DCL for the non-Disney crowd: Eastern Carib. Fantasy Jan 26 - Feb 3 2013 - all done!

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by Conorama, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. luvslikepi

    luvslikepi DIS Veteran

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    Quick question about the Hyatt/Disney transfers...do they still allow you to "check in" the morning you go to the port or are they requiring check in at the port now? I've read conflicting rumors and was hoping you might have the truth.
     
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  3. Conorama

    Conorama Mouseketeer

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    Hi there - You can't check in at MCO anymore - stopped sometime in December - you can check in just for the ground transportation. However, since we were non-US citizens, we wouldn't have been able to check in anyway, even under the old system, so we weren't disappointed!

    So... our bags disappeared at 8:30-ish, we checked in for ground transport at MCO, then went with everyone else to check in at port. It was really smooth, though, and our bags did show up in our rooms. We still got a "good" boarding number - 6.

    Hope that helps!
     
  4. cblack

    cblack Mousketeer

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    Hey! I am way late to this party! I didn't even know you were doing a trip report, and I even had an honorable mention! Great report! I found it so interesting, as I read your report, that our vacations were SO different! I think this speaks volumes that the cruise can cater to many different families, likes/dislikes, etc. Even if you guys don't go on a cruise again, it sounded like you did have fun at least and were able to find things that kept you busy and Conor happy :thumbsup2

    I have to say that Conor is a really cool "little dude" and it was great spending time with you and your family in San Juan! :goodvibes
     
  5. Conorama

    Conorama Mouseketeer

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    Ha! Funny - yes, as you know, I'm following yours, so I was inspired to write ours. You definitely get an honorable mention - and you can vouch for me when I describe the level of sand-covered-ness that had to be seen to be believed on the beach.

    It was great to meet Jayden too - she's so bright and spunky.

    And yes, we had a good time - maybe even a very good time, verging on great! (Conor had a great time.) I just missed my beach. I'm fundamentally just super-lazy on vacation, and that's really the issue.

    Speaking of lazy... work is calling to me, and I can't ignore it anymore. :)

    Thx! I'll keep following yours along.
     
  6. cblack

    cblack Mousketeer

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    Yes, I can definitely confirm that I have never seen so much sand on one person. If I remember correctly from earlier in the day, his suit was blue, but I couldn't see a bit of blue when I came back to grab our stuff before heading to the pool. All I could think at that point was that I should have bought stock in baby powder :lmao:

    I need to finish my TR...it is closer. Hoping to finish it up tonight.
     
  7. Conorama

    Conorama Mouseketeer

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    Good luck with the TR, and thanks for backing me up - I do, on occasion, exaggerate (surprise!), but that, I did not need to hype up. Yes, good memory - blue and orange suit gone sand.
     
  8. Ensusieasm

    Ensusieasm Mouseketeer

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    Just got home last evening and had to thank you one more time for all the help your trip report gave me before and during my Fantasy cruise! Everything went very smoothly! We had beautiful sunny weather for the whole week on the ship and in all the ports. Your report about the Isla Verde Marriott was great information and we just took a 15 minute ride over and enjoyed the beach for three hours including umbrella shaded chaise lounges, hammocks under a palm tree, and a singing cab driver. We were back on the ship by 12:30 and just got our lunch there. So it was a very economical way to enjoy the sounds and sights of the beautiful huge aqua waves. Your report about the quiet cove cafe led me to go up there every morning at 6am for a private swim and private hot tub soak while watching the sun come up. None of the other 4000 folks aboard had the same idea so I literally had my own pool and hot tub! I am sad to be back home, but I really feel that we got the very most enjoyment out of our cruise because of the information and tips you provided in your report.
    Thanks Again::MinnieMo
     
  9. Conorama

    Conorama Mouseketeer

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    Great news! I'm jealous you had great weather in San Juan - ours wasn't bad, but super windy, as I mentioned.

    Was Robert there in Cove Café? I miss him! :) And yes, that 6:00 to 7:00 a.m. time was lovely and peaceful.

    I'm really glad you had a great time, and I'm glad my report was helpful. Now back to the real world!
     
  10. Ensusieasm

    Ensusieasm Mouseketeer

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    I'm not sure if that was Robert I would see in the Cove cafe through the window while I was swimming. He would enter and start getting the cafe ready shortly after I would start my swim. It was good to see someone around because I know I really shouldn't be in the pool alone. But I must confess that I never really met him, just a wave and a smile through the glass each morning, because I don't drink coffee. I would sip a pineapple juice on ice we bought in little cans in Orlando and kept in our refrigerator. So I don't know if it was Robert, but he seemed pleasant and he got used to me being in the pool and waving.
    Yes, being back to the real world is hard to get used to. This was my first morning without all that amazing breakfast food....I had peanut butter crackers this morning and no waiter to say "Good Morning Madame Susaaaaan!" while he placedba napkin in my lap! HA! I usually cook a big Sunday meal for my husband and son and daughter in law....but I couldn't face that reality...I ordered Chinese and sent my son to pick it up! Haha!
     
  11. Conorama

    Conorama Mouseketeer

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    Totally fair! :)
     
  12. ChrisParker

    ChrisParker Mouseketeer

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    Subbing in from London...I also just finished and M.Ed while working full time. Where did you do yours? I was at Western....a cruise is an APT reward! :) We will be doing Eastern in August 2014. It will take me a while to catch up to the end of this thread where my post will be but I will be on the trail tonight! popcorn::popcorn::popcorn::
     
  13. Conorama

    Conorama Mouseketeer

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    Hey there in London! I did mine at Queen's. I convocate in June, though the work was all done by Dec 31st. (I uploaded the thesis on Dec 24th, because I really didn't want it hanging over my head over Christmas - it was a great feeling...)

    Congrats on yours! I hope you enjoy the report. Happy reading. :)
     
  14. ChrisParker

    ChrisParker Mouseketeer

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    I convocate in June too but finished in December. :) really enjoying the tr so far.
     
  15. ChrisParker

    ChrisParker Mouseketeer

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    Okay...have spent a very long time reading every word. :) I may have slept less than a wise amount last night to finish.

    Question - what was the time you spent at the spa called? Was it a treatment tnat you had to book and if so, do you mind telling me how you found it/how much it cost? I don't really fancy any treatments but that morning sounded LUSH. :)

    The fact that you finished an M.Ed makes me wonder if, like me, you are finished the headache of OSSLT today?? ;)

    Thanks!

    Beth
     
  16. Conorama

    Conorama Mouseketeer

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    Hi there -

    Sorry to hear your sleep was depleted - not my intention at all. :)

    It was the Rainforest Room pass - I can't recall how much it cost, but it was just a day pass, that you can find somewhere on the DCL site. I could have returned during the day too, if I wanted. I didn't book it at all - you book the day pass, and then just show up any day. I was very surprised that it wasn't busy at all on the last at-sea day. I didn't go back, but it was nice to know I could have!

    I am in the land of "higher education", so nothing to do with OSSLT for me. :) Currently, I'm cursing and swearing about making a poster from my thesis work... but it ends up with going to Quebec City next weekend, I will stop complaining. Conor and DH are coming too, so I fully expect the usual sneaky pee battles!
     
  17. WonderTwinsMom

    WonderTwinsMom Earning My Ears

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    Hi. Enjoying your report from a first time DCL cruiser and a Canadian to boot! We're from Vancouver and will be going on our first DCL cruise on the Magic for an EBTA cruise on May 18. I understand how you and othe DISers feel about Air Canada. But having flown an various American Airlines and going to their airport lounges, I will take Air Canada in a heartbeat.

    Thanks for sharing pics. It gives us a better idea on what our trip may look like. And yes, we'll take the Princess extravaganza? My twins DD3 and DS3, who will be celebrating their third b-day on the cruise can't wait to meet the Princesses. Even my DS wants to give them a hug...and a kiss. LOL Were there any characters from Disney's Pixar movies (Cars, Wreck-it-Ralph, Monsters, etc). Other than the Princesses, the twins aren't into the classic Disney characters, but they love Pixar.

    How did you find the flight? Would appreciate any tips you can give us since it's the kids first flight? Sounds like Conor enjoyed the club. Did you feel comfy (and safe) leaving him there? On your trip, were the kids mostly his age and 3-year olds or was he mixed in with the older 7 or even 8 year olds? I've read in a number of reports that the Mickey pool was often (various times daily) closed due to cleaning due to kids' potty accidents. Did you experience that? Although it sounded like Conor enjoyed e slowest ride on the Mickey slide.

    It's the twins first trip. I'm a little concerned with the flight times and how they will do (hopefully no sea-sickness) on the cruise. Thanks in advance.

    Cheers
    Teri
     
  18. Conorama

    Conorama Mouseketeer

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    Hey fellow Canadian! 3-year-old twins -wow, that's busy, I'm sure. :goodvibes

    There were a few Pixar characters, as I recall (we were boycotting all characters, regardless of origin...) - Buzz & Woody for sure. I don't remember anyone from Monster's Inc, but there is the Monster's Inc room in the club.

    As for flights - Conor is, um, well-traveled, to put it mildly (he's at trip number 14 this weekend coming up). He's quite used to planes. Age 3 was not bad at all for flying (way better than age 2) - mostly because by then he was old enough to be amused at his seat - coloring, Playdoh (yes, you can bring it on planes), Hotwheels, and of course a fully-loaded IPad (games and shows). He views flights as one of the few times he is actively allowed and encouraged to watch TV, so he loves them.

    My flight tips with kiddos:

    A) Pack your own food and do not assume you'll be fed on the flight- we once got stuck with turbulence during the entire flight, so there was no in-flight service. I was very glad for the food I packed. Ditto for drinks - I bring empty sippy cups through security then immediately fill them up. On return flights, this usually means we buy food at the airport to bring on the plane.

    B) Have extra clothes for all ... including yourself. Conor used to get airsick, and he always managed to cover me.

    C) Novelty is your friend - I stock up on a whole bunch of new stuff - not expensive, just new to Conor. Favourites at age 3 - AquaDoodle travel size, Crayola Colour Wonder stuff (no staining), new books, Hotwheels, stickers, etc. Then, I loaded up the IPad with new games (I can provide recommendations if you have one) and new episodes of his favourite shows.

    D) We love the CARES harness when we don't need a car seat at the other end. It keeps him contained. We've not used a car seat on flights, but I think that would work too.

    E) Use their "baggie" allowance for stuff you will need for them (sound obvious) - but I always have Kids' Advil, Tylenol, Gravol, Benadryl on hand, with a syringe, and I calculate doses before we leave - we've only ever needed the Gravol, but I feel better! :) Many bandaids are also on stand-by.

    F) Layers are your friend when going from Canadian climes to Southern temperatures. Overheating on the plane = airsickness for us in the old days, so I make sure his final layer is a light-weight T-shirt and lightweight pants.

    Hope that helps!

    Conor was definitely not the youngest in the club at age 4.5. He loved it. Only once did he complain about an older kid- and then we realized, when he pointed the child out later, that the boy had special needs and was quite a bit older (9?). He told us the boy pushed him, but the "teachers" stopped him and took him away, so they were obviously watching. Mostly, when I went in to get him, the kids were all under 6, I would say. He never went over the the Lab side of things.

    The pool was closed once- Conor was in it (he didn't cause it!) and they got folks out quickly. It might have been closed other times, but we didn't notice.

    What flights do you have? I might have other thoughts when I know times/durations, etc.

    Transatlantic sounds fun!
     
  19. WonderTwinsMom

    WonderTwinsMom Earning My Ears

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    Well, I finally finished your informative yet-never-boring details. I was surprised it took me over a week to finish. I had intended to read everything in a couple of days. Guess at times, sleep had to take over. Thanks for the airplane tips above. Didn't even think of A, B and F. Yes, would appreciate your recommendations for iPad games. As for our flight back, DH had a great idea to take the twins to Disney Paris. While I'm looking forward to visiting my favourite city in the world, I still have reservations about the kids going on an extra flight. I think I would've been happy exploring Barcelona again. But all the flights have been booked, so I'm hoping for the best.

    I understand your wanting to avoid schedules on vacations. After our first few cruises, we've learned to pace ourselves and set aside time to do nothing. We'll see how it is with a couple of toddlers in tow. Thank you once again for sharing such an honest and useful report. I hope Conor enjoys trip #14 this weekend, and of course, you and your hubby too.

    Cheers,
    Teri
     
  20. Conorama

    Conorama Mouseketeer

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    Hello! Apologies for the delay - we were away in Quebec city and I never had a chance to catch up on email. We had a great time!

    For 3 year olds, I would recommend checking out apps by Duck, Duck, Moose, Toca, and Shoe the Goose. Duck, Duck, Moose has the easiest apps - the Itsy Bitsy Spider was one of Conor's first apps. He loved most of them though. Toca games are a tiny bit more advanced, but I think most 3 year olds would enjoy them - Conor's favourite are the restaurant ones where you feed different people/animals. I personally love the Shoe the Goose ones - you basically make stuff on the phone/pad/pod - cookies, cakes, etc. Conor still enjoys those as well - he's always "making" me stuff on the i-pod.

    I hope that helps. I'm glad you enjoyed the review. You've only got a few weeks left - happy planning and packing!
     
  21. k3chantal

    k3chantal DIS Veteran

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    The app Tozzle is great to occupy toddlers too! It has a series of puzzles that range from very simple 'peg' puzzles to quite complex. You would be amazed on how fast these little guys move to the more complex puzzles!
     

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