Can I get a Light Saber? Our January '19 SWDAS TR *Updated 1/28: Cozumel, part 1*

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by SaraSpringsIsHome, Jan 18, 2019.

  1. SaraSpringsIsHome

    SaraSpringsIsHome Too excited to sleep!

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    Can I get a Light Saber?
    Our January '19 SWDAS Trip Report!
    Hello, and welcome to my first ever Cruise Trip Report! I have done a WDW trip report (and will be working on a pre-cruise WDW TR again), but this is my first Cruise TR! I have enjoyed reading SO many other cruise reports, and they have been so helpful with planning this trip, so I thought I'd give it a go.

    First, some intros!

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    WHO: Ali (34) and DH Donnie (32)
    WHAT: Star Wars Day at Sea Cruise
    WHERE: Disney Fantasy, Western
    Caribbean
    WHEN: January 5- January 12, 2019
    WHY: Why NOT?! Haha.

    Okay, so perhaps the "why" needs a bit more explanation? We had had a Disney cruise planned for 3 years ago: it was to be a 5 night Western cruise out of Miami. Unfortunately, we had to cancel the cruise 3 days before sailing because my mother passed away. We have taken 2 WDW trips since then, but I still felt the 'call to the sea' since we didn't get to go on our previously planned cruise. This cruise was to make up for our missed cruise, and we deserved it!

    DH is halfway through his 3 year MFA program (studying Arts Leadership), so it seemed like a nice halfway done vacation, too! We did a week long WDW vacay July '17 and are hoping to visit Disneyland for his graduation in the spring of 2020.

    I work full-time at a Dinner Theatre as an actor, singer, dancer, choreographer, director, cast house manager... the list goes on and on. Christmas season is exceptionally busy at the theatre, so taking a January vacation was perfect timing for me.

    We left chilly SW Virginia January 1 around 6 a.m., drove the approximately 10 hours to Orlando, and spent four wonderful nights at Bay Lake Tower before boarding the Fantasy. We spent 3 very full (and very busy) days at WDW. After the craziness of WDW the days after New Years, we were really looking forward to some relaxation and quiet, and hopefully less crowds and craziness!

    NOW, on with show!!!


     
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  2. SaraSpringsIsHome

    SaraSpringsIsHome Too excited to sleep!

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  4. SaraSpringsIsHome

    SaraSpringsIsHome Too excited to sleep!

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    Embarkation Day pt 1
    January 5, 2019

    We woke up bright and early... at 8 a.m. Haha. I had packed up most of our things the evening before, so leaving Bay Lake Tower wasn't too stressful. We planned on leaving BLT around 9, but by the time Donnie brought the car around it was closer to 9:15 when we left. The drive was really easy and uneventful, until we neared the port. There was a terrible accident crossing the bridge to the port, so we were held up a bit. It was clear they were headed to the port to leave on a cruise, and it was so sad to see.

    DH and I were getting super anxious to get to the port, one because we were excited, but mostly because we had each had 2 cups of coffee and a bottle of water that morning! The line to get in to the terminal was epic, but eventually we made it. Our bladders were on red alert as we arrived to drop off our baggage with the porters. LUCKILY, there are restrooms right there! We each took turns and then parked the car in the garage. We prepaid for the week (ouch!) and easily found a spot on level 2 near the elevators. I think it was around 10:45 by the time we parked.

    We took the elevator up to level 3 and crossed over to the terminal. We showed our passports and gave our stateroom number, quickly went through security, and entered the Disney check in area. We didn't need anything other than our passports and stateroom number that morning: we were never asked for the cruise booklet and paper we printed about our PAT.

    We had arrived!!!

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    We were quickly checked in at the Castaway Club line, and got our Key To the World Cards, day 1 Navigator, and our boarding number. Boarding group 2, Woohoo!!!

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    Group 2. Yay!!

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    Obligatory "we have arrived" selfie!

    Even though there wasn't much of a line to check in, the terminal was already quite packed. We ventured outside and just admired the ship and took in the fresh air.

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    So beautiful! I can see our room! (Deck 9, 7A obstructed veranda)

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    SWDAS CRUISE!!!

    Not too long after (around 11:30), the Family of the Day was announced and then the boarding process began. We wormed our way up when group 2 was called (seriously people, make way for people who have low boarding numbers!) and off we went!

    It was so exciting, since this was Donnie's first cruise ever! They called our name and off we went.

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    This view never gets old! Ugh, so gorgeous!

    The first stop was lunch, so we headed up to Cabanas. We were on board quite early, so it wasn't a mad house yet. Donnie was a bit overwhelmed by all of the choices.

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    My first plate! The timestamp on the photo shows we were eating by 11:55. Nice!

    The peel and eat shrimp and steak fries were super tasty! I The steak was so tough I could hardly cut it, so I didn't eat it. I also didn't get any more photos of our lunch... we were super hungry! I know we each had some chicken nuggets and mac 'n' cheese, as well as more shrimp.

    We had about an hour to kill before our stateroom was ready, so we found a comfy spot in the adults area (love the big round couchy thing) and just chilled. It was sooo cozy and relaxing... and I got my first soft serve of the trip!

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    Strawberry/Banana swirl. Yum!

    I perused the navigator and Donnie played his Nintendo Switch for a bit, and before we knew it, it was 1:30 and the staterooms were ready!

    We walked down the two decks to Deck 9 (LOVED our room location!) and made our way to our stateroom: 9512.

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    Star Wars room decorations!
    I preordered this to surprise Donnie, and he loved it! The blanket is super cozy! The package came with hanging decorations, a giant door magnet, the blanket, pillow, and an 8x10 photo frame for $65, which I thought was actually not a terrible price. We LOVE the blanket!

    This is also, I think, the only photo of our room I took. Oops!

    To be continued...
     
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  5. buteraa

    buteraa DIS Veteran

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    When you start the trip with soft serve you everything will be fantastic! Looking forward to hearing more about trip.
     
  6. strega7

    strega7 Mouseketeer

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    Yeah! A western SWDAS cruise! I can't wait to read your report as we only have a few more weeks until ours and I can't wait to see how yours went. It will also be an adult only group for us (with my DH Donnie :) ).
     
  7. SaraSpringsIsHome

    SaraSpringsIsHome Too excited to sleep!

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    Spoiler: I had soft serve every day. At least once. Usually twice. Thanks for reading!

    We had such a great time. Thanks for reading and enjoy your cruise! (and Donnie’s make great hubbies)
     
  8. lizzyb

    lizzyb DIS Veteran

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    Great start! Joining in!
     
  9. SaraSpringsIsHome

    SaraSpringsIsHome Too excited to sleep!

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    Embarkation Day, pt 2
    We really lucked out, and all of our luggage was already by our stateroom! I sent Donnie out to the Veranda and set to unpacking. He offered to help... but I just thought it'd be quicker if I did it. *coughcontrolfreakcough*

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    I was able to get us completely unpacked and settled in before we headed off to the DVC Member Celebration at 2:30 in D Lounge. I also apparently decided it wasn't necessary to take any more pictures until dinner. Ooops! SO, sorry that this next portion will be very text heavy.

    SO, we went to the member celebration and it was, fine? They spieled about how great DVC is, played a few games with audience members, and REALLY tried to get people to sign up for times to talk to them individually about buying more points. No thanks, we're good with what we've got! They also announced on Jamaica day that there would be a member mixer in The Tube with free drinks, so I took a mental note about that. Who doesn't like free drinks on a cruise?!

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    We were also introduced to the Club Host: Tisa. She led the DVC games during the member celebration. And listening to her scream with excitement made us not want to go to any activities that might be led by her. Holy cow. Why are you screaming to much, ma'am? I get it, you're PUMPED ABOUT THE CRUISE, but wowza. So, yeah, if you see in the upcoming days how little we did in adult activities, it was because we really didn't want to have to listen to her shout excitedly.

    Anyway, we each had a free drink (Bahama Mama, maybe) at the member thing, although I ended up drinking them both since Donnie wasn't really enjoying his. We also picked up a few extra bottles of water that they were giving out to keep in the room.

    Oh, and we were told to stop by the DVC station on Deck 4 to get our free hats!

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    We went back to the room and just chilled for a bit until it was time to head to the Muster Drill.

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    The plus was that our Muster station, B, was in the Walt Disney Theatre. Yay for seats! The minus was that we were seated in the front row of the balcony... and then after the muster they released people row by row starting in the back. It took FOREVER to get out, and by the time we hiked up the stairs to deck 12 to try to find a spot for the Sail Away party, IT. WAS. PACKED.

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    I didn't really care too much about seeing it, but since it was Donnie's first cruise I thought he'd enjoy it. WRONG. We couldn't really see anything and it was SO loud. We should have just went back to our room or away from other people to sail away, once we didn't get a decent spot, but we just sort of kept standing there?

    Not too long after, though, the horn played "When You Wish Upon a Star" and we were off! The cruise had *officially* begun for me at this point. I love hearing the horn blow! We stood near the railing for a few minutes and tried to brush off the frustration of the crowds and noise of the sail away. We were both getting pretty hungry by this point, so we headed back to our stateroom to get ready for dinner! We had main dining, so our seating was at 5:45. (*Sidenote* We LOVED having main seating. It was close to our usual dinner time at home, and we were always ready to eat by then. We also never felt rushed to get ready for dinner, even during port days, plus we both can get ready quickly, so that was a non-issue.)

    We sat on the veranda for a few minutes first, though, and got to see our first cruise sunset!


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    I loved our veranda SO much!
    We each got tidied up a bit: I changed into a simple dress and Donnie put on a short sleeved button down. I liked to get dressed for dinner each night on the cruise, so that's what we did most nights. Did I get a photo of said outfits with us wearing them? NOPE! I am the worst.

    Our dining rotation was RAERAAE, so we would be dining at Royal Court tonight! We were both really excited to see the all the restaurants and experience dinner on the Fantasy.

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    We were also excited/nervous to meet our table mates for the week. I haven't cruised in over 10 years, and then it was just with my mom. We always got seated at odd tables. Like 3 honeymooning couples... and mom and me. Or families that didn't speak English and only came one night to dinner... and mom and me. I hoped that being a younger married couple we'd be okay, though. I also really hoped we had a good serving team!

    Who would our table mates be? Would our serving team live up that Disney hype?

    To be continued...
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2019
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  10. SaraSpringsIsHome

    SaraSpringsIsHome Too excited to sleep!

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    Thanks! Hope you enjoy
     
  11. MissDaisyofTexas

    MissDaisyofTexas DIS Veteran

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    Following along! I'm curious to see if you liked your table mates. I will be cruising with just me and two of my kids in November and I'm debating about whether to request our own table or not.
     
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  12. amiskell28

    amiskell28 Can't wait to get back!

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    Following along! We're headed out to our first cruise, also a SWDAS, on 2/9!
     
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  13. tinkerbellmagic

    tinkerbellmagic DIS Veteran

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    Following along too! We haven't cruised in over ten years either. We used to cruise mom and daughter, but I'm the mom of that combo. Can't wait to read more. :)
     
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  14. SaraSpringsIsHome

    SaraSpringsIsHome Too excited to sleep!

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    Thanks for reading! The table mate situation is always such a gamble...

    Yay! You are going to have such a blast on your cruise!

    Welcome! I have the best memories of cruising with my mom. You have a lucky daughter!
     
  15. cheermom2four

    cheermom2four DIS Veteran

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    Following along! we've had awkward table mates on one of our cruise and end up putting in a request to sit alone. Hoping our next cruise we will be alone but eh, we are willing to try again with table mates.
     
  16. SaraSpringsIsHome

    SaraSpringsIsHome Too excited to sleep!

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    Thanks for reading! It’s been hit or miss (mostly misses in my experience) in the past with table mates, but I was willing to give it another shot, since main dining was a must.

    I wish we had a “next cruise” to look forward to!
     
  17. FSU Girl

    FSU Girl DIS Veteran

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    Joining in! It's so fun reading a trip report of a cruise I was on! I keep looking at the background of your pictures to see if I might be in any LOL!

    Bay Lake Tower is my favorite Disney resort. We were actually at the Contemporary over NYE so we were near each other all over the place.

    It's amazing how packed people got in there and were crowding around the entrance when it wasn't anywhere near their time to board. Made it seem a lot more chaotic than it actually needed to be.

    That fried rice looks good. We never actually made it to Cabanas for lunch amazingly. I didn't like much of the food when I was on the Dream and we just always found somewhere else to find food.

    This blanket looks so cozy!

    That was where we were, I think we were in the third row up. The last time we went to this drill they had started seating people from the front row up so we had tried lingering to be near the back, but this time they started seating from the back forward so that wasn't a good plan.

    Excited to hear about your dining experience. Where in the restaurant was your table? We prefer having a table by ourselves so always request that and concierge guarantees being seated at our own table so we didn't have anyone at our dinners.
     
  18. SaraSpringsIsHome

    SaraSpringsIsHome Too excited to sleep!

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    We loved staying there! It was DH's first time, and we'll definitely stay there again. Walking to and from the MK is seriously the best!

    Exactly! There has to be a better way. I don't know, like designating areas in the terminal depending on your boarding number?

    The food was pretty tasty. The steak was inedible, but the shrimp and French fries were great. DH seemed to like everything on his plates.

    It is the best! I've been cuddling up under it daily since we've been home. I'm really glad I decided to splurge on the SW decorations!

    We were at table 39. So way off to the left near a port hole.
     
  19. FSU Girl

    FSU Girl DIS Veteran

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    So when you go into the restaurant you went left? We were at a table to the left next to a porthole lol. I don't think the numbers really mean anything, they move them around to fit their needs. Many times when we were walked to our table the person got lost and had to backtrack.
     
  20. SaraSpringsIsHome

    SaraSpringsIsHome Too excited to sleep!

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    Embarkation Day, pt 3
    We arrived to Royal Court and were both anxious and excited to have our first dinner on the ship. We were at table 39. We arrived at a table set for 6, and one couple, M and D from California, were already there. We sat down and made a little bit of small talk and introductions, and then another woman, A from Minnesota, was seated. We made introductions again, and found out that we were all married couples in our early 30's. Well, we were supposed to be all couples. One of our table mates was on her honeymoon. Alone. She and her husband had been married a year, but he was unable to get off work at the last minute to go on their trip (or he would come back to no job). The other couple, as well as myself, realized we knew who she was via our FB group.

    We had the BEST time with our table mates throughout the cruise! M and D were also on their honeymoon, but had only gotten married a few days before sailing. We talked about our jobs, where we were from, pets, Disney World, weddings, etc. I knew right from night one we really lucked out with our awesome table mates. We looked forward to dinner every night to see our new friends and to see... THE BEST SERVERS!

    Our server was Marcos from Brazil and our assistant server was Nicholas from South Africa. They were great, even though throughout the week Nicholas keep trying to give DH diet cokes instead of regular.:rotfl: Marcos made great suggestions and was always smiling and friendly, and Nicholas was simply adorable.

    I had a glass of Pinot Grigio and DH had a Pinot Noir to celebrate being on vacation, but (once again), I didn't get a photo.

    [​IMG]
    Cheers!

    Here are some food pics! I only managed to get pics of my own food, but here we are:

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    Breaded and Deep Fried Brie

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    Chateaubriand-Roasted Filet Steak

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    Grand Marnier Souffle'

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    Classic Opera Gateau
    Thinking back, Donnie and I both got the steak, and it was delicious. I was actually really shocked at how tender and hot the steak was! He had a salad to start with, and I just had the three courses above. The brie was good, just a LOT of cheese. The steak was perfect. And my soufflé was spot on! The chocolate cake was his dessert, as I only ordered one dessert this night...

    Between the five of us at our table, we managed to polish off 2 baskets of rolls this evening, and every subsequent evening! We made a heck of a crumb-y mess, but we loved the rolls! in fact, on more than one occasion we got extra bread, I believe.

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    I requested coffee with my dessert, and Nicholas was very good about bringing it to me nightly after that.

    We had an amazing first night in Royal Court. Between our table mates, our servers, and the food, I was SO excited for the rest of our cruise dinners!

    It was about 7:15 when we were finished with dinner, so we waddled around deck 4 for a bit, which became a nightly ritual. We LOVED walking around deck 4 and had some great memories doing so. We also wandered around the ship and I snapped a few shots.

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    Excited for SWDAS!

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    Love this spot! So regal and pretty

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    Not weird to take photos in the bathroom, right?
    Around 8:15, we headed to the Walt Disney Theatre for the first night's show: The comedy & magic of Nick Paul. He was pretty good and we enjoyed the show. We made it to quite a few shows over the course of the week!

    After the show, we decided to check out the shops. I wanted to make sure to get some SWDAS items the first night, in case they ran out of a size we wanted. I got a hoodie, Donnie got a pullover, a Christmas ornament, and a Tervis tumbler; everything was the 2019 SWDAS merch. Donnie immediately put his on!

    This night is also where the title of the trip report came from. As we were perusing the shop, he half jokingly/half seriously asked “Can I get a light saber?”

    ...He did not get a light saber. :lmao:

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    Great day, but sadly no light saber...

    It had been a very full first day, so we then decided to call it a night. We were greeted by our first towel animal.

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    Stop looking at me swaaaaaan....
    We had a brilliant first day, and we were both really excited for what the rest of the cruise had in store for us. We watched something on TV, I read a bit and Donnie played his Switch before calling it a night. Before bed, I remembered to put the room service breakfast menu on the door and get out a few $$ for a tip for the morning. This was the only day I did, haha. We both slept likes logs, letting the gentle rocking of the sea take us to dreamland.

    To be continued...
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2019
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  21. SaraSpringsIsHome

    SaraSpringsIsHome Too excited to sleep!

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    We must have been relatively near each other, then! Yes, in and to the left. It's true, the numbers seemed to mean nothing, haha.
     

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