Fantasy, Western Caribbean Oct 12-19: Anniversary Celebration *COMPLETE*

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by Sailorgirl32489, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. Sailorgirl32489

    Sailorgirl32489 Earning My Ears

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    Well its been a few weeks since our sailing, which means I should probably get started on our Trip Report! (My first one... eek!)

    Hi everyone! My name is Jenni and my husband is Chad. Weve been on several cruises before with Carnival and RCL, but never a Disney one and have been dying to try it out.

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    We were originally booked to sail with family on a later date, but unfortunately their plans changed and they had to move their booking out to a 2014 date. Wed been looking forward to the cruise so much and didnt want to wait that long&.. so we decided to move the date up and use it to celebrate our one year wedding anniversary!

    We lost our original stateroom when we moved our sail date, but wanted to book a category 6B (verandah with whitewall). We talked to our travel agent and 6B was already in a GTY status. Im a big planner and was on the fence about not being able to choose our stateroom. The price difference up to the next category that wasnt GTY was pricey, so Chad and I debated about it and decided to roll the dice and booked a 6B GTY cabin. Having been so busy at work lately we both said wed just be happy to be on the ship, no matter where our stateroom was.

    So then the daily, obsessive checking of the DCL website began&&. And I waited&.. and waited&.. and waited some more. I was on pins and needles, I just wanted to know already! And then it came, about 4 weeks out from our sail date& we finally got our cabin assignment!!!

    Disney had sent some pixie dust pixiedust: our way and we were assigned stateroom 7190 which is a category 5E, aft facing room. I was so excited!! I had been wanting to try out an aft facing stateroom as I had heard good reviews of them.

    So then the short countdown to our sail date began..... (but it felt like so long!)
     
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  3. CharleySue

    CharleySue Earning My Ears

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    We're going on the Fantasy, Western Caribbean, in January to celebrate our 25th anniversary. Looking forward to more info. :)
     
  4. iloverags2

    iloverags2 DIS Veteran

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    Looking forward to hearing all about your cruise!
     
  5. MizDisney513

    MizDisney513 Earning My Ears

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    Can't wait to hear about your experience :goodvibes
     
  6. perfectmatch300

    perfectmatch300 DIS Veteran

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    We sailed the Fantasy Western on Sept 28-Oct 5 in an aft facing 5E stateroom. We were in 9176.
    I'm still very busy sorting my way through all the pictures I took. Can't even begin to think about a TR yet! I will, however, be following along with yours. We were also celebrating our anniversary, our 13th, even though the actual date was about 2 weeks earlier.
     
  7. Sailorgirl32489

    Sailorgirl32489 Earning My Ears

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    Thanks everyone for following along! I'm going to try and get another update posted later today.

    Happy (belated) anniversary! Our actual date was 2 weeks before our cruise as well.... but life and work got in the way, so this was the first chance we were able to celebrate.
     
  8. Sailorgirl32489

    Sailorgirl32489 Earning My Ears

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    And then the day finally came….. we’d been talking about a Disney cruise for over a year, and I couldn’t believe the day had finally come where we got to get on the ship!! I was so excited that I had a hard time sleeping the night before.

    We originally had a 12:15 PAT, but I was able to snag a better one at 10:30 when they opened up more. So we packed up the car with all our luggage (it barely fit!) and set out for the port.

    I love the view you get of the Fantasy coming across the Banana River! I’ve driven by many times before, but knowing that we were actually getting to board the ship this time was so exciting!

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    We had a lot of heavy luggage with scuba diving equipment for port adventures, so we took advantage of the curbside luggage check in. Once that was taken care of, we jumped in the short line to enter the terminal where we ran into a couple of people from our DIS thread.

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    There was hardly a line for check in when we got in the terminal and it wasn’t long before we had our KTTW cards in hand! They hadn’t started the boarding process yet and I really wanted a picture with Sailor Mickey in front of the cruise ship model, so we jumped in line to kill some time.

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    The line moved a lot slower than I had anticipated. (I think it was due to a large group ahead of us who wanted a bunch of different arrangements.) During the wait, Minnie switched places with Mickey and they started the boarding process. Even though we were in boarding group 2, we were only a few people away from the front of the line and decided to stick it out for a picture.

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    My only complaint of the whole cruise came when we went to go board the ship. It was almost impossible to make our way to the boarding “ears” due to people crowding the area. It reminded me of a gate at an airport with people huddled around blocking everything waiting on their turn to be called. We ended up having to get assistance from a cast member just to make our way through. They seriously need to do some crowd control here and ask people to step back unless their number has been called.

    I checked out our KTTW cards for our dinner rotation and saw that we were in Enchanted for our first night. Instead of eating there for lunch and dinner, we made our way up to Cabanas to grab some lunch. Since we had our 3 carry on bags with us, I grabbed a table while Chad scoped out the buffet. While I was waiting on him to return, one of the CM came over and offered to grab a soda for me. (Now we’ve been on other cruise lines before, and I have never had this type of service before. So when she offered I knew this was an indication of the excellent Disney service to come and I was so excited!)

    After a quick bite, we drug our luggage up to the Cove and staked out one of the chaise loungers until it was time to go to the room. The Carnival Dream and Ecstasy were also in port and we ended up with a nice view of them from the lounger.

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  9. Grumpy's Wife

    Grumpy's Wife Dollar Tree gal here

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    I can't wait to see pictures of your room. Isn't Pixie Dust wonderful? I'm looking forward to hearing all about your cruise.
     
  10. Sailorgirl32489

    Sailorgirl32489 Earning My Ears

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    We waited in the Cove area until our stateroom was ready at 1:30. (The Cove was also conveniently close to the ice cream during the wait!) The midship elevators were already getting congested, so we made our way all the way aft and caught one down fairly easily. We found our stateroom, 7190, down at the very end of the hall.

    Here’s the view from the door as you step in.
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    Looking from the connecting door to the other stateroom out towards the verandah.
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    View from the verandah door looking straight out
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    To the left
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    To the right
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    Our stateroom ended up being on the port side right were the ship curves aft. The picture below is taken from the side of our verandah that was the furthest forward looking back towards the aft.
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    From the aft part of the verandah look out to the port side.
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    We had one bag waiting for us when we went to the stateroom, so I grabbed that and tried to get a few things put away for the week before it was time for the life boat drill. We decided earlier in the day to skip the congested sail away party and watch the sail away from Deck 4. It turned out to be really nice because there wasn’t a crowd and you were closer to the people waving you off from shore. We also ran into a crew member who pointed out a pod of dolphins just outside the channel when we were leaving. In talking with him, he said it’s a pretty common occurrence near the markers just past the jetty.

    Pulling away from the DCL dock and heading out into open waters!
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    Our dining rotation was ERAERRA, so we got ready and headed down to Enchanted Garden. We ended up at a table for 6 with two other couples. One couple was celebrating their honeymoon and the other couple were both in the same industry as my husband and I – we really lucked out with our assignments and had a great time with them all week!

    At the end of dinner, we were treated to an Anniversary cake complete with anniversary pins and a chorus of “Happy Anniversary, kissy kissy” from the dining room team.
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    If anyone is interested in seeing the Navigators from this sailing, please let me know. I've got them and can scan them in if you want!


     
  11. donaldjessie

    donaldjessie Earning My Ears

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    I like the anniversary button.I was on the same cruise with you!
     
  12. mrsoc

    mrsoc Earning My Ears

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    Yes. I'd like to see the navigator's. We are cruising next yr in Sept.

    Thanks!
     
  13. Sailorgirl32489

    Sailorgirl32489 Earning My Ears

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    Nice! If you did any of the same activities as us, feel free to chime in with your take on things. Always love hearing someone else's opinion!


    Here's the Navigator from the first day. One of the tips I picked up on DIS before our cruise was to take a highlighter to mark any activities you are interested in doing. This was brilliant and I was so glad I remembered to grab one and toss it in my purse! It made things so much easier every time we pulled it out to see what to do next.

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  14. Sailorgirl32489

    Sailorgirl32489 Earning My Ears

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    edit: Never mind, used a different photo hosting site and I think it fixed it!

    Realized after I posted it's near impossible to read the small print on the Navigators... anyone know how to make the images bigger? :badpc:
     
  15. Sailorgirl32489

    Sailorgirl32489 Earning My Ears

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    Day 2, Sea Day

    Navigators
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    I think we were still on our work schedule, because we woke up pretty early. We lounged around in the room for a little bit as we didn't have any plans until later on in the morning. We flipped the TV as we got dressed and according to the ship location map we were just north of Cuba. We decided to head up to Cabanas to grab a little breakfast before our first activity of the day.

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    I can't remember what we had for breakfast that morning, so apparently it wasn't anything too exciting. We did however catch a glimpse of Cuba from the windows in Cabana.

    After a bite to eat, we went down to O'Gills for Tile Coaster crafting. I wish I had taken pictures, but sadly I forgot so a verbal description is going to have to suffice! We walked in and they have piles on the tables of small square tiles (about the size of the head of a pencil eraser). We were greeted by the CM and given instructions on how to put together our coasters. We were given two wooden bases, one with a square cut out in the middle and the other one was solid. The idea was to glue the one with the cut out on top of the other solid one in order to form a recessed area for the tiles. They supplied markers and glitter pens so you could dress up the wood a bit before adding your tiles. I ended up going with a simple checker board pattern on my coaster and spent most of my time searching the piles of tiles to find the right colors. I haven't had a chance to test my coaster out yet..... but the glue they supplied was water soluble, so I'm wondering if that might be an issue with condensation from sweaty drinks. I think I'll just pull the tiles off and use a different glue if that happens.

    We had a 2:00 Mixology class scheduled with our DIS group, so we figured it was wise to get some food in our stomachs and headed up to Cabanas. Chad had a plate of prime rib, pork?, and chicken fingers with fries.

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    I had the prime rib also, chicken fingers, roasted red potatoes, and some fries. The prime rib was so yummy, wish I had gone back for seconds!

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    After getting some food, we sat in on the DVC presentation. We'd heard all about it before, but never any hard numbers so we were anxious to see just how much money we were talking about. After the presentation, we got an appointment with one of the reps for later in the evening so we could speak to him about their in house financing options. In the end, we decided that we are going to take a bit more time to save up some money for the down payment before buying in - but at least now we knew a dollar figure we were working towards.

    After DVC, we headed over to Skyline. One of the awesome members in our DIS group had arranged not one, but two private mixology classes for us because so many of us were interested! (Thanks again, Barb!) We were greeted by our bar staff Ashley, Cristine, and Mika and took a seat while we waited for the rest of our group to arrive.

    Ashely handed out a list of the different drinks we were going to be making. He then started the class with a general history of alcohol and various facts and trivia about the different types we were going to be using in the class.

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    Our first drink of the day was the Paradise Punch. Ashley taught us how to measure out the alcohol by counting with pouring and the proper technique to stir the drink up. Then he invited some volunteers behind the bar to help prepare the rest of the drinks for our group. I ended up behind the bar and I think we each got a set of drinks we were responsible for. Since we'd all just been taught the counting technique and were all bartender novices... it lead to a lot of loooonng, heavy handed counts while pouring while we practiced our skills. :rolleyes1

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    Up next was the Ohh La La which was basically a take off of a mojito. Ashely taught us how to properly muddle the mint and then called some more volunteers behind the bar.

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    I'd honestly never had a Cosmopolitan before this trip. Apparently, they are suppose to be a very light pink otherwise they are not made properly. I tried a few sips of mine, and it was ok... but not my favorite. Knowing that the drinks had been heavy handed and that we had scuba diving the next day in port, I didn't finish all of mine.

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    The Kir Royale ended up being one of my favorites.
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    The last drink we made was the Brain Hemorrhage and Ashely had chosen this one specifically since we were sailing near Halloween. To make this one, you first pour the peach schnapps into the bottom of the shot glass. Then you add the Bailey's by pouring it slowly against the back side of a spoon inserted into the glass. To top it all off you add a splash of grenadine for a "blood" effect. The picture below doesn't do it justice - looked a lot better in person.

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    We had so much fun at Mixology - definitely want to sign up for it again! And for $20 a person, it's not a bad deal at all given the amount of alcohol you are given!

     
  16. OSUBuckly

    OSUBuckly Mouseketeer

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    Really enjoying your report! Keep them coming!!
     
  17. Sailorgirl32489

    Sailorgirl32489 Earning My Ears

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    Thanks, glad you are enjoying them! I should be able to get another update done tomorrow for ya. :)
     
  18. Sailorgirl32489

    Sailorgirl32489 Earning My Ears

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    I’m back and determined to finish this TR for once and for all before our next cruise…. Which gives me less than two weeks! I apologize that I disappeared for so long. Work got busy with a bunch of overtime and then I had some health issues crop up that we are still trying to figure out and deal with… ugh. :(

    But nevertheless…. On with the rest of the trip report!

    After mixology, we made our way over to The Tube for the art auction preview. We enjoyed the free champagne while browsing through the art setup. Chad even found the Disneyland look-a-like to his Walt Disney World Darth Vader shirt.

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    After the preview, we stuck around for the auction portion. The guy brought up a couple of standard pieces for auction as well as the ones people tagged during the preview. He was pretty good about trying to give a brief history/description of the artist before opening up the piece for bidding.

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    When then skirted back to our stateroom to get changed into our “formal” attire just in time for dinner at Royal Court.

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    Enjoyed the Tahitian Vanilla Crème Brûlée for dessert and it was delicious!

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    After getting changed out of our stiff fancy wear, we made our way over to the onboard booking desk. The DCL fever had already set in before the end of day two, and we knew we wanted to book another! Our family was already booked for a December 2014 trip, so we went ahead and took advantage of the discount and OBC. I scoped it out online just before our trip and had a few different staterooms prioritized in case they were booked in the interim. Luckily, our top choice was still available and we had everything taken care of in less than 10 minutes!

    Coming up next… under the sea in Grand Cayman!
     
  19. Sailorgirl32489

    Sailorgirl32489 Earning My Ears

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    Day 3, Grand Cayman

    We woke up and hadn’t quite made it into port yet, so we enjoyed a little bit on time on our verandah before getting our scuba diving gear ready.

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    We packed up all gear and met the rest of our group to catch the tender over. The dive shop met us at the pier and checked over all our forms and dive certification cards. The dive boat was waiting for us at a small sandy beach area just outside the terminal area. It wasn’t a very far walk, but with the heavy dive gear I was glad it wasn’t any further.

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    Passing the ship on the way out to our first dive spot.
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    Our first dive spot was at Trinity Caves. We bottomed out around 105 feet with an average depth of 59 feet. I have an Olympus underwater camera I use for snorkeling, but my DH got me a case that is good for 200 feet so I was able to take it down on our dives! :) I still need to get an external flash since you lose a lot of light on the deeper dives.

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    The rockwork at Trinity was really nice for diving. Lots of canyons and different structures to wander through. Definitely makes it on my top list of diving spots.

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    Our second dive was at Oro Verde. We bottomed out at 47 feet with an average of 33 feet.

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    Tang swimming across the top of the wreck.
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    This eel keep weaving his way through the rocks keeping an eye on our dive group.
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    Barracuda (…. Am I the only one who sings the song by Heart in my head every time I say Barracuda…?)
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    The diving overall in Grand Cayman was gorgeous! When we have the opportunity, we really want to go back and spend more time checking out more spots. As it was, we squeezed as much diving into the day as possible. The boat dropped us back off at the same sandy beach they picked us up from. By the time we walked back to the pier, we had almost zero time to do any shopping. DH had really wanted to grab a dive t-shirt, so I took the dive bags and started to schlep them slowly back to the tender. He literally ran ahead and had just enough time to dash in and grab one before we grabbed the tender back. (He was excited and still wears the shirt frequently, lol).

    Our dinner that night was one that I had been anxiously awaiting… Animator’s Palate! Loved the Turtle Talk with Crush. He didn’t speak with our table, but he did ask the bald guy at the table next to us what kind of wax he used to keep his shell so shiny, lol!

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    After dinner, we took a stroll around the ship playing the Midship Detective Agency and explored areas we hadn’t seen yet. This included the walking/jogging path on Deck 4 where we found this….

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    Thought it was neat that DCL went to the extent of providing real grass for the service animals to use!

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    It was almost time for the Halloween party, so we made our way in and found a spot on one of the upper decks that gave us a good vantage point. We wanted to be able to do some good old fashioned “people watching” and enjoy the costumes without getting into the mess of everything.

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    The last thing we enjoyed that evening was a performance of Buckets N Boards. These guys were pretty funny and shouldn’t be missed if they are performing on your trip!

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  20. Sailorgirl32489

    Sailorgirl32489 Earning My Ears

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    Day 4, Costa Maya

    Port arrival time for Costa Maya was fairly late at 1:00pm, so we enjoyed a lazy and relaxing morning. We headed down to Enchanted Garden for the buffet breakfast. After wandering the ship for a little bit, we made our way back to the room to enjoy the slightly overcast skies from the verandah. Because we had the aft facing stateroom, instead of the normal chairs we had two lounge chairs. DH and I both ended up falling asleep listening to the waves and woke up when the evil sun came out from behind the clouds and started baking us.

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    We debated about what port adventure to do in Costa Maya and finally decide on the Chacchoben ruins and ended up booking the “adults only” version. It basically meant that there were no children on the bus ride to and from the ruins. The bus ride was an hour long in each direction. Our tour guide on the bus was a professor from the local university and was clearly very passionate as he talked the entire way there and back.

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    The tour group was a little large and slow moving for our taste, so we ended up breaking away with our tablemates and exploring on our own. They just gave us a time that we needed to meet back at the bus by.

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    For dinner that night, we were back in Enchanted Garden. I enjoyed the Golden Slipper which was peach schnapps, crème de cassis, and sprakling wine.

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  21. mtchurchmonica

    mtchurchmonica Poster formerly known as yazee1

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    I'm really enjoying your trip report, especially the pictures. I'm not much of a drinker, but that mixology class looks like fun! I hope you come back soon to add more.
     

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