After years of thinking about it, asking friends, and doing research, we finally settled on the Disney Fantasy as the ship on which we would take our very first cruise. We are a couple in our 50's with one remaining child at home, a ... Read More
After years of thinking about it, asking friends, and doing research, we finally settled on the Disney Fantasy as the ship on which we would take our very first cruise. We are a couple in our 50's with one remaining child at home, a teen who would be turning 15 while on the cruise. The reasons we chose Disney Fantasy were multiple: highly recommended by friends, family friendly, Disney always does everything first-rate, and the fact there was a youth club (the Vibe) where our son could hang out and make new friends. I was a bit nervous about the experience (pre-cruise) not knowing at all what we could expect. But wow, wow, wow, was it ever amazing!! From start to finish, everything about this cruise was absolutely top-notch! From the accommodations to the staff, the food, the service, the entertainment, the Vibe teen club, the atmosphere, the cleanliness, the beauty, the excusions, it was just a wonderful, wonderful vacation for our family. Even the two other families whom we were paired with for dinner seemed like an absolutely perfect match for ours. To be truthful, at first I was uncomfortable with the idea of eating dinner with the same strangers every night (what if we didn't get along?) But we seemed well-matched and it turned out we got along great! As for the live Disney shows, they were fun show-stopping live musicals and the young people who starred in them displayed tremendous, energetic talent night after night. There were many other lively shows and entertainment as well, too many to mention! Now, on to the staff. The staff was courteous and friendly, and strove to attend to every need we ever had... Deck 11 was the popular place to be much of the time. From 24 hour self-serve soda and coffee machines, self-serve ice cream machines available much of the day, burgers, pizza, wraps, the huge Cabanas buffet (where we ate at most breakfasts and lunches), to the pool, the Aquaduck ride and the enormous wide-screen tv which overlooked it all playing one Disney movie or feature after the other. This is also where the fun, fun deck parties were had. (The pirate party and fireworks afterwards were so much fun!)...On the upper-most decks is where those over 18 went to sunbathe and relax. There were servers coming to you often, asking if you needed a drink (which were an extra cost, but we didn't mind as we're not drinkers). At the theater, there were several newer Disney movies being shown at no extra cost at various times, including "Frozen", "Saving Mr. Banks" and the newest "Thor" movie. In your room, all the other Disney animated movies and Disney/Pixar movies were available to watch on demand. (However, we spent very little time in our room, so we only watched a couple)...For dinner, we had second seating (dinner at 8:15) which I was concerned about, as our family normally eats around 5:00 and we hate going to bed on full stomachs. But it turned out to be a great experience which we enjoyed fully! We alternated between three different restaurants---Enchanted Garden, The Royal Court, and Animator's Palate. However, we had the same wonderful wait staff and table mates along with us for each dinner. There was also the option of paying extra to eat at Remy's or Palos' but we didn't do that. We indulged ourselves and ate a lot at these dinners to be honest, but hey it was a cruise! On your menu, you had several appetizers, soups/salads, main courses, and desserts to choose from (different each night) Some main dishes on the menu included lobster tail, beef wellington, steak, red snapper, barbecue ribs for example. As for the excursions, we had three of them.
St. Maartens, St. Thomas, and Castaway Cay (which is a pristine island privately owned by Disney). Of the three, I didn't care for St. Maartens' to be honest. It is a poor island, divided into Dutch and French sides, Dutch being the poorer and more run-down of the two. We went to a beautiful beach (called Waikiki Beach) on St. Maartens, but it was marred somewhat by the constant presence of local vendors trying to get you to buy their wares, but they were only quietly intrusive to be honest. And as soon as you said, "No thank you", they would move on without trying to haggle with you. St. Thomas was lovely. We took the tram up high so we could overlook the island and the view was extraordinary! Castaway Cay was our favorite excursion. It is just beautiful, and the water is so clear and the sand so clean. You could snorkel there, float in tubes, take bike rides, etc. or just sunbathe on the sand. They even served an amazing, huge barbecue lunch there for us all including all the fixings: burgers, ribs, coleslaw, potatoes, chips, dessert, ice cream, soda, etc....As you see, I could go on and on about this trip and how wonderful it was, and I know I have left out so many great things. But I would encourage you and your familiy to experience it for yourselves. You won't be disappointed!! Read Less