fantasy western trip report Sept 1st cruise

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by matthew517, Sep 8, 2012.

  1. PCH

    PCH Earning My Ears

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    We had been on a DCL hiatus for the past 4 years. Honestly, I was a bit Disney'ed out and wanted to show our kids that there is more to vacation than just Disney Cruises.

    Then, my kids recently started asking to go on a Disney Cruise, and my wife and I missed it too. So we went on the Sept. 1 Fantasy and just got home last night.

    Just as a background, my 11yo daughter had been on 14 DCL cruises by the age of 7 and my 7yo son had been on 10 by the age of 3. So we are very partial to the classic ships.


    Here's our take on the Fantasy:

    First, we had the best weather ever!!!

    Disney really worked out the details with the new ship.

    Check-in by boarding number: It seems to have cut down on the crowd at the terminal

    Cabanas: They now have the utensils pre-wrapped in cloth napkins and kept at the dining tables. No longer a CM waiting at the entrance wrapping utensils with the napkins and passing it out. It was much faster and smoother this time. Also, due to the larger size of the dining area, there were more drink stations.

    Animator's: The animation show was REALLY neat and fun for children and adults.

    Food: Overall, the food tasted better than before. We had always felt that the food was the weakest link in the Disney Cruise experience. However, on the Fantasy, we were pleasantly surprised by the improvement in the food. Even the lobster looked like a real lobster and tasted better than before.

    Palo dinner: Excellent service, good food

    Remy dinner: Great dining "experience". Sous Chefs overseen by a Michelin two-star rated chef from France AND the chef from Victoria + Albert's of the Grand Floridian. It's a Must Do. Rumor is that DCL tried to obtain a Michelin 1 star rating (to become the only Michelin rated restaurant at-sea) but Michelin requires ingredients to be same day freshness which is impossible for a ship.

    Public area bathrooms: I think there is a cleaning crew member living in each bathroom. Each time I opened the door of a bathroom, there was someone inside, cleaning!!!

    Castaway Cay: The Cabana was nice. We barely spent any time in it because the water was the warmest we experienced on the island. Also, the water didn't have the weird grass in the water and was very clear. Did Disney get rid of the underwater grass?

    Concierge lounge on deck 12: Very convenient for snacks and drinks throughout the day, and much easier access to the EXCELLENT concierge staff. Julia, Kamisha, Sarah and Angeline(in training) were just top notch.

    Stateroom Temperature Control: It really worked on the Fantasy.

    Bathroom: My kids really loved the HUGE Jacuzzi tub and the lights that change colors. They also enjoyed watching the mirror TV while taking a bath.

    BINGO!!! We won the jackpot bingo!!!


    What we missed:

    On Pirate Night, the dining staff didn't do the "show" with the flag while singing pirate songs. Also no dancing with the kids and doing the limbo stick.

    No Baked Alaska show

    The "Old" Pirate Night deck party. No Mickey coming down the zip line, and the fireworks show didn't have the "WOW" factor. There were less "traditional" Disney characters performing and dancing on stage, such as Mr. Smee. I guess I'm not as big a fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean theme.

    The show, "Disney Dreams". The new shows are good, but lacked the "specialness" of the "Dreams"

    No Golden Mickeys show

    The super rude crowd during the shows and movies. I have never seen anything like it. It was hard to enjoy the shows and movies with MANY people talking during performances. One person saved the entire two rows of the center section at the Walt Disney Theater. I witnessed some people arguing with CM's who reminded them that they can't save seats, and some simply claiming they don't speak English. It was just unbelievable. During a late showing of a movie at the Buena Vista theater, there were several adults who were talking loud, and two boys having a sword fight while jumping over rows of chairs!!! I finally told them to be quite, but they continued until another person admonished them as well.

    It's possible that it may have been a cultural issue that should have been addressed by DCL with announcements in Spanish that there is no talking during the shows and while Brent is on stage making announcements.

    But I also saw MANY Spanish-speaking children and adults with better manners than me, so maybe it's not a matter of cultural difference, but just parents who don't know how to parent and adults who don't know how to act like adults.

    I was told that more than 50% of the guests on this cruise were from Spanish-speaking countries, which is great since people from other countries are also enjoying Disney Cruises. HOWEVER, cultural indifference(?) (or maybe not even cultural, just lack of common courtesy?) definitely affected my enjoyment while on-board.

    IF DISNEY IS READING THIS, my wife says "please provide table-top lighted magnifying mirror and my children would like step stools for the stateroom bathrooms!!!
     
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  3. matthew517

    matthew517 Mouseketeer

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    You hit the nail on the head with the crowd in the theater. For Aladdin we sat in the balcony box. I had a child sit behind me and put her foot on my shoulder
    I looked around and her mother said nothing. It happened several times.
    We had two seats in the box and a family came in and sat to the left of us and then pulled a chair up on the right and were talking to each other across us during the show.

    I was in line to get pizza and a spanish boy about 16 cut in front of everyone. I went up and explained there was a line. He left. Then a cast member pulled me aside and thanked me. Saying he wished he could do that but wasn't allowed to.

    The last night the kids seemed to be released to terrorize the ship. They were screaming and running down the hall ways and banging like the Buckets and Boards guys on the railings and on doors on our floor.

    These were isolated and did in no way detract from the cruise.
    It was the best cruise we have taken.

    Like you said I believe that Disney took our suggestions and improved their already amazing cruises.

    And the boarding was the best. We arrived by magical express and walked right on to the ship at 12:00 pm
    We didn't have to wait a second.

    I liked the digital shutters stations they had around the ship as well. It made the process easier.

    I booked thru DCL instead of using DVC points. And DVC still knew we were on board. It was nice seeing the welcome home sign on the door.

    Our dinner companions as usual were great. Disney does a great job pairing people up. Every cruise we have had great dining companions.
     
  4. Lorelei528

    Lorelei528 DIS Veteran

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    We'll be cruising on the Fantasy on 9/29 and I'm glad to hear your review and you had such a fabulous time!
    This is only our second cruse, our first being a three nighter and it was just way too rushed to be relaxed!

    DH and I really cannot wait! I hope our cruise is not so crowded too! That would be awesome!

    Thanks again! :goodvibes
     
  5. Itinkso

    Itinkso Faith.Trust.Pixie Dust

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    Hi Matt,
    Thanks to your review we have switched to Native Choice. Just wondering about the mosquitoes...DD and I are allergic to mosquito bites so we will be packing in a couple of types of repellant. Was there an abundance of mosquitoes?
     
  6. matthew517

    matthew517 Mouseketeer

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    I used California baby natural bug spray and didn't get bit. I got it at target. Ivan the guide carries some in case you forget it. I didn't see anyone effected by the bugs.
     
  7. Itinkso

    Itinkso Faith.Trust.Pixie Dust

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    Thanks! We are looking forward to that tour and Ivan is great! He immediately replied to my emails! :thumbsup2
     
  8. matthew517

    matthew517 Mouseketeer

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    I emailed him on a Sunday and within a hour I had a reply. The guy is a dedicated professional.
     
  9. jahber

    jahber DIS Veteran

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    Hello again! We were on the same Sept 1 cruise with you, and now it turns out we are going to have 8608 on our next cruise. Do you recall if your room connected to 8610? We have both, and connecting cabins would be perfect! I booked them both via a GTY, so I'm already thrilled that they are next door. If they connect, I'll be over the moon!

    And did the room have a bunk and/or murphy bed?

    I so appreciate your help, if you're able.

    TIA!
     
  10. JennLK

    JennLK DIS Veteran

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    They do connect :) Not sure about the Murphy bed! What a great gty assignment!
     
  11. jahber

    jahber DIS Veteran

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    Hey JennLK! Long time no see ;). I finally bit the bullet and pulled up the deck plan explorer here (my computer doesn't like it, it takes forever!), so I saw that they do indeed connect. I do wish they'd note the bed configuration somehow on the plans. Other lines do!

    This was a 4D GTY, so we got a pretty awesome upgrade, considering these are 4Bs (and we used a FLR to book two cabins for the price of one for this month) AND they connect :). The travel agent was surprised at how much I knew about DCL. Ahem, yeah. I cruised about a month ago. I know, I have a problem!!!
     
  12. JennLK

    JennLK DIS Veteran

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    My husband thinks we have a problem (3 Disney cruises in about a year and a half and 2 Disney trips .... ) then I told him you were cruising again - and he said if we lived in Florida we would too :)

    That is fabulous luck - to get two connecting cabins. We had 8606 on the Dream and for the life of me I can't remember if it had the Murphy bed. I want to say YES it did, because I remember telling our room steward that our dd preferred the upper berth instead of the Murphy. The extra spaces is really very nice. So much extra storage - and I like the round tub/shower better.

    Enjoy your cruise! I'm jealous.
     

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