I'm going to start by saying I am 17 years old and did a lot of research before choosing Disney Cruise Line. I traveled with my parents (in their 40s)and my two sisters, 12 and 15. We have been on the Ruby Princess, Royal Carribean Explorer of the Seas, and Disney Magic as a family previously. My worries about sailing Disney were 1) We would be too old 2) There would be screaming kids everywhere and 3)food. I knew the entertainment would be amazing, and it was. I'm going to break down the things I thought you should know:
Cleanliness of the Ship: I noticed throughout our cruise that there was constant upkeep of the ship, which was extremely clean and beautiful. Cruise staff was always painting, drying the decks, and cleaning the pool. Before eating, people were required to sanitize their hands, and I would say this is an extremely sanitary/clean ship. 5/5 Stars in my book.
Cabins: Since there are 5 people in our family, we got two rooms (it's cheaper). My sisters and I More
shared one and my parents shared one. This cabin was the biggest, roomiest cabin I've ever had. There was a queen sized bed, a twin pullout sofa, and a pull down bunk. We each rotated beds and never had to sleep together. The shower was also big for a cruise line- it was a bath/shower, and was the same size as mine at home. The water was hot, pressure was good, and I took 30 minute showers every day.
Pools: I didn't go in any of the pools- most of them had little kids in it, but there was definitely room to swim around. On port days, you would have the pool to yourself. If you're quiet/mature, you could go in the pool in the adult's area- I did on sea days and it was very relaxing and quiet. In the kids' area, the TV is really loud, but in the adults area I couldn't hear it at all.
Dining: On Disney, everyone rotates dining rooms, which is good and bad. On the Fantasy, we rotated from Animators' Palate to Enchanted Gardens to Royal Court. I like seeing the different restaurants, but I didn't care much for Royal Court's atmosphere. Animator's Palate was fun, but the food wasn't nearly as good as Enchanted Gardens. Each restaurant has a different head chef, and the chef in Enchanted Gardens was by far the best. Every meal we had there was outstanding and the atmosphere was great.
My favorite meals on the cruise were:
Animators Palate: Baked Potato and Cheddar Cheese Soup, Roasted Red Snapper
Royal Court: Seafood Salad, Escargots Gratines,Double Cut Rack of Lamb with a Dijon Crust
Enchanted Gardens: Sea Bass (we ordered so much of this, that our servers surprised us with more the next night), Ahi Tuna and Avocado Tower,Lobster Ravioli, Spinach and Raspberry Salad
Cabannas Buffet: We ate breakfast here everyday, but it isn't open late for deserts like other cruises. It only stays open for breakfast until 10:30, and lunch is from 11:45-2:00, which wasn't long enough for people like us who didn't have dinner until 8:15. They did have other fast-food options and ice cream, but no healthy options available throughout the day besides fruit.
Aquaduck: This was obviously really fun, but the line is always so long! I would suggest going on in the morning, or during St. Maarten on a port day because that is the longest port day. There is no line if you go on during a port day. You can also go on at night and the slide is lit up. I didn't go on, but it looked pretty cool, and I don't think the line was too long.
Vibe (Teen Club): I'm 17 and Vibe is for teens 14-17. Vibe depends on the people in your group, and the people in my group were pretty immature, so I didn't spend much time here. The club itself was really nice. You can see pictures online, and that's exactly what you;ll get. It's HUGE! I just wasn't into the people striving for attention in our group. There were about 200 kids though, so I'm sure if I went in more often, I would meet someone.
Europa (Adults Area): This is open to families until 9PM, but nothing really goes on until then besides live music which was nice to listen to in between our show and dinner. At 9, the bars open and on some nights the comedy shows begin. I snuck into 2 comedy shows and they were hilarious. Magic Dave and John Charles were the people I saw. It wasn't inappropriate, and I loved the shows. These people also had shows for families which were also funny.
Satellite Falls (Adult Pool): The security isn't tight in this area, because I spent most of my sea days in this area. It was really relaxing and quiet. Definitely a nice area for adults to lounge in.
Ages of Travelers: Not just whiny kids. Lots of teenagers and young families which was nice to see. I didn't hear screaming kids constantly, which I thought
Service: Good- nothing to go crazy over. Service was just like anywhere else, but our cabin hostess did an outstanding job keeping our room clean.
Mystery Game: The detective game is really fun and if you do this at the start of your cruise, you'll get a good feeling of where everything is located on the ship.
Fitness: Fitness area is reserved for 18+, and they are strict on this policy. I tried to work out here but was asked to leave. Instead I ran/walked on deck 4 outside. It was nice and a breeze came through from the ocean. Less
Don't get a car. Ours broke down 3 times the last time we visited St. Maarten, so this time we just walked to the beaches and shopping and had a great day! We got chairs on the beach and 6 beers for $20. Every deal on St Maarten includes a beer.
We went to Coki Beach and the water is crystal clear. You can snorkel right of the beach. You have to take a taxi to get there, which was $9 one-way. We bargained with our driver and made it $7, but then a police officer pulled her over (other drivers overheard and called the police because they wanted our business). Anyway, we just hopped out and said we were paying the $9, even though we paid $7 and everything was fine. She didn't care how much we paid because we got her out of trouble.