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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

"Con's" of Our New Year's Cruise on the Disney Fantasy

To read the "Pro's" post--click here.



Someone mentioned to me after reading the “Pro’s” post that they knew a “Con’s” post wasn’t far behind.  Correct they are!

Let me begin by saying that taking a Disney Cruise is magical and for many, they only dream of sailing the seas with Disney.  We have been fortunate enough to be able to sail multiple times with Disney and as you can read in the “Pro’s” post, there are many reasons that keep us coming back.  On our most recent 7-night sailing on the Disney Fantasy, we experienced a few bumps in the road, or shall I say high waves:

Con’s:
Stateroom bathroom that wasn’t clean.  Yep, when we walked into our stateroom we discovered that there was hair in various places in our stateroom bathroom.  We immediately let Guest Services know and a team of crew showed up at our door.  I pointed out what I could see, including on the towel draped over the side of the tub meant for our future use and they got to work.  The Housekeeping Manager also stopped by the next day to make sure everything was okay and Guest Services had a plate of chocolate covered strawberries delivered to our stateroom.  Nice touch, but it was just after dinner and the plate wouldn’t fit in the stateroom refrigerator/cooler.

No More Mickey Mail. We knew this was coming--no more dropping off items at Guest Services to be autographed while you enjoy your cruise.  So, we toted autograph items around throughout the cruise--a pillow case and picture frame matte.  And while I knew ahead of time that the service was no longer available and checked just to be sure, other guests were surprised and complained a bit noting that it was "easier" before.  I checked in with the crew and found out that they were surprised that Mickey Mail went away.  They noted that instead of 45 guests getting to meet characters during an appearance that 30 guests would make it through the line in the same amount of time.  That also means fewer photos taken and possibly fewer photo sales. 

No Clock in our stateroom.  I had read that at the Walt Disney World Resort, they were removing the clocks from the resort rooms and only putting them in at guest request—as an experiment of sorts.  So, when there was no clock in our stateroom I wondered if it was the same thing.  We did request a clock and received one.  But informal polling of other guests indicated that clocks were standard in other staterooms.

No Body Wash—or a limited supply.  This item speaks to our enjoyment of the Disney Cruise Line toiletry products.  The shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, and various boxes of soap were kept in good supply.  But, not Body Wash.  When the Housekeeping Manager checked in on us, I asked about getting Body Wash.  He said that he would check, but that the product may no longer be available.  We DID get two tubes in our bathroom over the coming days.

New Year’s Eve Fireworks not Pirate Night—for most people this would be a “pro.”  Fireworks at sea on New Year’s Eve!  Only one of us saw them and that was the boy.  I knew I couldn’t make it until midnight and the husband followed suit.  If the fireworks were on Pirate Night, we would be watching them at 10:00 or 10:15, not midnight.  Anyway, the boy enjoyed them and we heard that two other cruise ships from other companies sailed nearby to take advantage of the fireworks viewing as well.

Limited Pirate Night—because of New Year’s Eve, Pirate Night was somewhat diminished.  Yes, there was a Deck show/party at 7:45 pm.  Yes, there were bandanas left in our stateroom for us to use.  And, yes, there were pirate characters to meet.  But there was no Pirate Menu for dinner.  My taste buds were ready for some crab cakes.  Next cruise!

Time and the use of time—A Disney Cruise hosts guests and crew from across the world and I know that time and the use of time is cultural.  At the same time, there are schedules for a reason.  And while I have never done this on previous cruises, on our most recent sailing I bailed on two different occasions due to how time was being used.

The first was a Mixology class on our first at sea day.  The time of the class was 3:00 pm.  Both the husband and I had signed up, had our tickets, and had told the boy that we would meet him at 3:45.  We arrived a few minutes prior to 3:00 pm in the Meridian Lounge on Deck 12 and enjoyed the view of Havana.  The bar was set up for the class, guests had gathered, and we were told they were waiting for the bartender.  At 3:25, the same man who had told us we were waiting for the bartender decided to begin the class and ask for volunteers to make the first drink.  This is when I stood up and left.  I leaned in and told him that the class was supposed to start at 3:00 and that it was now 3:25 and he was just getting to the first drink.  The husband stayed.  I did not get charged for the class.  Note:  We did do a second mixology class with a different bartender in Skyline later in the cruise—it went much smoother!

The second bail was our port adventure/excursion in Cozumel.  Those that have taken Disney’s Port Adventures know that you are given a ticket with a designated meeting time and location.  We were to meet in the Walt Disney Theater at 9:45.  We arrived a few minutes prior and watched how the one half of the theater was filled and then the other half—I’m estimating 500 people.  We sat and sat and were told that we couldn’t leave because the gang planks had closed due to another ship docking at the pier.  We waited some more.  Then, we were getting off the ship and stopped twice on the pier to wait for the remaining guests to gather.  An hour into our Port Adventure we had only made it to the end of the pier.  I knew what was coming next—everyone up the escalators, across the mall—for more waiting---down the stairs to the buses and then a 25 minute ride to the beach/resort.  We turned around and headed back to the ship and happened to bump into the crew member who had been helping us in the theater.  She was surprised to see us.  I explained that we had been at this for an hour and had only made it to the end of the pier.  The Port Adventures Manager was right there and he heard our story.  He issued a refund, which I wasn’t expecting, for our Port Adventure.  We enjoyed the rest of the day on a near empty ship.

Disney Cruise Line has an exit survey that they want all guests to complete and these items were included in our survey.  Were these issues so large that they ruined our cruise?  No way!  Again, just bumps in the road or high waves on the sea.

P.S.  We did make it to our Port Adventure/Excursion in Jamaica for River Tubing on the Martha Brae River.  Our bottoms hit the tubes in the river two hours after checking in for our Port Adventure on the ship.  There were 36 people in our group.

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