May 26 - June 2, 2012 From Reality to Fantasy

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

  1. stitch101

    stitch101 Earning My Ears

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    Subing....can't wait for more details about your trip.
     
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  3. Dawncala

    Dawncala Collector of magical memories and pixie dust

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    La Piazza

    DCL describes La Piazza as a lounge “inspired by picturesque Italian cities and their decorative plazas”. Since I’ve never been to Italy it mostly reminded me of Mardi Gras in New Orleans. My daughter insisted on calling La Piazza “La Pizza” whenever we passed it. (silly teen)

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    The view as you enter from the long port hallway.

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    Perry and I tried out the saddle-like stools. They are quite comfortable.

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    O'Gills is on the other side of the glass doors.

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    A cozy little banquette for sharing a drink and conversation.

    Many evenings live entertainers (magicians, comedians, ventriloquists…) perform in The Tube. When The Tube fills to capacity DCL offers overflow viewing in La Piazza on two large viewing screens. We watched magician Dave Williamson’s adult show from a table here. In my opinion it was just as good as seeing him live in The Tube. There is also a live entertainment in here occasionally, but for the most part it is a quiet place to have a drink and chat. It’s not as private as some of the other bars though because it is a pass through area.

    A Vespa scooter with side car is a special touch in La Piazza and a great photo op.


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    Perry wanted to drive, but he couldn't reach the handlebars.

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    DH and DS on a later trip through La Piazza. DS discovered that turning the handlebars makes the engine rev.
     
  4. Dawncala

    Dawncala Collector of magical memories and pixie dust

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    Ooh La La Has Ooh & Ahh

    Just off La Piazza is Ooh La La, the posh Parisian champagne bar. We heard they had a “must try” signature champagne drink, but unfortunately we never made it in there other than to take a peek at the décor.

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    Ooh La La is far less lit in the evenings.

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    Perry was not overly fond of the frilly chairs.

    The far end of the room was backed entirely with mirrors, which in the dim night time lighting gave the illusion that there might be more seating area around the other side of the bar. (There isn’t) As far as I could tell there was only one guest door in this bar, so the entrance is also the exit.

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    The bar area backed with mirrors.

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    There were several posh seat groupings, each a little different from the others.

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  5. Dawncala

    Dawncala Collector of magical memories and pixie dust

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    Café Snackin’

    Just past Ooh La La is a little tiled café area with a trellis and vine ceiling that resembles the Enchanted Garden restaurant. It has a small buffet area which offered a variety of nibbles (coconut shrimp, pigs in a blanket, nachos…) in the evenings. Except for the food, I think this area is mostly used as a pass through and a place people dropped off their empty drink glasses. We never actually saw anyone sitting in there.

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    Looking back towards La Piazza. The Ooh La La entrance alcove is top center of this photo.
     
  6. Dawncala

    Dawncala Collector of magical memories and pixie dust

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    Tatooine

    I mentioned earlier a bathroom hallway which connects La Piazza to The Tube and the aft stair/elevator area. It is a quirky, winding little hallway with curved rough walls and dim futuristic lighting. To simply say it was “narrow” would be an understatement. During busy times it was practically impassible. The strange lighting and sand-like walls caused us to nickname the area Tatooine. (Star Wars fans will get the reference)

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    The restooms in the Europa district can be found down this curvy narrow hallway.

    Positioned in various locations down the hall are three womens’ and three mens’ bathrooms. In my opinion they are the coolest bathrooms on the ship. Unfortunately I only have photos of one of the womens’. (People tend to get kind of freaked out when you pull out a camera in a bathroom so I had to wait until the area was empty) Each of the three bathrooms has two stalls. This seemed rather low to me since Europa has five bars and caters to hundreds of people at a time every day. It was not uncommon for there to be a line before, during and after a show in The Tube. (Thereby making the hall even narrower.)

    These bathrooms are sensational in both the shape and décor. Regarding the shape… they are round. The bathroom is round, and the toilet stall is round, causing DCL to have to install curved doors for each stall. The doors are steel, and they are heavy, and can be a little hard to lock. I had to help one little girl open and close hers and then guard it for her because she couldn’t lock it.

    The second spectacular thing is the tiling. Every bathroom, and every stall, is tiled from floor to ceiling with an intricate Spanish dancer mural. (The mens’ rooms have matadors) DCL could have easily done a one wall mural and just painted inside the stalls, but instead they went (pardon the pun) “overboard” and made visiting this area an event in itself. It is simply amazing. If you travel on the Fantasy, do not forget to visit Tatooine.


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    To the right of the dancer you can see the curved steel bathroom stall door.
     
  7. Dawncala

    Dawncala Collector of magical memories and pixie dust

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    Totally “Tube”ular

    The Tube nightclub is to the left of the aft stairwell. It is brilliantly patterned after the London transportation system and has what I consider to be swankiest seating on board. Overall it was my favorite themed club and we spent many evenings in here attending the scheduled family and adult entertainment options. Right now though Perry and I had the club to ourselves so we decided to have some photo fun.

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    This is by far the largest club with the most seating options.

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    The club's name, The Tube, is the British slang term for the subway system in England. The motif is most apparent in the bench areas which surround the back of the room. It really gives the impression of being in a subway car.

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    The logo on the lighted dance floor.

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    These curved leather booths surround the dance floor and are highly coveted. (I think there were six of them) Get there early if you want to plant your backside in one of these posh spaces. Even when we got there 20 minutes early they were all already filled.

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    There were only six or eight of these egg chairs too, and they also filled up quickly. They can hold one adult or two kids or one platypus fairly comfortably.

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    Up on the stage were four classic red telephone booths. Great for a photo op. The doors are very heavy and Perry is actually being smashed in half right now.

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    The right side of the room had a "royal jewels" motif.

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    Another highly coveted chair. I mean who wouldn't feel like royalty sitting here. Just call him Sir Perry.

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    The carpet was covered with typical British phrases. This was my favorite.
     
  8. Dawncala

    Dawncala Collector of magical memories and pixie dust

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    “Shhh, You’re in Skyline”

    To the right of the aft stairwell is the main entrance into Skyline. (You can also enter through a back hallway in The Tube.) The door I tried was locked when Perry and I were there this morning so I don’t have any photos. Skyline is comparable to the kind of chic bar you’d find in a metropolitan skyscraper. The “windows” behind the bar area rotate through panoramic murals of six European cities. The murals are “live”, meaning that you can see the traffic moving, lights blinking, trains going by, etc. It’s definitely a neat effect.

    DH and I went in there one night to see it, but because of the quiet atmosphere I would have felt intrusive taking photos. DH and I stayed long enough to watch the scene change once then left. Skyline is very, very quiet compared to some of the other bars, and unless you want to carry on a whispered conversation in dim lighting, this is not the bar for you.
     
  9. Dawncala

    Dawncala Collector of magical memories and pixie dust

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    Packed to the O’Gills

    O’Gills is an Irish pub/sports bar and the exact opposite of Skyline. The one time DH and I went in there it was packed to the “O’Gills” with guests chatting, laughing and watching sporting events on every TV screen. I’d suggest you get there early if you want to find a seat.

    Perry and I did get a few photos while it was empty this morning.


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    This entrance is in the hallway off the aft stairwell. You can also enter through a door in La Piazza.

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    When we popped in one evening there were so many people you could barely even tell that there were tables and chairs.

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    The big screen was playing sports the night we passed through, but it also has an X-Box Kinect attached and there are virtual sport competitions here.
     
  10. DisneyDoc5

    DisneyDoc5 Making memories...

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    great TR, enjoying Perry in the pics!;)
     
  11. nurse2011

    nurse2011 Earning My Ears

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    I read pages 1-6 today & your whole pretrip thread today! What else can I say, but I am hooked! I subscribed :) DH and I are 28 & 31 ( he will be celebrating his 32nd B-day on the Fantasy in January). I am getting so excited. We are actually leaving 6 months from today! The Fantasy looks like it will be a blast even for us, a couple without kids! Really enjoying your detailed trip report and lovely pictures.
     
  12. Dawncala

    Dawncala Collector of magical memories and pixie dust

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    Thanks!

    I think we were separated at birth. I'm originally from Michigan and I also love Disney, Dogs and Chocolate! :)
     
  13. Dawncala

    Dawncala Collector of magical memories and pixie dust

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    Thank you! I hope your 6 months fly by. You will have a great time. I'll keep an eye out for your trip report.
     
  14. Dawncala

    Dawncala Collector of magical memories and pixie dust

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    Breakfast With Perry

    I was starting to get hungry so Perry and I went upstairs to Cabanas where we took a few photos in the nearly empty restaurant before getting breakfast.

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    The schedule is posted outside Cabanas as you're entering on deck 11.

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    The doors had automatic sensors which was great when you were carrying a tray of food, but sometime only the door on the right opened so people coming from the other direction would almost walk right into you.

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    One of the huge wall murals with a Finding Nemo theme.

    Some close ups of the mural.
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    We easily found a seat on the back deck and leisurely watched the sun rising behind us while we ate.

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    The morning sun streaming into the empty restaurant. You can also see how empty the back deck seating is too.

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    Um Perry, that is my breakfast.

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    The sun rising behind us promises a clear day.
     
  15. jessrose18

    jessrose18 ADVENTURE IS OUT THERE!!

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    great report, waiting for more :) thanks for taking the time to write it!
     
  16. olympia

    olympia Earning My Ears

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    Awesome!. A marvellous review....:thumbsup2
     
  17. DisneyDoc5

    DisneyDoc5 Making memories...

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    Yes, I believe we were separated at birth! June 29, 1972, I just turned 40, hence the fall October Fantasy Cruise (I am spreading out the celebration for the entire year!) I am seriously convinced we are twins because I totally get your humor - I am DYING of laughter at the pictures of Perry, :rotfl2:. I am buying a Perry for our cruise so I can do this, hope you don't mind me copying, I just can't tell you how hilarious these pictures are!
     
  18. nursemomof2

    nursemomof2 Earning My Ears

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    Great trip report! I love Perry:)
     
  19. Dawncala

    Dawncala Collector of magical memories and pixie dust

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    Who Welcomes You Home?

    I went back to the room to tell DH that I was going to go to the DVC Member Celebration session in The Tube at 9:00 and asked if he wanted to join me. He grunted and rolled over. I took that as a no. DS didnt even stir. DD, however, said shed join me if we could get her some breakfast first, so back to Cabanas we went. She grabbed a plate of food and we booked it down seven flights of stairs to The Tube.

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    The DVC reps were checking members in at a table out front. They gave us DVC member baseball hats (even giving us enough for DH, DS and Perry) and a cool binder which was lined in turquoise and Mickey heads which DD promptly claimed as her reward for coming with me.

    We were there just early enough to snag what I considered to be the most awesome seats in the club. And this club has many awesome seats. (See my post on The Tube)


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    DD eating her breakfast at the DVC Member gathering.

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    My favorite chair in The Tube. So comfy and it swivels. FYI: There are only two of them on the right hand side of the room.

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    Even Perry scored a DVC hat. He can wear this when he's not wearing his fedora.

    If you have not been to a DVC (Disney Vacation Club) gathering it goes something like this. (with variations of course) First a tag team of DVC cast member/sales agents introduces themselves and tells you how they got into marketing DVC memberships and how awesome their job is. Then there is usually a video to show you the latest and greatest DVC properties. Next they chat with the audience to find out to which property/properties we are members, our joining year, etc. Our family is a member of Saratoga Springs at WDW since 2007. (but I wish we'd joined earlier)

    Next its game time. The main purpose of the game is to teach you about the DVC, but in an interactive, hopefully more fun, less lectury way. And there are prizes. Today we'd be playing a group participation game. The reps broke the room into 5 sections and each section chose a leader. A dad from our group volunteered. (or maybe he was volunteered by his wife) The teams were named by the reps. We were Team Mickey. Then each group participated in several challenges. One challenge involved listing all the DVC resorts in the order they opened. Another task was using the DVC booklet to find out how many point were needed for a certain resort at a certain time of the year. Each task earned the teams points. At the end there was a tie among a few groups so we had a tiebreaker. Each team, using only items we had with us, had to dress up the leader as if he/she were at Aulani in Hawaii, and we had only a couple of minutes to do it. To our surprise Team Mickey won. We all got DVC drawstring backpacks. (Mine, mine! Hands off DD!)

    Now that are all amped up from the games the sales team fills us in about what kind of discounts and bonuses we can get when purchasing additional DVC points while on board. The best deals and bonuses are usually offered during the 1st few cruise days. The last thing that happens is a raffle for some cruise credit. It is incentive for staying until the end of the presentation because if you don't stay, you can't win, and it's like $250 to $300. (I don't remember the exact amount because I didn't win :()

    If you are not already a DVC member there are other DVC presentation opportunities throughout the cruise. For the record, I have never had any hard sell techniques used on me by a DVC sales rep, and I've received a straight answer to any question I've asked. It is a pretty fun presentation to attend if you want to learn more about the program and get free stuff. (and of course there's the lucky so and so who wins the cruise credit)

    PS: If you do decide to join DVC, I'd be OK with it if you put me down as your reference. ;)
     
  20. Dawncala

    Dawncala Collector of magical memories and pixie dust

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    Thank you!
     
  21. Dawncala

    Dawncala Collector of magical memories and pixie dust

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    Absolutely not! Perry makes all our vacations just a little more memorable, even though he doesn't do much. Just don't be worried if you go looking for him and he's not there. He'll turn up eventually. ;)
     

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