Monday, February 8, 2016

Our Fantasy Cruise!

Boy, it felt good sending the kids to school this morning. After all those snow days, followed by our cruise vacation, the kids haven’t had school for what seems like forever. I am happy they are finally getting back to some structured learning!

Anyway, we are back from our highly anticipated Disney cruise! Unfortunately, I thought the vacation was just so-so. I mean, It wasn’t bad (no one was sick), but it also wasn’t supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (haha) like everyone on Cruise Critics said it would be. I will go into all the details in later posts, but I just want to highlight a few good things about the cruise in the meantime.
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Luke and I have been on 3 cruises before, and I will say that the Disney Fantasy was BY FAR the cleanest ship we have ever sailed on. On our Carnival cruise, I was squeamish to even just step out on our balcony, but on the Fantasy, I had no problems going out there barefoot. In the public areas of the ship, everything was spotless. The public restrooms, especially, were always sparkling clean. The service we received? IMPECCABLE. Everyone was friendly and helpful, always greeted us with a smile. The ice machine never ran out of ice. Towels on the pool deck were warm and aplenty. Disney characters all around. It was a very nice boat!
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We were supposed to have 3 island stops -- Tortola, St. Thomas, and Disney's Castaway Cay. Unfortunately, because of a mechanical trouble, the ship had to reduce its speed and we couldn't go to Castaway Cay AND make it back to Port Canaveral (where we departed) in time. So we had to skip Castaway Cay. That was a total bummer news to me because this Disney's private island was actually what I looked forward to the most of all the island stops. Instead, we received a $200 on-board credit, which did not make up for it at all, in my opinion.
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^^A nice scenic shot of St. Thomas!^^

Even though I said the cruise was only so-so, we had a good family time. No working, no school, no cooking, no cleaning. What's not to love?
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^^Kids enjoying a night swim on Deck 11!^^

And here is our stateroom. I can't believe that I don't have a better picture of our room so please excuse this selfie photo. Disney cruise staterooms are designed to accommodate families -- there is a queen sized bed (NOT two twin beds pushed together like other cruise lines), a sofa that turns into a bed, and above the sofa, a twin bunk pulls down from the ceiling.
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I wouldn't say there is plenty of room, but big enough and definitely bigger than a standard cruise industry room. There is a privacy curtain that pulls across and divides the room into two. So after putting the kids to bed, I was able to keep the light on and read the Navigator to plan out the next day.

When we booked our cruise, we booked a restricted-fare category stateroom, which meant that we were guaranteed a certain level of stateroom (in our case, a Family Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah) or above, but our stateroom wasn't assigned to us until just a couple of weeks before our sail date. This allows the cruise to fill the ship up efficiently while allowing people like me to save money.

But even with the heavy discount, this Disney cruise was THE most expensive family trip we have ever taken. I am not convinced that it was worth the value, and I will dive more into it in my next posts.

7 comments:

  1. While it was great to get away and relax, this was one of those vacations where it was great to finally get back home. We've always been fans of cruising, but with the kids and their lack of interest in beaches, it just doesn't make much sense for now. I'm sure we'll eventually find ourselves floating around on a giant buffet table in the Caribbean again, just not anytime soon...

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    1. They like beaches, like the gentle ones in Yorktown or that baby beach in Maui. That one in Tortola was just too rough :(

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  2. Laffs at Father's comment - put on some weight did you? :)

    It sure looks like a beautiful ship - shame they didn't keep the mechanicals as sparkly clean as the restrooms!

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    1. I definitely put on some weight! Now I am trying to eat better now that I am home :)

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  3. Good to hear that it's so clean especially since my kids love to go barefoot despite my chasing after them with their shoes :) Looking forward to learning more about it since my husband has been interested in the Disney Cruises for a while.

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  4. Thanks for sharing.. I was wondering about the Disney Cruises.

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  5. i like hearing that it was clean! lately i've been having difficult times trying to book at hotels or airbnb because i'm afraid that the pictures will all look nice but the actual rooms/homes will be dirty. looking forward to reading more about your cruise trip!

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