May 26 - June 2, 2012 From Reality to Fantasy

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by Dawncala, Jun 18, 2012.

  1. Dawncala

    Dawncala Collector of magical memories and pixie dust

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    Safety First

    We went back to the room at 3:30 to wait for the lifeboat drill to begin. I spent a few minutes unpacking and getting the cabin organized while the kids checked out the On-Demand TV options. At 3:45 the alarms sounded and we began making our way to our drill meet area. Our zone was the Buena Vista Movie Theater on Deck 4. There was a line when we arrived and we had to wait a few minutes in the hall before actually making it into the theater.

    Once inside the CM’s quickly checked in our family and we were ushered into the theater seats to wait. I must say this was much more pleasant than the outdoor deck locations we were assigned on our previous sailings where we had to stand in compact lines throughout the drill. Air conditioning and comfortable seating… now this is how to conduct a safety drill. Cast members kept the families entertained while we waited. They ran through the safety information quickly and efficiently and we were on our way out in no time.

    Note: If you happen to have the BVT as your drill area I’d suggest getting there on the early side. It is a big theater, but not huge, so late comers had to stand until the drill was over.
     
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  3. nursemomof2

    nursemomof2 Earning My Ears

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    Great report so far. Can't wait to hear more!
     
  4. coconutsunshine

    coconutsunshine DIS Veteran

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    Loving your report! We will be sailing on the Fantasy on Aug 25th and are so excited :) thanks for adding to the excitement!
     
  5. DiaLady

    DiaLady Ready for another vacation!

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    Thanks for sharing your adventure. We're headed out on the Fantasy in February :)
     
  6. Dawncala

    Dawncala Collector of magical memories and pixie dust

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    Hello to everyone following along. :wave2: Thank you for all your kind words.
     
  7. Dawncala

    Dawncala Collector of magical memories and pixie dust

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    Blow the Horn Already!

    After the drill DH and I dashed up the stairs to join the Sail Away party at the pools on deck 11. DD & DS had a “been there, done that” attitude about it so they went their own way to explore this ship some more. DD had a wave phone so we told her we’d call when we were ready to meet up again.

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    Perry chose to come with us to the party. Smart platypus!

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    A view of the crowds. The Aquaduck riders continued to go by throughout the show. It was probably quite cool to view the party from up there.

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    A short video of the voyage the Fantasy took to get here

    We found a spot to watch off to the left of the stage. This location was in full sun and it was incredibly hot and humid. The right side of the ship had some shade relief from the deck above, but it was already packed over there. We gave the cast members and the characters a lot of credit for having such pep and enthusiasm. We knew the sweat was dripping off of them, but they sang and danced and jumped and flipped and danced some more.

    The theme of the show was all about the cool things you can do on a Fantasy cruise: ports of call, nightlife, dining, shopping… and there was a song and dance number for each activity.


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    Captain Mickey gets the party started

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    Goofy and the cast members jumping around the stage

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    Chip, Dale and Pluto help sing about the great dining on board

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    Daisy and Minnie are excited about going shopping

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    Donald is not as excited about shopping because he's asked to carry the bags

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    Of course diamonds and other jewels are available in every port

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    Getting ready to set sail

    Finally, with a quick count of 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 the Fantasy blew her horn and the cruise was underway. Cheers went up, my eyes got a little teary and I dragged DH to the railing to make sure we were actually moving.
     
  8. Dawncala

    Dawncala Collector of magical memories and pixie dust

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    Welcome to Satellite Falls

    Although the sail away party continued with more singing and dancing, DH and I decided to go do more exploring. We headed forward to the bow of the ship where we discovered the new Satellite Falls area. Exclusive to the Fantasy, Satellite Falls (deck 13 forward ) is a large white globe shading a shallow wading pool and tiled seating area. Occasionally there is water pouring from the lip of the globe’s platform. The falls were turned off about half the times we went up there, but that may have had to do with the windy conditions. I imagine the wind blowing the falling water into guests' faces and onto the decks would be bothersome.

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    The water is falling in this photo, but it's difficult to see.

    First we walked to the bow railing to watch the Fantasy sail out of the Port Canaveral channel and into open ocean. While we chatted with some other guests we were delighted to see dolphins occasionally diving in and out of the water. They were very difficult to capture on camera so unfortunately I don’t have any photos.

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    Some crazy little boat cut in front of us and made us blow the horn. (and not one of the fun horns) It was still pretty far out when I took this photo, but it did come in pretty close.

    Then DH and I found a shady spot on some loungers and had a very relaxing half hour or so just sitting. Satellite Falls has ample padded lounge-style seating under a wide shelter. Half the loungers face the Falls and the other half face the ocean. The half facing the ocean also face a clear Plexiglas wall which protects you from the wind, but still allows you to enjoy the view of the skies ahead. (Note: it is quite windy up there, especially when the ship is moving) The forward facing loungers definitely were more popular than the Falls facing ones, but we never had any trouble finding a lounger somewhere up there.

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    (It's nearly impossible to take a good photo holding the camera at arms length)

    We did actually go into Satellite Falls once. The falls were not turned on at the time. (again, I think it was a wind thing) The water is about knee deep, and it is cool, not warm. Sitting on the shady side of the falls was a little too cool for us, so we moved to the sunny side where the sun-warmed tile bench made up for the cool water and windy conditions.
     
  9. DisneyWhirled

    DisneyWhirled DIS Veteran

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    Great report! Enjoying following along! We don't cruise until April, but I can hardly wait after reading all the fun you had!
     
  10. stacy~**

    stacy~** DIS Veteran

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    Joining in...thinking about trying our first ever cruise next year and am soaking in trip reports! Love yours so far!
     
  11. Dclnut143

    Dclnut143 Earning My Ears

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    Keep waiting for the rest. I really hope u only had a 3 day cruise. If u had a 14 day cruise, i might be dead by the time i finish reading :rotfl2::rotfl2::rotfl2:Jk!!!
     
  12. Dawncala

    Dawncala Collector of magical memories and pixie dust

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    :rotfl: What exactly are you trying to say? :lmao:

     
  13. Dclnut143

    Dclnut143 Earning My Ears

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    IT'S like reading a good book and having half the pages missing:-)
     
  14. Dawncala

    Dawncala Collector of magical memories and pixie dust

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    A Fantasy Come True

    Because we have the late dinner seating we attend the early show at 6:15. We arrived at the Walt Disney Theater (Deck 4 Forward) at 5:45 and got pretty good seats in the front center section. It is an absolutely gorgeous theater, but we expected nothing less from Disney. It seems to me the rows are a little closer together offering a little less leg room on the Fantasy than on the Wonder. I cannot confirm this though.

    At the start of each show our cruise director, Ray, welcomed us and gave us information about upcoming events, tips we’d need for the next day’s port (if we would be in port) and general updates. This seemed to be about the only time we saw Ray. We heard him occasionally on the ship intercom, and I did see him once in the atrium before dinner. On our Alaska cruise we saw the cruise director, Christian, everywhere and chatted with him on several occasions. He was very accessible and we liked that. We assumed Ray was just busy coordinating the much larger staff and all the activities on the much larger Fantasy. (This did not detract from our cruise in any way, I’m just noting it.)

    The Fantasy Come True show is the Fantasy’s welcome show. The storyline follows a typical family of four on their first Disney cruise and highlights all the fun things there is to do for each member of the family using song, dance and Disney characters. It was a cute show. The guy who played the “grumpy” teen did a great job. He did a dead on impersonation of our own teen who is typically hiding in her headsets and worrying about what her friends are doing without her. We know it was hell all week for her not being able to text her friends. The man who played the dad was also a standout for us and we would see him many times throughout the cruise in lead roles in some of the other shows.

    Note 1: If you want to sit either down front or in a center section I’d suggest you get there at least 30 minutes early. For a couple of shows we arrived only 15 minutes early and could only find seating for four off to the sides near the back. The Dream and Fantasy have a new second story balcony area, but we never did try sitting there. You can only access it from deck five and it was not always open. On a couple of occasions they were expecting low attendance to the show so the balcony was closed.

    Note 2: As you may have noticed I do not have any photos here. It was requested that we do not take any photos during the show, and absolutely no video. In the past I knew they meant no “flash” photography so I have taken photos without flash. But it seems they were serious this time about NO photography and many times I saw cast members politely ask people to put away their cameras.
     
  15. Dawncala

    Dawncala Collector of magical memories and pixie dust

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    I will take that as a compliment and I'll try to keep posting in a timely manner. :)
     
  16. goofymama

    goofymama DIS Veteran

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    No pressure Dawn, but I'm anxiously awaiting the rest of your report too. :-)
     
  17. verygfy

    verygfy DIS Veteran

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    I am not sure how we were not bumping into each other the whole cruise. From the looks of your pictures from Sail Away we were directly above you!!

    We sat in the balcony for many of the shows and loved it. I am glad you enjoyed the lanyards!
     
  18. Dawncala

    Dawncala Collector of magical memories and pixie dust

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    Some Enchanted Dinner: Part 1

    Our first dinner was at the Enchanted Garden restaurant on deck two mid-ship. Patterned after a French garden it has a charming, relaxing atmosphere. We had table #60 which was in the back right center of the room. The best seats in the house though are definitely the unique round booths that run down the center aisle of the restaurant. There are only 12 (or 14) of them. I informed DH that we’d be coming back for breakfast or lunch because it was on my wish list to sit in one of those booths for a meal.

    Our servers were Siri, from Thailand, and Precious, from the Philippines. Both were lovely ladies who took very good care of our family and always had kind words and smiles for our children and a bubbly soft spoken enthusiasm.


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    Menu cover

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    Perry hanging onto our table number

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    Our view of the central ceiling area while the room is still in daylight mode.

    During dinner the room lighting gradually changes from day to night gently rolling from daylight, to reds and oranges to blues and purples. By the time the room reaches twilight there are faint stars twinkling on the ceiling and the flower shaped pendant lights have fully opened. It is a nice restaurant, with lots of architectural detail. I especially liked the ornate metal (or simulated metal) beams on the ceiling, and the large central fountain with Cupid Mickey. Truth be told though, it was my least favorite of the three rotational restaurants. There wasn’t any anticipation about the color change, and it didn’t really feel “Disney” enough to me. I guess I would have preferred more ooh and aah.

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    Central Mickey fountain during the red/orange phase.

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    Center panels during the twilight blue/purple phase. You can just make out the pinpoint stars. The flower lights have not opened yet.

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    After the flower light opened.

    Up next: Part 2
     
  19. Dawncala

    Dawncala Collector of magical memories and pixie dust

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    Some Enchanted Dinner: Part 2

    At dinner each night Siri would suggest her favorite dishes. One of us always ordered her suggestion, and she was usually right and it was our favorite too. For the record, most of the dishes we had throughout the cruise were well prepared and delicious. If there were ones we thought were extraordinary I will try to remember to note it.

    Note: One thing I really like about DCL dining is that not only are the menus different each night, but the bread and butter are different too. It would be so easy for Disney to simply put down the same bread and some butter pats each night, but they go the extra mile and make each unique. The bread & spread selection of the night is posted on the menu.


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    Appetizer and Salad menu

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    Ahi Tuna & Avacado Tower

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    North Atlantic Lobster Ravioli

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    Entree Menu

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    Caramelized Sea Scallops with pearl pasta and asparagus

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    Prime Rib with double baked potato

    For dessert DD likes to get the trio sampler platter so she can try several items. (She also begs for bites of our desserts if we have something different) DS prefers to get something he recognizes like chocolate cake or a sundae. Tonight the kids were getting tired so Siri wrapped their desserts to-go and they went to the room while DH and I ate our desserts at the table.

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    Dessert menu

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    Strawberry cheesecake, Sacher Torte, Passion Fruit Tart

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    Perry eyeing the Bananas Foster Sundae

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    If I remember correctly these were a truffle chocolate cube and some sort of fruit cube. Very tasty. These were not on the menu. Siri just brought them.

    When DH and I were finished we slowly made our way back to the room. We have a family rule on cruises that in order to indulge in DCL’s tasty treats from morning till night we have to take the stairs. Our ninth floor room is seven floors, and I’m not sure how many steps, straight up from the Enchanted Garden restaurant, and it is definitely much harder to climb it on a full stomach.

    We did finally make it to the room where we looked over the fish extender gifts we’d received, shooed the towel animal off the bed, perused the next day’s Navigator, climbed into bed and fell to sleep full and happy at the end of a very wonderful Day 1.
     
  20. LLOC33

    LLOC33 Mouseketeer

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    Subbing
     
  21. 15isto2

    15isto2 DIS Veteran

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    Did perry need a passoprt?
     

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