With great excitement, the whole family woke up early to prepare ourselves for our transfer to Port Canaveral. We were going on the Disney Fantasy! Since the announcement of the two Disney ships, we had been eagerly awaiting our opportunity to sail on one of them. We were hoping to go on a longer Caribbean sailing, however, a Christmas cruise would more than suffice!
With a big group of 28, we had work out how best to transport everyone and their luggage. For a mere USD$17.15 each (including gratuity) we got ourselves our own happy bus, a 49 seater. Let’s be honest, the bus was budget! But it was clean and got us from Walt Disney World to where we needed to be at half the price of what Disney’s transfers would have cost so no one was complaining! I had factored in some lateness contingencies in my timing strategy to accommodate the co-ordination of 6 families. Everyone surprised me by being on time. As a result, we arrived at Port Canaveral a whole hour early.
|Our bus picking us up at Old Key West|
|Getting ready to check in to board the Fantasy. Don't remember why Jonah was cranky...|
Fortunately, we didn’t have to wait long. Shortly after getting after everyone and their luggage off the bus, the gates opened and our suitcases were taken care off. We made our way into the terminal and proceeded check in. We got the coveted boarding group number 2! Unfortunately, we were allocated a cast member who seemed a little confused. As we boarded, it turned out that she hadn’t checked us in. So we had to spend some time pulled aside to repeat the check in procedure.
Nothing could dampen the amazing awe of entering and being welcomed into the atrium of the Fantasy. She is a gorgeous ship and looked stunning with Christmas finery on. We joined the rest of the group at Cabanas. We ate our lunch as quickly as possible and split up to cover off a few loose ends, one of the great benefits of travelling in a group. Malcolm and Jason headed towards Remy to co-ordinate brunch for the adults. Sharon and I headed for guest services to sort out key to the world cards and book gingerbread house making for the family. The other adults supervised the children. Thankfully both were done relatively quickly and it was off to join the children for a swim and to go on the Aquaduck, the onboard water coaster! It was awesome! I have to admit it was tamer than I expected but a lot of fun nonetheless.
|Boarding number 2!|
|After the check in blip, we're on way in|
|The children having lunch together at Cabanas|
We were fortunate to have our luggage already delivered to our stateroom when we finished our swim. A quick shower and change and we were off again. A visit to the spa was necessary in an attempt to win a prize at the spa raffle! Young Jonah was chosen to pick out a winning ticket. We had high hopes but alas the young lad picked someone else as a winner. In the remaining time prior to the necessary safety drill, we unpacked and then wandered around the beautiful ship. The children were ecstatic to discover the additional flavours of banana and strawberry at the soft serve dispensing machines. We sneaked in a quick serving before our boogie at the Sail Away Party. That wonderful ship horn sounded and we were off!
|In our stateroom after our swim|
|Our dining rotations and port adventure tickets|
|The all important wave phones!|
|Handy gift from DCL|
|Beautiful details everywhere as per usual|
Our first restaurant of our rotational dining was at Animator’s Palette. At first glance, it looked more understated than Animator’s of the older two ships. However, on closer inspection, you see many beautiful details. During the course of our dinner, the picture frames changed into tanks and ocean scenery and we were entertained by Crush, Bruce and a few other characters from Finding Nemo. It was very well done and a great way to keep the kids distracted! Unfortunately, one of our servers was rather inexperience. Whilst he wasn’t terrible, we didn’t get that additional “something” that made dining on the Disney ships so special.
I always love watching the shows onboard. As much as I hate to say it, I was a little disappointed with tonight’s show. It was lacklustre, and tried too hard to “plug” the ship’s features which I thought was unnecessary. The whole sequence involving the initially disjointed family finally enjoying time together and having a wonderful vacation was a little forced. Even the children proclaimed that they were bored halfway through. The only highlight was a sneak preview at the entertainment of “Buckets and Boards”, a drumming, singing, dancing, comedic duo. It’s difficult to described exactly what they do, but all the children aspire to do after the show was to be able to play the recorder with their noses…
|Waiting for the show at the Walt Disney Theatre|
We have two very seasick prone travellers in our group. With the combined powers of the medics in the group, we brought along every known antiemetic with us in all dosing forms. However, it appeared for now that drastic measures were not required. All in all, it was a rather great embarkation day. We retired looking forward to our first sea day on the ship
|The elegant public bathrooms.|