Disney Fantasy Cruise 2016: Day 6

In my last installment, we left off after our Grand Cayman day and dinner at delicious Palo. The next day was a big one, as it was the first ever Star Wars Day at sea. This had been hyped up immensely, and while they did do some things right and had the right idea, it wasn’t all executed well.

The day before we had two port adventure tickets on or bed telling us to be at the Tube at 9:15 for an immersive character experience. We had brunch at Palo at 10:30, so we decided to skip breakfast, do our character meet, then get ready to eat. We stood in line at the tube for ten minutes….to take a picture with a bounty hunter. You are not told ahead of time who will be your character. Some people got two characters at one time. Some people got 2-3 tickets. We got two (one the next day which was weird). It was just a photo, nothing immersive about it so that was kind of a let down.

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We decided to head to the lobby because there were supposed to be characters walking around all day. Everyone was just kind of standing around waiting. These were the only ones we saw, below.

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We decided to give up, and go get ready for brunch.

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We LOVE Palo brunch. Before we ever did Palo dinner, we did brunch and it became a trip highlight for us. It’s a buffet  but there are also plated items you can order as well. The chicken parmesan is amazing. As is the dessert table.

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After we sufficiently stuffed ourselves, we changed and headed up to the pool deck to relax and do some reading. I ordered the Star Wars drink of the day which was called “galaxy in a glass”. it was like a strawberry smoothie but I tasted zero alcohol in it which was a bummer considering the price.

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The quick service locations on the pool deck also had Star Wars themed food.

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The ship horn played Star Wars music a couple of times throughout the day, but other then that there wasn’t the fanfare that we expected. The stores had TONS of great merchandise, though commemorating Star Wars Day at Sea.

We also finally had a chance to ride the Aqua Duck in the afternoon. We passed along the entire length of Cuba all day, so that was cool to see as well!

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We may have gotten some ice cream, too.

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We eventually got ready for dinner at Animators Palate.

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One thing that was kind of cool was since this was the inaugural Star Wars Day at Sea, we were the first ones to hold the special new menus.

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All the food was themed which was cute.

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After dinner, we made our way to the Walt Disney Theater for a showing of the new movie, the Force Awakens, in 3D. There was plenty of Star Wars merchandise at the concession stand as well.

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After the movie, we had to hustle to the pool deck for the deck party and fireworks. The fireworks were cool set to Star Wars music, but the deck party/stage show was lacking. We thought there would be a fight scene, or storm troopers taking over the ship, etc, but it was nothing like that.

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Instead of having a buffet on pirate night, we had one after the deck party, and they had it decorated very nicely. The food was pretty much the same as you see on pirate night with a few additions, but I loved all the décor!

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Crepes for the win!

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We were bummed that the adult trivia challenge was at the same time as the buffet, because I know Bobby would have done really well!

We went to bed after we ate, all in all a good relaxing day. I just think Disney hyped up the day a little too much then didn’t deliver, but hopefully they will make improvements for the future, because there is a lot of potential!

QOTD: Do you like Star Wars? Have you ever done Palo brunch?

Disney Fantasy Cruise 2016: Day 5 Part Two

We ended halfway through our Grand Cayman day in my last installment. After we got back to the ship, we decided to go to the gym. I most definitely was not in the mood to workout, so I just did a few weight machines then did 45 minutes on the stationary bike while I read my book. I planned to eat a lot at dinner that night because we were going to Palo, so the gym was definitely needed! We were literally the only ones in there for the first half hour, which was nice, but also kind of funny.

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Bobby stayed to do some more working out, so I sat on our balcony and read my book with Grand Cayman in the background. Not too shabby of a view.

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I can’t remember what else I did that afternoon, probably took a nap, to get myself ready for my favorite dinner, Palo! Palo is an adults only restaurant on board the Disney ships, and it is amazing. If you have cruised Disney but never diner at Palo, I highly highly recommend you reserve a spot on your next cruise!

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After we checked in, we went on the balcony and enjoyed the most gorgeous sunset. Sadly, my iPhone pictures don’t do it justice, but it was breathtaking.

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We were soon seated at a table all the way in the back with a great view of the ocean.

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Our server was great, and I love how they don’t rush you. Based on the below photo, you would think there were four people at our table. No no, just use two.

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Always ALWAYS save room for dessert at Palo! Best chocolate soufflé ever.

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We were also given this very sweet message from the chef for our anniversary.

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After we were sufficiently stuffed, we headed out.

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This guy was waiting foe us in our room.

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Someone gave us this Star Wars mask and I think it’s SO FREAKY. Bobby saved it and occasionally sneaks up on me with it. I am never amused by this.

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We got out of our fancy clothes and into some sweats and headed to one of the movie theaters to see Inside Out. I hadn’t seen it yet, and it was super cute. Then it was off to bed, because our Star Wars Day at Sea was the next day, and I knew a very excited little boy who wasn’t going to want to miss any of it…well, maybe excited big boy is a better term!

QOTD: Do you workout on vacation? Have you eaten at Palo?

Disney Fantasy Cruise 2016: Day 4

We left off the vacation recap talking about our day in Cozumel at Mr. Sanchos. After we took a cab back to the port area, we went on the hunt for some tequila. Our cab driver told us about a shop a few blocks down, but they wanted $35 a bottle (insanity) and then said he would give it to me for $30 (still insanity). We ended up just saying oh well, and headed to the ship.

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That’s when we went through the outdoor mall area, and I saw a drugstore that had a big sign that said “tequila”, so we ran in to take a peek, and found big bottle for $7 and $9 a piece. Now that’s what I’m talking about!

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We took a couple of photos then headed back to the beautiful Disney Fantasy.

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It was pirate night, and we were eating in the Enchanted garden. Our table mates had Palo that night, so we dined by ourselves.

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We had a great table right by the window. This is my favorite of the three main dining rooms, it’s so pretty!

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We hurried through dinner and back to our room to change, because…

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IT WAS FOOTBALL TIME! The national championship was on that night, and having been onboard a Disney ship during the NFL playoffs before, I knew it may get crowded. We headed to ‘O Gill’s Pub, and grabbed two chairs right in front of the big screen, and settled in to read out books…..because the game didn’t start for over an hour. (#Hardcore). Anyway, time went by and no one else came! Finally a few minutes before kickoff more people made their way in, but we were shocked at how empty it was…until I remembered this was a Star Wars cruise and we joked that was the reason there were so people in the bar for the game. Heh.

I ordered a drink and we had a great time watching.

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Something I think I failed to mention in my other recaps is that I HAD NO VOICE. Right after the half marathon as we were sitting outside cheering in the other runners, I realized my voice was getting kind of raspy. I felt ok, and chalked it up to the crazy weather (very humid but cold). However, my voice got worse until it was completely gone. The first two days of the cruise I couldn’t talk except in a whisper, and even by the last day it still wasn’t completely back. My throat hurt and I felt tired and coughed, but I had no other sickness symptoms and it took a month for me to feel like my voice was completely back. SO random! I say all this to say, imagine me screaming at the TV in the pub with not voice. It was pretty funny.

The next day we were in Grand Cayman. We had to tender, but I don’t mind because the water is so beautiful and I like the ride to and from the ship.

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I was just happy to finally see some sunshine! We usually hit up seven mile beach, but since we knew we still had a beach day at Castaway Cay (insert ominous music here) we decided to walk down to Margaritaville for some drinks and free Wi-Fi.

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Hello, Georgetown!

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It was crazy how warm it was! It was in the 80’s and pretty humid. I couldn’t get over it since it was January of course.

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We had no wait (this place is HUGE) and even had a table where we could see the ocean. We ordered some Margaritas, chips and salsa, and just enjoyed hanging out listening to the music while we did some work on our phones/iPad and checked in back home.

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Round two was a Pina Colada, it was delicious.

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Pool upstairs? So cool!

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After a couple of hours we decided to walk around a little more then head back to the ship. There were some clouds rolling in and we didn’t want to get trapped in a storm trying to get on a tender boat.

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I was decked out in my ASICS gear this day, too. Nice and light for a hot day.

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One thing I love about Disney Cruises is the special attention to detail. For instance, they were handing out freezing cold washcloths as we headed to the tender boats, and they had different types of water for us as well.

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Such a nice touch!

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The towels felt great on this hot afternoon, and we were soon headed back to the Fantasy.

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This post is getting a little long so I will stop there for now.

QOTD: Have you ever been to Grand Cayman or Cozumel?

Disney Fantasy Cruise 2016: Day 1

Hey friends! So two weeks later I finally recapped the runDisney marathon weekend expo, race, blogger meet up, interviews, and marathon weekends at Bonnet Creek. Whew! So much to say for just being in town for 24 hours! Anyway, it’s time to move on to something fun, the cruise! I plan to only post a couple of these a week until I’m done so they won’t be back to back to back or anything. But let’s start with after the race on Saturday:

We got a ride back to our hotel from a friend, we quickly showered and checked out, and our car was waiting downstairs. We had a private transfer scheduled from Southern Elegance. They do an amazing job, are on time, handle your bags for you, and everything. it’s top notch and our favorite way to get to the port. We were SO exhausted from the race plus our 2.5 hours of sleep that as soon as we started for the port, we CRASHED in the back seat. I woke up about ten minutes from the port, so it was great to get a little power nap in before getting on the ship! We got out bags to the porters, got through security, and waited in line to get checked in. It was 12:30 and I decided I really like checking in at this time of day. There was no waiting for your number to be called or anything, we just walked right on at about 12:45, which was amazing.

Our name was called as we boarded the boat and the crew clapped and cheered for us. I was so ready to start a fun week of relaxing and cruising! The first thing we did was head to get our dining assignment changed to early dinner, and snag a Palo brunch reservation. Once that was handled, it was time to eat! Up to Cabanas buffet we went. After lunch, the rooms were ready so we went to put our stuff down and check it out.

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We had a great aft location on deck nine, and I would totally get this location again. We were two flight down from the pool deck and buffet, and I much preferred the aft elevators because they weren’t as busy as mid ship.

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We spent some time wandering around taking pictures and enjoying the ship before the muster drill. We had been SO go go go the past 24 hours, that it was nice to just finally sit and relax.

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Oh, I forgot to mention that this was a special cruise. It was the first of the Star Wars day at sea cruises, but more on that later.

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After the muster drill, we got ready for our 5:45 dinner rotation. For those not familiar with Disney cruising, they do this cool things called rotational dining. There are three main dining rooms you rotate between, and your servers stay with you the whole cruise so you can get to know each other. it’s really great, so we were excited to meet our servers and table mates!

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I will admit, I was a little nervous about meeting our table mates, It’s totally luck of the draw, and on previous cruises we would do the late seating to get a table by ourselves. However, since we are now old and go to bed early (haha) we wanted early dinner which meant sharing a table. I have heard some people have amazing experiences and some not so much, so we went for it, and ended up making new friends!

We ate at Royal Court that night, and I had TWO desserts. I deserved it right? I did run a half marathon that morning…

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Usually we go to the adult clubs for a really fun game show that they have the first night, but I was SO exhausted that I fell asleep at 8:00. EIGHT YALL! I ended up sleeping for twelve hours. I guess my body really needed it!

Up next time: Our first sea day.

QOTD: Mickey bar or Mickey ice cream sandwich? Have you ever been on a Disney cruise?

Don’t forget, as a Disney travel planner, I can book your cruise for you at no extra charge! Email heather@travelwiththemagic.com for details

Disney Fantasy April 2013: Castaway Cay Day

Happy Birthday America! I am so proud and blessed to live in a free country, and grateful to those who have fought to keep it that way!

We left off with our last sea day, the day before Castaway Cay which is my favorite day!

In a way I have already covered part of the day because I did my recap of the Castaway Cay 5k already, so I will just skip over the actual race which was first thing in the morning.

We were smart and brought our bags with us so we didn’t have to go back to the ship. We changed into our swimsuits and headed straight for Serenity Bay, the adults only beach at the end of the island. My favorite place on earth!

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Since we ran the 5k we were a little late getting to the party, but were still able to find chairs and an umbrella. Some dark storm clouds were looming overhead, and I really hoped they would go away so we could enjoy our last day of the cruise.

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The tide was way out and the sandbar was above the water, so we decided to go out to it and bring Bobby’s underwater camera and have some fun.

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Looking back at the beach

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Chillin on the sandbar

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yes, my arm is double jointed. Wwwweeeee!

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It got quite dark while we were out there.

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Oh you know, just hanging out in the middle of the ocean on a sandbar while a huge storm rolls in!

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Bobby decided t take a nap.

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After awhile, I decided to go back in while Bobby did some snorkeling. We got SO LUCKY and the storm went right over us, no rain, and beautiful blue skies came out for the rest of the day!

I went to our chairs and started reading a book, when I saw this guy walking across the beach. Of course, I had to get a picture. Ssshhh don’t tell Bobby. He was still snorkeling!

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I then proceeded to do my favorite thing. Ever. I ordered a Konk cooler (my favorite drink, ONLY made on Castaway Cay) and pulled my chair up to the water and just relaxed. Pure heaven. (You can see Bobby with his snorkel gear in the background!)

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I sat like this for a long while, relaxing, reading books, and just being so thankful to be in a beautiful place…and then my stomach started growling. Lunch time! Bobby came in and we headed towards the smell of BBQ to the adults only outdoor restaurant for some grub, followed by ice cream of course. We headed back to our spots, more konk coolers were consumed, and we enjoyed an afternoon of bliss.

Mid afternoon we decided to take the tram to the family beach so Bobby could go on the snorkeling path with his underwater camera. We packed up and then set up a spot at the back of the family beach. We only had a couple hours left until all aboard, so it wasn’t completely full of people by this point. While Bobby snorkeled, I went to take some pictures and walk around.

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A near empty beach before heading back to the ship

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Bobby is out there snorkeling somewhere!

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Sadly it was soon time to go. We like to stay on the island as long as possible, and the lifeguards gave the 15 minute call so we decided to go.

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The island from our verandah. Bye bye!

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That night was sadly our last night at dinner, and it was at Animators again.

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The drawing show is super cute, and was one of my favorite parts of our dining experience! However, I think I should keep my day job. Drawing is NOT my gift.

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We went to the adult’s club one more time for a fun game of battle of the sexes before heading off to bed for our last time about the Disney Fantasy. We truly had an AMAZING cruise, and spent a lot of time just relaxing and enjoying the boat. It was very laid back with no set schedule which I loved, and hope to do it again soon!

*Remember, I can book your cruise for you at no extra cost to you, on most cruise lines! Email heather@travelwiththemagic.com for a free quote!

QOTD: Do you like to get in the water or lay out on the beach?

Disney Fantasy Part 6: April 2013

We left off with a great day in Cozumel on my last installment. The next day, was a sea day, and had big plans to do a lot of nothing. We slept in, ate breakfast, and headed to the pool where we parked all morning with our books. We ate lunch and then played goofy golf! Look who even made an appearance. I was VERY excited.

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The wind had started to pick up making it very hard to play. After we ate a buffet lunch, the clouds started to roll in.

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I want to say at some time during the day we say Oz the Great and Powerful in 3D, and I’m sure we took a nap at some point. Honestly it was just a lazy day and so wonderful! (I think we made it to the gym, too?)

By evening, the rain had started and the boat was doing a little rocking which made me nervous, but wasn’t too bad. They closed off some of the decks for a little while because it was so dangerous with the wind.

It was semi formal night, so we got all gussied up to go to dinner at the Royal Court.

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This is Bobby’s favorite night of the cruise, because it’s lobster night! He had four or five…I can’t remember.

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He was a happy boy.

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After dinner we headed back to the adults area to watch a comedian before calling it a night.

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Up next week: Our last day. Castaway Cay!

QOTD: What would be your ideal sea day?

Disney Fantasy Part 5: April 2013

My last trip entry was our delicious dinner at Palo. The next day was Cozumel day! We knew exactly where we were heading, our favorite spot: Paradise Beach. We have been here I think four times or so, and we love it. You pay two dollars for a chair/umbrella, and get to use the beach and the pool. They have other optional add on’s for a fee as well. Not to mention, they have a GREAT menu with lots to choose from, and super clean bathrooms.

We were some of the first people off the boat and ended up walking accidentally with one of the shore excursion groups. It was funny, we were just right in the thick of them. The nice part about it was when we were walking through the outdoor mall part, none of the vendors bugged us because they knew the tour group wouldn’t stop for them to shop so they didn’t waste their breath. Must remember this for next time as well!

We hopped in a taxi and were literally the first ones there I think!

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We headed out to the beach first and decided we would hit the pool a bit later after lunch.

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I don’t know.

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You can pay an additional fee and have use of all of the water toys!DSC_0841

We relaxed in the chairs and I enjoyed a yummy Tidal wave.

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We got hungry after an hour or so, and decided to go eat lunch up at the tables near the pool and then hang out there for awhile. I love the view of the pool and the ocean from the tables, and it’s a nice shady area to eat. I had some yummy quesadillas and another drink.

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We hung out in the enormous pool for awhile, and I even took an amazing nap in my chair. Talk about a great place for a nap! We stayed until about 3:00 and decided we had been out in the sun long enough.

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We hated to say goodbye to our favorite Cozumel spot though!

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We took a taxi back to the port and saw the beautiful Fantasy again.

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If you are ever in Cozumel and are looking for a great but inexpensive place to relax for the day, I highly recommend Paradise Beach! I would love to answer any questions you have. Also, be sure to check them out on Facebook for more pictures!

That night was Pirate night. AAARRGGHH!

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We enjoyed dinner, and were able to watch the fireworks from our balcony in our room! I was way too tired and full to go to the Pirate Buffet so Bobby went without me and brought his food back to the room.

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Of course he had to get a turkey leg.

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I think I was asleep before he even started eating. It was a long day in the sun!

QOTD: Beach or pool?

Disney Fantasy: Palo Dinner

I cut part 4 short because I wanted Palo dinner to have it’s own post.

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I am glad I am writing this one after dinner, or I would be dying to eat all of the delicious food! If you have been on a Disney cruise and have not dined at Palo you are missing out on a great experience. I can’t believe we waited this long to do it!

We checked in and waited in the waiting area for only about 3-4 minutes, when Ivan, the server we had for Palo brunch appeared! I was so happy we had him again, it felt more comfortable since we had already seen him before and he knew what we liked.

We had a great table facing outward towards the ocean, it was nice and cozy. Just like at brunch, I loved how we didn’t feel rushed at all. We ordered our drinks and enjoyed the view while Ivan brought us some antipasti (I have no idea why I don’t have photos of this!) Ivan did a great job of explaining everything, and I tried some things I have never had before.

Ivan also did a great job of explaining everything on the menu to us. After appetizers we were also brought a lemon sorbet palate cleanser.

Bobby ordered some kind of shrimp

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Veal

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I had white bean soup (not pictured) and  Beef tenderloin. I can only speak for what I ordered, but the soup and beef were both excellent! There were two sauces for the beef and I liked them both, so delicious!

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Of course soufflé with vanilla gelato and chocolate and vanilla sauce. Holy yum. So rich but so delicious.

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Ivan prepared mine for me. It was amazing. I am so glad I left room for this dessert. My hands down favorite of the whole week.

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Again, we were never rushed, and loved how our waiter only had one maybe two other tables so we got taken care of very well. We will definitely be back!

Here are a few things to remember about Palo:

– Palo is an adults only restaurant. That’s why God made kid’s clubs. Smile

-Reservations for Palo can be made online for cruise guests:   Concierge Guests: 120 days in advance
Platinum Castaways: 120 days in advance
Gold Castaways: 105 days in advance
Silver Castaways: 90 days in advance
First Time Cruiser: 75 days in advance

-It costs a little extra to eat at Palo, but SO worth it! Brunch and dinner are both $20* per person.

(*price has since gone up to $30 per person but still worth it!)

– There is a dress code to dine at Palo. We like to dress up anyway so it was no problem, but make sure you pack something appropriate if you plan to dine here!

-Palo holds back some reservations on the boat for when you embark, so if you couldn’t get a reservation online be sure to visit Palo asap to try to snag a reservation once you get on the ship.

QOTD: Are you more likely to try a food you have never liked before at home or at a restaurant, like me?

*I would love to get you a cruise quote! Email heather@travelwiththemagic.com for details

Disney Fantasy April 2013: Part 4

I last left off on part 3 with Bobby wearing my bra. Smile

Did I get your attention? Hehe. The next day, we docked in Costa Maya. We decided to not get off the ship and spend the day taking advantage of the ship with less people. When we sailed here in October, we did the jeep excursion with my parents and had a BLAST, but really there was nothing else on the island we “had” to do and didn’t want to pay for an excursion. We ate breakfast at the buffet then went to the adult pool area/Satellite falls and found some chairs to relax and read in.

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We stayed here all morning, and even got to ride the Aqua Duck with about a 10 minute wait. We ate lunch at the buffet and headed back to our chairs for a nice nap. It was a glorious morning!

In the afternoon, we went on the top deck with my stalker camera lens to get some photos of Costa Maya

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We then went to the gym for the second time of the trip. We grabbed a snack around 6:00, then relaxed in our room watching movies before getting ready for dinner at PALO! We have done brunch several times but never dinner so we were very excited.

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I know this is a short post, but I want to stop here because Palo deserves it’s own post!

QOTD: Thoughts on staying on the ship when it’s in port?

* Don’t forget I can book your cruise for you at NO EXTRA COST! email heather@travelwiththemagic.com for a free quote!

Disney Fantasy April 2013: Part 3

I left off my trip report with Palo brunch on our first full day onboard the Disney Fantasy. We were stuffed, and decided to head back to the room for a glorious nap. We ended up staying in the room for most of the afternoon reading, watching movies and just lounging around. It was the best way to relax on vacation! Around 6:00 we got hungry (go figure!) and sat up by the adult pool area and had a snack. We relaxed some more then got ready for Dinner. It was formal night!

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Dinner was at the fanciest restaurant on the ship, the Royal Court.

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We went back to the Tube for some fun adult entertainment before calling it a night, and found this guy waiting for us in our cabin.

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The next morning, we woke up in beautiful Grand Cayman.

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We ate the buffet breakfast, and then got in line for a tender boat to get off of the ship. We made it to land, and went to find a taxi.

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Funniest thing, I went to grab a driver and saw the SAME GUY that drove us back in October. Hilarious. He got a kick out of the fact that we remembered him (he prays with his passengers before they get off of the van) and he took us to the public beach.

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We rented a beach chair and umbrella, and I spent my time reading while Bobby swam and snorkeled.

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We stayed about five hours, and I was starving. We didn’t want to pay for the expensive food on the beach so we headed back to the ship where the food was included, of course!

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We caught a tender boat and were back on the Fantasy in no time. The ship looks SO MASSIVE from the little tender boat.

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We grabbed some food and headed back to the room. That’s when I realized we were BOTH sunburned! I forgot to reapply and Bobby must have washed his off in the water. Ug. Not a good day to burn, at the beginning of a seven night cruise. We aloed up and headed to dinner.

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We were in Animator’s Palate which is super cute.

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Crush came and talked to us. Dddduuuuddddeeee!

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Dinner was delicious, and after we headed back to the tube for Magic quest. This is SO MUCH FUN. It’s an adult scavenger hunt, I always end up laughing until I cry, and I ended up having to give Bobby my bra…again.

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We had a blast and enjoy this game show so much. Our team won, but sadly we didn’t get a prize like I have seen on past cruises.

We were exhausted after a day in the sun, so we turned in ready to dock in Costa Maya the next day.

QOTD: When was the time you got sunburned the worst? Do you remember?