14 Disney Fantasy Spring Break Cruise Reviews

We just completed a 7-day cruise aboard the Disney Fantasy, departing April 13th, 2019, and returning April 20th. In short, we saved up for two years for what we believed would be an wonderful and memorable experience, but instead were ... Read More
We just completed a 7-day cruise aboard the Disney Fantasy, departing April 13th, 2019, and returning April 20th. In short, we saved up for two years for what we believed would be an wonderful and memorable experience, but instead were disappointed by almost every significant aspect of the trip. The disappointment began almost immediately. After working with the front desk to sign up for a few activities, we sat down for lunch. The dining room was nearly empty at the time, and yet we were placed immediately next to a bussing station where the noise, which included the waitstaff and bussers neglecting their basic responsibilities, was nearly unbearable. And regarding those basic responsibilities, despite the fact that the dining room was nearly empty, our waiter disappeared for 10 to 20 minutes at a time and our lunch (with our two young children) took about two hours. Our dinner that same night was no better. We were placed in a back corner, again immediately next to a bussing station. And somehow, the service was even worse (Table 115 at the Enchanted Garden, if this helps identify our initial waiters). Our waiters made no effort to interact with us or, more importantly, our children. The busing station was again loud with servers talking and, of course, dishes clanking. And meanwhile, while we were informed that Kids Club personnel would come by our table to grab our children, we never saw them. 30 minutes after they were supposed to come by, we inquired but were told that the Club had already come by. Of course, they had come nowhere near our table. And yet, when we complained to the head waiter, Dan, his response was literally that it was “out of our control.” This response was beyond rude and simply unacceptable. When I finally complained to the front greeting station, someone finally helped us when I recommended calling the kids club. Two young ladies came down to get our children, though once again, I was not impressed by these 2 young ladies— they didn't get down and talk to the kids, they talked amongst themselves and just told the kids to keep up. After dinner we were so upset we went to the front desk and asked for a change in table. Keep in mind that this was all on the first day. The next day we were moved to a new table, which thankfully was better placed and staffed. Cornwall and Nery were lovely—at least they were more interactive and even gave us a few riddles to solve (as a side-note, our stateroom attendant was also quite good. We do not recall her name, but our room number was 7678. A minor bright spot for our trip). Turning back to the dining experience though, there still wasn't any Disney magic to be found. Other wait staff was doing magic tricks for their tables, or folding the kids menus into special shapes or bringing the kids extra napkins folded like flowers or hats. Ours really did nothing extra for us, and while Dan came by to check on us from night to night, it was clear he was doing so not out of a genuine wish to make our experience memorable, but rather to cover himself for the first-night debacle. The 7 nights of entertainment was also extremely disappointing. It had two decent shows with Disney characters etc., and the ventriloquist, Taylor Mason, was great! However, there was also a guitar player whose act seemed to be nothing more than taking requests for older songs from the audience and a talented but extremely boring guitar player. There were also sticks and boards players who were entertaining, but far from headliner quality. The "broadway" night was a man who sang to the crowd for an hour. My daughter fell asleep, my husband and son left after half an hour. That was NOT magical, it was boring, we can listen to CD's at home. We thought there would be at least some dancing in the background or something. The juggler/comedian who performed was quite good, but he was not a headliner, you had him in one of the small rooms, where he couldn't even do certain juggling acts due to the low ceiling. So while there were a few good shows, some of the nights were a complete waste of time. I was told that the entertainment on a Disney Cruise was incredible. That is simply not the case. As for the late-night adult entertainment - Chris was incredible. He made any and all activities fun. But he disappeared after night three of the cruise. The other nights they had mini shows that were mostly boring. The Broadway guy sang—again. The guitar guy sang—again (and did the same show of, “no I don't do that type of music,” and then would play some music that we wanted to play. Really no creativity whatsoever. The juggler/magician once again did a nice show. And the violinist in the champagne lounge was lovely. We did some trivia games (they were okay at best), we did the character drawings (the teachers seemed to be reading off a paper and not very trained). We did the carrot and potato race twice, which was a decent activity. We did the magic show (the kids loved it, but then the magician performed 2 more times, the exact same show). Just like the juggler, one act on repeat. Same with sticks and boards side show, same as stage show. I already talked about the wait staff, the food for the kids was fine, but the food for the adults was nothing special and actually blown away by the food on Norwegian cruise lines. Another disappointment was of course Castaway Cay – the ship tried to dock 3 times and couldn't. We of course understand safety and we appreciate the effort to dock at the island. But this is a significant part of a Disney Caribbean Cruise. How is it that you don't have an alternative plan to get people on the island if currents are strong and wind are high? But more importantly, if you don’t have a plan, where are the plans to make the extra day at sea even somewhat memorable? The plans appeared to be nothing more than a couple of trivia games, another potato race, and a sticks and boards workshop that were thrown together at the last minute. How does that possibly compare a day on a private island with white sands, snorkeling, bike riding, and water slides? Our kids were literally in tears, and yet I couldn’t even begin to lie to them and say that the activities during the day at sea somehow made up for it. Interestingly, the Castaway Cay activities were never removed from the on-board Disney Cruise app (that the staff recommended continuously), despite attempting to refresh the app so that those activities would disappear. Therefore, while we were sitting on the ship that day, whenever we would look at the app we would still have to see the fun activities we were missing. It was a brutal blow to my kids to have to see these activities, but then be informed that those were the ones from the island, and therefore not available. Turning to the Kids Club--you are Disney and the cruise is supposed to be an amazing experience for the children. How is it possible that this was run so poorly? Our kids are seven and nine years old. You had a few sporty activities for the 9-year-old age group in the club rooms. But it was basically LORD OF THE FLIES in there. The counselors did not run the games well, and the games were not fun because they would turn into chaos within just a few minutes. Why would you not organize activities where the counselors lead them on different activities on the boat, such as basketball, or dodge ball? Or at least keep the games organized so the kids can have fun and not be fighting over the rules? Absolutely unacceptable. People had to sign up for the soap race car event early. My son missed this since (like the dinner crew) it wasn't really announced (you had to look for it). My daughter did some cooking, volcano building, and slime making, and she traced a few Disney pictures. These were all fine, but these are the most memorable activities over a 7-day cruise? Meanwhile, our son played video games almost the entire time he was in there. To be clear, my son was on a Disney Cruise, and yet when he was in the Disney Kids Club he was left on his own to play video games. I even saw one of the counselors meanly grab a kid by the arm and push him back because the child was trying to ask a question while I was talking to the counselor. Luckily another counselor came over and took the kids away but if that was my kid, I would have been furious. Given the lack of interaction in the kids club, neither one of my children really met anyone that they now consider a friend. Not surprising when there are about a dozen iPads and 10 other video game screens. Where are the camp counselors getting the kids together and playing name games and other interactive silly games that get kids laughing and making memories? They were usually standing together talking, or just leaning against a wall. Or standing out in front of the hallway directing people in. Not learning kids’ names, not teaching them songs, or how to draw, or playing board games with them, or running other games (there are books and books of games to play as Ice Breakers that kids that age love). After a week the counselors did not even KNOW who my kids where. I would go looking for them and they would have no advice for me, they could only look on the map at their little dot. The kids were literally just blinking GPS spots in their minds. In short, we choose a Disney Cruise, and paid a significant premium, for the Kids Club, the Disney shows, and overall Disney Magic. The other parts of a cruise you can get on any ship. Our decision seems to have turned out horribly. Again, how could our kids spend seven days with Disney counselors and come out not knowing one name, or one story, or one funny joke that was taught to them? This is completely unacceptable. Not having any game plan for a day at sea if Castaway Cay does not work out is similarly unacceptable. And the entertainment/shows were also disappointing. We did our best to try everything and find the Disney magic, but everything was far below what was expected. We took time off of work, flew out from California, and our kids missed school. We sacrificed a lot for this supposedly amazing experience. We could have had a better experience on a 4-day cruise out of Long Beach and still had 5 more days (and thousands of extra dollars) to do something else spectacular. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was our second sailing on the Fantasy and we loved it both times. Sailed with husband and boys ages 8 and almost 3. Positives - entertainment (live music, activities and shows, esp. Wishes and Believe), staff, service, kids rooms ... Read More
This was our second sailing on the Fantasy and we loved it both times. Sailed with husband and boys ages 8 and almost 3. Positives - entertainment (live music, activities and shows, esp. Wishes and Believe), staff, service, kids rooms (Its Small World and Oceaneer's Club/Lab) and port adventures. When we docked in Tortola we took the ferry to Virgin Gorda and did the baths/caves .. my 8 year-old loved it. We also enjoyed the Kon Tiki boat ride on St Thomas. Negatives - the food. I think this was the worst cruise ship food I have ever had, and I have been on around 20 cruises across all lines. Also seemed worse than our prior trip on the Fantasy in 2017. Although my kids didn't notice! Also, I encountered 2 staff members with bad attitude (one at Port Adventures desk and one at Book your Next Cruise desk) - still a significant minority, but also a first for Disney. We noticed some enhancements after the dry dock so that was nice too. However, perfect cruise for our boys ages 3 and 8. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
3rd Disney cruise and loved it again every time room has been immaculate cleaned every day and towels are folded into animals and bed sheets changed every day. People say pool is too small and the 2 pools for all ages are small however ... Read More
3rd Disney cruise and loved it again every time room has been immaculate cleaned every day and towels are folded into animals and bed sheets changed every day. People say pool is too small and the 2 pools for all ages are small however it isn’t easy to have a large pool onboard a cruise ship there are also adult exclusive pools and a pool for teen club vibe (14-17) Ship is easy to navigate with maps all around and staff are friendly the ship has a fun mini golf course and basketball court. The 3 times I’ve been on the cruise my son has been able to go to all 3 clubs oceaners lab (3-12) edge (11-14) vibe (14-17) the oceaners lab is very large and great for kids as there is always activity’s on this also goes with edge and vibe. Edge is fairly small however is my sons favourite out of the 3 and every time has been extremely sad to leave his new friends. The activities range from sports deck fun to trivia challenges and video game challenges and much more. We have never made him go to the clubs yet he has chose to he would wake up have breakfast with us ( which the breakfast is a large buffet) then go to the youth club until dinner have his dinner then go back till the club closed. The waterslide the aqueduct is also a must do. There is a rotational dining plan where you change restaurants every night and cycle between the 3 and your servers rotate with you. And one restaurant even allows you to draw a character and have it animated the food quality is great with bread service,starter, salad/soup, main course, dessert. not to mention the adult only restaurants you can go to. There is also an option to share your table with another family at first this may see odd however I would fully recommend as the look at of you have children there gender there age etc and match you up with a family like so you child will instantly have a friend. You can also get food like pizza and ice cream and soda during the day for no fee The whole ship is in Christine condition as everynight and whenever the boat docks workers are always jetwashing painting or doing maintenance There is also a range of activities for adults including Karaoke music quizzes game shoes etc and like there is plenty for kids to do there is also plenty adult exclusive areas all over the ship Overall an amazing vacation and would recommend to anyone thinking about booking with or without kids Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We are frequent cruisers who have been on all ranges of ships, from the NCL weekend booze cruises to Regent luxury cruises and we weren't sure what to expect on our Disney cruise. We took our very first cruise ever on the Disney ... Read More
We are frequent cruisers who have been on all ranges of ships, from the NCL weekend booze cruises to Regent luxury cruises and we weren't sure what to expect on our Disney cruise. We took our very first cruise ever on the Disney Wonder 15 years ago. So, we were excited to revisit the perennial reader's favorite. We took advantage of the Disney check-in from home, as well as the Disney transport. It was nice to not to have to worry about our bags (which always magically appear onboard in our cabin, after checking in at the airport upon departure). When we landed in Orlando, though, we did not enjoy having to wait at the airport to board our bus for the Port for almost an hour. Not a great way to start our vacation. I think the reason Disney does this, is to manage crowds at the Port, but I think I would rather be waiting at the Port, instead of the airport. This part was not managed well. Once on board the ship, we were simply blown away with all of the design and decor. Each and every space on the ship was designed with thoughtful details (including music in each zone of the ship to create the mood). The selection of colors, textures, tiles, carpets and more was simply exquisite (and even the bathrooms are all specifically designed to fit in each area of the ship - be sure to check out the ones in Tatooine, with their round sliding doors). Activities abounded while on board, but here's what you need to know. Disney has all of their different activities segmented by age. So, if you are traveling with a child who is 18 and a friend who is 17, they will have a hard time trying to do much together on the ship, as Disney is very strict about the age cut-offs for everything. The older kids club goes from 14-17, and my 18 year old was not allowed to participate in their activities. And the "adult-only" areas on the ship, including many of the night-time activities (where drinking age is still 21) is strictly limited to those 18 and older (and this includes the 2 adult-only restaurants). When we asked if our daughter and friend could join us for dinner, we were told no, that the 17-year old would be unable to join (and they assign reservations to each guest, whose age is on file in the computer). So, that was sort of a bummer, because almost ALL of the activities are age-segmented. The onboard shows were amazing!! The two nights of fireworks onboard were pretty spectacular. We were there for the Star Wars Day at Sea. Think more people got into the Pirate night than the Star Wars theme. Think they could have done a better job of enhancing the offerings throughout the day for Star Wars day. We did have a great guest lecturer from Lucasfilms, who oversees all of the design and merchandising for all of the Star Wars films. The food was average, but the service throughout the ship was incredible. They had a ton of staff onboard and their attention to detail was fabulous. There are a couple of pools onboard. Total sensory overload at the main pool during the day with not one, but two pools filled with kids, and really loud movies playing all day long everyday. The adult pool area was better, but not as much ability to be in the sun near the pool. There is an adult-only deck on the top deck, which would be nice, but we had high winds at sea, and the area was not fun to be in. Great bar service at the adult pool area, and there is an additional bar up one deck (Currents), where they have live music (and is the best area on the ship to watch fireworks, if you don't care about seeing the accompanying stage show). Our room, which was an enlarged aft balcony suite, featured a 40' long balcony, which was awesome to have to escape the crowded pool areas. However, the trade-off was the severe vibration from the engines that we experienced a couple nights on our 7-night journey. The furnishings in the room are tired. Time for an update. Overall, it was a fun family trip, but for the money we paid, I would be hard pressed to not want to go back to Regent (we have been spoiled). We will probably wait until we have grandchildren to return back to the Disney ships. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We chose this cruise to coincide with our sons' spring break. This was the first time we were cruising with Disney. Everything was very nice. From the welcome aboard to the dining. The main server at our table (Stipe) went out of ... Read More
We chose this cruise to coincide with our sons' spring break. This was the first time we were cruising with Disney. Everything was very nice. From the welcome aboard to the dining. The main server at our table (Stipe) went out of his way to make sure our boys (8 & 12) were getting something they enjoyed - even if he had to go elsewhere to get it. Our cabin was an interior aft stateroom. It was little cramped, but we kind of expected that. Once the ship picked up speed though, the vibration in that part of the ship was almost unbearable and made sleeping difficult. Entertainment was great especially with the Star Wars day at sea. Food was great. Aquaduct is a must! Ice Cream great. Loved the Disney beer mug option. Beautiful ship and professional, friendly crew. Kids activities were top notch. Even though we felt some of the items were greatly overpriced onboard we were aware of that going in. The only area that I had any complaint about would be a shore excursion we took. Not really in Disney's ballcourt, but nonetheless they advertised it. Part of the excursion was taking us to an all exclusive beach after snorkeling. It was very, very expensive. Kind of felt stuck there until time to go. Eating at Cabana's for breakfast and lunch was great. Never ran out of options. All of the crew were courteous and kind. Our boys loved it. Leaving the ship was painless and easy. Don't know if we would go again on Disney since there isn't much of a price break for repeat guests. Overall we would rate this as a once in a lifetime experience. If someone has the opportunity to go they should. I saw several other guests that were "Castaway Club" members, but never really learned anything about that. Service was top notch - If I inquired about something I found what I was looking for 100%. This was only the 3rd cruise we have taken (1st for boys) and by far it was the best. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Family of 4 including 2 kids ages 5 and 16. We had a great cruise on the Fantasy and visited Tortola, St. Thomas, and Castaway Cay. I continue to be very impressed with the cleanliness of the Disney cruise ships and how well everything is ... Read More
Family of 4 including 2 kids ages 5 and 16. We had a great cruise on the Fantasy and visited Tortola, St. Thomas, and Castaway Cay. I continue to be very impressed with the cleanliness of the Disney cruise ships and how well everything is run. We stayed on the 10th floor in room 10568. The room was great and near the midship elevators which we really liked. However, I do not recommend midship 10th floor rooms. The noise was a big pain in the butt. We were essentially directly under the pizza and burger bar and there was a lot of foot traffic. At night the teenagers seemed to spend a lot of time up there running. We also heard them stacking and dragging the chairs each night as they cleaned the deck. I can't really say this is Disney's fault. We learned our lesson and will do more careful research next time. Next time I go I will bring 4 bottles of premium wine and buy the cheaper stuff on board. I made multiple trips to Palo and Remy to buy good wine after we drank our 4 bottles by mid week. Tortola was great. We rented a car at the dock and went exploring on our own with another couple and had a great time. We did not get off the boat at St. Thomas since we were so relaxed. It was a little cool at Castaway Cay this trip so we just went for a long walk and enjoyed our day. The entertainers on the cruise were fantastic. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
To celebrate our upcoming retirement, we took our family on Disney Fantasy for a week long cruise in the Eastern Caribbean. We had a fantastic time...it could not have been better. All of us, from the four year old to the two retirees, ... Read More
To celebrate our upcoming retirement, we took our family on Disney Fantasy for a week long cruise in the Eastern Caribbean. We had a fantastic time...it could not have been better. All of us, from the four year old to the two retirees, had more activities and experiences to choose from than time available. The three children were always excited when they got to go to their kids club. Our son and daughter in law loved that the adult spaces were truly only for adults. The crowd handling, entertainment, and activities were always better than we expected...Disney is a pro in those areas. We can't wait until our Next Disney cruise...to Alaska in 2019. We rotated through three very different dining rooms. Our waitstaff stayed with us. They knew how to set up our table, offered favorite foods not on that nights menu, and entertained the three children. Our dinners were calm and leisurely...with three kiddos under nine! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This was by far the best cruise we've EVER been on! Disney sure does know how to do a cruise! My husband and I took our 2 kids ages 5 and 9 and we traveled with 15 other family members as a mini family reunion. Disney made us feel ... Read More
This was by far the best cruise we've EVER been on! Disney sure does know how to do a cruise! My husband and I took our 2 kids ages 5 and 9 and we traveled with 15 other family members as a mini family reunion. Disney made us feel so welcome. The embarkation process was so smooth and simple and we were on the boat in no time. As we boarded the boat, we got a huge personalized welcome over the loud speaker from the crew. I was so impressed! The food was outstanding! I loved that I could get fresh fruits and vegetables and other lots of great food. There wasn't much chocolate onboard though, but I can do a week without chocolate. Our dining servers were so friendly and did quite the amazing job. The room was set up very well and was very organized. I loved the bunk beds that came out of the ceiling and that the crew would make up the bunk beds every evening and put them away in the mornings. There was lots of storage under the bed and in the closets...even in such a small space. The bathroom was setup very well with one bathroom having a tub/shower and sink and the other bathroom having a toilet and sink. The onboard entertainment was spectacular, especially the firework show in the middle of the ocean. The kids club was amazing! There were so many activities for our kids and my husband and I could have a lot of alone time and hang out in the adult only pools and lounge chair areas on the front of the boat. I always felt comfortable with the kids club workers and knew our kids were in excellent hands. One of my favorite features of the cruise, was after the kids ate dinner, the kids club crew would come take the kids from the dining room to the kids club for activities so us adults could finish eating our dinner and socializing without worrying about our kids. We didn't book any shore excursions through the cruise line since we read it was better to book outside of the cruise for more personalized and less crowded service. However, next time, I will book through the cruise so I know I'm getting what I pay for. On Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, we booked a trip to the Baths at Virgin Gorda through Patouche Charters and it was the worst service ever! The owner, Joe Standish, had sent me an email confirmation prior to arriving stating what the excursion would entail and that we would be aboard a 36' Power Catamaran. However, when we met him at the pier, he was very agitated and rude and said this other guy would be our captain. I wasn't too bothered about it until the "other guy" took us to his boat and it was not a 36' catamaran. It was a small fishing boat! At first I thought, "this must be the boat that is taking us to the catamaran." Haha, was I wrong. The boat was so small that it wouldn't be safe to go to the Baths when we were supposed to because it wouldn't make it back in the afternoon with the winds. We got totally scammed! Patouche didn't even charter us...he sold us to another company without informing us since he was overbooked that day. I will never deal with that kind of a company again. However we didn't let it ruin the amazing experience we had with Disney Cruiseline. I know if we booked through Disney, they would definitely have non-scammers charter their excursions. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
My wife and I took the April 9 cruise offered by Disney on the Disney Fantasy. We are two seniors (68,69). The cruise was during many families spring break. The cruise director said there were 3800 passengers on this sailing so it was ... Read More
My wife and I took the April 9 cruise offered by Disney on the Disney Fantasy. We are two seniors (68,69). The cruise was during many families spring break. The cruise director said there were 3800 passengers on this sailing so it was pretty full. We never at any time felt that the large number of kids on board was a problem. Spent our pool and sun tanning hours on the decks reserved for those 18+. Never had a problem finding a lounge chair to lay on to catch some sun. So, if you are traveling without any children I would hit the adults only areas. We had second seating at dinner. Most families with children eat at the main seating. We like second seating as it is later and we don't feel we have to rush back to the ship from shore excursions. We see the first showing (6:15) of the shows whatever entertainment is being offered and then still have time to kill before our dinner at 8:15. We had terrific food servers. Actually, the main server, Ronaldo, was our server on the Disney Magic in 2011 on a Mediterranean cruise. We requested him in 2013 when we found out he was sailing on the Fantasy for our western Caribbean cruise. Requested him again for our eastern Caribbean cruise April 9-16. We booked a cruise for summer of 2017 and told our server that we would see him again! That would be cruise number 4 with him. By the way, his name is Ronaldo and he is absolutely the best. Our cabin was a deluxe family oceanview cabin with veranda (9112). Plenty of storage, and plenty of room for two seniors that's for sure. The split bathroom is a real plus. Our cabin hostess was Andrea from Jamaica. She was absolutely the best. Cabin was spotless and sparkling. Provided us with fresh, clean towels at least three times a day and we didn't even ask for it. Our cruise took us to Tortola, BVI, St. Thomas USVI, and Castaway Cay. Three at sea days also. It was a very nice leisurely cruise for us which we enjoyed immensely. When in St. Thomas do take in the Paradise Point Skyride. Amazing views from the top. We had no complaints about service, food, entertainment. This was our 6th Disney cruise and we enjoyed it because of the great service Disney provides. If you have time and also don't mind an extra charge of $30.00 per person, you should eat at Palo for brunch or dinner. We did both the brunch and a dinner and it was fantastic as usual. Disney probably is more expensive than other cruise companies but I believe you get what you pay for. We were docked next to the Carnival Splendor and let me tell you looking at that ship compared to the Disney Fantasy, it is a rust bucket. The Fantasy was spotless!!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We chose this cruise as we are avid Disney fans and had already been on the Disney Magic. I wanted a larger newer ship and we picked the Fantasy. Overall Disney knows how to raise the bar at all levels and really makes others play catchup. ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we are avid Disney fans and had already been on the Disney Magic. I wanted a larger newer ship and we picked the Fantasy. Overall Disney knows how to raise the bar at all levels and really makes others play catchup. This was my 12th cruise total (Carnival, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Disney) and would rank it as the 2nd best trip. Disney brings the same level of quality from their parks into the ships. If you've ever been on a cruise, you will know what I am talking about, as most staff are poorly trained and not treated well on other lines. Overall great trip, with a few minor negatives for this larger ship. Cabins - The cabins were worn (we traveled March 2016) and our cabin had very worn carpet with a giant patch replaced (3' x 3'). I was a little disappointed as I expected the rooms to hold up a bit better. Overall normal size as all other cruises lines, (Deluxe Family Balcony). The only pro for the Deluxe rooms is the extra 5' of cabin space, as the dual bathrooms take up a little more room than normal. Food - People always rave about food on cruises. My standards are not very high, as I am on vacation and know there is variety around the ship, plus they prepare it in mass for thousands of people. I think the food was good, not great. It met my needs and I NEVER went hungry. I will say that on the 2nd Disney cruise, they continue to run out dry cereal by day 4 of a 7 day cruise (the small boxes that people take and use as snacks for the kids). The MAJOR PLUS here is the free soft drinks for the kids. I hate when cruise lines charge for soft drinks!!! Activities - ALWAYS stuff to do on this ship. The Aquaduck is great (kids rode it probably 30+ times) along with the water slides. Pools are a little small considering how many kids are on the ship, they should have planned for larger pools. Deck space is tight and as always, chairs are very hard to get in the main pool area. We did the sports simulator a few times which I would NOT do again. Very inaccurate and didn't work well. The only reason we did it a few times was we would be charged for cancelling our pre-bookings. I will say for activities - you must be online the day the activities open to book out!!! (I.e. - I went on one hour later, and all of the cabanas were already sold out on their island!!!) The negatives I want to point out - Photo Gallery - The last night they are packed and ill-prepared to handle the masses flooding to pick out photos and place orders. Even worse is the pickup line in the AM. We waited 1.5 hours to pick up a book that was pre-paid. They need to figure this out!!!! Shows - (with all cruises) - if you're not early, you won't get a seat. People lineup super early and block out seats for friends Boarding - While it was okay, they tell you to not get to the port until Noon, or 1. We got there at 11, and they had just started boarding by groups. We had to wait in line to get our kids registered for the kids club for almost 30 minutes, and missed our boarding call. NOT normally a big deal, but we had to get on the ship early to try to get some activities booked that were already sold out on line 6 months in advance. Overall they suffer from some of the same problems other cruise lines do, but I do appreciate their quality and attention to detail. We will definitely cruise another Disney again... Just not during peak season. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Dining Experience: Breakfast - we loved the eggs, bacon, variety of cereal, sausage links, mueslik. We wish they had berries. They had lots of melons, apples, and bananas The coffee on deck was atrocious. I did find it annoying ... Read More
Dining Experience: Breakfast - we loved the eggs, bacon, variety of cereal, sausage links, mueslik. We wish they had berries. They had lots of melons, apples, and bananas The coffee on deck was atrocious. I did find it annoying that the good coffee was $3.74 a cup at the Cafe. Dinners loved by the kids due to variety of restaurants and food. The kids all ate from the adult menu and liked all the options. Do not get sirloin steak Lunch - tons of fresh fruits and veggie options. We would have loved berries and grapes. Strawberries were only offered for 2 breakfasts. Overall great variety of fruits, veggies, proteins. I would love to see Disney go to organic dairy and grass fed meats. They do make wishes come true.... On Board Acticities: Oceanids Lab loved by the 8 yr old who went there all the time. In fact we did not see him most of the day. Edge loved by -11yr old boy. They played doge ball, Bball, gagA ball, scavenger hunts, video games. Furthermore, many things go on even when the schedule shows nothing planned Vibe - liked not loved by 14y/o. She found activities to be limited and meeting new people a bit difficult. She would have loved more mingling activities that included everyone. There is a small teen pool in Vibe with a jacuzzi. Favorite shows by the kids - Aladdin show, Magic Dave, and the Juggling guy. Favorite shows by adults Aladdin and Magic Dave. My husband and I attended many of the adult games and activities led by Bret. We had a blast!! Pool: Pool was too small and too crowded. The chair situation was a Nightmare. People reserved chairs 4-5 at a time and maybe 2 would be used. So by mid afternoon there would be 50% of chairs occupied and the rest sitting empty and "reserved". The kids would have liked more slides. The adult pool was quiet, had plenty of shade, but a bit limited on chairs. The water features provided enough space and entertainment. The Rooms: The rooms with fold out couch and bunk bed were roomy and spacious. The kids loved it!!! We had rooms with balconies and used those every day. No safety concerns. Room service was impeccable. Sam was our room host and he made our journey very enjoyable. Carlos and Josip were our waiters. They were full of energy and couldn't do enough to make us enjoy our dining experience. They even helped cut the kids steaks and chicken breasts so I, the mom, could eat in a relaxed fashion. Excursions: Snorkeling tour in St Thomas - amazing. Loved the crew, the turtles, sting rays, variety of fish, and ship wreck. Zip Line in La Marquesa was fraught with difficulty and frustration (see review on trip advisor). Castaway Cay - LOVED by all. We did the 5k, bike tour, and floating tricycle. We didn't want to leave. Motorized water sports should have been more abundant and people should be able to rent them on the beach, not just with reservation. Lastly - the Disney Navigator App was great and a must download. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
We arrived in Orlando Friday evening and rented a car to drive to Port Canaveral that night vs. wait until the next morning. It worked really well as we were able to stop at a liquor store to purchase what we wanted to bring on board ... Read More
We arrived in Orlando Friday evening and rented a car to drive to Port Canaveral that night vs. wait until the next morning. It worked really well as we were able to stop at a liquor store to purchase what we wanted to bring on board (remember, you can take liquor on but it has to be in a bag you carry on to the boat and not packed in regular luggage). We stayed at the Country Inn Suites - maybe 5 min. from the port. The Hertz location was right next door so Saturday morning, we zipped over there, dropped off our car and then took the Hertz shuttle to the port. We arrived around 10:15 for a 10:30 port arrival time. A porter took care of our bags, we quickly went through security and were checked in (group #3 boarding) by 10:45. The "kids" (16 year old daughter and 16 year old friend) took pictures with Mickey Mouse and we waited a short time and were on the shop around 11:15 a.m. Rooms: Spacious with ample storage (me, my husband and two 16 year old girls) for four. Stateroom attendant (Enrique) was wonderful and took very good care of us while we were there. Food: Buffets and fast service were OK...not great. We were always able to find something we liked. Evening dinners were good. We didn't do Palo or Remy. Shows: All the shows were wonderful and we really enjoyed them. This was our 3rd Disney Cruise (1 on the Dream and 2nd on the Fantasy) and they did change up the shows enough to keep them fresh. Adults Only: It was nice this trip to have our daughter and her friend. It gave us time to spend away from the craziness of deck 11 and enjoy the adults only decks / pool, etc. Disney does a very good job of kindly asking children to leave the area if any do venture in so it really is adults only. It's much quieter and relaxing and we enjoyed our deck time there. Bars: The bars are very nice. Be sure to check out the bathrooms - the wall mosaics are wonderful. Traveling with Teens: It's a Disney cruise so it's very family oriented. The two girls did go to Vibe several times but didn't love it. They felt the activities were a bit forced and preferred to find their own entertainment...which wasn't hard. They kept busy and had fun outside of the organized Vibe activities. Excursions: On St. Martin we did the downhill rainforest hike. It's not really a rainforest any longer, destroyed by the sugar cane industry but trying to be restored. The trail is very rocky and I would recommend for anyone comfortable with hiking. There was an older couple that after the first short part of the hike opted to be picked up and driven back. Service: Top notch - everyone was friendly and worked extremely hard to make sure guests were well taken care of. Our rotational dining staff (Toto and Nora) were fabulous. Kids: It's a Disney cruise and while there are children of all ages, most are younger. Deck 11 (pools) is crazy and we avoided it at all costs. With older kids, for us there just wasn't a reason to go there often. As with any vacation, there are well-behaved kids and those that ran wild (running up and down the halls, screaming, tantrums, etc.). Some parents did a great job monitoring behavior and others didn't - to our disappointment. Helpful hints: As soon as you board the ship, visit the on-board activities desk for the princess and Anna/Elsa meet and greets. You will need a ticket to attend. If you plan to purchase the pictures taken onboard by Shutters, take as many as you can so you can buy the CD and get everything. It's spendy but we got some great pictures out of it. We bought some tie-die Mickey t-shirts for the girls to board in as well as personalized magnets for the doors on ETSY. Carry on any alcohol you plan to drink - it will save you a ton of money. Book on-shore excursions early - many get sold out quickly. We've done through Disney and independently. You can save money by going direct. We dropped off picture matts on the first day at guest services along with colored markers and had the characters sign them. It's a nice, cheap souvenir. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Before I begin, please note that this review is from the perspective of a 27 year old who was traveling with 4 other 25-30 year olds and no children. Embarkation: We arrived at the port around 9am due to taking a red-eye flight from the ... Read More
Before I begin, please note that this review is from the perspective of a 27 year old who was traveling with 4 other 25-30 year olds and no children. Embarkation: We arrived at the port around 9am due to taking a red-eye flight from the Northwest and had to wait until 10:15am before they would allow us to enter the port. Once we entered the building, the embarkation process was incredibly fast and easy! There were cast members everywhere to point us to the correct line and answer any questions we might have. Once we checked in and got our 'key to the world' cards, we had another hour or so to wait before embarkation began but there were plenty of activities to occupy our time. There were also many Disney characters around to take photos with. Once we boarded the ship, Cabanas (the buffet on the 11th deck) was set up with plenty of food and the pools/aquaduck were open and available to swim until the cabins were ready which was right around 1:45pm. The checked baggage was delivered relatively quick and all of us had our bags by 3pm. Food: The food was not anything to write home about, but it was tasty. I enjoyed the rotational dining and especially enjoyed having brunch at Palo. The dinner menus consisted on soups, salads, veggies, meat, seafood....really a good variety of everything. We had one person in our party who kept (semi) kosher and the staff did everything they could to ensure that she was able to eat and still keep to her dietary restrictions. Adult Areas: The pool decks were absolutely wonderful! They were quiet, separated from kids, and had plenty of space! There were a number of crew members walking around constantly to ensure that we were not missing out on any beverages, which I took full advantage of! There really is only one real pool for adults, the other one is about 1-2 feet deep so it works for giving you a nice cool down while sun bathing, but not much else. The adult nightlife area on the ship is called Europa and is without a doubt the most incredible group of bars I have ever seen on a ship! I have been on 10 cruises with numerous lines- Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Disney, etc.- and this was by far the best. There are 5 bars in Europa and each has its own decor (with Disney's unbelievable attention to detail), specialty drinks, and theme. Skyline was the one I spent the most time in because the beverages were absolutely delicious and the bartender was FANTASTIC!!!! The other bars- Ooh La La (Champagne bar), O'Gills (Irish pub), La Piazza (Italian Carnivale), and The Tube (English Underground themed dance club)- were all amazing, fun, and had a unique feeling that made you forget you were on a ship. Shows: I had late seating at dinner so I attended the early performances of most of the shows aboard the ship. I enjoyed all of them, but it was difficult watching the Aladdin one since I grew up on that movie and it just doesn’t seem right without Robin Williams as Genie…. But I will say they did a wonderful job of adding humor for all age groups. I especially enjoyed Disney’s Believe. Pirate night was a lot of fun. I couldn’t believe how many people-adults and kids- really got into it- I’m talking full on costume, wigs, makeup….. It was really unbelievable. The early show for pirate night is definitely kid-centric. No adult humor or entertainment whatsoever. However, the later show (the one with the fireworks) was definitely entertaining. Make sure you get a spot on deck 11 for this one, the Aquaduck blocks some of the fireworks if you are trying to view from deck 12. The ports were great-very clean, safe, and fun. We didn’t book any excursions through the ship so I cannot talk about those. We purchased independent shore excursions (food and wine tour in San Juan, Scuba diving in St. Thomas, nothing on Castaway Cay). Since many lines go to San Juan and St. Thomas, I will only talk about Castaway Cay which was wonderful! We spent most of our time on the adult beach which was very quiet but still had character visits. Capt. Jack Sparrow came around for photo-ops, which was nice since the kids pretty much monopolized the characters on the ship. Overall, the only negatives I had were the following: The food could have been better. I enjoyed all of the food, but nothing was amazing or stood out. Although there were a lot of activities for adults, they all seemed to conflict with each other so we couldn’t really do everything we wanted. That’s really it…. Overall, I DEFINITELY recommend the Disney Fantasy.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
THE GREAT:  Getting on board was awesome. We arrived at the time we'd signed up for, and there were only about five people ahead of us waiting to check in. We finished at the counter and walked right onto the ship. It was the best ... Read More
THE GREAT:  Getting on board was awesome. We arrived at the time we'd signed up for, and there were only about five people ahead of us waiting to check in. We finished at the counter and walked right onto the ship. It was the best onboarding experience I've ever had! I will be forever grateful because getting on and off a cruise ship is generally really exhausting and the worst part of the trip. It's been around 10 years since I've been on a cruise, but my recollection was standing in line for hours. Disney has done a great job with this! Our dining room servers were absolutely wonderful. They made sure that we had everything that we wanted and made us feel very special. I got the general impression that everyone loved the staff assigned to them. Some of the servers did magic tricks, and they all had something special for the kids. One thing to keep in mind is that the head waiter, the waiter/waitress, the assistant waiter/waitress, and the cabin attendant do not receive additional compensation from Disney - they work only for tips. I don't think people realize that, and the amounts they recommend for tips are really not that much. I think that this is the same across all cruise lines, and I didn't mind the built in tip for any of the refreshments that we ordered (one person went out of his way to get a glass of wine that I liked when I was in the theater that wasn't stocked there and I didn't even request that - extra tips are really in order for super service, and you will experience a lot of super service). There are some drinks that are free, and you can buy a cup for your child that comes in two sizes for a nominal amount ($6.50 and $8.50, I think) and they will fill it with smoothies or Shirley Temples, or anything non-alcoholic that would otherwise be charged to you for the entire week - the cup comes with a removable character that lights up. I don't mean to discount our cabin attendant in discussing the dining room staff. She was very responsive and made it a point to ask us several times if there were any things we wanted or needed and anything that we weren't pleased with so that she could fix it (there weren't - we only wanted an extra bar of soap so that we could have one on the sink and in the shower - that's it - everything was else was perfect). We really appreciated the follow up though. The last visit to the Animator's Palate was incredible. Everyone draws a picture within a larger form and it will come to life on the screens while you're waiting for dessert. It was really, really cool. I took a video with my cell phone and showed people at work - they were amazed. You rotate through the three dining rooms, so on a seven day cruise, you end up with your first restaurant on the first and last days for dinner (and also for breakfast on your departure morning). Because of that, we were only in the Animator's Palate twice - I wish we could have had them first. All three dining areas are nice, but the Animator's Palate was my favorite because the characters flitted across the screens and talked to you. If you want to skip a night in the formal dining rooms, there is a very nice restaurant on the 11th floor (meaning nice by adult standards) and that is also kid inclusive on the 11th floor (Cabanas) - they switch over from casual during the day to a more peaceful environment for dinner. They served the same things that we'd had for dinner the previous evening in the formal dining room, but that wasn't a problem - it was all good. I loved how they handed you a hand sanitizing wipe before you walked into any eating area and had a hand sanitizing stand located at the ramp when you boarded the ship when coming from shore. So much better than getting the stomach flu! We loved the live shows - they were really of a high caliber. We also loved the people who staffed the Bingo games. They made it fun to lose our money LOL (we are still singing the B-11 song). The final jackpot was a bit misleading though - I think everyone expected a $10,000 grand prize, but they probably gave away $10,000 in total that session. The grand prize winner took home around $7,400, which is still significant. Still a positive because it was a lot of fun. Even though getting off the ship was no fun (see below), I loved that Disney has a service where they will actually take your luggage to the airport and check it for you onto your flight. I have always hated having to pick up heavy bags after getting off the ship and haul them around because the last day of a cruise is usually just as awful as the first. This was such a nice touch and there was no charge. We saw the $25 per bag fee on our final bill, but that was just the cost that the airlines charged us per bag. They paid it in advance for us and were simply requesting reimbursement. Thank you, Disney! Free ice cream! Our child was in heaven. It would have been nice to have a change of flavors (it was the same all week), but they did have a nice selection - strawberry, banana, chocolate, vanilla, and a spout in the middle to get half-chocolate/half-vanilla twist. I wish they would have had cups near the ice cream dispensers (my kid hates cones) so that we didn't have to walk down to the drink dispensing area to get one, but that was just a minor thing. I would imagine that parents with smaller children would have appreciated having cups available as well. Disney will even cut your child's food at dinner - a surprising and nice touch. There were lots of fun and kid-friendly activities on the ship, and we had no problem filling our time on sea days (I actually wish we had even more sea days!). I didn't need to visit the exercise facility - my pedometer told me that I was walking at least 8,000 steps a day, and there were two days I walked over 15,000 steps. It kept me from gaining weight on the cruise, which was a bonus. Fireworks display on the upper deck on pirate's night were beautiful. The cabin was awesome! It was large, relatively speaking, and had lots of storage space. We had a double length deck with two (sort-of) recliners, two regular chairs, and a small table. We had so much fun we didn't get to enjoy it as much as I would have liked. The bed was heaven and I was always so tired from the activities of the day that I swear I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. Our couch converted into a bed as well, and it was comfortable too (though not as comfortable as the bed). I also liked that there were separate rooms for showering and going to the bathroom, and each of them had a sink - it made it so much easier to get ready in the morning. I had a chance to peek into the inside staterooms, and it looked like they had a port-hole sized screen that gave you the view from the bridge video, which was kind of cool. I prefer an outside stateroom with a balcony because I would feel claustrophobic, but this was a nice touch on the inside. THE NOT SO GREAT: There are only two seating times for dinner. We chose the 8:15 seating. You learn quickly not to show up on time unless you want to stand in a horribly long and wide line, packed with people, waiting for the doors to open. I wish they had "any time" dining as we experienced with Princess in the past. I HATE the cattle calls. It really is better to not leave your stateroom until dinner is supposed to start or a few minutes later. That way, you'll miss the entry crowds and the server will catch you up. Speaking of the 8:15 seating . . . children under five really shouldn't be allowed to have dinner this late. You don't leave the dining room until at least around 9:45, and that's just too late for kids who are still napping during the day (and who may have missed their naps during the day). Alternatively, parents with kids under five should be matched only with other parents with kids under five. We were treated to an extended toddler temper tantrum six out of seven nights, and it absolutely ruined the dining experience for us. The child could not be comforted, and the behavior continued until the kids club representative came and the parents had the child taken away to play around 9:15 so they could finish their dinner in peace. It was obvious that the kid was tired, and I really don't think that this was typical behavior for the child. This is really a deal breaker for us - when we consider Disney again (and we certainly will), if we can't have some consideration for being seated by ourselves or at a non-toddler table during the later seating, we will probably pass on the cruise. It was really that bad. The 8:15 dining room was always full (as was the cruise, with around 4200 people I think), so it wasn't a question of asking for a reassignment - there was nowhere else to go (and the earlier seating had a waiting list before the cruise started so that would have been out of the question and we didn't want that anyway, having asked for the 8:15 time before the cruise began). An additional irritating issue had nothing to do with Disney and everything to do with the parents on the cruise. A significant number of parents seemed to want a vacation from parenting and let their kids run around the ship unsupervised (or didn't get them to bed at a decent time or allow them to nap, which caused meltdowns that should have surprised no one). The kids club for kids between 3 and 12(?) (which is the one that worked for us) is open until 12:00 on port days and 1:00 on sea days (yes, that's 1:00 in the MORNING). There is no place for the kids to nap (nor do I think there should be). It's just something to keep in mind - there will be kids underfoot and a large enough percentage of them will be screaming and crying and perhaps unsupervised in large enough numbers that you will notice it. (This is not the case with the majority of kids, and you will be treated to the sight of hundreds of little girls dressed in their favorite princess clothes - they are so cute!) Getting off the ship was a bit of a pain because everyone needed to get off by 9:00 in the morning. They final breakfast time is based on when your dinner seating was, and there is no room service that day. I was grateful that we had the later seating because our breakfast time was 8:00. I'm not sure how the parents were able to get their kids to the dining room for the ~6:15 breakfast time (and you were expected to leave the ship following breakfast without returning to your stateroom). There were large crowds waiting to get off, but the hold up was because US Customs could only process so many people at a time and was not Disney's fault at all (they were trying to be helpful). They were doing deck work during the afternoon and the smell of the epoxy (or whatever it was) was horrid. Not sure why they couldn't do it during a port day or in the evening when no one was relaxing on the deck. It only happened once. NO casino! Since they advertise something for everyone, that would have been nice. It wouldn't prevent me from booking again, but I'm just used to having a casino to go to when I'm on a cruise ship and missed having one this time. You have to pay for refreshments, candy, and popcorn if you want them during movie and live performances. I didn't mind paying for most of these things, but if I could get it at no charge while on deck (like apple juice for my child), it was irritating to have to pay for it at these locations. I suppose we could have ordered it outside and brought it in; never tried that, but it would be an unnecessary aggravation. THE MILDLY ANNOYING BUT NOT THAT BIG OF A DEAL TO US: We forgot our child's toothpaste and she hates mint. They had a few different kinds of toothpaste, and they would have given us a complimentary tube at guest services, but they were all mint flavored. Given the number of kids on the ship, it would have been nice to be able to purchase a more kid friendly flavor like watermelon, bubble gum, etc. and I suspect they would have a hard time keeping it in stock. For some strange reason, they closed the Aqua Duck around 10:00 on our last night of the cruise for 20 minutes (they literally shut off the water with no explanation other than it was going to close for 20 minutes). My child was really disappointed because it was the last time to go on it, and it was getting too late to wait until they opened it again (if they did at all). It closes at 11:00; not sure why they couldn't have waited to do whatever they needed to do after 11:00. We were able to go once, but we'd planned on going several times that last night. Room service requires that you actually be in the room to receive room service. I suppose that this is normally what happens anyway, but we only wanted a plate and a knife so that we could eat a rum cake that we'd purchased on shore, and we didn't feel like hanging around for a half an hour until they could come (too many fun things to do). We ended up taking a few plates and a set of silverware from one of the outside eating areas. Lunch at Castaway Cay should run until 2:30. We purchased tickets for an activity that started at 12:00. It was too early to eat before (because it involved a tram ride to and from the food area, which is further in than the activity area we were at), and by the time we got out of our swim clothes and took the tram to the food area, it was about 1:50 (they stop serving promptly at 2:00). The food isn't as good as on the ship, but I wouldn't expect it to be (it's advertised as a BBQ, and you can always take a tram and eat on the ship if you want, I think?). We'd brought a special pillowcase and picture frame to be signed by the characters with special markers that my child had chosen. We got someone else's markers back (entirely different colors) and our things were signed with the other markers. Our markers and materials were clearly marked with our cabin number. I mentioned it to guest services, because I thought someone might want their markers back. By the end of the cruise, they returned our original markers but there wasn't any way to return the wrong set to whoever they belonged to. Minor screw up, and my child was still happy with the color of the signatures. We'd signed up for a rain forest hike and were told when we showed up at the gathering location that it was cancelled for safety reasons. Fair enough, and we were able to get on another (less desirable tour to us). When we were in the gathering location for the substitute tour, they were calling people for the second rain forest hike, which started only an hour after ours! I asked why ours was cancelled and the second tour was not and never received a satisfactory answer beyond there was a high probability the second tour would be cancelled which was delivered in kind of a dismissive manner (as in no further discussion please). It wasn't clear that the second tour was cancelled, which begged the question why - surely if the trails were too wet an hour earlier, they wouldn't have miraculously dried in that short of a time. We talked to a second family who was had signed up for the first departure and ended up on the same substitute tour, and they felt the same way - no one had an issue cancelling for safety reasons, but the reason for the cancellation was certainly called into doubt when we overhead the second tour being called to leave. In sum, we really enjoyed Disney, and there really is a "Disney difference." The only thing that would keep us away from a Disney cruise again would be if we couldn't get a dining room assignment for the 8:15 seating that did not include a toddler. We may end up on another cruise line for our next cruise anyway because it looks like Disney is stopping the southern Caribbean cruises; I didn't see any for 2015. ) : Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Disney Fantasy Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.7
Dining 3.5 4.3
Entertainment 5.0 4.5
Public Rooms 4.5 4.7
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.3
Family 5.0 4.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.0
Enrichment 2.5 4.2
Service 4.5 4.7
Value For Money 4.0 4.0
Rates 4.0 4.0

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