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Disney Fantasy Star Wars Day at Sea Cruise – Day 1 Part 1: Embarkation

Hi everyone! This past February I celebrated a milestone birthday (40 years old!) and of course the only way I’d celebrate “growing younger” is to go on a Disney Cruise and to Disney World! Our cruise was a very special one, a 7-night Western Caribbean jaunt that was part of only eight sailings this year that featured Star Wars Day at Sea. Being huge Star Wars fans, Steve and I jumped on the chance to go on this cruise! If you can remember, we booked this cruise while on board the Disney Magic last year, and we were able to secure 10% off the cruise price as well as 200 USD in on board credits. Since Disney Cruise Line is regularly so expensive and they never seem to have sales, every little bit helps!


Be prepared for an epic Star Wars Day at Sea!

Our ship was the Disney Fantasy which is only about 5 years old, making it the newest ship in the Disney Cruise Line empire (they just announced 2 new, bigger ships to be ready in 2020 or so…can’t wait!). We were super excited for this cruise! Coming along is my sister, Su-Queen. We were all in a Category 4D stateroom, which is a Deluxe Family Ocean View with Verandah. It technically sleeps 5 people but for us the added space was really nice considering we were three adults.

Here was the itinerary for our cruise:


Star Wars Day at Sea was held on Day 5, the second sea day. Pirate Night was on Day 3 instead.

[?IMG]Hope you come on board for our galactic journey on a Fantasy far far away…

Day 1 Part 1: Embarkation

We flew in a day before the cruise and stayed at the Hyatt Regency Orlando Airport (free with our annual Hyatt Free Night certificate). I highly recommend flying in a day early when you’re cruising as it lowers the risk of not making it on the boat due to flight delays. We used the same car service we used last year, Happy Limo, to get us to Port Canaveral. The ride was about 45 minutes long and we had a 20 minute stop at a grocery store to pick up some wine. Disney Cruise Line is probably one of the only lines to allow guests to bring their own alcohol on board. It is limited to two bottles of wine/champagne or a 6-pack of beer for each guest over 21.


Embarkation Day Outfits

[?IMG]We were given a Port Arrival time of 10:45-11:15am and we arrived right at 10:30am. The terminal was a little less crowded at this time than it was last year (we arrived at around 1pm last year). Here’s the first sights of the Fantasy at port! She’s a beautiful, majestic ship. We were beyond excited at this point.

[?IMG][?IMG][?IMG][?IMG]These were taken right before entering the security area to the terminal building. Remember no pictures in the security line as I was told to put my phone away. 😐

[?IMG][?IMG][?IMG]Once upstairs inside the Terminal itself, you are allowed to take pictures again. I really loved the wave ceiling of the terminal:

[?IMG]The terminal was not completely crowded yet, but it was getting there. The regular check in line was long but the Castaway Club line was shorter so we were told to get in there. Once you have cruised with DCL, you automatically become a Castaway Club member (we’re silver!). My sister was not yet a member but since she was with us, we could all check in together. As Silver members we get the privilege of booking port excursions and on board activities at 95 days out instead of 70 days if you were a new cruiser. We also get silver colored lanyards and a gift in the stateroom which I will show later.
We checked in with a friendly Cast Member (remember your passports if you’re going to a foreign port!) and were assigned boarding group 4. We also got our first Navigator and our Key to the World (KTTW) cards! This card acts as your room key, ID, and payment card throughout the cruise. The first thing I realized was that our dining rotation was NOT what I had requested it to be. It said AERAEER when I wanted the RAERAAE rotation. Here’s a little key below to find out what main dining rooms the letter corresponds to:R – Royal Court
A – Animator’s Palate
E – Enchanted Garden

Our first Navigator and KTTW card!

The reason I wanted RAERAAE was that I had booked Steve and I dinner at one of their adult-only restaurants, Remy, on the 3rd night and Enchanted Garden was the only dining room that I was ok with missing out of all three. Since you can’t change your rotation until you are on board, we couldn’t do anything at check-in. I made a list of things to do once we got on board:

1) Change dining rotation
2) Go to port adventures desk for meet and greet tickets to the Princess Gathering and Anna and Elsa
3) Get Rainforest Room pass

Since we had some time until they called boarding numbers, we got on line to get our picture with a character. When we first got on line, it was Sailor Mickey, but by the time we got to the front of the line it was Sailor Minnie! The line was quite long though, as we waited about 20 minutes, but since we had nothing else to do, we just waited.

[?IMG]Finally we were at Minnie! Love her outfit!

[?IMG]As soon as we were done with the picture, they started calling boarding numbers! It didn’t take long before they reached Group 4. Remember to keep your boarding group card that they hand you during check in. I had it in some random pocket so I was searching for it when I got up there. It tells them that you are, indeed, in Group 4.

[?IMG]When the boarding groups are called a lot of people go to the gate!

[?IMG]It thins out a bit though once the person who checks your boarding number let you though. Excited to board the Fantasy for the first time!

[?IMG]When you enter the “Mickey Ears” gate you can take your first “cruise picture” – I didn’t really want to stop for this since I was excited to get on board but since there are 3 backdrops and 3 photographers, the line moves fairly quickly, so we stopped for a quick picture. Here it is:

[?IMG]Here we are about to step aboard the ship! We were boarding on Deck 3 which is where the atrium of the ship is located.

[?IMG]Almost there!

[?IMG]Finally it was our turn to be announced into the grand atrium of the Fantasy! This is something special that DCL does on board it’s ships. I felt a bit sheepish doing this but, hey I’m on a Disney cruise and I’m gonna go with the flow! I gave them my maiden name and my married name as one word since I was with my sister and my hubby. Here’s a video of us entering the Atrium. The Cast Member (CM) at the end of the welcome line is especially awesome!

The first thing you notice as you walk in is the grand atrium, with the magnificent chandelier and grand staircase:

[?IMG][?IMG]It’s just breathtaking! Much larger and even more majestic than the Magic.

We got our obligatory picture with Art Deco Minnie!

[?IMG]You also notice the Star Wars Day at Sea sign which was right next to the entrance to Royal Court. It stayed up the entire cruise but a professional photographer was only there during some hours in the afternoon and evening. Didn’t stop people from taking pictures with it at all hours on their own though!

[?IMG]The dining rotation change window didn’t open until an hour later so we went up to Deck 5 to the Port Adventures desk to get our meet n greet tickets. Although characters appear all the time throughout the ship (and no tickets are required, you just get in line), there are certain popular events which require advance tickets. These include: The Princess Gathering where you can meet a three or more Disney Princesses, Anna and Elsa from Frozen, the Castaway Cay 5k race, and the Disney Jr. Breakfast featuring Princess Sofia and Jake the Pirate. They are all free but you should make them as soon as you board so you can ensure the date/times that you want. We were able to get Anna and Elsa for our first sea day and then the Princess Gathering for our last sea day. 🙂

The ship was not crowded at this point and it was just wonderful. Even though your room may not be ready until 1:30pm, it’s still fun to board the ship early and explore on your own. I shot these while at the Port Adventures desk.

[?IMG][?IMG]Such a beautiful ship! Although you have to note that during Embarkation and Disembarkation days, the elevators were always crowded. After that there wasn’t that much elevator traffic. We took the stairs most of the time anyways.

Coming up…lunch at Cabanas, our stateroom, exploring the ship, and much much more on our first day on the Disney Fantasy! Read more about my 40th birthday trip to a Fantasy far far away…

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