I left the Fantasy a little disappointed. Now I fully understand the crew members fears on the Magic. They are so afraid they are going to lose their spots on the Magic and be transferred to the Fantasy. They all are begging to stay on the ship when their contract is up. Many of them are trying to stay under the radar....
Hopefully Disney can get things together on the Fantasy...it's a beautiful ship. I just hope Disney did not make it too crowded.
I repeat: fine the parents/stateroom!

Such behavior is beyond unacceptable -- it's destructive.

Of course, we want to permit our children to have some freedom, but not at the expense of all of the other paying passengers on the ship.

Currently, I keep an eye on my 7 y/o son at all times (when he is not in the club/lab).
When he is old/mature enough to earn some free time, he will be provided with clear instruction as to appropriate/inappropriate behavior.

If I were ever informed that he ran up and down hallways, or engaged in any type of destructive behavior, such as breaking dishes, I would have him spend the entire next day confined to the cabin, writing notes of apology to each and every stateroom on our deck (or the deck that he was running rampant), as well as the deck below.

He would be required to pay, out of his own funds/allowance, for any broken dishes/items (after he cleaned it up, himself).

He is taught to respect himself, and those persons around him. If he does something wrong, he is expected to make it right. That's it. Before anyone accuses me of being a Tiger mom, please understand that I/we serve up ample amounts of hugs and kisses and and laughter and "I love you"s and all kinds of (specific) positive reinforcement. But bad behavior is not to be tolerated, under any circumstances! My $2.
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Old 08-22-2012, 01:35 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kellimomo3 View Post
Hi there. We were on the cruise with you and had horrible service in the MDRs as well. After 4 cruises on the Magic with amazing service we were very disappointed. No allergies in my family so I don't know what the excuse was. Huge language barrier, incorrect items, timing WAY off. Our assistant server was great though!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoThisIsLove View Post
Hi,

I was on the same sailing as well and we had horrible service in the dining rooms as well. We had the first seating and unless we skipped dessert, we would not finish dinner until 8:00 every night! We missed so much of the family entertainment and character experiences that were scheduled between the 7-7:30 start time. Our servers were very nice and worked hard but I honestly think they are overworked. They looked so tired and upon speaking to many different servers throughout the week.....most said they use their time off to sleep instead of getting off the ship (which I do feel bad about...). We did run into language barriers too....esp with our stateroom host and you could tell he was new. We had a hotel manager outside our room with him many days...and we could tell he was nervous. I also agree with the whole kids running around unsupervised. We had numerous instances of kids running down the halls after midnight and one night around 230 am they were actually kicking people's room service dishes up and down the hallway and slamming them into the hallway walls and breaking them.
I totally agree with the pool too. We could not find a chair on any sea day on the pool deck and the pools were so crowded and cloudy we did not let our 5 year old swim during the day...we did go on the aqua duck but only at night since during the day the wait was 60 minutes or more. The other thing we were disappointed in was that Nemos Reef was not open later for the little ones. It closes at 7. Many times at night I would not let my daughter go in the pool because there were kids unsupervised in the pool and they were rough. One night in the Mickey pool there were 3 kids....maybe 12, 8 and 6. They were wrestling each other and tossing water at each other with cups. Many people left the pool. I went to cast member and asked if they could help and they did ask them to stop but we were told that they can not ask them to leave the pool! What???? Kids are being rough, bothering other guests, and could possibly hurt themselves and they are UNSUPERVISED and you can't ask them to leave the pool? Totally baffling to me? So instead the children who had proper supervision and were acting appropriately had to leave the pool for their own safety??? I will never understand??? I told my husband I wanted to see how long it would take for a parent to come down to get them so I waited and watched the funnel vision movie. It took about an hour for the parents to show up....and when they did, they were all primped up with cocktails in their hands....they must have been at one of the adult clubs or maybe a Palo dinner....guess they don't believe in kids clubs.....but the kids being so young....swimming alone was not a safe option.
We were on the Magic the week prior and our experience was night and day. I have to admit I left the Fantasy a little disappointed. Now I fully understand the crew members fears on the Magic. They are so afraid they are going to lose their spots on the Magic and be transferred to the Fantasy. They all are begging to stay on the ship when their contract is up. Many of them are trying to stay under the radar....
Hopefully Disney can get things together on the Fantasy...it's a beautiful ship. I just hope Disney did not make it too crowded.
I'm very glad it was not just us. My impression is that Disney was not prepared for the extraordinary amount of staff they'd need to work these mega ships. I think it's a combination of under-hiring, the inability to be as selective as they used to be, and frankly a lack of training. I many "insider" blogs, and I know that training has taken a HUGE cut at the parks. I wonder if that's permeating the cruise division.

I CANNOT fault ANY of the dining room staff for not working. They were working their tails off, and always running around. And I feel for them. But Disney is charging arrogant prices for these cruises, and they need to reflect in the service they're providing. That's why I tried to be as vocal as I could about it. They can't fix something when they don't know it's a problem.

I was TOTALLY unaware that children were being THAT obnoxious. I did have a run in with a kid in line for the AquaDuck. Now granted, we were there after 9:30 at night, so there was no line. But these kids were clearly exhausted and were being stupid and dangerous. They were frantically running up the steps and tried to push me out of the way. I have really long arms, and was able to put one hand on the left railing, and one hand on the right railing. The kid ran smack into my arm. He apologized and then tried to go UNDER my arm. I immediately told him he was cutting the line and that was not acceptable. He immediately stopped.

I did also say something to some child who almost took out my daughter while running up the stairs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeyEarrings View Post
Hearing how incredibly poor St Maarten is may alter our touring plans.... Thanks for such a detailed review!
Their economy is 100% dependent on tourism. So definitely go shop. I would either stay right at the pier, or take the $3 cab or $4 water ferry to Phillipsburg.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeyEarrings View Post
Based on the views at the different ports would you recommend a stateroom on the port side vs starboard? Or does it really matter?
We were starboard. On Caribbean/Bahamian itineraries, I always take starboard because you have a BEAUTIFUL view of Castaway Cay. For St. Thomas and St. Maarten, I really didn't find there to be a big difference in either view. It was beautiful any which way you looked!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddixon1 View Post
I repeat: fine the parents/stateroom!

Such behavior is beyond unacceptable -- it's destructive.

Of course, we want to permit our children to have some freedom, but not at the expense of all of the other paying passengers on the ship.

Currently, I keep an eye on my 7 y/o son at all times (when he is not in the club/lab).
When he is old/mature enough to earn some free time, he will be provided with clear instruction as to appropriate/inappropriate behavior.

If I were ever informed that he ran up and down hallways, or engaged in any type of destructive behavior, such as breaking dishes, I would have him spend the entire next day confined to the cabin, writing notes of apology to each and every stateroom on our deck (or the deck that he was running rampant), as well as the deck below.

He would be required to pay, out of his own funds/allowance, for any broken dishes/items (after he cleaned it up, himself).

He is taught to respect himself, and those persons around him. If he does something wrong, he is expected to make it right. That's it. Before anyone accuses me of being a Tiger mom, please understand that I/we serve up ample amounts of hugs and kisses and and laughter and "I love you"s and all kinds of (specific) positive reinforcement. But bad behavior is not to be tolerated, under any circumstances! My $2.
I have a feeling that any cast member is reticent to approach kids who misbehave, because it would be deemed "bad service". (Like the previous poster who was told they couldn't ask the misbehaving children to leave the pool) All these people who let their children run free and unsupervised on the ship would probably run to Guest Services and complain the minute that one of their children was spoken to by a cast member; let alone if they were to be charged a fee.

The responsibility to fix this issue is on our society, in my opinion. This one I can't fault Disney for. I brought it up more as a way to say: "Be ready for this."

Working on the navigators, shopping guides and our Remy menu as I type this!
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Old 08-22-2012, 02:27 PM   #28
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Enjoyed reading about your trip!

That is AWFUL to hear about your dining experience - OMG! We were on the Fantasy June 16-23 & it was our 6th cruise. Our service was great! We had Daniel from Hungry, who had been with DCL for a long time - I think he said 5 years. He started on the Magic, opened the Dream, then the Fantasy. We had Suthepong (sp?) from Thailand as our asst., who had been on the ship for two weeks. Despite that, Suthepong did a great job - he only had 2 tables to take care of & did great trying to interact with our DD. The head server's name escapes me, but he was very visible & DH & I noticed him working - he was helping out all over. DH has a shellfish allergy, but we don't list it anywhere because he gets tired of talking to chefs......And our dinners began at 5:45 & were done around 7pm every night except the night of the non-Crush Animation show, when we didn't order dessert before the show, so that was closer to 7:20. I would SCREAM if it took until 8pm+ to go thru dinner.

Anyways, we are back on in December & I hope we don't experience what your sailing did!!!

On St. Maarten, we did Bernard's Tour. It's not a DCL excursion, but it was fabulous. It showed us both sides of the island, beaches, and it was mostly highlights vs lowlights.....I highly recommend doing that!

Thanks again~

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Old 08-22-2012, 04:21 PM   #29
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Here's the navigators and shopping guides. I will send them to the DIS, but I've got them on Google Docs/Google Drive until they're posted.

Day 1 (Lost the full navigator - this is just the chart with activities and the operating hours for various locations)

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

St. Maarten Shopping Map

St. Thomas Shopping Map

Because of my wife's allergy, they had created a special menu for her at Remy. It was printed beautifully on some cardstock. We asked for the chef to sign it, and kept it. I should also point out the folder is a cardboard envelope. We didn't steal the lovely menu holder.

Remy Menu
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Old 08-22-2012, 04:38 PM   #30
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Have heard a lot lately about unsupervised children running wild on the cruises and the staff will do nothing about it. Probably until some kid gets hurt. Then they'll start banning stuff.

My Fantasy cruise is 9/8, glad to hear there is still strong cheese at Remy.
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