Dina's and Peter's FANTAS(y)TIC First!!

iloveeeyore

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 12, 2003
I'm so sorry for what you've had to experience with your work. Thankfully I haven't had any friends or family who have gotten the virus. I am so thankful for all the medical professionals and essential workers who are putting their lives on the line for all of us. Thank you and may God bless you and keep you safe.
The pic of the light is from Royal Court. I'm sorry about your cancelled cruise. We've had Taylor Mason on a few cruises. He was on our Fantasy cruise this past Jan. We had 2 port days turned into sea days because of bad weather. He wasn't able to get off the ship at the one port. So instead he did some extra shows, all were packed full and all so hilarious. Glad you had a great first Disney cruise.
Thank you so much for your appreciation and well-wishes and for following along. Glad to know for sure where that light fixture is. They are all so gorgeous. I hope you and your loved ones continue to stay safe and well and God bless you and yours!

I’m enjoying your report and looking forward to a time when we can cruise again! I’m glad you’re back, thanks for all you’re doing to help those with COVID-19.
I thank you for your kind words and thank you for following along. You stay safe, too!

Really enjoying your trip report! We should be on the Fantasy right now 😥 but of course it was cancelled. Would have been our first Gold level Cruise. I too am in health care, a cardiology NP in SC. Thank you for all you are doing at work. You all are hit much harder than us but the whole thing is so terrible. Can’t wait for things to settle down and get back to cruisin’!
Hello to you and thanks for all you do as well. I hope things are staying Q and safe where you are in SC. I hope your employer is requiring staff to wear masks in all patient-facing areas as the number of cases increase in SC. When this whole thing started, we failed to recognize a bunch of COVID-19 positive patients because they had atypical presentations (not respiratory, looked more like ACS or increased weakness in the elderly), and that is how a lot of staff originally got infected. Once we started wearing masks all the time, our staff remained pretty safe with a few exceptions.

So sorry for your cancelled Fantasy cruise! I can't wait until we can all cruise again! I think...well, hope...it will be safer than ever for cruising.

Joining in!
Welcome! thanks for joining!

Not sure why I hadn't stumbled across your trip report before. Loving it! Almost flew into white plains this year but due to flight cancellations, ended up in and out of Hartford. It looked like a super easy airport to get around. Did they even have a TSA Pre check lane?

We love being on the starboard side as well. Generally has great views of Castaway Cay. Can't wait to see what else is in store for your trip
Hello, glad you found it! Yes, HPN has a TSA Pre check lane, but tbh, it's kind of a waste. The regular line is so short. It is easy to get around...with all gates departing from the same large hall, it's pretty impossible to get lost. Try it sometime!

We will be on starboard side on the Magic in January...hopefully take 2 will give us a great view and actual day at Castaway Cay!

Thanks for this trip report and all you're doing in the healthcare industry! I hope you and your family are safe and healthy. :)
Thank you and thank you for your appreciation, and I hope you and yours stay safe and healthy as well!!
 

iloveeeyore

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 12, 2003
Sunday, January 5th - At Sea Day - Senses (sorry no photos)!

We had a Couples' Choice treatment booked at Senses Spa at 0800. I know, this seemed way too early for our first day at sea, but it was what was available at the late time we booked the cruise, so we took what we could get. Actually there was one at 5 pm but that would have made us miss the evening entertainment and that was out of the question for us, so 0800 it was.

We set the alarm for 7, but actually, we were both up before the alarm went off. We had an amazing night's sleep (except for when we woke up in some port that looked commercial, I think we were in Fort Lauderdale...we made an unexpected stop sometime around 1 am and over the course of the cruise we heard rumors of many different explanations for why we did this, including a medical emergency and stopping to pick up peoples' luggage which makes sense because of the craziness at MCO the day before). Anyway we woke up at the stop, I guess we both sensed the different movements of the ship, but went to sleep and woke before the alarm, well-rested and ready for coffee!

We made our way up to Cabanas for a hot cup of coffee (yuck, should have bought Cove Cafe coffee card right then and there) and then headed to Senses for our treatment. I'm sorry to say I don't have any photos of this experience, as Peter left his phone in the stateroom and I placed mine in the locker. We wanted to completely disconnect. All I can say is OMG, this experience was FABULOUS and worth every crazy expensive penny. They gave us some robes to put over our swimsuites and directed us to a quiet and beautiful room to wait for our private suite for our treatment. The waiting area was warm and dimly lit with gorgeous new age music playing softly...and it was surprisingly crowded! There were no two seats together and there were people who had obviously tried to space themselves apart from eachother or left an end seat empty (remember this is before COVID-19) and we were surprised that upon seeing the two of us walk in together, nobody offered to move over one seat so we could sit together. It was no big deal, we were only there a few minutes, but it felt awkward and for some reason I still remember to today. If I had been seated I would have moved to the other side of Peter to allow a couple to sit together...maybe that's just me? Also, I wonder if this crowding was a situation unique to the opening hour while they are preparing the rooms? Anyway, we were called in shortly...

Our masseuses introduced themselves to us and showed us to our suite and through to a private balcony with a few lounge chairs, a few regular chairs and a hot tub. We started in the regular chairs for aromatherapy foot scrubs, then into the hot tub to relax our muscles and prepare them for the massages. Since this was a "Couples' Choice" we had a few choices and I think one was a salt rub? don't remember the others, but we chose the hot stone massage. We both were pleased that our masseuses combined the hot stone massage with bamboo rub, which neither of us had experienced before and it was incredible! We don't agree what happened next...but I believe we did go back into the hot tub for about ten minutes after the massages (Peter thinks we didn't go back in hot tub but went directly to the tea ceremony). We eventually made our way to the lounge chairs where a beautiful tea ceremony was set up with absolutely gorgeous and perfect fruit skeweres that included strawberries and pineapple and we also had chocolate covered strawberries and delicious tea (SO much better than the coffee). I want to add that this was a cool, windy, rocky sea day, but there on our private balcony on the sunrise side of the ship (which I think would have been the port side) we were very comfortable and warm enough. It was heaven!

The whole experience was over at 10:10, 2 hours and 10 minutes total. We have done couples' massages at many venues on land, but nothing like this. Also, nothing that compares in price, haha. They did try to sell us some products at the end, but we graciously said no thank you and that was the end of that. We didn't feel hounded or anything, just know they're gonna try. They have to try. If you have the time and budget, I highly recommend trying this at least once for a special treat!

After the spa, Peter headed down to Guest Services to pick up our paper Navigator for the day. We planned to meet at Cabanas for another cup of coffee. I headed in to Cabanas toward the starboard side and ran into a cast member who told me that side was closed and directed me to the port side. Where I waited. And waited. And I messaged Peter on the App "starboard closed, I'm on port side." And I waited. Stupidly, I never simply walked over to the other side to see if he was there, I just assumed he would be directed to port, like I was. I waited. He waited. We eventually both gave up at the same time and ran into each other back at the stateroom. We had each had really bad coffee by ourselves and when we arrived back in the room...Peter checked his phone and saw my message. Anyway, good thing we had just had incredible spa treatments. We laughed instead of grumbled!

Time to get dressed for brunch at Palo!
 

iloveeeyore

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 12, 2003
Sunday, January 5, 2020 - At Sea Day - Palo Brunch!

This is it, folks! We fretted. We sweated. We ran for that podium outside of Enchanted Garden. Was it worth it? Spoiler alert - YES! Do Palo Brunch!!

12 noon reservation, unavailable to us pre-cruise (no status, booked 40-something days out), secured upon boarding when podium opened (a little earlier than the advertised 12:30 embarkation day).

...After the spa and the ensuing coffee debacle (because we missed each other AND because...well, aforementioned lack of quality of Cabanas coffee...) we found each other back in room and showered and dressed for brunch. We also spent a few luxurious moments out on our balcony enjoying the air and the beautiful ocean. Headed up to Palo...

Still can't get over the gorgeous elevators
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And light fixtures
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We had a choice for an included bevarage...juice, mimosa or prosecco. We both chose prosecco and enjoyed the beautiful view from our table.
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Our server, Boris, took us on a tour of the buffet. He showed us the dessert table first because it was on our way to the smaller side room with the main offering (and to remind us to save room for dessert haha). I apologize for the quality of the photos. I snapped them really quick because I felt a bit awkward taking all these food photos as others were trying to enjoy their brunch. I never saw anyone else taking pics.

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Closer up
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More next post...
 

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  • NAB

    <font color=green>That first page just got too hea
    Joined
    May 31, 2006
    We have done the Couples thing before too. I don’t think you would have time to go back into the hot tub after . They tell you to lounge on the bed there before tea. Don’t think they would want you back in there after you had oil all over you from the massage.

    I too think it is strange no one let you sit together. But I can see if your alone you would sit away from others.

    Can’t wait to hear more. Oh Palo Brunch yes please...
     

    iloveeeyore

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 12, 2003
    We have done the Couples thing before too. I don’t think you would have time to go back into the hot tub after . They tell you to lounge on the bed there before tea. Don’t think they would want you back in there after you had oil all over you from the massage.

    I too think it is strange no one let you sit together. But I can see if your alone you would sit away from others.

    Can’t wait to hear more. Oh Palo Brunch yes please...
    I looked back in my notes that I wrote that day and I didn't say anything about returning to the hot tub, so I guess we didn't. Wonder why I remember it that way?

    Thanks for sticking with me. More from Palo...
     

    iloveeeyore

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 12, 2003
    Sunday, January 5 - At Sea day, Palo Brunch continued

    We continued on our tour with Boris...

    the bread section, there are sweet and savory ones. The savory ones were my favorite. There was one with bleu cheese and nuts that was so, so good!

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    Closer look

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    On the left in the back here, you can see the silver covered pan that holds the famous sticky buns. I didn't take a photo of one but trust me! We tried one and it was so good, definitely worth the hype!
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    The next table was the Seafood offerings

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    Crab claws, squid salad and shrimp cocktail shots
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    Shrimp and seared scallops with tomato, and sauces to choose fromi ncluding that delicious pink champagne sauce. There's also caviar on the bottom with garnished on the right and toast to put it on on the left:

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    I think there's crab legs on the top left with another bowl of the squid salad and those little bowls have sushi grade tuna and...some other fish? Mussels? Don't remember but I promise it was delicious! We tried absolutely everything on this table
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    More to come...
     
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    iloveeeyore

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 12, 2003
    Saturday, January 5 - more about Palo brunch

    The last buffet table we visited was the Italian antipasto table. Peter and I are fools for good Italian antipasto. We grew up Italian on Staten Island and the Bronx. We know when it's good. This did not disappoint!

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    Oh arugula, how I adore thee...and prisciutto and melon.
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    I can't remember what the spoons and glasses in the front contained.
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    Olives, pickled onions, dried meat.
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    Best for last...CHEESE and marinated artichoke hearts.
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    We tried almost everything on these tables (split the big things like the tasty breads and the sticky bun), but we were so stuffed by the time Boris delivered our entrees. We went with the ones he recommended, the chicken parmigiana:

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    And the lasagna:

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    So good! Not the best ever, but still delicious enough that we licked the plates clean, even after everything we had eaten before. I would have preferred my lasagna with more cheese and less bechamel but I know this is an authentic way to make it, just not my fave. The meat inside there was perfect! I had really wanted to try one of the pizzas but I'm glad we didn't order one, we were just way too full.

    I wanted a good cup of coffee at this point. We sprang for a few bucks for the cappucinos and they were so good and much appreciated by this point after the two bad cups of the morning. And in addition to the desserts from the buffet (my favorite was a mango panna cotta), Boris made us a little celebration and brought us a "special anniversary dessert"
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    The last thing we needed, but so good anyway

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    I don't know how we stood up and walked back to the room after this meal. Or how we managed to wiggle into our bathing suits to head to the pool. Somehow, when there's a will, there's a way.

    More from our first Sea Day and Formal Night coming up...
     

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  • MainStreetFireman

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 19, 2007
    My massage and Palo thoughts:

    Given the price of the cruise, I was hard to convince why we should pay extra for anything. Having said that, the couples massage and Palo brunch were #2, and #1 of my favorite add-ons. (#3 was the shipboard tequila "tasting", which I will leave Dina to describe...). Wish we were cruising now!!!
     

    NAB

    <font color=green>That first page just got too hea
    Joined
    May 31, 2006
    My massage and Palo thoughts:

    Given the price of the cruise, I was hard to convince why we should pay extra for anything. Having said that, the couples massage and Palo brunch were #2, and #1 of my favorite add-ons. (#3 was the shipboard tequila "tasting", which I will leave Dina to describe...). Wish we were cruising now!!!
    Yeah we do the couples massage now when on but not the room with hot tub. Less expensive.

    We are platinum so that get Palo included but with the tip it isn’t really free...lol

    Loved all the pics . Wish I was on a cruise now too , we got our Hawaiian one cancelled in May . It was our 25 th wedding anniversary too....boo
     

    lizzyb

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 8, 2007
    We have never had any spa treatments while saying but I will be looking into it for our next cruise!
     

    iloveeeyore

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 12, 2003
    Yeah we do the couples massage now when on but not the room with hot tub. Less expensive.

    We are platinum so that get Palo included but with the tip it isn’t really free...lol

    Loved all the pics . Wish I was on a cruise now too , we got our Hawaiian one cancelled in May . It was our 25 th wedding anniversary too....boo
    Thanks for following! We had a southern Caribbean cruise cancelled in May, rebooked same cruise for August, which was also cancelled...so then we booked a trip to Hawaii (Maui, North Shore of Oahu and Aulani)...now ALSO cancelled. So sad!! Saddest about Hawaii. Hard to remind myself to keep things in perspective right now!

    We have never had any spa treatments while saying but I will be looking into it for our next cruise!
    We had never used the spa on any cruise and were inspired to do it this time...so worth it!
     
  • iloveeeyore

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 12, 2003
    Sunday, January 5, Day at Sea - Tequila and Margarita Tasting

    Don Julio was featured at the Tequila and Margarita tasting at 4pm in Ooh La La! This event cost $23 pp and it was incredible!! I would highly recommend trying at least 1 tasting that caters to your interest onboard. We will absolutely book another tasting if we (the collective, global we) ever get to cruising again, and in fact, would easily do the very same one again! We were lucky enough to be able to snag this one before sailing, but they do hold spots back for booking on board, so if you are unsuccessfully in booking one in advance, please don't lose hope. There will be instructions for how to sign up on your navigator.

    The beautiful venue all set up
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    Each place setting
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    Delicious margaritas
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    We had about 3 shots (not quite full) and 2? margaritas pp, along with a wonderful 40 minutes or so of lively demonstration. It was so fun and a great value and we are really glad we did this!

    It was formal night and there would be a Captain's Reception this night, so after our tasting we went back to the room for a quick shower and some glamming up.
     
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    iloveeeyore

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 12, 2003
    Sunday, January 5 - Formal night

    Peter and I go to a fair number of formal events in our usual lives, and we debated packing a ball gown and a tux...but decided we'd rather be more casual on our Caribbean vacation. This is what we ultimately chose.

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    I know there are a lot of questions about how formal is formal night really. We felt perfectly comfortable, and were neither the most nor least dressy in the crowd. Free drinks were offered during this reception, red and white wine or the drink of the day. I don't remember what it was but I do know it was too sweet and I wasn't a fan.

    The lovely orchid at Bon Voyage (everything always so elegant and classic on the gorgeous Fantasy)
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    An opportunity to greet and thank the officers:
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    Photo op...my favorite Star Wars character, even though it wasn't Star Wars day, yet, there were little touches that started get us in the mood.
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    We didn't wait in any lines, but it was fun to see the characters all decked out in their formalwear. Minnie was especially stylish, and we spotted her on our way into our 6:15 show of Aladdin.

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    I did get a shot of her from the front, but someone else's kid is also in the photo, so I can't post it. Her style is very vintage, it very much matches the ship!

    Aladdin was amazing! We loved that the Genie was the same actor as the dorky dad from the night before. These performers are all so talented.

    Time to head to dinner at Animator's Palate!
     
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    iloveeeyore

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 12, 2003
    Sunday, January 5 - Formal Night Dinner at Animator's Palate

    OK. I was still STUFFED from brunch at Palo. And the ship had been really rocking and rolling on the choppy Florida Straights the whole day, so when we sat down to dinner for our first time at AP, I just wasn't hungry. That said, I found a way to do some damage! I don't think Peter shared my not hungry feeling.

    Of course the big attraction of the first AP night is the Crush show. It's very adorable and a lot like Turtle Talk with Crush in Epcot, how crush actually interacts with the guests. We had a good time with him.

    You watch the fish swimming around:
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    Crush talks to you:
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    And the under the water theme casts a blue light on everything, including the food.

    Of course, for our first appetizers we both ordered the Black Truffle Pasta Pursettes that are all the hype. There were very good, but I'm not sure they live up to all that. The sauce was a bit thin. Maybe our expectations were too high?

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    For my entree, I went with the Ginger Teriyaki Dusted Beef Tenderloin, which was delicious:

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    And I think Peter chose the Pork Chop ala Norman? Herb-crusted with sundried tomato risotto and Barolo wine sauce:

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    For dessert, Peter ordered the famous lemon icebox pie, which was quite tart and refreshing:

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    I just couldn't eat another bite. I told Jospeh our waiter I wanted nothing for dessert, and here is what I got:

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    A lovely, thoughtful plate of nothing! Wish I had zoomed out a bit to document some perpective on this plate. I didn't expect it at all and we all got a laugh about it. How we love our Joseph!

    After dinner we were so tired and full, we were feeling like we should head to the tube but decided instead to call it an early night so we could start early for our first port day tomorrow...Cozumel!
     

    Mich123

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2009
    Oh how I wish for a sea day! What a great day you had, Palo and Tequila tasting, two of my favorite things.

    I"m sorry you've had three cruises cancelled. We also had a cruise cancelled and are now rebooked on the Fantasy (replacing a 7 day Dream). I'm hopeful that it's far enough away (10/2021) that it will actually happen.
     

    DisneyParkLover

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 30, 2013
    Just stumbled onto your cruise report. Really enjoying it so far. I am also in healthcare (NP in Alabama) and everything you said really rang true with me. You will see my own cruise report also had a big gap as I was trying to deal with everything - stress, anxiety, fear, sadness.....😢. Now I’m trying to get back to it because I need to relive those happy memories and give myself hope that we will travel again soon.
     
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    MainStreetFireman

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 19, 2007
    Just stumbled onto your cruise report. Really enjoying it so far. I am also in healthcare (NP in Alabama) and everything you said really rang true with me. You will see my own cruise report also had a big gap as I was trying to deal with everything - stress, anxiety, fear, sadness.....😢. Now I’m trying to get back to it because I need to relive those happy memories and give myself hope that we will travel again soon.
    Same here. As much as people enjoy these reports, I selfishly enjoy them as touchstones when times are tough. Stay safe, DPL, and thank you for your service.
     

    iloveeeyore

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 12, 2003
    Just stumbled onto your cruise report. Really enjoying it so far. I am also in healthcare (NP in Alabama) and everything you said really rang true with me. You will see my own cruise report also had a big gap as I was trying to deal with everything - stress, anxiety, fear, sadness.....😢. Now I’m trying to get back to it because I need to relive those happy memories and give myself hope that we will travel again soon.
    I feel you!! I hope you are staying safe and well! Thanks for all you do. Gonna go read your report now. I am determined to get through mine soon. It makes me so happy when I'm doing it but hard to muster up the energy. I am starting to get just a little hopeful about our 5 day Magic in January...entering the danger zone!
     

    iloveeeyore

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 12, 2003
    Oh how I wish for a sea day! What a great day you had, Palo and Tequila tasting, two of my favorite things.

    I"m sorry you've had three cruises cancelled. We also had a cruise cancelled and are now rebooked on the Fantasy (replacing a 7 day Dream). I'm hopeful that it's far enough away (10/2021) that it will actually happen.
    Oh how I also wish for a sea day. Yeah that one day was so amazing! I am starting to get a little bit hopeful about our January 5-day Magic sailing...maybe a little too hopeful? Trying to exercise restraint. At least we have these memories to carry us through to the next one! We are super blessed and lucky.
     
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