Me and my mom just got back from our first Disney cruise on the Disney Fantasy and we went for the Disney cruise experience as well as for the warm weather since were from Connecticut.
Embarkation at Port Canaveral in Florida went smoothly, me and my mom took a Disney Cruise Line bus from the airport to the port, the staff was friendly and helpful. Though the weather was cloudy and raining but we had great weather for the cruise.
The Disney Fantasy is a beautiful ship, Disney spared no expense with detail, also very clean, and the staff is wonderful, always would go out of there way to help you and were approachable. Me and my mom stayed in a stateroom at the very back the ship on deck 5.It had a verandah, the room was very nice but I wasn't crazy about the flat medal overhang over the verandah deck which kept out the sun completely but its just how the ship is designed. Also, there are no queen size beds that turn into single beds on any of the Disney cruise ships, I have been on other cruises with other cruise lines and they have always had single beds available. My mom slept on the convertaible sofa which she said was not comfortable, and brought it to the attention of our room steward who made an effort to make sleeping on the mattress comfortable and also brought it to the attention of the Head of Housekeeping on the ship, the only alternative was a memory foam like pad which made the mattress somewhat more comfortable but wasn't great. Though I know the staff tried the best they could due to the circumstances. The split bathrooms in the room were also convienient. Our room was enroute through all of the of the kids club areas which on occassion there would be crowds of families and kids blocking the hallway as they were trying to get into the Oceanear's Club. The room was also directly across from the laundry room which I also wasn't crazy about even though I know a laundry room was on every deck.
Areas on the ship for Adults
As I've seen advertised by Disney Cruise Line that there are various adult areas on the ships where adults can hide away and escape from being around kids, I wouldn't say is neccessarily true. There was only one adult pool towards the front of the ship and by the middle of the cruise it was always crowded. Parents with children will still walk through the area even though there is a sign that says guests ages 18 and over are only permitted in the area, same as the other adult only areas. The adult coffee bar on the ship was nice but to be expected you have to pay extra to enjoy it which wasn't in the budget. And although there are adult areas on the ship, you will always run into kids, they are not always spending 24-7 in the kids clubs like I've heard advertisements for Disney Cruise Line say. The elevators were usually crowded with families so I usually had to take the stairs to different decks, also kids are running and having races up and down the stairs. But going on a Disney cruise, it's what you sign up for.
Me and mom just did the rotational dining and didn't eat in the specialty resturaunts (Palo,Remey) I enjoyed the rotational dining and liked how your waiters followed with you, they got to know you and you got to know them which made it sad at the end of the cruise. My mom didn't like some of the food and the noisness of the dining rooms compared to other cruises she had been on but I saw nothing wrong with it or the food. Though since me and my mom were the only ones traveling together, there were no tables for just two people and you had to sit with another group of people, luckily we got to eat dinner each night with a great couple who we got to know throughout the cruise so that was a plus.But in my opinion Disney is kind of being controdictive when they say they want adults to have a good time and have time to themselves but only have tables for families to sit together or large groups of people (in the rotatational dining) and at least there could be tables for two people. I also liked how they provided healthy and natural options which is not what I've seen so much for other cruises I've been on. I did try room service for breakfast the first day of the cruise but there wasn't much to choose from, only bagels, pastries, beverages, and cereal, no French toast or omelettes like I've had on cruises in the past from room service, so I always ate breakfast at the Cabanas resturaunt which had a lot of selection and variety, even Krispy Kreme donuts and Activia yogurt.
I loved the Buena Vista Theater that was on the ship, just like a normal movie theater and saw some great movies. The theater shows were wonderful and 100% better than on other cruises.Most every night there would be a family dance party that was scheduled and I went to two of them as well as the Pirates of the Caribbean Deck Party.The dance parties unfortunatly weren't all that great as they could of been.Only kids got into it while parents just sat or stood around, the least they could do was be involved. The Pirates of the Caribbean party was ok, the whole day was all about Pirates of the Caribbean, dinner involved a pirate themed menu which was great, everyone including staff dresses like a pirate. The deck party included a show which was good, the fireworks from the ship were great, but again after fireworks there was a dance party which no one participated in, just a lot of grumpy kids since it was past there bed time. A huge buffet was served in Cabanas and everyone pretty much just went to that instead. Me and my mom went on the Aqua Duck twice which was fun. The gym is small but has great equipment and I had a treatment at the spa which was awesome, loved it.
Arriving at the Ports of Call
What I liked most about this with Disney Cruise Line and haven't experienced it on other cruises is, if you have an excursion planned, they don't just have you get off the ship and into a random tour group where your excursion is. We were first told to meet in one of the lounges on the ship that was posted on our excursion ticket and one of the crew members would take the group off the ship and to the excursion tour guide, it felt safer that way.