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Rock the Boat, Don't Tip the Boat Over! Fantasy 10/20-10/27 Completed Post #277!!

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by oybolshoi, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. disney1990

    disney1990 <font color=royalblue>Wow, it make my heart skip a

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    LOL - we even joked that, if they could hang out by the hot tub, we should be able to go down the Mickey slide and hang out in the teen club area.
     
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  3. oybolshoi

    oybolshoi <marquee><font color=green>You say vacation addict

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    :thumbsup2 :rotfl2:

    Just noticed your location ... hope you weren't too badly impacted by Sandy once you got home. We really felt bad for folks who went through the storm on the ship and then had to fight to get home only to deal with it again on land.
     
  4. Scouter

    Scouter DIS Veteran

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    Love, love, love:love: your trip reports! Always so entertaining!:thumbsup2
     
  5. Scouter

    Scouter DIS Veteran

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    :thumbsup2:rotfl::lmao:
     
  6. wendym

    wendym I work to go to Disney!

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    I never normally eat seafood but if there is ever a place to try it it is Remy! Expensive meals but so worth it. And the champagne is just served over ice - like Brenda it wasn't my favourite.
     
  7. Dixielady908

    Dixielady908 Grandma's Little Princess

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    Another great installment....can't wait for the rest.....
     
  8. disney1990

    disney1990 <font color=royalblue>Wow, it make my heart skip a

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    Thank you so much for asking. We are about 3 hours from the shoreline of Maryland. We had lots and lots of rain, but we survived better at home than we did at sea. Some of our neighbors had basement flooding; but we did not. I feel very, very fortunate when I see the devastation caused by Sandy. If it had come inland a few hundred miles further South, the results would have been different.
     
  9. merriwthr

    merriwthr Mouseketeer

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    Just stumbled upon your trip report and I absolutely love it!! Your idea of cruising is identical to mine!! :cool1: After reading your first few days - I'm looking even more forward to our Fantasy cruise on Dec. 1st! :cheer2:

    Can't wait to hear more about your trip, the food, and more importantly, the drinks!! :drinking1

    Michelle
     
  10. oybolshoi

    oybolshoi <marquee><font color=green>You say vacation addict

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    Thanks for reading Rose! The ice imperial is a sweet sparkling wine that is supposed to be served over ice. I thought it was very heavy and too sweet - almost like syrup.

    As for Remy ... you would have more options at dinner than lunch because you can choose your items at dinner; the lunch is a fixed menu. They will make accommodations based on allergies at lunch but I don't know about dislikes. As Wendy said ... it's expensive but so worth it!

    Great minds!

    Thanks very much!

    Glad you are all OK. :thumbsup2

    Thanks for the kind words! I will try to get something going this weekend to bring everyone up to speed. Plenty more drinks to come!
     
  11. Tink rules

    Tink rules <font color=teal>The kids in my family sometimes t

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    You mean to tell me it's NOT Jay who's been sending me those notes for the last couple of years??? :rolleyes1
     
  12. MrsKP

    MrsKP Mouseketeer

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    Your report is amazing. Looking forward to more. You & Jay would fit nicely into our traveling group. We never travel with the kids. How is that a vacation??

    I have been trying to convince them to do DCL. We got one part of the group on the Magic in the Med next summer. Your trip report is going to help me get the entire crew on the Fantasy in 2014 :thumbsup2

    Thanks!!
     
  13. oybolshoi

    oybolshoi <marquee><font color=green>You say vacation addict

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    I take dictation; he has the handwriting of a serial killer. :lmao:

    Thanks for reading along. Glad our TR can help you convince your friends to join in a DCL ... we always have a blast cruising Disney. :thumbsup2
     
  14. LoveStitch

    LoveStitch Mouseketeer

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    That's gorgeous! Is that the one from room service, or did you special order it?

     
  15. melissajx3

    melissajx3 Earning My Ears

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    great trip report!
     
  16. oybolshoi

    oybolshoi <marquee><font color=green>You say vacation addict

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    I ordered this from the list of available in-room gifts from DCL - the whole list of gifts and prices is on their website under the planning center tab. We love it and think it's a great deal for the price.

    Thanks so much!
     
  17. Timon

    Timon DIS Lifetime Sponsor

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    Belch the MM club song :lmao::rotfl:

    Yeah, more like Mrs Jay's handwriting :rolleyes1 ;)
     
  18. oybolshoi

    oybolshoi <marquee><font color=green>You say vacation addict

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    Not that I needed it, but I've managed to find more confirmation of encroaching old-age right here in this trip report. Dearest readers, in our last update I somehow managed to forget to share a fine little story from our Monday afternoon lunch at Remy and I feel much shame and embarrassment for this oversight, especially because it was so unexpectedly funny and led us to re-christen the restaurant for the remainder of the cruise.

    So, close your eyes and picture the scene ... look, we both know you can't shut your eyes and read simultaneously, but humor me, OK? I'm trying to set the mood here.

    Ahem.

    Let's try this again.

    Picture the scene: it's a drowsy mid-afternoon ... clear skies and the bluest blue ocean are visible from our table at Remy ... once again Wendy, her mum, Jay, and I are the only four guests left in the restaurant and it's quiet and calm ... we are replete with fine food and many glasses of bubbly ... Yannick has just returned with our bill and two wrapped packages of candies when ...

    A voice cuts across the room like a chainsaw at dawn - loud; insistent; jarring.

    "I hear you've got a crystal rat in here."

    For a moment I thought I'd heard wrong, perhaps all that champagne was leading to bizarre auditory hallucinations; but one look around the table told me that everyone else, including Yannick, had heard the same thing. A young lady had wandered into the establishment in search of the crystal Remy figurine that rests in one of the restaurant's light fixtures. I think she wanted to take some pictures but the only thing that really resonated from that moment were the words "crystal rat" which seemed to hang in the air long after she departed.

    The four of us got a good laugh out of it with Yannick before we left, and it became a recurring joke as we referred to Remy as The House of the Crystal Rat for the rest of the week. :rotfl2:

    And now let's go forward and yet still backwards to Tuesday!

    I may have reached my drink limit the day before but awoke this fine morning completely refreshed and ready to take on the Frutch island of St. Martin / St. Maarten. You probably thought I was exaggerating in earlier posts about waking up too early but here is some photographic proof of my inability to sleep late.

    Up before the sun
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    We're gonna get there first!
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    The business side of port ... we always get this view for some reason
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    Of all the islands we've visited while cruising, and admittedly there haven't been that many, St. Maarten is our favorite. We like the people; the scenery is beautiful; and the water is clear and stunningly blue. On our last cruise we never made it over to the French side of the island, so it was my job to figure out how best to accomplish that on this visit.

    In hindsight, I pretty much failed. In fact, I'd go so far to call it an epic fail. Perhaps I'm being too critical because we did make it to the French side of the island, but there was a definite disconnect between what I expected from the excursion I booked and the actual excursion experience.

    Lemme 'splain.

    I booked the Island Drive & Explorer Cruise which can be summarized as follows on the DCL website:

    *Meet your guide and take an approximate 45 minute narrated bus tour from Philipsburg to Marigot ... enjoy the scenery and learn something too!
    *Stop at a vantage point overlooking Orient Bay ... take some pictures ... revel in the fact that you're in French-land and not at work!
    *Arrive at Marigot and spend approximately 60 minutes exploring and shopping.
    *From the Marina Royale in Marigot, board the double-decker boat (Explorer) and enjoy a scenic cruise back to the Dutch side of the island; have some rum punch and listen to some live music!
    *Arrive at Simpson Bay and catch a bus that will either drop you in downtown Philipsburg or take you back to the pier.
    *All this for the bargain price of $49 per person!

    Here is what actually happened for the bargain price of $49 per person:

    *We met our guide that morning and had a fairly short drive to Simpson Bay Marina where the Explorer waited.
    *Jay and I snagged spots on the uncovered top deck because we wanted to feel the wind in our faces and see everything from an unobstructed vantage point.
    *There was live music from a terrific singer on the cruise to Marigot and some pretty freaking amazing rum punch as well. The best part about the punch was that they just kept adding rum, so that it actually should have been called Rum Punch in the Face.
    *The Explorer docked in Marigot (Marina Royale) and we were told that we had about 75 minutes to shop until our bus was ready to take us back to the Dutch side of the island.
    *One of the Explorer's employees told everyone to follow him off the boat and he then proceeded to "guide" everyone to the "best" shopping in Marigot. When we saw where this was headed we ditched the crowd and circled back around to the Marina.
    *There were actually very few shops and restaurants open in the near vicinity and not enough time, in our opinion, to wander very far in search of more interesting places to visit.
    *The bus ride back to Philipsburg was a total disappointment because I misread the excursion description and thought we were taking the Explorer back as well. If my brain had been working properly, I wouldn't have booked something that included an air conditioned bus tour of the island. My bad. My very very bad bad.
    *There was no stopping for fabulous pictures with which to dazzle envious co-workers, friends, and family upon our return to the US.

    So, while we enjoyed the cruise over to Marigot, arriving at 10AM meant that very little was actually open. Jay and I had dreamed of finding a French cafe where we could indulge in some foie gras and a cocktail while listening to the ocean breezes, but as one very kind restaurant manager explained to us, nothing really opened before 11AM.

    The next time (and there will be a next time) we are either going to negotiate cab fare from the pier and visit the French side on our own terms or we will just take a vacation exclusively to St. Martin. Marigot was lovely and as our bus drove us through the downtown area we could clearly see everything we had wanted from the tour and were leaving sadly and hungrily behind.

    For those of you reading who just want a quick tour / visit of that side of the island this may be a good option - the cruise portion was a lot of fun and the staff were all very friendly. But for people like us who really want to spend some time exploring Marigot this is not the way to go about doing so and we strongly caution you to look elsewhere. My incredibly stupid, very bad bad, like I stated earlier. Apparently my reading and comprehension abilities are deteriorating along with my healthy liver cells. :rotfl:

    Enjoy a few pictures now, won't you?

    Nothing like a small cruise while in the midst of a big cruise!
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    Simpson Bay Marina
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    Punch me!
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    The French Governor or President or some such political person lives here
    [​IMG]

    Now that's a shop!
    [​IMG]

    Marina Royale
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    The Explorer
    [​IMG]

    We actually jumped off the excursion tour bus in downtown Philipsburg so that we could visit the Guavaberry Emporium and find the Hard Rock Cafe. On our last Disney cruise that docked in St. Maarten, Jay and I somehow managed to be the only two people on the entire ship who couldn't find the Emporium, so I took extra measures to ensure we wouldn't fail in our mission a second time. I even emailed the shop for directions because finding them and spending obscene amounts of money on their island liqueur was a moral imperative.

    The store is a fun little place and you may sample everything that they have available for sale. Our favorites included the traditional guavaberry liqueur and the mango liqueur, as well as their 8-year Republic Rum. If you buy enough booze you will receive a free t-shirt with which to fondly remember your spending spree. And yes, I know that because we bought so much island liqueur that we received two free t-shirts!

    Here is the link to their website if you'd like to learn more: I'm too lazy to tell you everything I know about them and I won't get paid a commission even if I do:

    Guavaberry Emporium

    It's so cute
    [​IMG]

    Success!!!
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    Don't be fooled by this picture ... we had more than one rum suitcase
    [​IMG]

    Booze in hand, our next stop was the Hard Rock Cafe. Jason collects their pins and one of my goody-bad-wife duties is to ensure that he visits a new one whenever vacation allows. We spent more money here purchasing pins and t-shirts and then in the saddest, most food-related irony filled moment of the cruise, found ourselves upstairs in the cafe enjoying the ocean breezes while eating lunch.

    That's right.

    We sailed 2,000 nautical miles to a Dutch-French hybrid island in the Eastern Caribbean only to end up having lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe.

    I'm not proud of that statement. But we were so hungry by this point in the afternoon that we couldn't face the long walk back to the pier without some kind of sustenance; since Jay had his HRC Rewards Card with him we were able to save 10% off the cost of the meal and drinks, so it's not all bad.

    Then again, it's pretty bad considering that we came into the day dreaming of French cuisine. :lmao:

    Look Ma ... you can see the Fantasy from here!
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    HRC Killer Margarita and a Kahlua Colada
    [​IMG]

    Once we finished our embarrassingly American-inspired lunch we made our way back to the Fantasy, where a nice cool shower and a visit to the Rainforest Room awaited us. We both fell asleep on those wonderful heated tile loungers, naps that were well-deserved in my opinion considering that our pedometers clicked off 10,000 steps before we made it back on board ship. Vacation naps are the best naps, especially on a cruise!

    Before I wrap this segment up, let me tell you that Tuesday night is Pirate Night on the Eastern itinerary and Jay and I do everything in our power to avoid it all costs. Two Pirate Night dinners over the years have been one too many in our experience, so we try to book Palo or, on the Dream-class ships, House of the Crystal Rat. And so we found ourselves all prettied up in Meridian about 6:30 this evening to enjoy a pre-dinner drink while the ship left St. Maarten and sailed for St. Thomas.

    Our St. Maarten dream house as seen from our verandah
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    Twilight at the pier
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    All dressed up for dinner at the House of the Crystal Rat
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    Rosa Regale and one big Negroni
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    The next update will be devoted exclusively to dinner at Remy (House of the Crystal Rat); thanks for reading along so far - hope it's been worth the time!
     
  19. wendym

    wendym I work to go to Disney!

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    Love it!!! and I still cannot believe we contained ourselves until she had taken her photos and left!!
     
  20. cathy0124

    cathy0124 Elvis was a model citizen.

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    I'm here and caught up! :wave2: Almost forgot my password it's been so long since I've logged in...
     
  21. Dixielady908

    Dixielady908 Grandma's Little Princess

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    I love St. Maarten its such a beautiful Island....
    still not sure if we will do Remy or not...so I can't wait to hear your report on "The House Of The Crystal Rat".....
     

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