Disney Fantasy Halloween Cruise Trip Report

Day 1

October 27th 2012
All Aboard the Disney Fantasy
(full photo gallery at the bottom of this page)
Sleeping the night before our cruise began was difficult.  We were so very excited to board our family's first, 7 night, Western Caribbean cruise on the newly built Disney Fantasy.  We watched as Hurricane Sandy went directly in the path of the Disney Fantasy and went to bed unsure if the ship would be able to get into port.
6:30 in the morning came early at the Caribbean Beach Resort.  We had just finished a leisurely stay there while touring Walt Disney World before our cruise and we were anxious to be on to the second part of our vacation.  We went immediately to our laptop and logged on to the Disney Cruise Line website that only warned us of the ship arriving late or not at all. Disney promised an update by 8:00, but as that time came and went there was no further information available to the passengers of the Disney Fantasy and we were getting discouraged.
We had decided to join a neat group of people, on DISBoards.com, that would be cruising with us and I checked our private Facebook group for information. (You can see some information and planning from our DISBoard cruise group under the "DISBoard Group" button on this website)  From talking to other people on the Facebook group nobody really knew what was going on.  We went to the ship tracking website and could see the Fantasy circling around just outside of Port Canaveral.  They were not far, but the sea was too rough for them to port. (You can find a link to the neat ship tracking website on the "links" page)
We were unsure of what we were supposed to do since we had to check out of our hotel.  We called the hotel front desk & they kindly offered us a late checkout and a free day in the Disney World parks.  I decided that I needed to call Happy Limo, our car company, to let them know that we would not need to be picked up at 9:30 as originally scheduled.  They knew more information than anyone.  They told us that the ship was going to board 3 hours late so our port arrival time would be 3 hours later and that they would send a car to get us at 12:30.  (You can also find a link to Happy Limo car service on the "Links" page).
While we finished packing we watched the Port Canaveral web cam and were elated when we watched the Fantasy pull safely into port.  We could breathe a sigh of relief now.  The ship had made it!  (You can find a link to the port Canaveral web cam on the links page of this site.  It is kind of neat to watch the ships come and go from port).
We still had one quick service meal leftover and some snacks from our Disney Dining Plan.  So our next stop was at Old Port Royal for one last breakfast.  We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast, shopped for a few last minute souvenirs and chose a couple of snacks to take with us.  We bought some cotton candy in little plastic tubs because we figured that our kids could eat the cotton candy and then use the containers on the beach; perfect for digging, making sand castles and then to throw away before we headed home.
Happy Limo had agreed to pick us up at 12:20 but they were unsure if they would be able to take their car near the building that we were staying in.  Since the Caribbean Beach Resort is such a sprawling resort we did not want to trek our 6 bags of luggage all the way to the main building.  I spoke with guest services and they said there should not be a problem with the car getting access to the parking lot next to our building.
When we returned to our room from breakfast, our driver from happy Limo called us and told us that he was waiting.  He was a little bit early but we hustled around and headed out to the parking lot.  The car was pulled next to the curb and waiting for us with a sign in the window that had our name on it.  That was wonderful.  The other car company that we used did not have great communication or any way that we could identify our vehicle.
At 12:36 We loaded ourselves and our luggage into the car and we were on our way to board the Disney Fantasy.  We were a little concerned if all of our luggage would fit into a car.  We had 2 large bags, 4 carry-on bags, a couple small back packs and a case of water.  The driver of the car happily arranged it for us so that all of the large luggage fit snugly in the trunk.  The cost for us to get a car from Happy Limo to Port Canaveral and then back to the airport was $238. plus tips for the drivers.  We tipped each driver $20. but we hear that many people only tip $10. each way.  This was a more economical option than the Disney Cruise Line bus for our family of four.
Even though the weather was cloudy it was a nice ride to Port Canaveral.  We caught our first glimpse of the beautiful new Disney ship at 1:41.
In the picture above you can see the Fantasy on the left as we drive across the bridge to the port.  On the right you can see a Royal Caribbean cruise ship that boarded its passengers earlier and was unable to leave port so it then unloaded everyone from the ship and never did leave port for unknown reasons.  Rumor was that it was engine problems, but we'll never know.
We walked into the cruise terminal almost right at 2:00.  Our original port arrival time was at 11:00 but because the ship arrived late our port arrival time was moved a little later.  We went through security and headed to the check in desk.  We had all of the lanyards for our DISBoard group so we wore out lanyards so that our group should spot us and get the lanyards that they ordered.  Right after we checked is and were handed a boarding group number 7 we were surrounded by members of our cruise group.  The late time had really thrown our schedules off.  Our group was originally going to meet right after the safety drill but now that time would interfere with early dining.
We handed out lanyards as quickly as we could and then headed to the desk of the kid's club to get our boys checked in before we boarded the ship.  We did have to wait in line for a while, but as soon as we exited the line our boarding number was called and we got in line to board the ship.  At 3:05 we were entering the the yellow Mickey head and crossing the gangway.  As we entered the gangway we were handed a revised itinerary that showed that our stop in Costa Maya was cancelled.  We were just glad, at the time, that our stop in Grand Cayman was not cancelled.  Costa Maya was the port that we were least looking forward to.  Little did we know our itinerary would change again.  We stopped for our boarding photo and then proceeded to be announced and welcomed aboard the ship.
We were glad that we checked all of our bags with the exception of a single carry-on with electronics and swim wear in it.  It would be hard to haul around too many bags while we waited for our room to be ready.
Because it was cold and windy we decided not to swim.  We went to Cabanas for a great buffet lunch.  It was a bit crowded but we were able to find a table.  Once lunch was finished our stateroom was ready for us.  We had to get there and get ready for the boat drill before dinner.  The schedule was more closely packed together because of our late start.  Our room was marvelous as we've come to expect from a Disney cruise.  Our Castaway Club gifts were left neatly on our bed.
Our room was #8656 on deck 8, a Category 5B room, on the starboard side of the ship.  We went to our verandah and could look down below at the cast members hustling around to load the luggage and unload a good number of broken furniture while they loaded new furniture to replace it.  That was really the only sign of the severe storm that this ship had gone through the night before.  Disney did a wonderful job getting everything ready for the next group of passengers.
The evening went by quickly as we participated in the boat drill and then got ready for dinner.  We had early dining so our dining time was at 6:00 tonight.  Every other night it was at 5:45.  We were scheduled to eat in the Royal Court tonight. and we had an excellent meal for our first night onboard.
There was not much of a sail away part since it was dark by the time the ship left port.  We were running like crazy trying to find the remainder of our cruise group to deliver the 110 lanyards that everyone had ordered.  We decided that since tomorrow was a day at sea we would try to deliver them to everyone using the Fish Extender group lists.  (If you want more information about our DISBoard cruise group or are wondering what a Fish Extender is, then just visit the "DISBoard Group" pages on this website.)
After a wonderful dinner our kids were anxious to play in the kid's club for a while.  So we took them to the Oceaneer Club while we attended the Fantasy Come True, Welcome aboard show.  After the show we decided to try and deliver some of the lanyards and fish extender gifts to our cruise group.  After wandering the halls of a rocking ship for a while I was ready to pick the kids up and get some sleep.  The sea was rough and I was really feeling the motion so it was time to get a good night's rest so that we could enjoy our day at sea tomorrow.
Check out a pdf of our Personal Navigator below
October 27th Personal Navigator
Sitting on a bench at Old Port Royal within the Caribbean Beach Resort. 10:44a The balloon was given to us by another person that said it was given to them by someone that could not take it with them. So we took one last picture with it and found another willing family to take the balloon.

Standing outside of our room for one last picture at 12:31p before we met our car to Port Canaveral.

Our car from Happy Limo meets us in the parking lot next to our building. 12:36p

A Happy Limo sign in the window had our family name written on it so that we wouldn’t have to question if it was a car. This was a wonderful thing that our last car service did not offer.

Our first glimpse of the Disney Fantasy as we cross the bridge to Port Canaveral.

Getting closer. I am taking pictures out the window of the car.

You can see all of the clouds in the sky. Although it was cloudy & windy it was not extremely cold.

As we drive toward the Fantasy you can see the palm trees bending in the heavy wind.

A model of the Disney Magic sits inside of the cruise terminal.

Large model of the Disney Magic

Posing for a picture

A picture of the line of people waiting to preregister for the kids clubs. This was our longest wait.

Seating in the cruise terminal

The cruise terminal starts to get crowded as people begin the boarding process.

Cruise terminal - I was impressed with how quickly & efficiently the boarding process was. The terminal never seemed that crowded & I know that the cast members were working like crazy because of the late schedule.

Cruise terminal ceiling

Cruise terminal ceiling

Front windows of the cruise terminal

Gangway entry

3:05p we are entering the gangway through the Mickey ears

Through the entry to the gangway

My son holds out his room key for a picture as we walk through the gangway.

Flags hanging in the gangway

Through the windows of the gangway

Our boarding photo taken on our way onto the ship.

walking up the gangway

Luggage below the gangway

Luggage being loaded as we cross the gangway.

Finally... entering the Disney Fantasy to be announced in the atrium.

Posing by the pelican outside of Cabanas

Crab legs in Cabanas

Our Stateroom

Stateroom #8656 on deck 8 aft, a Category 5B Verandah room

Castaway Club gifts left on our bed

This beautiful pillow, embroidered with the same logo you see painted on the outside of the ship, sells for around $200. in the gift shop. In case you were thinking of packing this home... your room will be charged for it.

settling in

Looking out from our verandah. The Royal Caribbean cruise ship can still be seen in dock since the passengers were unloaded because the ship was rumored to have had engine problems.

Disney Cruise Line terminal from our verandah

Looking down at all of the luggage and supplies being loaded onto the ship. You can see the new furniture waiting to be loaded to replace the broken furniture from the storm the previous night.



People can still be seen on the gangway boarding the ship.

Royal Court menu

Enjoying the fruit appetizer

Adult appetizer: Double Baked Spinach and Cheese Souffle’

Main Course: Aged Angus Grilled Beef Tenderloin topped with Garlic Shrimp

Main Course: Roasted Wild Boar Tenderloin

3 cupcakes in the shape of Mickey bring smiles to everyone

We returned from the evening show to find our room all ready for the night. The swaying of the ship made me ready for bed. Thank goodness for the Bonine that I took.

Invitations on the bed for our boys to attend the Pirate League on Pirate night.

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