To the Fantasy & Beyond: Private Mixology; Beer Exchange; July 20, 2013

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by disneydeux, Jul 27, 2013.

  1. disneydeux

    disneydeux Can Once in a Lifetime Happen Twice?

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    I loved all the trip reports I read prior to our second Disney cruise. Hope this helps some fellow travelers.

    Our Motley Crew:
    Eight adults (grandma, grandpa, four brothers, two wives).
    Eight children (14, 14, 11, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5).

    16 in all. Spread out over 6 rooms on the 10th floor.

    Going to start with some items/events that stood out and then will do a day by day.

    Hope you enjoy!

    Beer Exchange
    Beer Exchange Pics
    Day One - Debarture & Embarkation
    Stateroom Report
    Boot Camp/Body Sculpt/Gym & Exercise Report
    Cruise Meet & Muster Drill
    Day One Night Time Fun: Beer Mugs, Funnel Vision & Aqua Duck
    First Sea Day Morning
    The Purse
    Palo Brunch & Formal Night Prep & Pics
    Royal Court Dinner, Karoke & Return of the Titans
     
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  3. disneydeux

    disneydeux Can Once in a Lifetime Happen Twice?

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    I noticed a thread on the boards about a Beer Exchange. I LOVED this idea, so proposed it to our cruise meet. Nine people agreed to bring a 12 pack of a local/favorite beer to share.

    Transport of Beer

    We were flying so had to look into options for checking beer. Found a beer shipping box and ordered two - the shipping of the boxes cost more than the actual boxes. It looked secure enough but we also added some bubble wrap & a large plastic bag around the Styrofoam. I threw it around a bit with the beer & it seemed sound. Marked it up fragile (Must be Italian).

    Our choice of beer was Boulevard Pale Ale produced by a local Kansas City company. It is one of their signature beers and very tasty.

    Location of Beer Exchange

    We initially scheduled the Exchange for 2:00 pm on our first sea day (2nd day of the trip) at the Cove Cafe which is located on the adult deck near the adult pool. It is a coffee shop/bar. There was talk that they might not appreciate us with our beer not bought on the ship. We thought maybe a room but that might not be too comfortable and apparently nobody was staying in the Walt Disney suite. :)

    I emailed the lady (Alma) from DCL who helped us set up our private mixology and asked for a room for 15 people for a "gift exchange." She offered us the Outlook located on the top deck of the ship, near the Edge. So that works.

    The room itself was fine. If I had gotten there earlier, I would have arranged the chairs to open it up a bit. It was a very business meeting like set up. But what a fun great room.

    Exchange Itself

    We started by setting up the beers on different tables. Everyone introduced themselves and their beers. There was quite a variety - Wisconsin, Florida, NJ, KS & MO. Then we walked around the room and picked up the beers and filled up our beer containers.

    People opened a few & we shared. I had coasters made for the event and each family got one. It lasted about an hour and it was nice b/c now we knew some more people - all who loved beer!

    Cleaned up the room a bit and we took off.
     
  4. RonningFamilyCrusin

    RonningFamilyCrusin Earning My Ears

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    Love the idea. I am a bit of a beer lover (and wine lover I guess too) myself. Might have to try it on our cruise. Love Boulevard. Pretty common where I am from. One of the best wheat beers out there IMHO. Looking forward to the rest of the TR!
     
  5. wilma-bride

    wilma-bride <<This space intentionally blank>> Moderator

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    A beer exchange sounds great - we are doing a candy/chocolate exchange on our first day but I love the idea of something a bit more 'adult' (would say grown up but men+beer is often anything but ;) )

    We are working with Alma too - isn't she just great?
     
  6. disneydeux

    disneydeux Can Once in a Lifetime Happen Twice?

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  7. wilma-bride

    wilma-bride <<This space intentionally blank>> Moderator

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    The beer mats are great, did you design those yourself? Very professional :thumbsup2
     
  8. disneydeux

    disneydeux Can Once in a Lifetime Happen Twice?

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    After furious planning for months, the day had arrived for our departure. My alarm went off at 4 a.m. for our 7 a.m. flight. I wanted to feed the kids prior to leaving for the airport, so we sat down to some sausage, peaches & cinnamon rolls! We had packed the car the night before so we basically just rolled into the car.

    Curbside check-in was open when we pulled up to the curb, so I jumped out with luggage and kids while Steve parked the car. For five people, we had six pieces of luggage and three boxes! Fish Extenders & Beer Exchange took up a lot of room. As we were finishing with check-in, the other members of our family pulled up in their shuttle.

    We ended up meeting at the gate where the kids watched some television and the adults were all in a flutter with excitement. The plane ride was uneventful and we arrived at MCO at 10:30. We made our way to the bus where we were loaded promptly & headed for Port.

    [​IMG]

    The terminal was pretty empty as we headed up at 12:30 and we were onboard at 1:00 p.m. We were able to take a pic of the whole family on the stairs and it turned out great.

    Enchanted Garden Lunch

    On our previous cruise, we never ate at any of the MDR's for breakfast or lunch and that was part of my cruise bucket list. So we headed to Enchanted Garden for a buffet lunch. I ordered the drink of the day thinking it would be some fruity yumminess but it was a gin and basil drink. I only drank half.

    The buffet was fine. I was able to make a big salad and enjoyed some seafood as well. Our group scattered & my family made it's way to our two adjoining staterooms.
     
  9. DCW

    DCW Mouseketeer

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    Can't wait to read more, we Sail Oct 12th Can't stop thinking about it
     
  10. disneydeux

    disneydeux Can Once in a Lifetime Happen Twice?

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    A fellow Dis-er designed them & then we had them printed at Cafe Press.
     
  11. disneydeux

    disneydeux Can Once in a Lifetime Happen Twice?

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    On our Dream cruise we had a family stateroom for five and that felt pretty crowded. This time it was adjoining staterooms with a veranda. And wow - these rooms feel small.

    No luggage yet but we had the following on our desk/dresser:

    • Rainforest Passes for two days (pre-ordered)
    • Reservation confirmations for sports simulator (two days)
    • Port Adventure tickets for Mayan Ruins/Beach Tour in Cozumel
    • Silver Castaway Club Gift (back packs, snacks and key chains)

    I was highly unorganized for our first cruise so I really wanted to stay on top of it for this one. We put all necessary paperwork in Steve's backpack and trashed the rest.

    I had a list of things I wanted to accomplish that afternoon which included:

    • Confirming ressie for Palo as I had to have two different times since there were six of us going.
    • Sign up for exercise classes (they all seemed full last time)
    • Sign up for Art of the Ship tour
    • Enter the spa raffle
    • Make hair appointment for formal night
    • Talk to Stateroom Host about extra copy of Navigator

    Steve took off with the kids to get kids club bands and explore the ship while I worked on my to-do list.

    We met Marissa our stateroom host who was very sweet and accommodating. Our room was located next to the "towel" room so there were always people around our front door. No problem - you couldn't hear them or anything. Then my SIL & I set off for the gym.

    We entered the raffle and spoke to the trainer about the boot camp class and spinning class. They open up the list for the spinning class at 5 pm the night prior to class. For the bootcamp, you sign up for a class or for the week. We both signed up for the week.

    Off to the reservation desk for hair appointments. The formal day hair appointments go quick. We were able to book three appointments for late morning.

    A quick drink of the day - this time fruity & yummy - at the adult pool capped off our afternoon before we headed for our Cruise Meet.
     
  12. mjaclyn

    mjaclyn Currently in Wonderland

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    Love the trip report! Looking forward to reading more as we are sailing on the Fantasy next month!

    Did you find the pools too crowded for your kids? After reading some other posts on the cruise board I'm a little concerned about overcrowding..
     
  13. disneydeux

    disneydeux Can Once in a Lifetime Happen Twice?

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    We did not find the pools too crowded but as you will read, we only went early in the morning and after 8:30 p.m. So we were never there at peak hours.

    Thanks for reading!
     
  14. disneydeux

    disneydeux Can Once in a Lifetime Happen Twice?

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    I am active at home and wanted to keep that up on the ship. On the Dream, it seemed that all the classes were quite full quite quickly, so I went to the gym straight-away to find out the scoop on classes.

    I spoke to Regina who is the only trainer on board and teaches all the classes. She suggested the boot camp class which was offered every day. It says on the Navigator: nominal fee. The cost for four classes was $140, so I would not call that nominal - I would call that substantial. But you did get to go to all six if you paid for the four. Or each individual class was $50 and you could pick and choose.

    My SIL and I both decided to sign up for the whole week of boot camp. It was offered at 9:00 a.m. each day except for Cozumel & Castaway Cay when it was at 8:00 a.m.

    On the first sea day, we showed up at the gym at 8:50 a.m. & there were six others waiting to take the class. Regina showed us the exercises we would be doing and gave us suggestions on the size of the weights. We then followed her up to the basketball court where class would be held. So everyone waiting in the AuqaDuck got a good view of us working our butts off.

    Basically it was a 35-40 minute boot camp class that incorporated weights, body weight, stretching and ab work. It was a great workout that really got my heart rate up.

    That being said - I only went three times (1st day at sea, Costa Maya & Castaway Cay). Either I was up and not feeling so great or I wanted to spend that breakfast and early morning time with my kids. If I did it all over again, I would go a couple of times and then just use Deck 4 for walking. Which I used every day & loved. It was never crowded early in the morning and fun to see the ship so quiet.

    The gym is crazy at the beginning of the cruise and seemed to be a ghost town on the last two days.

    There are yogo & ab classes offered at 7 a.m. on the pool deck every morning. Got a shot although I did not participate.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. jedijill

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

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    Howdy from a former KCite!! :wave2: I'm not a beer fan but had the opportunity to see the Boulevard Brewery one time...its really cool! The beer exchange is a really great idea!

    $140 is a nominal fee!??!?!? Holy mackerel! Good for you for keeping up your exercise routine on the ship.

    Can't wait to hear more about your trip.

    Jill in CO
     
  16. disneydeux

    disneydeux Can Once in a Lifetime Happen Twice?

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    Thanks for reading Jill. Go Chiefs!
     
  17. jedijill

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

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    Go Chiefs! I have hope this year!

    Jill in CO
     
  18. disneydeux

    disneydeux Can Once in a Lifetime Happen Twice?

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    We scurried up to Goofy's Sports Deck for the cruise meet. I had planned it & thought it would give the kids a chance to play some bball while the adults mingled. On our way to the meet, it began to rain.

    So our cruise meet was a bit soggy but obviously great to meet some of the fine folks who made our group so fun. The rain sort of interfered & the meeting spot was definitely not wise. Too much space & the bball court was occupied by other kids. I have heard you can reserve the D Lounge or the Tube at no cost for a meetup & would opt for this next time. Maybe even plan it for the first sea day when there is not so much going on.

    We then retreated to our stateroom to watch some Disney movies while we waited for the muster drill.

    I confess to watching too much tv in our stateroom while on vacation but I click the On-Demand channel & start with 101 Dalmations & end with the Winnie the Pooh. I watch when I am getting ready; when I am getting the kids ready; when I am getting ready for bed and when I wake first thing in the morning. Just love that aspect of the Disney ship.

    Our muster drill station was in the Buena Vista Theater (where we would return for Bingo, Cozumel excurstion & Monsters University). Now this is the way to muster drill - in the air conditioning & in semi-comfortable seats. No problem & done in 15 minutes.

    Back to the room to prepare for dinner at the Enchanted Garden. So happy to see all of our luggage - all it. We had six suitcases & three boxes (silly I know but the Fish Extender gifts took up quite a bit of room).

    Our first dinner at Enchanted Garden was lovely. We had a great table - right by the window. It was absolutely perfect. I always ordered one of the signature coctails & they did not disappoint. Not much to report on dinner. Scallops were fine. Bread didn't look great so I passed.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  19. bobbyo

    bobbyo Earning My Ears

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    This was a GREAT Idea!! Thanks for arraigning this. I will definitely plan on doing this again on our next cruise! We exchanged for some beer that I would never be able to get on the East Coast. A++++
     
  20. disneydeux

    disneydeux Can Once in a Lifetime Happen Twice?

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    We had the kids wear their swimming suits under their clothes to dinner because we would all be swimming at some point after dinner. We dropped the two youngest (9 & 7) to the Oceaneers and escorted our oldest (11) to the Edge. He walked in & walked right back out & requested to go back to Oceaneers. They were playing an ice-breaker game at the Edge and he didn't quite feel up to it. So back to Oceaneers.

    Then Steve & I visited the adult pool and purchased our Beer Mugs!

    [​IMG]

    The Beer Mug is 22 oz & cost $15. You then get the 16 oz price for the rest of the trip. If you don't want to carry it around, you can give the mug to your bartender or server & they will give you a card that will get you a new mug for the next time. We took full advantage of this program. The beers on the Fantasy weren't great. We ended up drinking a lot of Amber Bock because it was the best beer we could find on Deck 11. We would occassionaly go to the Irish Pub on the 4th Deck for beer as well.

    We were the only people at the adult pool. I mean the ONLY people in the entire area (hot tubs included). They allow you to have the beer mugs near the pool (we thought it might be verbotten due to the glass) but apparently not. So we swam and induldged in our favorite pastime - talking about our kids! :) It was absolutely lovely and a ritual we repeated numerous times. druing the cruise. Oftentimes, our lives are over-run with the kids and work, etc. . . .Rarely do we get time face to face with no time pressures. It was the gift of the the trip for me.

    After drying off, we went to get the kids at the Club. They were quite happy to go swimming, AquaDucking, movie-watching & pizza eating. Side note: my kids were never unhappy leaving the club and this is different than the Dream. We had to pull them out of there kicking and screaming. This time, they did not seem to participate in many of the activities - rather they were watching movies & playing on the computer. They didn't NOT want to go to the Club - they just didn't necessarily want to stay there.

    Teen Beach Movie was on tap for the movie. I can't say it was the best movie ever but it wasn't the worst either. We were viewing with my SIL & BIL & their three kids. The kids would grab us if they wanted to go on the Aqua Duck or they would just swim in the pool & watch the movie.

    Man oh man - Funnelvision is maybe my favorite part of the ship. Movie watching & swimming - a match made in heaven.
     
  21. disneydeux

    disneydeux Can Once in a Lifetime Happen Twice?

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    I was wired and woke up around 6:30 a.m. I had pulled out my workout clothes, so I dressed quietly & left to explore the ship a bit. The yoga was starting and the Cove Care had just opened.

    [​IMG]

    Cove Cafe is in the adult pool area & is considered a bar but it serves the fancier coffee as well. They have a buy five, get one free card. I met my brother-in-law there who is an avid coffee drinker. They also have free croissants and baked goods. After getting a bottled water, I went down to deck four for a walk.

    What a pleasant way to start the morning. I am not big machine person at the gym & love to walk outdoors. There were both walkers & runners at that time (7:15 a.m.). I saw some crew members and there was a darling young woman who was sketching or writing in the beautiful chairs out there. That was a happy spot for me.

    Headed back to the room at 8:15 to check on the family. I had ordered room service for them (coffee, hot chocolate, donuts & pastries). They were happily sipping & eating & watching a movie. I had not ordered room service breakfast on the Dream & wanted to give it a try. It was pretty underwhelming. They were headed to the pool shortly after breakfast & I went for my first boot camp. After boot camp, I headed back to the room to shower before my hair appointment and enjoy some time alone in the room watching a movie.

    My hair appointment was at 11:00 at the Salon on Deck 11. I arrived at 10:50 & she was ready for me. My MIL & DSIL had both had their hair done with the same gal. It was her second week on the ship & she was darling. From South Africa maybe? I can't remember. I showed her a picture of what I wanted & she said no problem. She washed & blew out my hair perfectly. I knew that I was going to have to stay inside until the formal night pics because it was super humid outside.

    Our Palo brunch ressies for the ladies was at 12:30, so I headed back to my room for final primping.
     

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