Disney Fantasy Cruise Review by trmom2: Disney Fantasy Western Caribbean Sept 2012
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Disney Fantasy Western Caribbean Sept 2012
We sailed on the Disney Fantasy 9/29 -- 10/6/12 doing the Western Caribbean. We are a couple in our early 50's celebrating our 24th wedding anniversary. We have sailed over 25 times on mostly Royal Caribbean but also on Princess, HAL, & NCL. This was our 3rd cruise with Disney (previously on Magic & Wonder) without our kids.
Embarkation: We arrived at Orlando airport at 10am on embarkation day and went right to the Disney transportation desk because we purchased Disney transportation to the ship. No need to get our luggage as we placed our luggage tags on the luggage prior to checking them in with the airline. Very easy check-in at the airport; we filled out all our information online before we left home and brought the signature page. They take your picture, set up your onboard charges, and give you your cruise card with a lanyard and little zip pocket for the card, all in a manner of minutes. Then we were given a "Goofy" tag which corresponded to the Goofy bus line & a More number 7 that was our boarding number at the pier. We waited only about 10 minutes til we were on the bus and watching a video about the ship. We went thru security at the pier which is very similar to the airport & waited only about 15 minutes til our boarding number was called. Once on the ship we headed to Cabanas to have lunch, toured the ship, and signed up for Palo's and the mixology class.
Stateroom: We had a 09C outside cabin #7000 which was at the front of the ship with a slant front wall with a big porthole. It had the split bath with a toilet and sink in one and a bathtub/shower and sink in the other--both with shelf space over the sink. It had a larger than full-size bed that could be split into twin beds. A full-size couch that could become a single bed, a very long desk top with 3 drawers and a fridge underneath; above were shelves and a cabinet on both sides of the mirror; & a chest in front of the table with more storage. Another counter near the closet had another 3 drawers and more shelves above. There were 2 closets: one with shelves and hanging space; the other with hanging space with a second lower fold-down bar for shirts and a safe. The bed had two end tables with a small shelf above and a small drawer. An interesting feature of the stateroom is there is a slot next to the door that holds a card key that allows the lights and TV to work. I think it also affects the air conditioning. We have had suites, verandah rooms, and inside rooms but outside room are our favorite for the price. We now only book verandah rooms if the price is great because we do not smoke and have been very disappointed many times when heavy smokers were on both sides of our room and we could not use our verandah.
Food: We at a few lunches and all our breakfasts in Cabanas which is the casual buffet restaurant on Deck 11. Most of the food was very good. We stuck with the carving station items, salads, & fries (yum!) for lunch. And had eggs made to order for breakfast. My biggest complaint about this area on every ship is toast. I like toast in the morning and it is always pre-made and never tastes quite right. Our favorite lunch was on the pool deck where they had "quick-service" called Flo's Cafe. The wraps were very fresh and a nice lite lunch after a big breakfast and what is always a big dinner. Dinner was the late seating at 8:15pm in Enchanted Garden, Royal Court, or Animator's Palate. We had Rotation 3 or ERAERRA. I chose this so we would be in Royal Court for formal nights. Although formal is not the same on this ship as on others we have been on. My husband said he would not bring a suit again on Disney and was one of the few who wore a jacket. We like all the restaurants and the food was good with many choices. Sorry to say but for us none of the food choices stand out as "do not miss". But that said do not miss either night at Animator's Palate. What Disney can do with Imagineering is unbelievable and no matter what you read, it does not give it justice. We were very lucky with Disney's choice of our tablemates. One couple from London, England (who celebrated their 24th anniversary one week before us), one couple from Nottingham, England, & the last from Virginia. We had a great time with them and spent the day with the couple from London as we had the same excursion. This is one of the things we were worried about as we have not done set dining time in a while and have had some very "interesting" experiences in the past. We ended up spending a late night one night and were always one of the last tables to leave every night. Great company! Our servers Suti & Sasha [sp] were very nice and always there with our every need. We ate at Palo on Pirate night missing one of our trips to Royal Court. It was very nice having dinner by ourselves and our server Olivera was phenomenal. If you like chocolate, make sure you have the chocolate souffle! The Virginia couple at our table went to dinner at Remy & Palo a few times and brunch at Palo. They highly recommended the brunch at Palo which is held on the at sea days.
Ship Activities: If you can & you like to try new drinks, I highly recommend the mixology class. It is held on both sea days at 3pm. We went the first sea day. There were 12 of us and Melissa in Skyline lounge taught it with the help of Mika. She had 3 at a time go behind the bar and mix our drinks ourselves. I tried things I would not have ordered but really liked them. She was right that after 2 drinks we would all be friends...we made 5 drinks altogether. We would see our "drinkmates" throughout the cruise and stop to say Hi all the time. Definitely highlight of the cruise & the best value at only $15 for a lot of info and drinks. Also, be sure to try the Aquaduck, we had late dinner so we did this around 6pm when no one was in line. We loved "Europa", the adult nighttime area. We went to most of the late night shows here and some of the adult only games. They were very good about keeping the kids out of this area at night and it was always crowded. We spent both sea days at "Satellite Sun Deck" on Deck 13 forward. This area is an over 18 area with a big round shallow pool with an umbrella shaped waterfall with seats underneath. Music is piped in here and they had a guitarist later in the day. Lots of bar servers (our favorite was Bernard) to get you a drink and if you get a bucket of beer (buy 5 get 1 free), they would keep bringing ice to keep it cold. We only went to a few main shows as they were before dinner and we preferred to stay out on deck rather than going to the show. We did see the First night show (typical first night show with snippets of things to come) and the show called "Wishes" which were very good. We also tried the Midship Detective Agency which is again the genius of Disney Imagineering. You pick up a "badge" with a unique code on one side, a pencil, and a pamphlet for one of three mysteries you want to do. The pamphlet has a map of the ship with the locations of the "pictures" that you can interact with. It also has the pictures of the "suspects" and a spot for notes. You then go to each special "picture" & your "badge" changes the picture into a video game that you play to get a clue. Although the kids loved to play it, I had a great time and saw many adults playing later in the cruise.
Ports: Grand Cayman we went to the beach at Royal Palms. We have been here many times and love Royal Palms. Costa Maya we did the Chacchoben Ruins adult-only tour with the ship and it was very interesting. If you like history and to see a bit of the past, this was a great tour. There is a huge pool area with bars and shops right at the port here which would be a great alternative. It reminded us of the port in Grand Turk. Cozumel we stayed on the ship as we have been here many times too and it was raining off and on. Castaway Cay we went to Serenity Bay, the adults-only beach, which was great. It felt empty and the lunch included Strip steaks, bbq ribs, chicken, & mahi-mahi along with hamburgers and hotdogs. The weather was perfect and a great last day. The only downside is because it was the last day we didn't stay as long as we would have liked in order to pack.
Debarkation was very easy. We could take our time as we had a late flight. We had a set time for breakfast at 8am or we could go to Cabanas. We have found it easier to go to the sit down when possible as the buffet can get a little crazy on the last morning. We rented a car from Enterprise and went to City Walk outside of Universal until time to head to the airport.
Overall this was a great cruise for us even though we didn't have the greatest weather. It was cloudy or rainy in every port except Castaway Cay. We loved that they had specific areas without children & many activities for adults to choose from. We even booked another one for next year on the same ship. Less
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