What can be said about Disney Fantasy except for WOW! This was my second cruise with DCL, the first being a 7 night itinerary on Disney Magic. Needless to say, my expectations were high for this 3 night Magical Preview Cruise on Disney Fantasy. In famous Disney fashion, those expectations were blown right out of the water. Guests immediately see and feel the reminiscence of classic ocean liners. This ship feels like a 1930's transatlantic express liner. Disney calls the decor Art Nouveau, I call it stunning. From Looking at Fantasy from the outside, stepping into the atrium, to laying at the Quiet Cove pool, this ship feels like the Queen Mary's or Normandie's opulent competition. A far cry from the gaudy Vegas style decor on Carnival's fleet.
First, I should tell you that we are a couple in our mid 20's, so we enjoy cruises with lots of things to do, especially things without children. Disney Fantasy offers so many adult retreats that I'd prefer to sail with them any day over Carnival or Royal Caribbean. The Quiet Cove pool is perfect! Beautiful teak deck chairs with cushions, tile work around the pools and fountains, a large pool on deck 11, small splash pool on deck 12, and Satellite Falls pool on deck 13. With so many adult only areas, we had no trouble finding open deck chairs. I recommend visiting Currents on deck 13. It is the bar found near the Quiet Cove pool. Currents has a wonderful seating area that allows guests to overlook the entire ship from high above. Great place to relax.
We didn't visit the areas for children very much, but they looked incredible. AquaDuck was a blast, and AquaLab looked very cool for youngsters. Teens will love Vibe.
We were assigned a family oceanview stateroom, category 8B. Wow! The size of the porthole was a wonderful surprise. It was practically floor-to-ceiling glass. The room layout was great with ample storage for the 4 of us, and the split bathroom concept was fantastic. Disney Fantasy offers a new shower arrangement with a circular shower and a shower head that is mounted in the ceiling to provide a rain effect. I thought the shower was great; I want one in my house!
Europa was a blast. So many spaces for adults to have a beverage and unwind, and they are all beautifully designed. Disney spared no expense in creating these spaces. We spent most of our time in the dance club, which is called The Tube. We loved this area because it is so well designed and features seating booths that look like a subway, telephone booths from London, and a very cool dance floor. Skyline was my other favorite. It was a very chic, intimate space to enjoy a beverage. I truly hope that Europa will be a hit on Fantasy.
The food was standard cruise fare, although quite a bit better than other lines I have experienced. We didn't get to try Palo or Remy because they were reserved exclusively for media and executives, but we heard both were amazing experiences. Cabanas was wonderfully decorated with tile murals and seagulls from Finding Nemo.
Go see ALL of the shows. They are beautiful productions! Disney Wishes was my favorite.
Attention to detail is Disney's signature touch, and every nook and cranny on Disney Fantasy is "pixie-dusted." There are so many details that make DCL a wonderful experience that I can't describe them all. One example is the carpet in the corridors. You always know which way is forward and which way is aft because the stars always point forward. The AquaDuck has duck footprints on the stairs and has a cute story revealing how Donald got stuck in the side of the forward funnel. Towels are plentiful and clean because DCL has beautiful teak towel stations everywhere you turn, and they are always full of fresh towels. Compare this with Carnival who gives you one ratty blue towel to carry around with you all day, and if you lose it you pay for it.
I always wondered why DCL costs so much more than the other lines, but it all makes sense now. Consider this: Disney Fantasy is 130,000 tons, which is the same size as Carnival Dream. Disney Fantasy carries 1,250 staterooms and 4,000 passengers, while Carnival Dream carries 1,800+ staterooms and 5,400 passengers! The DCL staterooms are immense compared to the other lines and the staff to guest ratio is far better, and the amazing customer service is apparent. Disney also allows you to bring your own alcohol, and here is a novel idea, THEY DON'T CHARGE FOR SODA! That's right, every fountain drink on DCL is FREE! Also, there is no casino on DCL, so there is a large amount of revenue that DCL doesn't get from guests gambling their savings away. DCL instead uses the extra space to enhance other guest areas and develop great children areas.
I could go on and on about why Disney is worth the money. Basically, if you have a taste for the finer things in vacationing, try Disney Cruise Line. You may not see the value when you are comparing cruises on Orbitz, but the value is definitely there in every way. Disney is a fantastic cruise line, and Disney Fantasy takes the line to a whole new level.