Our Last Minute Disney Fantasy: July 7 - 14 UPDATED 10-26 Days 1-4 Complete!

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by SCMouseFans, Jul 15, 2012.

  1. SCMouseFans

    SCMouseFans Earning My Ears

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    We stepped off the 14th sailing of the Disney Fantasy just over 26 hours ago. It was the best vacation yet! I've always enjoyed reading other trip reports, and I've decided to pay it back by writing our own. I'm looking forward to reliving our Fantasy as I share our experiences here.

    The cast:
    Me - Stephanie (34)
    DH (40)
    DS (2 1/2)

    A little background:
    Our first cruise was a 3 night on the Dream in November 2011. Our son was a couple of weeks shy of 2 years old then. We had a fantastic time, but 3 nights was no time at all. There were entire areas of the ship we never even saw! While on board we booked a 7 night Eastern Caribbean on the Fantasy for March 2013, and we promised each other - no more 3 night cruises!

    My Mom's birthday is in June, and DH's birthday is in July, so we planned a road trip in the middle to celebrate both. 23 days out my Mom learned she would likely be getting a part time job and she cancelled on us. DH had the week off from work, and we desperately needed a vacation, so I checked DCL and saw a Western Caribbean cruise on the Fantasy for the week DH had off. There were IGT/OGT/VGT rates available, so I called him, he said YES, and I called our travel agent. We were booked for an IGT, paid and confirmed within 4 hours!


    The Pixie Dust begins: Our Room Assignment!
    I checked the DCL website daily for our room assignment. I joined an FB group for our cruise, and eventually people who booked VGTs started reporting their room assignment. The next day, 15 days out, on a Friday afternoon, our assignment appeared. Can you say PIXIE DUST? We were assigned a Cat 4A, Stateroom 10612! (So yes, sometimes an IGT booking DOES get upgraded to a Verandah!)

    One last note for now:
    I'm really glad our Dream cruise was our first, and this was our second. We thought we had a great time on the Dream, but this cruise on the Fantasy surpassed our every expectation. If we had experienced this first we would have been disappointed on the Dream. We weren't able to dock at Castaway Cay on the Dream in November, and I'm glad I didn't know what we were missing, now I know and if we ever miss it again I will be so upset!

    I'm working on sorting out our pictures, and hope to be back soon with my next update! :)
     
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  3. SCMouseFans

    SCMouseFans Earning My Ears

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  4. SCMouseFans

    SCMouseFans Earning My Ears

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    Pre-Cruise: Friday, July 6

    I spent Thursday packing, packing and packing due to my personal belief that vacations do not include time spent doing laundry. I may have to change my belief, because packing for 3 people for 8 days is a bit insane. And besides that DH wore the same pair of shorts 4 days in a row, so obviously he only needs two outfits for a week! :rolleyes2

    Florida Bound:
    We loaded the car early Friday morning and hit the road. We stopped at a Waffle House in Point South, SC for breakfast, then hit I-95 South! We stopped at the Florida Welcome Center for potty breaks, free orange juice and a chance to stretch our legs. The Florida Welcome Center is a large one, and if you walk around all of the picnic areas it's a nice little stroll. We always stop there to let our son run around a bit.

    We stopped again outside of Jacksonville for Starbucks for us and Chic Fil A for DS. I was driving at this point and I proclaimed there would be no more stops until Port Canaveral.

    Cocoa Beach:
    We were booked for the night at the Comfort Inn Cocoa Beach. We arrived at 3 PM, exactly check in time, and our room was ready! The staff at the front desk were some of the friendliest people I've ever met in a hotel. It's a great location - right across the street from the Starbucks in the Sheraton, and a short block away from Ron Jon's Surf Shop and the beach. The room wasn't much, but the price was right.

    I really liked the Cocoa Beach area, and in the future we will stay there rather than at the hotels closer to the port. We were only 10 minutes from the port, and there were a lot of things we could walk to. There are many public beach access areas in Cocoa Beach. There were a lot of people walking everywhere and it just seemed like a very fun and laid back place.

    We took our hotel bag into the room, then headed out for Jetty Park and dinner.

    To be continued...
     
  5. iloverags2

    iloverags2 DIS Veteran

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    What a nice bit of pixie dust for you!!! Looking forward to hearing about your Fantasy sailing!
     
  6. SCMouseFans

    SCMouseFans Earning My Ears

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    We went out to Jetty Park to watch the cruise ship sail out and let our son expend some energy on the playground. It's $10 a car to get into the park, and it has a large playground, a beach, and a pier.

    The playground is very nice and the equipment was not hot despite the Florida sun and heat. Our son enjoyed running around and trying out all of the slides.

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    Around 4:30 I noticed the ship was on the move and we sat on the rocks to wave. As it approached I saw it was the Monarch of the Seas.

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    We walked out the pier and onto the beach, then it was time for dinner. We headed over to Grills Seafood Deck and Tiki Bar. We ate there the night before our Dream cruise and we really liked it.

    We had the sweet potato fries and conch fritters appetizers and DH and I each had fish tacos. The conch fritters weren't the best, but I can't get them at home so they were good enough for me. The fish tacos were great, just as I remembered them. I also had a Key Lime Colada drink, which seemed like a great way to start vacation!

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    After dinner we drove around a bit, and our son grabbed the tourist map and proceeded to navigate for us. His only directions were "Go left. To the beach!"
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    We headed back to the hotel, and I took a little walk while my husband got our son ready for bed. I found this playground in the courtyard of our Comfort Inn. I'm a big fan of playgrounds at hotels, now that I have an active boy of my own to wear out! :)
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    I crossed the street behind the hotel, crossed a public boardwalk and took a stroll on the beach. The beach is even closer than the map they gave me at check in made it seem. This is when I decided I love cocoa beach, and will be staying here the night before all future Port Canaveral cruises!
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    Stay tuned for the next update - where we visit a surf shop and see the Fantasy for the first time! :cool1:
     
  7. nursemomof2

    nursemomof2 Earning My Ears

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    Joining in! Can't wait to hear more about your trip:)
     
  8. stitch101

    stitch101 Earning My Ears

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    How do I subscribe so I can hear more about your trip.....
     
  9. MagicMe

    MagicMe DIS Veteran

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    Fantastic upgrade!! Course now you are spoiled big time!!!
     
  10. wishuponastarforever

    wishuponastarforever <font color=deeppink>I just love coming here and v

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    Wonderful upgrade:wizard:

    Playgrounds are a gift to active children and a welcome relief to parents. I had forgotten but now have rediscovered with our grandchildren:worship:

    Looking forward to more of your report.:goodvibes
     
  11. SCMouseFans

    SCMouseFans Earning My Ears

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    Welcome! When you reply you can scroll down to "Additional Options" (under the box you type your reply in) and you'll see the notification/subscription options. HTH!
     
  12. Nikki'sMommy

    Nikki'sMommy Mouseketeer

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    Upgrade to 4A??!!! Jackpotpixiedust: Can't wait to hear all about it- and your son is adorable!!!
     
  13. stitch101

    stitch101 Earning My Ears

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    Thanks.....i look fwd. To reading more.
     
  14. IFlossU

    IFlossU Mouseketeer

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    Great trip report so far! What a great upgrade! Subscribing to read more!
     
  15. lubyshell

    lubyshell Earning My Ears

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    We r on the Fantasy in August !!!! Looking fwd to your review !!!
     
  16. lubyshell

    lubyshell Earning My Ears

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    Subscribed.......I think :firefight
     
  17. SCMouseFans

    SCMouseFans Earning My Ears

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    I am an insanely early riser on vacation, so I woke around 6 AM and decided to walk around and head to the lobby for the free hot breakfast. At times I was the only person in the room. The breakfast was good, and included sausage, eggs, a waffle maker and a variety of breads, bagels, donuts, muffins, yogurt and cold cereals. I spent a while catching up on my travel journal, then walked down to Ron Jon Surf Shop and back. I snuck back in the room and read until my husband and son woke up.

    Once they woke and got dressed it was back to the lobby for their breakfast. At this point (around 8 AM) the large room for breakfast was very crowded. There was still a good supply of everything, but it was hard to get to the different stations due to the crowd.

    We headed back to our room where we took our time getting ready and repacking our bags. After loading the car we checked out and walked over to Ron Jon Surf Shop. That place is huge and definitely worth checking out. There is a water fountain inside where my son and I made wishes. I wished for a great cruise. pixiedust: My wish definitely came true! :thumbsup2

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    We decided it was time to head over to the port. The Carnival Dream was blocking our view for a while, but finally, there she was!

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    As I've mentioned, we've sailed on the Dream, so we know how big these ships are, but the Fantasy is still magnificent, stunning and HUGE when you first see her! I was so excited to know this would be our home for the next week!

    Our scheduled arrival time was 12:30-1PM. We pulled up at 11:45. We were directed to a porter where we unloaded our luggage, then we parked in the garage on the first level. The ground level entrance to the terminal looked very crowded, so we went up the elevator to the 3rd floor walkover. The security area on that level was deserted, so we were through security and inside the terminal in less than a minute. We quickly filled out a health form and walked to the "Castaway Club" line. There was no line so we went straight to a CM who quickly checked us in, handed us our lanyards and boarding number and sent us on our way. We had boarding number 21 and they called 19 as we walked away from the counter.

    Captain Mickey was out and my son really wanted to meet him, so we hopped in line. While we were waiting (only a few minutes) they called our boarding number. We took a few pictures with Mickey, grabbed our carry ons and headed through the Mickey ears to begin our best vacation ever!

    I think my son's face in this pic accurately expresses the excitement we were all feeling!
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    We were announced by our Cruise Director, Brent Davies, and directed to Enchanted Garden for lunch. We ate at Cabana's on the dream, so Enchanted Garden is where I planned to go anyway. We were seated at one of the coveted round tables. When we first arrived there was a bit of a line for the buffet, but within minutes the line was gone and there was no wait for food. The food was all good. There is, of course, a limited selection compared to what you would find at Cabanas, but we liked having drink service and the chance to take our time and enjoy the beautiful restaurant.

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    To give you and idea of how fast things were moving in the terminal - we drove up at 11:45 and at 12:05 I was sitting in Enchanted Garden with a plate of food, so we were on board in no time, it seems to me!

    Up next - our room, checking out the ship and SAILING AWAY!
     
  18. Meredith Santana

    Meredith Santana I love everything Disney.

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    It sure sounds like you guys had a blast!! My boyfriend and I are going on the Disney Fantasy in September and we are so looking forward to it ! Can't wait to hear more about your trip! & your son is so cute! & i love your shirts : ) :)
     
  19. SCMouseFans

    SCMouseFans Earning My Ears

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    Thanks and welcome to every who is following along! :) It's so nice to go through my pictures and travel journal and relive the trip this way!


    The room upgrade stunned me. I must have checked that room number 10 times to be sure I was reading it correctly! :) It was a very nice room with plenty of space for the 3 of us! And yes, we were definitely spoiled by it!


    Thank you! We love our matching shirts! We received many comments and compliments from security, Disney CMs and other cruisers!
     
  20. davale4

    davale4 Love love watching my kids have fun

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    Enjoying your trip report.....waiting to hear more! :surfweb: (New to Dis board-learning to navigate)
     
  21. luvslikepi

    luvslikepi DIS Veteran

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    Subscribing, can't wait to read more.
     

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