Disney Fantasy Day 1: Embarkation Day

The day after the wedding, Friday, Zach and I flew down to Orlando and stayed in the Hyatt that is actually IN the airport. We made the decision to fly down a day early so that we wouldn’t be so pressured for time the day we set sail. It was a very smart decision, and if you ever want to sail Disney, I recommend you do the same.

After a 45 minute bus ride, we arrived at the terminal. I have sailed once before and remembered the terminal as being one of the worst parts because we had to wait for so long. We had caught an early enough bus that it wasn’t very crowded. Since I was a Castway Club member (meaning I had sailed before) Zach and I got to go through an express check-in line and board almost immediately. We tried to go to our stateroom to ditch the backpack I had been carrying around, but they weren’t available until 1. (The best part about staying at the hotel the day before was that Disney picked up all our luggage and would deliver it to our room later in the day!)

I remembered reading in an article that you need to sign up for the Castaway Cay 5K as soon as possible, so we headed to Port Adventures and registered ourselves. When we turned around, Jasmine was behind us!

We then decided to eat lunch in Cabanas, the ship’s buffet restaurant, which is Finding Nemo themed and adorable.

We were a little overwhelmed with all the food choices, but we found a pile of shrimp and other seafood, so that made the decision easy.

After lunch we went on a tour of the ship so that we would know where everything was. It was then time to go visit our stateroom. My parents had called ahead and ordered us bath robes, a rose, and a week’s supply of water bottles that were waiting for us!

After parting with our things, picking up our Just Married buttons, and attending a life jacket drill, it was time to set sail!

There was a sail away party on the deck, but Zach isn’t crazy about the Disney character scene, so we went to the adults only area at the front of the ship to watch as the ship sailed away. The port itself really isn’t that pretty, but we saw dolphins, sea turtles, and stingrays playing in the wakes as we pulled out!

The rest of the day until dinner was rather uneventful. We did discover that our stateroom had free on-demand movies and Zach watched The Legend of Hercules. We went to our scheduled show viewing at 6:15 and saw the embarkation show. It was a musical but I found it more informative than entertaining. Then we went to our first dinner on the ship.

Disney does something different with their dinner experience, something called rotational dining. They assign you a table, a server, and an assistant server, and all of you rotate through the ship’s 3 restaurants each night. This gives guests the chance to get to know their dinner mates, and the servers to get to know what you like. Each dinner is also a four course meal with appetizer, soup/salad, main course, and a dessert.

Our first night was at Enchanted Garden. The decor is inspired by the Garden of Versailles, and starts out as a daytime garden when you first sit down. By the dessert course, it’s nighttime and the flower lamps have opened up. It’s a really cool experience and my second favorite of the 3 restaurants.

For some reason I had thought we would be sitting alone but forgot that Disney doesn’t offer 2 person tables to save on space. We were seated at a 6 person table where another couple our age was already seated. Zach and I looked at each other and quietly said “I hope the last couple isn’t old.” (Because that would have made dinner awkward). The last couple sat down and they were also our age, which was a big relief. The first course or two we made awkward conversation, but then something clicked and the 6 of us really hit it off and had a lot of great conversations!

Now, on to the food. I tried to take a picture of everything I ate each night but there were one or two I forgot. Since the food is so impressive, I’m going to share them all with you each day.

Appetizer: Lobster ravioli. Absolutely amazing. I remember saying after I finished, “If I could just have one of these for the rest of the courses, I’d be okay.”

Soup/Salad: Romaine wedge. I forgot to take a picture but it was beautifully presented with sliced tomatoes on top, fresh Parmesan cheese, and a drizzle of what tasted like a tomato Caesar dressing. It was really good, and the only time the whole week I ate salad instead of soup.

Main Course: Caramelized scallops. By this point in the meal I was really full, but these were so delicious I made myself eat all but one of them. The asparagus were gross because they were barely cooked (I like them mushy, not crunchy), and I didn’t even try the couscous because I was so full. This was still one of my favorite meals of the week.

Dessert: Cinnamon Apple Crunch Sundae. The chocolate Mickey on it was gross, but the rest of it was delicious. It was kind of like apple cobbler mixed with ice cream.

Overall it was a perfect first day that set the stage for a wonderfully magical cruise.

Next installment: Day at Sea #1