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Old 02-11-2014, 03:45 AM   #91
MrRay
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Dinner

Dinner was in Animator's Palate


We were seated with two other couples at table 33



It's right next to a server station and a main path to the kitchen so there was a lot of action going on. At one point I genuinely thought a whole tray was going to fall onto Jenna's head. The whole dinner was a little chaotic and took a lot longer than we were used to. Our servers seemed a little grumpy too. Things were great from the next day on so I think it was just the craziness of the first night.


We also quickly discovered the other disappointing side of back to back cruising that we hadn't considered. Even though we were on two different ships the menu's were virtually identical at dinner. At least we had a few nights of new menu's since the cruise was longer. But kind of a bummer.

We were also keeping a lookout for our server from the previous year. His name was Diartha and was absolutely incredible. He totally made the cruise for us. The crazy thing was that he could have been on any ship, or on leave, or in either of the other 2 restaurants but shortly after we sat down I saw him walk past our table. Jenna saw my face light up and knew immediately that he must have crossed behind her.

At the end of dinner we walked up to him, he gave us a good long look as we walked over clearly remembering us but couldn't quite pick out our names. Anyway it was great to see him, we shared a few laughs and kept checking in with him during the week. These pictures are from the last night but this seems like a good time to throw them in.





This was the night of Turtle Talk with Crush. Last year we thought it was a nice bit of distraction for the first night with new table mates. This year it jut seemed loud and a little annoying. Maybe we're getting old...

Anyway like I mentioned earlier there was playoff football this day and my team was playing the night game. We missed the first half to dinner but stopped by O'Gill's for the third quarter.



There was a good amount of people there rooting for both sides and great energy.



But who can pass up the opportunity to watch a game on the funnel vision in the middle of the ocean at night.

So we rode up to the pool deck for the fourth quarter.




It.Was.Awesome.

As the game was ending it was definitely time to sleep. It was great day and you could feel that there were a lot more to come...
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Old 02-11-2014, 01:58 PM   #92
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We spent 8 nights on the Magic in pretty rough weather. We even missed Castaway Cay because of it which meant we had five days at sea and only two port days. It's hard to deal with when you've been looking forward to vacation for so long. But we had a great crew. I've heard people just don't put in the effort for 3 and 4 day trips in the same way.
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October 2013 - Fort Wilderness Cabins and free dining with a pirate obsessed three year old and one year old
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Old 02-11-2014, 01:58 PM   #93
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I found this trip report, but then went back to read your first one.

You really got some great photos of everything! I never noticed that "emergency" and "normal" button. I'm going to have to point that out to my husband...that's just the sort of thing that would make him laugh.

We sailed the Fantasy in August 2012 (loved it!) and our next Fantasy cruise is this August. I'm already getting antsy, unable to wait, so reading trip reports is tiding me over for the next few months. Keep it coming!
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Old 02-13-2014, 06:05 AM   #94
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January 12th, Day 2... At Sea



We woke up at 7:30 to the sun streaming in through our windows. Upon closer inspection it was warm and wonderful out.

One of our favorite things is to go to the hot tub early. The ship is incredibly empty and calm.

We had breakfast in Cabana's shortly after and spent most of the morning enjoying the warm weather. It was a gorgeous day.








We did a little sunbathing and then enjoyed some time on the verandah...



When we were out and about we couldn't help but notice how much work was being done to the ship. Over the course of the week we saw them completely strip and re-stain at least 3 of the wooden towel holders. The ship was looking tip top.



It was a rather uneventful and perfectly wonderful morning.
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Old 02-13-2014, 11:11 AM   #95
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^^^^^^

Sigh so relaxing
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Old 02-14-2014, 03:57 AM   #96
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Day 2...Mixology

Gearing up for our afternoon Mixology class we stopped off at my favorite place for some coffee.



We had noticed something the day before but were hoping that it was just a one time thing, weirdly the ship was only using generic "Disney Parks" napkins.



I thought it was particularly strange because on cruise last year we were in a bar one time and an officer came in and told the bartender to not use the DCL napkins but to put out nicer ones, so they clearly take napkins seriously. Napkins aren't going to ruin my vacation but just one of those odd things.

Anyway we arrived in the Meridian Bar about 15 minutes early because I keep forgetting that it only takes 3 minutes to walk everywhere. Two gentlemen were getting the class ready and didn't seem particularly thrilled to see us early so we walked around the sports deck for a bit.

Closer to the proper start time we returned and the class began promptly. This was the third time we have taken a Mixology class, one of which was just a few days prior, so we've got a pretty decent idea of how they work. This one was very different and not in a particularly good way.



We all stood in front of the bar where half of most of the drinks were already made. There were 5 different set ups. Our host gave a little introduction then passed around a rum runner to everyone that was already made. Somehow there was a discussion about the little martini glass drink which I can't even remember and we got to try that. He then let everyone come behind the bar one at a time to prepare one drink for themselves and if they chose one that he hadn't explained then he would talk about it for a minute.



The organization of this made little sense to us because the other drinks that we didn't ourselves make we didn't try so most of us ended up having only tried 3 of the 5 drinks.

I can't recall a time when we have ever complained about anything before. There have been times when we'll get food in a restaurant thats completely cold but we are too sheepish to tell anyone. But we love our Disney Cruise Line and don't want to see quality slip like this. So we went straight from the class down to guest services. The woman at the desk went in the back and called the assistant beverage manager. When she returned she relayed his comments about how sometimes if there are too many people the class needs to be altered a bit to accommodate it yada yada yada. For what it's worth there were more people in the class on the Magic. Anyway she said that he would get in touch with us later in the day.

We spent more of the day on our verandah and I was wondering if the guy was going to call our room. We started to forget about the whole thing and just enjoy the sunshine. We weren't trying to get something for free anyway, we just wanted to make sure that the quality maintains.

Dinner was in Enchanted Garden and it was formal night. Few people took advantage of "Optional Dress up Night" on the Magic but Formal night on the Fantasy was a very fancy affair. We spent some time in the lobby before dinner watching people have pictures taken. We were also delighted to find waiters handing out complimentary wine and beer roaming the lobby. Two of our dinner partners were at Palo that night so it was just us and one other couple.

I had a fear in the back of my head since we had gone to Guest Services earlier in the day and it was realized about 5 minutes after we got to dinner. Our Head Server walked over and said that she had heard that we had a bad Mixology class earlier in the day and we had to tell the whole story. Then she left and the Assistant Beverage Manager came over and we repeated the story again. If we were just sitting at a table of our family this wouldn't have been a big deal but in front of two people that we just met the day before it was Super Duper Awkward. Anyway he asked if we'd like to take another Mixology class to make up for it and we said ok but then he started racking his brain about other things that were available and suggested the chocolate and beverage tasting. That sure did sound exciting so we graciously accepted and he was off. Then just for good measure the Head Server came back to check in once more and we were finally done with that whole exchange. We apologized to our table mates who assured us it was fine but we did feel like a pair of lushes.

The rest of dinner was thankfully uneventful and lovely.

Jenna and I both work in entertainment and have a hard time sitting through any of the shows but a simple good comedian is just what we were looking for and thankfully this night there was one. He was a comedian/ventriloquist whose name escapes me but his stand up was very funny, the ventriloquism started off rocky but he finished strong. We had some good laughs and went to bed happy.
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Old 02-14-2014, 12:40 PM   #97
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Could it be Taylor Mason? I know he was on the Dream for awhile as the comedian/ventriloquist. I think he's great!
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Old 02-14-2014, 05:11 PM   #98
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January 13th, Day 3...At Sea



Once again we were up on the earlier side.



It was another picture perfect day. We decided to have breakfast in Royal Court. On last year's cruise we had a lot of eggs florentine. It was on the buffet every morning and Jenna was looking forward to it this year. Sadly they don't seem to put it out anymore and instead just put out Eggs Benedict. So we learned quickly on this cruise to just go to Royal Court and they would make it for us.



We even had the same waiter a couple times so the explanation of it got easier.

My breakfast of choice was a buckwheat crepe. It's full of egg whites and spinach.


Since Jenna's was a special request and mine is apparently so unpopular that they don't make them in batches breakfast takes a little bit longer but is made completely to order, and that's just fine by us.

Most of the rest of the morning was spent sunbathing and enjoying the outside. I think we rode the Aquaduck. We would hop on right at 9 when it opened so we never had to wait in line.

We had a quick lunch at Cananas and headed to our newly scheduled Chocolate and Beverage pairing at Ooh La La.

When we walked in that had little tables set up. They had set up a table for each group that booked so you were only sitting with our party, most of which were two tops.





The beverages were...
Tattinger Champagne, I think the special one they had for the Inaugural Year of the Fantasy.


A Red Wine from the John Lasseter winery.


A 10 Year Port.


And a heavy duty whisky... If you order this at the bar it's $35 a pour. We had less than a full pour obviously but still fine to try.


Our host was very educated and well spoken. We would try a drink and he would talk about how it tasted and what it was doing to our mouths and then we would try some of the chocolate and he would talk about how the taste changed. It was a very classy affair and we were very pleased that we were able to take it. When the class was over the Assistant Beverage Manager emerged to check on us and just chat us up for a while. We assured him that everything was wonderful. This was the type of quality and guest service that we hope for from Disney.

The rest of the afternoon was spent by the pool enjoying the weather.
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Old 02-16-2014, 07:34 AM   #99
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I really am enjoying your TR.
Thanks again for the screen shots from the App. It seems like a really great idea to use in combination with the daily navigator and I love that you can check out the menus for your evening restaurant
Shame that your Mixology class didn't turn out so great.
Your were right to go and feedback to guest services on your experience. It's the only way that they can fix things for future guests
I don't think they should have mentioned it in front of the other guests at your table though, that would have made me feel super awkward
Great that your got to experience the chocolate tasting - we love this!
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Old 02-16-2014, 12:37 PM   #100
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Love your TRs!
Really liking the App screenshots! I wondered what they would look like.
Your photos are great. Do you use any editing software?
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Old 02-16-2014, 01:39 PM   #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauralynn0612 View Post
Love your TRs!
Really liking the App screenshots! I wondered what they would look like.
Your photos are great. Do you use any editing software?
Thanks. I use Lightroom to process most of my pictures.
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Old 02-17-2014, 07:04 AM   #102
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Odds and Ends

Most of the rest of the day was spent in the pool and laying in the sun.
Not really any pictures of that so lets talk about some odds and ends.

These are the new Castaway gifts. They are color coordinated by level. I hope they change before we hit gold because I can't imagine getting 5 yellow bags.




The Disney Cruise app had info about the happenings every day.


You could also check the menu's for the different restaurants.




The only weird things with it was that if you tried to look at lunch menu's it just showed you the dinner one, some of the nights it just showed the original menu for that restaurant and not whatever specialty night it was, and Cabanas' dinner menu was never up. It also showed the schedule of characters and what not. We looked at it a lot but I'm not totally sure how helpful we really found it compared to just using the paper ones. Oh and the wifi that you connect to seems to connect to the internet very briefly once a day. We each had a few iMessages sneak through.

We bought one of these for the bathroom since there are no night lights or outlets. Worked great.




We love our KYSS bag. You can see the chain peeking out right under the zipper.


We locked it to our lounge chairs and felt comfortable someone wasn't going to walk off with our stuff.

We tend to get warm when sleeping so we brought a couple of small fans, red and green on our night stands. They definitely helped out a lot.



Room Service always hit the spot when we needed it. Just a comparison I had ordered the chicken wings on both the Magic and the Fantasy. On the Magic there was almost no meat at all. On the Fantasy they were huge.



Also Disney calls these "Buffalo Wings"... But they are really BBQ wings.

That's it for now...
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Old 02-17-2014, 07:58 AM   #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHippie524 View Post
Could it be Taylor Mason? I know he was on the Dream for awhile as the comedian/ventriloquist. I think he's great!
Just looked this up, it was Michael Harrison.
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:25 PM   #104
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What the heck is that...

Dinner was in Royal Court and while we were still hitting repeat menu's from the Magic we found the food to be a little better. I also found a lot of success choosing from the lighter note offerings and vegetarian offerings. There was black bean cakes one night that were really good and another night I had a salad with lamb in it that was very tasty.

One of our table mates convinced us all to go to The Tube after the show and play "Quest". The basic idea is everyone forms teams from their seats and the host asks for different items to be brought to them and you run up with your stuff. I don't usually like to participate in things, I much prefer to watch but I'm also very competitive so I found myself ripping my belt off in record time and holding hands with one of our other male table mates skipping up to the judge. We had a great time and felt like "Team Table 33" had done pretty well but sadly did not win.
Someone saw that the team that won had come in with a bag of stuff already prepared, clearly they had played before...Don't be that guy.


Immediately following this was a comedian/juggler, Michael Holly, who was both extremely funny and a very talented juggler. We had a lot of laughs and it was a great night.


When we returned to our room I opened the door and immediately froze. What I found on our bed was one of the creepier towel (blanket?) creatures I had ever seen. I jokingly told Jenna to be careful and we cautiously crept in to get a closer look.



After the initial shock wore off we posed for a few pictures before "killing it". There was no way I was going to get any sleep with this thing in the room.






We had two great days at sea but we were looking forward to seeing some land in the morning as we arrived in St. Maarten.
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Old 02-18-2014, 07:11 AM   #105
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January 14th, St. Maarten




We really never had much of an idea of what to do in St. Maarten. None of the excursions really excited us and we weren't feeling brave enough to venture too far from the ship.

We eventually finally decided to try the "Under 2 Flags" bus tour. They had a few of these and we opted for the adults only one that started at 9:30.

We met in the D-Lounge and were promptly led off the ship. We were docked right next to the Norwegian Epic. So in my opinion the prettiest cruise ship on the ocean was docked right next to the ugliest. That epic is one funky looking beast.

But anyway we were led to the busses...


We met our guide who had a dry, broken english sense of humor. He had a couple good laughs along the way but wasn't particularly memorable.


One of our "stops" was a lookout point off the side of the ride. It was ok but not a terribly great photo op. It was just up the hill from the power plant, so that was exciting.



From the bus we got to see a lot of the island though and the views were pretty. If you choose to do this sit on the left side of the bus because you will get much better views of the ocean and of the cruise ships as you wind your way up the hills. We sat on the right and there wasn't much special about that side.





The second stop was a pure money making scheme. They drop you off at a dessert shop that has a carousel attached to it. They give you a complimentary ride and then you have a half hour to buy ice cream. There's nothing particularly special about the carousel but we knew this was going to be "one of those stops" so we didn't feel too bad about it.



From the description...
Travel on to one of St. Maarten's newest treasures, Carousel, to take a complimentary ride on the beautiful Venetian carousel. You will have approximately 30-minutes to browse the boutique for colorful souvenirs and stroll thru the photo gallery. Have the option to cool off with a yummy treat and purchase a scoop of authentic Italian gelato.

Back on the bus we headed to Marigot where we got off again and had about 45 minutes to browse shops and walk along the water. Our guide tried to encourage us to go to his "favorite store" where they would exchange money for Euro's and had good discounts if you mention him. We weren't planning on buying anything but found a restroom in the mall that graciously accepted our $1 each to use.

We chose to spend time walking along the water admiring the boats. The weather was perfect.



The water was amazing.



From there he drove us the rest of the way around the perimeter of the island. It was interesting to see the different landscapes and wildlife like iguanas hanging out in trees on the side of the road. Then we were back at the port. For the $27 each we think it was worth while. We saw a lot more of the island than we would have otherwise and for as simple as it was it was exactly what we needed that day.
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