I just returned from a 7-night cruise on the Disney Fantasy with my husband, my parents, and my brother's family (he has 2 girls ages 3 and 6). This cruise was my 2nd Disney cruise. I have sailed many times with Carnival, and once with Royal Caribbean. We did not book flight or ground transportation through Disney. I am going to give a list of pros and cons from my point of view, and I apologize if it gets a bit lengthy.
* The staff was wonderful- not one cast member was not helpful, friendly, and enthusiastic. Every cast member we met was nice and genuinely seemed happy to be working on the ship. Anything you needed or wanted was done right away, and with a great attitude.
* Cleanliness- the ship was very clean, and any issues were immediately remedied. Bathrooms were spotless.
* We love that you can bring your own alcohol on this line!
* The drink prices were very reasonable, and the drinks were strong- no skimping on the booze More
* The shops were well stocked and well placed.
* The digital photography was a nice addition, and the new organization of the photos (kept in folders instead of sifting through a million pictures on the wall) was great- it allowed you to save all of your pictures and make your decisions at the end instead of having to pick quickly before the shots were removed.
* The shows in the Animator's Palate restaurant were very entertaining and unique.
* The room service menu, call response, and delivery were far better than on the Magic.
* The on-demand offerings on TV were a nice perk.
* The announcements were not too frequent, and they were loud and clear enough to be understood.
* The 2 different age splash zones were a great addition to the pools for the kids.
* The sports area was well-organized and supplied.
* The ship had excellent access and accommodations for people with disabilities.
* The Aquaduck water slide was a lot of fun, especially at night.
* The adult deck area, Quiet Cove, was a very nice retreat- plenty of recliners, nice hot tub and pool, a swim-up bar, indoor cafe, and no kids.
* Food was good, but not remarkable. Animator's Palate was the only restaurant with any entertainment at dinner.
* Ambiance on the ship was great; really nice decor, themes, and layout.
* Signage was excellent- it was very easy to know where you were and where you wanted to go.
* Embarkation and Debarkation were very organized and smooth, with very reasonable waiting.
* I really enjoyed watching movies in the main movie theatre, though a few more choices would have been nice. The theatre itself had very comfy chairs and good viewing and sound.
* My nieces loved the kid's clubs so much we were prying them out of there every night. The 6 year old particularly enjoyed the crafts and character visits.
* Loved the online app (free wireless for the use of the app only)- it really did let you know everything that was going on.
* The prices- every add-on (photo prices, Princess tea party, spa prices, bingo, etc.) was so expensive it was prohibitive. We went with plenty of spending money, but were quite put off by the prices.
* Very few adult activities- there were huge gaps of time with nothing scheduled for adults, and it was mostly only trivia. Much of the trivia and games were exactly the same as on the Magic- to the point where I was answering things simply from having memorized them last cruise. The only reason I can even comment on Bingo prices was that I was bored enough to go play it a few times (again, staff here was enthusiastic and fun). On other ships I've played adult scavenger hunts, scattegories, mini game shows, etc. These activities were not offered for adults, unless it was once an evening in the dance club late in the evening.
* All activities, including adult offerings, closes at midnight. I can stay out later at any bar at home.
* We were in port for very short times in Costa Maya, Cozumel, and Grand Cayman. The only port we had a full day in was Castaway Cay, Disney's private island
* Re-boarding after tendering in Grand Cayman took forever- I literally got through TSA faster than that.
* They got rid of the character breakfast that was offered on other Disney cruises.
* No comedians- there was one excellent juggler and one very poor ventriloquist. (Note- my husband and I did not attend the main theatre shows, but the rest of the family enjoyed them a great deal).
* The Europa area that is supposed to be adults-only after 9pm definitely wasn't. Kids were kept out of the Tube nightclub, but were in all of the other adult bar and lounge areas.
* The piano bar was extremely far away from everything else (deck 14), and only 1 elevator led to it.
* This may seem silly, but they don't award Disney medals at any onboard games, trivia, or activities- I really liked those. We won a million keychains, and I saw a few luggage tags and water bottles given away, but those were rare.
* Regular TV station choices were extremely limited, and went out frequently as the ship sailed. There was no Olympic coverage available at all.
* There were only 2 clocks that we found outside of staterooms on the entire ship. It's not a casino- why can't I know what time it is? This was especially annoying because we changed time zones, so it was tough to keep track.
* In the adult area there was a small buffet set up for late-night snacks (wings and stuff), but we never, ever, even once saw food in it.
* The drinks at formal night were more available and of better quality on the Magic.
* Pirate Night (my favorite) was more fun, had more activities, and better ambiance on the Magic.
Overall, I will return because my family chooses the vacations, but I would sail Carnival if it was my choice. Less