As it has always been, it's the small things that make the Disney difference. The Fantasy is an incredibly beautiful ship, where Disney touches abound. They didn't cheap out on anything on the Fantasy. The food, service, shows kids' clubs and staterooms were all top-notch.
The Fantasy's biggest strength in my opinion is ambiance. From over-the-top bathrooms featuring mosaics of bullfighters and flamenco dancers to the custom carpets and artwork featured around the ship, the Fantasy is unparalleled if you like details. We were particularly impressed with the theming at Cabanas, the lido deck buffet. It features a full-wall Finding Nemo mosaic that is truly beautiful.
Also strong (as expected) is the service. These cast members are trained impeccably. I can't think of a single encounter I had that wasn't exemplary.
We loved the food. Once again, I found myself impressed with Cabanas. I've never been overly fond of buffets, but this one was really good, especially at lunch. The main dining room food was also excellent, but the gem here again is the service. On DCL, you switch dining rooms each night, but your waiter follows you.
I have two very minor complaints. First, none of our party (9 people total) enjoyed the lounge singers. I thought Disney could have done better here...in fact a few were downright bad.
Second, I wasn't overly impressed with the port adventures. I'm not saying they were terrible (at all), but for the cost, I thought they could have been better. Our ports were Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel and Castaway Cay.
Our favorite stop of the whole trip. We rented snorkel equipment, used the pirate slides, saw a sea turtle and enjoyed incredible weather the entire day.
Disney crew was again fantastic and we even managed to find enough chairs for everyone in our party. The water was a tad chilly, but that didn't stop us from spending the day in it. Way to go, Disney!
The ruins themselves were actually pretty cool. There was plenty to see there, and we even got to see a spider monkey up in the trees. The port of Costa Maya is incredibly run down and now that I've already seen the ruins, I can't think of any reason I'd need to get off the ship in this port. Disney should re-think stopping in CM.
We LOVED Cozumel. We hired a driver for the day and got to see much of the island. We drove through the jungle out to the side of the island that doesn't have electricity. It's amazingly beautiful out there. It must be the windward side, because there were plenty of waves.
We had our driver stop at a restaurant/beach resort where we swam for a few hours. I'd go back to Cozumel in a heartbeat. Also, my husband was able to get a cup of Starbucks, a welcome relief after semi-poor ship coffee.
We are glad we did this port adventure. The kids especially liked the hands-on eco guide as we earned about the mangroves.
We also learned a great deal about the island from our tour guide, went to Hell and made a short stop at 7-mile Beach, where our family hopped in the beautiful water for about 20 minutes.