As always, we had a perfect vacation on our Disney cruise. This trip had a couple of new things for us; a new ship, the Fantasy, a veranda room and a 7 day cruise (we've always done 3 or 4 on Disney).
Our stateroom was on the mid ship starboard side so we were blessed with a view of each port. We chose to book not knowing what category of veranda room we were going to get to save money and we could not have gotten a better location. Our veranda was full size, not obstructed and didn't have the white wall that some of the lower category have. Our room also slept 5 comfortably, but there were only 3 of us. This stateroom also has the round tub/shower combination and I can see where this would be really nice if you had little ones to bathe. We finished our online check in very late (2 days before) because there was a delay with our youngest son's passport. I don't know if that's why we ended up with a better room, if perhaps being a Castaway Club member helped or if it was just the luck of the draw. However it worked, we'll book the same category again next time and take that chance.
The ship was immaculate, bright and beautiful. The staff was beyond attentive to every need and then some. The food was delicious and plentiful. Being "country-folk", our palate is not as discriminating as some, so we were just as thrilled with the burgers, hot dogs, pizza and wraps continually served by the pool as the fancy dinners. Don't mistake that for negativity towards the dining room meals, they were excellent as were our servers Ned and Karol. One thing Disney continues to do when others have not, is to provide unlimited soft drinks without an extra charge and we like that. We ate breakfast at Cabanas every morning and the selection was mind-boggling. I like cereals, fruits and yogurts, my husband likes eggs and all the fixings and our son likes pancakes and there was that and more.
We've never gone to the shows at night and made it a priority to get to some of them this time and they did not disappoint. We saw Dreams and Wishes. Both were great. We missed Aladdin and our table mates said that it was even better than the other two.
As far as the ports of call, Castaway Cay is still our overwhelming favorite. They now have a 5k there first thing in the morning. It's free and you get a "medal" that is actually plastic, but still pretty cool. You can buy a Castaway Cay 5k t-shirt as well. I guess that's a new thing. The weather was excellent there, there were plenty of beach chairs even though we didn't get to the beach until almost 11am due to the 5k. Lunch was yummy barbecue (right down our alley). The other ports were just OK in our book. Grand Cayman was the best. We went to Stingray City on an excursion we booked ourselves from Fat Fish Adventures. This trip is not to be missed, but go with Fat Fish unless you want to swim with stingrays at the same time with 500 other people. Costa Maya was a disappointment. We booked the Jeep adventure with Disney. The guides were really nice, but the places we went were dirty. The water at the beach had garbage in it. Because we spent most of our day being less than impressed, we decided to be a no-show on the excursion in Cozumel and we stayed on the ship. We enjoyed that as it was not crowded and we rested by the pools.
Others have said that the pool areas were too crowded. We disagree. Maybe if you have young children and need to sit right by the pool, it may be, but we always saw empty chairs. We chose to get chairs on deck 12 above the Mickey pool so that we could watch the movies on the big screen and watch the kids play in the water. When we needed to cool off we walked over to the adult pool and then back to our chairs.
Our 14 yr old son had a blast. He spent most of his time with the friends he met at Vibe. Vibe is the 14-17 hangout. They had their own inside/outside "club" complete with a hot tub and sunbathing chairs. The inside had video games, big screen TVs, smaller video screen built into chair shaped like donuts that you "roll" into to sit. They had supervised activities going on until 2 or 3am every night, a smoothie bar and food too. We actually cut him loose and just asked him to eat dinner once or twice with us. Yes, I know that family time is important, but being 14, we knew he could use a little r&r for himself away from mom and dad's rules so we let him do whatever he wanted. He has reported that this cruise was the best vacation ever!
In conclusion, I have nothing bad to say about the Disney Fantasy Western Caribbean cruise. Don't miss it