We just came back from a wonderful Disney cruise on the Fantasy. This was our second time on this ship. The Disney Fantasy is absolutely beautiful and so very clean. Our family is new to cruising -- this being only our 3rd cruise. We cruised on Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas 2 years ago. We have 2 primary-school-aged children who loved the ship. The character appearances were fantastic. The photographers would take our pictures with our camera, as well as their own. If you take the time to get professional photos taken with and without the Disney characters, the photo package with the the CD and photos is really a good deal -- not cheap but professional photography never is.
Embarking and Disembarking was a breeze. We did offsite parking with Cruise Parking at Port Canaveral. We really liked them but you do have to wait for the van to pick you up afterwards.
The Room: Stateroom 9554, Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah. It was very comfortable with 2 closets, bathroom separated with bathtub in one and toilet in another. The view is slightly obstructed but only very slightly so.
The Service: The room attendant and our servers were great. Really great service. However, ironically, we were not impressed with the youth counselors on the ship. They were the least "Disney-like" employees. Although they are involved during some structure activities, they often just loitered in the back area chitchatting with each other -- looking very unproductive and lazy. It seems to be the working climate and culture in the kids club here. This was our 2nd time on the Fantasy and each time we found that others on the ship who felt the same way. I would say that a few of these youth counselors were very good but they are in the minority. My kids had a good time with each other despite this because there are enough computers, movies, and activities to keep them busy. Maybe next time we go, I will feel differently about this.
The Food: Very, very good in the main dining rooms and even good at the buffet. Beverages: Free drinks station was a great bonus! Don't miss the "show" in Animator's Palate. Also take advantage of the quiet breakfast and lunches at Royal Court and The Enchanted Garden if you want to avoid the buffet. It's also a good time to ask for a window table or special table -- one that you may not have been assigned for dinner.
The pools: Much too crowded at the kids pool but if you get to the pools early, you can actually get the pool to yourself for about 1 hour. The adult areas were really nice, though.
AquaDuck and Waterslide: Kids loved them. We tried going early in the morning and on port days took advantage of having fewer people on the ship.
Towels: Unlike Royal Caribbean who makes you check out towels, we didn't have to do it here. And if you took a Disney excursion, they had towels ready for you in the meeting place before the excursion. Nice touch!
Entertainment: Disney-wonderful and obviously catered to kids -- rightfully so. For adult entertainment, you have to stay up pretty late and find someone to watch your kids if it's past mid-night. We didn't get to go to those shows because our kids are still young, but maybe some other time. The costumes and the special effects were wonderful on the main stage productions. We also loved the first-run movies! Popcorn was reasonable at $2.50 a bag but the caramel corn was about $6 a small bag.
I would say there are not enough quiet areas to hangout with our kids on this ship to play board games and stuff at night. During the day, we were able to use O'Gills or La Piazza. We brought our own board games with us and had a blast in our room, though.
Medical Emergency: There was an medical emergency and the captain brought the passenger to a hospital in Cozumel, so we did not stop at Costa Maya was planned. And we ended up in the Grand Cayman a day later than scheduled. So I was very glad that I didn't pay for any non-Disney excursions.
Gym: Very small compared to Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas - which was massive! But adequate.
I would recommend a cruise on the Disney Fantasy simply because it is such a beautiful ship and the service and food is very good. And if you are a Disney fan, it is a must -- at least once, just for the experience.