2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
This ship is beautiful!! It is clean and fun and there is so much to do!! The embarkation went smoothly. Very quick!! I do have to say that disembarkation was not the best because when we went to find our luggage my suitcase was ... Read More
This ship is beautiful!! It is clean and fun and there is so much to do!! The embarkation went smoothly. Very quick!! I do have to say that disembarkation was not the best because when we went to find our luggage my suitcase was missing a wheel (which was laying next to the suitcase) BUT we went to customer service and filled out a form and were promised a refund for our suitcase. By then our family were all the way through the line and out of our site but the kind lady at the customer service department took us to the beginning of the line so we could get on the same bus as our family!! Kuddos to that great lady!! We were a little worries when we saw the cabin number and placement of our cabin. Cabin 7004 is directly in the front of the ship!! To our surprise it was very spacious and we loved it even though we are used to a balconey we were ok with this porthole room. This room also had 2 bathrooms. One with just a sink and toilet. The other with a sink and bathtub/shower!! Very nice!! The food was outstanding and so was our wait staff!! I had the biggest lobster tail I have ever had!! We were not offered another but I bet if we asked we could have had one!! The entertainment was so good. Michael Holley, a juggler/comedian was a riot!! He did 3 different shows and they were all hilarious!! Highly recommended!! We were unable to stop in Jamacia because of 40 mile an hour winds but the other ports were great. It was Star Wars day one day on the ship which did not interest us so we just relaxed at the adult only pool which was warm and wonderful!! We would definatly do Disney Cruise line again just to go to CASTAWAY CAY!! What a wonderful place with lots of lounge chairs for everyone from the ship and the bluest water ever!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
6th DCL cruise but first with extended family. We had a group of 18 ranging from age 5-75 spread over 6 cabins. It was also a Star Wars cruise which appealed to some of the kids and adults in our group. Cabins (family oceanview (5) and one ... Read More
6th DCL cruise but first with extended family. We had a group of 18 ranging from age 5-75 spread over 6 cabins. It was also a Star Wars cruise which appealed to some of the kids and adults in our group. Cabins (family oceanview (5) and one inside cabin) were all great. We had a table for 12 and one for 6 at dinner with awesome servers. Weather was warm but very windy for most of the trip. Definitely affected the cruise with more motion than usual for the first few days. There seemed to be even more character interactions than previous cruises which was great! We especially liked meeting Chewbacca and seeing the roaming stormtroopers on Star Wars day. 2 nights of fireworks and great entertainment every night. Just wish they would change up the shows and menus a little more often. Embarktion was very slow - not DCL fault (Coast Guard inspection) but they should have communicated better about the delay and maybe offered water or something. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
I have only cruised with Disney - and my first one started off rocky... nothing to do with the boat, it was all in my head. I just didn't feel comfortable on the boat, was having trouble with the motion, didn't like the laundry list of ... Read More
I have only cruised with Disney - and my first one started off rocky... nothing to do with the boat, it was all in my head. I just didn't feel comfortable on the boat, was having trouble with the motion, didn't like the laundry list of side effects the motion sickness pills or patches or voodoo tricks I had at my disposal 'promised' and was adamant about getting off at our first stop and flying back to the home port...but something happened on that trip. My wife calmed me down - took me on our balcony, got me to relax and well - 5 years later we have now been on 4 cruises. So after our first 5 day cruise on the Wonder, my eldest son proclaimed that he wanted a Disney birthday on a D Cruise. In October 2014 we woke him up early on a Friday morning and told him to hop in the car for a 2000km drive to Florida. That was cruise 2. While on board we had such a great time that we booked a placeholder for our next one. 10% and $200 stateroom credit per room (we have 4 kids so take 2 rooms), and it looked like our Drink of the Day bill would be a lot more manageable next time. When it came time to book we decided to book the Magic for a Mediterranean Cruise - which resulted in a huge trip to Europe for the whole family in 2016. We put down a deposit while on board as has now become the custom... So last October (2017) we were reviewing our busy schedules and looked for a good time - and found a potential gap in our lives for February. We really wanted to try the Dream, as it was the only boat we hadn't been on yet, but the itineraries were two short (5 days max) and so we decided the Fantasy it was. The ports were of little concern to us - Cozumel (which we did on our first cruise), Grand Cayman & Falmouth (new for us), plus Castaway Cay would easily provide the combo of fun and sun we needed. With 4 boys who play hockey, football, baseball and go to school as well, a rest in February was needed. So that's the backstory. We are drivers - so we hoped in our van early Friday morning and began the 2000km journey to Port Canaveral. We are overly familiar with that route and found ourselves parking the car sometime around noon on departure day. Parking is convenient and close, as is the pre-parking bag check. Checking in is long. I would say it takes about an hour from the time you pull into the parking area and are finally at your room. After 2000kms of driving that last hour feels the longest! However, once in the room, it feels familiar and the road weariness slips off quickly. Sometime in my late 30's/40's I became easily disgusted by 'unclean' places - at least if the place is suppose to be clean... This boat is immaculate. There isn't a cracked tile, scuff on the wall, bit of black in the caulking or stain on the carpet in the room, the halls, the decks, the restaurants etc. The boat looks brand new every time we are on it. This cleanliness really puts one at ease and t is very easy to get comfortable. That adds a lot to the relaxation element. There is a lot of food available. As this is my 4th time, I have learned to ease up a bit on the eating. Memories of being 'full' by Wednesday and unable to eat anymore food, or worse, consume anymore DOTD's (Drink of the Day's) as the trip ends were fresh enough that I 'tried' to be more controlled... That lasted until dinner when I could not resist the app, or the soup - the main is a must, and i was in to deep to pass up on desert. DCL uses a rotational dinning system that allows you to eat at all 3 restaurants throughout the trip. All 3 are unique and well themed - the menus vary each night, with a few stand-by's (a chicken, a steak , a pasta etc.). We have 4 kids. Two no longer want anything to do with the kids menu, 1 goes back and forth, and our 6 yr old just wants fries... I personally enjoy the food offerings, and tend to order foods that I don't eat at home. My two older kids do the same and feel very comfortable experimenting - why? Because if they don't like it the waiters will get you something else - no hassle - no problem. If you can't decide, they will get you both (even if you protest!), and they always have a recommendation (never a "i don't know") - which is great. With rotational dinning you have the same staff all week. We really like this and have great conversations with our team - learn about the boat, the behind the scenes's 'hell's kitchen' stories going on during the dinner service, and all the stuff that maybe Disney doesn't want included in the promotional DVD! But to us its fascinating to hear about how the boat and its people 'work'. I understand that they 'have to be nice' to us - but they are great at either being genuine, or acting! The buffet (Cabana's) has a great mix - again, self control is challenged at breakfast and lunch...I did a bit better this time around, but still had to wait until 3pm on some days before I could grab lunch due to the largness of the breakfast i had! The fast food places are typical - I grabbed a sandwich one day and a burger another, but that was all I had from those offerings. The kids had a steady diet of chicken fingers and pizza as their lunch norms. I topped 100 ice creams by Wednesday... the kids went for more. Castaway Cay should be given a thumbs up for the BBQ lunch that includes ribs, chicken and the obligatory hot dog and hamburger as well. The sides are simplified (cole slaw pot salad) as are the deserts - but they are all complimentary to the BBQ theme and the day at the beach. My wife and I do our best to grab the DOTD - we did OK on this trip, but as we had brought beer on board, we missed 2 days of the typical rum, grenadine and whatever fruit juice they added type drink. However on Star Wars day they had a "Galaxy in a Glass" that was super amazing.... we had more then one, which helped us meet our quota!! The entertainment is always fun. We skip the first nights show as we've seen it once and it is simply a commercial for what you can do on the boat. Our second night (Superbowl Sunday) we saw Aladdin - they say they have broadway type shows - and this one is. We have seen the Toy Story musical, Aladdin (in 2014) and the Tangled shows on the boats - they are all great. Of the 3, I prefer Tangled, but I prefer the movie over Aladdin as well. The other 2 'Disney' shows are revue type where they have a very lose and weak plot that 'gets' you to a scene where a Disney character and song are performed. The Wishes 'plot' was the weaker of the two and actually detracted from the revue parts - we didn't love that one and my kids were pretty brutal in their critique of it - made for some good jokes. "Believe" however has a better flow and it resulted in us really enjoying the revue parts. The non-disney entertainment usually consists of Busker type performances. We love buskers, so always look forward to these shows. This cruise had a magic show, which was OK and a juggler, which was funny and enjoyable, but neither were as cool as two acts on previous cruises that we loved. The first being a comedy/musical act called "Buckets and Boards" and on our med cruise we saw the spectacular act "Junk" - which we thought were incredible. The entertainment was not bad - just not as good as ones we saw in the past. Let's not forget the fireworks. Pirates night includes a little show that is capped off with a big disney style fireworks show. What can top fireworks at sea? How about a second fireworks show? Our cruise had a Star Wars day - which ended with another 'show' and an amazing fireworks show. Fireworks and that Star Wars music is a perfect combo! If you like characters, there are plenty. We did a character breakfast for our 6 yr old to meet some of his faves and took advantage of a few greeting times for other favorites. We are past the 'gotta meet them all' phase (as we are frequent Disney trippers we tend to get our fill throughout the year). My 3 youngest were signed up for a Jedi Training thing - my 12 yr old didn't want to do it and my 6 yr old got scared - so only my 10 yr old did it (he got to battle Kylo - in 2013 on a trip to Disneyland he fought Darth, he's 2-0 against the Dark Side). Non of our kids have ever really enjoyed or cared for the 'clubs'. We have tried to encourage them to try them out, but they really could care less. Instead they take full advantage of the freedom we give them and will go play mini golf, do the mid-ship detective stuff, aquaduck, aqualab... and then lobby for some aquaduck at night time as well. On Star Wars day they had free reign on the aquaduck as most kids were dressed up and chasing Chewbacca, our kids took advantage of the 0 wait times and rode all day and night. The older boys like to hit a late movie and went to see Force Awakens at 11pm one night. My eldest and I saw Rogue One on our last night (bad idea staying up untill 1am when you have a 2000km drive to start the next day...) We spent more time 'relaxing' on this trip and outside of the 'shows' didn't hang out in the clubs or do too many family game show stuff (which we did a lot of on our last 2 cruises). The late dinner (we had second seating), early mornings and sun/heat had us pretty much ready to go to bed around 11pm. Excursions: We got off the boat at all 3 ports. We like to do things on our own, if we can, but due to some circumstances (explained below) we actually booked 2 excursions through Disney. Cozumel: We had been to Cozumel on our first cruise and knew that there wasn't much around the port itself. Also, from what I could tell, most beaches were 'beach clubs' - meaning you had to pay something to 'enter'. Last time we simply did a beach party day. So for variety (and with an older bunch) we booked a Snorkel/Catamaran/Beach Party excursion. We got off the Fantasy and onto the Fury (Catamaran), went for a ride, put on snorkeling gear and went snorkeling. My 10 & 6 yr olds did not like the masks or breathing tubes - but we brought googles and they simply held their breath whenever they wanted 'look'. It was a lot of fun and our family loved it - despite the older two getting stung by jellyfish...Once back on the boat, the beers and margaritas (free) were handed out as we made our way to a beach. Off the boat and on a beach for more free booze as the kids made use of all the floaties in the sea. Kayaks and paddle boards were also available FOC, and my 10 yr old and I went for a kayak ride around the floaties. After a couple of hours we were back on the Fury. It was a great 4.5 hr excursion and reasonably priced (all things considered). Grand Cayman: We did this on our own - got off the boat, grabbed a taxi to Seven Mile Beach (about 10 min drive) and chilled. No hassle getting the cab - all prices are pre-posted and fixed (no haggling etc.) . We went to a public beach, grabbed lunch, beer, chairs and umbrella and swam in the sea. No solicitations - just relaxation and if we wanted something the bar (Calico Jack's) was within walking distance and we could simply go ask - they also provided free water. Very friendly and calm island Jamaica (Falmouth): We had heard a lot of negatives about Jamaica, and considered staying on the boat or only going into the secured port area (no locals are allowed on the "dock" unless they work there). But not seeing anything other then the Epcotesque version of Jamaica at the port seemed like a waste, so we booked a tour (the night before) on the boat. We didn't want to be on a bus too long, so picked a trip that was close. The famous Dunn's River falls are about an hour away, so we chose the Green Grotto Caves instead (25 mins). It was about a 3.5 hr tour all in, which gave us an opportunity upon returning to go into town. That was the mistake. I had read that Falmouth locals were very aggressive, but if you got past the 'gate' area of the port you would be left alone. We are not intimidated by such things and I thought it would be nice to go into town, eat lunch and grab a souvenir. We lasted 10 minutes. As soon as we stepped out of the port we were solicited for everything from cab rides to the beach, hair braiding, tours and even weed. As we quickly walked towards the town square we were unable to shake the constant barrage of 'offers'. I started with polite 'no thank you's', but as my patience was thinning, my anger was rising. My kids were very uncomfortable with the atmosphere. My wife and I looked at each other and simply said, with some expletives, that we would simply return to the boat. I was very disappointed that we did not get to explore the town, but it was impossible to do so. Back to the port - we looked around and ate lunch in a chain style restaurant. Do a tour if you wish, but avoid the town. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
I went on the cruise with my family to celebrate the life of our beloved dog Roxy because she passed away from cancer. We went on the Fantasy Star wars cruise it was awesome they had fireworks for Pirates night and then a Starwars ... Read More
I went on the cruise with my family to celebrate the life of our beloved dog Roxy because she passed away from cancer. We went on the Fantasy Star wars cruise it was awesome they had fireworks for Pirates night and then a Starwars fireworks for Starwars night. The service in the dining area was excellent and the steward was one of the best we have ever had. The food was good but the menu you could have more seafood options. All the shows were great and the Movie choices were excellent as well. The fantasy is one of the most beautiful ships I have ever been on the cabins are large and spacious. If you have children and you love Disney this is an excellent vacation for your family. The service continues to get better we really liked our dining staff Edgar & Clinton and the room steward Alston was excellent taking time to talk with us every time he saw us. We can't wait for our next Disney cruise. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
This was our 4th Disney Cruise. It was such a disappointment! In my comments that we left at the end of our cruise, I included 4 pages of items!!! First, the excursions were horrible. We paid just under $1,000 for two excursions and spent ... Read More
This was our 4th Disney Cruise. It was such a disappointment! In my comments that we left at the end of our cruise, I included 4 pages of items!!! First, the excursions were horrible. We paid just under $1,000 for two excursions and spent more time or transportation than at the actual excursion. I recommended dropping the Mystic Mountain Bobsled and the Xel-Ha resort tours as the docks are so far from the actual event you have no time at the destinations. We have never been on a cruise that had a rude crew. This one crew was uninformed and almost ran us over with carts and other transportation items. We were in room 10568, DO NOT use this room!! you are under the pool and ice cream area that has running and jumping from 8am until after 11. At 2am they started moving and cleaning the chairs so we could not sleep at all! The food was always cold and seemed to have a smaller selection than other cruises. If you eat early the shows are at 8:30pm, so if you are early to bed you will miss all the shows. the trivia is not fun because you have people that will say they got all the answers right (yes, Every one had that kind of people). The crafts are in the bars at the same time people are trying to enjoy the bars so that is not enjoyable. The movies are spread out so that you either miss the one movie or most of the activities. Our Grand Cayman was canceled due to weather and the activities that were thrown together was not compensative of missing a shopping port. The had the new Star Wars movie and it would have been better if they started back to back showings of that. That brings me to the onboard shopping. Tiffanys and a gourmet sweets shop replaced arcade and other parts of the ship. They were out of 12X12 2017 scrapbooks and said put it on the comment card. The clothes were high priced $25 for tees that were so thin you could see right through! Most made in Mexico and of poor quality. One t-shirt was $49.99 and would have to wear a shirt under the shirt. They ran out of star wars shirts (kids t-shirts were awesome! Adults just had star wars the last Jedi across the front) sold out in hours. The movie popcorn had pictures of pluto popcorn bucket, sold out the first day and still had the display up. Dining we had three adults put with our three adults and squeezed into an oval table for 4. We were celebrating and ordered the $50 cake to be presented at dinner, would have been rude not to share. However, they have no way for you to store it for the following night and no way to get it back to your room. Several times the information given at the front desk was incorrect, for example, we bought rum in port and they will take it until you leave. The front desk said we could pick it up at 6:30 am maybe as early as 6 am. When I went down about 6:15 am I was told no that was incorrect it was 7 am. went down few mins before and line of people already getting their alcohol. Seems they started just before 6:30 am. There was an issue at Castaway Cay for our card to purchase items, they do not take anything but you key to the world and they could not get a hold of ship. So we had to wait in line to figure out they had not taken a note off account then go wait in line for items to pay then go back and pay off charged items! They will add your tips to cash accounts (limit $500) that is almost $300 and then freeze your account if you are over. I could continue for pages...but I will end with this cruise was the WORST Disney Cruise we have ever been on and we were celebrating two specila events, mothers 70th birthday and our 26th wedding anniversary. Disney Cruise Line ruined both. Not what we are used to at all! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
Let's get something straight - this was not a perfect cruise, and there are some elements of the service that were not up to par when compared to previous cruises. However, the Disney Fantasy is a great ship and overall, this turned out ... Read More
Let's get something straight - this was not a perfect cruise, and there are some elements of the service that were not up to par when compared to previous cruises. However, the Disney Fantasy is a great ship and overall, this turned out to be an extremely enjoyable cruise. What I liked: Speedy embarkation and good arrival buffet. As the boat recently went to dry dock for a refurbished, all areas of the ship are in great shape. With the pre-registration for the kids club, confirming details was a breeze. Good departure day entertainment (standard Disney Sail-Away party). Food quality was at least above average in all locations (including buffet and rotational dining). Great captain and cruise director keep things going, even though some on the fly changes were required due to weather constraints. Never a dull moment with plenty of entertainment and character appearances. Good idea to have the ability to pre-book certain activities such as character breakfast, princess gathering, Frozen gathering and so on. Great experience at Bibbidi Boddibi salon (limited # of spots available online, many more openings on site). Although the sea was fairly rough, the crew did their best to provide for a smooth sailing (it was not perfect, but manageable). Half decent gym onboard. Palo (dining add-on) provides a great brunch experience. Castaway Cay is always a blast. We did get to see Star Wars the Last Jedi on opening night at sea and the shows were relatively good. Great table assigned at Palo and during rotational dining - which is nice Port experience in Falmouth was great, primarily due to the Dunns Falls experience. The bobsleigh part of the tour was fun, but rushed so not as fun as advertised What to watch for/could be improved: Not sure if it was the rough sea or cooler weather but the crew was a bit off when compared to other Disney Cruises: Did not see the room attendant on Day 1 and luggage delivery was slow. Dining room staff were friendly but did not go above and beyond like in my two previous cruises. The shore execursions in Cozumel (Mayan Ruins, Chocolate and Beach) fell short of expectations - but DCL came up with a reasonable consumer service gesture to compensate. Although the shows were good, I found the actual delivery better on the Wonder. Kids Club now has more computers and I did not find them as lively as those on the Wonder and the Dream. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
BACKGROUND Well, it finally happened! For many years, I had researched Disney Cruise Lines. I'd read about them, looked at itineraries, activities, staterooms and deck plans, but I would stop short of booking a sailing once I got to ... Read More
BACKGROUND Well, it finally happened! For many years, I had researched Disney Cruise Lines. I'd read about them, looked at itineraries, activities, staterooms and deck plans, but I would stop short of booking a sailing once I got to the pricing page. I just couldn't get myself to book a cruise on Disney and pay what I perceived to be over inflated fares for a product that I wasn't even sure I cared much for. But now, raising a young family and always looking for a new cruise line to sail on, the time to do a Disney cruise seemed right. I pulled the trigger and booked a 7 night Very Merrytime Eastern Caribbean cruise aboard the Disney Fantasy during Thanksgiving week. I will digress a bit and start by stating that, even though we love to travel, and our 8 and 5 year old children have already visited 10 countries at such a young age, we had never been on ANY Disney vacation. I will admit it; we were not Disney enthusiasts. Our kids couldn't even tell the difference between a Disney cartoon or a PBS cartoon! But after some encouragement from friends who take multiple Disney vacations every year, we took our first vacation to Walt Disney World in Orlando with them a month before sailing on the Disney Fantasy. We had a fantastic time on that land vacation and it provided a much needed warm up for our upcoming cruise, but I quickly realized what Disney rookies we were when my son was asked by Disney staff at a pool game what his favorite Disney character was. He blankly stared at her, and then chose the Yeti from Expedition Everest which he had ridden on earlier that day. PRE PLANNING We booked this cruise almost a year and half in advance, probably the earliest I've ever booked a cruise. Yet, I had my first taste of what a strong fan base this cruise line has when, even that far in advance, we had a hard time finding two connecting balcony staterooms and settled for the only ones available all the way aft on deck 7. Also, 1st seating dining was already full so we had to take 2nd seating. No matter how many times I checked, even after we boarded the ship and placed our name on a wait list, we weren't able to change it. But the most painful thing about this pre planning process was realizing that, even booking this far in advance, the price was almost 2 times more expensive than our inaugural season sailing on Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas, 3 times more expensive than our Alaska cruise on Holland America's Westerdam, and 5 times more expensive than our last Caribbean cruise on the MSC Divina! Based on that, I set my expectations very high for this Disney cruise. ITINERARY Originally, we were scheduled to sail to the Eastern Caribbean visiting Tortola, St Thomas and Castaway Cay. Unfortunately those islands were badly hurt by hurricanes Irma and Maria so we were switched to a western itinerary visiting Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Costa Maya and Castaway Cay. THE DAY FINALLY ARRIVED! After a torturously long year and a half wait, cruise day finally arrived for what would be my 30th cruise. We drove from our home in Atlanta to Port Canaveral the day before the cruise, but we decided to spend the night in Jacksonville, FL and drive the remaining 2 hours on the morning of the cruise. We spent the night at Hotel Indigo in Tapestry Park which was ranked #1 on Trip Advisor. Great hotel, with wonderful rooms in a terrific location, which provided a perfect place to spend the night. EMBARKATION DAY During our online check-in, we were assigned a boarding time of 1:30-1:45pm. Even though some may have considered this late time slot less than desirable, this was ideal for us. In all of my years of cruising, I've always preferred to check in later for many reasons. First, we don't need to rush to be first in line or wait for our boarding number to be called. Second, check in lines have usually died down closer to sailaway time. Third, we prefer to eat lunch before getting on the ship, and fourth, because staterooms are ready by then so we can proceed straight to ours instead of wandering around the ship waiting. This time was no exception. We arrived in Port Canaveral around 11am and had a very enjoyable and relaxing lunch at Grill's Restaurant overlooking the cruise ships. Shortly before 1:30pm we proceeded to our cruise terminal. Even though there are considerably cheaper parking options in the area, we always choose to park right at the terminal. We pre-paid online a few days prior to the cruise. We entered the cruise terminal and found zero lines at the security checkpoint, followed by zero lines at the check in counter, followed by zero lines to board the ship! The entire process was so fast and efficient that it seemed like a blur. I didn't even have time to appreciate any of the little details that Disney is known for. Before we knew it, our family name was announced as we entered the beautiful ship's atrium. I turned around and realized that my wife, who rarely shows any emotion about vacations, had tears in her eyes. Maybe there's something truly magical about a Disney cruise or maybe the effect of pixie dust is something real! THE SHIP Disney did an absolutely fantastic job designing the Fantasy. Even though it's a 129,000 ton ship, and this was our first time sailing on this cruise line, we quickly learned our way around the ship. And even though we thought that being all the way aft would be a negative, we were close to the third bank of elevators which made getting to the kids club and the buffet restaurant a breeze. Needless to say, the ship has Disney touches everywhere, but it's all done in a subtle and classic way. The Art Deco inspired decor makes the ship feel more like an upscale cruise ship or hotel than a Disney park. It took us a few days to realize that we hadn't smelled cigarette smoke since the cruise began. And it dawned on us that the ship doesn't have a casino, which is normally where the worst smoke smells emanate from. Also, the smoking areas are very limited which helps maintain most of the ship blissfully smoke free. We just saw one smoking area near an outdoor bar in the adults area. Needless to say, we are not smokers or gamblers when we hadn't even noticed the casino's absence, but it's something that first time Disney cruisers (and smokers) should be aware of. STATEROOM We booked 2 connecting deluxe verandah staterooms, one for my parents, and one for my family of 4, which included our 2 children aged 8 and 5 years old. These are the "smaller" balcony staterooms offered on this ship, but square footage was still larger than what we've experienced on other cruise lines for similar types of accommodations. However, the layout felt tighter. Part of it may be because these staterooms have a split bathroom which may occupy more square footage, and also because the bed is closer to the door and closet disrupting flow as one enters the stateroom (I prefer to have the sitting are closer to the door and the bed closer to the balcony). Also the coffee table, which doubles as storage space, feels like a large block oddly placed in the middle of the sitting area. Nonetheless, it was a fantastic stateroom, tastefully decorated and with plenty of storage space for our entire family on a 7 day cruise. As it's customary on most cruise lines we've sailed on, beds are raised enough to provide a place to store large suitcases. The split bathroom, with toilet in one side and shower in the other, may occupy more square footage but it was a welcome feature which came in handy more than once. The provided wave phones which can be used all over the ship as well as on Castaway Cay were a nice touch although we never used them. The sliding balcony glass door was one of the best designed we've seen and it also minimized the possibility of locking oneself outside as we had experienced on other cruise lines in the past. Needless to say, The TV system offered a lot of Disney content, including tons of free Disney movies. Non-Disney content was much more limited than what we've experienced on other cruise lines but thankfully we barely watch TV on vacation anyway. We did miss having the ability to do more things interactively from our stateroom, like making and changing reservations for shore excursions, specialty dining reservations, or simply checking and reviewing our onboard account as is now customary on other cruise lines like Royal Caribbean. FELLOW PASSENGERS I don't know if the reason is because this was a Thanksgiving sailing, when most schools across the USA are on break, or because this is how Disney normally is, but this group of passengers was one of the most homogeneous and less diverse I've experienced on a cruise in years. Maybe great for some, but not so great for those who consider meeting people from other countries, cultures, or ethnicities a highlight and an integral part of cruising. We also realized that many, if not most fellow passengers, were repeat Disney cruisers. It seemed that, every time that a staff member asked how many repeat Disney cruisers were onboard, majority of people would raise their hands and cheer. It always seemed that us Disney first timers were a very small minority. We also saw tons of passengers wearing their Castaway Club lanyards. One thing that I always enjoy is watching other fellow passengers wearing shirts or hats identifying cruise lines that they've sailed on in the past. I can say that, on this particular sailing, I literally didn't see one during the entire week. The only cruise wear that I saw was for Disney Cruise Lines. I almost felt as if I was breaking some secret dress code by wearing my Princess Cruise Lines baseball cap. Nonetheless, fellow passengers were in the most part a pleasure to sail with and the vast majority were courteous, polite, and happy. One negative that I saw was that it seems like Disney has a bad case of "chogs" (chair hogs). Even though there are clear signs everywhere reminding people not to reserve chairs with towels or personal items for extended periods of time, I saw a large amount of loungers already hogged as early as 6:30am which is when I would go for an early morning walk around the upper decks. Vastly more than I've ever soon on any other cruise line and in far more creative ways. So not even Disney's magic can make the chogs disappear on this cruise line! One things is for sure. Disney cruisers are rabidly enthusiastic about the Disney product. I got my first taste of it walking down the hallway to my stateroom and seeing so many doors, not only decorated, but in such creative and painstaking ways, many with professionally made personalized items. A lot of thought and time probably went into many of these door decoration displays. Although I have seen cabin decor before on other cruise lines, specially on Carnival, I have NEVER seen anything close to what I witnessed on Disney in terms of quantity and creativity. Our stateroom doors stood out because they were so bare. Amusingly, someone anonymously decorated our door with all sorts of Disney magnets on day two. A day or two later, we had even more personally made magnets wishing us a Happy Thanksgiving from another family onboard. It made us smile and brightened our cruise even more. ONBOARD EXPERIENCE Our sailing was a Very Merrytime cruise, which meant that the ship was decorated for Christmas. We have sailed during the Christmas season before, but nothing that we've experienced has ever come close to what we saw on this Disney sailing. Decoration throughout the ship was absolutely beautiful and tasteful, specially in the atrium. The list of Christmas themed activities was extensive which allowed people to really immerse themselves in the Christmas spirit. Participation in most Disney themed activities is very high. There are always long lines any time that there's a Disney character nearby. Even though having photos taken with any character was nowhere in our must do list, we ended posing with Mickey, Pluto and Stitch and our daughter participated in a Princess gathering. Pirate Night seemed like the highlight of the cruise for most passengers. I was advised by our friends back home to bring pirate wear (which we didn't do, thinking that it would be silly and unnecessarily occupy space in our suitcases) but nothing could prepare me for, not only the fact that most people did bring pirate wear on this cruise, but also for how elaborate some of these costumes were. I saw several families in movie quality, custom made, matching outfits that looked like something straight out of a Pirates of the Caribbean movie. It almost made me feel like a bad parent for not going out of my way for this night! Thankfully our children seemed perfectly happy to just wear the cruise line provided pirate bandanas and have a pirate Mickey painted on their cheeks. ENTERTAINMENT I was obviously expecting plenty of Disney entertainment on this cruise, and I was not let down. Disney movies and character appearances dominated the daily activities with a sprinkling of other activities throughout the day. However, what I wasn't quite prepared for is how limited non-Disney activities would be. Granted, most people sailing on Disney adore Disney themed entertainment, but for those who would prefer a more diverse selection of activities, the options were a bit slim. Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed most activities onboard, but I would lie if I said that there weren't times when I just wanted something different. On deck during the day, Disney movies on funnel vision (Disney's version of the outdoor big screen) dominated daily pool activities. No pool games or silly competitions that are the norm on other cruise lines. The Aquaduck was a unique feature which we used almost on a daily basis. Lines did tend to get long, sometimes requiring a 45 minute wait, but we learned to go either very early in the day as soon as it opened or in the early evening when most people would retire to participate in other activities or to get ready for dinner. Stage entertainment was a definite highlight on this cruise. The Walt Disney Theater is a wonderful venue rivaling some great theaters on land. Aladdin was fantastic and earned a standing ovation from the audience. We also enjoyed Believe on our last night onboard although not as much as Aladdin. We also had the opportunity of watching the premiere of Pixar's newest movie Coco which opened on Thanksgiving day. FOOD Disney uses the rotating dining room concept with an assigned table and time but at a different restaurant every night. You get to dine at each one of the 3 main dining rooms at least twice during a 7 night cruise. For us, Animator's Palate provided the most entertaining dining. We enjoyed Enchanted Forest and Royal Court as well. However, the consensus about the food was inconsistent. Some courses, specially at the beginning of the cruise, were memorable. Others were mediocre at best. One night (our 2nd night at Animator's Palate) was downright awful. Although the rotating dining room is a great concept that breaks the monotony of eating at the same dining room every night, we sorely missed the flexibility that any time dining provides on other cruise lines. We hate having to eat at the same time and table every night. And having an 8:15pm dinner time absolutely sucked for our kids that normally eat closer to 6:00pm back home. They powered through it, but most nights ended with one or both kids either asleep at the table or having a melt down. We enjoyed dinner at Palo, one of two specialty restaurants onboard, one night. We thoroughly enjoyed having an adults only dinner. The facilities where these two restaurants are located are very adult oriented and provide a quiet and enjoyable haven away from the high energy, kid friendly rest of the ship. The execution was wonderful, however the quality of the main courses fell short of expectations. I ordered the rack of lamb, and honestly it wasn't as good as the rack of lamb that I had at the Royal Court on a different night. We've enjoyed better quality and taste on Carnival's specialty restaurants. However we've learned that specialty restaurants are in big part about the ambiance, which Palo delivered extremely well. One negative that soured the beginning of our time at Palo a bit was our waiter. Although he did a fantastic job, his introduction centered on how good Disney is because the other cruise lines aren't. He was aware that we were first time Disney cruisers, but I don't believe he knew that we are seasoned cruisers who've sailed on pretty much every other mainstream cruise line. On that particular day, there were two Freedom class Royal Caribbean ships in Port with us, and our waiter spent part of his introduction telling us how dirty those ships are and how inferior their product is (which in our experience, they are not). In my humble opinion, you don't uplift once cruise line by looking down at the others. It's tacky and unprofessional. Cabana's is the buffet restaurant, and the experience here is at par with what we've experienced on other cruise lines. Nothing that would set them apart, either above or below. I personally prefer the "islands" layout where one can go from one station to the next without having to stand in long lines and which feels less cluttered, but overall, Cabana's was pleasant enough to enjoy a casual breakfast or lunch. The free ice cream stations were great and offer more variety than what we've experienced before, but they are not open 24 hours a day like on Carnival. Probably a good thing, otherwise I would've indulged much more than I did. SERVICE Overall, this is where Disney truly shines and is leaps and bounds superior to what we've experienced before. We didn't come across one crew member who didn't smile or was eager to please. No matter what we asked for, we never heard the word "no". Instead, they would courteously and patiently tell us what they could do for us. Little details, like knowing our names and delivering our drinks of choice before asking at dinner time left a memorable and positive mark. Disney does an exemplary job training their employees. We also had a maintenance issue with our stateroom's toilet, and they responded and solved the problem within 15 minutes of placing the call. Not only that, but the following day we had 4 Mickey shaped Rice Krispies bars delivered to our stateroom with a personalized note apologizing for the inconvenience. We were already beyond satisfied with the way the Disney had responded to our issue, but this token of their appreciation took their customer service to an even higher level. KIDS PROGRAM The Oceaneer's Club and Lab are the kids areas on this ship. In a nutshell, they are fantastic. They are large, high tech areas, divided into different themed rooms with tons of activities for the kids. The check-in process is excellent. Kids are given magic bands which they wear the entire week. The kids location can then electronically be tracked. Staff could tell us exactly where in the kids club our kids were located. But as wonderful as the facilities were, our kids surprisingly told us that they preferred the kids club on Royal Caribbean and most recently on MSC. Why? Because Disney keeps kids confined in the kids club most of the time. On other cruise lines, several activities are held on other venues around the ship which allows the kids to be escorted around and not feel so confined. The other reason why my kids preferred other programs is because, on Disney, when they ate a meal at the club, they said that what was offered was horrible and repetitive (cheese sandwiches were common). On other cruise lines, the kids are taken to the buffet as a group where they can select what they want to eat. On MSC, they even have an entire section of the buffet decorated and devoted to children and that's where they are taken. For some reason which still is beyond my understanding, my kids fell in love with MSC's mascot, Doremi, who also had his own theme song (which they kept singing over and over, even weeks after we returned from that cruise). But they didn't develop the same obsession for any character or song on Disney. Go figure. PORTS As mentioned before, our Eastern Caribbean itinerary was swapped to a Western Caribbean itinerary due to the damage caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. We had been in Cozumel and Costa Maya several times, but it had been years since I'd been to Grand Cayman by cruise ship, and obviously we'd never been to Castaway Cay. - Cozumel: We'd booked a Dolphin Swim Adventure in Tortola directly from Dolphin Discovery months in advance. They offered a discount which brought the cost per person to only $59 (vs. $139 if we'd booked it directly through Disney's Port Adventures). Once our schedule was changed to Cozumel, Dolphin Discovery graciously changed our reservation and honored the original price. Although we enjoyed this experience, it's not something that we will want to do again. After we finished, we returned to the Punta Langosta Pier where we checked out the stores for a few minutes before returning to the ship. - Grand Cayman: This is the one Port that I had been looking forward to. The last time I'd been here on a cruise was before our kids were born. Although the ship made it there on our last visit, we had to anchor off Spots Bay, far from Georgetown due to high winds and choppy seas. That also meant that all water excursions were canceled. This time, we booked a 2:15pm Shipwreck & Reef excursion through Disney's Port Adventures and crossed our fingers. We made it to Grand Cayman and anchored off Georgetown, but shortly after that, it started storming, and it wouldn't stop. We took an early tender to explore Georgetown before the excursion but ended at the Hard Rock Cafe for lunch to kill time and to take shelter from the heavy rain. Thankfully, the skies cleared and by the time the excursion began, we were blessed with a spectacular, clear skies afternoon. This excursion proved to be one of the highlights of this cruise. Exploring the Cali's shipwreck was fantastic. The water in the Caymans is one of the clearest I've ever seen. The reef was also wonderful, with tons of fish everywhere. Our excursion was over just in time to take the last tender back to the ship at 530pm. This is one island that I'd love to visit again with more time. - Costa Maya: Our stop here was short, only 5 hours. On previous visits we'd been to the Chachobben Mayan Ruins and explored the village of Mahahual. This time, due to the short visit, we decided to stay in the welcome center and just check things out. It has considerably changed since our last visit in 2011. It has received a major facelift and an enormous water park has been built. It's still as chaotic as the last time I visited though. Too many stores and attractions jammed into one place . Many stores sell the usual junky, touristy trinkets that aren't even made in Mexico, but there are several interesting stores that sell authentic, Mexican made crafts and other items. We purchased a few things and returned to the ship. - Castaway Cay: Disney's private island. From the ship, it looks like any other private island that we've visited on other cruise lines, but it has the advantage of having a pier. It's also much better developed, in true Disney fashion. Activities are similar to what other cruise lines offer though, down to the BBQ lunch on land. We enjoyed the water park at Pelican Point which was unique because it floats on the ocean and the only way to get there is by swimming to it. We also explored by foot the more desolate parts of the island and made it to the observation tower. It didn't rain, but the weather didn't cooperate, with overcast skies and gusty winds, which meant that most water related excursions and activities were canceled. Still, we enjoyed our time here tremendously. DEBARKATION We enjoyed breakfast at the Royal Court on the last morning at 8:00am. We said goodbye to our fantastic dining room staff and proceeded to disembark. No calls for group numbers or assigned times. Yet, debarkation was painless and leisurely. We were in our car, driving home by 9:30am. OVERALL IMPRESSION AND FINAL THOUGHTS So, the big question is, was Disney worth what they charge? Although I still consider that the prices that they charge are overinflated, after experiencing a week on the Disney Fantasy I believe that they are not as overinflated as I thought prior to our cruise and there are several factors that justify the higher prices. Disney does a great job and provides a very memorable and unique experience, like nothing out there. There are several superlatives, most notably the unparalleled service, the quality of nightly entertainment, the small details throughout, and the great kids facilities. But on the same token, there are many things that other cruise lines do just as well or better at a fraction of the cost. You do pay a premium for the Disney experience, but looking at many of our very loyal to Disney fellow cruisers, it's worth it to them. Will I ever take another Disney cruise? Perhaps, but I won't be rushing to sail on them again immediately. Not because there's anything wrong with Disney, but because we are the kind of people that prefer to try new things rather than to stay loyal to one cruise line or product. We would look at Disney again if they provide an itinerary which we haven't done before and if the price is right. But overall, we are extremely glad and grateful that we had the opportunity of sailing on Disney, and I can now see more clearly why they have such a loyal following. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
I booked this cruise for my 17 yr old son and myself on opening day (more than 500 days out). This was our 3rd Disney cruise and his last chance to do the Wild Side Teen Adventure on Castaway Cay after previous 2 attempts were cancelled ... Read More
I booked this cruise for my 17 yr old son and myself on opening day (more than 500 days out). This was our 3rd Disney cruise and his last chance to do the Wild Side Teen Adventure on Castaway Cay after previous 2 attempts were cancelled due to weather. Originally, we were supposed to go to Eastern Caribbean (Tortola and St Thomas) with 3 Sea Days. Because of hurricanes in September, our itinerary was changed to Western (Cozumel, Costa Maya and Cayman) with only 2 Sea Days. Initially, this was a big disappointment since we'd already done the Western and we weren't going to Jamaica (our favorite Western port)...and we were losing a Sea Day. All planned and booked on board activities (dining, tastings, meet/greets, etc) had to be changed, so everyone was feeling the 'chaos' of this itinerary change. We were patient with what DCL was dealing with as we weren't the first of the Eastern cruises that had to be changed, so I understood the immediacy of others needing help before me. Patience paid off as we got the on board activities re booked at favorable times and we were able to do what we wanted at each of the ports. The weather was absolutely perfect the entire cruise. We had one or two very brief moments of rain, but it was still warm and enjoyable on the upper decks. This was the first cruise that I'd spent any time at Satellite Falls and was so very glad I did this. There were 3 movies that we wanted to see and we were able to see all of them without compromising anything else we wanted. It was opening weekend of Thor: Ragnarock and we'd also not yet seen Cars 3 or Moana. We also saw all of the evening shows and continue to be impressed with the quality of the stage productions. Buckets and Boards was one of the guest performances. We've seen them before and love what they do. I would like to see a bit more variety in DCLs options of guest performers -- note that Buckets and Boards will also be appearing on my next cruise on Fantasy in Sept, 2018. We weren't greatly impressed with the juggler...even though he had a few tricks go well, there were just too many that didn't and his comedy was very 'dry'. We enjoyed our dining rotation (ERAERRA) even though I'd made a request for Enchanted Garden 3x. We were seated by ourselves, as requested, and our service team was better than average but not 'great.' We didn't get as much of the very personal attention (conversation, doing 'tricks', etc) that we've gotten on previous sailings, but they were very attentive to our dining needs. The MDR food was very good. We have our favorites, but were always open to trying new and different things and were never disappointed. Pool side and buffet was always good, as well. There's always wonderful variety, so we never had to just 'settle' on something that we didn't really want. Our stateroom host was awesome! He always took time to talk with us when we were out in the hallways and, if he saw only one of us, he would ask about the other's whereabouts so he wouldn't disturb anyone in the room. We had an extended verandah on deck 5 forward. This is our preferred room category and location. Rooms have lots of storage (drawers, closet space, counter and desk tops, etc) and the split bathrooms are the BEST!! We know we will sail with DCL again, so we always make sure to buy a placeholder on board. Looking forward to May, 2018 when the October/November, 2019 itineraries come out for using this placeholder. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
We sailed on the rerouted cruise on 11/4. The ship is BEAUTIFUL, a true work of art. All areas of the ship are immaculately clean. We never once smelled any sewage or saw anything out of place. Our waiters (Lucio and Paul) were fantastic, ... Read More
We sailed on the rerouted cruise on 11/4. The ship is BEAUTIFUL, a true work of art. All areas of the ship are immaculately clean. We never once smelled any sewage or saw anything out of place. Our waiters (Lucio and Paul) were fantastic, our kids really enjoyed them and their nightly magic tricks. Our stateroom attendant, Ronald, kept our stateroom spotless and his towel animals were great. We saw three shows, the best of which was Buckets and Boards. In a world were any idiot can be famous for absolutely nothing, it is a shame that people who use their amazing talents well are somewhat overlooked. Gareth and Matt were so entertaining and extremely enjoyable when we met them. The second best show was Aladdin. I had read that the show has too much of the Genie, he is a large part of the show but for good reason. The up to date jokes make the well known story more enjoyable. We also saw Believe and we didn't care for it at all. It was nice to see all of the Disney characters to show up but overall it just felt like a cheesy way to tell a story. I have seen better shows on Carnival. We went out on our own in Cozumel to Chankanaab Park and we highly recommend it. The park is beautiful and so clean and well manicured. The taxi fair is preset at $12.00 each way so it is a rather inexpensive day. We booked a beach day through Disney in Costa Maya. I'm not one for cruise ship excursions, we'd rather go it alone most of the time, but since we were switched from an eastern cruise to a western and we didn't know anything about Costa Maya, we thought we would play it safe. The excursion itself started off a little shaky, lots of standing around waiting with some confusion mixed in. Although once we arrived at the beach we enjoyed ourselves. Drinks were included and were brought by a waiter who was friendly. There were five ships in port in Grand Cayman and we had been there before so we just walked around town, did some shopping, and got some coffee and ice cream. What else can be said about Castaway Cay that hasn't already been said hundreds of times. It is absolutely magnificent and a great way to end a fun cruise. Everyone asks if Disney cruises are worth the extra money and I think that overall they are. They give you those Disney experiences that no one else can and we will sail with them periodically in the future between cruises on other lines. Read Less
Disney Fantasy Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.7
Dining 3.5 4.4
Entertainment 5.0 4.6
Public Rooms 4.5 4.8
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.3
Family 5.0 4.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.1
Enrichment 2.5 4.3
Service 4.5 4.7
Value For Money 4.0 4.1
Rates 4.0 4.0

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