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Old 02-04-2013, 09:41 AM   #1
cblack
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Talking The Pay It Forward TR-Concierge on Disney Fantasy Eastern Jan. 26, 2013–Complete!

Hello! Just returning from a 7-day Eastern Caribbean cruise, sailing concierge aboard the Disney Fantasy, and I am so sad to be back to “normal life.” Oh well, I am thinking that re-living the trip through a trip report might be the best way to welcome myself back to the world of laundry, cleaning, working, day care, school, etc.! If you didn’t read my pre-trip report, please check it out for full introductions and the planning scoop:
The Pay It Forward PTR.

Just a quick introduction before I get started (in case you don't read the PTR):
We cruised from January 26, 2013 through February 2, 2013 with stops at St. Thomas, San Juan, and Castaway Cay. We sailed concierge in room 12000. We added a day at the Grand Floridian on January 25, 2013 so we could dine with Cinderella at 1900 Park Fare prior to the cruise. There are three of us travelers:
DH – Jeremy. Loves cruising with Disney. This time did not disappoint. He is spoiled. Rotten!
DD – Jayden. Loves princesses and princes. She tolerated the furry, big head characters, but did not love them.
Me – Cassie. The planner. Being prepared makes a cruise better, so just be prepared!

Here is an updated picture of us and our three furry family members:


Next up: The Big Reveal!!!
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Magic Eastern Caribbean - 1/29/11, Fantasy Eastern Caribbean - 1/26/13 (Trip Report: http://disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3059188), WDW - 12/7/13, Magic Southern Caribbean - 9/27/14


Last edited by cblack; 03-13-2013 at 09:37 PM.
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:01 AM   #2
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Looking forward to this one!
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:06 AM   #3
cblack
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The Big Surprise and Airplanes!

We decided that we would surprise Jayden with this trip by telling her the morning we were leaving. I don’t think Jeremy or I could have been more excited as we scurried around the house getting all of the last minute items packed and preparing for the big reveal.

After we were done, we realized we were a bit earlier than we planned, but neither of us could wait any longer. HAHAHA – who is the kid here? Jeremy got setup with the camera, and I ran into Jayden’s bedroom with as much excitement as I could telling her that Mickey Mouse left something for her in the dining room. It took about 20 seconds for that to register and for her to get out of bed…this is warp speed for her! We ran into the dining room, and I opened the card that Mickey left. Jayden was very excited – more about riding in an airplane with Mommy than the Mickey Boat! We finished getting Jayden ready, and off we went to IHOP to have some breakfast. At this point, we were still early, but early is better than late!

After a good breakfast, we headed to the airport. I looked up our flight and saw that it was going to be delayed about 15 minutes. We got to the airport around 11:15 am, checked our bags, went through security, and then waited around.


Our flight ended up being delayed about 20 minutes, but we made the time up in the air and landed in Orlando at 4:05 pm.

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Old 02-04-2013, 10:13 AM   #4
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The Grand Floridian and Dinner with Cindy!

We took the Magical Express to the Grand Floridian, and we were able to get on a bus and go almost immediately. The bus dropped at the Wilderness Lodge, BayLake, the Polynesian, and then the Grand Floridian. This was nice, as we are planning a WDW trip for December, and we were able to check out all of these resorts as we dropped people off.


Check-in at the Grand Floridian was amazing. As we got off of the bus, there were several cast members waiting for us. Each one grabbed a family and walked us into the lobby.


I was able to quickly hand the invitation to 1900 Park Fare to this very nice lady and she presented it to Jayden while we were waiting. Jayden was super excited that we were going to be dining with Cinderella and Prince Charming.


I checked my watch right before we checked in and it was already 6:00 pm, so it took about 2 hours to get from the plane to the lobby check-in. Our reservation was at 6:45 pm, so we didn’t have much time to get ready.

Our room was nice – I think we had a dormer style room. We had a great view of the castle! I did learn that the style at the Grand Floridian just isn’t for me. It is very floral, and I’m glad we stayed here one night to check it out before booking a longer vacation. We probably wouldn’t stay here again. Again, nothing bad about it, it just wasn’t our style.




We got ready for dinner and headed back towards the main lobby area. Jayden was very excited to be in her first princess dress. Just a warning, you will see this dress and a couple others a lot in my photos, as Jayden found out that you get lots of attention in these dresses



Dinner was really nice. I understand why people say you don’t go to 1900 Park Fare for the food, though. The character interaction was great, the food was OK. Anastasia and Drizella were not at dinner this night, though, because they were in trouble for shaving Lucifer (per Lady Tremaine). Jayden told this story to everyone who would listen on the ship. Here are a couple of photos from dinner. The first one is probably my favorite from the entire trip, as this was when Jayden first saw Cinderella.






This is where Lady Tremaine was explaining why Anastasia and Drizella were not present. This lady was GOOD!



Jayden ate really well, and we were off to our room to watch the fireworks. This part of the night was really special. We sat on the balcony of our room and watched the fireworks and the water pageant. Sorry for the blurry photos, but these will give you the idea!



We ended up going to bed really late, which I was hoping wouldn’t get our first day on the cruise off to a bad start!

Next up: Embarkation and Sailing Away!!!
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Magic Eastern Caribbean - 1/29/11, Fantasy Eastern Caribbean - 1/26/13 (Trip Report: http://disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3059188), WDW - 12/7/13, Magic Southern Caribbean - 9/27/14

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Old 02-04-2013, 10:14 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexandNessa View Post
Looking forward to this one!
Thanks for joining in!
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:43 AM   #6
AlexandNessa
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I love, love, love Jayden's nail polish!
,
Also totally with you on the decor of the Grand Floridian. You would not find my home modeled after that, lol.
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:49 AM   #7
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Looking forward to hearing all about your trip!
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:49 AM   #8
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Loved your PTR and can't wait for the rest of your TR. Thanks!
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:56 PM   #9
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I anxiously await every detail, loved your PTR report.
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:10 PM   #10
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can't wait to read the rest we just booked our first ever Disney Cruise for next January and I read your whole PTR the other night
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:12 PM   #11
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One big question I have is...when was formal night? I looked at the first Navigator from the Eastern with the San Juan stop and it said Sunday night. I called DCL to confirm as I want to do BBB for my daughter. They told me Monday night. I did make reservations for both nights, but would like to know for sure.
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:12 PM   #12
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I'm so looking forward to this report - I just booked our concierge Fantasy vacation. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 02-04-2013, 04:01 PM   #13
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June 2002 - WDW, USO (Offsite), June 2004 - WDW, USO (Offsite), Feb 2007 - Disney Cruise (Wonder) & POFQ *Disneymoon*), July 2010 - POR, June 2013 - Disney Cruise (Fantasy)
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Old 02-04-2013, 04:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexandNessa View Post
I love, love, love Jayden's nail polish!
,
Also totally with you on the decor of the Grand Floridian. You would not find my home modeled after that, lol.
LOL! Jayden really likes to have crazy nails. Sometimes as many as 10 different colors. I will only paint them on Sunday nights (the night before our trip was an exception) because we have more time then, and we use this as bribery as often as possible. She only had 5 colors in these photos, and her toe nails matched.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iloverags2 View Post
Looking forward to hearing all about your trip!
Thanks for joining in!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aigantighe View Post
Loved your PTR and can't wait for the rest of your TR. Thanks!
Thanks and thanks for reading along!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bouldering View Post
I anxiously await every detail, loved your PTR report.
Thanks! Just let me know if you have any questions - I sometimes forget things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tracylkj View Post
can't wait to read the rest we just booked our first ever Disney Cruise for next January and I read your whole PTR the other night
Yay! January is a great time to travel and if you are anything like me, you will love the planning as much as the vacation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane1967 View Post
One big question I have is...when was formal night? I looked at the first Navigator from the Eastern with the San Juan stop and it said Sunday night. I called DCL to confirm as I want to do BBB for my daughter. They told me Monday night. I did make reservations for both nights, but would like to know for sure.
Formal night was on Sunday night for our cruise. I booked Jayden's BBB appointment at 4pm, and that was just about perfect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolyninCO View Post
I'm so looking forward to this report - I just booked our concierge Fantasy vacation. Thanks for sharing!
YAY! Have you stayed concierge before? Please let me know if you have any questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kalel29 View Post
I love popcorn! Thanks for reading along!
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Old 02-04-2013, 04:29 PM   #15
cblack
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Easy, peasy, fast Embarkation!

I was up and moving around 7am and was able to snap a couple sunrise photos. I love the quiet of mornings, even though I don’t always want to get up to enjoy them



I got Jeremy and Jayden up around 7:30 and we started getting ready for breakfast. We went to Cape Café (I could have the name completely wrong), but it was the quick service option at the Grand Floridian. Jayden enjoyed her very first Mickey Waffle. I left a few minutes before Jeremy and Jayden so I could finish packing. I snapped a couple pictures of the resort while I walked back. It is very pretty (if they could just get rid of the floral wallpaper and bedspreads).





We walked our bags up to the front desk and checked out.


We walked outside right at 9 am and our car was waiting for us. We used Tiffany Towncar, and they were great. They included our requested booster, were on time, professional, clean, etc. We had a grocery stop scheduled, and I liked the place we stopped much better than where we stopped two years ago. We went to a Publix that was not busy at all and it was towards the beginning of our trip to the port so we could get drinks and snacks. I picked up cotton balls for a cruisemate (Sarbah). Jayden also picked up a new t-shirt and some ink pens.

The car ride went by very quickly, and we were pulling into the port at 10:30 am. We gave all of our bags to a porter (whoops, forgot to keep the swimming suit bag). I didn’t think this would be a big deal, but it was. Doh! They sent us to the third level of the garage to wait in line.



The line didn’t last long, and we were through security and walking back to concierge to check in. The check-in included getting our Key to the World (KTTW) cards, our “Silver Castaway Member” lanyards, and the Personal Navigator for Saturday. They took a new picture of Jayden – something about her having glasses, but I missed the real reason. After we checked in, we were escorted to the concierge waiting area.

I am not sure what time the port opened, but I do know that we were checked in and sitting in the concierge area at 11 am. This is the concierge check-in area:


And this is the concierge waiting area:



Some random shots around the port:




We did not wait long at all before they were calling us to board. They took a few different Welcome Aboard photos and then announced our family to the ship. We were escorted to the forward elevators so we could go to the concierge meet and greet. We were sitting in the concierge lounge on the ship at 11:15 am. Wow! They have really shortened this process! This is the concierge lounge:



There were drinks and snacky-type food available in the lounge, but we wanted real lunch. We checked all of our reservations and registered Jayden for the kid’s club. I thought we could get the Mickey Band at concierge, but this isn’t the case. We still had to go to the kid’s club that day to get the Mickey Band. Let me just throw this out here now…the concierge ladies (Julia, Alice, and Kemisha) are AMAZING!!! I know it is their job to make everyone feel special and to accommodate requests, but they do so much more. Jayden couldn’t manage to go back to our room without swinging through the lounge to say hi. These ladies really made our trip special! They did give Jayden crayons and coloring pages to keep her busy while we were checking in.


Up Next: Lunch, the room, and checking out the ship.
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