The first cruise on a large ship, 4,000 passengers, and travelling with family, including two kiddies provided us with some insights that heretofore we were not aware. This review is written with like-minded travellers in mind, i.e. middle-aged couples who want serenity, good wine and fine dining. We typically travel on Holland America,on medium sized ships, 2,000 passengers, where service and fine dining are emphasized. This trip was to share the cruise experience with our daughter and our grandchildren.
We learned that big is not bad. The Fantasy, a brand-new, modern ship excelled at providing ample secluded space for my wife and I while also providing excellent services for my daughter and our grandchildren. The adult only areas were plentiful, were comfortable and quiet both on deck and in the adult only bars. The family areas on deck, although to us were crowded and chaotic were far enough away that we could escape easily to the adult areas. Even my daughter thought is was a little to chaotic and retreated to the quieter family area of the ship.
Our staterooms were spacious, larger than what we have used to. Even enough room for two kids with the bunk-style, hidden in the ceiling bed and the futon-style couch/bed (not in our room), but in my daughters'. Stateroom service was impeccable.
Dining however was a disgrace. Although service was excellent and our hosts bent over backwards to please, the food was not worthy of being described as 5 star. I give it 3 stars. It was disappointing to the degree where would not travel on Disney again, despite everything else being great. So no complaints on the serenity and wine, but alas no fine dining, although we could have paid extra to dine at Palo ($25) or Remy ($75). The embarkation and disembarkation process was the best we have experienced. No Internet cafe; "What you don't have your own computer?". We'll stick with either HAL or Celebrity in the future although we will definitely be looking for newer, larger ships.