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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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    Thank you!

    Since you asked about the photo CD I'll put up my post regarding Shutters earlier rather than later. I think I have one or two posts left to finish up Day 2, but look for it real soon.
     
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  3. Dawncala

    Dawncala Collector of magical memories and pixie dust

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    Thank you, thank you everyone for all the kind words! :flower3: I'm jealous of all of you who are getting ready to cruise because I can't wait to go again. You are going to have such an amazing trip with DCL.
     
  4. Dawncala

    Dawncala Collector of magical memories and pixie dust

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    Magic Dave

    After dinner the kids went their separate way and DH and I slowly made our way toward The Tube with the intention of watching Dave Williamson – AKA “Magic Dave”. The Tube was very crowded when we arrived so we went to sit in the overflow seating in La Piazza where we could watch the show live on large pull down screens. We sat at a table right next to a screen so it almost felt like we had front row seats to the show, but without the danger of possibly being picked on by Magic Dave. (Warning: He likes to embarrass audience members)

    Even as full as we were from dinner we decided to have a couple of cocktails from La Piazza’s drink menu. DH and I have both bartended before, and there were several unique blends that sounded new and different, so ordering something was not as much about drinking as it was about trying something new. The cocktails we ordered were heavy on the alcohol making the unique mixers take a seat in the background. I thought both drinks were OK, but nothing to spend time writing about. (Sorry, I didn’t take photos)

    I think what I remember most about the Magic Dave’s adult show was that it had a lot of gross-out bits in it. Things meant to make the audience squeamish and slightly uncomfortable. I remember saying “Ewwww!” a few times. He was pretty funny overall though and we enjoyed the show.
     
  5. Dclnut143

    Dclnut143 Earning My Ears

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    Did he do the needle eating thing? We had our show in the walt theater. I guess it held more people in there
     
  6. Dawncala

    Dawncala Collector of magical memories and pixie dust

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    Disney Magic Hour At Sea

    After the show I was completely exhausted, and a little woozy from the alcohol, so we walked back to the cabin where DD & DS were watching a movie. On the bed we found a reminder card letting us know that we’d be crossing into a different time zone tonight and to set our clocks back one hour. I tried not to think about how that hour would be taken back from us later in the cruise and just considered it a Disney Magic hour.

    The only clock in the cabin is a digital bedside alarm clock. On the Fantasy it is also an I-pod dock which I’m sure is awesome for I-pod owners. (which we are not) It took us a few minutes to figure out how to change the time back one hour, but we figured it out. A nice touch would have been if the room host did this and left a reminder card letting us know we should just change our personal devices. As it was, we somehow activated the I-pod dock alarm and that little sucker went off every morning at 6:30 AM. We didn’t figure out how to deactivate the alarm until day six. I suppose we could have asked someone how to do it, but we're just a bit stubborn. Every night we pushed a bunch of buttons, and we were sure we'd turned the alarm off, until it went off the next morning that is.

    I’m pretty sure I was asleep before the towel animal hit the floor. Next Up Day 3… More fun onboard and Grand Cayman.
     
  7. Dclnut143

    Dclnut143 Earning My Ears

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    Haha we never changed the clock cause this is something i would totally do. So we just figured we would remember the hour. Well, if u dont change it, the next day, the stateroom host changes it but then we were off an hour since we remembered the hour. We then had to check out watches anyway. Bring a watch anyway for those who havent gone yet:)
     
  8. Dawncala

    Dawncala Collector of magical memories and pixie dust

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    Yes he did. I was hiding behind my hands during much of it though. I hate that kind of thing.
     
  9. Dclnut143

    Dclnut143 Earning My Ears

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    Yeah i didnt like that too much but we were laughing our heads off at the drawing thing. We had great people for that:)
     
  10. Dawncala

    Dawncala Collector of magical memories and pixie dust

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    DAY 3

    UGH! I Slept Through My Magic Hour!

    So the I-Pod alarm went off at 6:30 AM. It was on DH’s side of the bed and he quickly smacked it and went back to sleep. Normally I’d pop up and be wide awake, but not this morning. I also fell back to sleep and slept right through my magic hour. :sad: I woke just in time to go grab a quick bite in Cabanas before I went to my second Ionithermie appointment in the Senses Spa, followed by a leisurely/roomy shower and change in the Sense’s locker room.

    This was our first port day and we were stopping in Grand Cayman. Ashore time was scheduled from 10:45 AM to 4:45 PM. It was going to be our first cruise using a tender. We’d heard it could be very crowded during the first and last hour, but since we had not scheduled any excursions at this port we were happy to take our time and decided we would tender ashore after we ate lunch onboard.
     
  11. Dawncala

    Dawncala Collector of magical memories and pixie dust

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    Shutters

    This is as good at time as any to talk about what we thought about Shutters: DCL’s on board photo gallery. It is centrally located on deck 4, mid ship so passengers end up passing through there a lot just getting around. We visited many times throughout the cruise. DCL made Shutters a pass-through on the other ships too and it makes sense from a marketing standpoint. I have a lot of mixed opinions about Shutters so I’m going to try to keep my thoughts organized while I report on what I thought was good and what should be reworked.

    Décor:

    There are two distinct areas to Shutters. The first, overlooking the atrium, resembles a classic library with art deco décor that matches the rest of Fantasy’s décor. Wood and glass cases are filled with colorful photo binders, one per cabin, and tables are scattered about to offer space to view your photos. This is all good.

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    Photo where you can see the wood cabinets with art deco Disney character at the top, and one of the viewing tables.

    The second area of Shutters is a few steps down the hall from the “library” with access doorways from both the port hallway and the Disney art gallery. This area greatly confused me because it looks like a sterile lab or something from the inside of a space ship from some futuristic movie rather than something that belongs on a ship meant to be reminiscent of the grand ocean liners of the past. I knick named it “The Pod”. I don’t understand why DCL didn’t continue the Art Deco look by perhaps creating a study/den atmosphere using wood paneling, desks and perhaps clever picture frames in which to view your photos. Instead it completely smashes the overall ambiance of this well themed ocean liner with its stark plastic decor. (If anyone happens to know why DCL deviated so far from the Art Deco style here I'd love to know.)

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    This is the modern entrance to "The Pod", with a giant camera lens mounted on the ceiling. You can see "The Library section of Shutters just down the hall.

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    "The Pod" with the entrance to the Disney Art Gallery in the background.

    Accessing your physical photos:

    DCL still prints all your photos, but instead of posting them on the wall with every other family, like on the Magic and Wonder, they are stored in a folder in the library section of Shutters. Each cabin has a colored binder reserved just for them somewhere in all those cabinets. To find your folder there are RFID scanners located on the ends of the bookshelves. Simply place your Key to the World card over the scanner and the screen will display your cabinet and folder number. (Such as Donald 24 or Minnie 127) It is a pretty straight forward system and we found our folder easily.

    NOTES: The majority of the printed photos are 8 x 10’s. The Aquaduck photos were 5 x 7’s. Our photos appeared in our folder within 24 hours (and often less) of the time they were taken. The library section of Shutters is not always open so you should check the daily Navigator for operating times. Also, most of the photos from the Aquaduck are posted in a wall display or are stored in boxes that you will have to look through by hand. There were also some family photos posted where face recognition didn’t sort them properly.


    Face Recognition Technology:

    While the majority of photos taken of you and your family will be attached to your Key to the World card and will find their way safely into your personal folder, there are some candid shots taken, such as in the terminal before boarding, during special dinners, (Pirate night was one) and on Castaway Cay, where DCL uses face recognition technology to match your photo to your folder. This is still a fairly new technology, and while it has gotten pretty good, it still messes up occasionally. For instance, there were around 6 photos in our folder of other families. A couple were Aquaduck photos and a few were from the terminal. We handed them to a CM so DCL could put them in the right folder.

    Viewing your digital photos:

    If Shutters is closed or if you are interested in viewing the photos digitally you can do that in “The Pod”. You just go to an available touch screen, scan your Key to the World card on the RFID scanner and you can view your photos in a digital format. As I mentioned above, the face recognition technology is imperfect so there were about 10 photos in our file that were not of our family. (some of the same ones I gave the CM, plus some new ones) If that happens you can select the photo and click a button to let the computer know that the photo does not belong in your file and it will be removed.

    While I was removing these photos I was wondering if the photos I just marked as incorrect would be moved to the folder of the next likely family using face match, or would they simply be deleted and the families would never see those photos. I also wondered if any of our family photos had found their way into the wrong folder. This bothered me and was definitely a downside for me. I wish I’d asked a CM how they handle that.


    Purchasing Photos:

    The busiest times at Shutters were evenings around the dinner hours and especially the last night. Most people wait until the final night to make their photo purchases because they’ve had photos taken that day on Castaway Cay and want to wait until all their photos are available before making final decisions. Our family is no different, so when we arrived in Shutters after dinner on that last night it was a veritable mob scene. All the tables were taken, some with three and four families trying to lay out their photos. There are a couple of porthole areas, and although they are curved and not the best surface to try spreading out photos, there was one available so we took it and began to sort through our stack. There were several more photo of random families in our folder so we pulled those out and gave them to a CM.

    I was quickly able to pull out several “absolutely not” family photos, but then it got harder. I knew we wanted to narrow it down to only 10 photos, but everyone had different ideas about which 10. DH just wanted me to make a decision so we could go, but I am kind of choosy when it comes to photos. If I’m going to spend hundreds of dollars on photos I want to feel good about my decisions. I was feeling rushed which is why I decided to purchase the “Disc with 10 Credits” option. I knew I was going to just scan the prints when I got home anyway so my logic was that by getting the disc they wouldn’t be crinkled in the luggage on the way home.

    I went and got in line and in no time the CM was charging my purchase to the room. The 10 photo disc cost $149.95, and I also purchased a physical copy of the 5 x 7 Aquaduck photo I liked for an additional $12.95. I was told we could pick up the disc the following morning before breakfast.

    NOTE: There is no way to add photos to your order after you leave the ship. The prices on the ship are the DCL prices with no tax and they cannot sell additional photos to you once you get home.


    Pick-Up:

    Except that I almost forgot about it, the disc was easy to pick up. We were rushing to get to breakfast on time so we went to the restaurant first. Right after we sat down I remembered the photo disc so I asked DH to order for me and dashed to Shutters. There was a line of people purchasing prints at the sales desk, but they had a separate CM set up at one of the tables just for CD pick-up. It took less than a minute. The CD also came with a black and white printout with thumbnails of all the photos on the disc. Not particularly useful, but it did give me hope that the CD I had in my hand actually had my family’s photos on it.

    Pick 10:

    Back at home, loading the photo CD was easy. The instructions are listed on an insert on the inside of the CD case. There were 52 images in all on our CD, but 8 of them were of other families and they cannot be removed. The major downside to the disc is that while you can zoom in a little, you can’t really make the photo very large and you can’t place photos side by side for comparison. It took me forever switching back and forth between versions looking for the best of a particular pose. The photos also have those “copy write image” watermarks all over them to keep you from screen grabbing them.

    Eventually I marked my 10 selections, unlocked them and exported them to my computer. I don’t think I will use the photo CD again in the future unless I hear the program has changed to allow for larger images and more viewing flexibility.
     
  12. linco711

    linco711 DIS Veteran

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    love it!,:goodvibes
     
  13. steph5377

    steph5377 Disney Fanatic from NYC

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    I was on Fantasy on the 7/7 sailing and I absolutely loved it. Your report and pics are so awesome. I did the same thing with the showers in the spa! After I would work out in the gym, instead of going back to my stateroom I would shower there. The shower pressure was better and it was super convenient. I can't wait to read more of your report. I am going to post my own trip report within the next couple of days.
     
  14. linco711

    linco711 DIS Veteran

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    Loving your review...just awesome!!:goodvibes
     
  15. Dawncala

    Dawncala Collector of magical memories and pixie dust

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    Such a fantastic ship. I'm looking forward to reading your report and hearing about your experiences.
     
  16. Dawncala

    Dawncala Collector of magical memories and pixie dust

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    Thank you!
     
  17. Dawncala

    Dawncala Collector of magical memories and pixie dust

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    Royal Court, Say Cheese

    We chose Royal Court for lunch today because I wanted an opportunity to take photos when it had better lighting and fewer guests. My plan worked perfectly because it was well lit with natural daylight streaming through the portholes, and it was pretty empty. I’m guessing most people had gone ashore already.

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    A brighter view of the center royal table.

    After placing my lunch order I circled the room taking photos of all the murals. I tried to get a couple of close-ups because the detail is just amazing. (Plus I have a puzzle program on my computer and they make great puzzles.)

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  18. Dawncala

    Dawncala Collector of magical memories and pixie dust

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    Royal Lunch

    With the photos done I sat down to lunch. I thought it was an OK menu, just a little small. I guess I prefer the large selection at Cabanas and even the not-as-large Enchanted Garden buffet. Everyone was able to find something they liked though.

    I do have a funny lunch story involving our server. He had one of the deepest voices I’d ever heard. When he took our drink order DH ordered a mojito. He didn’t just say mojito though; he kind of sang it where the “ji” part in the middle went up about an octave. This got a small chuckle out of our server. (I wish I could remember his name) A few minutes later a nearby table either ordered a mojito too or asked for a drink recommendation because suddenly our server sang out “mo-JI-to” in his deep baritone voice causing DH, our family and everyone in the area to break out in a fit of laughter. For the record, it was a pretty good mojito.


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    :thumbsup2 The chilled strawberry soup and famous "mo-JI-to". The soup was like having dessert first.

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    DD gave Mickey ears to my Roquette salad.

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    Salad Nicoise (tuna salad)

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    :thumbsup2 The Reuben was very good. The rye bread was buttered and toasted perfectly and the corned beef was tender.

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    Poached Salmon
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    DS, who loves burgers, said this was the best burger he'd ever had. He made everyone try a bite. I must admit, it was pretty good.
     
  19. ansmom

    ansmom Earning My Ears

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    I am loving your trip report my DD9 loves the Perry photos!
     
  20. MommaBerd

    MommaBerd Mouseketeer

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    I get so excited when I see you've updated your TR! :cool1:

    Your photos are fantastic and your narrative is entertaining! I'm loving it and am anxiously looking forward to LIVING it!
     
  21. davale4

    davale4 Love love watching my kids have fun

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    Royal Court is absolutely beautiful and the food looks delicious...but...hey, where's Perry? :scratchin
     

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