Fantasy Western Feb 6 - 13 2016 feat. SWDAS *complete 12/31*

Cheerio

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 25, 2002
Who we are:
Mom – Leanne
Dad – Gary
Kiddos – Kevin (16), Ryan (14), Dylan (10.5) and Lauren (9)
We were with my best friend J, her two daughters E (12) & O (8), our neighbors J & M and their two boys L (11) & G (10) and friends we met on our last cruise, J&J and their son D (11) We had another table top for 16 and the same amazing server we had last cruise.
Windy!!


Pre-Trip - This cruise we booked just over a year out, opening day for our cruise - October 29th 2014. We were thrilled that our neighbors, my bestie and past cruising friends booked with us. With the Canadian dollar dropping, we knew we had a lot of saving to do for the trip. Lots of decisions to be made and reservations to be completed - I was in my element! Plus I got to help two families new to cruising organize their plans - yeehaw! Four months after we booked, Disney announced our cruise would be the 3rd Star Wars Day at Sea (SWDAS) - everyone was so excited. I'll admit, I am not really a SW fan but my husband and daughter are - so I humored them ;)

We knew we'd be driving from Toronto to Port Canaveral, since airfare was so expensive. Plus the kids wanted a road trip, Mom not so much but since I am typing this out - good news, we made it! Our plan was to drive down a few days before the cruise to check out Orlando and soak up the sun. Remember the word soak, that comes into play really soon... :rolleyes1

My only regret after our 2014 cruise, was that we didn't eat breakfast or lunch in one of the restaurants or order room service - would this happen? Wait and see. Mama had goals.

Trip Report

Travel To Florida - http://www.disboards.com/threads/fantasy-western-feb-6th-13th-16-feat-swdas.3484719/#post-55193774
Cocoa Beach - http://www.disboards.com/threads/fantasy-western-feb-6th-13th-16-feat-swdas.3484719/#post-55202798

Day 1 - Embarkation Day - http://www.disboards.com/threads/fantasy-western-feb-6th-13th-16-feat-swdas.3484719/#post-55207453
Day 2 - At Sea - Formal Night - http://www.disboards.com/threads/fantasy-western-feb-6th-13th-16-feat-swdas.3484719/page-2#post-55230952
Day 3 - Cozumel - http://www.disboards.com/threads/fantasy-western-feb-6th-13th-16-feat-swdas.3484719/page-2#post-55266246
Day 4 - Grand Cayman - http://www.disboards.com/threads/fantasy-western-feb-6th-13th-16-feat-swdas.3484719/page-2#post-55509239
Day 5 - Star Wars Day At Sea http://www.disboards.com/threads/fantasy-western-feb-6th-13th-16-feat-swdas.3484719/page-2#post-55509721

Day 6 - At Sea - Hangover City - http://www.disboards.com/threads/fantasy-western-feb-6th-13th-16-feat-swdas.3484719/page-3#post-56707113
Day 7 & 8- Castaway Cay & Disembarkation Day aka Long Ride Home - http://www.disboards.com/threads/fantasy-western-feb-6th-13th-16-feat-swdas.3484719/page-3#post-56909803
 
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sdjen

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 27, 2009
Hi! I'm the first to post and will be following. We had a great time and it as fun to see you again!!
 
  • Cheerio

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 25, 2002
    Wednesday February 3rd 2016/Thursday February 4th 2016 - Travel Day 1 & 2

    Today we started our journey to Florida. Shockingly the kids slept last night, I figured they'd be wired. DH worked a night shift the night prior so he stayed up until dinnertime and then crashed while I packed up last minute things. We were up at 3:30am and out of the house just after 4am. I won't bore you with all the details, but the view was beautiful until we drove through some pretty crappy rain and wind through NC and SC which slowed us down. We stopped for the night in Orangeburg, SC at a hotel that had an indoor pool and hot tub. Kids were thrilled even if it was freezing.

    Thursday woke up to grey skies and drizzle, yay. Started heading south again, in pouring rain to the point in Florida I thought we'd have to pull over - lots of car accidents had us on our toes until about Daytona Beach where it quickly started to dry and heat up (double yay!) At this point I started reading the DIS boards where I found out the fantasy was limping back to port Canaveral missing their scheduled Castaway Cay stop on Friday. I was nervous but knew Disney would make it right and that we'd board just fine on Saturday, but would we? Read on.
    Welcome center


    Our first order of business, was to hit up the Nike Outlet store in Orlando, followed by quickly checking into our hotel the Embassy Suites before heading to Disney Springs (aka Downtown Disney for you oldies) to shop some more.



    We had only been into the Lego store then World of Disney when it started to pour. It was getting harder and my kids were whining about being "starving" for Olive Garden that we decided to make the mad dash for the parking garage. Bad idea. It was raining so hard that we all got soaked - remember my soak reference earlier - we did it, literally.



    We had to make an unscheduled stop at the hotel to completely change our clothes and toss everything into the bathtub. Finally made our way to Olive Garden (triple yay, we don't have them in our area of Canada anymore and we love it) where we ordered dinner, kids all ate maybe 1/3 of theirs before they were too full - starving my butt ;) Luckily our server was amazing, brought us a huge side salad, breadsticks to go and packed everything into doggie bags. Guess who didn't have to pay for dinner on Friday night, leftovers for all! We went back to our hotel where the kids had a swim before heading to bed. While Mom got to check out the super fun laundry room, to wash and dry a whole ton of rain soaked clothing.

    Next up, Sail away dream... make room for the broken fantasy.
     
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    Cheerio

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 25, 2002
    Friday February 5th 2016 - Travel Day 3 - Cocoa Beach

    Friday morning started out by sleeping in until about 9am, having a wonderful breakfast at the Embassy Suites including made to order omelets and then packed up to get on the road. We had a few stops to make - Walmart, American Girl store and ABC for beer and wine on our way into Cocoa Beach. Coming up along the causeway we could see the dream in the distance, how exciting to know we'd be there tomorrow setting sail. Tried to check into our hotel Best Western, but it wasn't ready yet, so we met up with my bestie for a quick stop to Ron Jon's and IHOP for a late lunch.

    Kids were excited to swim so we went back to the hotel, got our room keys and noticed the kids got changed in record time. The pool was heated and the sun warm, so it was nice to sit and relax, while the kids burned off some energy. At 4:30, we hauled them out to head down to the beach to see the ships sail out and then walked out on the pier to see the beautiful view. Some people mention having to pay to go out on the pier but both cruises we've been out there and never been asked.
    My water babies, who made a dash for the ocean soon as they saw it


    Bye bye dream


    My crew


    Dinner tonight was leftovers from Olive Garden, luckily we had a fridge and microwave - even the second time around it was still delicious! Then it was time for me to reorganize bags, repack luggage and figure out what we'd be carrying on the next day. I kept an eye on the DIS boards and the marine traffic website to ensure the fantasy was still enroute to PC, so we were good. No emails from Disney to let us know about embarkation hour changes, which made me hopeful. Everyone was asleep very early, excited for embarkation day.
     
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  • Cheerio

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 25, 2002
    Saturday February 6th 2016 - Embarkation Day

    Tink. My eyes flew open just after 7am on Saturday morning, first thing I did was refresh my email, marine traffic website and our cruise facebook all confirming the same thing - the Fantasy was in port! YAY!! pixiedust: I tried to go back to sleep but lets be real, we are GETTING ON THE FANTASY TODAY! I'm never a morning person until when vacation rolls around. After peeking out the window and seeing bright sunlight and blue skies, I got everyone up , shoes on and shuffled the kids over to breakfast while DH went in search for a new camera battery since ours was acting up and I wasn't taking chances being in the middle of the ocean with no camera. The area where the breakfast was served at the Best Western was packed, granted there were 12 of us trying to find seats - but we got everyone fed, back to rooms to get dressed and luggage ready to go. Of course, then we still had a bit to wait, so the kids went down to the ocean with our friends while I showered and got ready. Had a quick facebook conversation with a cruise CM who has become our friend - who confirmed that they were working on the mechanical issue and that he wasn't aware of a delayed sail away. What time would we leave port? Keep reading....:scared:

    Just after 11, DH got back and we packed up the truck - port bound. This was the first time we had parked at port so it was a different process of dropping off luggage but was very quick and organized. Paid our $72.00 for the week, thanks to our hotel coupon and unloaded our goods right on the 3rd level.

    Little Miss, tearing up as we drove in :lovestruc



    By now it was almost 11:30 and boarding had begun. Once again, we were mere minutes in line waiting to check in, so quick in fact I had to finish signing the illness form at the desk. Photos taken, lanyards and cards on - away we go.



    Our friends waited for us, so we went first so we could capture their photos as they got on board. We dropped the kids and men off on deck 11 for lunch and swimming while the three Mom's went to get tickets for the princess gathering and anna & elsa. By the time we had lunch, signed up for our wi-fi, activated our DCL app chat and dragged the children from the aqua duck - we were able to go check out our staterooms and begin unpacking. It was just starting to drizzle as we went downstairs and sadly didn't stop for some time. We went to our group Meet & Greet, then back to unpack more until the 4pm drill. Thankfully it was inside the buena vista theater so we didn't have to stare at the rain :(

    Sailaway party was moved inside. We've seen it before so we went up to deck 9, hiding from the rain but still outside in the warm air. 5pm came and went, no movement. Our dinner rotation was RAERAAE and like last cruise we got our server Erhan that we requested along with his new assistant Yoga. It was close to 7pm when we finally felt movement of the engines and thruster moving us away from port! Kids were all done dinner, so they ran out into the hall to watch the lights pass us by up the channel (it was dark by this point)

    After dinner, the kids were dying to go hang out in the club, so we wandered around, ending up outside the Meridian lounge, where we spent almost every night of our cruise at some point. I coined it 'cheers' since by the end of the week, DH knew everyone up there. I was exhausted so we rounded up the two younger kiddos, showers for all, I ordered them warm cookies and milk from room service and then right into bed (yay 1/3 cruise goals completed). The entire cruise, our oldest two were out at vibe activites until 1-2am, both of them said out of the three it was the best cruise yet. :cloud9:
     
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  • noahsketomom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 19, 2010
    Looking forward to reading your report! We are planning a feb '17 cruise to the western Caribbean with outer four kids (ages 10-15!)
    Following!
     

    Frozen2014

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2014
    Great report so far. We're from Toronto too and I hear you about the dollar. How long did the drive take you?
    Looking forward to hearing more.
     

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