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  1. #1

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    Eastern Caribbean Disney Fantasy cruise- almost perfect... then black and blue.

    Last July I went on a great cruise on the Disney Fantasy with my dad. So great in fact that when I got home I handed a packet of cruising stuff to my mom. I was like "Mom, I didn't get you a souvenir, instead you can get your own." Picked up a dummy date (a cheap cruise date as far out as you can get it. Typically this is a 3 day cruise. You can keep the perks of booking on board, and change where/when you are going.) and told her to pick where and when and I'd pay for it. It was going to be a "Mommy/daughter cruise." And then somehow my uncle (who I don't get along with) got invited to come along (Mom wanted him to come and I can't say no. Guess what I learned how to say by the end of this trip?).

    Basic details:
    Date- 4/20/13
    Location- Eastern Caribbean---> Saint Thomas, San Juan, and Castaway Cay.
    Boat - Disney's Fantasy.


    Here we are at the start-ish of our journey. I was a little tired and overly caffeinated. Oh and I was being very nerdy.....



    We stayed at the Hyatt Place North West in Orlando, Florida. It was like 3 miles from the airport. They have a shuttle to/from the airport. There's an excellent breakfast in the morning and it is within walking distance to a number of chains for dinner after a long flight. There's a shuttle to/from Port Canaveral that you can add to your room reservation. I think for 2 people in a 2 queen sized beds room with round trip shuttle for 2 was like $200. If you add another person it's $55. Disney's shuttle from the Hyatt in the Orlando airport is $35 per person per way ($70 per person round trip.). The perks about the Hyatt Place is the convenience and simplicity. But if you have an early check in time to Port Canaveral, it's not the best. The shuttle was supposed to arrive between 11am-11:30am. It showed up at like 11:45 and didn't leave until closer to noon. We got to the port at 1ish. This picture shows how much luggage you can pack if you go through Southwest.


    On paper and in Walmart 2 weeks before the cruise matching yellow Hawaiian t-shirts sounded awesome! In reality? We looked like dorks. I will say though I did pick yellow as a color I wore off the boat a lot for a reason. My uncle likes to walk away (he's with it, not confused.... just think the world revolves around him and has ADD in the bad way...), so I would wear yellow to be easy to spot in a crowd. Oh! And this is my mom!


    Finally on the boat! It was really cold in port. Like 50 degrees and rainy cold.


    You aren't allowed into your room until like 1:30pm. And when I walked in this is what I saw. There are very (underline that a few times) few times when your childhood dreams come true and this was one of those moments. Growing up I wanted to go on Disney cruises (back in the Big Red Boat days), but my folks have 3 kids and my folks were very "let's go on cultural vacations!". So taking myself on a Disney cruise is a big deal for me. Being a frequent Disney cruiser and joining the Castaway Club, I cried. And it was a moment. Even now writing this, I get emotional because the 10 year old Kim would be doing back flips if she could see this.


    Originally I had booked a 5E room, which is a back of the boat extended balcony room. The downside of that room is you would get a lot more movement and soot from the smoke stacks. But then I saw I got upgraded to a 4E room and I was scared. I called Disney and tried to change my room (on the map it looks like you are right above the theaters, that you are in the pit of kids clubs, and it would be constant noise). This room is one of the hidden gems of the ship. Giant balcony, the kids clubs are really far away, and it's nice. The balcony is double the size of most and I paid less money.


    Door. You can use magnets to decorate the door. But let's repeat it's magnets only! Only magnets! I saw a door that was covered top to bottom with those expensive scrapbooking stickers stuck to the door. OMG, I nearly had a heart attack thinking of the cost to that guest! I made a magnet of my tattoo so I could always find my room (the sheep). And there's a magnet of my facebook picture (the lab puppy), so people could recognize me.


    If you have a chance to see a movie go to Funnel Vision and watch a movie! I watched "Remember the Titans." Best thing to do. (This movie is "Parent Trap.").


    My teddy bear, Radar, at Currents bar. He may have gotten a wee bit tipsy.


    Princess night! I've never gotten all weird with characters but for some reason on the Disney boat because you see them so much you talk to Ariel, you talk to all the characters, and it's really fun! Oh! That skirt is from Modcloth.

    More coming up! Including how I got black and blue...

  2. #2

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    Re: Eastern Caribbean Disney Fantasy cruise- almost perfect... then black and blue.

    More!! I'll probably never get to do this so I must live vicariously through your report!!!




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  3. #3

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    Re: Eastern Caribbean Disney Fantasy cruise- almost perfect... then black and blue.

    Continuing on....

    I'm a foodie and a big chunk of my vacation was spent looking for awesome food. And you can't do a Disney cruise without Palo (I mean you can.... but Palo is awesome.).

    My brunch buffet plate...

    Moms.

    Super yummy chicken parm with risotto. OMG so good.

    This... funny story. So our waiter was like "you need to try this. It's new since the last time you came and it's amazing." He ordered us one each and they have a super fancy Italian name. I was like "uh okay. I'm cool with anything." Oh my stars and garters! It's fancy fried mozzarella cheese with the best tomato sauce I've ever had! To say it's amazing is a vast understatement.


    Fancy dress for Palo. They won't let you in if you're wearing shorts. I wore my maxi dress.


    Sleepy after being fancy. I wore that sweater like everywhere, it was comfy. The maxi dress too... I tried to pack simple things that could go everywhere.


    So I wanted to point out why our balcony was so great. And since this is the food post, this shows why this balcony rocks! We are coffee fiends and can't start the day without coffee. Even the idea of getting up and getting coffee.... crow I have a Keurig and first thing I do is make coffee. So booking a cruise without a coffee maker, big scary. We ordered room service the night before that came at like 0730 (I wake up at 0700ish, Mom at like 0800ish...). Oh and hey! Look OJ (perfect for taking pills), 2 pots of coffee (again big coffee drinkers.), and nice danish while looking out at St. Thomas. Gorgeous!


    If you are in St. Thomas, run (don't leisurely walk), to Gladys's. If you take the shuttle from the cruise dock area ($4 per person. They are big taxis that fit like 20 people.), to Charlotte Amelie. It's on the main stretch. I didn't know while planning, but apparently they're like the top thing to do if you're in St. Thomas (over buying jewelry.).


    Menu.


    Richard had the super safe mahi mahi burger/sandwich. It was kind of funny because he smothered it in their famous hot sauce, then realized "that's super hot!"


    Mom and I decided if we were in the Caribbean, we'd eat Caribbean. We went out of our comfort zone. She had jerk chicken with sweet potato (the green thing), plantains, rice/beans, and salad (this was called "jerk chicken with rations"). She loved it. It wasn't too spicy, but flavorful.


    Mine: stewed oxtail and rations. Seriously?! So good! Everyone when I got home was like "whoa.... that's crazy you ate that!" So good! My sister said it sounded intense. Great cut of meat, and I'm guessing the way it became so yummy was stewing it--- that changes the meat.


    Lunch at the Royal Court. That was a "bread and butter" bread pudding with raspberry swirl and fancy twisty chocolate cake with dark cherries. Yummmmm. I ordered lunch and dessert with it, and suddenly was very full!



    One thing I've missed while moving to Washington is the Mickey head ice creams. I ordered these every night.


    Where we went when in Puerto Rico (I got lost and we ran around looking for this place. It's right across from the boat. Like right across.). They were told to have the best mofongo, and that was one thing I wanted. I think when I heard Mom wanted to go to Puerto Rico I was like "I get to try mofongo!!!!!"


    We don't know what exactly Mom ordered, but the waitress said it was the 2nd best thing on the menu. She like it.



    Mofongo!!!!! It's mashed plantains with pork skin all fried together in a bowl. Then they fill it with something and sauce it up. I picked pork because.... frankly pork is the reason why I'm not a vegetarian and a garlic sauce (it was super garlicky). I did the garlic sauce because, while it's not traditional, this maybe an honest/candid moment but one of our Disney paired table mates kept trying to play footsie with me (and I'm talking totally inappropriate type of footsie.) all week long and frankly I thought super garlic breath would give him the hint.... (I was trying to be polite and didn't want to wreck the cruise by throwing him under the bus in front of his family.). This dish though: yummy! I need to learn how to make it in upstate Washington.

    Next up:
    Castaway Cay! And how to wreck your vacation by forgetting water is important.
    Last edited by knittingknerd; 05-04-2013 at 04:34 PM.

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    Re: Eastern Caribbean Disney Fantasy cruise- almost perfect... then black and blue.

    Great photos and the food looks so yummy! Keep it coming!


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    Re: Eastern Caribbean Disney Fantasy cruise- almost perfect... then black and blue.

    That sound ominous.
    Be Cool Stay in School!
    Next year I'm trying for a summer internship at Stark Industries.

  6. #6

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    Re: Eastern Caribbean Disney Fantasy cruise- almost perfect... then black and blue.

    Okay continuing on (because I have a lot of Biology homework to do this week on top of a decon/disaster team meeting, school, and work, and I still have to catch up on Tucker time---> "Go on vacation for a week and a week later the golden retriever is still guilting you" syndrome.).

    So before I go on, we actually did do things in San Juan, Puerto Rico and Saint Thomas other than eat.


    St. Thomas has all these gorgeous back alleys that were really really pretty, and rather than shop (which we did. Mom was on a hunt for a t-shirt that said "Evacuation plan: grab a beer, run like h$ll"--- Dad and I saw it in Grand Cayman and took a picture of it, but Mom thought since I'm on the disaster team at work that's really funny. I think we bought a few souvenirs in St. Thomas.) I found myself drawn to these back alleys.



    I have so many pictures in my computer of doors and these alleys. They were really bright and happy. I want to write about the stories behind these doors rather than just take pictures.


    This was just adorable.



    A fort (the fort) in San Juan. You could practically see it from anywhere you looked. This city, it was amazing from a historical prospective and I wished I had done my research more (read more on Colombus and discovering the "new world." Although I know it is all bloody fun times.). This is one of those "magical places" in my brain.

    San Juan, a monument for fallen police officers. I am trying to find the pictures of the medical school. It was so pretty. I wonder if we took pictures of that. We took a carriage ride through San Juan, which was.... I am very against those things but I was out voted.

    Okay onto the segment of this trip report which I like to call "How Kim apparently forgot everything she learned in nursing school and wrecked the amazing journey." Yeah....

    So first thing I should note is last cruise I tried to be great about sunscreen, brought the spray on SPF 100 sunscreen. But I am horrible and didn't know you had to rub that sunscreen in.... Also I'm bad because when I get in the sun and I have a drink in me, I burn. So Grand Cayman, BOGO margaritas, and a deck chair meant I was a lobster. I won't post a picture of that. It was painful.

    Reference picture of last year's burn:


    My primary physician saw this picture and knows I am super pale. I'm Irish-Scottish-German, work NOC shift, and live in Western Washington. And on top of that my doctor 3 weeks prescribed me a medication that made me more photo sensitive (one of the side effects was sun burning and to stay out of the sun.). Well my mom was cute because she had won a $50 off any spa treatment (the spa has a raffle about 30 minutes before the sail away party, you have to be there to win, but there are some awesome prizes.). So she booked me a massage first thing in the morning, in the cabanas on the beach of Castaway Cay, which was the last day of the cruise (well 2nd to last day. Castaway Cay was Friday and we got off the boat Saturday morning at 0900.). You can't be burned when you're getting a massage, so I had to be very careful. I stayed in the little covered areas that had UVA protection (so I could feel the sun, but not burn), I was loading up on SPF, and wore my giant red hat. I packed SPF 50+ waterproof, my tatts were covered in SPF 100. I was great. Had the massage, then slicked myself with sunscreen afterwards.

    Leaving the boat for the massage.


    This should be "Welcome to heaven...." Love Serenity Bay! Remember if you go to wear water shoes. I've cut my feet on the coral a couple times.


    Richard and I on the gorgeous beach in hammocks. Seriously, in life is there anything better? But see the sun.... see the pale pastey white girl? Do you see any cups or bottles of water near me? Yeah.... there's a problem.

    So Richard got us all "Ultimate Island adventure" tickets. I think that's what they're called. They're kinda' this great deal. Snorkel gear (and there's a cool area where Disney has sunk Mickey statues, Minnie stuff, an old sub, etc down there and fishies!) which usually cost $9ish? I don't know the price off the top of my head. You get snorkel gear, an hour on the bikes, and a choice of floaty foam lounger or tube to float into the heavenly bay for like $36. Not bad considering....


    Maxi dress in use again! Notice black in the heat...


    What is that? Is it water? Did I just not notice this.... Or was I being dumb...



    Biked 3 miles, climbed up to this cool observation deck. This, I should point out I have a supreme fear of heights. Not heights, per say.... I don't like going down enclosed staircases. I had a panic attack in Notre Dame, Paris for example that my family still brings up when I say "I'm a bad rump! I go into places that people are fleeing to get out...." And the joke is "unless they have stairs." Me going up to the top and coming down without help or a panic attack was a huge deal.


    Weird stuff you see from this observation deck.


    Observation deck...

    Because riding a bike in a black maxi dress is great. We met this couple on the boat through facebook, and the husband was like "don't fall..." as soon as I got on this bike.

    Mom's lunch... Look healthy. Look a drink. We had this standard joke we needed a cheeseburger in paradise. These were good burgers too.


    My lunch. What don't you see? What should you see? Would it be a drink or water??


    Sun! Walking around! We walked like 2 miles maybe more. I ran- slow run like a mile that day....


    Mount Rustmore.


    After snorkeling. You can see I'm burning. I snorkeled for a good hour plus and that means swimming in the water, really working out.

    So we get back to the boat, and we all realize "my lips are cracking... I'm sore. I'm tired." But last day on the boat everyone is like "let's go do more stuff!" So Mom and I waited 30 minutes in the super heat to get on the Aqua-duck (a waterslide rollercoaster type thing. I posted a picture of it somewhere.). Then we decided to do more stuff, the steam room in the Rainforest room for example. Still no water. Then before dinner my uncle is like "let's get a drink at one of the bars." Well Mom hadn't been to the one bar she wanted to go to (Ohhh La La the French bar) and I hadn't been to the one I wanted to (Skyline) so we made our way there.


    My drink at Ohhh La La. It was gin with orange juice and lemoncello. Super yummy. I was feeling "buzzy" nice little buzz. It was great. But I wanted to go to Skyline.

    Skyline is this cool bar that has a giant screen that changes different famous Europe skylines every 7-12 minutes and the drink menu changes to reflect that. It's a martini bar. And what the Disney imagineers did, is because they're nerdy and awesome, is they put "Star Wars" characters in the cityscapes, that's why I wanted to go there. I'm a HUGE "Star Wars" nerd.


    Vader taking off his gear in I think Paris.


    Drink menu. This gives you an example about prices. What was rad about this menu was it was a tablet. So it was glowy. I have this huge sweet/spicy thing that I love. Plus I'm the maid of honor at my sister's wedding, so being buzzed I was like "I need to take pictures of this menu!!!!" so we could have ideas for her hen party. I had the El Conquistador. It was yummy. And my mom and I both felt like we were more woobly than normal....


    The drink that was yummy and literally knocked me off my feet. At least it's pretty, right? So after sipping this I was like "wow, I don't feel right." We got up to go to dinner and I felt really really really drunk. Like super drunk. And I walked maybe 10 steps and fell. And I'm talking fell hard. I don't remember falling, I remember hearing a "pop" and thinking "ohhhh that's not good." And then I jumped up like an Olympic athlete/spaz and was like "I'm good." I told my mom I needed to go to the bathroom and we walked into the bathroom, closed the stall, and looked down at my ankle. I started to cry and called out "Mommy...." And yeah.

    One of the electrical tech guys after we got out of the bathroom, and Mom was looking for my uncle (who disappeared), said we should go to health services. If you ever have to go, dude.... This wasn't Disney magic. Part of the reasons why I wanted to be a nurse was based on going to Disneyland's first aide center. The cruise boat sucks. They're open 8 hours with a 2 hour break in the middle of that. So Mom called the emergency number. The nurse came out and was like "It's going to be $220 to just walk in and that doesn't include treatment or prescriptions and we don't accept health insurance." Yeah. The doc came out and it was just as bad. Like seriously I was crying because this is the worst injury I had ever had (giant 4 inch goose egg coming out of my right ankle.). I asked (in tears) "can you look at it, tell me if I can wait to have my ER doc look at it when I get home tomorrow?" The doctor said he couldn't unless I paid. Yep... no Disney magic or even compassion. So because I was thinking "I can't afford that" we left and the RN handed me 2 chemical ice bags.

    Went to dinner, and guess where my uncle was? Yep at dinner. So I am sitting across from the guy that all week had been playing footsies with me (and I wasn't playing back.) and I'm drunk. I flat out said "don't mess with my feet tonight." Think that shocked all of my table. My mom used her lanyard to wrap the ice pack to my ankle. We realized Mom and I were both dehydrated and had heat stroke (awesome!) which explained why the alcohol effected us so badly. I didn't sleep that night, freaked out. The last morning was really fun (not) because somehow I had packed all my unders in my checked luggage-- which you leave outside the night before (Richard had been harassing me to pack up and I had my clothes out for the next day and I somehow.... yeah). Then going through security/customs with 2 checked luggage bags, plus my duffle bag carry on and my backpack and a hurting ankle (and people kept hitting it), amazeballs . During the Orlando airport TSA screening I had something in my pocket (my key to the world card) and I was hot, hurting, in pain, frustrated, and they made me go through the whole body screening. Apparently there was "an anomaly in the reading" (my Key despite it being over my head showed a yellow patch in my stomach area). I was so irritated (the security lines were horrible!) and I just lifted my top to where I thought the patch was (my tummy area) but I lifted way far up. A couple we met at Serenity Bay then the airport was like "you could tell you were just pissed and didn't care" and I had forgotten lack of unders. Like the ankle thing, Disney kinda' wrecked my trip. I'm sorry. At least say "ohhhh are you okay?" in the health center. Instead it was cold and mean. Oh! Some guy on our flight home asked how come I got priority seating (he was angry about it). I wiggled my toes and he was like "So you're wearing a black sock." I was like "nope, those are my toes."

    This is my cool picture... Be warned it's what I did to my ankle:

    My shuttle got us home at 0145ish and I drove myself to the ER by 0150. Everyone looked at me when I came in and they're like "I thought you were on vacation...." Yeah, was. I severely sprained it. It was kinda' funny because about 4 months ago my sister went into the ER for a broken foot (12+ bones). And the doctor looked at me and was like "Kim, this isn't a competition with your sister. And even if it is, you don't want to win this." The best souvenir in the world, eh? I get to wear a walking splint and wrap for a few weeks. And now my foot is one giant bruise (all purple.)

    That's my trip report. Apparently you do need water. Thanks for reading!

  7. #7

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    Re: Eastern Caribbean Disney Fantasy cruise- almost perfect... then black and blue.

    Great trip report.
    For the love of Disney....

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    Re: Eastern Caribbean Disney Fantasy cruise- almost perfect... then black and blue.

    Sorry to hear that your trip got ruined at the end. I wouldn't blame Disney for this though. Cruise ship doctors are not employed by the cruise line. They are independent contractors. As this does reflect on the Cruise Line, I'd let Disney know about the experience. I'd think this is a doctor they would not want to be doing business with.

    I hope your ankle is getting better.






  9. #9

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    Re: Eastern Caribbean Disney Fantasy cruise- almost perfect... then black and blue.

    Oh I don't blame Disney at all (!!!!!!) for getting hurt. Nope, I knew I screwed up and had too much to drink (and not enough water). I am irked by how the doctor and nurse handled the situation. And I know I am totally biased because I'm going to school to be a RN and work in the medical field now and know some excellent RNs. And when I emailed Disney cruise line about it I said I take full responsibility for falling, but their MD and RNs had zippo compassion. What you can't see in the ankle picture is that ankle has a tattoo of a Florence Nightingale lamp on it (It has her lantern to remind me about compassionate care when nursing and good nursing practices are permanently embedded in my skin.). My best friend laughed and was like "if the nurse would've realized that, she may have tried to help you more!"
    Last edited by knittingknerd; 05-07-2013 at 07:07 PM.

  10. #10

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    Re: Eastern Caribbean Disney Fantasy cruise- almost perfect... then black and blue.

    I hope you're healing! I agree that you should let Disney know about the lack of compassion showed by the medical staff. I have heard other people have had experiences that were *much* better (like it should be).
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  11. #11

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    Re: Eastern Caribbean Disney Fantasy cruise- almost perfect... then black and blue.

    nice pics ! I cant wait to go on my own disney cruise. perhaps next year

    thanks for sharing!



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    Re: Eastern Caribbean Disney Fantasy cruise- almost perfect... then black and blue.

    Oh my goodness! You are so lucky! Nice pictures, thanks for sharing!

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