3 generations on the Fantasy & cruising concierge: CABANA #10! [updated 10/12/14]

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by emmebear, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. SBveum

    SBveum Earning My Ears

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    Hi, my family (DH, DD12, DD15) are sailing on the Fantasy (Caribbean) on March 23rd. I am starting to pack/prepare. Any tips or advice? Did you use a room key necklace? Do you take you passports into the ports? Packing tips? None of us have been on a cruise before.

    Thanks a lot!!

    Sue
     
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  3. emmebear

    emmebear nurse & mommy.

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    thank you! just returned from a 3 day surprise trip to disney with my parents! they haven't been in 20 years & they were so excited about the surprise trip. i will be updating soon! :thumbsup2



    apologies for the delayed response as i'm returning from a trip to disney.

    we cruised in january so the weather was all over the place. it was also my first cruise so i had no idea what to pack so i basically packed everything. in actuality, i only needed half of what i brought on the trip.

    i wore 2 outfits a day. a day outfit and then changed for dinner. because i knew the weather would be a bit erractic (it went from being cool & windy to 85 degrees the next day), i over packed. i was really glad that i brought my hoody & yoga pants just to lounge around in.

    we stayed in concierge so i didn't have to worry about water, soda etc. we also had access to sunscreen but i still brought 2 bottles of my own (yet i still managed to burn in san juan! :rotfl:)

    i really regretted bringing shampoo & conditioner as it took up precious space in my bag. the toiletries that were supplied were fantastic! i do recommend bringing your own face & body lotion however. the hair dryer supplied in our bathroom was awesome too!

    i brought 6 pairs of shoes when i only needed three. i wore my running shoes, flip flops & dressy crocs for the entire cruise.

    the room key necklace was really handy as you had easy & quick access to your room key for opening the door & picture moments. i also packed our drivers license inside the room key necklace which made it very accessible when we left for port. i did not take our passports as it took up space & i had a fear or losing it or getting it stolen. i've had my passport stolen before in canada of all places. once we scanned our KTTW to leave the ship for port, i took the necklace off & tucked it away in a safe space in my bag. once we got close to the ship, i put the necklace back on as you have to scan your KTTW card to re-board the ship.

    my room was ready at 130pm but i still packed a day bag which had sunscreen, bathing suits, & a few other essentials for when we boarded the ship. a lot of people took advantage of the pool & aquaduck while the room was being prepared. you can also bring a bottle of wine or 2 with you in your carry on bag! :banana:

    i'm assuming the weather for you will be really warm. if you go to san juan, brings lots of sunscreen & drink lots of water. i was slathering sunscreen on during my day (i didn't pay for an excursion, i did my own FREE tour of the fort which is in walking distance from the ship!) & drinking lots of water, but the sun in san juan was brutal in late january. there's also a CVS across the street from the port so you can stock up on essentials & bring them back on board with little ease since it's a very short walk from cvs to the boat. :yay: i took advantage of the picture kiosks and made thank you photo cards for my concierge team while in san juan.

    also for your castaway cay day...leave the ship bright & early! we made our way to castaway cay close to 10am and I feel like i wasted so much time as there was so much to do. given we had a cabana but i still wished i started my day just a tad earlier so i could have taken advantage of all there is to do.

    in terms of food, don't be afraid to order more than one appetizer or entree. i didn't like most of the entrees during dinner so we ordered 3 or 4 entrees and split it between the two of us. 3/4 were usually bad so we split one and re-ordered if we were still hungry. also, cabanas has an awesome LUNCH. i really enjoyed my lunch at cabanas. it had great variety and i thought the food was great.

    if you haven't already, try and book palo brunch. it was very delicious and for $20, it was a total steal.

    for the captain's gala and formal night, don't feel the pressure to super dress up. i saw everything from ball gowns & tuxedos to shorts & polo tops to people in their sunday best. my mom and i just wore simple dresses both times and didn't feel under dressed or over dressed.

    also, if your kids are into the characters, wake up early and meet the characters when they begin at 9. the lines are way short!

    i will post some more packing tips as soon as i unpack from this trip. :lmao:

    just remember that when you enter the terminal, there is baggage check where you can just drop your bags off. however, once you leave customs, you have to take all your bags back to your car (there are people who can help you with your bags but work for tips) but the more you pack with you, it's a total pain to re-pack to go home. :crazy2:
     
  4. Fellzie

    Fellzie Earning My Ears

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    What a wonderful review of your trip! Your family is beautiful- it was neat to see the joy in all of your eyes in the pictures! I loved how you included food all day in each recap- food is important to me ;) your post has made me even more excited for our upcoming cruise- it's our first one!
     
  5. emmebear

    emmebear nurse & mommy.

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    Thank you! I'm behind in my posts as I'm catching up on my dining reviews but I will be posting aqualab & st Thomas/st John pictures this week.

    Enjoy your cruise...you will have a blast!!
     
  6. minniebeth

    minniebeth <font color=green>I count on y'all to keep me up t

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    emmebear, I've been following your dining reviews, and wanted to see your photos and journey from your cruise! What a wonderful experience you and your mom and daughter had! The photos are beautiful as always, you have a great eye for photography and photojournaling. What a great way to document your memories for your family to look back on!

    We've done many WDW trips, many as mother/daughter trips and even a couple with just me and my DS. I've always wanted to do trip reports but have been so intimidated to try.

    There's SO much to comment on, we'll leave it at what an incredible experience, so many fun times to be had, and special moments.
    The one thing I really must comment on was your 1/2 spilled Stella. Indeed a tragedy. ;) I love Stella! :goodvibes

    Thanks for sharing!:flower3:
     
  7. emmebear

    emmebear nurse & mommy.

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    Thank you so much for following along & for the lovely comments! I'm a self taught photographer & I do photography as a side job (weddings, portraits etc). I love it! It gets cumbersome at times to take pictures while at Disney but I'm so glad I did afterwards as I create photo books for memories.

    Try a trip report...no need to be intimidated as its your experience & it will be very useful to others. You can do it!

    I just returned from surprising my parents with a trip to Disney and considering a trip report. My parents first trip back in 20 years!

    The spilled Stella was very tragic. :(
     
  8. cruiselover1191

    cruiselover1191 Mouseketeer

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    Love your trip report! Going on a girls trip with my cousin and a friend on the Fantasy April 13th-20th (Western carribean cruise). Can't wait to hear more from your trip. The Fantasy looks absolutely BEAUTIFUL :goodvibes

    Are there any things that are a "must-see" or "must-do" on the ship that you would recommend?

    Thanks for sharing your trip with us!
     
  9. emmebear

    emmebear nurse & mommy.

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    Congrats on the cruise! Western is ok my bucket list. You are going to have an amazing time.

    Thank you for the nice comments & reading my report. I appreciate it. :)

    A must do for me is definitely palo brunch. For $20 a person, it's a total bargain. Not only is the food very very good you also get a complimentary glass of champagne or a mimosa. It was really nice atmosphere plus no kids under age 18. I love my daughter but it was such a treat to eat in silence & have great conversations as well. They also had Alaskan king crab legs on the buffet. Yummy! I asked for a side of butter and went to town. I'll be posting a palo brunch review at some point.

    I also wished I could have spent some time in the lounges And get a drink from each place. I was just too tired to indulge in post 11pm activities. :(

    I would grab a drink and just explore the ship. Even though I was on a 7 day I still didn't get to see the entire ship. There's just so much to look at and enjoy.

    Another tip is to get on castaway cay as soon as you can. There are so many wonderful activities to partake in. I went on an awesome bike ride and wished I had more time. The water is fantastic as well.

    I also loved sitting on my balcony at night and drinking a nice glass if wine. I also enjoyed the quiet mornings on my balcony as well. Explore the ship early in the morning as no one else is up or in your way.

    The time passed so quickly for me. I can't wait to go back for round 2 at some point.

    Enjoy that cruise...please to a TR. I'd love to read about it!
     
  10. cruiselover1191

    cruiselover1191 Mouseketeer

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    Thank you very much for all the suggestions! We were wanting to do the Palo brunch but it is sold out! :( I think we are going to try to see if there are any openings when we get on the ship...(fingers crossed)! I absolutely love Castaway Cay! The last time we were there we rode bikes and it was sooo nice :) I think we are going to do the Castaway Cay 5k this time maybe and we are going parasailing too :)

    Ok, enough rambling on from me...:laughing:

    Thanks again!
     
  11. emmebear

    emmebear nurse & mommy.

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    Castaway 5k...I feel so lazy now!

    Keep trying for palo brunch or book as soon as you board. It's so worth it. :)
     
  12. tth5454

    tth5454 Mouseketeer

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    Lovey picture of you, your mom and daughter
     
  13. emmebear

    emmebear nurse & mommy.

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    Thank you! :)
     
  14. emmebear

    emmebear nurse & mommy.

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    updated 3/14/13


    AQUALAB!!


    here are some pictures of the aqualab. i wish we had utilized this area more. it was pretty awesome. however, the weather did not cooperate most of the time as it was windy or cool. the hottest day on the ship was a sea day as we were heading towards san juan.

    i can only imagine how crowded the aqualab would be on a hot & humid day. we had a great time.



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    emme lounging poolside.


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    aqualab!


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    waterproof camera came in handy!


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    emme loved the aqualab! i want to cruise during a hotter time so we can utilize the pools, nemo's reef & the aqualab more.


    up next, ST. THOMAS -- ST. JOHN!! :yay:
     
  15. emmebear

    emmebear nurse & mommy.

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    updated 3/17/13



    HELLO ST. THOMAS & ST. JOHN!!


    after a rocky sleep, i was so excited to wake up & see st. thomas. this was my view from the balcony.


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    it was absolutely gorgeous!! i could not believe we were finally here. we grabbed a quick breakfast from the concierge lounge. julia told us that we cannot take fresh fruit with us so she gave us a bag of popcorn to take. the popcorn came in handy during the trip.

    we made our way to the theater where we were separated my stickers based on the excursion we picked. i chose the st. john tour for us & i'm so glad that i did. we were team goofy!

    the excursion was set to leave at 8:15 and believe it or not, everything was on time. when it was time to exit the ship, everyone must scan their KTTW card when exiting. we took our drivers license with us as you need a form of id & your KTTW to re-board the ship.

    as we were heading to our boat which would take us to st. john, i marveled at how large & beautiful the fantasy actually is. it's GINORMOUS!


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    hello socrecer mickey!


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    gorgeous fantasy!


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    hello dumbo!


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    we boarded our boat to head over to st. john. i did not realize that it would be a boat ride. if so, i would have had my mom take some more bonine. however, she's been taking it every day so it was still in her system. i just hoped & prayed that she wouldn't get sick on the boat ride.


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    the water was a beautiful teal color. i could not believe how beautiful the water was. the closet teal waters i've seen were in destin, fl & there the water was more of an emerald color. it was so pretty.


    the boat ride took about 30 minutes & it was really fun. windy but fun. we saw so many house on high cliffs & random boats just hanging out.


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    so if you lived here, how would google maps direct you here?!


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    my mom was doing pretty well to my amazement. emme was loving every minute of the boat ride but she had lots of fears of falling into the water. ha ha!


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    we arrived to st. john. what a beautiful place.


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    our entire group was on the wrong bus! the bus we were told to ride was a completely different excursion. that would have been really tragic. although the driver on the wrong excursions name was puff. puff was really funny. i was kind of sad he wasn't our tour guide.


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    we were finally on the correct tour bus & off we went. the tour was going to take us to the top of the mountain where there would be tons of gorgeous views & sites to see. i'm really glad i didn't chose a beach excursion as the weather was windy & overcast on st. john.


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    gorgeous view!


    they drive on the left side of the road which took me some getting use too. also the roads were very windy & appeared to be narrow but our tour guide was a great driver. i only wish i was on the outside seat instead of being wedged between a stranger and my daughter. it would have made for better pictures.


    up & up we went!


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    cute bananas.


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    a spectacular view of the beach. our tour guide said that this beach is one of the top 10 beaches in the world.



    and up, up, up we continued to.


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    i still could not get over as to how beautiful the area was. i really felt like i was on vacation now. st. john was stunning (well most of the area was...in particular the water).


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    overcast skies.



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    emme in the island spirit.


    we started to descend and made our way to the beach & the sugar mill ruins.


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    windy!


    so far, it has been a fantastic excursion.


    up next, MORE ST. JOHN!
     
  16. Linda67

    Linda67 Has a Masters in Margaritas

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    Oh wow, St John looks stunning and your photos are beautiful :goodvibes
    We are doing the Eastern next year so I am loving your excursion review, it looks like it would be perfect for us :thumbsup2
     
  17. lizzyb

    lizzyb DIS Veteran

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    St Thomas/St John looks beautiful! I cannot wait until we get to visit!
     
  18. emmebear

    emmebear nurse & mommy.

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    Thank you!

    It was great because everyone got to go & it was only 4 hours. We had time to go back on the ship, have lunch, drop emme off at the kids club and then do some shopping in st. Thomas.

    More on that later!

    Thanks for reading along Linda! I appreciate your comments. :)
     
  19. emmebear

    emmebear nurse & mommy.

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    It was a gorgeous area. I would've loved to head to the beach but I'm glad I didn't as the weather did not cooperate!

    Thanks for reading along.
     
  20. kittymamma

    kittymamma Earning My Ears

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    Hi EmmaB, my hubby and I will be on the Eastern (we are the 70+ group but very active) and had looked at the St John Island Tour. Are there potty breaks and would the drive up the mountain be a nail biter for someone who is afraid of heights ?
    Your DD is precious !
     
  21. emmebear

    emmebear nurse & mommy.

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    Hello!!

    We stopped at the potty prior to starting the trek & then we went to the potty ourselves afterwards when the tour ended. You do stop at a sugar mill but I'm not sure if there is a bathroom there.

    You do go up pretty high & the view is spectacular. However, you do not have to get out of the tour van to take pictures or look at the view. The driver encouraged everyone to get out and take a look but there were those who chose to stay in the van.

    You also stop at a beach which is really nice. Very rocky but the water is gorgeous!

    The winding roads made me nervous but our driver was a very good driver and made our your really fun.

    Thank you for the comment about my daughter. :)

    I'll be posting more pics of the St. John island tour soon! Thanks for reading along!
     

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