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Saturday, May 13, 2023

Disney Fantasy New Year's Cruise - [Day 2] At Sea

Gooooood morning! The sun was shining, and we had great weather - hooray! This view isn't a bad way to start 2023.


Rachel and I had agreed to walk Deck 4 with Judy at 8:30 AM.... pretty ambitious considering how late we were up, but somehow we made it.


It was very quiet - I think a lot of other people were sleeping in that morning.


After our morning walk, Rachel and I changed into swimsuits and headed up to find deck chairs. It wasn't crowded at all this morning. I guess the bright side to setting sail on New Year's Eve is that we didn't have to deal with racing to find deck chairs.


We decided on some loungers in the Satellite Falls area. Rachel and I carefully wrapped pool towels over our loungers, and I was so proud of our quality work that I took a photo. The pink clips are towel clips that I brought but really didn't need with these chairs and this technique.


After awhile, I decided to go on a photo walk of the upper decks, and I ran into Aaron who was coming up to join us.


Crowds were starting to pick up mid-ship by the family pools, but it still didn't seem too bad.


It is so LOUD with the Funnel Vision by the mid-ship pools, and they play Disney movies all day. I do miss having live music poolside when I'm on a Disney Cruise.


Aaron helped me time this Aqua Duck shot. It didn't come out nearly as cool as I was hoping.


I did not set foot in the Aqua Lab, but it's fun to photograph.



Goofy's Sports Deck is located Deck 13 Aft. It has a basketball/volleyball court -


Also a 9-hole Miniature Golf Course -





Miniature Golf is free to play and self-service (no need to check out equipment, just help yourself). For an additional cost, you can try out the Virtual Sports Simulator which offers basketball, football, hockey, golf, soccer, and baseball. The Golf Simulator is more expensive at $28 for a 30-minute session or $49 for a 60-minute session. Other Sports Simulators are $13 for a 30-minute session, or $22 for a 60-minute session. I believe this is because the Golf Simulator is an actual pro tool to assess your swing, while the other sports are just playing around like a Wii or whatever the VR headset is that kids are using these days. 


The Waves Bar is located port side on Deck 12 Aft. It's tucked away behind the Aqua Lab, so you wouldn't necessarily know it's there (which means short waits!).


After we returned to Satellite Falls, we started thinking about lunch. Aaron had been eyeing the menu for Royal Court which opened for lunch at noon. Rachel decided to stay behind, but kindly loaned me her coverup which was much less swimwear-like than the one that I was wearing.


To start, we ordered a small plate of Fried Calamari to share. The calamari was fresh with great flavor. The breading could have been a little crispier, but I think it's better to have it a little under-crisped than over-crisped. The aioli dip was a nice complement.


I ordered the Mexican Tortilla Soup. It had a very strong tomato flavor which was not a bad thing. The vegetables were good, but it could have used more tortilla strips. They were already soggy when it was delivered, so I would have liked to have a little more crunch. Overall, it was still good.


Aaron had the French Lentil Soup which had a good balance of flavor. The spicy sausage was a nice touch.


The tomatoes in the Crisp Romaine Leaf Salad were super fresh... perfectly ripe. The lettuce was al fresh and very green. Good salad.


We both ordered the Lamb Kofta Burger for our entree. OMG amazing. First, it was a super generous portion. The lamb was authentically seasoned, very rich in flavor. I was blown away, and that doesn't happen often for me. Aaron gave it a 9/10 and said that it could have benefitted from a slice of tomato, but acknowledged that was being super critical.


We weren't really hungry for dessert, but Aaron had to try the Fresh Strawberry Mille Feuille.


I went for the Warm Hazelnut Chocolate Molten Cake, which is amazing, but a little too heavy for the afternoon.


Overall, service was a little slow, but it was to our benefit because we were stuffing our faces.

After lunch, Aaron wanted to swing by White Caps to check out the watches. Aaron tried on a few Tudor watches while I bopped around checking out all of the merch.


We then headed back up to Satellite Falls where we hung out until it was time to get ready for the evening.

Tonight was Formal Night!


Tonight's show was Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular, a broadway-style live stage show in the Walt Disney Theatre (no photos because no photos are allowed). I've seen the show a few times before, and it's one of my favorites. It's very similar to the version that was performed at Hyperion Theater in Disney California Adventure from 2003 to 2016.

SCENE 1 | Prologue
  • Arabian Nights - Narrator & Ensemble
SCENE 2 | The Cave of Wonders
SCENE 3 | The Streets of Agrabah
  • One Jump - Aladdin, Guards, Window Lady & Ensemble
SCENE 4 | The Cave of Wonders Revisited
  • Friend Like Me - Genie, Aladdin, Magic Carpet & Ensemble
SCENE 5 | The Sultan's Palace
  • Prince Ali - Genie, Aladdin, Magic Carpet, Jasmine, Sultan & Ensemble
SCENE 6 | Jasmine's Quarters
  • Lucky Bird - Jasmine
SCENE 7 | The Skies Above Agrabah
  • A Whole New World - Jasmine & Aladdin
SCENE 8 | The Sultan's Palace
  • Prince Ali Reprise - Jafar
  • Wedding Celebration / Finale - Full Company
The "Lucky Bird" number was added in 2019. The original song "To Be Free" was written by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman for Aladdin as a ballad sung by the Genie, in addition to "Friend Like Me" and "Prince Ali." The song was cut from the movie, but was included in the film's soundtrack. It was later adapted as a musical theme and song for Jasmine for Disney On Ice and Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular.

I believe this song is a great addition to add depth to Jasmine's character, and it's a shame this wasn't considered with the 1994 movie. "Lucky bird inside a gilded cage" is an elegant way for Jasmine to explain the complexity of having the immense privilege of being born royal, yet not having the freedom to make her own choices.

That being said, the song is unfamiliar... not a bop. And it was just Jasmine sitting there singing with minimal choreography, so it was definitely the most boring part of the show. Maybe they could add some dancers to spice things up?

During a Whole New World, there is a fog effect. Due to the humidity and perhaps too much fog, the fog rolled in and it did not dissipate. The entire front section of the theater was covered in a thick fog. At one point a man shouted, "We can't see!" which caused everyone to break out in laughter. Aladdin and Jasmine did not break character and continued with the number, though we could not see them until they got on the magic carpet and were lifted above the fog. After the scene, Genie came out and made some jokes about the fog.

Aaron though the show was of amazing quality. It was a little cheesy, but stayed very close to the 1994 movie script and only made a few creative changes. Rachel thought a lot of the dialogue was corny, and thought Jasmine was whiny. We agreed that the girl who sang Arabian Nights in the beginning gave a phenomenal vocal performance. The production has great sets and amazing effects with the theater projections. I think this show is not to be missed.

After Aladdin, we went to The Tube for the Moonshot acapella group adult show. They explained that it was called an adult show because they were performing in The Tube and not singing Disney songs... it's nothing risque. The show was fun and short. They only performed four songs, and it started late and ended earlier. Aaron described the show as "talented singers, bad pants."


Dinner tonight was at Animator's Palate. We looked around and didn't recognize any of the tables around us. We were William and Made's only table on this side of the dining room. They explained that this happens often when there are big groups that they need to rearrange tables for.


I started with the Smoked Salmon Tartar. It's historically one of my favorites. It did not photograph well - Animator's can be tricky to photograph in with the changing light colors and brightness levels.


However, I adjusted to photograph Rachel's Black Truffle Pasta Purseittes which she said wasn't that great this time. It was just okay, a little tough - maybe not cooked long enough.


Judy had the Tomato Tarte with Glazed Goat Cheese and shaved Radish which she said was amazing.


Aaron got the Chicken and Walnut Salad which he said was good, and the cranberry dressing really balanced it out.


A separate note on the bread which I did not photograph - Aaron said the focaccia with the garlic oil was outstanding.

I got the Baked Potato and Cheddar Cheese Soup which is another one of my favorites.


For the main course, I had the Grilled Tuna Steak. I enjoyed it, especially with the aioli.


I think this is Judy's Herb-Cruised Pork Chop. I don't have any notes on it, but it photographed nicely.


Stove and Rachel got the Ginger-Teriyaki dusted Angus Beef Tenderloin.


Rachel's was cooked perfectly, but Stove's steak was slightly over cooked.


Aaron had the Lemon-Thyme Marinated All-Natural Chicken Breast which he described as no frills, just good basic roasted chicken. The beets were great.


Tonight was the Nemo themed night in Animator's which tends to be very loud. William and Made continuously apologized for how loud it was, but we weren't really surprised or bothered.

During dinner, Crush swims around the dining room and interacts with guests like he does in Turtle Talk with Crush. Surprisingly, people in our area weren't very interested in Crush. He swam to a few windows where guests just ignored him completely. He swam over to our "tank," and a girl at the table behind us was very bright and good at interacting with him. She asked him a lot of questions about the ocean which was fun, but he also had a hard time swimming away because she had so many questions lined up.


Toward the end of dinner, we go through the EAC, and all of the servers stop and swim. William and Made swam right over to our table to joke around. I think they liked having a table of all adults that they could be real with.

For dessert, Aaron had the Cookies 'n Cream Sundae which he said tasted just how it should.


Judy had the Chocolate Fudge Cheesecake which did not taste like cheesecake. More like a chocolate cake with cheesecake topping.


I had the Lemon Icebox Pie, and it did not disappoint.


After dinner, we went to The Tube, but we left when Moonshot came out for their second show since we had already seen it.


Next: Disney Fantasy' New Year's Cruise - [Day 3] Cozumel

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