Sunday, July 9, 2017

Disney Fantasy - Day 1

June 28, 2017

I wake up in my newly redone room at Pop Century, ready for the short trip to Iris's house to pick up Brooke and then we will all head to Port Canaveral to embark on a 10 night cruise on the Disney Fantasy.

But first I need to make a phone call I have been hoping to put behind me with a happy result for the last 10 days. Before I make the call - from the Pop Century parking lot - my phone rings ... it's THE call. Ten days ago I had a prostate biopsy, and was hoping that - like the last one one - this would come back clear. Alas ... it was not to be. My doctor told me not to cancel any plans and to go on the criuse and stay in Florida for the following few weeks as we had planned. We will discuss options when I return. I thank him for calling and determine to try to put it out of my head as much as possible and enjoy the cruise and my following time in Florida. It does not always prove to be an easy task.

Now for happier things! We arrive at Iris's house as they are getting the final preparations done. As we did last year, we will be taking Brooke and one of Iris & Jason's suitcases so they have enough room in the car for what they need for themselves and an (almost) two year old toddler. (She turns two at the end of July.) We will be driving to the Park and Cruise lot where we will leave our cars and they will shuttle us to the terminal.

We had purposely signed up for a later arrival, and some last minute business got us to the Park and Cruise even later than we had planned - though still well within the normal embarkation time. In fact, being a Wednesday rather than the usual Saturday departure day at the port, the Park and Cruise was open for this cruise alone. We were the last customers to arrive and they were waiting for us, so unloading the cars and getting on to the shuttle went very quickly indeed.

Brooke is all set with the shirt I had made for this day when in Disney Springs a few weeks back!

We arrive at the DCL terminal and our bags head off to the ship while we head to check in. Security is practically empty and is the check-in area since almost everyone wanted to be on board as soon as possible. This is not our first cruise on the Fantasy, and we much prefer this late arrival with a walk-up check in and then right on to the ship. Our rooms are ready as expected and we head there to drop off our carry on items. Sandy and I are in the same stateroom as we were last year on the Fantasy, and Iris, Jason and Brooke are next door in the connecting room. (Our verandahs open to connect as well, forming one long one, which will make Brooke very happy over the next ten days.)

Cabanas is our next stop for a buffet lunch before the muster drill. After lunch I have one more stop to make myself. I needed a haircut ... badly! Shortly before the cruise I found myself with a broken ankle and for weeks, pretty much mostly immobile (yeah - it's been quite a rough time for me) so I was never able to get one. I decided to really treat myself and get the whole shave, haircut and facial treatment. I needed to and was going to treat myself well this cruise. Happily, there was availability for just that immediately after the mandatory drill, so I made the appointment. Sandy and I also sign up for length of the cruise access to the Rainforest Room. (Click here for a look at the Rainforest from last year's trip report.)

Back to the room to wait for the muster drill. We are lucky that our muster station is in the balcony of the Walt Disney Theater, as it was last time, and not out on a hot deck, standing in the sun! We sit in air conditioned comfort as we watch the instructions on how to abandon ship (!) and then it's off to the Spa for me while the others headed up to the Sail Away Party and festivities.

I check in and meet the woman who will be giving me my treatment. Alternating hot and cold towels, various facial masks, more hot and cold towels, a shave, a scalp massage, an arm and hand massage with hot stones ... I was so relaxed during that hour long treatment that I found myself almost falling asleep at more than one point. When it was all done, I felt wonderful and had the closest shave I have had since the day I got married ... which would be 43 years ago on this cruise.

Next was my haircut and when I was done I was looking good (well, good for me at least) and ready for the cruise.

I was finished just in time to make the 6:15 Welcome Aboard show in the Walt Disney Theater. We met our Cruise Director Mike Gibbons who talked about all the amazing things to come. He also informed us that we were making history, as this was going to be the first time the Fantasy was making port in Curaçao! We got a preview of our entertainment over the next ten days and then we headed back to our staterooms to wait until our second seating dinner.

Dinner tonight will be in the Royal Court at 8:15. On our last cruise we had an amazing serving crew and were anxious to meet this year's trio. They would have to go a long way to match our group from last year. (Spoiler: They more than were up to the task!) Our Server Naya, Assistant Server Budi and Head Server Krasimir took very good care of us - especially Brooke! (Naya shared with us that he too had a baby daughter. Turns out that she was just a week old, and he had only seen her on Skype so far and he still had most of his contract left until he got home to the Philippines to see her.)

It was a long day, and after dinner we all headed back to our rooms to unwind and get some sleep. Tomorrow will be the first of two days at sea before we reach Aruba.

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