Reporting from the Atlantic, cruising past the Bahamas on Disney Fantasy

We are settling into a routine on our 7-day cruise on the beautiful Disney Fantasy. Our flight down to Orlando on Friday was uneventful and we were glad to leave Denver just ahead of the March 9 snowstorm. Steve had cashed in miles and we were in first class on United on the way down. A nice young flight attendant on board found out we were going on a Disney cruise and she wanted some information, as she is going with her family on a transatlantic on Disney Magic in May from Galveston to Barcelona. I filled her in on the great places to visit in Barcelona and hints about the ship.

When we arrived at MCO, it was so relaxing to just walk the short distance to the Hyatt hotel. I’m using a cane again because of weak quad muscles in my left leg from sciatica (likely due to a herniated disc), but have been able to walk ok for the most part. After checking in at the hotel, we had some snacks at the bar in McCoy’s at the hotel (very nice place), then enjoyed standing out on our balcony watching air traffic take off and land (we had an outside room facing south).

On Saturday morning, we met an acquaintance of Steve’s at the Hemisphere’s restaurant in the Hyatt. Mike had just flown in from New York to go to a conference at Disney World. We had breakfast (very slow service), then checked out and headed over to the Disney Transportation Center to catch our bus to the port. I had an unfortunate encounter with a Disney employee (very unusual) who demanded to see the cruise booklet and our IDs before we walked another ten feet and showed them the same paperwork at the counter. The booklet was jammed into my purse and I had to set things down to get it out. My hands weren’t working very well, so I struggled a bit and complained about why she had to see this stuff now, when we had to show it again in a few minutes to get in the line for the bus. She accused me of having “anger management” issues and Steve told her, unsmilingly, that I had arthritis pain causing problems. What a stupid process and rude person, which is so unlike the normal Disney experience.

We got on the bus right away and had a very cheerful driver and the time passed quickly getting to the port. We got through security (I guess my life is now going to always consist of pat-downs due to my artificial knees) and were checked in and on board within minutes. It pays to be gold Castaway Cub members, as this is our sixth Disney cruise.

Fantasy is a truly gorgeous ship, full of lovely public spaces and featuring wonderful, huge staterooms. It looks brand-spanking new, although it has been cruising for over a year. We have a veranda cabin, mid-ship, on Deck 6, conveniently located near the elevators (cabin 6076). We enjoyed the Quiet Cove area on Deck 11 forward and the Currents bar on deck 13 before sailing out of Port Canaveral. The weather has been on the cool side, mostly cloudy. We had a little bit of motion last night and you would have thought we were in the North Pacific, judging by how many “dropped like flies” at dinner last night, like they were on a troop ship (even our servers complained about it). The only problem for me with the motion is keeping my balance. I will have to improve my quad strength dramatically before we cross the Drake Passage next February.

Speaking of dinner, our second-seating rotation is “AERAERA”; this bizarre code translates to Animator’s Palate (A), Emerald Garden (E), and Royal Court (R). We will miss the first night at Emerald Garden (tonight) because we are going to Palo, a wonderful adults-only restaurant. We also have a reservation at Remy on Thursday, which is the ultimate gourmet experience, so we will miss the Royal Court that evening. We loved Remy on Disney Dream and can’t wait to do this special meal again.

We were thrilled to see that we had a table for two last night and had a great dinner. We are trying to stay gluten-free as much as possible, so we turned down the bread. I had a mushroom risotto appetizer, a fresh tomato salad, and the beef tenderloin, done in an Asian style. Steve had the same, except he had a smoked salmon tartar instead of the risotto. We enjoyed the “Finding Nemo” animated aquariums and interactive Crush the turtle features. Sadly, we had to listen to an unbearable woman at the table behind us berate her husband and family and act like a complete idiot. The husband and son left the table for a while because of her nasty temperament. As noted above, we also saw a few folks give in to the motion (which we considered to be quite mild); fortunately, there were no “spewing” incidents within our view.

Before dinner, we enjoyed a glass of wine in the charming Skyline Bar, where we admired the animated panoramas of Budapest, Florence, Athens, St. Petersburg, Paris, Barcelona, and London. Europa, the adults-only bar district on Fantasy, has the Tube (London underground theme), the aforementioned Skyline bar, La Piazza (Italian courtyard), Ooh La La (French Champagne bar) and O’Gill’s (Irish pub). A very fun area and we have six more evenings to explore! You can certainly get away from the rug rats on this ship and they seem to enforce the rules.

We slept in this morning (very comfortable bed) before being awakened by some brats in the cabin above us running around like crazy. We then wandered up to the huge and chaotic Cabanas buffet for breakfast (Deck 11 aft) . Keeping with the Gluten-free theme, we had eggs, bacon, sausage and fruit. At 11:00 am, we went to the Tube nightclub for a special reception for Gold and Platinum Castaway Club members. We got to meet both captains (the real one, Captain Marco, and the rodent, Captain Mickey). Mimosas were served and we had our picture taken with Captain Mickey.

We’re enjoying relaxing in the Quiet Cove area now and may (or may not) venture into the hot tub later. Dinner at Palo is at 7:00 pm; we have to dress up tonight, but that’s ok. Life is tough cruising, that’s for sure!

More tomorrow, which is another day at sea on our way to St. Thomas.

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