We are fairly experienced cruisers. This was our 11th cruise and third on Disney. We were on the Maiden Voyage of the Disney Dream as well as going on the Pacific route with the Disney Wonder which is our favorite route.
We booked late, literally two weeks before the cruise and got a great price through the Disney website on an ocean view room guarantee.
We spent a week at the Walt Disney World Dolphin before the cruise so we used Disney transfers which if you are staying on Disney property or coming direct from the airport is always the best and easiest way to go.
Since we booked so late we had received our luggage tags or cruise document book yet. Disney is one of the few (if any) cruise lines that send out a attractive book with all your stuff including real luggage tags not the paper ones which you get through email.
We were picked up at the Disney Beach club because they don't pick up at the Dolphin or the Swan. Where ever you are picked up at on Disney property they will have luggage tags for you that you can write your information on if you don't have tags. Its a breeze because you don't see your luggage again until your in your room.
Embarkation was a breeze and we were on the ship within 1 hour and in our room right when we boarded.
The ship was clean and always kept clean as well very friendly all over the ship.
Since we are past Disney cruisers we received gifts in our stateroom upon arrival. It was a very nice back pack with some snacks. Disney always treats past guests great with nice gifts instead of worthless discount coupon books which really don't sum up to much of a discount.
We were originally in a ocean-view stateroom on deck 2. Very roomy and spacious as well as a great view out of a good sized portal. Also had the great split bathroom which is a big plus of cruising with Disney. One bathroom has toilet and a sink, mirror etc..second had the roomy shower and tub (big enough to have a nice soak in). Great plus on Disney.
After two days I saw some people on our floor had been upgraded so I figured what the heck I will ask all they could say was no.
They said yes and within the hour (thanks Alister at Guest Services) we were in a balcony room on deck 6.
Great job by both room stewards Naomi and Lana.
Any time I can save over one thousand dollars with Disney on a free upgrade I will take it. You all know how Tinker Bell can spread that good ole pixie dust on your wallet and make money disappear.
Here is the downside with that room which was 6062. It was pretty much over the Buena Vista movie theater. Disney plays many movies late and they play it loud. Now I love the Avengers movie and have seen it several times but when I can hear and feel Hulk Smash in my room its a little much. But hey we had a balcony so what the heck. We slept in a couple times to make up for lack of sleep.
Entertainment was of course top notch with the Disney brand. I really have not seen many bad shows at sea but Disney is always the best and done with an attitude of excellence.
Wishes which we had not seen before on the Dream or Wonder was great. Buckets and Boards were also unique and great as well. Kinda like Stomp but much better. Make sure you see their act at sea. Couple of wonderful guys.
The Pirate night fireworks show was different than on the Dream and featured Capt Jack Sparrow. I won't go into details so you will be surprised . Try to get a position on the port side top deck right next to the roped off area for a real close and personal view of Capt Jack. Disappointed that the usual late buffet was going on right when the Pirate show was happening. Not because I missed any meals but because I like to take pictures of the ice carvings and decorations. We went down right after the firework show and it was already shut down.
The food was great. Cabanas always had a pretty good selection even though it pretty much stayed the same during breakfast. Lunch was great with different food selections in different ports. Go to the Royal Court for breakfast. They have a french toast pineapple stack similar to what has been served at the Disney Polynesian resort. Then go do some laps on deck 4 to work off the carbs.
Service in Cabana's was pretty good. Not as good as Princess cruise lines buffet area. Lot's of opportunity here with crew members just standing around talking. Have not seen this on the Wonder or the Dream.
We had a great service team in our dining rotation Alexa and Mickey. Mickey did magic tricks most every night at our table. Alexa was pretty detailed about the menu every night. Maybe to detailed at times.
I have ever had a bad wait team on Disney but I need to say the Head Waiter/Maitre D Candice was a real negative experience.
She started the first two meals out extremely negative toward her team and was such a bad experience if we had not had other table mates at our table I would have told her to be quiet and leave our table. She acted like she expected something to go wrong and told us if anything went wrong she would immediately correct it and the cast member and then went through a laundry list of things that could have gone wrong. She throughout the cruise gave dirty looks to her staff and seemed to want to try to intimidate and belittle them. Candice also only went to certain tables during the cruise and totally blew off our 10 anniversary celebration which was under her duties not the wait staff. And in spite of Candice our wait team was great.Candice belongs on Carnival or some other cruise line that has lower expectations.We did finally get our anniversary celebration and buttons once I complained to guest services but it was not on the day of our anniversary so there is opportunity for improvement here. First negative experience with Disney though.
Royal Court on the Disney Fantasy was better on the decorations then the Dream but missed having all the princess's coming around like they did on the Dream.
Animators Pallet was great. Got to talk to Crush (still a thrill at my age Dude) and they did a very unique deal at the last night there. We had place mats which you drew body figures and faces on they collected them at the start of dinner and as a finale they showed it by the nearest screen at your table. Now they only showed the figures that were drawn in your area which was cool that you did not have to go through everyone's drawings. They also showed the drawn characters interact with many of the Disney cartoons you know and love. You then receive your place mat drawings back with a certificate acknowledging you as a official Disney animator of sorts.
Spa wise we did the private villa Couples Choice experience. First time we splurged this way on Disney and have got to say for the 475.00 price tag I expected better and would probably not do this again.
The spa staff asked us to come 15 minutes early to our appointment which we of course did. We showed at 5 PM to find out that the room was not ready and ended up waiting until 5:30 as they hurried to get the room ready. It felt slapped together. The treatments itself were good we had the seaweed wrap and couples massage. We also had use of the outside private jacuzzi but we were not clear on the time allowed and everything seemed a bit hurried. Found a dirty used towel in the bathroom and a used ice bucket under the deck chairs on our private deck. Not the preparation I would expect for 475.00.
We also used the Rainforest Day pass which was very nice and not crowded at all.
The ship is a beautiful ship with lots to do . We were told that the Aquaduck was faster on board the Fantasy compared to the Dream. We didn't notice any difference in speed but rode it several times and it was great. Did not play the Muppets Detective game but saw many adults playing it. Will try it next time.
They had some very nice pool areas for the adults such as Satellite Falls and did a great job of keeping any young ones out of the area.
One of the big problems on this cruise was security in the hallways. Yes we know there will be kids on a Disney cruise but we had kids running wild up and down the hallways and also heard reports of things getting stole off the doors such as decorations etc..
Adults started to take things into their own hands I noted all over the ship with kids who were riding the elevators and pressing all the buttons. Because of a lack of security I saw several children getting scolded by adults who were not their parents because of their behavior. It seemed the Red Bull was flowing on that cruise.
Shopping was pretty pricey on the ship with the average adult t shirt at 23-29 dollars which is pricey even for Disney. They had a few kids items on clearance. Nothing for adults.
I was surprised there was a guy who was he port shopping guy on TV but he was not on board and there were no on board shows talking about the port????
Leslie the cruise director was nice and gracious and had a very visible presence on the ship. She was kind of thrown in between cruise directors because of Brent's vacation so there was no cruise director morning show but she still did a nice job and stepped up to the plate
Even with the bumps Disney is still my favorite cruise line.
Embarkation was a breeze and we used Disney's airline check in program which saw our bags safely all the way home to Dayton.
Breakfast was a bit of confusion on embarkation because we were told to go to the restaurant we ate at the night before. We went there at around 8 and they were not letting anyone in which was a drag because we had tips for the wait staff. We went up to Cabanas which we were told was only serving a continental breakfast but they actually were serving full tilt.
Again all in all a great cruise and if you love Disney or just a kid at heart go on a Disney cruise. Its worth the price tag. remember you get what you pay for.