We just got back from the Western Caribbean itinerary on the Fantasy, seven in our party between the ages of 9 and 74. Everyone had a phenomenal time. The ship was beyond belief as was the service. Our wait staff was comprised of Tumelo and Ygel and they were outstanding. They truly spoiled us and became friends with us in short order. For comparison points, we did the Disney Dream in July 2011 and the ships are very similar. The Fantasy better utilizes the spaces that were fairly “dead” on the Dream with things like the Aqua Lab.
Much better than it was 2 years ago, to a phenomenal level now. We went on the Dream about 4 months after its Christening and they were clearly working some kinks out with dealing with larger crowds. Back then the terminal was swamped and the doors didn’t open for onboarding until 12:45 or so. This time we got to the terminal at 10:35 for an 11AM scheduled slot, went right in, checked in within 10 minutes and sat down in a much less crowded building. Doors opened for onboarding at 11:30 sharp. We were on the ship with full bellies by 12:30 starting to wander around the ship. All bags were in our cabin by 3PM.
I really wanted to do the Eastern Caribbean as I love St Thomas and never been to St Maarten but my son wanted to go to Mexico and a few people were leery of the 3 at sea days, so we went the Western route.
o Grand Cayman --- did the Island Tour which was fine. The Turtle Farm went over big with the kids and Hell town was different. We shopped a bit after that by Harbour Blvd downtown. Pretty enjoyable day even if the island wasn’t as picturesque as I would have envisioned it.
o Costa Maya --- it’s a dump. We did the salsa and salsa tour which had something for all age groups and wound up being fun, but the location of the “restaurant/resort” was questionable at best although the beach it was on was nice. All things considered I would have simply walked around the straw market there and maybe gone swimming at the little bar set-up they had at the end of the EXTREMELY LONG PIER.
o Cozumel --- did the Mayan ruins tour. Very nice tour stopping off at San Gervasio ruins, a tequila factory, the beach, and the first settlement on the island. It was nice, relaxing, and a little educational. You also covered much of the island in the bus if you like to sight-see which we do.
o Castaway Cay is Castaway Cay and will never disappoint, but Mother Nature may. We arrived to horrible skies and my parasailing at 10 was cancelled immediately. By 11:45 the grey skies led to black clouds and downpours. We got to the BBQ ahead of the rain and we ate comfortably and shopped a bit and dealt with the rain. A rainy day on Castaway is better than a sunny day on Costa Maya that’s for sure!
They were outstanding. Alladin was the best, Believe was entertaining, and Wishes was OK but a tad cheesy. The entertainers were phenomenal. We had Kyle Knight, a very good magician especially considering I am usually not a fan of magicians, but he was great. Ronn Lucas was an amazing ventriloquist. And we were blessed with the physical comedy of Ron Pearson again just as we were on the Dream in 2011. He is a riot for the whole family.
The quality was always very good. Sometimes the menu was too “seafood’y” for me, but the downside was always personal taste, never quality. The new show in Animator’s Palate was unbelievably good. Very entertaining, great use of Disney magic! No complaints with anything even the quick serve stuff in Tow Mater’s was fine. And they had a somewhat unannounced buffet after the fireworks on Pirate Night. Didn’t really eat anything then, but there was a very nice spread there. Kind of wish I was hungry then.
I mentioned them earlier but I have to again because they were awesome …. Tumelo and Ygel were the best. We were lucky to have them go through our dinner rotation with us each night. Great guys, great service.
Top notch at all times. Exactly what you would come to expect from Disney. Someone always is around to do something for you!!!
Beyond easy. We used the Disney transfer to the airport. We put our bags in the hallway the last night of the cruise and we didn’t see them again until we landed back home in JFK. No issues, no lugging things around. Too easy. Final morning we ate breakfast, got on line and were off through customs in less than 5 minutes. Walked off the boat and were directed to the proper bus and were at the airport in under an hour.
Disney does just about everything better than anyone else. The service, the food, the aesthetics. Everything. Everyone left the boat with great memories and some sadness of a perfect week was ending. I guess that adds some incentive to book another one soon. And one other personal note, before going on the Dream 2 years ago, I HATED TO CRUISE. I had only been on Carnival before that, and yukkkk, I thought never again. A big party was going on the Dream at that time so I was guilted into going (Thankfully). Totally different experience. There is only one Disney!!!