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Old 01-20-2013, 08:31 PM   #1
Funky Chicken
misses the Citrus Swirl at Sunshine Tree Terrace!
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: NC
Posts: 372

Highlight Reel-Fantasy Eastern 1/12/2013

So we are back from our first Disney cruise.
Generally a wonderful week. Our 7 year old is still walking on a cloud.

Cabin-7574, a 5C starboard side, the door to which opens directly into the midship elevator/stairway landing. This was not nearly the problem you might suspect-in fact we loved being so close. There was NO additional noise (a surprise to us). We would book it again in a heartbeat. More on that later.

Dining-Main dining, rotation was RAERAER. Table for 8-our table mates were great, a couple with a son our daughter's age (more on THAT later as well) and one set of grandparents traveling with them. Our table mates asked to change locations after the first night at Royal Court,as our table was directly adjacent to a bussing station. We followed them but in the process had to change servers, and lost Tiziana as our main server. We ended up with Isaac from Kenya and Silvana as assistant, who was ill some nights and replaced by Yoann. They were fine-we will request Tiziana next cruise. She left that great an impression on us after one night. We went to Palo on our middle Royal Court night, which turned out great. We had a 6 pm reservation which aligned with sail away from St. Thomas, and sat on the outside deck port side at Meridian enjoying a cocktail beforehand. Milos was exceptional if a little overeager, but he knew the menu inside and out. I had the grilled Tuna-by far my best entree of the week.

Service all over the ship was terrific. Food was consistently very good everywhere we went. Our 7 year old is an allergy child and we were always met with a helpful attitude when asking about ingredients. Levi (chef at Cabanas) walked us thru the entire buffet and everything at Flo's as well.

Visited the Rainforest a couple of times on a day pass-loved it.

Characters are everywhere. This is huge if your kid is into it-ours certainly was. She also couldn't get enough of the Oceaneer's Club and Aquaduck.

Shows were great. We went most nights with our table mates after dinner and the two 7 year olds sat together. Puppy love at sea.

Castaway Cay is spectacular. Our weather that day was not. It finally cleared in the afternoon and with our daughter happily in the club we hightailed it out to the Serenity Bay Beach Bar for 2 for 1 Konk Coolers-best fruity drink of the week.

Things we didn't love so much-
The main pool deck was MAYHEM. 1360 kids on the ship plus small shallow pools equals disaster. Way too loud and over stimulating. I felt like we had to watch our daughter 100% of the time, and I couldn't stand the constant multimedia barrage.
Pirate Night-just OK. A huge time gap between the start of the party and the end/fireworks. Not our cup of tea.
I was a little surprised by the jittery ride. I expected it to be at least as smooth as RCCL Voyager class ships and it wasn't. Some of it could have been wind, but we have sailed in similar sea conditions and felt less movement on smaller ships. We were really rocking and rolling on the way into PC from Castaway.

I was also surprised by how rude some people were on debarkation morning. We left CC nearly two hours late due to a tragic event on the island (a guest fatality from a heart attack). As a result we had to make time back to PC and missed our opportunity to pull in ahead of Carnival Dream-we didn't tie up until after 6am. That's nearly 2 hours late to port, and we were still walking off the ship at 8:20. We managed to get our bags out to the curb, send me to Budget on the shuttle bus to pick up the car, drive back to port to load up, drive to WDW, check in at WL, take the launch to MK, and get thru the gate before 11am. The ship is usually cleared around 7:45 am-nobody was delayed more than 30-40 minutes, but some people were just belligerent towards cast members. When you travel, you need to be flexible and tolerant-these people were neither.

The thing that sticks with me about the week overall is the attention to detail across the whole experience. There really is a Disney difference-it's not always 100%
tangible, but it is always there. Examples-you are never under the watchful eye of the towel police. We walked off the ship at CC and were handed 5 towels for the 3 of us. The trash cans on CC have water dispensers built into the tops of them-no walking to the bar and getting a dirty look because all you want is a cup of water. So many small things are just better executed on a Disney cruise.

So-we ended up booking the same week in 2014 while on board. We moved back a few cabins to 7582, but honestly would have taken 7574 again. I don't know if this will become an annual thing for us, but we feel like next time we will have enough familiarity and experience with the ship to improve on our experience.
Blood Orange Margarita, please...
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