Tag: Disney Fantasy

My second overseas trip (leg 6)

The sixth part of our trip included a stop over in Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island, and finally to Port Canaveral in Florida, which would become her home port.

First a bit about Castaway Cay:  Although this was technically my third time on the island, it was definitely also my favourite!

 

We booked the Stingray Experience as well as snorkelling for our day on the island, and wasn’t disappointed by either.

With the stingray experience, we got to not only see them up close and personal, but also learnt a lot about them, and even got to feed the stingrays – an experience I will never forget!

We also enjoyed some quality relaxation on the white sand beaches of the island, cocktails on the beach, and a little bit of exploring the other things to do on the island.  Lets not forget about the food.  In true Disney style, we were treated to an island barbecue, with all the meat, salads and other condiments that go with a traditional barbecue (or braai as we call it in South Africa).

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From the island we continued our overnight trip to be welcomed into Port Canaveral, as the Disney Fantasy arrived for the first time in her home port.  Not only did people from all over Florida flock to the port, but the Disney staff at the Disney Cruise Terminal were out in full force to welcome her to her new home.

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Once again, the excitement in the air was extraordinary, as a new chapter began for Disney Cruise Line.

Keep a look out for the next part of our journey in my next post…

 

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My second overseas trip (leg 5 – The Big Apple!)

My second overseas trip (leg 5 – The Big Apple!)

This part of the trip was probably my favorite!  Not only did I get to see New York for the second time in my life, but we also strengthened some great friendships during the time in NY.

Because it was the christening of the Disney Fantasy while she was in New York, all the guests had to spend that night off the ship, and were treated to a stay in the Times Square Marriot Hotel, and complimentary entrance to The Lion King show on Broadway.

This was my friend’s first time in the big city, so it was quite fun to show him all the sight seeing attractions, and for some, it was my first time too.

I absolutely love this city, and wish I could go there once again.

Since we were not on the ship the night she was christened, we watched it on television in the hotel room and then the next morning on the local news.  The excitement about having a Disney ship in the New York harbour could be felt in the atmosphere all through the city, I mean, the Disney Fantasy did make one hell of an entrance when she entered port, playing “New York New York” on the ship’s horn, and one could hear it echo throughout the entire Manhattan!

Here are some pictures of those very special few days in New York:

My second overseas trip (leg 4)

The next part of our trip was the longest one and the most relaxing one.  It was the part where we actually crossed the Atlantic, en route to New York.

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This was pretty much what we saw for several days.  Just open blue waters.

If my memory serves me right, we spent about 12 days on the open seas, where all you could see around the ship was open ocean, and great sunrises and sunsets.

This was the part of the trip where I really formed an appreciation for the work that each and every crew member does on the ship, and what it means to be a Disney Cruise Line employee.  I also appreciated the hard work each and every one of them do, and began to form an idea of what it means to be on the waters for extended periods of time.

With each day that passed, the ship really started running more and more like the well oiled machine it was bound to be.  Keep in mind that many of the crew were new, it was a brand new ship, and although the operations were not running at 100% capacity as yet, there was a lot of hard work being done behind the scenes to get her ready for her full capacity cruise.

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Of course I couldn’t resist another photo op with my favourite Disney character.

We spent our days lounging around in the sun, enjoying the on board entertainment, making friends, and eating.  It sometimes feels like all we did was the latter, but there were some other fun times in between.

Allow me to take some time on the food:  It was everything and more one could ever imagine!  From breakfast, to lunch, to supper, and all the snacks and things between, “Every Meal was a Moment”, as we often said as we took pictures of the wonderful and delicious food that was available or served to us.  At some point, and I can’t exactly remember when, all we wanted was just a plain old home cooked meal!

Just a few of the many lovely dishes we were served.

Apart from the food, there was some great entertainment too.  I fondly remember the nights that we spent in the “Adult club” area, dancing and drinking the night away.  The best nights were those nights that we moved an hour on, as we were crossing different time lines.  On such nights, the bars would stay open an hour longer, and the crew would all go to bed an hour later, as they could get up an hour later the next morning.  There was a certain untold excitement each night that the clock moved an hour on, which you could feel in the air, and subtly see in the behaviour of every crew and passenger.

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Many of the days now seem like a blur, although we were “busy” all the time…

The seas started becoming rougher as we went along, and I remember one day, standing at the aft of the ship, looking forward, on one of the top decks.  Although one could not feel it, the ship was moving quite substantially.  One moment, looking towards the bow, you would just see sky, and no horizon.  The next moment, as the bow of the ship ducked down, more than half of your view would be ocean, and the rest the horizon.  This ship is so big, that if one didn’t see that, you wouldn’t believe how much the ship was actually moving.

One other moment where I realised just how rough the waters were, was one night, where I went outside on the fourth deck to have a smoke, and the sea spray from the bow hitting the swells came up all the way to where the smokers were standing.  That, together with the strong winds, made it nearly impossible to get a cigarette lit, never mind smoke it.

Like I said, those days were a blur, however, it was during these blurry days that I realised something again (and this was not blur at all, it was clear as daylight): I knew I wanted to come back to this ship, but not as a passenger, as a CREW MEMBER!  That dream has not yet come to fruition, but, I am working on that, now more than ever, to make that dream come true.

In my next post, I’ll be sharing some of our adventures in New York.

 

My second overseas trip (leg 3)

Our first port of call on the Disney Fantasy after leaving Bremerhaven was Ponta Delgada.  I thought it was an island itself, but it turns out it is a municipality on the Sao Miguel island, a Portuguese Island North West of Africa, and to the West of Portugal.

This beautiful island is a little piece of paradise in the middle of the Atlantic ocean.  The ship was welcomed into port with the water canons celebrating her arrival, we got to do some retail therapy during our day on the island, and got some really nice photo opportunities.

We did a day excursion with a bus which first took us through the narrow streets of the town, then up to the pineapple farms just outside of town.

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The tour continued up the mountain, where we also got to see some fantastic views of the island, the harbour (where the beautiful Disney Fantasy was docked) and some other scenic views.  After a short walk into the forest, we arrived at a natural sulphur hot spring.  The sulphuric fumes could be smelled long before we got to see the spring, and it felt as if we were walking through a tropic paradise.

I don’t know where the time went that day, but before we knew it, we were due back onto the ship before it departed for the 12 day journey crossing the Atlantic.  We stood in that line to get onto the ship, and as my friendly fondly reminded me this morning, made it just in time.  We were ready for the long sea days, and nowhere to go but somewhere on the ship, for 12 days!

More about our sea days and adventures on the ship in the next post.

 

My second overseas trip (leg 2)

I was so excited about yesterday’s post, that I almost lost track of the journey, but allow me to continue…

The second leg of our trip found us flying from Paris to Hamburg, Germany, via Scandinavia with a connecting flight.  We literally flew right over Hamburg to Scandinavia and then back to Hamburg!

We arrived in Hamburg late in the afternoon, and were picked up from the airport by my cousin to travel back to Bremerhaven to join the Disney Fantasy where she was in port.

What I can remember of this journey from Hamburg was that it was quite cold, but I had my first experience on the Autobahn, I saw a wind turbine for the first time, and I was surprised to see porn magazines and DVD’s being sold at the rest stops next to the highway.

 

We arrived in Bremerhaven and saw the Disney Fantasy, in all her glory, for the first time.  Once again, that little “thing” inside me was stirred, that butterfly feeling inside your stomach which you cannot control or explain.

That evening we went to “The Last Bar Before new York”, where we had German beer and a lovely dinner.  It’s a small little restaurant/pub in the harbor at Bremerhaven, one that I am sure that the crew of the Disney Fantasy frequently visited during the time that the ship was being prepared for its maiden voyage from Bremerhaven.

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The next day my friend and I explored the shops in Bremerhaven a little.  There wasn’t much to explore, but it was great to experience a different culture and language again for the first time.

If my memory serves me correctly, we sailed away on the maiden voyage of the Disney Fantasy later that afternoon.  A 14 day journey crossing the Atlantic was about to begin, and you could feel the magic and the excitement in the air, especially on the ship!  Although the ship was not full, there were still a lot of guests sailing, many of them land-based Disney employees, and some who I had the pleasure to meet and get to know over the next few days.

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This was on the Disney Fantasy while still in Bremerhaven. It was wet and it was cold!  Mind the ladder in the background, the ship was still receiving touch ups.

The ship was still not 100% complete during this journey, as there were still finishing touches being made as we sailed, and even though many of the crew were new, we were treated in a way only Disney can.  The food was tremendous, crew where ever you went were friendly and helpful, and it still was a truly Disney Magical experience.

Our first port of call on this Journey was a couple days later, on a Portuguese Island called Ponta Delgada, but more of that in the next post…

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