Background information: Just the two of us. Couple in our late 30s. First cruise on Disney, previously on NCL. We had been dreaming of a Disney Cruise since they first announced the line 20 years ago. That is many years of building up expectations and Disney delivered. It was our 18 wedding anniversary and we found a great rate called GTY Verandah. We booked on March 11 paid in full. Two weeks later we received our cabin 8536.
Flight and Hotel: We used sky miles to fly into Orlando and Priceline to find a hotel room for one night near the airport with a free shuttle to and from the airport. We utilize Priceline often for hotel and car rentals. We enjoy the gamble of name your own price. Our flight got in around midnight. I had verified with the hotel about our late arrival. They picked us up after collecting our luggage and off we went. There was a gas station across the street that we were going to stop by to pick up some water but we forgot. In the morning we got up enjoyed the free breakfast and headed back to the airport around 10.
Travel to Port: We had purchased Disney transfers and once back at the Orlando airport we went to check in for the cruise transport. We waited maybe 15 minutes until they collected our luggage and escorted us to a bus. On the bus the driver was friendly and knowledgeable as were all the cast members at the airport. It was a fun drive over. They show videos with Disney Characters about the cruise and then some trivia and cartoon shorts. The buses looked like a cruise ship with portholes and they are well cared for, clean and comfortable.
Ship: I had butterflies seeing the sparkling ocean and the beautiful ship. The cruise terminal is very nice (until after the cruise down in the dungeon) we had little to no wait in the security line and waiting to check in. We walked around the terminal to look at the model ships and enjoyed watching people pose for photos with Mickey and Minnie. Throughout the cruise many photo opportunities were available with or without Disney characters. We did not choose to pose for any. They did seem to handle the lines well and were always busy. Half an hour after arriving they called out boarding group and we went aboard. They announce your family name which is slightly embarrassing so we pretended to be with the family in front of us. Which my hubby found hysterical as we are both blond and they were beautiful dark haired and foreign speaking. There were a large number of vacationers from South America and it was fun to hear the accent. The Fantasy is beautiful and classy. SO clean and the attention to detail and keeping her ship shape was something to behold. Round the clock they are sparkling her up. The chandelier it breathtaking. Every public space is themed and clean. Nooks and crannies to relax in or explore and only a few times did we feel crowded.
I had studied ahead of time and knew we wanted to take a tour of the ship and eat in the Enchanted Gardens for lunch. We wondered around a little in awe as it is gorgeous the Fantasy, we just fell in love. We had a great table for lunch and the food was delicious. Everything was just magic. We were offered a water bottle package and we purchased it. They delivered it to our cabin and we used it all week.
Cabin: After our ship tour we went to our cabin and WOW! It was good sized the split bathroom- what a great idea and plenty of storage. We each had our own closet. This felt generous in space. I loved the vanity with mirror across from the coach where I could do my hair and make up and store everything. I appreciated all week that we could watch on demand Disney movies from live action to old classics for FREE. It was a hoot to watch Pirates of the Caribbean while getting ready or before bed on the ocean. I was disappointed they did not have the shows on the main stage viewable on the cabin TV as I heard they offered that. The room is like two in one as there is a heavy drape divider which is perfect if one wants to retire early or rise and not disturb the sleeper. The coach was large and comfortable. We adored our verandah. Sitting out there and watching the open sea or searching for flying fish or islands as we pass by. It was very private and except for the cabin next to us leaving the light on all night out there it was grand. I also was glad they did not come on with loud voices over the PA speakers all the time which we appreciated. They do have a channel you can tune into to hear messages from the Captain and cruise director.
Our cabin attendant was pleased to provide superior service. He had the most genuine smile and embodied the Disney touch. Our wait staff also we grand in fact not once on this cruise did we feel we were not given white glove service. If it was a cast member cleaning a bathroom to a shop clerk to the club hosts it is friendly professional service. Thank you Disney for delivering on service.
The muster drill seemed really long. Because we had so many different languages it took time to get organized and started and repeated. After the drill we went up top for the sail away and grabbed a few items from Fillmore’s grill as snacks. Watched the sail away party and unplugged from the world as we glided away from all cares. We didn’t get far out to sea when all of the sudden we were back in Port Canaveral. There was a medical emergency of a man with chest pains. (Hoping he is okay I thought about him all week.)
Adults on a kid cruise?: Being kid free just two adults we thought will we feel overrun by children? Not at all. Disney is amazing when it comes to pampering the adults. There are adult only spaces galore. Two pools, awesome night clubs, the spa, and adult only beach at Cast Away Cay. It was heavenly. I felt many times we were on an adult only cruise I know it sounds bizarre. If we walked by main pool it was crazy kid soup. But with late dining I think it was perfect for us. For example on my new favorite island in the world we first snorkeled on the family beach then headed to what felt like a perfect provate oasis. Because most were there with children they were all at the family beach and the 18 and older only is enforced leaving us to bask in beauty. We love the clean Disney fun and superior service. There are family areas as well like a night/day club for families. I took some cooking classes there. Not once did we miss the lack of a casino. There was so much to do from sun up till we dropped. My favorite area is called Satellite falls which I felt we had almost to our selves. It is on the very top of the ship with comfy loungers and soft towels and attentive bar staff. Plenty of shade for me and sun for my husband. The view is terrific. It was a haven for us. The main adult pool Quite Cove is not so quiet and has all ages walking around it often it is a busy space and for some reason reminds me of an old love boat episode.
Aqua Duck terrified me until I tried it. Very fast and very fun. We did the Muppet Detective agency and enjoyed the art all over the ship. We learned to avoid the central elevators and use the ones at the aft or front of the ship. But ride the lobby elevators at least once to see the fun paintings. Lots of musicians and bands around the ship. The entertainment was great. I felt compelled not to miss and some were mini Broadway shows. Excellent talent. My husband even went a few nights to watch the show a second time.
First run movies at sea with 3-d were fun. And on the Fantasy you can go to the pool deck refill your drink cup for free 24/7 and grab a cookie as your movie treat.
Food: Our rotation began at Animators Palate. Yummy food, great service and entertainment. Looked forward to each meal there to see what was in store visually. Enchanted gardens is beautiful. It felt like dinning in Paris in a garden and watching the “sunset” and flowers bloom and night sky twinkle is really delightful. This was the only place on the ship I could feel the engines and movement of the sea. Royal Court I would say was my least favorite. They do have some mosaics. I thought the food variety was good and if we enjoyed something they brought more. How grand to have most drinks free. Juice and soda. We had most breakfasts at the buffet and talk about fresh and selection. It felt like it went on for miles and yet it is in stations so little to waiting. Had lunch a few times there also. The midnight or late night feast after the pirate party was something else. They have carved fruit masterpieces. Crepes and turkey legs a potato bar all kinds of food you don’t want to eat that late but can’t resist. Had room service a few times it was okay not as good as the main dining rooms.
Ports: St John is a favorite island so we did the Truck Bay Adventure in St Thomas. Loved it.
San Juan: Enjoyed the ship to ourselves in the morning then headed out as others were heading back. Took a tour to old San Juan and had a great driver. Stopped by El Morro and did a little shopping.
Cast Away: BEST ISLAND EVER! A day in paradise.
Disembarkation: What a letdown. After a perfect week nothing like customs to bring you back to reality. Once that ship is back at port I felt the magic disappeared. No one seemed to be around to help answer questions and they are antsy to get you off the ship. I understand it is a quick turnaround but it felt like night and day. I needed to use the bathroom after waiting in line for so long and they acted like I had committed a crime against country. They would not let me use the bathroom in the terminal but had me walk out by the drug dogs to a parking structure very dirty and unpleasant. That is my whine ( hope you had some cheese).
We loved this cruise so much that we cruised again 6 months later. Thank Disney! We hope to try out other ships in the Disney fleet but we are partial to the Fantasy.