1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Planned and looked forward to this once a year itinerary for well over a year, sorry Disney but because of this poorly executed sailing we are trying another cruise line; just cancelled our B2B in 2020 and booked with RC. This 11 day ... Read More
Planned and looked forward to this once a year itinerary for well over a year, sorry Disney but because of this poorly executed sailing we are trying another cruise line; just cancelled our B2B in 2020 and booked with RC. This 11 day sailing was fraught with sub par entertainment at best, even the Aladdin musical was reportedly an understudy who could not sing! The movies were the same repeated over and over again instead of offering additional selections and in the 11 nights the Edge Effect was the only entertainment worthy of applause. Even the on demand movies were quite limited. The menu's were the exact same menu's they have been serving since at least 2016, just lost all of the magic. Sea days were boring unless you played bingo, trivia or made crafts, the pools hot tubs were ridiculously full of bodies, our dream vacation was a let down of gigantic proportions. The crew was mostly kind but even there one could see the difference. We paid an exorbitant amount of money and did not feel as if we were valued passengers at all. We have a positive outlook on life but dare I say this sailing was a huge let down. Of course the rain was torrential on Castaway Cay day, no wonder we were able to pay for an available cabana, but they ordered us to leave an hour early and still we paid full price. Disney we know you can't control the weather but you could have not charged full boat for the pleasure of sitting in the wooden hut. We were super disappointed from bow to stern. Debarkation was chaos and a night mare, everyone leaving at once, just a mass exodus funneling to the one area. It was nice Disney but so long for now, see ya real soon....NOT! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
The cruise was amazing. Food at Palo (brunch and dinner) were exceptional. Rely (brunch with champagne pairing) was incredible. Kids Club my kid was glued to it and constantly wanted to be there. Pirate Night was fun, and I realized that I ... Read More
The cruise was amazing. Food at Palo (brunch and dinner) were exceptional. Rely (brunch with champagne pairing) was incredible. Kids Club my kid was glued to it and constantly wanted to be there. Pirate Night was fun, and I realized that I could have enjoyed the fireworks from our veranda, but hey, it was fun to be with everyone. Excursions, we did National Parks at British Virgin Island Gordo, and walked Devil’s Beach and The Baths. This was amazing, water, felt great, the walk in the caves was very adventurous (climbing down steep rocks, at times using a rope to hold on to, or walking down steep stairs so be warned) and very fun. St. Thomas was a trip to Coral World which was very relaxing, and very interesting to learn about sea life, animals and coral. Castaway Cay was the worst experience I have ever had. I set out to do the 5K which I walked. Lots of water, and beautiful stuff to see. I met my family and noticed that the weather was getting very hot. We found some chairs under an umbrella and sat. My son swam in the water, and I am not sure what it is with the heat and moronic people, but obscenities started to happen in everyday conversation. After discussing it with the people that were using it, and receiving a “Sorry” we decided to move to another area. Really, why do you have to use that language in front of your kids and mine? Come on! Wife started to get really hot and headed back to the ship. My son and I stayed for about 20 minutes longer, and as we headed back to the ship a Coast Guard helicopter landed next to the ship. I found out later, that the Coast Guard was called in because someone was suffering from Heat Stroke. THAT IS HOW HOT IT IS. Just know if you go out on the island, there is nothing to do except be in the sun or the water. When in the water, its a little cooler, but not much. No air conditioning on the island, and the air is pretty still, not a lot of breezes. The food for Castaway Cay left a lot to be desired we had a burger (son didn’t even finish it), and chicken burger. Both of which were the worst part of the food we had on the ship. I did drink a lot of Powerade which made me feel a bit better, but didn’t make anything taste any better. My son and I headed back, got on the ship and my son and I rode the Aqua Duck 17 times in a row....AND IT WAS SO MUCH COOLER! The Stateroom Host was incredible. Our head waiter, waiter and assistant waiter were amazing. The food was fantastic, all in all, you have to do a Disney Cruise if you haven’t. You don’t have to do the excursions obviously, you can enjoy a movie, or show, but enjoy that cruise. It really makes you feel special! My family is currently trying to figure out where to go next and when we can do it. This was my very first cruise, and having heard about other cruise lines, I may be a bit snobby and only cruise with Disney! :) Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This cruise was definitely for the grandchildren, who loved every minute of it. We also loved the cruise but the much higher cost than for other “family oriented” cruise lines means this will likely be our first and only cruise on ... Read More
This cruise was definitely for the grandchildren, who loved every minute of it. We also loved the cruise but the much higher cost than for other “family oriented” cruise lines means this will likely be our first and only cruise on Disney. Arrival and Embarkation: Smooth and quick, no issues. Parking garage directly adjoins arrival processing. Only surprise was that a power strip we carried with us was confiscated (returned to us at end of cruise). Other cruise lines we have been on (RCL, Princess, Celebrity, Carnival, Cunard) allow; Disney does not. Cabin: Balcony cabin (8182) at far aft of ship. Some engine noise and vibration but not a problem for us. Quiet. As others have noted, more spacious than balcony cabins on other "family oriented" cruise lines, like RCL and Carnival. Lots of space and storage areas. Balcony adequate and nice view aft. Appreciated separate baths for toilet / sink and shower / tub / sink. Bed comfortable and AC worked just fine. Room steward (Arnis Devilla Cabral from the Philippines) was terrific. In short, no issues. Dining: Buffet crowded, particularly at breakfast but this is the norm for all non-luxury cruise ships, right? Found food in all venues to be excellent. We enjoyed rotating through different dining rooms with same exceptional wait staff (Agung Joko Susilo from Indonesia and Nick Khotala from Thailand - love the international staffs on all cruise ships - major reason I love cruising) each night. Definitely do not skip nights at Animators Palate dining room. I did note there was not as much variety in buffet foods as many other cruise lines. There was little to no curries, Mexican, Chinese / Asian offerings. Think Disney is "missing the boat" on this and that is why gave "four circles" in my rating for dining. We did not visit either of plus cost-restaurants (Remy and Palo) on board. Enrichment Activities: Not much that I noted and honestly, Disney does not market itself as a venue for this. Enrichment on this cruise comes from experiencing the foreign countries visited and the interactions with the multi-national crew members. If mind-stimulating lectures and presentations on weighty topics are important to you, recommend choose a different type of cruise. I think enrichment provided was average for a family-oriented cruise and thus so rated. Entertainment: All outstanding. Production shows (three) are superb - all of them, not just Aladdin. Do not miss the production shows. Outside of the major production shows, particularly enjoyed comedian Jonathan Burns and juggler Max Winfrey. Disney is not as good, my view, for lounge acts (my exception, pianist Tim Moss). This being Disney, whereas other cruise lines use the central atrium area for adult oriented music changing through the afternoon and evening, Disney uses primarily for child-oriented dance parties with Disney characters and similar. There are a lot of venues for adult entertainment. The Tube area on Deck 4 is focused on adults after about 8:30PM. In fact, the only time I witnessed a firm "no" from a crew member to a guest was when a guest tried to enter The Tube area during adults-only evening hours with young son in tow - he was politely but firmly refused entrance and pleading was to no avail. Good for Disney! All the entertainment we attended was very much family friendly. Disney also shines in movie presentation, on deck 11 (Funnel Vision) and in the Buena Vista theater. We saw Toy Story 4, one week after premier, and the screen in the theater is larger than most (and, of course, very comfortable and great sound system). We also saw recent release Dumbo. Popcorn is available – for purchase. Disney also has better than average options available on TV in cabin, mostly Disney films, of course, but not all. Shore Excursions: We used Disney to book excursions on Grand Cayman (glass bottomed boat for young granddaughter and submarine for grandson) and Cozumel (El Paradiso beach outing). All excursions we did were excellent and as advertised, no issues. We also very much enjoyed the day at Castaway Cay. It is definitely more low-key than latest similar offerings from RCL but as with all associated with Disney, what is provided is first class in quality. Beaches were beautiful with plenty of lounge chairs and umbrellas for all who wanted. The picnic style lunch provided was good. The shuttle train is frequent. All in all, it was a very enjoyable day. Fitness Center and Recreation: Did not use but Fitness Center but checked and clearly well-equipped and maintained. The AquaDuck Slide was very popular with our daughter and grandson and there were lots of family-oriented activities throughout each day. The Muppet detective "game" (not sure what to call) you can sign up for is a lot of fun for all and very inventive. In short, loads of activities and chances to "recreate;" most all are family oriented. Pools: As with all cruise ships we have been on, crowded and hard to find a lounger in the shade. . .except in the strictly enforced adults only pool area on Deck 11 near bow. Presumably as most adults have children in tow and cannot enter this area with children, every time we checked this area, we found the pool to be near empty and plenty of loungers available. Again, kudos to Disney. There is also a very nice small hidden bar here, the Cove. Onboard Experience: Very enjoyable. We do not gamble and Disney ships to not have a casino, so we do not miss and allows for more venues (like two large theaters). Lack of “all you can drink” drinks packages meant no intoxicated jerks encountered. I suspect since most adults (not all but definitely most) are traveling with young children, best behavior is the norm. Couple notes: (1) Very few men wear a tux on the two formal nights; any suit or sport coat with tie will fit right in. Saw no formal evening gowns on the ladies; cocktail dress or "go to church" attire was the norm. (2) The free coffee, all venues, is ABSOLUTELY the worst I have had on any cruise. The brand (shown at the buffet) is Joffrey’s. I have had that brand coffee – the brand is not the issue. Coffee is bad because it is brewed so weak; makes McDonalds and Burger King coffee equivalent to a strong Starbucks brew. So, if want a good coffee, resign yourself to buying a Cafe Americano for about $3. (3) There is no printed daily events paper provided; you are expected to download and use the free "App", which is excellent. That said, if like me you miss having that printed paper you can pull from your pocket as needed, go to Guest Services and request. They do have (called the Personal Navigator) and if requested (as we did) will be delivered daily each evening to your stateroom for the next day. (4) Bingo is too expensive, too many people playing, too few games per session, and for the number of people playing and cost, the jackpots are way too low. We normally enjoy playing bingo on cruises; on this cruise, we played once and that was enough. Ripoff, my view. (5) There is always an alcoholic and non-alcoholic "drink of the day," for about $5.25 each. Children's Programs: We had our adult daughter and two grandchildren, ages 6 and 3 with us. Both grandchildren participated and both very much enjoyed. The "Club" is well run (not a surprise) and checking kids out is strictly controlled. We felt very secure leaving grandchildren there and they were never happy to leave. Of note, there are LOTS of opportunities each day for your child to have a chance to meet pretty much any Disney character you can name (from Mickey, of course, to Vamperina). These character meet and greet opportunities are advertised on the App and in the printed Navigator. There are also unannounced character encounter opportunities each day that you may unexpectedly walk into. You can buy the professional photo always taken as your child meets or just take and keep your own photos (and Disney employees accompanying each character are happy to take photo using your cell phone or camera). If you are considering signing up for a character breakfast or similar because you believe this is the only way your child will get to directly interface with a Disney character, you may want to rethink and put that money toward something else. Public Rooms: All spaces are clean and very well maintained at all times. The Disney Fantasy is NOT showing its age. Service: Impeccable and friendly, all staff and venues without exception. Debarkation: I think this was the quickest we ever got off a cruise ship. Under 45 minutes from time we started moving toward an elevator to leave to time we picked up luggage (easy to find) and cleared customs and immigration. I don't know how done as there are no set times assigned to everyone for departure and no area you have to wait for your group to be called. When you are ready to get off the ship, you can. Value For Money: My experience, the cost for a Disney cruise is more than twice as high as an equivalent length cruise and cabin on Royal Caribbean (and almost three times the cost for similar on Carnival). For me and my spouse, bottom line for us is that we are glad we took this cruise on Disney but doubt we will repeat. . .and definitely will not repeat without the grandchildren. The food is excellent and in buffet, we thought, superior in quality to all except Celebrity but the food in dining rooms was as good as other cruise lines, not better and there was less variety offered in the buffet than on other cruises (and the burgers on Carnival are WAY better). The main theater entertainment was superb but felt the entertainment in other venues was no better than on other family- oriented cruises and we missed having “adult focused times” in the atrium area. No can match (or even come close to matching) Disney for character visits or for movies offered but Disney ships simply not have some of the newest gee whiz stuff found on new large cruise ships (like the RCL skating and diving shows). Castaway Cay is terrific but so are the similar venues offered by other cruise lines (RCL in particular). The ship is beautiful and is well maintained (think slightly better maintained than ships on other cruise lines, except Cunard). The cabin was the best balcony cabin we have ever had, any ship. The staff is terrific but honestly, we always rave after a cruise about the superb service we get, all cruises and all cruise lines. So for us, worth doing once but (again for us) the very much higher cost to go on a Disney cruise is simply not worth it. Our cruise budget is limited and we would rather go on two RCL or Princess or Celebrity cruises (with money left over) than one Disney cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I went on the Disney Magic 20 years ago and ever since then I have been telling my wife we need to take the family on a Disney Cruise. We finally booked the Western Caribbean 6 night cruise on the Fantasy. We have four kids ages 11, 13, ... Read More
I went on the Disney Magic 20 years ago and ever since then I have been telling my wife we need to take the family on a Disney Cruise. We finally booked the Western Caribbean 6 night cruise on the Fantasy. We have four kids ages 11, 13, 15, and 16 so we had two staterooms. Needless to say we spent a LOT of money on this vacation so our expectations were high because of that, and also because it was Disney. Positives: * Staterooms and our host Ignacius were incredible. He was amazing and friendly the whole time. * We saw the Aladdin, Disney Wishes, and Disney Believe shows...all were incredible but if you can only see 1 or 2, I think Wishes was the best, then Believe, then Aladdin. * Got to see Toy Story 4 on the ship for the first time. That was cool. * Cabanas breakfast buffet was great every day. * Room Service and Bianca were great! My kids liked ordering room service and they would send us little surprise treats here and there. My wife got to know Bianca quite well haha. * For smokers, Disney does a great job having places for smokers that are connected to the bars and restaurants, out of the way from everyone else, but not holed up underneath a stairwell or something like we heard from other cruise lines. * BBQ at Castaway Cay was AMAZING!!!! Some of the best food on the cruise. I read another review saying it was their worst. Interesting because we all loved it! * Overall the ship is amazing and clean everywhere! * Lots of opportunities for photos with characters * Pirate night and fireworks * AquaDuck...but go on it after 6pm and there is no waiting! That was when we did it because we had the 8pm dinner service. * Most of the staff was friendly and relaxed. Our servers at Cabanas for dinner (we took a break from the other 3 restaurants for one night) were fantastic! Ezra our assistant server at the 3 restaurants was awesome! * Trivia!!!!! We did multiple ones and it was a lot of fun. * Bingo - positive and negative. Positive because it was fun...Negative because it was over quickly and we were never close to winning. :) Negatives: * Francis, our server at the 3 restaurants. Yeah.....no. Nope, nope, nope. We wrote a letter to DCL about him specifically and that is all I will say. * Food was good and occasionally great, but never exceptional. Overall I can't say it wowed me. It's Disney. At times it was great, at times just good. But never poor. I can't say I had one meal that wowed me, although BBQ at Castaway Cay was really good. Maybe I was just ready for some ribs....lol. * Paying for popcorn. Really Disney? We just paid $18000 for our cruise and all the extras and now I have to pay for popcorn? That's pretty cheap of them. I think for the money you pay I wish more would've been included like popcorn, photos, a few well drinks, and parking at Port Canaveral ($119). * Snorkeling at Castaway Cay. We did not buy the snorkeling activity because we thought we could just do it on our own. At the family beach they have a section that is roped off specifically for snorkelers. We literally saw 3 white minnows and that was it! And we went out REALLY far, almost as far as you can go. There is no way we wouldn't have seen anything other than they must screen off the water or do something to keep the fish where the snorkeling activity is done. And the reason it has to be screened off is because there is no way they would let us be out that far, unless there was no risk of sharks. Which means they must have it blocked somehow. I can't prove it's what they do, but if so, that's pretty lame. Excursions: * We did Kayaking and Snorkeling at Cozumel. It was pretty good but took a long time to get there. Probably spent two hours just getting to it from organizing at the D Lounge to finally getting in a Kayak. But it was good. Next time we will do something different. * Costa Maya - Loved the beach break! Our favorite part of the trip. Lots of fish to see snorkeling, neat area, and felt exclusive. Only negative is we got tired of the vendors keep coming around to sell us stuff. But it was a minute thing. All the kids said they liked Costa Maya the best. I agree. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We are a late-60s couple who enjoy cruising. This was our fifth cruise, first with Disney. We were traveling with a large family party. We had a very good time, but I thought I would write this review slanted toward older adults who are ... Read More
We are a late-60s couple who enjoy cruising. This was our fifth cruise, first with Disney. We were traveling with a large family party. We had a very good time, but I thought I would write this review slanted toward older adults who are trying to decide if a Disney cruise is right for them. First the bottom line, then the good and the not so great. Bottom line: it was great for an extended family gathering. I am less energetic than my younger relatives and could enjoy quiet time in the adult areas while they were off doing fun family things. We got to gather as a family at night at dinner and enjoyed hearing about their adventures. Are we glad we went? Absolutely. Would we do Disney again just as a couple? No. See below. The good... We thought Disney Fantasy was great. It was spacious, spotless, very well run. The food was great both in Cabanas and in the dining rooms. * Food - We didn't have a single bad meal. We thought it was far superior to Carnival, somewhat better than Norwegian. Not as good as Windstar but Windstar is much smaller and more expensive. The bars were great, bartenders efficient and friendly. * Cabin - Our deluxe oceanview cabin was larger and better organized than similar cabins on other cruises (except, again, for Windstar). * Entertainment - We didn't do any of the shows but our family members who did seemed to enjoy them. We thought pirate night was a lot of fun. * Embarkation - Embarkation and debarkation were efficient. We used the 'don't see your bags until your home airport' option and loved it. * Adult space - Disney did a good job with providing quiet adult-only space. The deck spaces especially were much better than either Carnival or Norwegian ships we have sailed on. The not so great... although I would give Disney high marks overall, some things don't suit everyone. * Disneyfication - we enjoyed seeing the characters and all the branding on board, but for adults without children it is something we wouldn't want to do again except with family. Unless you are a Disney fanatic, once will probably do it for you. * the 'go figure' category - some things just didn't make sense. We were staying at a Disney Resort, which you would figure would get you on the ship at a reasonable time. Not so. We had to have our bags packed and ready at 8:00 a.m., but our transport didn't get there until 12:30, which meant we didn't get on the ship until close to 2:00 p.m. Bummer. * the dining rooms are unavoidably very noisy. Lots of kids, lots of noise. If you are adults sailing alone, probably not your atmosphere of choice. * lack of activities for adults. One of the main reasons we wouldn't do Disney again is that the activities for adults without children was distinctly lacking. A bit of trivia (ok), bingo (been there, done that), and tasting/mixology classes that were booked long before we got to try to sign up for them. We were a bit bored during the day. * the excursions were oriented toward active families. Fair enough - that's the market. But we were disappointed in the range of excursions available. Other cruise lines have done a much better job. * prejudice against first-time cruisers. See above. It seemed to me that Disney was much worse about this than other lines we have used. I know you have to give preference to loyal members, but you should balance that with giving some opportunities to first-timers. So, again, glad we went. Good value, great fun, excellent food. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
I agree with several others about what people expect from this cruise.....I just dont think ANY cruise is good for an infant or toddler. My husband and I are in our 60's and love Disney. This was our 1st 7 day cruise and I wish we ... Read More
I agree with several others about what people expect from this cruise.....I just dont think ANY cruise is good for an infant or toddler. My husband and I are in our 60's and love Disney. This was our 1st 7 day cruise and I wish we could of just stayed on it for another week. We have also done 3 day cruises on the Dream. Top notch entertainment and the dining for us was also top notch..Cabanas was ok but still much better than anything on a Carnival Cruise..we had a verandah and so worth it...loved how much room we had in our room. I know we have only done 3 cruises with Disney but I can not find fault with any of them. On this last one our room was next to a family with 3 kids and a baby...the kids screamed and cried the whole time and it sounded like they were playing ball in the room with all the noise...I know kids will be kids, but please teach them to respect others..this is not Disney's fault...our waitstaff David and Marco were fantastic and our stateroom hostess was great too...I do agree concessions for the movies should come with the price. Entire ship spotless!! Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was my family's first cruise together. Overall we had a very good time, and I think everyone would be game to go again. Background: Husband and I have a 3 and 6 year old, are fairly well traveled and more inclined to cultural ... Read More
This was my family's first cruise together. Overall we had a very good time, and I think everyone would be game to go again. Background: Husband and I have a 3 and 6 year old, are fairly well traveled and more inclined to cultural vacations vs beach. Despite my combing personal navigators, available port excursions, etc., we weren't sure what we'd do on a boat for 7 nights. As it turns out, there was plenty to do. 1. Cabin - was great with ample room and storage. We had a deluxe family verandah room, and the split bathrooms were key. Our attendant kept it very clean and was in our room multiple times a day. We all slept amazingly well. 2. Food - meh. Kids' meals were mac and cheese, pasta, chicken tenders and broccoli everyday. Discovering mid-cruise that the ship had peas onboard was a relief so the kids could at least eat some other green. Everything looked good and seemed fresh, but execution in MDR was about what you'd expect when you have thousands of people to serve. The lobster tail was overcooked and dry, for example. Lamb shank was mostly tender but unevenly cooked, enormous and a bit out of proportion with the rest of the meal. The buffets were very clean and items generally fresh - no real variety and taste wasn't exceptional. Overall, though, we ate well and quickly enough, which isn't easy to say when you've got young ones to feed and yourself. Still, if the MDR was a standalone restaurant in my hometown, I wouldn't necessarily put it on my list of go-to restaurants. 3. Entertainment - was really disappointing, surprisingly. I didn't know the cruise wouldn't feature Aladdin and had been looking forward to it. Believe was pretty good. Wishes was terrible and all about a guy trying to tell his best friend that he's interested. Not really what I want to watch with my 6 yo daughter. There was a clogging act (tap dance with a millennial twist), circus/juggling, and a magician. We went out of our way to attend these performances (with the exception of the magician) and although my kids generally enjoyed it, I wish we didn't bother and instead enjoyed the pool, spa or even Captain Marvel (which we tried to watch but never made) instead. 4. Port Excursions - we handled on our own. Went to Cane Garden Bay one day and Magen's Bay the other. They were relaxing but my kids weren't feeling so hot and very tired so we only stayed for a couple of hours. As travelers who enjoy learning about other cultures, my husband and I realized very quickly that the stops are fun experiences but not really a way to see or learn about a location. I suppose that'd be really hard to do in just a few hours. 5. Kids Club - both kids liked it when we toured and seemed interested and engaged. But on the second night, my daughter felt that one of the counselors had chided her and got turned off. My second was never as into it. They spent limited time in it after that, which I didn't mind because I wanted to spend time with them but it definitely thwarted our plans to have quality adult time together. 6. Service - exceptional. We put down a placeholder and will see if we return - the experience was great enough that I know we'd like to go on a cruise again. But the question I've been asking myself since planning this cruise as to whether it's worth it to spring for Disney over RCCL or another cruise line still remains. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We sailed on Disney Fantasy April 6-13 with three generations of family ranging from ages 4 to 77 (our kids are 4 and 5). This was our first Disney cruise although our family has cruised on other lines. Generally expectations were met ... Read More
We sailed on Disney Fantasy April 6-13 with three generations of family ranging from ages 4 to 77 (our kids are 4 and 5). This was our first Disney cruise although our family has cruised on other lines. Generally expectations were met and some surpassed. Disney knows how to make kids happy. Very happy. And keep adults relatively satisfied as well. Service was impeccable. The ship particularly succeeds in its creative details and loads of activities. Complaints are what you would expect of any mass market cruise or amusement park. Yes, there are crowds, the food is average, and there's the near constant upselling. But none of those overly detracted from the experience. Ship. The Fantasy is a large ship, attractive and well-maintained. The pool deck and buffet (Cabana's) are rather crowded, especially on days at sea. The main pools are small and the area around them tight. Same with the adults pool. There is a good portion of the deck reserved for adults but it's towards the bow and can be quite windy. I especially liked the feel of the Currents bar in the adults area with a nice view of the ship and sea. The Aqua Duck slide is fun but with a 30-45 minute wait a time investment. The atrium and interior areas are highlighted by clever and ever-changing digital art. Other than around meal times most of the ship's interior space is not too crowded. As a runner, I appreciated the .4 mile track on Deck 4, by far the best I've seen on a ship. We particularly liked the bar area in the evenings, especially the Irish pub. Bars are concentrated in a single part of the ship. Again, Disney plays to adults too. As for the ship's size, we definitely noticed it. There's a certain anonymity and impersonality that comes with never seeing the same people twice. Room. We were in 6150, a deluxe oceanview with verandah. Because our family had 4 rooms next to each other, the balconies were opened up and combined. Rooms are small but very well-designed. By day they sport a couch and coffee table. At night they are magically transformed into a kids' room with bunk beds and a curtain. The dual bathrooms were novel and useful. Oh, and the towel animals! Each night brought a different creature. Again, Disney has thought of a lot of nice touches. Food. Dining was about what we expected. Main dining room food was average. Surprisingly I thought the seafood dishes were generally better than the meat ones, which were often tough and flavorless. We mostly had breakfasts and lunches at Cabana's, which was fairly uninspiring and chaotic. One bright spot was the unlimited shrimp and crab at lunch. The food by the pool - both selection and quality - was quite poor. It would be nice if overall there were more adventurous options and different cuisines. Food is clearly not Disney's priority. That being said, we had quite good meals at Remy and Palo. Sure, they were splurges but we thought both exceeded expectations and were highlights of the cruise. P.S. The Mickey bars are really good with a nice dark chocolate shell. Service. Wow, the service. If only Disney could train the world. From our stateroom attendant to waiters to staff all over the ship, Disney knows how to make everyone feel special. At one breakfast, the waitress cut our kids' food and wiped their mouths. That itself may be worth the price of admission. And the front desk recovered our 4 year old's lost stuffed Pua all of three times (sadly it met its demise when lost the fourth). The service at Remy and Palo was so attentive as to almost be overwhelming. Kids' Activities. Kids are not bored on the Fantasy. And the kids' club is one of the really nice perks for both kids and adults. We dropped ours off almost every afternoon for a few hours. They seemed to have fun. That said, compared to our last all-inclusive at Club Med where the kids club had full roam of the resort and resort activities, there was something a little disconcerting about arriving each time to find our kids parked in front of a TV or video game. Outside of kids' club, our kids enjoyed the pools, dance parties, character greetings, the Disney Jr. breakfast, etc. Nickel and Diming ($$$). Disney Cruises don't come cheap and once on-board you realize there's a lot more to spend money on. Alcohol, specialty restaurants and shore excursions, fine. But charging extra for soft drinks at meals, lattes, smoothies, ice cream and even popcorn at the theater somewhat offends the idea that you're paying an all-inclusive price in advance. Although those Mickey foam lattes might have been worth the extra expense. Entertainment. The Aladdin show was on hiatus on our cruise. We attended two others - Disney's Wishes and Believe. Both were well done if not cheesy, one with an odd high school relationship plot that seemingly appeals to neither adults nor their young kids who predominate Disney cruises. Both are vehicles for delivering lots of choreographed Disney songs. When asked after the cruise about their favorite experience our kids both said the shows. So again Disney must be doing something right. Our kids also enjoyed the deck shows and other entertainment around the ship. I'd be remiss not to mention the "shows" in Animator's Palate at dinner. These are immensely creative and interactive. I'll echo others' advice that you should make sure to be present at those dinners. Ports. Our cruise sailed to the Eastern Caribbean. In Tortola, with our group of 12, we chartered a private boat through Antilles Power Boats. Rosie and Phil were great hosts and took us around to Norman and Cooper Islands and the Willy T's for lunch. In St. Thomas, we took the ferry from the ship to St. John and a taxi to Trunk Bay. In my view St. John has some of the finest protected beaches in the Caribbean if not the world. And even on cruise ship days they're relatively uncrowded. As for Castaway Cay, it was nice in an artificial Disney World sort of way. If anyone can create an island paradise from scratch it's Disney. But I don't entirely get the profound love for Castaway over on the Disney message boards. We have been to many beaches in the Caribbean and generally prefer the ones without 4,000 people parked on them like sardines. Castaway is unavoidably crowded. That said, the barbecue lunch was one of our better cruise meals, and the 5K "run" (most people walked it) was fun if not a little strange on an unattractive air strip and path around the interior of the island. Take-Aways. For full disclosure, there are people over on the Disney boards who boast of taking 5, 10, 15, 50, 100 (!!) Disney cruises or who regularly vacation at the parks. We are not among them. We enjoy different kinds of travel and intended the Disney cruise likely as a one-time experience. From this perspective, the cruise passed the test. Kids were happy, adults were happy, we went to nice beach destinations and were well taken care of. Worth It? Disney cruises come at a premium, and such a question is subjective and dependent on personal factors. We don't have any regrets doing it, enjoyed the experience and felt good about the trip. Having cruised on most of the other major lines, we don't think anyone does it better for young kids than Disney. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We (my wife, my almost 2 yr old son, and me) chose this cruise mainly due to some friends who had booked the same cruise. Overall, we had a good time, good service, and good food. The main thing we were hoping for was some family time as ... Read More
We (my wife, my almost 2 yr old son, and me) chose this cruise mainly due to some friends who had booked the same cruise. Overall, we had a good time, good service, and good food. The main thing we were hoping for was some family time as my wife and I both work and as a result our son spends most of his waking hours m-f at daycare. So we chose not to put him in daycare/nursery on the ship. This, surprisingly, resulted in limited options for us on the Fantasy even though it is built for families/kids. Why? 1) My son is not potty trained yet, so all pools were off limits to him. He has been taking swim lessons at home, so everytime we walked by a pool he would ask to go it in, but he could not. There are two "splash" zones open to non-potty trained kids, but one is out of the sun and resulted in being too cold for playing in for extended periods and the other is up on a higher deck and was often too windy to play in for very long. But, to be fair, he did enjoy those areas when he got the chance. 2) the only other area on the ship specifically suited for toddlers is Andy's Room...which was only open to toddlers for a couple of hours a day as the rest of the time it was part of the Oceaneer Club. We did try to take him to other events listed as "all ages", but outside of one coloring event, they were not right for him. But we still had a good time. The only other issue we had was dinner. We had linked our reservation with our friends in hopes of linking our dinners. They have a 2 yr old too and we all were wait listed for the early seating. To my surprise, my family got the early seating but our friends did not. No matter, they will seat us with another family, right? Nope, we were seated with 3 grandparents who were cruising without their families. While they were nice people and we had pleasant meals with them, I am sure we all would have preferred to have been seated with others in similar situations to our own. And the fact that our friends were on the late seating threw their schedule completely off of ours and reduced the amount of time we all got to spend with each other. The service was great, the food was good, the room was nice, and seeing my son meet all the characters was something special. There are plenty of tips out there for Disney cruises, but one thing I would suggest is have two sets of fireworks, waiting until 10:30 is just too late for those families cruising with little ones. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Disney fans who took our 1st D cruise. Service was amazing, activities varied, food disappointing. Often difficult to find locations on ship even using maps. Pools & elevators always crowded. Stairs to Aqua Duck got filthier as cruise ... Read More
Disney fans who took our 1st D cruise. Service was amazing, activities varied, food disappointing. Often difficult to find locations on ship even using maps. Pools & elevators always crowded. Stairs to Aqua Duck got filthier as cruise went on. Remy food & service beyond expectation but definitely a splurge. Oceaneers Club staff great but activities too young for our 10 year old. Disney excursion well-organized and enjoyable. Courtney Taylor trip beyond expectation - Karl went above and beyond in providing personal experience for our family. Getting on and off ship very easy and safe. Unable to find any open chairs by family area on Castaway Cay for a couple of hours. We went ashore at 10 a.m. Chairs opened up around noon. Cookies Too food was okay. Disappointed Cabanas was closed last night of cruise - wasn't feeling well and ordered room service - BLT sandwich was inedible. Heard crew complaining about work regularly. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
BACKGROUND: This cruise was a birthday cruise for my older daughter who is turning 5. We also have a 20 month old girl. We thought about doing the theme parks, but figured that is more stressful and we’d wait until the girls are older. ... Read More
BACKGROUND: This cruise was a birthday cruise for my older daughter who is turning 5. We also have a 20 month old girl. We thought about doing the theme parks, but figured that is more stressful and we’d wait until the girls are older. So we decided on DCL. Also joining us were my brother-in-law, sister-in-law, and their 7 yr old daughter. Technically, I’ve done DCL once before, on the Wonder. But that was a free cruise due to my friend working as a doctor on the ship (I crashed with him). So this was my first true DCL sailing with a family. CABIN: We stayed in 6138 (Deluxe oceanview with verandah), and in-laws had the connecting room. I was very impressed with the room. It didn’t feel cramped in there, even with the crib and diaper genie. We really loved having the two bathrooms and two sinks. And there was plenty of storage space for everything. I really liked that our large suitcases and even our car seat fit under the bed. The cabin location was great, and it was easy to get around everywhere. There was no vibration noise and not much foot traffic outside our room. Having the connecting room was awesome as the kids could go back and forth easily. ENTERTAINMENT: Since our 1 year old goes to bed early, one of us typically stayed in the room after dinner while the rest of the group went out. Out of the shows that I watched, I really liked the juggler and Wishes show, and the Knight magicians were great also. I didn’t care for the rePercussion show at all. We had a great time at the various music trivia contests, and actually won the 90’s one. For kid’s stuff, my older kid really loved all the character meetings. DINING: Overall I was quite happy with the food. The breakfast buffets were excellent- Mickey waffles, pancakes, made to order eggs, biscuits & gravy, fresh fruit, etc were all great. My kid loved the selection of Krispy Kreme donuts. My only complaint about breakfast is that it was very hard to find crispy bacon. We did one sit-down character breakfast and that was good, but we preferred the buffet options. Lunch buffets were also great. I liked the selection of pastas, rice dishes, vegetables, etc. The desserts were solid also (really enjoyed the Oreo cheesecake). The breads were tasty, especially the focaccia (overall, the various breads on the ship were so good!). Sit-down dinners were hit and miss. As others have mentioned, expect convention center banquet hall quality. We typically liked the appetizers and salads. But some of the entrees were not good at all. I can remember a few that I stopped eating after a few bites (chicken schnitzel, sesame tofu, seafood pasta). I did tend to like the filled pasta options (especially mushroom ones). Some of the sides were great, such as the delicious white asparagus. Food temperature was an issue, as many of the entrees were served lukewarm. I never really left dinner feeling stuffed. On the bright side, our servers David and Marko were awesome. We made sure to tip them extra. The other saving grace was that the dinner desserts were overall really good (especially the crème brulee cheesecake and the various sundaes). And the Mickey ice cream bars live up to the hype- they have a terrific dark chocolate shell. We did Palo brunch also. That was a great mix of salads, bread, cheese, seafood, pasta, and desserts. I thought the chicken parm wasn’t as good as people here raved about. But we did have the chef make an off-menu calzone that was so good, and probably the best calzone I’ve ever had. The almond croissant and blue cheese walnut bread were great. For desserts, I loved the tiramisu and cannoli the most. Was it worth $40 + tip per person? I felt it was for me, because I liked having the variety of food. But for someone looking to save money, you’d be fine skipping it. In terms of other food options, we were happy. The late night french fries at Flo’s Café were awesome. The gelato at the ice cream shop was also great, and priced reasonably. Loved the cheesy tater toys with fresh jalapenos at the Irish pub. And Cove Café made great lattes (with really fun latte art). I’m glad they offered a buy 5, get 1 free latte punch card. My one suggestion for the food is to provide more ethnic options. The vast majority of the food options were American and Italian. During the entire week, I only recall seeing one Chinese dish (basic fried rice) and a couple of Indian dishes. I know many people don’t like ethnic food or spice, but I was really surprised by the lack of Mexican (tex-mex) options. I’d consider tex-mex food to very mainstream these days, and even kids love it. But in general, I was happy with the food, and gained 5 lbs! SPA: We purchased the Rainforest room deal for the week. It was very relaxing to visit the various rooms and showers. We even took showers here a few days because the showers were so spacious. The spa uses Elemis toiletries, which I didn’t like as much as the DCL ones. SHIP: The Fantasy felt sizable, but never overwhelming. We found it very easy and fast to get around the ship (especially without kids in tow). Elevators moved quickly. We found everything to be very clean also. My one issue is that the pools were tiny and therefore super-crowded. PORTS: We couldn’t do much in terms of excursions due to the 1 year old. At Tortola, there wasn’t much to do for us, so we just walked around the square a bit. In St Thomas, we did the scenic tram, which was a great photo op. And we did bicycling at Castaway, which was a lot of fun. We spent the rest of the day at the beach there. The clear blue water was awesome (though slightly chilly). I know our 20 month old won’t remember this experience in the future, but I think the 5 year old definitely will. Would we go on DCL again? We want to, but that will depend on pricing also. Even though we went during a cheaper week, this was by far the most we’ve ever spent on a vacation. Eventually I’d like to go on one of the new ships, but will target an off-peak week. Overall, we had a fantastic time and have lots of great memories. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Our Son organised this trip as a surprise for us. It was amazing, we didn't know how we would get on, especially the amount of children on board. But it was a wonderful trip. I read a lot of reviews and U Tube ideas. We ... Read More
Our Son organised this trip as a surprise for us. It was amazing, we didn't know how we would get on, especially the amount of children on board. But it was a wonderful trip. I read a lot of reviews and U Tube ideas. We arrived earlier than our time and we were accommodated straight away( we had 4 boys aged 1, 3, 9 and nearly 11) Our stateroom was great and loved the veranda, much bigger than we expected. From the moment we stepped on board, we were treated really so well. Our stateroom host introduced himself, his name was Windy, he was so nice and kind and always smiling, couldn't do more for us and how he remembered names with so many people I will never know. Our Server was Antonio, so good that after our first evening we stayed on to talk to him and he found out my husband loved Indian food and every night he made a special dinner for him. He was amazing and so friendly. Our assistant server was Sukrawan and Head server Witt, who entertained us with magic. How they manage all the noise, tantrums and amount of people so well amazes us. Our trips ashore to Cozumel, which is 33miles long, 11 miles wide and is situated 12 miles off the coast of the mainland. The Mayans have lived on Cozumel since 300AD. Grand Cayman, named after the Carib Indian word for marine crocodile. Falmouth Jamaica, Positioned between Ocho Rios and Montero Bay. The Day at sea was STAR WARS, which my Son and Children loved as they are Big Fans. It was really good fun and all the dressing up and photos taken with the characters . Cabanas food for breakfast and lunch was unreal. The other restaurants Animators Plalate was the children's favourite, then Enchanted Garden and Royal Court. Everything was the Best and I would love to go again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We did this same cruise (same ship, same itinerary, with the Star Wars Day at Sea) 2 years ago, and chose it again because we loved it so much! Our traveling party: Myself (48), husband (57), our daughter (13), and our niece (24) ... Read More
We did this same cruise (same ship, same itinerary, with the Star Wars Day at Sea) 2 years ago, and chose it again because we loved it so much! Our traveling party: Myself (48), husband (57), our daughter (13), and our niece (24) TRANSFER TO PORT FROM WDW HOTEL: We had a few days pre-cruise at the Beach Club. On Friday we received a letter stating our meeting time and place the next morning (by 11:20 am, Beach Club Solarium). We boarded buses by 11:30 as everyone had already checked in, and reached Port Canaveral around 12:45. EMBARKATION: Possibly the quickest and easiest embarkation I have ever experienced in my many years of cruising. Did the complete online check-in before arrival. Minimal wait at security (minutes at most), up the escalators, right into the check-in line where we received the simplest health form ever (just one for the whole family, rather than one for everyone), and were called immediately to the counter before I'd even filled in the two blanks on the form! I handed over the Port Arrival form, the agent took one group picture (rather than individual pictures) for our identification, and then she gave us a boarding card showing Group 22 and they were already up to Group 28 so we were free to board immediately! Honestly it was so quick we didn't even get a picture under the Mickey entranceway, or near the ship model! The longest line we waited in was to get our boarding pictures taken! I was super-impressed with embarkation. CABIN: We had a Deluxe Family Oceanview with Verandah on Deck 5 Starboard. It was a fabulous choice for our group -- the verandah was oversized and even though the room itself is a bit tight with 4 grown people, there was plenty of storage for clothes (and luggage under the bed). Our location was PERFECT, close to the elevators, not in a busy hall, just a quick trip downstairs to the aft public areas and a quick zip up the elevator to Deck 11 for the buffet or the pools. When (not if!) I sail on the Fantasy again, I'll be doing it in the same cabin! The cabin has a divided bathroom -- one has the toilet and a sink, the other has a shower and the sink. Shampoo, conditioner, and lotion (and bar soap) are provided in the bathroom; however, unlike at Disney parks, their wonderful H2O shower gel is NOT in the cabins. Thankfully we had brought some with us from our stay at the parks. ;-) (It's also available for purchase -- not inexpensively! -- in the shops.) I found the king bed very comfortable, the pillows OK depending on which one got put in my spot each night, and the lighting all adequate. I love the dividing curtain for the king bed from the bunk beds. The kids slept later so we could turn lights on in the morning and not bother them. SHIP: Well, obviously we liked the ship the first time, because we went back! I actually love the Fantasy. First of all, I think it's a really attractive, classic-looking ship. Secondly, it's really well-maintained, inside and out -- neat, clean, shipshape. Third, I think it has a really good layout of public spaces -- the only part that is a little confusing are the public lounges on Deck 4 aft, and it's really kind of a cool little warren in there so even though it's a bit of a maze, it's wonderful! The pools on Deck 11 are not large, but to be honest, I never even attempted to go in one. My "spot" is in the Quiet Cove adult pool area, preferably on one of the four round loungers with a good book. ;-) (But if I could make a recommendation, I think Disney could perhaps add a few more of these round loungers, perhaps on the starboard side ... with only 4 available, all on the port side, they're a pretty hot commodity, and people that get them are prone to stay in them all day long! Or at least their clothes and belongings are.) The upper sundecks in this area are also really nice. Back to the main pools, there are (obviously) a lot of kids there, and if you've got young kids, this is where you'll be. Kids just hang out in the pool and watch the movies on Funnel Vision all day long. The AquaDuck slide is also here, and the lines can get long. I recommend going on a port day if you stay onboard, or after 5pm. DINING: Disney makes use of a rotational dining plan whereby you are assigned to a specific table # at a specific dinner seating, and then you rotate to each of the three main restaurants twice during a 7-day cruise (and a third time for one of them). So for example, our Key to the World card had the letters "ERAERRA" on it. This meant on night one we ate at Enchanted Garden, night two at Royal Court, night three at Animator's Palate, and then so forth. In our case, our extra night was a third night at Royal Court. Enchanted Garden has colored cielings that change colors during the meal, and the flower chandeliers open up as well. Royal Court is more princess/Cinderella-themed, with carriage bread baskets and the like. Animator's Palate is the most unique and interesting, with Mickey Mouse themed chairs and cleverly integrated screens on all the walls that can look like portraits, or come alive and entertain you during the meal. The menu is the same at each restaurant on any given night -- so for example if you are assigned to Royal Court one night, you are not "missing out" on anything they are serving at Enchanted Garden, because all three restaurants have the same offerings each night. Now, the service and food. We were assigned to the second seating, which is at 8:15pm. (First seating is at 5:45pm.) The service was OVERALL very good. We were actually quite surprised and disappointed on the first night when our service was ridiculously, unacceptably slow. We placed our orders at 8:30 and didn't receive drinks until 9:15pm! Then the soups came at 9:30. The entrees did not arrive until closer to 10:00pm. At this point there was no chance of us making our next planned activity and we didn't finish the meal until after 10:15pm. Vacations are too short to be spending that much time in the dining room each night, but I know things happen and I am not a complainer so we just hoped the next night would be better. It was, but it was still considerably slower than I am used to on a ship, and again we missed an evening activity we had planned to attend. I still didn't want to say anything, but we began to arrive slightly early, and we had already reviewed the menus on the DCL Navigator App before we arrived so we knew what we wanted to order. Suddenly starting on Night 3 we placed orders immediately and were eating appetizers by 8:35! It made a huge difference and this level of service remained throughout the week. I don't know if someone else complained, or if there were some kinks the first couple of nights, but everything cleared up on Day 3. Our primary waiter was a little difficult to understand and very brusque those first two nights, and suddenly on Day 3, different person. Spent time with us, showed us fun games, and also got us our food in a timely manner. I'm glad I didn't complain and get him in trouble, but I don't know if someone else did. These are all hard-working people just trying to earn a living and I never would want to make their lives harder! The food itself was good but I won't go for great. A couple of times I got soup that was lukewarm at best, and nothing else was super-hot either. There are not a lot of selections on the menu -- typically 5 main entrees being offered, not counting the everyday offerings of grilled salmon, chicken, or steak. Thankfully I was always able to find something that I could eat. I am not a fan of lobster but I know for some reason lobster is a HUGE thing with cruisers (and I have heard a lot of complaining on chat boards for other cruise lines where lobster has been removed from the menus), so fans of this particular dish will be glad to know there were a couple of nights where lobster was offered. Other food offerings on the ship are Flo's 8 Diner on Deck 11 near the pools, which offers pizza, burgers, chicken fingers, hot dogs, sandwiches, salads, and fruit pretty much all day long, and the buffet on Deck 11 aft called Cabanas. I grabbed something from Flo's most days for lunch as Cabanas was already closed at 2pm when I'd return from my port adventures, and Flo's does a surprisingly good job of serving up decent food. The pizza was much better (according to my niece) than the pizza she got in Cabanas one day, and the fries were always fresh and hot. We did have lunch in Cabanas at least once, and there were similar selections (burgers, fries, etc) but with obviously a bit more variety -- some ethnic foods and pastas, for example, and also a wide array of desserts. (The only dessert I ever got there was on Star Wars Day, and it was chocolate brownie with a Darth Vader chocolate on top, and it was delicious.) We also had breakfast at Cabanas most days, ranging from just cereal and fruit to the full "English" -- sausages, hash browns, grilled tomatoes, etc. I can say that for me, the scrambled eggs were inedible -- I'm sure they're not actually eggs, and also they are cooked way too soft for my particular taste, but people must eat them because they keep making them! Far better choices for eggs were the omelets, whether pre-made or made-to-order. ENTERTAINMENT AND ACTIVITIES: Not having small kids, this is the first cruise I've been on in many years where we did not have a child attending the kids' club. However my daughter (13) was a daily visitor to Edge, the "tween" club which is for ages 11-14. All the clubs (youth, tween, teen) have similar activities at different days and times. My daughter LOVES the programming, from GAGA ball to Heroes and Villains. For adult daily entertainment, my husband, niece and I were mostly drawn to the trivia contests. There was a pretty loyal following for trivia who showed up to most of the 18+ contests that were offered. Most of these contests were held in O'Gills pub, on Deck 4 aft, which is a great little sports pub where for a little extra you can also get a nice warm German pretzel with your beverage. ;-) I would have enjoyed even more trivia or similar contests to be offered, especially on the last day when there was only one! Having done this cruise before, and attended EVERY evening show in the big theater, this time we only attended one! We remembered enjoying EVERYTHING last time, but my niece isn't really "into" the shows, so the only one we went to this time was "Aladdin". It's still great, although I liked it better two years ago. Maybe it was the novelty. So, unfortunately I can't comment on the other entertainment such as the ventriloquist or the juggler. I would love to see something like the dueling pianos (Howl at the Moon) that is available on several of the NCL ships, that's for sure one of my favorites and there is nothing like that for adults here. We did attend a couple of adults game shows in the Tube (also Deck 4 aft), and they were all entertaining, especially the Star Wars Superfan challenge which we all go to take part in. ;-) SERVICE: With the sole exception of the slow and brusque service on nights one and two of our dining rotation, EVERY SINGLE INTERACTION with a crew member was a positive experience. The staff onboard is so friendly, so helpful, always service with a smile. And just to be clear, we ended up LOVING our waiter. It was just a little bit of a rocky beginning. Everyone from bar staff (Jerkson in O'Gills Pub was our favorite) to Guest Services was outstanding. PORTS AND SHORE EXCURSIONS: COZUMEL, MEXICO - We've been to Cozumel probably too many times at this point, so instead of the usual snorkeling or beach (the two main things to do there), we tried something different. We did a ship excursion to Cozumel Ruins, with a trip also to a Cacao "factory". Our guide Miguel was really good, the Mayan ruins were interesting although a short visit there is plenty. To be clear, these are NOT the famous ruins at Chichen Itza! Those are also offered as an excursion but you'd spent most of your day on a bus getting there and back. This was a chance to see some Mayan ruins on a much smaller scale while not spending all day traveling, and we enjoyed it. The cacao factory was not really a factory, it was a demonstration (ironically at Playa Mia which is where we did a beach break excursion two years ago) of chocolate-making and an opportunity to buy chocolate. GEORGETOWN, GRAND CAYMAN - This is a beautiful island and certainly more picturesque and less run-down than Cozumel is. We did a ship excursion which was an "island tour and Saltwater forest". The tour was fine but not really what I expected. It was nice to see the island and we had like 5 minutes on 7-mile beach to take a picture. However the "saltwater forest", which is what drew me in, was not really a forest so much as a boat ride through a bay and then parking in a little clump of mangroves, where we then learned all about mangroves. It was interesting, but not really what I pictured when I read about boating through a "saltwater forest". This could just be that my imagination had a whole different scene in mind. That said, again we had interesting, knowledgeable guides. FALMOUTH, JAMAICA - Having Falmouth before and stayed on board (well, the husband went golfing), we know there's not a lot to do right in this area. However, we had visited Ocho Rios on a different cruise line in the past and loved the Dunn's River Falls/Bobsled Jamaica excursion, so we did that again, albeit with the longer bus ride to get there this time. It was maybe about an hour's ride so really not bad at all. If you've never climbed the falls before, DO IT, it's a great experience. Strenuous, if you're not in decent shape, but the guides are really helpful! And then the "Sky Explorer" chairlift that gets you up to the top of Mystic Mountain to do the Bobsled Jamaica is a great experience on its own. It gets HOT up there and is EXPOSED, so wear sunscreen or even carry an umbrella to shade yourself! Also hold on to your flip-flops! The bobsled is a fun ride, like a self-run roller coaster (you control your own speed). One caveat, you have to exit Dunn's River Falls through the "craft market" -- I always wonder if the Jamaicans will ever realize that if they were not so aggressive and did NOT use so many tricks to get you to buy things (like posing for a picture, etc. etc), they might sell more merchandise? For example, my niece is a souvenir FANATIC, and would have certainly bought something (someTHINGS) had she been allowed to browse the wares. But because you can't even engage in a "hello" without immediately being set upon and wheedled, she, like us, just sort of walked straight through, not looking left or right, repeating, "no thank you, no thank you". I guarantee she is not the only customer they lose for this reason. She's not comfortable with the hard sell but would definitely buy if allowed the peace to do so. CASTAWAY CAY - Funnily enough, we didn't love Castaway Cay on our first visit -- we perhaps weren't prepared for it, found people very obnoxiously grabbing up and "claiming" all the chairs in sight, the slides had long waits, the food was better on the ship, etc. However, this time we had some activities planned and it was a great day! My daughter went parasailing, which she LOVED, and she may even convince me to do it next time. ;-) Then all four of us enjoyed some time floating around in the lagoon for a while, and even though I found the water chilly two years ago in April, this time it was really pleasant (even though only February). Also there was no shortage of chairs or shade. It's just a really well-maintained (I expect nothing less of Disney) island. After our swimming, we embarked on a jet-ski tour. These were doubles so my niece drove my daughter and my husband drove me. It was fun although be warned the water was QUITE choppy just outside the cove, where we went out into the sea a bit. There is a lot of jostling and bouncing and especially with two people on the jet-ski, you can't stand up like you can when you're a single rider to alleviate the impact of the waves. We did enter another quiet cove and got to speed around in there for a bit, and then we parked on a sandbar seemingly in the middle of nowhere and just floated around in the water for a 10-minute break. It was quite peaceful there and almost felt like you were the only people in the world. Our jet-ski was low on fuel and the warning light (and accompanying alarm buzzer) was on the whole ride back, which was very annoying, but we did make it back in. We did not eat at the BBQ this time as we recalled it wasn't great last time, instead we re-boarded the ship around 2:15 and got some items from Flo's, and enjoyed the AquaDuck and pools before most people came back on board. STAR WARS DAY AT SEA: So, this is the main reason we choose this particular itinerary -- we LOVE Star Wars, and my niece is also a huge fan (as evidenced by her runner-up placing in the Star Wars Superfan challenge!) so we wanted her to experience this since we had enjoyed it so much a couple of years ago. While the second sea day (Thursday) is officially the "Star Wars Day", there are two photo ops available all week (the Star Wars Day At Sea background, and the Han Solo frozen in carbonite statue) that you can pose with. Additionally, there is a Star Wars movie every night in the Buena Vista theater, which is a great chance to see the "originals" on the big screen if you never had. (Although, my one big complaint is that these films started at 10:45 every night, which meant we watched an hour at most each night before we had to turn in if we were to have any chance of getting up for our excursions. I believe they should have been shown at least one other time during the cruise!) Then the night before, while not on the Navigator, at 10pm in the Atrium all of a sudden the Star Wars music comes on and the ship is "taken over" by the Empire, led, of course, by Darth Vader and crew. The Atrium was JAMMED with people on all three levels so while I did not see it advertised, obviously people knew it was coming! From that moment on throughout the next day, all the music on the ship's speakers, in the hallways, everywhere, was all Star Wars music, which is awesome, and on that day there are lots of other "experiences" you can choose, for example we had photo ops scheduled with the droids and with Darth Vader, you can also choose Chewbacca, or your younglings (3-12) can train to be Jedi. There are Star Wars-themed events, such as the BB-8 races in the atrium, where kids can sign up to race miniature BB-8's along a mat and the winners go on to the finals. The menus in the restaurants have a Star Wars theme, as do the drinks of the day ("Galaxy in a Glass", anyone?). It's just great fun, and best of all, SO MANY PEOPLE dress up for the event. This could range from just Star Wars t-shirts, the variety of which you can't even imagine, to the full cosplay experience -- one girl in a costume for a character I didn't even know (from Rebels) had spent two hours on makeup and getting dressed, and it showed. It's also the only day they show Star Wars movies all day in the Buena Vista theater, unfortunately the ones being played during the day were the ones I don't like! (1, 2, and 3, although I don't mind 3 and would have watched that one if it hadn't overlapped dinner.) There was Star Wars trivia, and the Superfan challenge, and it is just great fun for Star Wars fans. I have read a negative review on here from a grandma who "happened" to be on a cruise with a Star Wars day at sea and complained there was nothing ELSE to do that day if you don't like Star Wars. It could be a fair point, but for ME, I remember thinking, "it's too bad I'm a Star Wars fan, this would be a GREAT chance to get a lounger at the Quiet Cove, swim in the pools, ride the AquaDuck, etc. -- all the things that are usually much busier! To each his own. WOULD I GO AGAIN? Are you kidding? Just as soon as I can save up for it ...! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Went on this cruise because a friend at work had taken a 3 day Disney cruise to see if it was worth the cost. She came back raving so we thought we'd give it a try. We've been on about 5 other cruises on different lines but ... Read More
Went on this cruise because a friend at work had taken a 3 day Disney cruise to see if it was worth the cost. She came back raving so we thought we'd give it a try. We've been on about 5 other cruises on different lines but never did Disney because of the cost. Embarkation: Spent the 3 days prior to the cruise at WDW and used Disney travel to get to the pier. They picked up our luggage at our hotel room in the morning. We went to the lobby of our hotel to get ready to go on the bus. Everything was seamless and well organized. Didn't see our bags until we got to our cabin. When the bus got to the port, we got off, spent about 5 minutes going through security another 5 minutes to check in and get on the ship. It was that fast and easy. Cabin The ship was more than we expected. Disney details and magic everywhere. We got an oceanview cabin on deck 2. The room was slightly larger than other cabins we've been in before with a ton of storage. The 2 bathrooms (1 with a shower and 1 with a toilet) was really nice. The only annoying thing was having to use your card to get the electricity to work. Read reviews that said to take a throw away card to use instead and this worked like a charm. The bed was absolutely fabulous! THE most comfortable bed we've had on a cruise and we've been on about 5 others on different cruise lines. The TV had most of the more popular Disney movies available complementary. We watched them while getting ready and went through about 5 of them. Dining The rotational dining was a lot nicer than I thought it would be. The buffet was amazing. On other cruise lines the buffet is good but seems an afterthought. Most food in the buffet on other cruises can be hit or miss. The food in the buffet on Disney is perfect every time! It was as good as some of the MDR food on other ships. The food in the main dining rooms was fabulous! My wife and I have noticed over the years that the quality of the food in the MDRs on other ships has slipped since the emergence of specialty restaurants. The cruise lines want to upsell the specialty restaurants and so they save the really good food for them and allow the MDR food to slip in quality. Not so on Disney! The MDR food was great. We chose the late dining time to avoid as many children as possible. Disney didn't miss a trick. They sat us with 2 other couples who were virtually the same as we were. We were all within a few years apart in age. It was very enjoyable. Entertainment The entertainment was Disney. There were mostly really good shows. A few non-Disney ones that were generally pretty good. The late night entertainment was the only good late night entertainment we have experienced on all our cruises and went to it every night. There was so much to do all day every day. Much more than others. The Disney Cruise Line app was fabulous. It took all the info from the Navigator and put it in an electronic form. You could save the things you wanted to do and they'd send you a reminder. Service The service was top notch. Have never had bad service on any cruise. This was a step above those however. Disembarkation Easiest I've ever experienced. The main thing about Disney is the little details everywhere that immerse you in the whole experience. They're everywhere and too many to list. Even if you aren't a total Disney Geek you'll love it. If you are a Disney Geek you will be in heaven! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We were a family group of ages girl 4, boy 5, mom 45, aunt 50, dad 52, and myself the grandmother 76. It is hard to find a family vacation that will suit such a disparate group, but we settled on a Disney cruise out of Cape Canaveral. ... Read More
We were a family group of ages girl 4, boy 5, mom 45, aunt 50, dad 52, and myself the grandmother 76. It is hard to find a family vacation that will suit such a disparate group, but we settled on a Disney cruise out of Cape Canaveral. This was a good choice. Since the little ones could go to the "kids club" for many happy hours and give their parents a break, and there was a small adult pool area for we single women to escape the noise, it worked quite well for everyone in our party. The children were kept so busy and happy, they cried when they had to leave the ship at the end. For the children and their parents it was a great success. Adult areas were a disappointment. There was no library. When I inquired I was directed to Cove Cafe, the extra pay specialty coffee area. It had 5, count 'em 5, books! There were a few old magazines, too. No other reading material was on board. Disney movies played on outdoor screens, in an indoor theatre and all were available on the stateroom TV all the time - which is what they wanted us to watch. The adult pool was tiny with an attached bar, so it was usually crowded. Mostly people stood in place chatting with drinks in hand, their buckets of beer on the side of the pool. It was impossible to swim. The children's pools were larger but with kids in water wings, throwing beach balls and splashing about it was not a place to swim either. We had adjoining balcony staterooms 8520 and 8522 which are quite far forward, but this was intentional to try to get away from some of the noise and thumping of children's feet running up and down the corridors. Amidships was where the atrium with loud music, kids screaming, shouted amplified instructions for games, and endless lineups for meeting the Disney characters went on day and night. Many families with babies and small children tended to have cabins amidships or aft where it was quicker and easier to go up to the buffet and the children's pools. Being forward was quieter and the little ones were able to nap in the afternoons if needed. It also my single daughter, who found the constant noise (and unrelenting music even piped into the hallways) rather oppressive as the week went on, was able to retreat into our quiet stateroom for a break. The ship is huge. It was a long way to walk from forward to aft. As the grandmother with fairly recent foot surgery, and I arrived with a folding wheelchair, anticipating the long walks. My single daughter pushed me in my wheelchair at times, but the hallways are carpeted making pushing it a bit difficult, so more often I walked slowly with my cane. On the other hand, the wheelchair was handy as sort of a double stroller to push the little ones around when their legs were tired. I saw some other older people who had rented electric scooters from Disney to get around the huge ship, and if you have someone in your party who has mobility issues, I would recommend that instead. The Caribbean ports were fine, and Castaway Key was lovely as a beach day. But Falmouth Jamaica was not a Jamaican experience, it was no different than a nice shopping mall in Florida. Designed with a new pier including a large new pretty shopping area fenced off from the rest of island, there was not much to do except shop. Beaches were 30 minutes away and to get out of the fenced area to find a taxi involved a long walk through all the shops to a gate at the end with security guards. We didn't bother. The adult pool was vacated. Most of the regulars had gone ashore, so I was actually able to have a couple of short swims that day in the adult pool. . Embarkation and debarkation went smoothly. Restaurant service was excellent. We were assigned dinner each night in one of the 3 restaurants. Two were nice, especially Royal Court, but Animator's Palate had screens all around the room, and a constant Nemo show running with loud dialogue. It was meant to entertain the children but they weren't interested, and we adults couldn't hear each other speak. So since we were assigned that room for three nights on a 7 day voyage, we were not happy. After one night in Animator's Palate we didn't go again and were forced to eat elsewhere. However, we were able to eat in an extra pay adult specialty restaurant, Palo, while the children were looked after in "kids club". It all worked out in the end. The ship is kept spotless, and the crew are constantly cleaning both inside public areas and the outside of the ship. Despite many small fingers and little runny noses, with hand sanitizer gel and cleaning wipes everywhere, we never were concerned about germs or getting ill on board. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We have a 6-year old granddaughter & thought this would be a great cruise to take with her. However, it turned out to be not so great. The internet is awful, extremely expensive even if all you need to do is to send a short (all ... Read More
We have a 6-year old granddaughter & thought this would be a great cruise to take with her. However, it turned out to be not so great. The internet is awful, extremely expensive even if all you need to do is to send a short (all word) e-mail to keep our granddaughter's Mom informed about a stomach issue she had. We took an excursion that cost us over $300 for the 3 of us that would not let us take pictures & then wanted $200 for 6 pictures. When we complained to Disney, they said they had known about this issue for years and yet had not done anything about it. The swimming pool is so small that you can barely stand up in it much less swim. Our granddaughter loves to swim so she was disppointed. The last day at sea was a Star Wars Day and Disney meant it. There was absolutely nothing to do on the ship if you were not into Star Wars. Not a movie, nothing!! The entertainment on the ship was exactly the same entertainment we had last year on the Magic. Surely there are other entertainers that would come on the ship. The food was always lukewarm. Because our granddaughter had to see the doctor on the ship, we missed our evening meal time so we went to Cabanas. At Cabanas (no reservations taken) we were told that the three open tables were being reserved for people who had called ahead. Isn't that a reservation? So we would not miss the evening show, we went to Flo's where they were out of pizza and had two choices of food items. Again, a very disappointing situation at Disney. We will not be going on another Disney cruise. The characters never showed up at a single meal as they did on the Wonder last year. Obviously the Fantasy does not care about providing an exception "Family Cruise". Actually, the one good thing about the ship was the two doctors we saw on the ship. They were fantastic. Never again on Disney. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
Disney knows that most adults want to be a kid again. This cruise filled that "little kid spot" in my soul. It's always fun and a little thrilling to see Mickey, Minnie, Pluto and Goofy and Cinderella! Embarkation and ... Read More
Disney knows that most adults want to be a kid again. This cruise filled that "little kid spot" in my soul. It's always fun and a little thrilling to see Mickey, Minnie, Pluto and Goofy and Cinderella! Embarkation and disembarkation are a little crazy but we did them at peak times. Most of the food is good. Highly recommend Palos...excellent food and service. We enjoyed making new friends at dinner with shared seating. We are used to quite beaches (Sanibel Island) and thought Castaway Cay was a little more crowded than we like. The clear water made up for the crowds though! The "Wishes" and "Believe" shows were awesome. The best "entertainment" is watching the kids meet the characters and how the characters interact with the kids!! Our cabin was spotless and bright. Love the two bathrooms! Even though at times the public areas are very chaotic, I could always find a quite spot to read. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose the fantasy because it had so much going on that interested our family. 7 days was perfect. There was a pirate night as well as Star Wars at sea day. Our 10 yr old granddaughter is in to Star Wars and the 5 year old very much a ... Read More
We chose the fantasy because it had so much going on that interested our family. 7 days was perfect. There was a pirate night as well as Star Wars at sea day. Our 10 yr old granddaughter is in to Star Wars and the 5 year old very much a princess. The oldest had a make over at the bibidi bobidee boutique as a Star Wars character on Star Wars day and youngest as a princess another day. Dinner rotated between 3 main dining rooms and your wait staff rotated with you. Each very different and amazing. There were 2 nights of fireworks and deck parties. The entertainment was out of this world. 3 broadway caliber shows that included characters dancers and singers. We had the time of our lives, children were well entertained and there was a separate area for adults to relax and enjoy a separate pool area Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
I chose this cruise because I was booking last minute and ended up settling on this. I had decided that my budget could afford this cruise. But the things that were added cost me almost double what I originally paid. I had no knowledge ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I was booking last minute and ended up settling on this. I had decided that my budget could afford this cruise. But the things that were added cost me almost double what I originally paid. I had no knowledge that another closet to 3 thousand dollars would be added on top of the cruise cost. The thing that stood out to me was the cost of the wi-fi. If I had decided that I wanted to stay at a hilton or pretty much any resort they would give me wi-fi for no cost. Instead I paying $89 per day for wi-fi. WI-FI in 2019?!!? Its unacceptable. And then every little thing is just a money grab. They charged 150 dollars for a case of beer. I almost fell over. Just overall if you are trying to relax this is not the vacation for you. The pools are not big enough. They stuff like 40 kids in 2 little pools and they are in there like sardines. There are lines and mobs of people everywhere. When you show up its an impossibly long line. Every day there are excursions to go to. Which overall were pretty good. (The dolphin one was great) But first you sit in a line. Then you go on a boat or sit in a car for 40 minutes or so. And then there are instructions. My god there are more instructions than anything else. Lastly there are strange people dressed up as characters from disney movies such as Star Wars (which actually wasn't disney until like 5 years ago when George Lucas sold out) and they don't even work there. So for the money I would much much rather have gone to a resort. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The time of year fits our school calendar better than spring break with our oldest in college now his spring break falls on a different time than the high school calendar. So to escape the cold and have traditional family vacation this was ... Read More
The time of year fits our school calendar better than spring break with our oldest in college now his spring break falls on a different time than the high school calendar. So to escape the cold and have traditional family vacation this was great timing. We have enjoyed WDW as a family for years and this Disney Cruise was our first cruise as a family. Two big thumbs up on how excellent this experience was after completing a 7 day Eastern Caribbean New Years eve cruise. My early concerns of long lines or masses of people and maybe getting tired of the same old cruise food faded early at embarkation and was all but gone by the end of our amazing trip. I can say with only one exception, the longest line I waited in was 15 min for the water slide. Upon leaving the ship going through US customs to get off the ship took about 40min but this area is not controlled by DCL so I can't really fault them for this unavoidable delay in our day. The food and table service was over the top excellent. Our Server Avatar was wonderful. His attention to detail , knowledge of food, what to expect, remember our preferences, friendly, even had his own unexpected brain teaser games he surprised with a few nights. He really made our trip extra special and added Disney magic. The food was brought to our table hot and exactly as we ordered. The food was flavorful and looked so yummy you couldn't wait to dig in to give it a try. The Assistant Server at our table was Guillaume his knowledge of the wine list and proper paring could be trusted and was always spot on. He was also very friendly and happy to share with us wonderful stories. Our experience in the dining was one we hoped could go on for a little bit longer and overall the week long cruise seemed to end all too soon. The entertainment by the DCL performers was spot on top notch. Truly like a broadway experience. The Wishes show was full of emotion and excitement. All the shows were fresh and not tired reused versions of park shows. The spa was relaxing and rejuvenating. The cabin was perfect for our family of 5 offering bunk beds and murphy bed with surprise bits of Disney sprinkled into the decor. The 3 children in our family age between16-20 we all give DCL a big thumbs up and for sure to cruise with them again. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Despite the fact that Disney doubles cruise prices during Christmas week, we were forced to book then to accommodate the work and school schedules of of other family members... Apparently their marketing department has figured out what ... Read More
Despite the fact that Disney doubles cruise prices during Christmas week, we were forced to book then to accommodate the work and school schedules of of other family members... Apparently their marketing department has figured out what the market will tolerate, however, as there were only 8 empty cabins listed on the Disney Cruise site one week before we sailed. However the 'Disney Magic' continues to entice kids of all ages, making the experience memorable for all. From the first day at sea character breakfast for our party of 9, to the Broadway quality shows, to Pirate Night, it's hard to top the kid appeal provided. Cabanas was our go to option for breakfasts and lunches and we were generally pleased with the extensive choices available with their serve yourself offerings. The serve yourself beverage choices included coffee, hot tea, coke, water, and several other drink options which I avoided after my first experience with each as they were watered down to the point of being rather tasteless. Our meal rotation in the three dining rooms was generally positive after my husband told the staff that he wanted their focus to be on our three grandchildren rather than the four 40-something adults in our party. Meal length would be my major complaint as I felt that service was slow and that the children in our party had to wait a long time between course offerings. As this cruise was a family bonding adventure, we only ordered room service the morning we departed early for the Mayan ruins. It arrived promptly at the scheduled time and our cabin steward made it disappear by the time we returned from our field trip. We did not chose to book a meal in Remy or Palo on this cruise. My husband and I took advantage of the Quiet Cove Adult Pool area on several afternoons and found it to be a welcome respite in a sea of ongoing activity on the rest of Deck 11. Although we did not experience the hot tubs personally, that area seemed to accommodate the number of interested participants and the Cove Bar staff made frequent trips through the area to fill drink orders. On the minus side, we got into Castaway Cay late the last morning due to problems docking in rough seas. Having been there 6 years previous at Christmas on the Disney Wonder, I was struck with how much more crowded the beach areas were this time with the larger capacity on the Fantasy. Four family members participated in the 5K run, which was held despite the late start. However crowd control was a real issue as the race began after many non-participating passengers had been allowed to disembarked. Large crowds clueless about yielding to runners as well as young bikers shared the footpaths making it dangerous for everyone involved. (DISNEY, YOU NEED TO REVISIT THIS!) Apparently there was also a problem with the private photo company which did the pictures during this cruise as many folks did not receive all of their digital pictures on the pre-purchased thumb drives, or received photos of other couples who were not part of their travel party... Not what one would expect with a $250 outlay per cabin! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We booked this cruise solely based on the fact that they dress up their private island for Christmas as well as the cruise ship. We were so disappointed and the cruise for the most part was then no different than any other cruiseline. ... Read More
We booked this cruise solely based on the fact that they dress up their private island for Christmas as well as the cruise ship. We were so disappointed and the cruise for the most part was then no different than any other cruiseline. Disney doesn't even offer you a credit towards another cruise to make up for it. Then when we got back I heard this happens quite often which is very upsetting. The food in the buffet was just ok, they never changed it up at all. We loved the evening dining rooms and the wait staff was excellent. Animators Palate was really neat both times we were in there. Our daughter loved seeing the Disney characters, but if you weren't in line 15 mins from the time they came out you missed them. Our daughter is 2.5 yrs old so she was bored in the nursery but not old enough to join the other kids in the Oceaneers Club or Lab. Then it seemed like all of the open houses were scheduled early in the morning or during her nap. Our child is not an early riser so it was harder for us to make it to things. I do believe Disney is backwards with the whole swim diaper thing...the pool and aqua lab was closed several times due to "potty trained" kids dropping dueces all the time. At least swim diapers keep it from touching other people and I heard other parents were just not putting swim diapers on their kids so they can take them in the pool whether they were potty trained or not. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This was our first Disney Cruise. We brought our 4 and 5 year old granddaughters. As a seasoned cruiser on other lines ( 35 cruises), we were overall disappointed in our cruise. The dining times-5:45 for first seating was late for ... Read More
This was our first Disney Cruise. We brought our 4 and 5 year old granddaughters. As a seasoned cruiser on other lines ( 35 cruises), we were overall disappointed in our cruise. The dining times-5:45 for first seating was late for little children. The shows were late as well. 8:30 for the first seating. The production shows were great but the other programs were not interesting for little ones. Way too late for little ones after being busy all day! The 2 pools available to swim were VERY small and on sea days it was wall to wall people. You had to get out of the pool for 15 minutes every hour. The kids club was for 3-11 year olds. No way would I have my 4 and 5 year old be mixed in with 11 year olds running wild! Disney could have easily made 2 clubs splitting the ages.(3-7 & 8-11) The cabin was extremely small but clean. Food was average. Cabanana crew had to be asked to clear and clean tables. All other cruise lines serve drinks in the buffet-not here! Disembarkation was a nightmare! No assigned times or meeting areas. Everybody leaving at once-lines all over the place and not sure where the lines began or where they were going! The characters were around frequently and lines were not too bad to get photos. For the significantly higher prices for this cruise, I would not spend my money on a Disney Cruise again. Read Less
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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