The James Gang Lives the Fantasy

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by bobbi565, Jul 11, 2013.

  1. bobbi565

    bobbi565 DIS Veteran

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    Welcome! We did the Western on the Magic in 2008 and really enjoyed it. In comparison, I think I liked the Eastern better because of the extra sea day. It's a much more relaxed pace than having four port days. We rebooked onboard and chose another Eastern! :Pinkbounc
     
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  3. kalel29

    kalel29 Dis Dad #101

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    Yeah, I didn't discover the OnDemand until the last couple days of our cruise. I found myself watching pixar shorts, most of the time late at night while ordering the "All hands on Deck" platter and wings.
     
  4. jedijill

    jedijill <font color=red>Chiefs fan living in Bronco countr

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    You are off to a great start! Loved my cruise on the Fantasy in October.

    Jill in CO
     
  5. DCW

    DCW Mouseketeer

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    Having fun reading your report, we go in October, Can't wait
     
  6. disny_luvr

    disny_luvr DIS Veteran

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    Great TR so far :thumbsup2! I'm really enjoying it. Reading your TR is making me even more excited for my upcoming Eastern cruise on the Fantasy.
     
  7. tessasmom

    tessasmom Mouseketeer

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    Fancy meeting you here! Her TR is making me more excited too!:banana:
     
  8. bobbi565

    bobbi565 DIS Veteran

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    Room service on the Fantasy ROCKED, didn't it? We only ordered it twice, but I was pleasantly surprised at how fast it came. I had remembered room service on the Magic taking quite a long time.

    Thanks!

    Glad you're enjoying it! I ate up as many trippies as I could before our cruise, so I'm happy to have a chance to pay it forward.

    Glad to stoke the flames of excitement! Our group on the Meet thread was a big part of what made it so exciting and fun. Glad you guys are sharing that. As I said before, please feel free to ask any questions that occur to you. I'll try my best to answer, and if I can't one of my knowledgeable and helpful cruisemates following this thread probably will! :thumbsup2
     
  9. disny_luvr

    disny_luvr DIS Veteran

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    :cool1::banana::dance3:
     
  10. bobbi565

    bobbi565 DIS Veteran

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    Did I mention I’m an early riser? I mean, like, RIDICULOUSLY early! On weekdays during the school year, my alarm goes off at 3:30 AM. When I allow my natural rhythms to take over, my eyes usually open between 4:30 and 5:00 AM. There are definite advantages to being awake when the rest of the world is asleep. For example, when you have about a dozen gift cards to load onto your stateroom account, you can stroll right up to guest services without waiting in line and without feeling the eyes of those waiting behind you boring holes into the back of your head and hearing the whispered curses of vacationers wasting their valuable time onboard waiting for you to finish up. At any rate, the CM helping me at this wee hour of the morning greeted me with, “Aren’t you up early?” and repeatedly encouraged me to only load some of the cards on at that time and save the rest until we see how high our balance would climb. “Just in case you don’t spend that much, you won’t have to worry about losing the cards you would need to credit the balance back.”
    I chuckled and patted my trusty accordian folder, “First of all, I won’t lose the cards. Second of all…not spend that much? Bwah, ha, ha, ha!” Enough said…

    I love to be awake at that hour of the morning on a cruise ship. I wander around the lido deck, catch the sunrise, and have much of the ship to myself for several hours. This morning, however, was slated to be a gym day. I love working out, and find the fitness rooms on cruise ships to be some of the most enjoyable places to work out anywhere! Where else can you find this view from your cardio machine?
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    I arrived at the fitness center inside the Senses Spa and Salon on deck 11 forward at 6:15. The scheduled opening time is 6:30, but I was not the first person to arrive at the door. two other women and a man were there when I got there, and two more men arrived as I waited, all mostly my age or considerably older. We waited and stretched for about five minutes or so, when a CM arrived and opened the door, early. From my experience, they always open a little bit early, so if you’re like me and want to get a jump on things, get there on the early side. I had a great workout, then headed over to Cove Café to get a latte.

    I pushed the button and watched the curved glass doors swish open in a manner reminiscent of Star Trek TOS…very cool. I was greeted by barrista, Dawide, who took my order, a skinny latte with sugar-free caramel and one Splenda. He took my key card and handed me a frequent buyer card: buy five and get the sixth one free. That would be a nice treat for Castaway Cay day!

    Cove Café overlooks the Quiet Cove pool with its swim up bar.
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    With the purchase of a beverage, you can help yourself to a complementary pastry.
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    I took my latte and headed to Cabanas to check out the breakfast buffet, open for continental at 7 and full buffet at 7:30. The first section is an Eggs Benedict station, my breakfast favorite, that featured a rotating specialty benedict each day. This day’s choice was Eggs Julia, a poached egg atop smoked salmon on an English muffin, my favorite variation! The egg sandwiches were in a chafing dish beside a toppings bar including chopped red onion, capers, and hollandaise sauce. The buffet also had meats, pastries, grill items like pancakes and waffles (including plain and chocolate Mickey waffles!), potatoes, delicious grilled tomato halves, cereal (both the hot and cold varieties), fruit, just about anything one could want for breakfast. I took my tray outside to a table near the rail and ate and read my Nook (Jodi Picoult’s The Storyteller, in case you were wondering).

    After breakfast, I ran back up to the room and changed into my swimsuit. Grabbing my pool bag, I headed back up to deck eleven. The pools opened at 6:00 AM, and at 8:00, there were still plenty of sunbeds to be had. I sashayed down to the Quiet Cove, which was deserted, and settled into the jacuzzi. Nice!
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    By the way, the blue travel tumbler was one of two in the Dreams Unlimited gift basket in our room upon arrival…very handy! I’d considered bringing our refillable Disney park mugs, since the cups at the drink stations are tiny, but decided not. These were awesome!
    The view from the jacuzzi.
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    After about ten minutes in the hot tub, I took a dip in the Quiet Cove pool. It was getting close to 9:00, opening time for the Aquaduck, and I had agreed to ride with DS today. I really wanted to be in line at opening time, so I relocated my stuff to a sunbed under the deck 12 overhang between the Mickey and Donald pools and ran up to see if DS was awake. (Don’t call me a pool chair hog! I woke before the sun and reserved one chair with the intention of returning momentarily. Besides, there were still plenty of sunbeds available at this time.) Happily, when I got down to the room, DS was up! I hustled him into his swimsuit, left a note for DH letting him know we were at the pool, and we ran down to get in the evergrowing Aquaduck line. After about a 20 minute wait, we rode together. It was a blast! Then we settled in for a little pool time.
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    The Aristocats was showing on Funnel Vision.
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    I guess we spent about an hour at the pool, and then DS was eager to try the Midship Detective Agency. Today was Sunday and Father’s Day, and the deal with our family patriarch was he got to do whatever he wanted for the day. With this in mind, we returned to the room to change into dry clothing and quietly let a sleeping father lay. We flipped the “Gone to pool” note over and jotted a “Playing detective agency” note, grabbed a wave phone and headed out.

    Midship Detective Agency was probably DS’s favorite part of the cruise and a perfect activity for him! He had been begging me to check it out on night one after dinner, and I very wisely put him off until after I could get a good night’s sleep. This game runs you all over the ship! It was probably the most exercise DS got. There are three different games, two with classic Disney characters and one that features The Muppets. DS decided to start with the Muppets mystery for his first case.
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    We used his detective badge to interact with the digital artwork scattered throughout the ship to gather clues.
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    We really covered ground this first time before I worked out a more efficient strategy. The trick is not to cover floors as we attempted this time, trying to see all the artwork on deck three, then deck four, and so on. You need to get all the artwork on one end of the ship, let’s say aft, first. Artwork will generally be located aft on odd numbered decks and forward on even numbers, so you’ll do deck five, run up two flights of steps to seven, two more to nine, and then traverse the considerable length of the ship to do all the art in the forward section of the even decks. At any rate, we had to learn this the hard way the first time around, so we spent a great deal of time running back and forth. Still, it was great fun, and as we closed in on the solution, may wave phone buzzed. DH was up and wanted to join us! A note about the wave phones: they work pretty well, but they don’t ring; they buzz. It’s important to have them located where they will make some contact with your body so you can feel them vibrate because if you’re in an area with any noise at all, you won’t hear them.
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    DS was fascinated by Pepe’s door, even though he insisted on pronouncing it pee pee!
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    We solved the mystery and changed our game plan to Dad’s choice! He had bought a beautiful black DCL shirt during our shopping spree the night before and saw a baseball cap that matched it. I told him we’d go back on Sunday, and I’d buy it for him with a Disney gift card I’d purchased specifically to use in the gift shop for a Father’s Day present. This we did. Next, I asked him what he wanted to do for lunch. He chose a sit down meal at Royal Court, so we headed over to the Atrium to RC’s main entrance. It was about 11:45, and lunch didn’t start until 12:00, so we lingered in the Atrium for a while. They were set up for Jack-Jack’s Incredible Diaper Dash, a race for babies to see who could crawl down a race track to grab a stuffed Jack-Jack toy first. Some of the competitors were warming up and taking test runs on the track, so it was pretty adorable to watch. While we waited, we took advantage of the time to take some pics with Mademoiselle Minnie, complete with plush Jack-Jack in her arms!
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    Royal Court opened, and we were seated. At first we were at a table against a wall, but DH asked if we could be moved next to one of the big portholes, and our waitress complied. It was a beautiful view.
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    After lunch, the boys wanted to chill in the room and enjoy some OnDemand for a bit. DS was getting into non-stop “I’m in the Band” episodes. I have to admit, that show makes me laugh. I saw in the Navigator that Phineas and Ferb would be in the Atrium at 2:45 for pictures, so I let DS know, and we headed down with our autograph book. DS chatted with the boys about the upcoming Mission Marvel special about which they responded enthusiastically, then they posed for the ship’s photographer.
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    Right across the lobby, although not on the schedule, they had Woody and Jessie, so we grabbed a shot with them as well.
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    After we returned to the room, we all decided to head back to the pool. No sunbeds in the shade were available at this hour of the afternoon, but DH and I were able to find two beach chairs near the overhang, so we grabbed those. “A Goofy Movie” came on Funnel Vision at 3:30, and DS really likes that movie, so that was good. It’s pretty funny to watch the Goofy pool when a movie comes on. It’s as if the mother ship has landed and is calling everyone home. All the kids in the pool slowly stop what they’re doing and rotate to face the screen, Then they mostly just bob in the water staring up at the images.

    Since we had early dining, it was formal night, and I wanted to get pictures in the Atrium before dinner, I headed up to the room a little bit before 4:00 to start getting ready. I told the boys I would go down to get in line for pictures right around 5:00 to see how long the lines were and call them to come down when it was almost our turn. I should have started early. 5:00 came really quickly, and I ran out of time to do anything special with my hair like I had planned. Oh well!

    I left the room right around 5:00 while the boys were dressing. I got on the line for the grand staircase, which was pretty long. CM’s were circulating with trays of complimentary drinks! I helped myself to a glass of white wine to help the time pass. Soon a CM came over to the line and reminded us that there were several other backgrounds from which to choose, all of which had considerably shorter lines than that one. I asked how the Mademoiselle Minnie line looked, and she replied, “Much shorter than this one!” I like the statue, and you get to see the staircase in the background anyway, so I moved over to that line, which had one family on it! I phoned up DH and told him the situation. “Finish getting dressed, and come on down when you can. I’ll just let people go ahead of me until you get here.”

    Not too much later, the boys arrived, DS with vest and bowtie in hand. I let one more family go ahead of me while I styled him for the photo. With his sensory issues, dress clothes can be a major sticking point for him, and trying to prepare him quickly was maybe not the best choice. Shirt tucking is a major trauma, and the bow tie probably could have been loosened a bit to make him a little happier. At any rate, he endured it with teary eyes and did his best to muster a smile for the pictures, but he still ended up with a rather melancholy countenance.
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    Having finished with pictures so quickly, DH thought it would be a good idea to take a few shots of our own in front of one of the big portholes next to RC.
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    Incidentally, while DH was photographing me, DS, now with tie removed and shirt untucked, decided to entertain the folks in line with his contortionist act. He does this thing I like to call “the human pretzel” where he sits on the floor and places both legs behind his head. The crowd and attending CM appeared quite entertained. I’m thinking of auditioning him for America’s Got Talent! Unfortunately, we did not capture a photo of his act.

    Finally, we entered the Enchanted Garden restaurant for dinner. It’s a really pretty restaurant, and we had a table right near a porthole. My meal that evening was probably one of my favorites! I started with the Ahi Tuna and Avocado Tower, a must for any sushi lovers out there, followed by the Cream of Green Asparagus Soup, and the Caramelized Sea Scallops for my main course. It was all soooo good! Once again, the Sweet Temptations for dessert helped me from having to make some difficult choices…isn’t it pretty?
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    DS insisted that “Sacher” meant “moron” and took offense that it was written on his dish.
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    My one request of the events of this Father’s Day was that at some point I could go see the “Aladin” stage show. I love theatre and live performance, but my boys, not necessarily so much. I told them they were welcome to join me if they like, but I had no problem going it alone if they weren’t in the mood. The way it worked out, “The Avengers” was showing at the Buena Vista Theatre at 8:00 just before “Aladin” started in the Walt Disney Theatre at 8:30. This was good! The boys caught the movie, and I went to the theatre.

    My review of the show: I enjoyed it. Excellent production values, as one would expect from Disney, and the cast was quite talented. The women in the row in front of me were quite taken with the young actor playing Aladin and were being fairly vocal about it, which was pretty amusing. My one complaint, and I don’t know how fair this is, would be with the actor playing the Genie. He was good, but I found him a bit low energy, which is unfortunate when you’re playing a role originated by the great Robin Williams. Even in just doing the voice work in this movie, his energy was apparent. This Genie seemed to be going through the motions. I had chosen to change back into casual clothes before hitting the theatre, but I’d say a majority of the audience were still in their dress clothes. It didn’t really matter to me, but for those of you who worry about being in appropriate attire, you might feel more comfortable staying dressed for the show.

    After the show, I went back to the Buena Vista Theatre to wait for the boys. Of course, I waited at the deck four entrance and the boys ended up exiting down below, so I hightailed it back to the room and met them there. Of course, at this point of the evening, DS was ready to retire to our room and OD on some “I’m In the Band”, so we ended up calling it a night.
    This night’s towel creation looked to me like a hooded robe…anybody?
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    Next Up: Sea Day Number Two and Dinner at Palo
     
  11. amityisland

    amityisland Mouseketeer

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    Maybe it was supposed to be a formal jacket (with the chocolates as buttons) since it was formal night?

    Anyway, I loved your dress in the formal photos!
     
  12. tessasmom

    tessasmom Mouseketeer

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    Agree! I loved your dress!! It looks like Dad had a great Father's Day! I can't wait to hear more!
     
  13. SigalTchelet

    SigalTchelet Mouseketeer

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    Me Too!!! ;) Can't wait to meet you too!!!
    Great TR! Subbing!!!

    LOL Fancy meeting YOU here! ;)
     
  14. klineyqueen

    klineyqueen <font color=red>I live in the country where nothin

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    I love the formal dress!!! Beautiful. Enjoying your trip report and plan on reading it all!!! Keep it coming.
     
  15. LITTLEKID58

    LITTLEKID58 Platinum Castaway

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    Subscribing we are going in Nov and this is so cool.. Like your formal dress where did you get it?
     
  16. Linda67

    Linda67 Has a Masters in Margaritas

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    Your morning routine on the Fantasy was exactly the same as mine!
    I'm also an early riser and using the gym as soon as it opens, quickly followed by a trip to the Cove Cafe is my idea of bliss :goodvibes
    Love the empty ship first thing in the morning!
    You got some really lovely family photos on formal night - I love your dress by the way :thumbsup2
     
  17. bobbi565

    bobbi565 DIS Veteran

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    Your guess is as good as mine! Thanks!

    Thank you!

    Part 4 is in the works!

    Thanks! I picked up the gown for a song from Kohl's last summer when all their prom wear went on clearance! It was in the junior's department, and it was so easy to pack because it is polyester and does not wrinkle!

    You sound like a kindred spirit! I was checking out some of your food reviews...very nice! Thanks!
     
  18. tessasmom

    tessasmom Mouseketeer

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    Hi Jill!

    Hi Brandi!

    Hi Liz!
    We are all sailing together in November!pirate:
     
  19. BEARCATS07

    BEARCATS07 Mouseketeer

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    Joining in. Did you have to "pay" for the private event meet up?
     
  20. bobbi565

    bobbi565 DIS Veteran

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    Nope! There was an option on the form to request food service, which I did not do, so I don't know if there's an additional charge for that, but just to reserve the room is absolutely free!
    Welcome!
     
  21. disny_luvr

    disny_luvr DIS Veteran

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    It looks like you had a great first day at sea! I can't wait to read more.
     

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