Disney Fantasy's 3rd official cruise April 14th Western
As a preface we are not just Disney cruisers although Disney was our first & currently last cruise. We have also sailed on 2 different Carnival ships (the Glory & Dream) 2 different Royal Caribbean ships (the Liberty & Allure) & the Norwegian Epic. We have enjoyed all our cruises with some hits & misses!
I am going to be the first one to say it I think Disney missed the mark with this ship. We were a family of 6 & this was our 6th Disney cruise though all others were on the Magic a ship that holds a special place in our hearts. We did not sail on the Dream as we will not do a cruise of less than 7 days so we waited for the Fantasy!
First the Good:
The Disney Staff the magic is alive & well among the Cabin Stewards & Dining Room Staff & all others as we have no complaints with the personnel!
The Kids Clubs are still the best in the Industry, no one has beaten Disney yet & I believe the rest of the industry will have a tough time ever beating Disney's Kids programming.
The Enchanted Art Work & Mid Ship Detective Agency Are Brilliant Additions to the New Ships!
Dining Experience at Animators Palate Restaurant you now get 2 different shows on the Fantasy the 1st time you will get an interactive Crush & Friends experience as you dine. The 2nd time you dine at Animators you will draw & have animated your own creation my whole family loved this!
The Buena Vista Theater: This is mostly where you watch movies on board & is a vast improvement over the Magic!
The Aqua Duck Water coaster great idea!
Now the not so good:
Disney almost doubled the Capacity without doubling the size!
1. The Pool Deck area: Not only are the pools not big enough but instead of spreading out the crowd it is mostly 1 big deck. On the Magic the family pools are broken up into 2 different areas which help to spread out the people, not on the Fantasy!
2. The adult pool now has a family area overhead with an additional wading pool which worked fine the first sea days until parents with non potty trained toddlers discovered it & decided to use it instead of the Mickey pool. There is nothing better than having a parent whip off a Childs diaper in front of you & scream at the child the question do you have to go potty before putting a bathing suit on the child & placing them in the pool! (This is done because no swim diapers are allowed in the pools thus it is better to put a non potty trained child in without one) This just about ruins this area of the sun deck for adults wanting to get away from the kids!
3. Fast Food: Similar to the pools they have placed all the food areas on 1 side of the forward funnel creating quite the crowd during lunch time! Yes they do have a soft serve Ice cream location on the other side of the funnel but that side is never busy like the food side. On the Magic the food stands are spread out to both pool areas!
4. All the restaurants seem a little tighter & nosier than on the Magic
5. The Gym on the Fantasy is smaller than the one on the Magic, people were waiting for machines every morning as it was packed. You could not lift weights if there was a class going on because they used the same area!
6. The Common areas feel tight the hallways in the public spaces do not compare to the Magic. Not only did the width seem smaller than the Magic but the headroom is lower as well creating a feeling of confinement!
7. Cabins, Okay folks this is my pet peeve we are a family of 6 & have always sailed in 1 of the Royal suites on the Magic as they had a 2 bedroom layout that worked well for us. There are No 2 bedroom suites on the Fantasy so we booked a 1 Bedroom suite with a connecting Cat V (Deluxe Balcony)! Not only do the 1 bedrooms seem smaller on the Fantasy than the Magic I truly believe the deluxe balcony's are as well. ((Side note) We sailed on the RC Allure in February in an owners suite with connecting balcony the suite was tremendous much better than Disney's 1 Bedroom & worked much better for my family!)
8. The Concierge lounge & sundeck: 1st the lounge food offerings were a little too pretentious for my taste & no hot offerings any time of the day. The sundeck would have been great if they had added a Jacuzzi & cold plunge tub! Now it is just an area to shake & bake! Also the lounge had no access between 10PM & 7AM
9. The only other item is that Disney used to have a cast member go on each excursion sponsored by the ship in the past; this gave Disney credible feedback & control of the excursions. Now our excursions were fine but on the 2 we took there was no Disney cast member with us, I'm not sure if this is new policy or a cutback?
Okay the rest:
The onboard shopping was larger (funny the one common area that was actually bigger) typical Disney Merchandise. They have added more upscale & expensive jewelry to one of the stores.
Food quality was on par with past Disney Cruises we did dine at Remy on the 6th night & found it similar to One Fifty Central Park on the Allure!
Embarkation was fine other than being told that the concierge lounge was too busy & to come back after lunch! Disembarkation was a breeze even though we carried are own luggage of the ship (A practice we always prefer with our roller duffles)
In conclusion we had an okay time & have another cruise booked for this December, but unless this was just an aborition we might not be returning to the Fantasy again!