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First Cruise--Gluten Free Me-Fantasy Eastern Mar.9-16

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by petbren, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. petbren

    petbren DIS Veteran

    Joined:
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    BACKGROUND

    Our cast of characters includes

    Me-40 something who has been Gluten Free for a year and a half
    DH-age withheld at his request
    DS-turned 17 4 days before cruise
    DD-to turn 15 a month after cruise

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    We purchased DVC in 2009 with a gift my DM left us when she departed this earth. She loved all things Disney and we thought it fitting that we would take some "remember Grandma" time when we visited without her.:lovestruc

    January, 2012, DH, man who has always proclaimed his dislike for sitting around on the beach, out of the blue says "I think next winter we should look at going away somewhere warm, an Island vacation somewhere"

    What.......who are you??:confused3

    I drop everything and immediately start looking at where we should go.
    With my GF issues, I knew going to an Island, and eating at an all inclusive buffet, or where there was a language barrier, or where people just don't understand that gluten is in things other than bread, just wasn't an option for me.
    We had not been to Disney since my diagnosis, but I knew I had read about them accommodating food allergies. I started researching, and figured a Disney Cruise would meet my/our needs.:goodvibes

    By mid-February we had booked a Cat. 4C family Oceanview with verandah:cool1:

    Having DVC, I often planned 11 months out, but this was even longer.........
    but finally the day arrived:banana:
     
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  3. petbren

    petbren DIS Veteran

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    March 8th finally arrives!!

    We live in Hamilton, Ontario, so 130km to Buffalo Airport, or 74km to Toronto Airport. Drive time however, 1hr 20 mins (+ boarder crossing) to Buffalo.....45 mins (technically) to Toronto. In reality, Toronto would be more like 1-2 hours depending of traffic, much more $$ to park and much higher flight costs.
    We love SW airlines, and the Buffalo Airport:thumbsup2

    Our biggest worry was getting to the airport on time as DH worked in downtown TO until 7:30am, and our flight left BUF at 11:30.
    DH called in some favours, and managed to get done an hour early, so we arrived and checked in at airport by 10:20:yay:
    Flight left on time, we arrived 20 minutes ahead of schedule:banana:

    Next, ME

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    We were the second stop........then Welcome Home

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    We didn't arrive at night, but the sign says it all.

    We checked in at 4:10 and our room was ready.:worship:

    We had reserved a Boardwalk View Deluxe studio for the one night.
    This was our first time with a Boardwalk View as I usually just reserve what will be the least points, but with only one night, I spent the extra whole 2 points:rolleyes1
    We had room 3031--excellent views.....worth the 2 extra points.

    For the Yacht Club Fans

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    Beach Club Fans
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    Boardwalk Fans
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    Scary Clown Pool Fans:scared1:
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    We decided to freshen up and head over to Beaches and Cream for an early dinner. I knew they could do a GF hamburger and fries (baked not fried) so I was really looking forward to that..so much so that I had eaten half of it before I remembered to take a picture:rolleyes1

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    Kids were too full for ice cream, but we promised to come back after our traditional round of mini-golf at Fantasia for take out.

    Didn't think we'd have room for one of these..........don't know these people but they must really like ice cream, they ordered two "Kitchen Sinks" for 6 adults:sick:
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    Up next...more of our Boardwalk adventures, then finally off to The Fantasy:woohoo:
     
  4. 1GoofyDad

    1GoofyDad Earning My Ears

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    We just returned from our 5 night Disney Wonder cruise out of Miami over the Easter Weekend. I too am GF for about a year now and knew that Disney had a great reputation for food allergies.
    We spent a couple of days at BLT. First dinner at Ohana (the chef came out and spoke to me, prepared a separate set of vegetables, wings, etc, and the waitress knew which meats I could and could not eat). Only complaint was the GF bread/buns were dry but okay. Second dinner was a IlMulino at the Swan (easy, as they had seafood risotto).

    Then onto the CRUISE!!! Each meal had numerous options, even for me. On the first night, the head server and waitress both spoke to me about my restrictions. The plan was for each night to show me the menu for the next night and they would specially prepare my selection GF!!! They could make about 75% of the menu. Excellent! Same complaint as above - the bread was dry and tasteless...same shape as Ohana, but Ohana's tasted better. GF waffles were okay at best, GF pancakes need serious work (try Hodgkin's Mill or some other box would be much better). No GF cereal available.
    I'd go back again in a heartbeat...in fact we booked 2014 while on board!
     
  5. lizzyb

    lizzyb DIS Veteran

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    Looking forward to the rest of your review!
     
  6. lucy0558

    lucy0558 Mouseketeer

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    Great start to your report!
     
  7. petbren

    petbren DIS Veteran

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    Thanks everyone for reading along.
    I was starting to think I was all alone out here;)


    Thanks........hope to add more tomorrow, have to do my weekly run into TO with my daughter for an event she does every Sat. afternoon--oh the things we do for our kids:confused3



    Glad you had a good experience too.
    The dinner rolls were just awful on the cruise. :sick:
    I tried to eat them with lots of butter and the spread of the day if it was OK for me. By the fourth night, I just couldn't eat them any more. I felt bad as the servers thought they were doing such a great thing for me.
    I was looking forward to our dinner at Palo, which was very good, but the same GOD AWFUL BUNS............seriously:eek:
    More on the fantastic meal at Palo later.
     
  8. petbren

    petbren DIS Veteran

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    After our Beaches and Cream dinner, we went to Beach Club Market Place as I had read they had Baby Cakes GF items. I got a nice looking donut, but alas, never did eat it:confused3
    We then went back to the room to get settled.

    DD and I stopped into the Community Hall and picked up some tennis gear and went to play(I use the term loosely), it was fun though.

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    We then went back to the room, retrieved the men, and walked over to Fantasia mini-golf.
    This has become a family tradition, with each person getting a victory photo for their hole-in one.

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    I love the theming of this mini-golf--so unique

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    After all the exercise we got mini-golfing, we headed back to Beaches and Cream for our dessert. As we headed there, Illuminations was underway, and we got great views on the bridge over to Beach Club--no photos as I still can never get fireworks to turn out on any camera I have owned:rolleyes2

    We were beat by then, headed back to the room to relax and try to get some sleep before the big day.

    Up next:--we finally see The Fantasy:banana:
     
  9. petbren

    petbren DIS Veteran

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    March 9
    The big day finally arrives.

    We have breakfast ressie for 8:30am at Kouzzina.
    We last ate here for dinner in 2011, not long after it switched from Spoodles.
    I really liked it, as I love Greek food, but none of the rest of my family was impressed.

    The server got me the chef to go over my GF allergy and I went with-
    Turkey-Sweet Potato Hash - With Two Eggs and Arugula Salad . This also came with the best GF toast I had all trip--yummy

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    After breakfast, it was back to the room to gather up everything else, and head out front to meet our Limo . We decided to go with Happy Limo. As our flight left at 8:30pm, on the way back, we were renting a car at the Port for the day, so needed Limo only one way.
    I had left instructions that we wanted to be picked up at 10:30 and as we were rolling our suitcases outside at 10:20, our driver texted us that he was there.
    We did have over the 4 suitcases recommended for a standard towncar, but they all fit no problem. My only issue was that the middle person in the back had a very hard seat and riding over the 'hump" all the way there was not comfortable. The driver was pleasant and courteous, but now I know the way, from driving it back, I would not hesitate to drive myself next time. Except for the numerous ( I think 4 tolls), it was a straight forward drive.
    DH and the driver chatted all the way there, and the kids and I dozed in and out.
    Before you knew it, we saw this in the distance.

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    :yay:
     
  10. petbren

    petbren DIS Veteran

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    So...we unload our luggage, go through security, up the escalator, and into the check-in line. Our on-line check in time was 12-12:30, we were there about 12, we got boarding group 12. There is no line, so I get the paperwork I need to complete, and the CM tells me that our boarding group has been called so we are good to go now.
    We were in that area for such a short time, I didn't even look around.
    There was a bit of a line to get your Welcome Aboard photo done.

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    Next, we walk through and hear our name......we're finally here.

    I have the kids go have a seat by guest services while DH and I get signed up for our Tasting classes. DH picks Cognac (on his own-all tastes like liquid fire to me), and we both sign up for Mixology, and the Tequila and Margarita classes.
    We then head up to Cabanas for lunch.
    I didn't ask for the chef to go over what I could eat, I just stuck to what I knew I could have--salad,fruit,seafood, etc.

    We wondered around a bit more, checked out where we would be for dinner.

    Our dining rotation was 8:15 -ERAERAE
    I know some people have a preferred rotation, but for us, it really made no difference .

    Some shots around the ship.

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    The ship you see behind DS and DD is.....

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    We found out on our second to last night what had happened to the poor people on that cruise..........wow , more bad luck for Carnival

    More coming up on our first night.
     
  11. DMMarla07860

    DMMarla07860 DIS Veteran

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    I got on the ship for a back-2-back cruise on Fantasy the Day you got off and agree, bad luck for Carnival people. Funny, someone at the car rental place in cocoa beach area asked if I was on the ship that broke down I said heck no going on DCL
     
  12. drischar

    drischar Mouseketeer

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    I have been "stalking" the 2013 trip reports looking for a picture of the embarkation photo for Port Canaveral 2013. This will likely be the only picture we purchase from Shutters (if it is good). Thanks for posting. Looking forward to reading all about your trip.
     
  13. ChrisParker

    ChrisParker Mouseketeer

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    Subbing in from London ON...we are headed to the Eastern cruise next August!! :) Looking forward to your pics and story. :wave2:
     
  14. petbren

    petbren DIS Veteran

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    We had no one to take the photo on our camera--and unlike during the Character Greets, no one offered either.
    We ended up buying the 10 picture photo CD for $149 so we picked this as one of the 10.
    Glad you're following along:)

    There were tonnes of Canadians on our cruise--March Break .
    Thanks for following along. I'm sure you will have a great time.:cool1:

    Yea, I try to tone down my "holier than thou" attitude when people say "Oh, I hope you didn't go with Carnival" and I say "oh we went Disney, so we had No Problem";)
    I know it could happen, but I am doubtful they would let issues like that go unresolved.
    Back to Back--wow--hope you had a great time too.
     
  15. Jkpark

    Jkpark DIS Veteran

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    Enjoying your report. We are doing our first cruise next March and plan on doing one DVC night before too. Happy to hear how much you got done! I still don't know how to quote from my phone - but did you say for $149 you get a CD with just your favorite 10 pictures? OUCH
     
  16. petbren

    petbren DIS Veteran

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    We decided to take the Walking Ship Tour at 1pm while we waited for our room to get ready.
    We thought this would be a good way to see the ship and start to know our way around. There were only us and 3 other families on the tour.
    The two CM Martin and Matt,who did the tour were quite entertaining, young and British. DD was quite taken with one of them. We were rolling along our one carry on :drinking1 and Martin rolled it around most of the time for us.
    The Tour allowed the kids to get to walk through all 4 bars, something they couldn't usually do as Oh La La, and Skyline don't allow kids at any time.

    Here they are in the fancy chairs in Oh La La

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    The tour lasted an hour, so we headed up to the room:cool1:
    3 of our 6 bags had arrived.
    We loved the room--view from the balcony was great(not really in Port, but the rest of the time).

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    We booked our cruise through Dreams Unlimited, Merrie Thomas was our agent. We got a nice on board credit booking with them too.We didn't really require much, but she always e-mailed when she would be away, or about upcoming dates, etc. We were very happy with her, and would use her again.
    We found this welcome basket from Dreams when we arrived.

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    We were room #7594. It was Starboard side (which was great in CC), not far from the mid-ship elevators.

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    Much more on Castaway Cay later in the report.

    Gotta call it a night..:faint:.....still haven't made it through the first day:confused3
     
  17. petbren

    petbren DIS Veteran

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    Yes, you read that right. The prices went 10 for $149, 20 for $249,$349 for CD with all images, and $399 for CD and all the prints they had printed for you. You find these in your personal booklet.
    We weren't going to get the CD, but went for the smallest package and are happy with it. We also bought a cute frame/booklet with the characters with signatures on the front that opens up. Inside there is a photo of The Fantasy, and a spot for your own 8X10. I think it was an extra $14.95. I will try to post a photo of it later.
    When DH went to pick up the CD he said there was a woman in front of him whose photo bill was almost $1000 :crazy2:

    BTW...I just booked our next DVC trip for March 2014 tonight;)
    I tried to talk DH into August this year but he said "NO MORE BIG TICKET TRIPS THIS YEAR`` Party pooper:confused3
     
  18. ChrisParker

    ChrisParker Mouseketeer

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    Oh. Em. Gee. Just saw that your avatar is Dexter!

    We have just BOOKED August 9, 2014. Wa-HOOOO! :cool1:

    I just read the prices here for the pics. Sometimes when I see things like that I picture telling my father. :rotfl2: I think he would have a coronary at that one but I'm actually thinking that my onboard credit from DU will cover it nicely. ;)

    Keep it coming! :cool1:
     
  19. petbren

    petbren DIS Veteran

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    Yea, even serial killers love Mickey;)
    So, you booked Fantasy, Eastern Caribbean for August?
    I guess if you think of the Photo CD as 14.99/photo, it doesn't sound so bad:rolleyes2
    Do you know how many ways I had that onboard credit spent in my mind ? "Oh the onboard credit will pay for the excursion, the credit will pay for the photos, the mixology class, the drink tab etc., etc,etc.............:laughing:
     
  20. petbren

    petbren DIS Veteran

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    Just a couple notes about the room.

    We had a Cat. 4C Family Oceanview with verandah-room #7594.

    This room slept 4--Queen bed, pull out sofa and pulldown.

    You walk in the room, on the left is a block of closets, you safe is in here. There was quite a bit of room here. The lifejackets take up one top section.
    On the left, there is your room card activated light switch. We got around doing this by inserting our CAA card, and leaving it there for the duration.
    Next, there are two doors--the "split bath".
    I read about some room having, and not having a split bath, but in reality, I had no idea what that meant. :confused3
    The first door has the toilet, counter and sink, and the second door has the round tub, counter and sink.
    Now I know what this is, it's a great idea. Especially with 4 people, 2 could be doing some things at the same time.
    The tub was great with the 3 different shower head options, and a place you could sit too.
    The queen bed was really comfortable, and I am quite picky about mattresses
    DD claimed the pulldown for the duration. I don't think DS would have fit too well.
    Our basket from DU had an extension cord, and I had brought one too.
    You really do need it, we found as we could plug in the laptop, and various gadget chargers.
    The fridge was nice to have. We brought 2 bottles of wine, a wine cooler and a case of diet coke, and a few bottles of water in our carry on, and it all fit in the fridge.
    We loved the verandah, and would not cruise without it.
     
  21. petbren

    petbren DIS Veteran

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    Day 1 (continued)

    So, we checked out the room briefly, then headed up to our DIS meet.
    Our meet was on Deck 12 forward, by the wading pool,past the aquaLab.
    We met a few people from the boards, and saw some more of the ship.

    Photos of Deck 11, adult pool/bar area below where our meet was.
    We never really got to hang out here, so much to do with the kids. Maybe if we are on a future adult only trip, we would .

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    By then it was time to head to our munster drill area.

    DH had decided to try out the lifejacket before--somehow I don't think he had it quite right.

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    We were section F, Bona Vista Theater. This was a great assignment as we got comfortable seats and front row.

    Maybe, a bit too comfortable.:lmao:

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    Don't know what happened to this picture, but you get the general idea.:rolleyes:
    Somehow, I don't think these two are going to make it if they miss the lifeboat;)

    As the drill was almost over, you got the sense that the ship was moving......we finally are pulling away.:cool1:

    We hurried back to the room, and out to the verandah to watch us pull away.
     

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