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30 Disney Eastern Caribbean Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because our 3 year old grand-daughter is obsessed with Disney. Our Grand-daughter enjoyed this cruise and overall I thought it was a good solid cruise experience. However, I did not feel it was a good value for the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because our 3 year old grand-daughter is obsessed with Disney. Our Grand-daughter enjoyed this cruise and overall I thought it was a good solid cruise experience. However, I did not feel it was a good value for the money and overall it was just ok. For what I paid for this cruise, it should have been extraordinary and it just wasn't. We were on the eight day Halloween on the High Seas cruise. I'll try to lay out each aspect and describe what I thought was good and bad. We are frequent cruisers, primarily on RCCL, but have cruise most of the other lines as well. CABIN - It was a Family Ocean View with balcony on deck five so it had the oversized balcony. Cabin seemed small to me but it was fine with three people. Four would have been really tight. It was clean and our cabin steward was very nice, towel animals and chocolates every night. FOOD: The food, as many have noted, was just ok. Overall it was average cruise food. I have had worse, but I have had much, much better. My favorite dining room was Animators Palette, mostly because it was interactive and kept my grand-daughters attention during dinner. If you get to see them make your art come to life, that was a real treat. Our dining room team, Allan from India and Alia from Spain were wonderful, hardworking folks, who were very kind and generous with their time in entertaining my grand-daughter. The Buffet in the cabanas was fine, but again, not as good as some, better than others. ENTERTAINMENT: Disney scores high marks here for their Broadway caliber shows. We were fortunate to see Aladdin, Believe AND Frozen on this cruise. All three of these shows were hands down some of the best I've seen on a cruise ship. They had a comic/ventriloquist who was good and a hypnotist (Ricky Kalmon I believe) who I would not see again. KIDS ACTIVITIES: Our grand-daughter went to the nursery. The staff there was lovely and took excellent care of her. She really liked it there and looked forward to it every night we took her. There is lots for kids to do on the ship. Many Character meet and greets, many activities, Midship detective agency, princesses everywhere, character breakfasts, etc. Kids will never be bored. We didn't use the kids club except for the nursery. We went to a couple of open houses and the staff was friendly, but we did not get the total experience since our grand-daughter is not completely potty trained and couldn't go there on her own. ADULTS: We did not enjoy the adult spaces on this ship and thought this is a big negative for Disney. The adult spaces felt cramped and a little creepy to me. There were not a lot of activities geared for adults, other than trivia. There is far more to do on any one of the RCCL ships for adults. We ended up going to bed early most nights. You might say well this is a Disney cruise it's not meant for adults... let me tell you, there were more adults than children on this cruise and there was not enough for them to do. BINGO: If you are a bingo lover, Disney has the best bingo I've played on a cruise ship to date. It was fun, there are several games, the prices are less than other lines and the payouts are good. It was just a really fun time. ROYAL COURT TEA AND BBB - We took our Grand-Daughter for a princess makeover and it was worth every penny. Staff was wonderful and she just loved it. Went to the Royal Court Tea and that was also very fun, but I would suggest to Disney that the $220 price tag should include one adult along with the child. I paid $60.00 to drink a cup of tea and eat a scone. It was a nice show and my grand-daughter got beautiful gifts. I did think it was a little price at $280.00 though. PORTS: We did not do any excursions since our grand-daughter didn't meet the age requirement of most excursions. We got off the boat in St. Kitts and Castaway Key. Castaway Key was nice, but I like RCCL's private islands much better. EMBARKATION/DEBARKATION - Embarkation was not great. Debarkation was smooth and quick. OVERALL - This was a good cruise, we had a great time. The staff was WONDERFUL. Everyone was wonderful with children. We paid as much for this cruise to be in a family balcony stateroom as we did for a two bedroom suite on RCCL. It was simply just not worth it for the value. We are glad we did it one time, but we very likely won't be sailing Disney again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
A lot of our food was served at room temperature. With long gaps between the courses. We've done 3 cruises on the Dream and were very happy. This cruise on the Fantasy the food and dining room service was not as good. Would ... Read More
A lot of our food was served at room temperature. With long gaps between the courses. We've done 3 cruises on the Dream and were very happy. This cruise on the Fantasy the food and dining room service was not as good. Would have like some movies geared to an audience of other than children. Disembarkation was not organized! It was a free for all to leave the ship. Families were allowed off then sent back to clear their accounts. They had to fight upstream because of the massive crowd to leave. And then were told they could go back to the final checkpoint to leave. Passing all the folks who were waiting in line. Not good. We were stopped at one point and told the computers were down. Only to overhear the staff talk about stopping disembarkation due to crowding at customers. We were lied to by Disney staff. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Our 26 family members have been planning this cruise for over a year . My wife and I sail with Celebrity Aqua twice a year, so are used to fabulous food and over the top service, others had sailed RCCL, and one Silversea. But for most of ... Read More
Our 26 family members have been planning this cruise for over a year . My wife and I sail with Celebrity Aqua twice a year, so are used to fabulous food and over the top service, others had sailed RCCL, and one Silversea. But for most of us, this was our first Disney. I think to sum it up, they have a very devoted following, so they don’t try as hard to please as other lines. Embarkation was slow. The port has no embarkation side and debarkation side, so everyone is going against each other to enter and leave. You wait in the terminal over an hour to get on. Our rooms were ready and perfectly clean. We loved our room host, who was fabulous. Now, you have the same wait staff in the dining rooms each night. This is great if they are great but.....We waited at least 15 to 20 minutes to have our drink order. So we learned very quickly to bring our drinks with us to the table each night. We also waited the same for our food, which was just ok and consistently room temperature. Even the soup was cold. We had the turkey one night which was so dry you had to wash it down with water. I would expect this on a discount line, but not the most expensive one we had been on. Cabanas had very inconsistent hours. One time half was open, and the other closed. My first morning I woke up at 630 and went to get coffee, to be told “ not ready yet” Breakfast with eggs not until 730! I am used to standing in line ordering my eggs and enjoying a hot breakfast. Not so. It took 10 min to fry an egg, so the choice is taking already cooked eggs from a dish, and toast from a dish, all Luke warm. We all joked that when we got off the ship we could have a hot meal! The French fries and chicken tenders were hot. Ok enough about food. Several family members had to do some work, which brings us to the internet package. 1000 mb for $89! No unlimited package! You can churn through that in one day, just checking mail. To say rip off, is an understatement. And connectivity inconsistent. I’ve had better connections on Transatlantics. And when we went down to talk with WiFi person, he was either at a meal or gone. The characters were the highlight, and the clubs for the little ones wonderful. The tweens were not as happy with their offerings. The ports were great and excursions excellent. So... Not sure about Disney. RCCL has many fund things for kids, a new water park planned on their private island and better food. And for the adults, Celebrity hands down for everything! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Disney vacation club members as well as experienced DCL travelers. Like the eastern cruise more sea day’s. Was interested in seeing Tortola as well. Cruise itself pretty good, reliable service they handle crowds well. Disappointed ... Read More
Disney vacation club members as well as experienced DCL travelers. Like the eastern cruise more sea day’s. Was interested in seeing Tortola as well. Cruise itself pretty good, reliable service they handle crowds well. Disappointed in evening entertainment. Two non-show evening entertainments were actually poor. Night club entertainment almost non-existent. Decent itinerary; Had very good tour with David’s Fun tours, private tour of island. Designed to what we wanted, traveling with 6 seniors so history and sightseeing was the priority. Had good lunch in town and delivered back to ship. Timely very personable would recommend. Tortola was a slightly different story, booked with Aristocat charter, I didn’t do my homework and it was 3 out of 5. Thought the owners, crew and boat were very nice and good. 3 spots to snorkel were good, could have used better stairs to get back on board. Had ladder and it was ok but not best for seniors. Lunch was average at best with boiled hot dogs and stuff,to go with it. I would have preferred less time on lunch, more sailing and less people. Had up to 30, lots of kids running around in controlled. Lastly watching for two hours s 20% of groups sucking rum down didn’t wind my watch. Probably would not do again. Probably would prefer to stay on ship or get private charter or tour. It was Lao pricey I thought for number of people. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Started poorly at embarkation, we were so excited and visited the Supervisors Desk as advised to inquire as if there were any possible available cabin upgrades, knowing full well they are not free but the Supervisor was "surly" ... Read More
Started poorly at embarkation, we were so excited and visited the Supervisors Desk as advised to inquire as if there were any possible available cabin upgrades, knowing full well they are not free but the Supervisor was "surly" no smile and spat out verbally our family was "to early for that" (note we stood at her desk for about 10 minutes while she played with the computer not even acknowledging us, then after seeing us told us she would be with us soon) and made us wait a few minutes more. No smile, not a Disney experience. The Cruise Director was Trent Hitchcock, over the top silly and while not "on" puss on his face while walking the hallway, just off putting. The Tween Club The Edge my daughter reported was not engaging at all, she went several times but would return quickly saying the youth team was not interactive and the activities were pretty much non existent, most kids just sat alone with their own electronics and the youth team could not be bothered with anyone but each other. The entertainment offered was often repeated, the premium price should command better entertainment seemed like to much filler not enough content. We arrived at the private island late (not allowed off until 0930) and this left limited time to enjoy their private island, (the lifeguards start yelling and cleaning the island an hour before you have to leave, feels like you are not a welcomed guest) very disappointed with the schedule on the Eastern Itinerary Castaway Cay Day. The room was clean and the stateroom host (Alston) was amazing, our aft room 6188 was a positive experience. Very little wear and tear and the views from this deck were beautiful. A bit of soot and vibrations but that was expected in the aft, pretty quiet otherwise. The dining team was cordial, kind and full of smiles, loved Malwyn from India just a joy!! The food was okay if not a bit boring, the private island Cookies buffet was sloppy, they could not stay on top of the demand. This was the first time I had ever observed no one staying on top of the buffet offerings. The Fantasy was in decent shape but again not enough entertainment or events planned especially on sea days. The pools and pool decks were ridiculously crowded, verbal arguments occurred over families refusing to limit their time while playing shuffleboard etc. Disappointing adventure for the monies spent. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Fun. The sight seeing on the islands were definitely the highlights. Was disappointed that my 6-year old and 8- year old hated the kids club. They asked the counselors to call us to pick them up after just an hour because they were bored. ... Read More
Fun. The sight seeing on the islands were definitely the highlights. Was disappointed that my 6-year old and 8- year old hated the kids club. They asked the counselors to call us to pick them up after just an hour because they were bored. They were there for "sloppy science" but the tiny room was full of kids so they couldn't partake... but it wasn't hands on for the kids anyway. They just watched a staff member mix baking soda and vinegar. Didn't have the heart to bring them back to the Oceaneer club/lab. Plenty of other activities going on to keep us busy on the ship when we were at sea. Food was great for adults, but the menu for the kids at dinner never changed. My kids had mac & cheese or chicken tenders every night. I knew to expect a couple hundred dollars worth of gratuities to be added at the end of the cruise, but all the hidden fees were unbelievable! A 15% gratuity is added onto every purchase made on board (or on ports of call with your room card). This includes all gift shop purchases, popcorn, smoothies, alcoholic beverages, etc... Felt like these charges were sneaked on, because we only ever signed for the purchase amount with option of adding in additional gratuity. Also, the boat rocked pretty severely. We were bothered by the ship movement, but not to the point of sea-sickness (maybe because we were medicated). Overall a good trip. Glad we tried the Disney experience for our kids. But will not do another Disney Cruise. In talking with other passengers on board, and from our own experiences, highly recommend Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We sailed on the Dream in 2013 and thought it was a wonderful experience. In 2015 we sailed with Royal Caribbean and found it hard to choose between them. Now after this Western (changed after Hurricane Irma) Caribbean 7 Day on the ... Read More
We sailed on the Dream in 2013 and thought it was a wonderful experience. In 2015 we sailed with Royal Caribbean and found it hard to choose between them. Now after this Western (changed after Hurricane Irma) Caribbean 7 Day on the Fantasy I now know that RC is the better choice for us. For cruisers with children, perhaps this is a great experience, but for us without kids its just not a great value. RC has better food, variety, dining arrangements and dining locations. It pains me to say this, but RC also has better on-board entertainment and activities for adults. Additionally our spa interactions were weighed heavily with unwelcome add-on pressure. On the positive side, Disney does have a great staff. We had to visit the medical center and they were very professional and caring. Embarkation and debarkation were a breeze. Not Disney's fault, but our cruise was changed to Grand Cayman, which uses tendering. A miserable experience. Overall, we could not shake feeling some disappointment that Disney charges a premium price but for our situation does not offer a premium experience. We are going to Alaska next year and can't see booking Disney. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Stayed in concierge twice, first time on Magic, this was our second. On the Fantasy there were some noticeable improvements but also minuses: Embarkment: very smooth, we were on the ship within 15 minutes Concierge Lounge/Concierge ... Read More
Stayed in concierge twice, first time on Magic, this was our second. On the Fantasy there were some noticeable improvements but also minuses: Embarkment: very smooth, we were on the ship within 15 minutes Concierge Lounge/Concierge Service: It took about 20 minutes before anyone acknowledged our presence and then they said they were busy and "other staff" were helping out (non-concierge staff). We were eventually greeted by a very friendly staff member "Vesna"- sadly we didn't see her again for the rest of the cruise. Aside from getting a guaranteed reservation opening for a Cabana on Castaway cay and maybe priority boarding and disembarkment as well as wine during designated pre-dinner hours, we felt zero benefits from this service. Our room cost over $3k USD more than the average room. There was also a "private" ie. you and the rest of the concierge guests character meet, but we didn't use this because my son was too young. At Castaway cay: concierge guests NEVER visited our cabana, on Magic, we had Andy and he was absolutely fabulous and we always felt like we were part of the party and a small family. No such luck this time around. Concierge staff seemed pre-occupied and conversations were very shallow and disinterested. We miss Andy! Finally, the concierge lounge is not prepared to house younge children. Did not see booster or high chair, crayons/colouring books or anything of this nature. It was hard to keep our son in there for more than 5 minutes. Also on the Magic we had daily room surprises "treats" etc. On the fanstasy ZERO. Absolutely no deliveries of treats etc. just the usual chocolates before bed like the rest of guests. Finally ZERO personalized engagement within the lounge, except for using our names in "hellos" when we entered the concierge lounge. No assistance with listing any possible benefits available at castaway cay ie. free rentals with Cabana, we had to ask to know this, and by then it was too late. Generally with 1 exception most of the staff in the lounge didn't look like they wanted to be there, or they were pationate about their work. It was a real let down. No interest in getting to know us or our preferences or offering any type of assistance with any part of our trip to make life easier. ie. room deliveries of any sort, assistance when our son was sick. No laundry on concierge level you will be waiting in line with everyone else on the lower levels. Food/Dining: we found the food to be good in the rotational dining restaurants. We found Cabanas food to be good but the area is loud and very crowded at times, makes dining with small children exponentially more stressfull.Our head sever "Toto" made every meal extra special! Pool areas: crowded (kids like sardines in a can), line up for aquaduck was over 30 min even in the pre-noon hours. Slide experience was not worth the wait. However, towels were readily available, chairs were not. Lots of chair saving going on. There were chairs available on the decks above the pool however. Laundry: machines are from the 80s and you have to run all of them through 2x to get them clean or dry. If you travel on the Fantasy, don't bother with laundry unless its an absolute emergency. The Magic is an older ship and has brand new modern equipment that works. The Fantasy had broken machines and everyone i encountered (including myself) had issues getting them started and understanding basic operation. Very annoying. Staff (room steward, dining etc): very friendly and helpful staff, no matter which deck, even service technicians on lower levels or anyone else you pass in the hallways. Absolutely superb attention to detail even in the Spa. Entertainment: we didn't attend the shows as we were with our son and most were after his bedtime. For some reason the shows did not replay on the in room tv's like on the magic so we missed them all. Sail away party was cut short due to rain, but no characters came out and no streamers were given to guests. Pirate party was a let-down compared to magic. No Mickey flying between smoke stacks, short fireworks and generally limited guest engagement. Was also postponed 1 night due to rain. Disembarkment: a bit busy and chaotic, zero concierge benefits there aside from elevator bypass to lower level to exit ship without having to stop on each level. Had to load up our luggage ourselves and bring it over ot the Disney Express Bus transfer to the airport. What is the point of booking a disney transfer if you have to haul your own luggage again through the port and onto the bus (even after you pass security) there is zero assistance. Not good if travelling with young children Disney Transfer: good and prompt but the videos and various cartoon clips played are loud and highly annoying especially the "BLAM"one. Same cartoons on the way to the trip and at disembarkment made it that much more annoying and tacky. Overall may not consider the service again, probably cheaper to hire a driver instead. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This cruise was a family reunion with 24 of us sailing in memory of my mother in law. We had first time cruisers, seniors, teenagers, young adults and children. We joined a FB Disney group to learn what would could about the ship and the ... Read More
This cruise was a family reunion with 24 of us sailing in memory of my mother in law. We had first time cruisers, seniors, teenagers, young adults and children. We joined a FB Disney group to learn what would could about the ship and the Disney experience. We were so excited and our expectations were so high. Unfortunately, it did not deliver what we expected. The food was just cruise food, nothing exceptional. Palo was good but not great. The didning experience itself was rushed every night. We were told by our servers to arrive promptly at 5:45, we had 2 servers for 24 people. At 7:30 the bright lights were turned on overhead telling you to finish up and get out. Now they have you where they want you because there is no other place to eat. They do not do a dinner buffet. They serve a sit down up,in the buffet area with the same menu as the dining rooms. Having portraits taken is very difficult. Long lines and not many. I will say there were plenty of characters for the children to see. Kids pools very crowded and if you want a seat you must go down very early. I personally felt that the price paid for a Disney cruise was not worth it. I would rather spend it staying at the Polynesian and doing the parks. I have been on much better cruises with the children for much less money. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We waited for two years to take this cruise and alas it was not EVERYTHING that it was cracked up to be. I am a firm believer that great customer service is what makes a very memorable experience. We expected "Disney" level ... Read More
We waited for two years to take this cruise and alas it was not EVERYTHING that it was cracked up to be. I am a firm believer that great customer service is what makes a very memorable experience. We expected "Disney" level customer service but alas they were below par and unfortunately ended up being below average which was disappointing. Here is a breakdown: - Shows: Among the best. We loved each more than the previous and in this area, Disney lived up to its high standards. - Waitstaff: this was probably the most disappointing of all. We had heard exceptional reviews and went in with pretty high expectations as a result only to be treated with B rate service. Our waitress was catty and the waiter somewhat awol/ - Food: Overall, Meh... Again, not everything it is cracked up to be. Although we did get to experience Remy and it was fantastic. I highly recommend it! - Kids Club: our kids (3 & 6) loved it. But I was not a big fan of as a parent was the fact that all the age groups have access to the same areas. - Spa: loved it and recommend it - Character breakfast: somewhat chaotic, not very well planned and mediocre decor. We did Dr. Seuss on carnival magic and they far surpassed what Disney had to offer. - Adult activities: We consider ourselves veteran cruisers and I expected Disney to have better comedy shows and adult entertainment which was not the case. My favorite hangout was the Skyline bar which is definitely one of a kind. However, I also found that I kept comparing activities offered to the Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas which has a carousel, zip lining, surfing, flash mob- overall fantastic adult entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
My husband and I are in our late 60's and decided to treat our children and grandchildren to a week's cruise before Christmas. We have travelled extensively, own timeshare with Disney and Marriott and thought we were savvy ... Read More
My husband and I are in our late 60's and decided to treat our children and grandchildren to a week's cruise before Christmas. We have travelled extensively, own timeshare with Disney and Marriott and thought we were savvy enough with rules and regulations. There were 11 of us traveling. Six adults and five children. Two seven yr old boys, two five yr. old girls and one two yr old boys. No discounts and much more expensive then other cruise lines minus the characters. But then again, how much do they pay these characters which were few and far between. Our three staterooms were side by side on the 8 th level with a balcony. Great cabin with lots of storage room. Bathrooms were great and provided a seeming mini bath for little ones. The grandkids were in awe approaching the BIG ship. They loved their bunk beds and balcony to watch us splashing to our ports. The meals were great and our waiters were terrific and went overboard to please the children. Our room stewards were super cleaning up and organizing which was ever so helpful to tired parents. The shows were good and definitely child appropriate in length and content. We had a good time on our own at the various ports swimming with the Dolphins and Shopping for various articles. Beaches provided great family swim time which we didn't get on board. The problem? The swimming pools! While there were two small pools available to children, if your child was in diapers, even with swim diapers which we were told to bring, they were not allowed in the pool. There was an alcove on the far side of one of the pools where little ones could splash around with water spouts coming from the floor. The issue was that at this time families could not be together. Five and seven yr olds wanted to be in big pool or aquaduct so that left other parent and child by themselves during those hours. Not a great way to start a family cruise. Many parents just didn't put diapers on consequently, which led to pools being emptied, several cases of lice and foot and mouth disease developed on board then. In all my years I have never been on a cruise or hotel (Disney included) where small children could not wear swim diapers. My complaint letter response was that "I should have read "know before you go"! How many people would even think of reading the swim section if you are a Disney vacation owner and or stay at resort where small children are allowed in pools. It would have been nice if when we called several times concerned about activities and such or when enrolling the age would have triggered a note to parents. Swimming was a big part of a cruise and they have notes for everything else. The play areas for kids are wonderful to look at but not much organization of activities. Our kids were so bored they did not want to go which left no down time for parents or grandparents. Then add insult to injury the photographer lost the majority of pictures taken of my daughter's family. We were the last ones off the ship hoping for the manager of photos to find them. He never did. The customer relations manager was super but she has no control over photos as it is subcontracted. By the time I received my response from Disney it was too late to try again as after 30 days they toss the cruise pictures. Photo shop had given our daughter a picture of another little girl and that was corrected but never found any of the pictures when there computer went down and they issued paper receipts for picture recovery. Many angry passengers the last night and morning of. For me, the experience and follow up politically cold correct letter led me to never wanting to cruise with Disney again. If u want your kids and grandkids to see characters take them to Disneyworld or Disneyland where it is not so chaotic and can be a true Disney experience. If you want a cruise go with Royal Carribbean or such that know how to keep the kids busy and provide an enjoyable family trip for all without the chaos. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
My daughter asked her Papa and I to join her and our three grandchildren on the kid's first cruise. My husband and I have sailed on 18 cruises...Alaska, Hawaii, South America, and every cruise to the Carribean. We took one cruise on ... Read More
My daughter asked her Papa and I to join her and our three grandchildren on the kid's first cruise. My husband and I have sailed on 18 cruises...Alaska, Hawaii, South America, and every cruise to the Carribean. We took one cruise on a ship out of Puertio Rico doing two back-to-back 14 day cruises. One whole month in Paradise. We love cruising. We had grown up watching Walt on nine inch tvs. How we loved Walt and the Mickey Mouse Club.. When our girls were growing up we took them to Disneyland. We took them to Disney World. We flew our daughters, their spouses, and our six grandchildren for 7 days at Disney's New Orleans resort and Disney World park. I never expected Walt to ever disappoint us. Yet, he did. I would never take this cruise line again. We left Cape Canaveral and our first day out I felt concern. We diverted to Miami after a gentleman took a serious fall down the main marble stairway. Critically hurt, when I saw a rescue boat arrive beside the boat to remove him from the ship, I realized that there was no helioport onboard. On two cruises, we saw people choppered out after serious health conditions. After a career in medicine, I could not help but think of that critical hour window of time which happens with critical medical conditions. The trip was great...really great for young children. Our grandchildren, aged 9, 12, and 15 enjoyed their first cruise. Yet, they spent most of the time at our side. They tried the children activities the first day, but did not like the activities. So they played miniture golf and used the amazing water slide a lot. The food onboard was inferior to the ships we have cruised on. It came to the table cool..not hot. Three nights I did not see a dessert on the menu that I liked. Our wait staff was excellent and I loved the beautiful .three diningrooms where our staff accompanied us to a different one each night.The maitre-D was accommodating We had a seventh floor balcony room. The greatest room ever. I loved the bathrooms! One with a sink commode...one with a sink and tub shower! It had the most storage on any ship of the ships we sailed. It had a full couch and constant reception in the rooms for news and sports. Very family oriented! Our room attendant, Scotty was excellent. I do not get a lot of time with my daughter and her family She lives in Minnesota and is a licensed nurse practitioner at Mayo Hospital. A job extremely demanding. We live in Iilinois. The first at-sea day was extremely disappointing. We were up early and got chaises in a family area near a small pool. We had two or three hours and went to lunch---we were gone thirty to forty minutes ! We left our towels on chairs. We came back and our towels were removed. Other people as taken our chaises. I asked the deck attendant! Oh, that is our policy..a book, a bag, was laid aside on the floor. THAT HAS NEVER HAPPENED ON ANY CRUISE SHIP I HAVE SAILED ON#!!!! We could not find anywhere to sit. We went to our cabins!!! The medical physician and nurses were excellent! I had got onboard for the trip on prednisone due to problems due to suffering with systemic lupus and a rash I developed!!! However I had finished my meds. I took a cold, had a rash, and high temp.. I was given more prednisone. I spent 24 hour in my room. At Castaway Key...the last day on the ship my family and nearly everyone else went ashore! I returned to the top deck where we were the day our chairs were taken. I read. I napped. It was early. Shortly about 11 a.m. the deck attendant came and started stacking all the chaises. I asked him why? Well,he told me they had to to get ready for the new vacationers getting aboard the next day. I told him this was my cruise and he brushed me off. . He wanted to ad my chases to the stack. I gathered my things. I went to Guest Relations and nicely told the receptionist that I had paid for that last day. She just brushed me off. I told her I had no doubt their ship would always be filled. They would have repeat cruisers. But having talked to other fellow cruisers....ones who have cruised on Celebrity, Holland America, Princess, Norwegian...they also in the past week had told me they would, like us, never cruise Disney again. All other cruise lines treat you with respect. On Celebrity..you are one! There were never attendants from the bar walking around to ask if you would like a drink! In smoking areas....ashtrays run over....you are invisible. No, WALT DISNEY' let us down. How we never expected that.. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This entire review is written from an Adults Only perspective, we do not have children. We recently completed our first Disney Cruise aboard the Fantasy and we were excited to see what the “Disney Experience” was all about. We’re ... Read More
This entire review is written from an Adults Only perspective, we do not have children. We recently completed our first Disney Cruise aboard the Fantasy and we were excited to see what the “Disney Experience” was all about. We’re seasoned cruisers with this being our 7th cruise aboard 5 different cruise lines; Princess, Holland America, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and now Disney. This was an adults only cruise for our 20th Wedding Anniversary, we thought that was fitting since our honeymoon was spent at Disney World. There’s a lot to love about Disney and some things fall short for adults. So here’s our honest assessment of the Disney Fantasy and the overall Disney cruise experience. BOOKING THE CRUISE My wife’s research into Disney Cruise Lines showed that they work their cabin pricing on supply and demand. As the supply dwindles, the cost of the same cabin will increase. So the strategy to get the best cabin rate is to book your cabin the same day Disney opens up booking. Disney Cruise Line pricing is generally premium with a similar cabin often costing significantly less on another line, especially during peak seasons. We always book a Verandah cabin as we love having a balcony. For this cruise we booked just off season, sailing on Sept. 10th and Cabin 7194 was priced at $3,100 for two people. So by booking off season, we were able to get a cabin rate that’s right in line with a similar cabin level on other ships we’ve cruised. So plan ahead and keep an eye out on the Disney Cruise Critic Forums for Disney booking dates. Repeat cruisers can book their cabins in advance of first timers, so you’ll see them start posting that they were able to book their cabins, so you’ll know that the general booking date will soon. PRE-BOOKING DINNERS AND EVENTS Disney places a premium on return passengers so as a first time Disney guest, we were basically “at the end of the line” for trying to book anything in advance. While every cruise line has incentives for return guests, this was by far the most restrictive of any cruise line we’ve experienced. With every other ship, whether our first or return trip, we’ve been able to book all of the dinners and experiences without an issue. It might come late in the cruise, but we’ve been able to book and try dinners and elements. With Disney we were unable to book brunch at Palo in advance as that list was full, but we were able to book it once onboard thankfully. Due to the steep price of Remy, we were able to book that for our anniversary dinner. The same can be said of the cabanas on Castaway Cay, the Disney private island. You can pretty much guarantee you will NOT get a cabana as a first time Disney guest, especially in the adult area, Serenity Bay, where there are only 4 cabanas. So be aware that as a first time Disney guest, you may not be able to pre-book experiences that you would like to see or do and quite possibly won’t get to do them at all. Especially if you’re sailing on a full ship. You can only hope that there are still some openings when you first board, but again, as a first time guest, you’ll be among the last to board the ship. With our sailing, I heard we were just north of 3,000 guests so definitely not a full ship. EMBARKATION AND PORT PARKING - Port canaveral Here Disney has it down to a science and this was the smoothest and easiest embarkation of any cruise line we’ve sailed. You will be assigned a specific check-in time to arrive at the Disney terminal along with a boarding group number. Do not arrive too much earlier than your assigned check-in time because Disney will not let you board until your group number is called. This actually creates a really smooth and frustration free boarding process because you’re not sitting around in a huge “cattle pen” waiting with a few thousand of your new friends waiting to board. We had an 11:45am check in time so we arrived at the port around 11:15 and drove directly in to the first Disney Check In. Here they check the IDs of everyone who is going to be boarding the ship before you’re allowed to proceed to the drop off area. At the drop off area, a porter was waiting to help with the bags and then I drove directly to the parking garage right alongside the pier. Time for all of this was less than 10 minutes. Super easy. IF YOU ARE PARKING YOUR CAR AT THE PORT, be sure to know your cabin number and have your photo ID with you after you park your car. You will need to show your ID again and they will ask for your cabin number when you walk from the parking garage back to the cruise terminal. An additional parking tip: If you are driving in from out of town, there are multiple Cape Canaveral / Cocoa Beach hotels that offer parking discounts for the port. We stayed two nights at the Hampton Inn Cocoa Beach using one of their Cruise and Park Specials prior to the cruise and got 40% off the cruise port parking. Once inside it was less than 10 minutes until we were checked in and had our Keys to the World cabin key. So that took us to about 11:35am and we were boarding group 12. There is great signage around the terminal telling you which boarding group is currently going in and they were at 9 when we finished. About 10 minutes later, group 12 was called it was time to board. About 30 minutes from the time we arrived we were boarding the ship and we never really felt like cattle going through endless lines like every other cruise line. One other great perk from Disney, they had a separate line if you wanted to avoid the obligatory terrible photo before you board the ship. Loved that. Now the cabins are not ready to enter until 1:30pm so we prepared for that by only bringing on board a few small bags of necessities including swimwear in case we wanted to hang out by the pool. We did end up going near the stairwell for Deck 7 (our deck) around 1:15 which was a HUGE mistake. Just a mass of bodies loitering waiting for the ropes to drop so they could get to their rooms and then we were basically stuck. DO NOT go near your room until 1:45pm if you can help it. You’re just going to be in a warm mass of bodies. Go sit in Cabanas or out by the pool or really just anywhere except the stairwells. After 1:45 the areas should be clear of all the early loiterers and you’re good to go to your cabin. CABIN. As I mentioned previously, we were in cabin 7194 which is in the center of the stern of the ship. Cabin itself was a good size with lots of storage in both of the dual closets plus plenty of room under the bed for all our luggage. Easily the most standard storage space of any ship we have sailed so far. There was a choke point between the end of the bed and the wall where only one person can get by, that was a bit of pain at times, but not awful. It’s not uncommon to have this in verandah / balcony cabins as the beds are almost always sideways in the room. We really liked the split bathroom design with the toilet and shower split into two rooms, however we both hated the positioning of the light switches between the doors. When going into the shower, the switch was behind the door so we were constantly stepping out of the doorway, closing the door, turning on the light and then back into the shower room. BUT we did like the split bathroom concept which gave us two sinks and plenty of room for toiletries. These were also the first bathrooms we’ve had finished in tile. Most ship rooms are usually that plastic paneling prefab look. Definitely made the bathrooms look a bit nicer. Towels were a bit thin and not as absorbent as other ships, but functional. My wife loved the dual drying lines over the tub, usually you just get one, but it’s nice to have the two especially after pool and beach visits. If you have mobility issues, be aware that the step into the tub for the shower is quite high. The tub sides basically came up to our knees and we’re in the 5’ 6” height area so if you have mobility issues, you might want to consider a handicap cabin. Inside the cabin you’ll find a good sized fridge and the TV features most all Disney and Pixar films on demand. This is especially great when you’re getting ready in the mornings or before dinner to have a fun film playing in the background. We usually try to book an aft cabin because we enjoy the vibrations from the engines which helps us sleep, we love the sound of the prop wash which is a waterfall like sound and we especially love that the aft balconies are usually a bit larger than the other cabins in the same category. This was easily the largest balcony we’ve ever had on any ship, even when we’ve booked a junior suite on other ships. Plenty of room for two full lounge chairs plus two regular chairs and a small table. That being said, the design of the aft meant that HALF most of the balcony was uncovered. We prefer ships that have a different angle on the back so most of the balcony is covered, but that’s not the Fantasy was designed. In addition to being more exposed, the balcony was exceptionally dirty from exhaust soot from the main engines. So there was a trade-off with the aft balcony. Larger space than many other cruise lines, but less cover and dirt from the exhaust. Our room Hostess (also known as a room steward or cabin attendant on other ships) was Gaeliza and she was simply AWESOME. We felt her service was the best we’ve received on any ship, with Celebrity service being a close second. She was incredibly friendly, personable, took care of all our needs and really had a great time with the towel animals, even giving me a momentary scare one evening with the monkey on the toilet. That was absolutely hilarious and we were very sad to say goodbye to Gaeliza at the end of our cruise. DINING. (including Vegetarian options and Coffee) We typically don’t use assigned dining times on our cruises opting for “anytime” dining, but with Disney you have to follow a dining rotation. Disney is also the first ship we’ve sailed on without a buffet option for dinner. There’s reasons to both like and not like the Disney dining. I start with coffee because I LOVE COFFEE and that’s always one the things I test right away on a ship, the free coffee. The free coffee that is available at most of the drink stations has a chicory flavor to it that I really didn’t enjoy. The coffee on Celebrity and even Royal was better. BUT there are plenty of places to get a good coffee, for a fee including Cabanas bar, Cove Café, Meridian bar, Vista bar and any place where you see an espresso machine. Fees are not bad averaging between $4 - $8 for cappuccinos and lattes. I also recommend a shot of Godiva dark chocolate for your evening coffee or cappuccino. Breakfast we usually had in Cabanas each morning. This buffet is much smaller than other cruise ships we’ve sailed of the same size, but the quality of the food is quite good. We never had a problem finding a seat in Cabanas either and sat inside each day. There is a “made to order” omelette station where they deliver the omelette to your table. I tried this twice, the first time it worked, the second time the wrong omelette showed up at our table after 15 minutes and the server disappeared before I could tell her. I gave up on that option after that second time and simply went with whatever was available. You can order speciality coffees, cappuccinos and espressos at the bar in the back of Cabanas. Zhang made some great cappuccinos for me over the course of the week. For dinner services, we were lucky to have been assigned Marlan and Eddy as our servers for the week at Table 65 along with Head Server Howard. They made us feel like family from the first evening in Enchanted Garden. Enchanted Garden was by far our favorite dining room with the decor and ambiance just a lovely space to eat dinner. The Royal Court was the most uninspired dining room and felt like a “standard cruise ship dining room” that you would find on older cruise ships. Animator’s Palette felt very much like a large diner, a very whimsical and fun diner. The choices for each meal, including vegetarian options were numerous except for one meal which I’ll mention shortly. With our dining rotation we ended up eating at most of the dining rooms twice with a speciality dinner taking up the 7th evening. We found the food consistently very good, some of the best food we’ve eaten in our years of cruising and would put it on par with Celebrity. There were a few misses in the dining rooms of course but overall, the dining experience was great both for us meat eaters and vegetarians. I’ll mention the two dining experiences at Animator’s Palette because they are different and honestly we would have skipped the second meal had we realized what it was like. For the first meal, it’s a standard dinner and you’re joined by Crush the turtle from Nemo. He goes around the entire room via video monitors over the course of the meal interacting with the guests which is quite fun. Now the second time through the meal, it’s an animation themed dinner with a limited menu where the first thing you’re asked to do is draw characters on supplied paper. Those characters will be animated later in the meal during a show on the video monitors. The problem is that you’re given that limited menu so they can rush you through the meal and get to the “animation show.” I’ll say that the animation show is clever how it’s put together but it’s only about 5 minutes and there’s no need to rush us all through dinner so they can get to the show. I don’t understand why they can’t simply pause the meal between appetizers and main course or main course and dessert to run the “show.” Additionally, there no vegetarian options for appetizer, soup or salad on the menu at the the second Animator’s Palette dinner. We just felt like the entire meal was rushed and the menu limited for no reason. The second Animator’s Palette dinner would be a good evening to schedule a speciality meal at Palo or Remy. Again, I’ll mention that there is NO buffet for dinner. Cabanas is open for dinner, but it is a sit down, served meal. Sometimes after a long day or for whatever reason, a buffet is nice in the evenings because it’s flexible, but you won’t get that here. Luigi’s Pizza / Tow-Mater’s Grill / Filmore’s Favorites / Eye-Scream are all part of the Flo’s Cafe, quick service area. Except for Eye Scream which stays open pretty much all day, the others all have various open and close times so check the Navigator each day for their hours of operation. Luigi’s Pizza had great toppings, but the crust had the flavor of cardboard. Tow-Mater’s Grill had decent fish sandwiches, veggie sandwiches and french fries. Filmore’s Favorites actually had some really good wrap sandwiches that took care of hunger without weighing you down. Eye-Scream has soft-serve ice cream and usually has a mix of three different flavor combinations. Depending on when the machine was last loaded, you might get a frozen treat or you might get something that’s more like a smoothie consistency, but the flavors were decent for soft serve. One smart little girl brought over a drink cup and had her ice cream in that, so it didn’t matter what consistency came out. PALO is the Italian themed speciality restaurant which at the time of our cruise was $35 per person for brunch which is when we were able to book a time. There is both a menu and a buffet service available, or you can simply mix the two which is what we did. Service was impeccable and what I really appreciated is that they made absolutely no attempt to rush us out or assume we were done with the meal just because our plates were empty. Multiple times, the server would check to ensure that we did not want to go back to the buffet, order something else from the menu, etc…. just making sure we enjoyed the meal and were properly stuffed. The quality of both the served food and buffet were good. Not exceptional, but good. The presentations were outstanding and the cheese selection was amazing. But overall, the food to me felt like it was on par with some of the best food that came from the main dining service. Very glad we did this meal because we enjoyed the great service, and maybe the dinner service is a bit different, but I would not do the brunch again. REMY is in a class by itself when it comes to fine dining on the seas, at least what we have experience so far. It’s certainly one of the most expensive speciality dining experiences at $85 per person at the time we sailed but for our 20th wedding anniversary, it was a wonderful place on the sea to celebrate. There were four of us and we were seated in the Wine Room completely surrounded by amazing bottles from all over the globe including the John Lasseter private collection. Our primary server, Lidwine, appeared to be exclusively ours for the evening as she never left the room for more than a minute and she was simply outstanding. Knowledgeable and with a lovely French accent that enhanced the atmosphere of the dinner. There are two fixed prepared meals to choose from (one French, one American) or you can build your own meal ala carte. For my wife, there was a specially prepared vegetarian menu. Two of us went with the French menu, one went with the American menu and my wife of course went with the Vegetarian menu. The sommelier chose an excellent white that we all shared during the meal. The meal and service was simply divine, it was either 5 or 6 courses including the cheese course and we do not have the menus with us or I’d describe each course for you. I DO remember that the first course was soup that was fried inside a batter so it was literally a ball of soup that you ate in one bite. Incredible. Do NOT pass up the cheese course, we had Lidwine put together a sample plate of all of the cheeses and they were amazing. I’ve read some reviews where people say the meal did not live up to the price. I’m assuming most of these complaints are due to the portion sizes which are decidedly small for each course but that’s because you’re eating a lot of courses. By the time meal was completed, all of us were more than satisfied with the meal and the wine. I feel we received service and a meal that was on par with the price, especially for a special occasion. The Meridian Bar located between Palo and Remy is a very very nice space to sit with a cocktail, both inside and out, and you can smoke cigars outside this bar. There are some very expensive and high end liquors up here and you can get an amazing cappuccino as well. POOLS and AQUADUCK All of the pools are ridiculously small for the size of the ship. The main family pools were quite narrow and had lots of wasted space with a large center staging area for lounge chairs that should be used for a larger pool space. There is practically no way to watch the movies on the funnel vision from shade, if you’re under shade, the screen is mostly or entirely blocked. We avoided the main pools for the entire trip. Also note that there is basically zero air flow if you’re under cover alongside the main pools. Disney is missing the ability to open windows along the pool decks allowing air flow that we have found on other ships. It makes quite a difference. Adult pool area has woefully few lounge chairs, it’s a very small space overall. We were able to get loungers by getting out to the space early each morning, which was fine by me since the Cove Café next to the adult pool has the best coffee on the ship. The adult pool is good for getting wet but you won’t be able to swim any laps. Satellite Falls up a couple of decks looks great on paper, but it’s not all that great in reality. Because it’s near the bow of the ship, the falls weren’t even operating for most of the cruise due to high winds. For the first two days sitting in the Satellite Falls was akin to sitting in a wind tunnel. Having recently sailed on both Celebrity and Royal Caribbean we were surprised at how small all of the pools were considering this is a family friendly cruise line and the number of passengers the Fantasy can carry. I’m hopeful the new ships will address this area with a re-designed main pool area. The AquaDuck ride is quite fun and refreshing. It’s deceptively faster for the first half of the ride and then slows down to more of a relaxing tube ride for the second half. We did the ride a bunch of times and our advice is to go after 6pm and especially at night when the tube lighting really comes to life. There are no lines at night and riding it just after sunset was awesome. DAYTIME ACTIVITIES For adults, there’s live music and alcohol tasting. Those are the two big “scheduled activities” for adults. There are more “fun for all ages” types of events but those consisted of crafts and sometimes sports activities. As a cruise line catered towards families, most all events during the day are targeted towards the kids. I think the idea here is that mom and dad can get away to the pool, the spa, the bar, whatever while the kids are entertained. And believe me they were definitely entertained based on all the screaming the laughing we heard each time we passed the Oceaneer Club. I attended a Mixology class at the Skyline Lounge was wonderful, although the 5 drinks in 40 minutes definitely had me feeling it by the end of the class. All of us attended a Champagne tasting in Ooh La La which was ok. But that’s pretty much the extent of the types of things that are adult only activities during the day. If you’re looking for something scheduled to do during the day, there’s really not much of anything, especially if you don’t drink alcohol. There IS a fun interactive game called Mickey’s Detective Agency where you have go around the ship getting clues via interactive artwork on the walls. The hardest one and the most fun one for us was the Muppet caper. You can play the Detective agency game anytime up till midnight most days and each case has multiple villains. So you could actually do the Muppet caper more than once and not get the same villain at the end. Pepe’s door was one of our favorite parts of the sleuthing because it’s an actual, mini cabin door. Now there’s nothing that says you have to do anything during the day, and we passed our time most days reading and sometimes catching a movie. But I wanted to include this note here for those of you who are used to filling at least part of your days with activities. PORTS OF CALL AND EXCURSIONS Being seasoned cruisers, we did not book anything through Disney for any of the ports of call. We actually rarely book through the cruise line unless it’s the only option for a particular excursion we’d like to do. Tortola in the British Virgin Islands was our first port of call and my wife booked an all day sail and snorkel aboard the catamaran “Day Dream.” To get to the boat was a short walk from the ship to another pier. I honestly don’t snorkel but I have to say this was one of the most relaxing and enjoyable excursions we have ever done. Only about a dozen of us on the boat with never ending drinks (rum punch, water and soft drinks) and an excellent lunch. There was just over 3 hours of actual snorkel time at three different stops during which I simply floated and swam in the water while my wife had a ball snorkeling. If you love getting out in the water and love to snorkel, this is definitely an excursion to look at. Be sure to lather yourself in sunscreen, if you think you have enough on, put on more! I have a much longer, full review of the Day Dream at the end of this article for those who want to read more about the tour. St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands was our second port of call and it should be noted that Disney Fantasy docked at a secondary cruise port in St. Thomas. So if you are booking an excursion on your own, you need to make sure you they know you are on the Disney Fantasy and where exactly you are supposed to meet your excursion. Original plan was to take a taxi to the beach however both my wife and I got pretty badly sunburned while out on the Day Dream despite lathering ourselves up pretty good. So we just spent the day on the ship. Castaway Cay, the Disney Private Island in the Bahamas was our final port of call. This is truly a “private island” with Disney being the sole inhabitant of the small island. Some cruise lines have more of a “private area” on a larger island. The bulk of the developed beach area is the family beach area with all sorts of activities, food and some shops available as well. The adults only beach, Serenity Bay, is at the far end of the developed area. You can walk to it, but it is a bit of a hike and in the heat and humidity we had that morning, it was better to take the two trams to get out there. Castaway Cay overall was just “ok” for us. As I mentioned we took two trams to get out to Serenity Bay and that wasn’t too bad. The beach itself was beautiful and it was obvious that Disney has carved and shaped the beach to make the beach chairs sit perfectly and create aisles. The water was very shallow for a long ways and there is even a sand bar about 100 yards off shore were many people were standing and hanging out. It was the layout of the beach and the services / food that really didn’t work for us. All of that was at the far left end of the beach where the tram dropped us off. So after a long walk out to finally secure a beach chair and location under an umbrella (there’s is very VERY little shade available at Serenity Beach, you must get an umbrella) we were far enough away from the services that we never went back over there. There was only the occasional server passing by to order drinks and we ended up never ordering anything. Food was served back at that main drop off area on the far left of the beach and as I mentioned in the Dining section of this review, my wife is a vegetarian. The food was served as part of a cook out and she simply cannot stand the smell of grilled meat. Because all of the food areas were covered, that grilled meat smell was overpowering for her so we opted to leave the beach early and head back towards the ship for lunch. We took the first tram back to the family beach area and decided to walk around the shops and food vendors there. I tried to get a frozen drink at the Summertime Freeze shop but after 10 minutes of the two waiters ignoring me and helping others who came up after us, we just left. There really weren’t any other vegetarian options that were appealing to my wife so we continued back to the ship. Serenity Bay would have been a better design if the services were located in the MIDDLE of of the beach making them more easily accessible and centrally located. As this is Disney’s own private island there really isn’t any reason why it wasn’t designed this way. For a private island / private location we much prefer the Royal Caribbean Labadee location which is much easier to walk around and offers plenty of shade via palm trees and such. Grand Turk is also another excellent beach location with plenty of palm tree shade available. Castaway Cay was a beautiful island, but just an ok experience for us. SHOWS, MOVIES, NIGHTTIME ENTERTAINMENT AND CLUBS A tip for first time Disney Cruisers, when you see 1820 Club on the Personal Navigator, those are events for 18-20 year olds as they are not quite old enough to partake of the adult events. The main shows in the Walt Disney Theater are where a lot of that “Disney Magic” shines as the shows we saw were definitely enjoyable. If you are a fan of Disney music then you’ll love these shows. The staging of all the shows featured great use of smoke and pyro effects along with good use of video and media special effects. It did not appear that there was a live band, I believe all of the music was pre-recorded. Aladdin is a shortened version of the Broadway musical that featured a fabulous Genie who was given a ton of latitude to ad-lib and riff on current events and pop culture. It was easily the best show of the week. Wishes was a tale of three friends about to graduate high school and while the storyline and dialogue were not the best, the music is always fun to sing along to and the show turned out to be better than we expected. Believe was all about remembering to keep that kid inside all of us alive and was helped greatly by having Genie reappear as a co-star in the show. Again if you love Disney music, you’ll enjoy all three of these shows. The Buena Vista Theater is an AWESOME movie theater at sea featuring full 7.1 Dolby Surround that seriously shook the house during the movies. Movies generally started at 10:30am and the last movie started at 10:30pm. This features current Disney / Pixar / Marvel films along with recent and classic films. The 3D was pretty although the Dolby glasses were definitely worse for wear. I saw two 3D films and in both cases I essentially had one strip across the glasses where the 3D worked, the rest of the glasses were a bit foggy. The DOWNSIDE to the theater is that the seats rock back too far. I have no idea why they lean so far back when you sit down, but I saw four films there and after the first film, I watched all the rest of them from the seats down on the floor level. When sitting down there, the way the seats lean back work, but for me sitting anywhere else, I was leaning too far back. Also they NEVER close the doors to the theater. So all during the movie, especially during the day, you’ll see shadows of people walking by the theater on either side of the screen. I really don’t know why they don’t close the doors. But overall, the theater is awesome. Movies are also shown on the Funnel Vision above the Main Pools, however during our cruise, the screen was simply terrible. Either the contrast was super crushed or the screen is simply not very bright because anything that was somewhat to mostly dark, was simply a black blob on the screen. It was a real shame during “Brave” because that film was basically unwatchable on the Funnel Vision. It was just a black screen for most of the film so we gave up. We’ve watched outdoor movies on Princess in the past and their screens are honestly better. D Lounge is a pretty large theater area that features “family friendly” evening entertainment which appeared to alternate between a dance party and family karaoke. We never went to any of these events and rarely saw more than a few dozen people inside the D Lounge when we would pass by in the evenings. It was kind of a wasted space in the evenings. The Lobby Atrium on Deck 3 usually featured a duo or trio and they were all quite good actually. We didn’t really sit to listen to them much because most to the atrium is being used by the ship’s photographers to take portraits, but they are quite good. If you sat at the bar located on Deck 3 that’s a good place to sit and still hear the music. Europa is the bar / nightclub district in the back of the ship for adults that looked incredible when we did the research on the cruise but didn’t come close to delivering for us. Basically Disney squeezed 4 bars and a 5th bar / nightclub into a space that could have held two really nice clubs in the same space. The Tube is themed on the London Underground and is where all the evening adult only shows are held. It’s pretty small and if you don’t get to a show really early to claim one of the seats down in front, you’re probably not going to be able to see the show. We were early for the Love and Marriage game the first evening but when we returned for a show another evening, we got a seat on the side and then were promptly blocked by others who pulled chairs out into the aisles. The sight lines from the areas all around the bar are lousy for seeing the stage and the video screens are so poor they can’t be seen from the back. La Piazza is the carousel themed bar that is really just a pass-through to get to the other bars. It’s kind of weird because we literally never stopped in there, it’s just a conduit to get to the other bars in Europa. Ooh La La is a French themed bar where the one interesting thing is that you can drink ANY of their champagnes by the glass, usually you must buy the entire bottle if you want to drink champagne. So if you’ve always wanted to try some super expensive champagne, this is the place to try it. O’Gills is the Irish Pub / sports bar that we never visited, but they do seem to feature trivia contests along with being the place to watch sports and they also host beer tasting. Skyline Lounge is gorgeous and we had some really good drinks here along with enjoying the changing scenery every 13 minutes as the skyline changes to various areas around the globe. Being a digital visual artist I was amused when I figured out that much of what is going on in those scenes is digitally generated. They might even be still images with 3D overlays. In particular in the London scene you’ll see the same guy walking the same path over and over, in fact, he even follows himself. The Tube was the biggest disappointment because that was really the only place to see an “adult only” show each evening. I would love to see Disney re-model Europa using the layout of Remy, Palo and Meridian as a guide. Enlarge and re-design The Tube as a straight nightclub with a larger bar and larger dance floor. This could also host live musical acts and adult only karaoke as well. Put the Skyline Lounge in the middle just as Meridian is between Palo and Remy. Create a true adults only theater on the other side, maybe with the La Piazza theme that’s set up with good sight lines from front to back. The champagnes and the concept of being able to order a single glass from any bottle could move up to the Meridian, that would go along with the high end cocktails and liquor they already have. As for the O’Gills Irish Pub / Sports Bar, perhaps that could be relocated elsewhere in the ship. Disney could also utilize the D Lounge as an adults-only space after 10:30pm giving access to a large theater for evening entertainment. So as adults, looking for “adult only” entertainment in the evening generally mean going to a movie, or relaxing at a bar. This is one area where Disney is definitely lacking, would have been nice to see more shows and evening events aimed at adults. SPECIAL EVENTS, PARTIES AND FIREWORKS. All of the other cruise lines we have sailed hold their major parties and large events up on the pool decks because there’s a lot of room up there and you get air flow because the ship is moving. However Disney used the Lobby Atrium for most of their large events which created major logjams and very VERY hot experiences. I’m not sure why Disney underutilized their pool area especially since they have the stages and plenty of room to hold these parties. Our September sailing was a Halloween at Sea event cruise and guests were encouraged to bring costumes. On “Halloween Night” it was actually fun seeing so many great costumes all around the ship, including at the dining service. The work some of the guests put into making many of the costumes was amazing. The main Halloween event with the characters was held in the Atrium Lobby and as it was VERY hot out there. So many bodies in that small of a space created a lot of heat. In addition to the quick show with the characters, there were also multiple trick or treat stations set up around the lobby. This event should have been outside where not only was there more room for everyone, but again, we would have some airflow. My cabin neighbor also asked why they didn’t spread the trick or treat stations around the ship kind of like a scavenger hunt along the lines of those mystery games featured throughout the ship. That would have been a great idea as well. There was also an Adults Only Halloween Event later that evening in The Tube but we didn’t attend because of our earlier experiences at The Tube. After experiencing the heat from the Halloween at Sea, we didn’t attend any other events in the Lobby Atrium unless we were on one of the upper decks so we could get away easily if it got too hot. Most evenings it was just the photographers posing people and kids dancing to the live music. On Pirate Night you can again attend dinner in your pirate garb if you’ve brought some and there was an interesting blend of “fun pirate” and “sexy pirate” throughout the ship. Some people really go all out and get into the whole pirate thing. I brought a pirate hat upon which I perched a parrot. This time, the shows ARE held outside on the pool deck and these are much more enjoyable. There are two pirate shows, the first one is the more kiddie centric with Mickey Mouse and the gang and if you’ve ever seen one of those shows in front of the Castle in Disney World or Disneyland, then you pretty much know what the show is like. There are NO fireworks for the early show so if you are only interested in those, you can skip the early show. The second show is more “Pirates of the Caribbean” / Jack Sparrow themed and while they make it appear as if it’s going to a more “spooky, serious” show, it comes off more like a Benny Hill / Keystone Cops show. We honestly didn’t see the show itself as we stationed ourselves on the upper deck above the pool so we would have a direct view of the fireworks. And for some reason the speakers on the upper level were not on so we couldn’t hear the sound from the show so I honestly could not tell you what the storyline was. All I can tell you is that the fireworks were part of some sort of a celebration for Jack. On our cruise the fireworks were shot out over the starboard side of the ship and they were quite impressive, considering we were on a cruise ship in the Caribbean. It was just under a 5 minute fireworks show. Disney would do good to make better utilization of the pool space at night for big events and simply stop the Funnel Vision movies at 8pm. DISEMBARKATION, LEAVING THE PORT Leaving the ship is always a bit of a cluster with most everyone just ready to get off the ship. I have to say this was the least “cluster” of any ship we’ve left. Disney does try to manage the flow of people by encouraging all guests to attend breakfast in the final restaurant of your rotation and they even have two breakfast seatings. We had the 8:00am seating and it was great to be able to see Marlan, Eddy and Howard one last time before leaving the ship. After breakfast we headed up to the Lobby Atrium and while it was crowded and a mass of people getting off the ship, it wasn’t all that bad and we were off the ship in probably less than 10 minutes. In the luggage area we grabbed a porter and he not only handled the luggage for all four us, guiding us through customs, but he even took the bags all the way to our car in the parking garage. No need to bring the car around to pick up the luggage and my guests. He then gave me excellent instructions to pick up the highway for our trip back up to Orlando. So a very easy disembarkation and drive out of the port. FINAL THOUGHTS ON “THE DISNEY WAY” So overall we had a good time on the ship, we just felt as two adults traveling alone with no kids there was just a sense of lacking and not so much in the way of flexibility. Our cabin neighbor hit it on the head during the final night. He was traveling with his two young kids and he decried the lack of flexibility to do what you want, when you want to do it, especially the lack of an evening buffet. I can definitely see where he was coming from because if you want to ensure you’re going to do something on board, you really want to make sure you pre-book it because there really aren’t many other options aboard the ship. Whereas with other ships we’ve sailed, there are so many things to do that oftentimes nothing completely sells out or if it does, there are so many other things to choose from it doesn’t matter. We’ve become used to the “freestyle” way that so many other cruise lines now follow that there was a sense of rigidity to “the Disney Way.” It’s not necessarily a bad thing, just something that was clearly evident over the course of the week. She's a beautiful ship, food was good and the service was top notch. We would put the cruise line on par with Celebrity. But for our money and our choice of sailing, there are other cruise lines out there that better serve what we’re looking for. I hope this review has been helpful and as I tell my friends, “If you had a bad time on a cruise, you worked really hard at it.” TORTOLA, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS - DAY DREAM SNORKEL AND SAIL EXCURSION Kuralu Charters has two catamarans now and we sailed on the Day Dream. We found the Day Dream day cruise through reviews on Trip Advisor and we’re thankful we did. Our sail started at 9am and ended at 4pm giving us plenty of time to return to the ship. Now I’ll start right off by saying I don’t snorkel, but my wife loves it. I completely enjoyed just floating in the Caribbean and riding in this beautiful catamaran. Our day of sailing included three snorkeling stops and a full lunch, which included vegetarian options. Thai is one of the reasons why my wife chose this vessel and tour. The other reason she chose the Day Dream was because of their abundant shade from the Caribbean sun. Yes there is plenty of room to lay out and enjoy the sun but if you prefer to sit in the shade, there is plenty of it here for you. Our captain, Dee and first mate, Katie were awesome for the entire trip. Always making sure we were plenty hydrated with a variety of soft drinks, beer, water and rum punch. Our first stop took just over an hour to get to and during that time we got a bit of a history lesson on the islands, the pirates who plundered these waters and some great background on “Treasure Island” and the dead man’s chest. Very informative and fun. First stop was at Norman’s Island which is the real life “Treasure Island” on which the book was based. A couple of turtles greeted us as the boat was being secured in a bay area. We were given around an hour to enjoy this spot and my wife and her friend immediately really enjoyed the snorkeling in this area. I put on a pair flippers, grabbed a noodle and proceeded to swim around the area while submerging my GoPro camera. The water was just amazing. As we came back on board the boat, they had some honeydew melon waiting for us to get the salt water taste out of our mouths. Great touch. Our next stop was in the same general area, but in a secluded bay between two islands. We again spent a little over an hour here and while the snorkeling wasn’t as good here, the water was crystal clear and enjoyable. Again, I just floated and swam on the surface with the GoPro underwater where I got some great video of a young barracuda. This is also where we had a nice lunch of a frittata, Italian cold cuts, a selection of cheeses, salad, breads and again, all the drinks we could handle. It was quite refreshing. From here we headed to a rock formation known as “The Indians.” It’s part of a national park that includes underground caves that connect to the nearby island. This was by far the best snorkeling according to my wife. She said the fish were coming right up to her, swimming around her and she was having so much fun, she had to be summoned to the boat at the end of our 50 minutes. Now if you don’t plan to snorkel but just float and / or swim on the surface at this stop like I did, I highly recommend using fins because the current is stronger here than any of the other stops. You won’t get taken right out to sea, but you might have a harder time getting back to the boat without fins. Then it was time to head back to shore where they delivered us to the dock promptly at 4pm. The Day Dream is a beautiful sailing vessel that gave us a nice smooth ride going to and from the snorkeling locations. I enjoyed sitting out on the trampolines out front and getting the breeze from the ocean. There are two stools on either side of the bow which are fantastic spots to sit and take photographs. I would highly recommend the Day Dream for a great day exploring some of the islands around Tortola. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Ok, overall, we had a great family vacation. Ship was very clean and well maintained. However, as we had heard such great things about Disney cruises, we had high expectations. The character meet and greets and photos were great. My 2 ... Read More
Ok, overall, we had a great family vacation. Ship was very clean and well maintained. However, as we had heard such great things about Disney cruises, we had high expectations. The character meet and greets and photos were great. My 2 year old twins LOVED the dance parties with characters in the atrium. But, the wonderful service at dinner.....was absent. The waitstaff was lovely and very hardworking. And they continually apologized for not being able to really wait on us. That being said, every night at dinner, we (my husband, myself, and our 4 daughters) had to wait, a long time, just for our drink and food orders to be taken, and wait even longer for said food and drink to arrive. I had been so excited about not having to cut up my childrens food - the waitstaff was only able to do that for us 2 out of the 6 nights we dined in the restaurants. We even had to wait for the bread and water. Again, everyone was very nice, but I was really disappointed at every dinner. The food was good at all the restaurants except for Animators Palate. The food there was HORRIBLE. Just HORRENDOUS. The only time we ordered additional entrees was at this restaurant- trying to find one that was edible. There weren't any. I'm truly shocked at the poor quality of the food at this restaurant. The live, broadway-like shows were great, even keeping my 2 year olds enthralled. Port excursions- tried to book them thru Disney but they were all full. At Tortola, we swam with the dolphins - booked it thru Viator with no problems. This was the coolest thing ever. Really recommend it. At St.Thomas we went zip-lining, booked it thru them (tree limin zip linin). Again, no problems and was a great time. Wonderful customer service there. Really recommend it. Kept the twins in small world nursery for morning excursions, wonderful people and care there. Didnt like the Edge for 11-14 year olds for my 12 year old. She loved it, but there is only an open door policy there, so we didnt know where she truly was when she was there. Found her lounging on the couches with some of her new buddies in the atrium, or just roaming the ship, etc., did not like that. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We booked our cruise over a year before the sail date and had been researching every website we could with excitement since the day we booked it. We are Disney Anual Pass Holders and love Disney and heard nothing but good things about ... Read More
We booked our cruise over a year before the sail date and had been researching every website we could with excitement since the day we booked it. We are Disney Anual Pass Holders and love Disney and heard nothing but good things about Disney Cruise Line. Now we may have been overexcited for the trip so were set up for disappointment, but we met another family on the ship that felt the same way. We all had a great time but all felt like we would not want to take the same trip again. We loved most of the shows (when the cruise director wasn't interrupting them), the movie theater, self serve ice cream station, movies by the pool and the aqua duck. Our deluxe family verandah stateroom was the perfect size too. We heard so many wonderful things about the kids club and our kids didn't love it. The pool was shoulder to shoulder crowded and unless you were on deck at 7am, good luck finding chairs for your family. The food was pretty disappointing. We only made it to the dining room 3 times because the early seating was too early and the late seating was too late, the options for kids were tough too and hard for the kids to sit through such a long meal. We also felt that our head waiter kept hustling us for a good tip and excellent rating on the end of cruise questionnaire. We were disappointed by most of the food options. The room service menu had some great items but the menu was pretty limited so we got tired of them, cabanas was great for breakfast but closed too early (it was supposed to stay open until 8:30pm but never did and was closed the last night). Flo's is great if your family wants pizza, spicy chicken tenders or hotdogs, but how often can you eat that type of food? In the cruise world, we were surprised by the quality and the amount of options that were available. We were also surprised that other than the shows or if you went to a scheduled character greeting, there wasn't that much "Disney Magic" throughout the ship. I was even expecting that boarding the ship and at each port there would be photo opportunities with characters. As for the ports, we did not care for Tortola, had fun at the beaches on St. Thomas, but wouldn't want to return and we loved Castaway Cay. The worst part of the trip is that all four us came down with the stomach flu within 24 hours of returning home. So all in all we had a fun trip but would not choose to repeat it. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Two older women on a Disney Cruise with no children was a recipe for disappointment. First, boarding in Miami was our first mistake. What a disaster! From the chaos at MIA to the ridiculously absurd directions to the port, to the end ... Read More
Two older women on a Disney Cruise with no children was a recipe for disappointment. First, boarding in Miami was our first mistake. What a disaster! From the chaos at MIA to the ridiculously absurd directions to the port, to the end of the trip and waiting 7 hours in MIA for a plane because we had to be off the ship by 9:30 am, we were very aware that whoever operates this cruise, has never been to the Disney training center where you learn how to move people quickly and efficiently. I actually felt sorry for the parents traveling with children, who had to put up with the incompetence. There were lines everywhere. We waited to get on the ship (at 1:30 in the afternoon), we waited to get something to eat, we waited to get a chair to sit near the pool, we waited in the bar for a drink, it just went on and on. The Disney Wonder is an older ship that should really be retired or have a major makeover. When we arrived in our veranda stateroom, we had an unusual veranda that was like a little room covered in wood with a window. Not only were we disappointed but there were vinyl covered pads on the seats and they were ripped with all the stuffing coming out and soaking wet. This was the first time we realized there was only one bed. I had been on 7 prior cruises and thought the bed could be separated. Nope. We either had to sleep together or one person would have to sleep on the couch. This is a $2100 cabin???? Our room was far aft which meant a ton of walking to get to an elevator or a dining venue. I guess for some that would be good. For us, not so much. We immediately made our way to guest services to ask for mercy. Unfortunately, the ship was completely booked and there was no way we could be promised a cabin change, but our guest services rep would do what she could. Stay in our room was the suggestion and she would call...which she did and we received a much better cabin in a better location. Thank you! We had asked for a table for two because we are both hard of hearing which makes dinner conversation with others a bit difficult. Well, imagine 100's of noisy kids, with parents who saw this cruise as an opportunity to let their children run wild, scream, yell and irritate the waiters and other guests. Not only could we not hear ourselves talk, we could not hear when the waiters offered evening menus. It was chaos. We thought the Disney characters would be walking around on this cruise to visit with the kids, but not so. There were only certain times and locations they would be available and only for very short periods of time. Guess what...lines. In all fairness, we were not the typical Disney cruisers and our expectations were skewed. But we thought we would "preview" for our grandchildren. If they had fun, then we would? We were wrong, I think. I was surprised by how many non Americans were on the ship and how many non-English speaking guests (and crew). I was under the wrong impression that a Disney ship would have all-American Disney crew members. I forgot, this is a cruise ship, which generally means crew members from all over the world. Of course their service was wonderful. The food was fantastic! Of all the cruises I have been on, I believe this food was the best. Very nice selections and prepared beautifully. Palo, the specialty restaurant was outstanding from antipasto to the delicious chocolate souffle. Don't miss it! We were wakened almost nightly with strange machine noises and blasting power washers cleaning the verandas...at 3 am??? Come on. Thank goodness I downloaded the Disney navigator app so we could find out what was happening and navigate the ship. I found the information provided in the daily newsletter to be sadly lacking. The app is great and gives you an overview of activities and deck layout. Castaway Cay is lovely and has absolutely gorgeous beaches. The Bahamas are sadly lacking and a ripoff. Key West was actually fun and had some cute stores and bars. Would I go again? No. But, one thing I know for sure..all those 100's of kids had a blast! So, if you have children, don't hesitate...just take along a lot money and patience. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This was a trip of a life-time. The first for most of my expended family. My young family loved our 4 day cruise on Disney Wonder in 2015. It was magical. So we got adjoining staterooms for my parents and my sister and her young family and ... Read More
This was a trip of a life-time. The first for most of my expended family. My young family loved our 4 day cruise on Disney Wonder in 2015. It was magical. So we got adjoining staterooms for my parents and my sister and her young family and paid for a 7 night cruise. We've never had a holiday together like this before and I was so thrilled to introduce them to cruising and with Disney I figured it was a sure-bet. I couldn't believe it when we got lacklustre friendly service and thinly disguised forced smiles from several Disney staff. The universal can-do attitude simply wasn't there. Our all-inclusive experience was dampened by immediately with up-selling that started with water for our staterooms (REALLY?!) as soon as we arrived and continued throughout the cruise. It was a sign of a different Disney experience to come. Our dining experience was spent waiting for water and wine. More than once we had to choose between having wine with a cold dinner or having a hot meal with no wine. The safety regulations for height checking the kids on slides was ridiculous, our little ones (after 10 minutes) were finally let on but others were not. A no is a no and I always appreciate anyone trying to keep kids safe but children were clearly tall enough and staff would call their supervisors to try to force a card between the top of their heads and the measuring stand...making everyone else in line wait for the supervisor to arrive and go through the same ordeal. One child who'd been riding all week but had taken his band off had to go through this circus again (while we waited) only to be refused! I was really looking forward to the pirate party and dance but after the show (not as good as the Wonder show) they just shut down. We were all left standing on deck with no music wondering what to do with ourselves. Such a party downer. I will say that the rest of the entertainment on board was excellent!!!! Sadly, the spoiled cherry on top of our not-so-great cruise was the announcement that the ship had malfunctions and wouldn't be making it to our beach destination of Castaway Cay...we'd told all the kids about this amazing island and were so looking forward to beach fun with the grandparents and all the grandkids....really disappointed in Disney. There was little at all done to compensate us, we were offered $200 onboard spending and a 10% additional discount in future cruises...but the $200 onboard spending we would have gotten on the future cruise then wouldn't apply...so really they were offering nothing but a push to sell another cruise! After raving to my family about Disney's excellent standard of service a Disney staff member lied to my sister, father and I on our second last day! I was shocked! He later apologized to us - I think was concerned he might lose his job. The shift in staff mentality overall made me wonder if Disney is caring for their staff properly or paying them adequately. We spent so much money and may never have another family vacation all together again. I grew up on Disney and absolutely LOVE Disney. But I simply can't honestly recommend a Disney Fantasy cruise to anyone. So disappointed. :( Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We went on a 7 night cruise aboard Disney's Fantasy with my Daughter, her husband and our & yr old grand-daughter. We have been on cruises before with Princess, P&O and Royal Caribbean, but this was our first Disney ... Read More
We went on a 7 night cruise aboard Disney's Fantasy with my Daughter, her husband and our & yr old grand-daughter. We have been on cruises before with Princess, P&O and Royal Caribbean, but this was our first Disney Cruise. The ship is beautiful and it's Disney through and through and the look on my Grand daughters face said it all. The magic was there. During the week she must of meet nearly all of the Disney Characters on more than one occasion and she loved every moment, which made the cruise worth while. The main restaurants, Royal Court, Enchanted Garden and Animator's Palette all have themed nights or interactive experiences that keep you entertained. The cabins are spacious and well equipped and kept to a high standard, Our steward Leon was excellent, We had cabins 6682 and 6684 towards the stern of the ship and had a lot of noise and vibration in our cabin when cruising overnight from port to port. The only issues we have with the cruise were that there was a very limited menu in each of the restaurants, the food was generally luke warm when it arrived at the table, There were only a few dishes that ever came with any veg, vegetables had to be ordered as an extra side if you wanted any. The waiters were assigned to your table for the duration of the cruise, and although there were very pleasant I found that they rarely listened to what you said and just came out with the same script each night to tell you what was good and then take your order, Twice I got the wrong dish and when I mentioned thi to the waiter I was just ignored. Also the dishes shown on the menu are not always what you expect, for example baked alaska, a classic dish of meringue and ice cream you would think. Not wish Disney, Neopolitan ice cream wrapped in sponge cake and smeared with a thin layer of meringue. More like and artic roll ! There were also a lot of dishes which were clearly recycled dishes from previous menu's. I don't like waste, but they could be a bit more imaginative with the dishes they create. Probably the worst menu I have experienced on any cruise. Bar service during the day around the pool was probably the best on the ship, but during the evening around the atrium bars and cafe and in the bars at the rear of the ship there didn't appear to be any waiter service, But all added 15% service charge to your bill anyway. It was also difficult to find anywhere comfortable where you could sit down and enjoy your drink. Most of the furniture around the ship appears to have been chosen for its look rather than comfort. Especially around the atrium. When you leave the ship you are encouraged to complete the survey form, which is filling in the circle that best describes your experience, but there is no provision to make any comment or to say why you liked or disliked any part of your cruise. So it doesn't look as though Disney really value your thoughts if they don't want this information. So overall it was great to experience this cruise, just to see the enjoyment our grand daughter got from her encounters with all the characters. Would we go again, definitely not. For the service, quality and comfort provided, it was far to expensive. If you want to meet the Disney Characters, go to Disney world and book a few character breakfasts/meals and see the other characters around the parks when you visit and take a cruise with a different cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was our fifth Disney cruise and I am not sure if it is losing its magic bc it is our fifth. The room of courser was clean as was the ship. Food is always average but it is hot. The shows are entertaining but the varirpety acts are ... Read More
This was our fifth Disney cruise and I am not sure if it is losing its magic bc it is our fifth. The room of courser was clean as was the ship. Food is always average but it is hot. The shows are entertaining but the varirpety acts are not a must see. The Aladdin show was our favorite! Animators Pallet on the animating night is the only one we find worth going to in the dining room. We did the adult restaurants Remy brunch and Palo brunch. Remy w the champagne paring is $75 and it was good but not sure I would do it again. We do Palo every time. I think now that our kids are older the tween clue the Edge does not have enough to keep the kids in there which has the Tweens roaming the ship. The kids were constantly roaming the halls loudly and riding the elevators. Disney does not have security that monitors any of this. This also happened in our last cruise with Disney but we thought it was a freak thing. I really wish I could say I loved this cruise.... The only thing we loved were our ports of calls. Beautiful islands. I would skip the Kon tiki excursion as it was ok but not what we thought it would be. Also the photo service Shutters onboard was horrible. We only bought one photo. Every photo they took was dark or just did not turn out. I even told the photographer I was just trying to get a good family photo. Sadly at the premium Disney charges this will more than likely be our last Disney cruise for a bit. Not that U.S. Not cruising will hurt Disneys pocket. Maybe the magic will come back if we try another line again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
First let me say that overall we definetly enjoyed the cruise. We were on the Disney Magic, which is approx 17 years old, and this is obvious when you board. Perhaps some of the let down was on me, as I set my expectations based on the ... Read More
First let me say that overall we definetly enjoyed the cruise. We were on the Disney Magic, which is approx 17 years old, and this is obvious when you board. Perhaps some of the let down was on me, as I set my expectations based on the Disney brand, hype, and increased costs compared to competitor lines with the same itinerary (allbeit not Castaway Kay but rather their own private island). My expectations were much higher than what was provided. We paid much more than the other cruise line options and when I booked, I justified this by noting that we were paying for the Disney experience, i.e. Exceptional service, unique entertainment focused on Disney Characters, amazing food, and a "magical" environment. Unfortunately, none of these proved true. In general, the food was good (though nothing was fantastic or stood out, other than the daily lunch buffet which was excellent). Making this worse, our wait staff, while friendly, was terribly slow, missed at least one thing each night (did not bring everyone's appetizer/soup/etc.), we were lucky to have at least one glass of water or soda and almost never received a refill despite multiple requests, and on multiple occasions had only part of our party's dinner arrive, having to wait as long as an additional 9 minutes (timed it as by this point I was beyond frustrated) for the missing plate. The "head server" was 10 feet away looking at us, saw we were upset, and simply walked the other way, only coming by twice throughout our trip to say hello. In regards to the ship itself, you can definetly tell it was 17+ years old. There was no grand entrance, the elevators were so small, and overall there was little in the way of places to go and sit or shop. I have been on Royal Caribean and Celebrity, and these were not only less expensive (not to mention for 7 nights) they were so much nicer and had much more in the way of options and locations to spend time during your trip (I.e. Library, computer stations/business center, arcade, more shops, etc.) The Magic essentially had two stores (there is also a kiosk on the pool deck and what is essentially a kiosk for Star Wars merchandise hidden by a bar), which was surprising given Disney's ability to market and take advantage of their brand. In regards to the Disney "magic", this was probably my biggest disappointment, the only time there were characters were for pictures which were only three to four 15-30min sessions throughout the day, with absolutely no other option to meet Mickey or his friends (I do believe you could meet some of the princesses in the boutique, but not sure of the details as I have two boys that were not keen on the princesses.) In summary, average cruise though above average costs with below average Disney "magic". Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Let me make this review nice and simple: 1. You miss your dinner: YOU ARE OUT OF LUCK! No buffet for you (thing is when you have kids chances are you will miss stuff, especially on this ship with so much to do, I mean, I get it, ... Read More
Let me make this review nice and simple: 1. You miss your dinner: YOU ARE OUT OF LUCK! No buffet for you (thing is when you have kids chances are you will miss stuff, especially on this ship with so much to do, I mean, I get it, consistency is key for kids, but really, I mean, Really!!!) 2. You want to wake up maybe, at least, 10 minutes late on the day of arrival back at port.....?: WHAT!!! What are you crazy!! Out of luck. These people will make sure your are out of your stateroom by 8am latest. There will be constructions going on outside, workers moving beds and what not, plastic wrapinc floors. I felt like I was robbing a bank and trying to get away as soon as possible on this ship. As much as I dislike Carnival, I got to give it to them on this one, they let you chill on the last day. 3. You want to have breakfast on the last day?: OK, but you need a reservation, and you better show up on time (usually at 8am) or you don't get food. This is if you got a ticket from your server the night before at the same restaurant. But I don't image the buffet was much of a difference. Disney wasnts you out! ASAP! 4. You want friendly kids?: Think again, I'm not rich, nor do I even come close, but the rate was good so I went with my super friendly daughter, well guess what, some kid pushed her against the wall in the pool. I asked where his parents were and he said he didn't know. Really? In my opinion, the kids on this cruise were not very nice. 5. My property is safe right?: What!!!! My daughter got her pirate sword stolen in like 5 seconds, the moment it droped on the floor, it was gone. I could not believe it! My water bottle went missing. I was left thinking, "wait, these people have money right, so why is there stealing going on?" I did not get that one bit. 6. My stateroom attendant is going to be great: Yeah he was fine, but when I told him it was ok, that he didn't have to clean that morning, it was like he had won the lottery, he also took a long time to do our room, and I was thinking because I'm hispanic, then he thought I was a poor tipper (stereotype given to Hispanics and African Americans) so he didn't have to try hard, but after I left him the tips, he tried to be nice, I kind of knew. That's just messed up. Then I realized how much nicer he was to the other guests and they probably didn't tip as much as I did. Just sad. 7. My daughter is gonna have a blast!: Well she did, but not in the club (Disney Oceaneer Club), the one where I was supposed to leave her for a couple of hours while I went and worked out, or meditated, or just relaxed. No! My daughter needs a bit of warming up, so I asked the attendant at the club if I could stay with her for 5 minutes and on two separate occasions I was told no. So we just stopped going, and I never got to work out at the "club." I'm a single parent so if no one else wants my baby, I am stuck with her, gladly, but of course I'm paying for all this, so it seems a bit unfair. You know?   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
This is my third cruise, first on Disney Cruise Line. The other two cruises were on NCL Pearl and Spirit, which was great. Disney Wonder is a old ship but really well maintained, you feel is newer. I went with my wife and 2 year old kid, ... Read More
This is my third cruise, first on Disney Cruise Line. The other two cruises were on NCL Pearl and Spirit, which was great. Disney Wonder is a old ship but really well maintained, you feel is newer. I went with my wife and 2 year old kid, which actually was his birthday onboard. They did a good job celebrating him on dinner. About the ports, we went to Falmouth, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel, Mx. The best for no excursion plan, is Cozumel without doubt. Jamaica is nice, with the new port and small stores, but not too much to do. Grand Cayman is a classic town with some stores and nice to walk around for a couple of hours. Cozumel as well, but we found more party and restaurants near the port, more stores. We´ve been there on the past cruise, and is a good place to walk around. Our recomendation is, take a shore excursion if it´s possible on the three of them, if not, there´s not too much to do. About the Pro´s and con´s of the ship. Pro´s: - Great for kids (specially 3 to 14 years old.) my son was 2 and couldn´t enter to most of the things, pool, lab, etc. - The experience with disney characters (pictures, hugs, etc) are excellent, coninuous and great for kids happiness. - Cruise is well maintained and cabin was very good (porthole) deck 5 front. - Shows were great, very well done (disney style). Cons: - Very few things for kids below 3 years old. (only splash zone "tiny", and only nursery club but more focused on- Food was ok to less than ok. (Compared to NCL, was less than OK). On both NCL Pearl adn Spirit, we were amazed with food, on included and specialty restaurants, always. If we rated, NCL 10 points out of 10, Disney 7 out of 10. - Cabin was good in size and maintenance. The things we found was 2 cockroaches (small ones) one on first day and one on 5th day. (we didn´t expected that). - The assigned hours (5 45 dinner and 8 30 shows) didn´t work very good for us. (Compared to Freestyle on NCL which you decide when and where)... And also, two shows, Pirates and Farewell, were at 10 30 pm, which was a mess for us with small children (2 yo) which sleeps regularly at 9 pm... we had to leave on both shows at 10 40 because he was crying, beggin to sleep LOL Overall, we love cruising and I think Disney Wonder is a good choice if bringing kids, if not, NCL will be by far a much better option, for us at least. Also, we considered Freestyle as a great option, now that we compared with scheduled hours, is a EXCELLENT OPTION, Freestyle. Maybe Disney should consider this.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
The food quality was substandard at best. Most of our meals came out lukewarm, heavily sauced, and over salted. This was consistent throughout the cruise. It's almost as Disney felt that since they were creating the Disney ... Read More
The food quality was substandard at best. Most of our meals came out lukewarm, heavily sauced, and over salted. This was consistent throughout the cruise. It's almost as Disney felt that since they were creating the Disney "magical" experience with the characters, that the adults and children wouldn't notice the lack of variety in food, fresh fruit or appetizing meals. I know that children's palates aren't as developed as adults, but please, there is just some much mac n' cheese (made with what seemed like velveeta), pizza and chicken fingers that a child can eat over the duration of a 7 day cruise. The orange and apple juice was only available during meal hours, so if you didn't plan ahead and bottle some for your stateroom, your child was drinking milk or from the soda station We had a family deluxe oceanview. Our stateroom attendant was polite and did a great job of keeping our room clean, tidy, and well stocked with fresh towels, etc. The Disney meet and greets were fantastic for the children. You have alot of opportunities during the cruise to meet with the different characters. If your little ones are looking at getting some autographs and pictures, you will want to get the majority of them as early on in the cruise as possible. Disney runs their ship lean, which means closer to the end of the cruise, you have less opportunity to meet the characters as many of them double for the evening entertainment. Also, for those families that didn't get their quota of photos earlier on in the cruise, they are now scrambling to get as many photos as they can before the end of the cruise. Picture taking is scheduled, and random all at the same time. Since there always seems to be a character(s) walking around on the ship, you often end up taking unplanned pictures causing you to miss other onboard activities. Due to the lineups sometimes taking a 1/2hr or more for photo taking, kids often end up getting cranky. If you can take turns with lineup duties, and have your little ones join you just before their photo is to be taken, you will make your life alot easier. All three swimming pool areas for the younger babies, children and adults were extremely small and insufficient for the number of people onboard. The evening (Broadway type) entertainment was also fantastic, and is definitely a higher calibre to what I've seen on other ships. The shows were done "Disney" style, and they didn't disappoint. The pirate party was also fantastic, with the fireworks show at the end - Awesome! Our ship went to St. John/St. Thomas, St. Maarten, and Disney's private island Castaway Cay. We did our own excursions and we were quite happy with the price and activities we were able to do on our own. I've always found that the excursions offered by cruise lines were higher than what you can get if you plan it yourself, but make sure you do your research beforehand, so you're not wasting time at port. If planning ahead isn't for you, then go with a pre-packaged excursion since there's bound to be at least one which, will interest you and your family. If you want to see as many Disney characters as possible - than this is the cruise for you. If you are looking for the best quality cruise experience for your dollar, I would recommend a similar styled cruise which offers some character events and children programs. Reading this review you might think that this cruise wasn't that bad, but please take into account that this itinerary only goes to 3 ports of call. Leaving alot of time spent using the amenities and onboard activities. Overall, this cruise was disappointing due to the cost, poor amenities, and the lack of quality food. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
We were able to book a cruise very early on the Disney Dream and had really looked forward to it. There are many pros about the Dream but some cons.Let's start with the pros:A lovely ship that really does have the look and feel of an ... Read More
We were able to book a cruise very early on the Disney Dream and had really looked forward to it. There are many pros about the Dream but some cons.Let's start with the pros:A lovely ship that really does have the look and feel of an old ocean liner, very great staff that is so kind and welcoming to the children, wonderful children's programs with exceptional activities and childcare, imaginative detective game with modern technology, very nice island, childcare and lunch. The pirate party is so special as are the fireworks. The Golden Mickeys was the best.The cons: It was crowded. Too many people for the size of the ship. The pools are dangerous for young children. Very overcrowded with everyone jumping in all at once.The food is typical Disney food and does not meet the standards of other lines such as Princess. The restaurants are too small and noisy. There were alot of characters aboard but there were very long lines and short times for picture taking. Not many activities for adults.In summary, I would go on the Dream if I had children to take aboard. Childcare and activities are excellent. If you want a first class relaxing cruise for adults this is not it. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
First of all, I want to start by saying that if you are looking for a vacation that is all things Disney, then you will probably be satisfied w/ a Disney cruise. In my case, my husband and I fell in love w/ cruising after our first ... Read More
First of all, I want to start by saying that if you are looking for a vacation that is all things Disney, then you will probably be satisfied w/ a Disney cruise. In my case, my husband and I fell in love w/ cruising after our first Carnival cruise to the western Caribbean a couple of years ago and we wanted to share the experience w/ our children. We chose Disney because it was the most kid friendly, we heard what a great kids program they have and lots of activities. We are always impressed when we go to Disneyland or Disneyworld. It amazes me how clean and well run they keep the parks. Of course, we expect the same from thier cruise ship. When we vacation, we stay in extremely nice, clean, top notch resorts and that is what we were expecting from the Disney Cruise. We were extremely impressed w/ our Carnival cruise 2 years ago. I am a total clean freak and don't mind paying extra money for my vacation to be perfect. I assumed that all the extra money that I paid for Disney would assure me that everything would be top notch. Then we entered our stateroom. I was extremely pleased w/ the size and layout of the stateroom and I love the split bathroom. However, I was shocked to see that the bathrooms had chipped tiles on the floor, dirty grout, and the toilet and tub were so old and scratched and damaged that I cringed every time I took a shower. The tub, toilet and grout need desperately to be replaced. This was completely unacceptable. If I were in a hotel, I would have insisted that we either switch rooms or leave to a different hotel. Thank goodness that my children are older and take showers. I would NEVER bathe a baby or toddler in that tub! Also, for the money that I paid I would expect to at least have ONE outlet in one of the bathrooms. Very disappointed in the condition of the bathrooms! The Magic should have been dry docked for bathroom overhauls and updates at least 8 years ago. As far as the kids club and family activities... I have 2 boys ages 8 and 10. They are extremely easy to entertain, they go with the flow and always find something to do. They were also w/ other kids that we were traveling with. Honestly, they would have been just as happy at the Kids Camp on Carnival or any other cruise ship. They begged to back to the Kids Camp at the resort we stayed in on Maui last year. Disney, they could take it or leave it. Really, the only thing special about the Disney Cruise is the characters. My husband and I splurged on a couples massage at the spa. Complete waste of time and money. The spa is decorated in outdated colors and severely worn furniture. Not comforting and relaxing at all. But the absolute WORST experience was putting on the dingy, gray, tattered robes. Those robes needed to be donated to a homeless shelter about 8 years ago w/ the tubs and toilets. I was truly appalled at the condition of the robes. I've seen nicer spa services in cheap hotel chains. This was a HUGE disappointment. I would have cancelled our massage but they still charge you 50% of the cost. Overall, I would have to say that the best experiences we had were when we were off the ship. We had a great time on all of the islands. So we could have had a great time exploring islands on ANY cruise ship and saved the money. The food, shows and movies on the ship were comparable to any other cruise line. REALLY, THE ONLY THING SPECIAL ABOUT THE DISNEY CRUISE IS THE CHARACTERS. So, I also saved the best part for last. Just like the Disney theme parks, it's not enough to charge you outrageous prices just to get into the park, or on the ship. Where the parks scam you with a $20 hamburger and bag of chips, the cruise ship scams you on their excursions and activities. Too bad that we pay $300 just to get into Disneyland, they charge you for a bottle of water what you could buy a case for. We booked a dolphin swim excursion (NOT THROUGH DISNEY). When I called the dolphin company directly they started booking me by name and how many people in my party and which package I wanted. The cost was to be $99 per person and they were offering a 25% discount, which came to $75 per person. They also told me there was no charge for additional people to come in and watch (the dads were taking pictures instead of swimming w/ dolphins). Then they asked if I was coming in on a cruise ship and which one. When I told them Disney, they informed me that I can only book through Disney (according to policy). Hmmm, I did a little research and found out that Disney prebooks the majority of the company's time slots and forces them to have Disney guests book only through Disney. They are the only cruise line to force this upon a guest. And guess what??? Disney's prices are $159 per adult, $139 per child under 10 and... they charge $89 per person just to come and watch!!! So I called the company back, booked my excursion telling them I was on a Carnival ship, and I SAVED ALMOST $700!!!!! In summary, if you are looking for a wonderful, relaxing cruise that won't break the bank, then go somewhere else because you can take 2 cruises for the price of one Disney cruise. If you have little girls who love the princesses or kids who LOVE the Disney characters and you want to give them the experience of a lifetime... by all means you should pay double the cost. Because... REALLY, THE ONLY THING SPECIAL ABOUT THE DISNEY CRUISE IS THE CHARACTERS. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
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