Saturday, September 10, 2016

Trip Report - Disney Fantasy - Day 1

August 13


The day has arrived. Today we start our 7 night cruise of the Eastern Caribbean. The day starts with a quick breakfast at the Pop Century food court and then we make the short drive from Pop Century to Iris’s house. Iris and Jason are getting their car packed and Brooke will travel with us to the Park and Cruise lot near the terminal to give them a bit more room to pack all they need for a week with a toddler aboard ship.

As we go over a bridge about 10 miles from our destination, we get our first view of the Disney Fantasy sitting at the dock.

We arrive at the facility where we are shuttled to Disney’s terminal at the port. Our luggage, which has been handled for us since we turned our cars over to the Park and Cruise facility, is collected and we will next see them all at our stateroom aboard the ship. We have selected at 12:30 check-in to avoid the early rush and to have our rooms ready when we arrive. We go through security and then to check-in. Being returning DCL cruisers (Iris is a Gold Castaway Club member - the rest of us Silver), we go through the Castaway Club queue and quickly are checked in and ready to board the ship. We take our Welcome Aboard photo and then are announced as we enter the Atrium and head for Deck 8 Forward where are staterooms are. 




We drop our carry on luggage in our respective rooms and then head up to Deck 11 for the Spa tour and raffle. On past cruises Iris and Jason have signed up for a length of cruise pass to the Rainforest and this cruise Sandy and I do the same. The Rainforest contains three different saunas, four varied showers (each with multiple choices within them) which range in temperature from hot to cold and strength from mist to downpour. Small hot tubs are available in an observation deck with a view and hot stone lounges to lay back and relax on.







After the spa it is nearly 2:00 and our last chance to pick up some lunch at Cabanas which is just a quick stroll from the spa. This is the poolside buffet themed to the Cars films.

After lunch we go back briefly to our staterooms and while Brooke naps, Sandy and I check out our room and do a little arranging of our luggage, which has now arrived. While the rooms are a bit tight with the luggage out, the bed is set high enough for us to place our suitcases beneath it and out of the way. I step out on our verandah for a moment and realize that I can see into the navigation bridge where I see a crew member checking out his station. Before long it is time for the muster drill and we head to our station in the Walt Disney Theater. (Iris, Jason and Brooke’s station was standing on Deck 4 in the sun and the heat. At least we were in the air conditioned theater with comfortable seats during the drill.)

Once the drill was over, we finished setting up our stateroom and went up for the Sail Away Party, which we only caught the end of, but did catch my favorite part of the party - where the ship’s horn plays the opening notes of When You Wish Upon a Star. If timed correctly the ship then pulls out of dock, but today I believe we were waiting for some latecomers from WDW to get on board. While the ship waits for no man, if you are coming on a Disney bus from WDW (or on a Disney excursion in port) the ship will not put to sea without you.


Shortly we meet Iris, Jason and Brooke - and get Brooke an ice cream cone (yep … ice cream machines always available!) and while we are standing on deck, we do set sail. Our adventure begins!



Unlike most families with children, we have chosen the late seating for dinner since Iris works in the evening from home, and it actually fits with Brooke’s schedule very well. As such, we get to see the earlier shows in the Walt Disney Theater each night. Tonight is the Welcome Aboard show which is mostly a preview of things to come. However, I know that Iris and Jason want to have a chance to get to the Rainforest, so I volunteer to watch Brooke so they can go. Sandy goes to the show while I spend some time with Brooke until they come back so we all can get ready for dinner.

With a rotating restaurant schedule on board DCL ships, we find that our rotation is Royal Court, Animator’s Palate, Enchanted Garden and then repeat. Tonight we start our cruise in the Royal Court where we meet our server DeJan and assistant server Shawan. We also meet the Head Server Alberto who, more than any other Head Server we have had on previous cruises, was very much present and accommodating, especially towards our one year old Brooke. Alberto and DeJan made sure that Brooke was provided with whatever she would need immediately throughout the entire cruise. We would arrive at our table at night and her meal, drink and all would be waiting for her.



Tonight, after a very long and stressful day, Brooke was a bit restless and cranky at dinner and Iris briefly took her out of the dining room a few times to calm her down - and not to bother the others in the dining room. At this point we all hoped that this would not be how the rest of the week went.

After dinner, due to the long day mentioned above, we all decided to call it a night. Tomorrow will be the first of two straight days at sea as we steam towards our first port of call - Tortola in the British Virgin Islands.