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Everything posted by hurricane18

  1. We had a great cruise! Maybe I should have focused less on the negative aspects and more on the positive ones. I just felt a lot of people were trying to use their status as 'leverage' when waiting in lines and at guest services if that makes sense. silvers and first timers are also at a severe disadvantage when it comes to port adventures.
  2. Yes and No. The adults in our group did tend to spend a lot of their time in the adults area, specifically satellite falls (my happy place) so those areas the Disney touches are very understated. We did 1 night each in Palo and Remy, but otherwise we really do enjoy the main dining room experience. We only cruise once a year (or even once every two years) so the Disney touches in the main guest areas do not bother us because thats when we get our 'fill' since we do not go to the parks. We book cruises for itinerary, we would never repeat the same Disney cruise as we like seeing new places so that was our thought process with this cruise. We did the 12 night Magic cruise a few years back in the Mediterranean and didn't feel overwhelmed only because the itinerary was so port intensive.
  3. Just got off the Fantasy's 11 night Southern Caribbean sailing last week. If anyone has any questions, I am happy to answer! Here are a few big things I noticed: 1) Wifi, Free iMessage and Messaging in Navigator App - This was a welcome addition and made communication much easier. I saw families using walkie talkies on the first day but never again after they must have figured out the iMessage thing. This free perk is NOT advertised or talked about very much, so make sure to take advantage of it. I guess the next question is-- When will DCL expand free iMessage to other ships? Hopefully it hits the magic in time for our trip next summer! However, DCL unfortunately still uses the awful megabyte based wifi program. We cruised a different line last year and it was cheaper for a full day of unlimited access than it was for the Small package on DCL. 2) AFT Vibration and Movement - Our room was Midship-Aft (Deck 10) and we really felt the shaking, rattling, and rolling of the ship, as mentioned by others on this forum and DISboards. We felt major vibration almost every night (we went full speed, or close to full speed for the first 4 days, and then the last 3 days). We were also woken up at 6:00 every morning by rolling carts above us in Cabanas/pool deck. I know 2 sailings before ours there were issues with the 'shaft' and people were speculating the shaking issue may have gotten better since then. I heard there were issues on the 3 night cruise after ours-- When will DCL fix this issue once and for all? My family will now avoid all Fantasy sailings unless we are in the FWD section or Concierge because of this. Made sleeping very hard. 3) High Castaway Club concentration and unwelcoming atmosphere from other passengers - A Crew member told me that of the roughly 4000 passengers, about 3,300 were returning castaway club members on this sailing. And of that, more than half were gold or platinum. This is obviously great for Disney, but it created somewhat of an unwelcoming and uninviting atmosphere for silver members and first time cruisers. Most of the good excursions were taken by the time our window opened up, and many of the 'experienced' cruisers we felt were snobs and didn't want anything to do with us lowly silvers. Luckily, we already have our gold sailing booked for next year 4) Great Itinerary and Great ship-- but we like the Magic/Wonder better. - We loved most of the islands and loved the itinerary. However, I think there's a lot to be said about being on the SMALLER ships, especially for a long sailing. We sailed the 12 night Med a few years back on the Magic and loved every minute of it. The ship was too big to navigate for 11 days, and is great for shorter voyages, but that more intimate and smaller feel fits my family's needs in a better way for longer trips. 5) I think we've found our cruise line home - I think this sailing (despite some of the negative comments above) confirmed our preference to Disney over other cruise lines. If we take more cruises in the future, they will 99% chance be on Disney. Our family does NOT go to the parks, we are not DVC members, and we are not crazy about the characters. We like Disney because they are clean, there is stuff to do for everyone, their rooms are nice, the service is excellent, and they clearly care about the guest. We have cruised on two other lines recently and while we liked those trips also, theres nothing like Disney. Sorry if most of these points come across as negative, just some of the overarching things I noticed! Food was decent, but got much better as the voyage progressed. Kids had a ball at Edge and Vibe. We thought the cruise staff team was excellent. Great staff and service in all departments, as usual. We contacted guest services about the rolling and vibration in our room and they sent gifts to our room and checked up on us every day. Very nice considering it was something mostly out of their control.
  4. Hi! Hope you are excited for your cruise. I Cruised to Alaska last year and did this excursion with my family. We actually really enjoyed it and thought it was very scenic and well worth it! We did not cruise Disney however, we cruised with Holland America.
  5. Hi there! Follow this link. There is a copy posted on this website. Having trouble uploading documents on my computer at the moment. https://disneycruiselineblog.com/2019/07/disney-fantasy-skipping-san-juan-amid-protests-during-11-night-southern-caribbean-cruise/ See you onboard!
  6. Yep! Had a feeling this would happen when I first posted. We got an email.
  7. Ive found that with the Eastern Caribbean islands, there is more to do without having an excursion planned. There are more beach break type excursions, for instance. For this reason, and because the islands are (in our opinion) prettier, we prefer the eastern itinerary. St Maarten was our favorite port before Disney removed it from their regular eastern schedule, but we have always wanted to visit Tortola as it looks stunning. St Thomas is breathtaking and San Juan is very historic and has much to do (and is walkable). The ports on the western itinerary are more adventure driven if that makes sense, excursions will include things like climbing waterfalls in Jamaica, Turtle encounters in grand cayman, and ruins in Mexico. The islands do not have that mountainous terrain (minus maybe Jamaica) and stereotypical Caribbean colonial feel that the eastern islands have. Both itineraries are beautiful and visit amazing places, but we far prefer eastern also because we feel safer at those ports.
  8. Thank you. We are 3 days out and still no changes. Other ships have been cancelling. We cancelled our old San Juan City tour and did a private vehicle excursion instead through DCL, so that we can explore other areas of the island If we still stop and the protests are still an issue.
  9. Hello CC Community, We are on the upcoming Fantasy 11 Night Southern sailing on July 27 which includes a stop in San Juan. In the past week or so, Cruise ships have been cancelling due to safety concerns in Old San Juan regarding protests against the governor. Celebrity, MSC, and Royal have cancelled calls for this week. I know Disney usually errs on the side of caution in regards to port safety, so what do you think the likelihood is that Disney will cancel the Fantasy's next call in early August? If and when this stop is cancelled, when would we be likely to find out so we can make alternative port adventure plans? hurricane18
  10. You are totally fine with just normal verandah rooms. No need for concierge in this situation, in my opinion.
  11. impossible to do in one day. To truly experience all Cusco/ Machu Picchu has to offer, you need 3-4 days and then an additional day or two in Lima. If I were you, I would experience Lima and Trujillo and come back on a seperate trip to Cusco (or plan it before/after the cruise)! Peru is very reasonably priced imho
  12. Yeah HAL doesn't do a great job explaining their land tours on their website. Per the brochure, It looks like you are going to be on a bus from Fairbanks to Denali, a train from Denali to Anchorage, and a Bus from Anchorage to Seward. you said you upgraded the last segment to train. It is not possible to take the train from Denali to Seward in one day and still make it to the ship on time, hence the night in Anchorage. We were on the bus for the entirety of the trip, and we still enjoyed it. Some have said they loved the train, others are indifferent. More of a personal preference. The Bus is faster and allows for a few impromptu photo stops, touristy trap type places, and walking breaks but people love the train also. you will be given tags when you check in at Fairbanks that say "Meet me onboard" or "Meet me tonight". Pretty self explanatory-- put the tags on the bags of where you wan them to go and have them outside your hotel room door by 6 am the next morning. You won't see the MMOB tagged bags until you get on the ship in Seward. You'll see the MMT bags at the Denali hotel. I would try to send all bags to the ship and keep a small overnight bag (airplane carry on) with you to share with your party for the night in Anchorage and Denali. I dont know about your time in Denali regarding excursions. We had a full day (arrived in Denali at 11:30 am, spent that night there, and left at the brink of dawn the next morning on the bus to catch the ship), so we had plenty of excursion options on the HAL exc website.
  13. what land tour are you on? that might help. We were bussed to Denali from Fairbanks
  14. go for NA since newer larger ship with more to do
  15. Piano Bar, Casino, BB Kings. BB Kings would typically shut down around Midnight or 1, with the piano bar and casino going until 2 ish.
  16. I remember being able to purchase by the day or the whole cruise. Was not priced by the minute.
  17. Scavenger hunts, video game tournaments, group dinners at Lido, Basketball/sports competitions were among a few that I saw. They had a schedule delivered to the stateroom each night of the kids activities for different age groups
  18. I think you should avoid the Bliss. I just sailed another HAL ship to Alaska from Seward to Vancouver and there were plenty of kids onboard (people of all ages as a matter of fact). HAL is a more laid back, refined experience but I think HAL knocks the ball out of the park when it comes to Alaska. Alaska is their specialty and there are plenty of families and multi gen groups on HAL ships during the summer especially Alaska. No, it won’t be like NCL with kids everywhere (I have sailed on the Escape) but I think you may enjoy that and your kids will have more attention at club HAL. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the Eurodam itinerary is better as well, you visit Sitka instead of Skagway (major tourist trap) and you visit glacier bay instead of Tracy’s arm which is much better
  19. Haven’t cruised wth HAL to Med, but when we cruised there with a different line our favorite ports were Kusadasi (Turkey), Villefranche, Civitavecchia (for Rome) and Mykonos.
  20. Kids did fine on the longer portions (I am assuming you mean transfers between hotels) The scenery is nice on the bus and there is cellular data available in most of the state 😂 maybe download a few movies on tablets or phones. They liked the Denali history tour and the hotel in Denali a lot. Our tour did not include the train (we were on a Direct to Denali itinerary, so we were on a motorcoach which is actually FASTER than the train) Kids liked the pool, and met kids their age at the clubs and roamed the ship with them at night and participated in some of the organized activities and went to some of the shows and trivia games. You will notice that on HAL your kids will be with you more, but that is what a family vacation is all about anyways
  21. we had two rooms. Kids in one room and one room for us. The rooms were connected.
  22. Hello! We did the D8L Land tour (One night Fairbanks and one night Denali with bus transfers between the two and from Denali to Seward) and there were lots of families on our land tour group. We were told by HAL and heard from other cruisers on the ship that families tend to stick to the shorter cruisetours, the 2 night option (like us) or the 3 night options. In Denali, I would reccomend Denali natural history tour. It’s a 5 Hour tour through the park and you make stops with cultural and historical presentations at each one. We only had a day there and wanted some time to enjoy the resort and the town so this is the only thing we had time to do. It is shorter than the tundra tour (5 hours vs 8 hours) and was perfect in length since our family would have gotten way too bored in the longer tour. We didn’t do a tour in Fairbanks (the town IMHO is a dump not much to see, we elected to just walk around the downtown area and get dinner). We didn’t see Dawson or Whitehorse since we wanted the quickest land option to basically just see Denali and get on the ship. We stopped in Haines instead of Skagway on our itinerary, but a lot of the excursions are the same. If you want to escape the relative hustle and bustle of Skagway, take the ferry to Haines (a charming little town) or do the glacier point wilderness trip (a hike, canoe ride, and speedboat ride through the rainforest to the face of a glacier). We loved the safari.
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