I posted about 107 pics on my FB page if anyone wants to take a look. If we are not friends you can find me and request my friendship.
Who- Me ( 49 )
DH Doug ( 55)
My DM ( 71)
My DDad (74)
Staterooms- 7156 and 7154 connecting
Let me start by explaining my title- we cruised on the Dream last Feb/Mar and were not really pleased with a few things, mainly the Quiet Cover area and our service in the MDR. So....we went into this hoping that we would see some changes in the adult area and that our service would be better...they scored high on both!
We left our home in Indiana on Friday morning at 4:30 AM and arrived in Cocoa Beach around 10:30 PM that night. We stayed overnight at the Holiday Inn Express. It is a pretty nice little hotel with a breakfast included ( nothing to write home about).
We left to the ship at 11am with a check in at noon. We realized we were going to be early so we drove More
around a little and saw Cocoa Beach, we headed to the Port at 11:30, between unloading and parking the car we were right on time for check in and were given the boarding number of 14. They were currently on 9. The terminal was not very crowded, I would say we waited no more than 30 minutes tops. We were on board and already in Palo before 1pm. We changed our reservations with no problem at all and then headed to our rooms. They were not ready yet so we walked around the ship a bit. She is beautiful. Of course very similar to the Dream. By 1:30 our staterooms were ready. We got in, put some stuff away, put our magnets on the door, changed into swimsuits and headed out to deck 11 and beyond! We wanted to get to Quiet Cove and then check out the new expanded adult areas.
Rather than take this day by day I am going to break it down into sections of interest.
Embarkation- a breeze as usual! Disney does it right! As usual it got a little congested near the picture area but it really was not too bad at all.
Disembarkation- Easiest ever! This is our 4th DCL cruise and out 6th overall. This was the best yet. DCL is always easy but the porter that we got was amazing! He got a $40.00 tip from us. Great guy!
Staterooms- both 7156 and 7154 were identical and the same as the rooms we have had in the past. They are deluxe OV with Veranda. They are Port side. We had the room steward unlock and open the connecting veranda which made it nice. As far as smoking goes, our neighbor smoked and yes we smelled it but no it did not bother us too much at all. This is only the 2nd time we have been port side and we have decided we do prefer Starboard side.
Dining- The restaurants were good, as has been our experience on all DCL ships. The new animators palate show was on the last night that we had A on our rotation. It is a really fun show not to be missed! We dinned at Palo for dinner, brunch and High Tea. We love the brunch!! Dinner is always good at Palo, especially for a change on a 7 day cruise, but Brunch is the one meal at Palo that if I missed I would be sad! If you have not done the brunch I highly recommend it. Palo is as beautiful as on the Dream...but I think the Fantasy Palo has the edge. They have the brunch set up in a nice little room in the back off the main dining area rather than in the middle. Very nice. Our server, all 3 times was Milos from Croatia! OMG.....what a great guy! Loved him. As a matter of fact we loved all of our servers so much that we will be requesting the same MDR servers on our cruise in March. :) Our servers in the MDR's were Lilly and Aujuman. LOVED THEM.
Adult area- I LOVE THE CHANGES! Did I say that "loud" enough?! I really do! Funny thing is I didn't get any pics because prior to leaving I had been given so many pics from friends I guess I just forgot! LOL Like I already had them. Anyway......The main area is the same, but when you go up to deck 12 to where Currents is, if you look across from Currents there is a wading type pool by a stage. This pool is used by adults and sometimes by adults with small children. I saw families most of the time in it. Seems crazy being right there in what seems like the adult area but it is what it is. We went to sit there one day because this guitar player/singer was performing on the stage and we really liked him....the idea was to sit in the pool and listen to him, we had done this at Satellite Falls the day before, but there was already a couple with 2 smaller children....we love kids and this would not normally be a problem at all! As a matter of fact we went over knowing they were there, we got in but the kids just would not give us any space and the parents did not care to help out so we left and went over to Currents lounge area and sat. Just be aware.
Satellite Falls was great! We loved it. Soooo many seats, we never had a problem finding one even when there were a lot of people over there. It is on Deck 13 all the way Forward and has a great view and breeze! The wind can be rough at times so they may not have to waterfall on but it was on a lot of the time while we were there. They sometimes have entertainment here too. All in all we loved the changes to the Adult areas! We were a little disappointed with the Dream, mostly because of all of the traffic that the poor design caused, but with so many options on the Fantasy we did not seem to mind! And yes...we noticed the same foot traffic on the Fantasy right away!
Adult Entertainment District- Europa! Loved it!! Much nicer than The District on the Dream! We spent a few nights at Skyline, the bartender, Augusto from Brazil was the same bartender we had on the Dream. We all reintroduced ourselves and then had a great couple of nights! He is the best! Good drinks and conversation. We really did not frequent the other clubs, but walked through them. And Loved the little "cafe" area outside of La Piazza! So nice! And the bathrooms! I have pictures of the mosaic murals!! You must see!
Room Steward- his name was Enrique and he was OK. Nothing special happened that I can really speak about. He did leave ice every day! LOL But he was like the invisible man! We hardly ever saw him!
Cruise Director- Ray Smale this is our 3rd cruise with him. He was as great as ever!
Captain Marco was our Captain and he was exceptional! Within an hour or so after leaving port he made the decision to turn around and head back to port due to a medical emergency. The coast guard met us and took the patient. We knew something was going on but they handled things so well that you hardly noticed. We had 3 medical emergencies before the first day was over...one being in the terminal before we left. Then the first night we were woke up at 5:30AM by someone on the loudspeaker asking crew to come to a certain stateroom. Scared the crap out of us! I think it was a mistake to have it broadcasted in the staterooms. At any rate we found out later that it was also a medical emergency! Other than these few things the cruise was incident free. Well..........
Overall regarding ports I am not in any great hurry to do a western again. I enjoy the Eastern much more.
The cruise was great! We will continue to cruise DCL. We booked on board for a 7 day Eastern in March for our 13th anniversary! Got a Starboard side room this time :) After we returned I read a post where someone was suggesting that you not book on board, that it is not worth it. Saying you get a better deal if you wait until closer to your cruise. With all due respect to that person, I do not agree. At least from our experience. We got a good deal with $350 OBC and only a $300 deposit. I checked online and we saved over $300 by booking OB. I know not a huge amount but its good. And I have never known DCL to lower rates close to the sail date unless you are CM or FL residents which we are neither. I will keep my eye on this and see what happens.
Castaway Cay- We love CC. Period. Best beach options we ever have on any of our cruises. We rented bikes this time and went out to the observation deck. It was a really nice ride. We will probably always do that. Next time we will get a cabana though! We love CC so much we think it will be worth it. The food at Serenity Bay was great as usual.....love my rib eye sandwich! The weather was warm and the water refreshing!! Fantastic! So earlier I alluded to a "incident" well believe it or not it happened at Serenity Bay!! First time I have ever seen anything like this happen! It was getting close to time for us to head back to the ship, probably after 3pm when suddenly we hear a commotion a few chairs down. There is a CM and a guest talking, I can't tell if they are just goofing with each other or what but after a minute it becomes apparent that the guest is really upset over some mishap. To make a long, tedious story shorter........this guest is being loud and ridiculous and oh so rude to the CM's ( 3 of them) he was so out of line that security got called. A lot of people, including us, left at that time. When we were on the tram we asked a few people who were behind us if he was still going at it and they said, "yes and worse than before" An officer from the ship came and security. I am telling you it was stupid and it was alcohol fueled. It was so bad that there were a lot of guests on the beach reassuring the CM's that they were there if needed to cover their backs. All we could think was that these CM's work so hard and do not deserve this treatment. They were fully clothed running back and forth getting his beer, sweating their butts off only to be treated that way. Even if the CM made some type of mistake they do not deserve that rude degrading treatment, nobody does and of course they just took it, as they should, I understand. They were brilliant! But It was sad.
Costa Maya- I liked Costa Maya, my husband hated it. Maybe hate is too strong....but he did not feel it was very nice. I grew up in Chula Vista, California which is a suburb of San Diego about 10 miles North of Tijuana Mexico. I am used to rustic Mexican villages while my DH was born and raised in the Midwest. Maybe that is all that needs to be said? LOL I guess I could see where he may feel It was a little sketchy at times. And the little port area with shops and the pool is not really that great. I think they could do better with it. We went into Mahahual and walked the Malacon. This is the little fishing village less than 2 miles away from port. Taxis are easy to get, $3 there $2 back PP. There are beach clubs all along the Malacon ( boardwalk) and yes there are vendors that can be a little pushy as you walk along, but no big deal. We walked to the end and turned around to go back to Fernando's 100% Agave. We had heard a lot about it. It was good. We ate a meal and were served 3 different tequila shots by Fernando ( very nice man) and spent less than 20.00 then we bought some of his tequila, which a liter cost us 14.00 It was a nice day in Costa Maya.
Cozumel- We did the Fury Catamaran snorkel and beach party. I can't say enough about how great the crew of the Fury were! They were the best in customer service that we saw anywhere.....other than the ship. They should work for Disney! My mom is a little mobility challenged and they were beyond attentive of her. My dad was asking my DH to come help and before he can get to them there is a crew member helping her out. And this was the norm and happened quite often. And they can dance too! LOL My DH and I did not do the snorkel because we had heard it could get really crowded and there may be a lot of kicking and stuff.....that made me uncomfortable because I am a beginner having only snorkeled a couple of times before and never off of a boat. I am sorry we did not do it! It looked great and we would not have had to worry. They take you to their private beach after snorkeling, it is a beautiful beach. The only thing you pay for is a hamburger if you want one....it is $9.00 hamburger, potato salad and macaroni salad with all the drinks you want. GET ONE. :) They were good! We pay that much for a good burger at home so why not? All in all we would highly recommend the Fury. OH and yes you do have to walk in water when you exit the cat to get to the beach but if my mom can do it you can :) Warning though.....the sand on the beach is not very packed and is hard to walk on. Walk on the waters edge, much easier.