I lost my FANTAStic sunglasses

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by Mickey.MAC, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. Mickey.MAC

    Mickey.MAC Earning My Ears

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    I just completed my third western carribean cruise on the Disney Fantasy. I know it might be repetitive, but on this third trip, I appreciated details on the cruise that I previously overlooked. I felt no pressure to do any particular show or excursion, and basically planned nothing.

    Last November, my family went on this itinerary for the first time. We had a blast. My wife, a non Disney fan fell in love with the ship and the itinerary. We repeated this trip in July. On this trip, the highlights were the dole whip beverages on the pool deck, staying on the ship longer at port, and gasp! watching our favorite broadway show from the stateroom.

    We started the trip by staying at Wilderness Lodge. I had to see the famous Christmas tree, and hang out in the main lobby of the lodge. Traditionally, we stay at the airport Hyatt the night before the cruise, but we felt no rush to get to the port. In the morning of the cruise, we rode the monorail and boats, ate a slow breakfast, and took in all the Christmas decorations at the Lodge. Although all the hotels do a great job in decorations, Wilderness Lodge brings the best "classical" spirit in its presentation.

    The bus picked us up at 1130 and took us from the Wilderness Lodge directly to the cruise port. I enjoyed spending the morning at Disney World, rather than rushing to port. After all, we would have seven nights to enjoy the boat. At check in, I tried to upgrade my category 5 verandah which i booked on a VGT rate. The numbers did not make sense so I stayed in my forward verandah stateroom.

    As usual we skipped the pictures at boarding and headed straight to Cabanas for lunch. After lunch, we went to the pool deck and watched funnel vision and did one round of Aqua duck prior to heading to the stateroom. We attended the sail away party and enjoyed the view of Port Canaveral as the Fantasy left port. Our dining rotation was first seating with 3 nights at Animators and 2 nights at Enchanted Garden and Royal Court. On this trip my wife declared that Enchanted Garden was her new favorite.

    On sea days, we spent most of our time on the pool deck in the shallow Mickey Mouse pool. My kids are growing up fast and really enjoyed swimming and lounging in the kids pool. My youngest one still has a year to go before being big enough for the Aqua Duck but I took the older one several times a day. I did a lot of shopping at the boutique shop next to the pool. I bought custom Disney Crocs, and swim goggles for the kids(We could not find our swim goggles that we had packed). Finally, at the end of the trip, I found the swim googles which were tucked away in a hidden suitcase compartment.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2018
  2. Mickey.MAC

    Mickey.MAC Earning My Ears

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    Day 1 leaving Port Canaveral

    I was looking for the Galley tour on Day 1 but i heard they cancelled the tour of the kitchens. Also, Remy and palo were available but who wants to eat there on Day 1 unless you are cruising without kids. FYI, i met a lot of adults who were travelling without kids. Seems that the famous Disney Customer Service is such a draw that people are willing to cruise even when kids are the main customer! The lobby was decorated with the soon to be lit Christmas tree, and the railings in the peacock inspired lobby were covered in laurels.

    Our first night was at Animators Palate. The artwork on the video screens was awesome. If you ever wanted to see the sketches of Disney movies prior to production, you have to really absorb the art presentation in Animators. To contrast this cruise to high season, the main difference is the higher price during school breaks and warmer temperatures during high season summer cruises. Otherwise, everything is the same. I could not find out waiters from the previous cruises but we had a wonderful team from Portugal, trinidad, and DR.

    Last cruise we skipped Sail away, the party is ok with a good DJ; I enjoyed seeing the Port as we left Canaveral. I watch the ships leave Port Canaveral through the internet when I am not cruising; my wife thinks we need to move to Florida or I need to become a Cast Member.

    Day 2 At Sea

    We ate breakfast in Cabanas. For meat lovers, please start at the back of the buffet where is ribeye at breakfast, and a carving station at lunch. we started the morning, of course, on the pool deck.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2018
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  4. Mickey.MAC

    Mickey.MAC Earning My Ears

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    The main show on Day 2 was the Great Dubois. He has a partner who does comedy and juggling. His partner is a world class acrobat in the genre of Cirque du Soleil. Audience participation was fun, with multiple guests called up to help his juggling and comedy act. My wife was wondering what these performers do the rest of the cruise when they are not performing--since they are the talent, and not the staff who have multiple roles. On Day 2, was the tree lighting ceremony. We had a countdown with Santa, Mickey and Friends, and the Christmas tree in the lobby was lit up; These moments are the reason why I continue to sail Disney. Hot cocoa and chocolate chip cookies were served almost every evening, in full support of the Very Merry Christmas theme.

    On Day 2 we were at Enchanted Garden. Remy called me and offered me a 630 time slot at the last minute, since I was in the wait list. I sat at dinner and gave my kids their dinner, which started at 545. At 630, we dropped off the kids and headed to Remy. I have not eaten at Remy recently. The last cruise, I ate at Palo, so I made Remy a priority. I am a lightweight, so I skipped the wine pairing, because i was so drunk last time I could appreciate my Remy experience. Regardless, Remy starts you off with a complimetary drink of Champagne. Also, my wife ordered the add on of caviar(don't want to scare u with the price)wait for it...99 dollar add on, and that was the cheapest caviar. That caviar came with complimentary champagne too.
     
  5. amiskell28

    amiskell28 Can't wait to get back!

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    Following along! We're going on our first DCL (first cruise ever, actually) in February on the Fantasy (SWDAS).

    We are also staying at WDW before the cruise, and taking Disney transportation to the port. Did you find that you had enough time to get to Cabanas, was it super busy at that time?

    How old are your children, if I may ask? We have two older boys (18 and 21) who can't join us this trip. So, it'll just be me, DH, and our DD7. Did you children enjoy the kids club? I'm so hoping ours does!!
     
  6. FSU Girl

    FSU Girl DIS Veteran

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    Sounds like a great trip! I'll be on the Fantasy for the first time in January for my honeymoon, really excited. Remy is a great meal, I got engaged there on the Dream. It's so pricey though so we are opting for Palo instead for this cruise. I didn't know the ships had dole whip, that's really exciting to look forward to!
     
  7. Mickey.MAC

    Mickey.MAC Earning My Ears

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    Pictures to follow! My boys are now 5 and 6, but they have been on DCL since they were 1. My kids enjoyed the kids club but as a disclaimer, it took them at least 2 cruises to get used to it. Now, I can put them in without problems. The older kids have Vibe, a great place for older kdis.
     
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  8. Mickey.MAC

    Mickey.MAC Earning My Ears

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    Congratulations on your honeymoon!! And congratulations on your upcoming first voyage on the Fantasy! I have been on the Fantasy for my last 3 cruises so i want to go back on the Dream.

    Remy and Palo just increased their prices!! Yes, everything is getting craaaazy expensive. My wife is a foodie and I wanted to take her out for a special date night so I got Remy as a last minute reservation.

    The ships have Dole Whip and Dole whip drinks!
     
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  9. Mickey.MAC

    Mickey.MAC Earning My Ears

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    Day 3 Cozumel

    We arrive in Cozumel and the weather was beautiful with the temperature ranging from 70 to 82. When you look out your cabin, the first thing you notice is that you can see all the way to the ocean floor which is more than 50 feet deep; my comparison is the New York Hudson River which has no clarity. I have been concerned with all the travel warning in Cancun and Mexico. However, if Disney deems it safe, it can't be that dangerous.:crutches:Last trip, in July, we did not do any excursions. I took the boys, G and L, in a taxi to Chankanaab. It cost 16 US dollars. Chankanaab was underwhelming but fun. The park had huge pens for dolphins. We watched the tourists play with the dolphins and meandered to the beach. I did not know the beach in the park was mainly for snorkeling. But I found a small inlet where the kids could play in the sand and the water was shallow. The highlight! Service was great and they provided me with WiFi access. I used it to check my email. Wifi is free in port but super expensive on board. So I told work and friends that I would only be in contact with them on port days. The boys played with the other kids and built sand castles, and played with water toys. I would recommend Isla Pasion or Playa Mia as a better beach excursion, while Chankanaab is better for people who want to swim with dolphins, or snorkel. We stayed at the park long enough to enjoy the park, but returned to the boat in time for lunch. Cabanas closes lunch at 130-2 and they are strict; Cabanas will close the stations on latecomers, so arrive at least 10 minutes early! The rest of the day we spent on the pool deck swimming and doing Mickey Slide and Aqua Duck. By 130 pm, many kids were on the pool deck, so it seemed like people traveling with kids were on boards--my wife did not want us to stay off the ship too long because she perceives Mexico to be hazardous.

    Side note:My wife stayed onboard to do work. She wanted to go on the trip but said she would bring work with her. So I said I would give her time every day to do her work. So I brought the kids off the ship into port, or brought them to the pool deck so she get time to do her thing.
    Ironically, my wife's friend is having a birthday celebration in Cozumel in Jan 2019, so we will be returning to Cozumel next month!
     
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  10. Mickey.MAC

    Mickey.MAC Earning My Ears

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    Day 4 Grand Cayman

    This is my favorite port. I have been to Grand Cayman without going on the cruise about eight times so I know the island well. Tendering is not difficult, so we got the the meeting point at Walt Disney theater early to be on the first tender. If the kids behave, we stay off the ship. The minute they act out, we return to the ship. Again, my wife had to do work, so she stayed on the boat. We grabbed a Grand Cayman public bus to go to the beach. We went to the beach and played for about 3 hours and enjoyed the beautiful shallow water of the Grand Cayman. They collected stones and coral and insisted they bring it back to the ship. I hauled all the beach gear, and the boys trudged along with their hands full of stones and coral. :worship:Disney sells beach excursions but we prefer to go on our own. I am actually planning on doing a Grand Cayman trip because I like to spend at least four days on the island. After playing on the beach, we went to Sunshine Grill for lunch and to try their famous "Painkiller" drink. The Painkiller drink is very strong but it is a dangerous drink because you can't taste the alcohol. The drink comes as option number 1 to number 3. Number 1 is a light drink and as the number goes up, you get more Rum. Painkiller number 3 is similar to inducing a coma.

    After lunch, we went to catch a stingray tour. In the shop which sells the tour I told the kids to not touch anything. Guess what they did! They were touching all the fragile glass trinkets!:sad2:But the kids started to misbehave so I grabbed a bus and took them back to the ship. Since I was single parenting, I adhered to my rule that if the Kids start to misbehave, we immediately get back on board. At least, back on the ship, they have a kids club, and a more controlled environment(and I don't want to miss the ship).
    My kids were afraid to leave the ship on our last cruise. My son, 3 years old at the time, said Daddy the ship will leave without us and I won't have my teddy bear or underwear.
     
  11. Mickey.MAC

    Mickey.MAC Earning My Ears

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    Day 4 continued

    Because I have been on this same itinerary 3 times, I did not book certain port excursions such as rum point beach adventure or stingray city. I plan to come back to grand cayman and spend a dedicated week here. Therefore, I just took kids to the beach. There is a beach club on seven mile beach, and there is a Disney beach excursion. I only go for max 3-4 hours, because I want to feed the boys on the boat around meal times. The businesses on the beach are protective of their beachfront. Technically, you are not supposed to use beachfront belonging to a hotel. Most laws say that up to the waterline is public space you can play in the water as long as you don't use the beach equipment. On my last stay in the Grand Cayman Ritz Carlton, I saw cruisers use the beach equipment of the hotel. However, after these cruisers were confronted by management, they allowed the cruisers to stay because food and alcohol was being purchased and the hotel was not busy.

    Day 5 Jamaica

    Day 5 is normally pirate nights with fireworks and the Buccaneer Blast at night. We had no plans for the day, and the kids wanted to stay on board. We arrived in Falmouth in the early morning. I like sailing along the northern Jamaica coast. Jamaica has a strong tourist economy, and the island is very beautiful. Today, I wanted to walk out of the security of the port to see the town. Many people advise to stay in the Port. Great advice, but I wanted to take a quick stroll into town. I left the family on board and told port security that I was going into town for a walk. I was approached by several motivated vendors who wanted to sell me tours and souvenirs, but I told them firmly but politely, no thank you. The town was all hustle and bustle, nothing unique to see, but it felt like reality vs the programmed and scripted environment of the cruise. I returned to the Port and went to Margaritaville. In Margaritaville they have a large open space with pool and free WiFi. If you come in the morning to use the WiFi, it us super fast.

    Many of the excursions have a height restriction. I therefore could not take my shorties to Dunns River Falls, which is one of the main highlights. I previously went on the Deluxe Jewel Beach Break, but the price is high. I did see some cruisers hire their own taxis and drivers, and if I return to Falmouth, I will contact a local tour to drive me around. As in any country, if you are polite, and you know how things work, safety is increased. I would not roll into any port and start doing research on how to get around--stick with the port excursion.

    We spent the day on the ship, and enjoyed the pool deck for most of the day. Later, an Oasis class RC ship pulled next to us. The RC ship dwarfed the fantasy in size and unloaded 6000+ passengers into port. One young tourist I met at port was bragging that he was underage and drunk, and that his family was in a suite on the RC ship. I walked in the opposite direction from the reveler.:crazy:

    At night time, we prepared for the Buccaneer blast, a small fireworks show at sea. My oldest son started fading since his bedtime is 9 pm. So he went to sleep in the cabin and I volunteered to miss the show. The youngest one was such a trooper, and stayed up for the show with Mom(who is a night owl). However, the young one was exhausted the next morning for staying up till midnight. I did not regret missing the fireworks, but I wanted to go the Pirate buffet, which is the only midnight buffet on the cruise! Oh well, next time.

    We were having a really good time on the trip, mainly because we did not feel the pressure to see everything. We were about to start a sea day, and were eagerly anticipating our arrival at Castaway Cay.
     
  12. TestingH2O

    TestingH2O DIS Veteran

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    That's adorable.

    Loving your report. Thanks for sharing!
     
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  13. Mickey.MAC

    Mickey.MAC Earning My Ears

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    He was only 3 at the time when he expressed his fear of being left behind by the ship! I still laugh when I think about what he said
     
  14. kaysmommie

    kaysmommie DIS Veteran

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    I love your report so far! Looking forward to reading the rest. We are doing a Western Caribbean cruise on the Fantasy for spring break in March. The last 3 years have been eastern, so I’m looking for lots of details/excursion information for western Caribbean. What beach would you recommend in Grand Cayman?
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2018
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  15. Mickey.MAC

    Mickey.MAC Earning My Ears

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    On this trip, I learned more about my family preferences and more about the ship and itinerary. We even watched one of the Broadway shows from our stateroom tv! Heresy! For starters, I try to request more nights in animator's Palate. We love the decor and the animations that we get to enact. On this trip, my wife said she has a new favorite restaurant, Enchanted Garden. She said she likes the ambience and decor, especially the flowers that change colors and open throughout the dinner service. Also for this cruise, the waiter heard my wife likes curry, so he brought out indian curry dishes just for her.

    On the last sea day, following the Falmouth port, we enjoyed our normal routine, the pool deck. The older boy can do Aqua duck, while the younger one is too short. As me and my older son rode the Aqua duck, we waved at my wife an younger son. Occasionally my son would ask for an impromptu trip on the Aqua duck aka known as Daddy is not wearing a swimsuit...So I would go on the Aqua Duck with my cargo shorts ...:hyper2:

    We did not overexpose the kids to the Oceaneer Club or Lab. If we used the clubs, we would limit it to 1-2 hours a day. Only if the kids begged for the club would we go over the daily limit. Part of this trip was to spend more family time. Ironically, many adults were traveling without kids. Grandparents and parents had simply left their kids and grandkids at home! :sail:In general, with all things Disney, there is a high ratio of people traveling without minors and little kids; maybe because the Disney experience is getting so expensive or because attractions are being aimed towards adults...Alcohol is a recent addition to most Disney Parks. Disclaimer: My wife and I have one trip per year where we go without kids.

    Day 7 Castaway Cay

    If you were wondering about the title of my post, this last day is where I lost my sunglasses on Pelican Plunge. I was excited to take both boys on Pelican Plunge, but only the older one was willing to take the Plunge. My boy would go on PP as long as I was waiting at the bottom. I rode down, ahead of him, but when I hit the water, I lost my sunglasses. This is where Disney Magic comes in. I filled out a lost and found form, and at the end of the day, a Cast Member dove into the water and recovered my sunglasses. When I went to Guest Services to inquire, and since I filled out a claim form immediately when I lost the glasses, voila! my glasses made it back on board!:drinking:pixiedust: If anyone is wondering why Disney excels in customer service, this one small example exemplifies Disney's dedication to high quality customer service. Mind you, these glasses were Costco plastic glasses, el cheapo style, but imaging if they were Kim Kardashian style glasses.:dog:


    Because the month was November, I dressed the kids in wetsuits, which they wore all day. The prices for winter cruises is cheaper, but you have to dress warm, especially for the water activities. I skipped the 5k race this time. Last time, i was too tired to enjoy Castaway Cay after dragging myself through the race course.

    News! We made a trip to Serenity Bay, after dropping the kids to Scuttle's Cove. What a disappointment. The beach was full of seaweed. I felt like I was back in Cozumel or Dominican Republic Punta Cana. The family beaches were pristine without seaweed. So the trip to Serenity Bay was a disappointment. Yes, no kids at the adult beach, but all that terrible seaweed! I peeked over at the crew beach, and I saw a bunch of crew members enjoy time off--good for them! In past trips, the crew beach was empty, so maybe things have changed where the crew are getting more time to enjoy Castaway Cay...

    Disney is opening a second private island in Eleuthera bahamas, at Lighthouse Point. They have secured the development rights, and I am guessing that the new ships will go there. I am excited for the surprises that Disney will bring in the new ships; rumor has it that the new Castaway Cay will have a stronger Pirates of the Caribbean theme. Since the kids were well behaved all day, I fulfilled their request for one of our family traditions at Castaway Cay, a ride in a red pull along wagon back to the ship. From Scuttles Cove, i got a red Wagon, and towed them back to the ship, rather than riding the tram. It's good exercise, and they love it when the wagon gets bumpy when we go over the wooden plank bridge. We stopped by the 50 foot Christmas tree and sleigh for some parting pictures and then went to the room to shower and change.

    Day 8 Disembarkation

    The last day is always a sad day to finish the cruise. But i plan together cruise on DCL in 2019, or go to Disney World. I normally leave the ship by 730 but this time left the ship at 9 am. :car::moped::magnify: Mistake! Leaving after 730 was akin to joining rush hour in Los Angeles or Hawaii. The lines were long and barely moved. When we arrived in Customs, the lines were still long and slow, and we had no bags to declare since we used Onboard airline check in. Our flights was at 330pm, so we went to the Polynesian Resort to hang out. We went to Kona Cafe for their pressed pot coffee and Macadamia Nut Pancakes. To ease the hangover of the cruise, we enjoyed 3 hours at the Polynesian Resort, before hailing an Uber to return to MCO.

    At MCO, the lines were long but efficiently moving. The TSA lines moved faster than the lines to disembark the Disney Fantasy.:tiptoe::yo-yo:Since I finished the cruise, I was planning an impromptu trip back to Disney for Christmas weekend. But last minute air prices were craaazy.:rainbow:Last year, at this time, I made an impulsive last minute trip to the Yacht Club to enjoy New Years...alas, I am not going to break the bank and cave into the high prices that airlines are charging(I am looking at you United Airlines and Jetblue):crazy2:

    Thanks to all the writers who are so generous to share themselves online. This community is so strong, and includes all the wonderful groups who give gifts through the Fish Extenders. I will post some pictures...

    Until next time, See ya real soon!
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2018
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  16. Mickey.MAC

    Mickey.MAC Earning My Ears

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    I did Eastern Carribean on the fantasy once, and Western Carribean 3 times.

    Best port: Grand Cayman, port excursion Rum Point Beach Adventure

    Cozumel: I would check out Isla Pasion beach excurison

    Jamaica: Dunns River Fall

    Castaway Cay: no excursion needed
     
  17. Mickey.MAC

    Mickey.MAC Earning My Ears

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    I would recommend seven mile beach in grand cayman. You did 3 eastern cruises? Lol. I did 3 western cruises!
    Rum point is the popular Disney excursion on Grand Cayman. I am comfortable with GC so I now travel on my own. But I would recommend Rum point as a GC excursion. Happy holidays!
     

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