Just came away from a 7-nt cruise on the Fantasy. After having done the Disney Magic out of Galveston, TX about 1.5 yrs ago, we were a bit apprehensive about sailing on the Fantasy - given how disappointing the experience on the Magic had been. Even if Disney was failing out of Galveston (it has now pulled out of this port), we now realize they had really cut back on the quality of service on the Magic compared to the Fantasy.
Absolutely beautiful ship! The attention to detail in the decor and the experience is simply amazing! Wherever you go or look around, there's something interesting to discover. The restaurants, bars, night club, theaters, all are just so beautifully designed. The maintenance is impeccable. The main shows phenomenal (NYC Broadway level - performers, costumes, sets), and the quality of food absolutely top notch. Even getting on and off the ship at ports is a bit of a notch above others. And of course, the kids activities are the main reason we went back to Disney. While our kids are 5 and 10, and they had a blast, we noticed that even older kids up and into their early 20s enjoyed themselves.
THE BAD (while this section is long, in the overall experience, these were relatively minor):
Our only 2 gripes have to do with the adult entertainment and the variety of the food. Let's start with the adult entertainment. The word "sucks" kinda sums it up (though the hostess Tisha did an excellent job with what she had to work with in terms of activities and games). While there's not much one can do about an adult show being 'Disney clean', what can be done is the sequencing/timing of the activities and their locations can certainly be improved. For example, karaoke for adults happens only 1 night. In my experience, whether you're on Carnival, RCCL, Princess, etc., karaoke is a huge draw. However, Disney only does it for 1 night - and that too very late into the cruise. Second, all adult activities tend to happen in the adult disco (The Tube). SO, you're either attending a lamish adult show, or waiting till late for dancing to start. You can't have them both. On top of that, adults have to share time at the venue with the 18-21 yr olds - simply doesn't work. 18-21 yr olds don't want to party with married, older folks, and vice versa. Worst part is that the dancing invariably starts after 11:15 pm, too late for most folks with kids - as the kids start to get sleepy by 11 pm or 12 midnight at the latest. SO, how about having some dancing for us older folks a little earlier? While the hostess (Tisha) did an excellent job with the activities, sometimes just letting older folks in their 30s, 40s and 50s do their karaoke or get to dancing around 9:30 pm is all you need to set up to make it a fun evening.
Now about the food issues. First off, I'll state that the quality of the food was most excellent! We've huge foodies, and the quality of the food is 'up there'. However, last time I checked, we are in America folks. And one of the great things about our country is the variety we have. That is a term or concept that the exec chef of the Fantasy has simply never heard about. For 7 nights in a row we had only 1 type of cuisine offered - Continental. A coupla times we got an Irish stew and a Malaysian fish curry at the lunch buffet, but that was pretty much the extent of the variety offered. Wake up guys! Variety isn't going from French to Italian. And including a 'Thai' peanut sauce with a steak does not make it an Asian dish. This is America. It's 2014!!!! Last time I checked, other parts of the world offer some pretty good cuisine. I heard about this country called india. They have some decent food. There's another little country next to them called China. Food from there is called "Chinese food" (amazing eh?). There are some other strange cuisines called Thai, Malaysian, Indonesian as well. Maybe you can consider some options from these strange lands. And how about offering Mexican food when we dock in Mexico......maybe come Carribbean food when we're in the Bahamas? Here's an idea. Instead of offering 5 bland main courses every night, how about changing up 1 of those courses to some preparation from some other part of the world?
What was a bigger disappointment was the specialty restaurant - Remy. At the last min, we decided against the dinner and managed to get into the brunch. Considering the menu was designed by 2 award winning chefs, it was nothing special. Heck! Several of our regular dinner meals were better! Not only was the food OK-ish, but I left the restaurant hungry. We've done Palo on an earlier cruise, and the $20 extra for the meal at Palo is a FAR better deal than the $50 extra at Remy for the brunch. The much touted 'view' during the day is no different from the wide open 'sea' you get to see (pun intended!) when you sit on your balcony.