A Fantasy of a Honeymoon....With Some Park Magic! *COMPLETED 10/31*

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by PrincessForLife, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. PrincessForLife

    PrincessForLife Walt Disney World Junky

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    Hi everyone!

    It's been about a week since coming back from the ultimate Disney honeymoon with my now DH, Kevin. Even though we spent a week in the Parks and then did a 7-night Fantasy cruise, I'm going to do the whole trip report in the DCL part of the trip reports. I'm actually going to do most of the trip report on the cruise. Trips to the Parks are fun and I've been going my whole life. It's more fun to do a report on something newer to me, like cruising. :sail:

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    My DH and I at Animal Kingdom on our first day at the Parks before renting a boat....but more on that later....

    I'm going to start this adventure with some unique experiences we had in the Parks before I get to the actual cruise. I'll start with the cast.... Me (Jackie) and my DH (Kevin). We were married on August 3 in the Chicago suburbs and had a beautiful wedding. We left for Disney the next day for 6 nights in the Parks.

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    I would have had a better picture but our photos haven't come in yet...

    As I mentioned in the PTR, we decided to go an extra night than originally planned and as a result, we got a major discount that wasn't available to us when I originally booked the trip. We made this trip extra special by staying in the Honeymoon Suite at the Grand Floridian with club level service and a perfect view of Cinderella's Castle and the fireworks. Here are some of the pictures from the hotel...

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    Overall, it was kinda fun to be treated like royalty but in the end we didn't feel 100% welcome in the Royal Palms Club. The staff was always nice but the other guests weren't very courteous. Every time we went down for a meal or snacks, we would get dirty looks from groups like we weren't as good as them with our trading pins and t-shirts verses their Ralph Lauren and boating shoes. (I think we are going to try the Contemporary Club Level next time).

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    View from the Concierge Lounge
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    And some of the dessert offerings....
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    It was nice to have all the beverages and snacks at our disposal. Breakfast every morning was a really nice start to our days, but our favorite part was coming back from the parks, grabbing a plate of late night desserts and beers, and going to our balcony to watch Wishes. We saw Wishes a total of 5 nights out of the six!

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    Everything was soooooo good!!

    This trip to the Parks was very different because we took our time instead of turning into the walking wounded by the end of the week. One unique experience we did was taking advantage of the marina discount and renting a pontoon boat! We only had the boat for about an hour which came out to $76, and really, an hour is all you need. We were able to take it all the way around the Seven Seas Lagoon AND Bay lake.....with some time to stop and take some close up pictures of the monorail!

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    Did I mention that Kevin is obsessed with the monorail. His dream is for us to retire here so he can drive the monorail....

    It was also a beautiful day which made for a very relaxing afternoon. If you and your family are taking a long Disney vacation or simply want to try something new, I highly recommend the marina rentals!

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  3. Dailymeel

    Dailymeel Earning My Ears

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    WOW!!! This sounds so magical!!! I was at Disney World last year, I visited the Grand Floridian and pretended I lived there.
     
  4. PrincessForLife

    PrincessForLife Walt Disney World Junky

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    We did that too last year when we went in December. We just sat in the lobby for a couple hours and it just felt like home! It has been my dream FOREVER to stay there and we are so happy we finally did! If you get a chance, try out the Grand Floridian. It's definitely an experience!!
     
  5. jedijill

    jedijill <font color=red>Chiefs fan living in Bronco countr

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    Congrats!

    The boat rental seems like a lot of fun!

    Can't wait to hear more.

    Jill in CO
     
  6. Cheryl726

    Cheryl726 DIS Veteran

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    Congratulations on your wedding! Enjoying your TR so far and looking forward to reading more! Looks like my friend is on the same cruise as you in April!
     
  7. PrincessForLife

    PrincessForLife Walt Disney World Junky

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    Something new that I tried on this trip was pin trading. I never wanted to do it in the past because it was expensive and guests who did it seemed to be crazy. However, since Vinylmation isn't really doing anything for me anymore, I decided to take up a new Disney hobby. I also found a way to make pin trading more affordable! The secret is the Disney Movie Club. Since I am a VIP member, meaning I buy more movies than the minimum contracted, I get a free trading pin with every featured title purchase.

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    One of my awesome Movie Club pins!! :thumbsup2

    Now, if you buy the featured title every month, plus the bonus feature titles that come out every 3 months, that's 16 free pins a year! I know that most people have a good Disney movie collection and don't need to buy the new ones every month, but my DH and I are building our Disney Blu-Ray collection and it's really paying off for us. Plus, if you enter in the rewards numbers on the Disney Movie Rewards site, you can build up points to get a Lion King 3-pin set for free!! I had so many points that I got 2 sets of free pins! In total, I came to the Parks with 10 free pins. And since I bought a Princess Pin Trading starter set, I had 5 more pins! And 15 pins is plenty to start with.

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    I took my pins EVERYWHERE!! :rotfl:

    In the beginning, I was very nervous and hesitant about doing the whole pin trading thing. I started in Animal Kingdom on our first full day in the parks. At first I looked at cast member after cast member who had all these pins and I didn't go up to anyone. Kevin finally got me to go up to this really sweet cast member at a store and pin trade for the first time. She was just as thrilled as I was after I explained that it was my first pin trading ever! She even said that it made her day. So sweet!

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    My first pin trade!! :banana:

    After that, I was hooked. I was pretty much stalking every cast member in Animal Kingdom and every other park following that. I did however have to buy 1 set of extra pins and some extra backings. I was trying to pace myself but I was having so much fun interacting with the cast members that I wanted to trade with EVERYONE!! In the end, I did limit myself to about 4-5 pins per day, and I got some pretty cool ones too!! But first, a side note.... I do not do pin trading to get the biggest or most elaborate or rarest. I do it for the fun of interacting with people as well as finding pins that I think are pretty or unusual. I also started a collection of Figment, my favorite park character. Here is the progression of pins from the 4 days in the Parks....

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    After Animal Kingdom
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    After Epcot plus the extra set of pins I bought.
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    After Hollywood Studios with my favorites removed for safe keeping
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    After Magic Kingdom with my favorites removed for safe keeping

    I don't have a final picture of what my lanyard looks like because I was pin trading all the way up to the Disney store at MCO before our flight home left. I was able to get a dye-cut of the Minstrel from Robin Hood and a dye-cut of the friendship boat. (Supposedly the dye-cuts are more rare but I get them because they are interesting.) I also wanted to share a couple photos of the t-shirts and purse we picked up in the parks. Kevin isn't one to buy things but he found a t-shirt that was GENIUS!! And I also got a new Figment shirt since my current one is really really faded. I also bought one of those Harvey Seatbelt purses. I can't wait to start using it... :love:

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    My beautiful purse!! :cool1:
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    My obsession with Figment! :hug: ......and finally....

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    TADA!!!! :woohoo:

    Besides my seatbelt purse, Kevin's t-shirt was the best purchase of the trip!!
     
  8. qits

    qits Mouseketeer

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    Congratulations! Great report can't wait to read more. Do you need boating experience to rent a boat?
     
  9. Dailymeel

    Dailymeel Earning My Ears

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    Pin trading looks fun! I have a few pins but I don't want to trade them! AHAHA... what is the one that looks like a mushroom? Where is it from?
     
  10. PrincessForLife

    PrincessForLife Walt Disney World Junky

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    All you need to rent the boat is a valid driver's license...and sign their release form. For any of the boats, from the little single person ones to the large pontoons, they will give you as much instruction as you need. They were very helpful and triple checked that we were going to be ok. Since my mom has a pontoon at home, we were rather familiar with it, but it's so easy that anyone can do it! :cool1:
    I got my first trading pin from the Epcot Segway Tour and I agree, there are some I will never trade! lol The little mushroom guy is from Fantasia. He was a part of a group of mushrooms that did the "Russian Dance" from The Nutcracker Suite. :dance3:
     
  11. Tinkerkell007

    Tinkerkell007 Mouseketeer

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    Hello! :wave2:
    Just joining your trip report! Congrats to you both!

    I looooove your DH's t-shirt! (The t-rex one) I couldn't stop laughing :thumbsup2

    Looking forward to reading more!!
     
  12. PrincessForLife

    PrincessForLife Walt Disney World Junky

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    Thanks for joining! That t-shirt is so epic that I wanted to buy him two for when the first one becomes not wearable from wearing it too much! If you want one, they are in the gift shop at the exit of Dinosaur in Animal Kingdom. They really have some great stuff this year!
     
  13. wiigirl

    wiigirl DIS Veteran

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    Following along! :goodvibes
     
  14. PrincessForLife

    PrincessForLife Walt Disney World Junky

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    Magic Kingdom is our favorite park and this has been the Park I've been REALLY excited to report on. Every time we go to the Magic Kingdom we are reminded about the magic that Disney holds. My DH and I shared our first kiss here, he proposed to me here, and now we spent our honeymoon here. I want to start this segment out with this BEAUITFUL picture of sunrise over the Kingdom!

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    This picture was taken at 6:30am from our room. We were up so early because we wanted to be there at rope drop. We also had a close encounter with the Iron Man 3 monorail which I dubbed, "The MANorail." Lol, shear genius, I know.... As soon as we entered the park we wanted to do a Photopass picture in front of the castle and low and behold, we ran into the park photographer, Alex, who helped Kevin with the proposal last year! He didn't remember us because he has done so many proposals but we just had to get a picture with him!!! We then quickly scattered to Tomorrowland to get FastPasses for Space Mountain and hop into line. It was so long that I jumped in line by Astro Orbiter and by the time Kevin got the fastpasses, I was up to the entrance and Kevin slipped into line. We did that twice and then went to the bathroom where we found Stitch wandering because no one wanted to take a picture with him!! He was so happy that we came over and talked to him and he was inquiring about why he wasn't on our shirts. (More on those later...)

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    Alex the Photographer!!
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    We then spent the rest of the morning going through New Fantasyland and Fantasyland. We were there last December about 10 days after New Fantasyland opened and since then, it has changed soooo much! There seems to be something new around every corner!! The Seven Dwarfs Mine Ride is really coming together. We then had to stop and get a LeFou's Brew. For those of you who haven't tried it yet, it's soooo good on a hot day! We didn't get the souvenir cups and that saved us over half the price. The slush is a mix of frozen apple juice and marshmallow syrup with a passion fruit foam toppings. And it's non-alcoholic for those of you wondering!

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    LeFou's Brew!!
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    The Mine Ride is really coming together!!

    After that I wanted to explore the new Tangled-themed bathroom area behind Peter Pan. I have to say, I wish they made some kind of small ride or exhibit for the area because it looks way to cool to be just a bathroom area! The detail of the place is extraordinary!! The bathrooms even have Rapunzel's paint supplies in the shelves! The one thing we need to do next time is search for Pascal. I heard he is hiding in multiple spots around the area!

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    After we went around the park doing our usual routine of rides, it was time for the Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade! We knew that we had to get a good spot for the parade because this would be the last time we would see it. Next summer Disney is introducing a new daytime parade with brand new floats. At 2:15 we set up camp at the bridge to Liberty Sqaure and waited. During that time it rained and stopped, and rained and stopped. It was actually quite amusing to watch people run for cover from rain, emerge from stores 5 mins later, and then run when it rains again. Just stay in the rain, it'll go away in a couple minutes! lol We had perfect place for the parade. Characters came up and interacted with us all the time. Lady Tremaine was the best because she read our shirts and sarcastically cried saying how sweet it was. Ariel then jumped for joy when she saw the shirts and heard we were just married. It was so cool!

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    Impending Parade Doom!!!
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    Ariel was reading our shirts!!!

    Part 2 coming soon!!
     
  15. PrincessForLife

    PrincessForLife Walt Disney World Junky

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    Part 2 is finally here!!


    In the last post I talked about our t-shirts that my DH and I wore on our day at the Magic Kingdom. To start, I saw a post on Pintrest of a couple wearing t-shirts that had all the names of Disney Princes on the guy's shirt and all the Disney Princesses on the girl's shirt. I really wanted a Mr. & Mrs. shirt set for the parks and these were perfect! Our shirts are little different from the original picture I saw because at the end of the list, I put our names as the next set of Disney royals to live happily ever after! I didn't want Kevin to know about them so I gave the instructions and order information to my mom who got them made by her house. I then packed them in my bag for the trip and gave my DH his shirt the morning after the wedding. He loved it too!!

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    My Shirt!
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    Kevin's Shirt!!

    Now to pick up where I left off in the day.... After the Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade we had a reservation for Be Our Guest for dinner. We were really excited to finally dine here because every other time we tried for lunch, there was a 3 hour line!! When you check in at the front gate, you get a buzzer and directed to pass the bridge to wait at the castle entrance. It's a cool concept but you and your party have to wait outside in the heat and sun until your table is ready, and boy is it hot! The mountain wall goes up so high that there's no chance of a breeze, but they did bring out water for everyone. Once your buzzer rings, you have to wait for a greeter to find you to go into the castle. We didn't request a special room so we got the Grand Ballroom. It was very pretty in there! The chandeliers were gigantic and were hung with crystals. The ceiling also had the cherubs from the movie but they were more realistic than cartoon and they were definitely a little creepy because of that. The windows of the ballroom looked out over the mountains of the castle and it was snowing in the windows!! A very nice touch! ::yes::

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    The food was just ok. I'm not one to criticize food because it's very difficult for me to find bad food but we had the baked French onion soup and it was VERY watered down. I had the pork chop and my DH had the seafood pastry and they weren't anything special and a little over priced. The dessert was the best part of the meal. The server brought around a cart filled with delicious cupcakes and cream puffs. My DH had a strawberry cupcake and I had a passion fruit cream puff. They were amazing! We also asked the server about the grey stuff since we were celebrating our marriage and the server said she had to check with Mrs. Potts. She then brought out a small plate with a dab of grey stuff big enough for a taste, which is all you need! It was a cookies and cream type mousse and it was amazing! Overall, the experience was ok, but it was fun to watch kids revel at the beauty of the place!

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    Giant Passion Fruit Cream Puff!
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    It was truly delicious!! :cool1:
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    After Be Our Guest we did a couple more rides and then made for our stake out spot for the Electric light parade and the fireworks. I'm not a big fan of the parade because Spectromagic is my favorite but it's fun to watch. We really stake out for Wishes. I didn't get picture of Wishes because we like to enjoy it, but I'll end this segment with a couple pretty pictures I got of the parade and the castle at twilight and after dark!!


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  16. Belle2007

    Belle2007 Mouseketeer

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    Congrats on your wedding...

    Your pictures look amazing and I love the Grey Stuff pictures! The beast's castle was beautiful. (we just got home from our anniversary trip last night and the beast's castle was my favorite area). Your prince/princess shirts were a great idea.

    Cannot wait to hear about your fantasy cruise. That was one of our favorite ships.
     
  17. PrincessForLife

    PrincessForLife Walt Disney World Junky

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    Thank you! :thumbsup2

    I'll be starting the cruise portion as soon as I can! It's a little crazy right now with Labor Day coming up... :goodvibes
     
  18. PrincessForLife

    PrincessForLife Walt Disney World Junky

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    Getting our cruise pick up quite an ordeal for us since the hotel reservation was under my name and the cruise was under my DH's name. They didn't deliver it to the room because he wasn't the primary guest on the reservation. Lucky, concierge was very accommodating, giving us 2 letters about pick up as well as having bell services call us to confirm luggage pick up at 8am on the morning we left. Note to other travelers: put all the reservations under one person's name! It makes it so much easier in the longer run... Even though all parties that were staying at the Grand Floridian had different boarding times, the DCL bus picked us all up at 11am and then made a second stop at the Polynesian to pick up more guests. We got to port about 12:30 and quickly got in line for check in. (We were in a little bit of a rush since we wanted to get spots for the mixology class and martini tasting.)

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    Our first look at the Fantasy!!
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    As I mentioned in the PTR, I have never spent more than 5 mins in the terminal and I really wanted to enjoy it. NOPE. After check in, I snapped a couple pictures of the area and we quickly got in line to get on board. We decided to take the pre-cruise photo and maybe buy it to commemorate the trip. Little did we realize that when we went to Shutters to look at pictures we had taken at the end of the cruise, the pre-cruise photo was the only one we got...so we decided not to get it. lol

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    Mickey & Minnie were preoccupied with the masses of people so we skipped them....
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    As we walked up the gang plank, I was super excited to see the lobby since I've been stalking other trip reports and loving every single photo! I didn't get many photos and some of the quality isn't very good, but it's the thought that counts. As we walked up to the crew and they asked us for our family name, I was tickled pink that my DH and I were officially the Kaucher family for the first time. Then the beauty of the lobby hit me. It felt like I was walking onto the remodeled Titanic (if it was still around). It had such old world cruise line charm from the 1920's. There is so much beautiful detail and sparkle that you feel like a dog in a room filled with squirrels. You just don't know where to look first!!

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    My favorite part of the ship: the chandelier!!
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    After we got over the shock of the beauty of the ship, we quickly asked a crew member where La Piazza was located and quickly went in that direction to book our tastings. It took us a little while to find it because all the corridors and areas of the ship are so curvy that it takes a couple days to get your barrings and not get lost. Once in Europa, we got our first view of all the different bars and lounges. We had no desire to go to the pub, so I snapped a picture and we took a quick look at Oh La La. It was so pretty and couldn't wait to have a drink in there!! We also wanted to get a drink in Skyline since I really wanted to see the changing scenery.

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    We finally found our way to La Piazza and quickly booked the tasting before they ran out of spots. We decided that this would be our hang out because of the pianist playing there every night....or so we thought.... (more on that later)

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    The bathrooms in Europa were amazing! They were all mosaic and done in a Spanish style. Each set of bathrooms also had a different mural. Check out all of them when you go!! This is truly a Disney touch!
     
  19. PrincessForLife

    PrincessForLife Walt Disney World Junky

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    After we booked the tastings it was time for lunch! We like to start out our cruises with a sit down meal rather than a pure buffet. Instead of going to Cabanas we went to Enchanted Garden for the first time! I was so excited to eat there because it looked soooo pretty! We ended up asking for one of the cupcake tables and we got the end one right next to the buffet line. It was epic. The food on the lunch buffet is always good. I love piling my plate with shrimp and pasta. One unique feature that Enchanted Garden has that Parrot Cay didn't have is an ice cream counter. The ice cream was really good and they had a great variety of flavors that included Rock Road, Pistachio, and many others! (I failed to get a picture of the ice cream....)

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    I was super excited that we got a cupcake table!
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    By the time we were done eating it was 2pm and we were ready to check out our stateroom. We were on deck 8 and our stateroom was 8148. The stateroom was a nice corner stateroom next to the laundry and deluxe family rooms. We didn't have a connecting door which was our number one priority. I love the staterooms on the Fantasy! They are so crisp and nicely decorated. Our stateroom host was Arman and even though we only saw him passing by occasionally, he was awesome! He gave me the H2O products 2 times each day! (I collect those and bring them back with me to use when I'm feeling Disney homesick.) The verandah was nice but we didn't use it as much as I thought we would. I think we also would have used it more if the people in the next rooms over didn't smoke all the time. I'm really happy that DCL is instating the rule of no more smoking on the verandahs because it really isn't pleasant if you are stuck next to a smoking verandah when you don't smoke! After hanging out on the balcony for a little while and taking some pictures of the Carnival Dream and our view, we went up top to explore a little more before the spa raffle.

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    I wanted this pillow so bad! Too bad it was almost $200....
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    Kevin discovering the power of on demand in our stateroom
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    The only thing I didn't like about the Fantasy is that the whole Deck 11 Aft is Cabanas. I know it's pretty and convenient for food, I didn't really like that we had to walk through the buffet lines in order to get to the pools and everything else on 11. I always felt awkward as we went through the empty Cabanas and the crew members cleaning would stare at you as you walked by. Creepy... However, I did get some great photos of Cabanas with no one around!!

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    Mine! Mine! Mine!

    After checking out Cabanas and what they offered, we made our way forward. We were excited about the snacks on deck and they were actually really good. Kevin always got the hot dogs saying that they were some of the best ever! After going past the family pools we made our way to the Quiet Cove area. The pool was a little small but there was rarely anyone in there when we went swimming. The hot tubs were really nice because they were up against the glass wall and had glass bottoms to see the ocean beneath you! It was so cool. It was sooooo quiet on decks 11, 12, & 13 forward. DCL did a great job of isolating the adult areas. And even though there were a few families that would bring there kids up there, the bar servers were on patrol and politely reminded the guest that children were not allowed up there.

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  20. PrincessForLife

    PrincessForLife Walt Disney World Junky

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    We were really excited about spending some time at Satellite Falls. From other pictures, the place looked like such a great little relaxing area. Since we had some time to kill before the spa raffle, we sat by the wadding pool for a little while. It was only about 2 feet deep and it had a gentle rain with very cool water. I was a little dissapointed that the rain was only in operation for the disembarkation. It was such a cool feature and they should have at least turned it on when we were in port when there was no wind.

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    After that, we went down to Deck 11 for a tour of the spa and enter the spa raffle. We were pleasantly surprised when Kevin won a $50 credit toward any spa service!! With that credit we booked a couples villa for our first day at sea. (More on that in the next couple of sections!) :cool1:

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    All giddy and excited for our spa service the next day, we wandered over to the sail away party for a couple of drinks of the days. We stayed for a couple minutes and watched the characters dance while we sucked down the combination of strawberry daiquiri and pina colada. Even though the drinks are a little expensive, you get to keep the glasses! These are great for the rest of the sailing when you need a soda fix for your room service meals.

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    The party area was starting to get really crowded and hot so we decided to go to our verandah to watch the ship sail out of port. We had a gorgeous view of the sailing and I got some really pretty pictures of the shoreline!

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    :love:
     
  21. PrincessForLife

    PrincessForLife Walt Disney World Junky

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    We started the cruise off by seeing the opening show, "A Fantasy Come True." It was really fun and probably one of the better shows on the ship. I only got one picture of the theater because crew members were always patrolling and making sure no one got too many pictures even before the shows started. It was then time for out before dinner drinks!

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    One of our favorite things to do on the cruise is attend the live piano every evening. We were a little bummed that the great Tim Moss wasn't on ship but we were excited to here someone new. The piano session was in La Piazza and a keyboard-like piano was used by Laurence J. Blackler. He was pretty good and he had a very nice voice. The energy was a little down though. He reminded us of a lounge singer more than an entertainer. The drinks we had were also ok. They were very Italian and we couldn't pronounce half of the ingredients. When we asked for recommendations from the bar server, she said he never had any of them because she was in the second week of bar service. Shouldn't the servers at least try them before working there so they can sell products and make personal recommendations??

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    Laurence J. Blackler
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    Just some ok drinks...

    Our dinner rotation was REARAER and we were in the Royal Court for the first dinner. I also called last September right after we booked it to request a table to ourselves. It's usually unheard of to get a table for 2 but someone we got one! We were very excited!! Our table was located very close to the enterance so we didn't get to see much of the restaurant but that was ok. I saw so many pictures from other people that it's like I already saw them. I did get a couple pictures of the princess details though!! We were table 27 and our assistant server was Danni from Australia and our main server was Marajon from Croatia. They were fantastic and very personable.

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    What? We got our own table?!?!?!?
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    Our epic servers, Danni (left) and Marajon (right)!

    Since we are big martini people, we decided to go to Skyline and start our passport. The passport is a booklet that ou perchase for about $60 and it's good for 7 martinis. This is a great deal because it's like buying 6 martinis and getting one free! They also had an excellent selection of VERY yummy martinis.

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    All our favorites came with globe cubes! We got a total of 9 glow cubes from the trip!!
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    Skyline was also our favortie bar and hangout for the ENTIRE cruise for before dinner drinks. (we ditched La Piazza after the bad experience...) The lounge looks like a hip little bar in a modern skyrise that over looks some of the most picturesque cities of the world be night. There are also little hints of Disney such as Mickey waving out of windows or the Magic in the port of Barcelona, Spain! It was so cool. There we also met our favorite crew members, bar servers Alonso and Pedrique and Ti the bartender. All the guys welcomed us loving every day and really took care of us. They were our buddies and they always hung out with us because we were the only people in there before the second rotation for dinner. We will never forget them!!

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    Our besties Alonso and Pedrique!!

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    It's the glow cube monster!!!!

    And finally, the last picture of the night!
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