448 Disney Fantasy Cruise Reviews

In general I think Disney does a terrific job of embarkation and disembarkation compared to other cruise lines I’ve experienced. There is a line to stand in to get your initial embarkation “ticket”, and the woman who served us was a ... Read More
In general I think Disney does a terrific job of embarkation and disembarkation compared to other cruise lines I’ve experienced. There is a line to stand in to get your initial embarkation “ticket”, and the woman who served us was a bit of an idiot, including writing the wrong stateroom numbers on our boarding passes, but otherwise it was smooth. The only other thing which was TERRIBLY annoying at embarkation is that they don’t tell you you cannot bring any food on board so the many $$ of snacks we had with us were all thrown away. Disembarkation was similarly smooth except at Disney Cay because our arrival was so delayed that there were huge crowds waiting to get off and it was a long time before they got things organized and started letting people off. The staterooms are very spacious and well appointed. Only two annoyances - first, we had side by side staterooms and wanted the decks to be left adjoining but regardless of repeated requests it never happened; also, one day when I was relaxing and reading on my deck they were washing the deck above me and soaked me with dirty water - not cool! It was very annoying that they never seemed to announce time changes which caused us a great deal of confusion as we changed time zones several times during the cruise - in general I felt communication during the cruise was lacking. The everything free except alcohol isn’t really true. For example, I like to drink plain soda water - only available at bars and not free - really??? Also there is an ice cream and candy store where everything costs money, as does popcorn at movies and shows. That said, the food generally was fabulous - above average for cruise food - and constantly available with good service. The teen club was a lot of fun for our two teens. I thought the kids club was absolutely fabulous but my six year old didn’t really like it as they didn’t have as high a counselor to child ratio as she has experienced in other vacation situations. I think if you have a child who is more outgoing and curious they would really have a fabulous time. The two shows we saw - Aladdin and Frozen were spectacular with amazing performers. The app is very helpful and we all used it and the free chat it enables throughout the cruise. A great choice for family cruising. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
This was a seven-night Star Wars Day at Sea cruise sailing the western Caribbean. While the cruise was fun with lots of activities on board for children and adults, it was spoiled because of the terrible cabin we had, stateroom 2018 on ... Read More
This was a seven-night Star Wars Day at Sea cruise sailing the western Caribbean. While the cruise was fun with lots of activities on board for children and adults, it was spoiled because of the terrible cabin we had, stateroom 2018 on deck 2 midship. The cruise had a few nights with rough seas, and we couldn't sleep because of a loud banging noise coming from the deck below. Although Guest Services and Housekeeping were sympathetic, no one eliminated the noise. The last night we had to sail through a terrible storm to return to Port Canaveral. The Housekeeping manager offered us another cabin to sleep in on deck 2. The seas were so rough, it didn't help. Disney must know there is something wrong with 2018. Do yourself a favor and choose another stateroom. Star Wars activities were fun, and the entertainment staff added more activities on the day we would have been at Grand Cayman. We couldn't go to Grand Cayman, our second stop, because after we left Cozumel, our first stop, the ship had to sail back to Cozumel because a passenger had a serious medical emergency. Port charges and excursions for Grand Cayman booked through Disney were refunded. Fireworks for pirate night also were cancelled, and a brief fireworks show was scheduled for the following day. Star Wars day on Thursday, a day at sea, was fun with lots of events for kids and adults, including fireworks. My sister's stateroom on deck 7 lost power the last night of the cruise, and Guest Services attitude was "oh well." My brother-in-law had to stay up all night because he couldn't plug in his cpap machine that helps him breathe at night. No one could sleep anyway because of the rough seas. It was the roughest sail we've ever had. Debarkation the final morning was chaos, with lines winding all over deck 3. It took us almost one hour to get off the ship and clear customs. No explanation from Disney crew members on why it took so long. Only two crew members were scanning passengers off the ship, and only two Customs agents were working. 3,700 passengers were on this cruise. Epic fail by Disney. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
My family and I were on the Disney Fantasy from January 18-January 25, 2020 2 adults, 2 children. First off our excursion in Cozumel got cancelled with no explanation as to why. Our second port/tender stop of Grand Cayman got cancelled but ... Read More
My family and I were on the Disney Fantasy from January 18-January 25, 2020 2 adults, 2 children. First off our excursion in Cozumel got cancelled with no explanation as to why. Our second port/tender stop of Grand Cayman got cancelled but Royal Caribbean was able to tender their guests ashore. Our 3rd port stop of Falmouth Jamaica got cancelled. Other cruise lines were able to stop as well. We heard weather was the issue for some cancelled ports but that can not be true when other cruise lines were able to still tender or port. We found out that the Fantasy ship had engine problems since our first stop in Cozumel. Nothing was said to us on the ship. We sailed all week at a reduced speed. Never have been on a ship that had so much movement in my life as many are saying the ship swayed so much because of the engine problems. We found out through other cruisers that a dive team was working on the engine while we were actually able to make our scheduled stop at Castaway Cay. Which everyone finds hard to believe that it took us so long to get to Castaway because we gained so many hours from missed ports of call. We feel like Disney failed to keep guests happy and kept alot hidden on this vacation. Then to top it off we found out the next cruise going out today on the Fantasy January 25, 2020 is already receiving reimbursement for a changed port, not a cancelled port like we had all week. Also we understand this has happened before and credit/reimbursement was given and a discount on a future cruise. I am requesting reimbursement and I do not want a discount for a future cruise because we never plan to take a Disney Cruise ever again. We will continue to sail on other cruise lines where they are happy to keep their guests satisfied. We paid so much for no more extras than other cruise lines offer. Also the internet is terrible. We bought 4 large packages for $89 a piece. Other cruise lines we are able to buy one package with unlimited use. The food is terrible. It doesn't ever change. This is the only time I've ever been on a cruise and lost weight. The entertainment lacks for adults. The pools are way too small for the amount of people this ship had to accomodate for a cruise to nowhere. Also the cruise director Leslie Dallas lacks. She has been the most boring/uninteractive cruise director we have ever had. Some cruisers said she made a joke of our missed ports and terrible cruise. The daily itinerary is terrible and the things they added for the missed ports were "how to make apple struddels and pin trading." That is extremely sad. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Disney service always excels. Crew was great despite lots of extra work due to missed ports. Cabin was great, Star Wars Day at Sea was fun for kids and adults. Did our usual port arrival around 11:30am. Line for security was reasonable ... Read More
Disney service always excels. Crew was great despite lots of extra work due to missed ports. Cabin was great, Star Wars Day at Sea was fun for kids and adults. Did our usual port arrival around 11:30am. Line for security was reasonable and no wait for check-in. Waited only about 10 min after check-in for our boarding group to be called. Love that Disney allows you to bring on beer or wine (we brought Truly's). We had the sit-down lunch in Animators Palate and headed up to pool deck. We were able to snag chairs and kids were off. Bags were delivered to cabin by 2p. Cozumel was great. Did our own excursion to Paradise Beach (highly recommend). Both Grand Cayman and Falmouth were missed due to weather. Despite other reviews, the weather issues were legit and the crew did try to get us in. I'd prefer to be safe despite some disapppointment. Daily Navigator was quickly updated with additional movies and drink tastings (our favorite) among other activities. even with recent price increases the Dr I k tastings are a good value and informative. Capt did a good job trying to find the sun and keep us out of rainshowers. Only saw Aladdin and Frozen shows which were excellent. Star Wars Day was fun with character interactions. I wish they'd show original trilogy movies in theater during the day not just the new ones. Fireworks at Sea are still great even if short (best view is deck 12, port side). Castaway Cay was great as always. It felt less crowded compared to our last time in the Fantasy which probably wasn't reality. We always go early and stay to the bitter end since it means vacay is almost over! Food in cabanas and other deck locations was good. wish they had shawarma like Magic and Wonder. don't forget the good pastries and finger desserts in Cove Cafe. Dinners were great. Loved our servers and made friends with table next to us. Ship was spotless. Kids always enjoy the kids club and my older one loved being able to go to Edge for the first time. We let them check themselves in and out and app have notifications, so we knew they were sticking to our plans. Silent DJ was a blast for both adults and family! disembarkation was fast after breakfast, no waiting for zones to be called and only brief delay at Customs. We piled into the rental car shuttle and were away within 15 min of stepping off ship. Disney hasn't yet figured out controlling the weather, but we still had a great time and it was like 20 degrees at home. We booked our placeholder if for no other reason to try and get back to our missed ports! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I have never posted before. We just completed our 6th Disney cruise, and our 19th cruise overall. The Disney Fantasy has experienced consistent "technical" problems since it was damaged during Hurricane Sandy. These ... Read More
I have never posted before. We just completed our 6th Disney cruise, and our 19th cruise overall. The Disney Fantasy has experienced consistent "technical" problems since it was damaged during Hurricane Sandy. These problems continue to plague the ship. Again, on the January 18-25 sailing of the Fantasy, technical problems were experienced which significantly impacted the enjoyment of the guests on board. In addition, this sailing was impacted by adverse weather. It is not because of the weather or necessarily the technical problems that I am writing. Disney's shipboard offering has significantly deteriorated. Royal Caribbean and Princess now provide better family activities and organized children activities. Disney's complaint resolution process is very poor and they have demonstrated they do not care about their guests. It is highly unlikely that we will never give Disney any of our money in the future, based on their lack empathy, honesty and poor guest experience. Had Disney's shipboard and land-based staff decided to deal openly, honestly and transparently with their guests, our opinion may be different. However, Disney executives decided to "write off" the experience and concerns of more than 2,500 guests. They don't care if you are a first time cruiser or a repeat cruiser. They just don't care any more about the customer experience. On the Jan 18th 2020 sailing of the Fantasy, there appears to have been significant staffing issues which resulted in a very poor guest service from the cruise director and her staff. Rather than be upfront, honest and transparent about the problems, the ship's captain lied to the guests onboard. We missed two ports of call (Grand Cayman & Falmouth) supposedly because of weather (though weather did not impact Royal Caribbean or Carnival at these ports), and many guests missed the "Star Wars Day at Sea" as they were sick in their staterooms because of the rockiness of the ship caused by the ship's technical problems. No management personnel were available onboard to address the concerns of guests, and since returning guest relations staff have sent one inaccurate, unapologetic, empathy-lacking "form" email. I spoke with a DCL Guest Correspondent, who sent the "form" email and she said that management had made a decision not to deal with the poor service on board or the disingenuous statements because they had determined that all concerns were weather related. This is not true. Hundreds of guests have tried to work through Disney customer service channels, including Mr. Vahle, the president of Disney Cruise Lines, but the only response received was the factually inaccurate "form" email and selected calls reading from the "weather" script. Disney apparently does care if you are a "social media influencer" as a number of such individual were scheduled for the January 25-February 1 on the Fantasy. Because of the technical problems experienced by the ship on our cruise, all guests on the Jan 25th cruise, likely because of the social influencers on board, were given $150 shipboard credit and a modified itinerary because of the Fantasy's technical problems and its inability to maintain speed causing the need to change ports. DCL management has acknowledge that there are more disgruntled guests from the January 18-25th sailing than is normal. This is a clear indication that there were problems far beyond weather. Management is trying to hide behind a weather narrative, when the real issue is how the ship's crew dealt with the guest experience issues caused by the weather and technical problems, and more importantly failed to deliver a quality product on board the ship. From my perspective, Disney has historically had a stellar reputation of a company that truly cares about providing top tier entertainment and experiences for its guests. Our experience last week has now exceedingly tarnished our view of Disney because of the lack of transparency, honesty and empathy. I understand that my family and I represent only eight guests, but more than 2,500 guests were adversely impacted. Many were on their "cruise of a lifetime". Disney Management doesn't care that many people saved for years and years to pay the premium charged by Disney. I do want to state that part of our cruise was excellent, clearly up to Disney standards. In particular the Food and Hotel side of Fantasy operations were top-notch. Our dinner servers and head waiter were excellent. Our stateroom host was also very, very good. It is the inaccurate, false and misleading information provided by the ship's captain, , and the Cruise Director, which have created the firestorm of disgruntled guests. Most importantly, the guest experience on this cruise was severely lacking compared to prior Disney cruises. In part, this was because of a lack of staff and a lack of Disney zeal from the staff that were in evidence. It could be that there was a crew illness (this is the most likely explanation for the lack of personnel and lack of planned activities and lack of "weather related' replacement activities)--but why not be honest and say so? For one of the few replacement events there were no Disney personnel in evidence, only the puppeteer performing (for the third time of five appearances). The lounge for his performance was so overcrowded that the coast guard would have fined Disney had they been aboard. The counselors at the children's Oceaneers club were not engaged. The shipboard entertainment was lacking in quality. Family activities, such as family karaoke, were scheduled at 10:45 pm at night rather than at 2 or 3 pm when families would have liked to attend. These are just some of the examples of the lack of service on this sailing. The lack of information during the cruise, and the misinformation provided after the cruise, exacerbated the problems and concerns which naturally occur when multiple ports are missed because of weather or other technical issues. The significant dissatisfaction of our family and most of the other 2,500 guests could have been avoided had the Captain, Cruise Director, and Disney land-based guest services staff been honest, empathetic and transparent. Just a few examples include: * the Captain sent a letter stating that we did not tender in Grand Cayman because of weather. Royal Caribbean did tender. We saw them. * The form email stated that the alternate location was on the other side of the island. Point of fact, it was 8km from the main port. No information was provided by the captain that it was Disney's choice not to tender--they could have; they just didn't, and didn't explain why. * the Captain announced that we could not dock in Falmouth because of weather. the Cruise Director said we would be sailing to a replacement port, Ocho Rios. We didn't stop at Ocho Rios and no information was provided as to why we did not stop. * The form email stated that conditions where not safe in Ocho Rios. Carnival did dock. Why was it safe for Carnival and not for Disney. Why did Captain Marco not explain what was going on? * Third party sources, and a Disney employee on a disney blog, stated that the Fantasy experienced technical problems on January 20th, before or after leaving Cozumel. The form email claims the technical problems occured on January 23rd and therefore did not impact the missed ports (supporting the weather narative used by management). If the January 23rd date is true, why was the ship delayed in arriving at Grand Cayman, then again delayed in arriving at Falmouth, then again delayed in arriving at Castaway Cay. * Third party sources show that the speed of the ship was 20% less than normal. Why did a technical issue that supposedly occurred on January 23rd, impact sailing speeds on January 21st and 22nd? * The form email stated that guests were not impacted by the technical issue, yet many guests were sick and could not participate in the Star Wars Day at Sea activities because of the rockiness of the ship. The cruise was marketed as a Star Wars cruise--why does an inability to participate in a key aspect of the cruise not impact a guest? * Why did the cruise directly crassly broadcast on the stateroom tv system that you should all be happy that you are getting off this ship. * Why were there less cruise activity staff in evidence on this cruise than on any other cruise we have taken on any cruise line? * Why were there not back-up activities scheduled to accommodate missing ports of call? * After two unexpected extra days at sea, why would you not show some gesture of empathy such as providing free popcorn for the movie, rather than the normal $ 10 price. Small things can create significant goodwill. Lack of transparency or empathy creates distrust. I could go on and on. The above items highlight the overall disengous response of Disney personnel, creating the lack of trust. The point is: DCL management appears to be totally supportive of a Captain and Cruise Director that do not meet Disney standards of honesty and care of the guest experience. This cruise did not meet Disney standards. I have never posted before--but if I were a member of management, I would want to know the real facts. I would want to have guests trust in Disney. At this point I am not looking for compensation, as our family has decided we cannot trust Disney and we will not pay the Disney premium again in the future. The dishonesty, obfuscation, poor on board entertainment and organization, poor child activities are the reason for our decision to no longer give our hard earned money to Disney; not the weather--weather is understandable. Weather does not, or should not impact staff actions. I find it sad that Disney apparently does not care about guests and chooses to blame the weather for a Captain who lacks honesty and transparency, a Cruise Director and her staff who cannot provide a Disney level onboard experience, and a PR operation that cares more about "social media influencers" than 2,500 guests who were not provided with an expected Disney experience. When trust is breached, it is difficult to rebuild. Unless you have money to burn and don't care about the ship board experience for you and your children, and you don't mind if technical problems with the ship cause you to miss expected ports, DON'T CRUISE WITH DISNEY. You will receive much better value and a much better family experience on other cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We had three cabins one deck below Concierge level. Four adults, three children under 5. We, the grandparents have done about 30 cruises, never on Disney. It started off bad with enormous lineups as far as the parking garage as the ... Read More
We had three cabins one deck below Concierge level. Four adults, three children under 5. We, the grandparents have done about 30 cruises, never on Disney. It started off bad with enormous lineups as far as the parking garage as the check in computer system was down for over an hour. Small room, mattress one of those that when your spouse moved you moved up and down too. Barely queen size and my feet (I'm 6'3") hung off the end. They gave us three pillows to try, none worked. There is only one adults only bar with a view for cocktail hour but when we got there at 5 the two bartenders said we don't serve until 5:30, but we said our family dinner is at 5:45, too bad, so sad. The noise of hundreds of kids at dinner time is unbearable. In 7 days we did not have one main course that was edible. Denny's would be better quality and better tasting food. We had a poor location for our table the first night and complained to the Maitre D, he didn't care. We asked for a window table the second night, got one in the entrance as far from a window as possible. The serving staff and room cleaner were exceptionaly good, but the food was awful. For our Caymans stop we had to tender in. I had an early meeting on the island and to avoid stress, I wanted a tender ticket for the first tender. Neither guest services nor port activites cared one bit, just said line up an hour before we arrive. Castaway Cay the Captain told us the wind was too strong to dock. Really, Disney bought an island and built a ship that can't handle the prevailing Caribbean strong winter winds. It was apparent they should have built the breakwater another 500 feet out to sea and built some wind protection on it. Fabulous cruise for kids, but no Disney magic for adults. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We selected this cruise because our first itinerary was a 3-Night Bahamian on the Wonder in February 2018, and that was much too short. This was a longer option, now that we knew we liked cruising, on a ship that was new to us, and nearly ... Read More
We selected this cruise because our first itinerary was a 3-Night Bahamian on the Wonder in February 2018, and that was much too short. This was a longer option, now that we knew we liked cruising, on a ship that was new to us, and nearly everyone I know recommended the Eastern Caribbean over the Western. The Very Merrytime designation was just a bonus. The travelers were myself, 28, and my mom, 62. Embarkation was a bit of a mess. I dropped my mom off around 1:15 while I went to return our rental car at Alamo. The security line was very, very long when I dropped her off - people were being held outside at the drop off point. Not quite as bad when I returned. I later heard there had been an issue with scanning people onboard the ship, so everyone was getting checked in just fine, but the computers to scan their Key to the World and mark them as "onboard" was down. They were manually writing people down with pen and paper! By the time I made it into the actual terminal my mom was literally the next person for the check in counter so that was perfect timing. We chose a later Arrival Time because we know staterooms are ready around 1:30 and we like to go straight there and drop things off. This was a perfect strategy. Our stateroom was a Category 9B Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom, #2010. I selected this because it was not too far forward, close to the laundry room, and I've heard low deck/midship is good for minimizing motion sickness. We enjoyed this room quite a lot. Very minimal noise, except around 11:15pm when they would vacuum Mickey's Mainsail above us, and occasionally drop things. I loved that the porthole was big enough to sit in! Not the same size as the very large ones in the Category 8 rooms, but still big and cushioned. We felt the room was an adequate size and there was plenty of storage. We did seem to have difficulty finding a good temperature - the thermostat only has five options and it seemed to always be too hot or too cold. Our stateroom host was Richard and we loved him! So attentive and thorough. Only potential negative to Deck 2 is that there's no access to the aft elevators. Dining: Akemi was our server and she was delightful! I'd request her again in a heartbeat. Yasa, our assistant server, didn't really shine until the second to last night. He wasn't great about keeping water refilled. Our second to last night he made us little origami puppies out of the children's menu. We felt the food was adequate. I selected second dining (8:15) in the hopes it would be a little quieter with fewer children, plus I'm from the west coast and I thought it would be good for my internal time change. I still think it was a good decision but my mom said she would prefer first seating (5:45) in the future. Did not really care for the Pirate night menu. One thing I think Disney could do better is to switch up the menus between ships. Animator's Palate and Royal Court are the same as AP and Triton's on the Wonder, and Enchanted Garden has elements of Tiana's Place (same goes for the restaurants on Magic and Dream). We did not dine at Palo this time, but we likely will in the future. Remy doesn't appeal. Cabanas was fine for breakfast and lunch. We ate dinner there one night and it was just okay. Service was like molasses slow. The quick service options on Deck 11 weren't great. We ordered burgers one day and they pulled them out of a warming drawer and placed a cold slice of cheese on top. Not impressed! I did think Cookie's Too on Castaway Cay had a great selection and enjoyed lunch there. We also had a nice treat at Sweet On You, which of course does cost extra. A great thing about Disney Cruise Line: the bacon is always crispy! I'd had some really limp bacon at the Yacht Club at Disney World the morning before the cruise so was pleased to get some nice crispy stuff every morning for the week! Entertainment and Activities: Jo, the adult activities hostess, was also in this same position on the Wonder. We LOVED her during that cruise, she was absolutely a highlight, and we were THRILLED to discover she'd be our hostess on the Fantasy as well! We went to music trivia and games for the first several nights and had a blast. One night they, for reasons unknown, decided that music trivia should be in O'Gills instead of The Tube, and not realizing the switch, we showed up late. It was PACKED. No place for us to sit, so we missed out on that trivia. We really enjoyed the show that JunNk put on, and thought the comedian Mark Riccadonna, was funny - apparently stand up comedians are infrequent. We didn't play Bingo until the last day and wished we had done so earlier, super fun (but pricey). The people in front of us won the $9,000+ snowball jackpot! The Merrytime Activities were not as great as I was hoping for. There's only one tree lighting, on the first night. And there is simply not enough room surrounding the lobby atrium for everyone who wants to view it to be able to. We missed Santa's Winter Wonderland Ball. Other activities conflicted with other things we wanted to do. The decorations were beautiful though! And I finally got to meet Belle in her Christmas gown, which has been a lifelong dream of mine. Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular - not a favorite. They "revamped" it and they went way too heavy on Jasmine's feminist "I am woman, hear me roar" stance, in my opinion. The carpet didn't fly over the heads of the audience, there were no elephants parading down the aisles. Genie wasn't really laugh-out-loud funny to me. I much preferred the now retired version at Disney California Adventure Park. Frozen: A Musical Spectacular - we also saw this on the Wonder and we like it a lot. They showed this on Thursday night, second to last. I wish they would have performed it earlier, because they showed Frozen II as the nightly show on Tuesday (which we thought was great, probably better than the first!). Would have been nice to see the stage version as a recap before the second movie. Disney's Believe - the best of the lot. Liked that there were songs from "different" movies (Jungle Book, Mary Poppins) and not just the same Lion King, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast montage that Disney loves to show (though of course, they included those too). Movies - in general, just okay. Not a lot of Christmas options and the few they had were on Funnel Vision, not in the movie theater. Heavy on Maleficent II and Dumbo, no options for Frozen II until after they'd shown it as the nightly show, despite it being out for over a week by that point. Descendants featured heavily on Funnel Vision. Aqua Duck: not worth the hype, in my opinion. Rode it the day we were in St. Thomas. The first half is fun with the little dips, but from the time it curves around the deck and the whole second half it's a snore...just a straight line. Goofy Golf was fun, we played it one night. It was just us and one other group, but that group had six people and took forever. We ended up skipping a hole and coming back to it to pass them. Rainforest Room doubled in price earlier this year and I'm really not sure it's worth it anymore. It's about $34/person/day for the one day passes purchased prior to sailing, with the ridiculous auto gratuity added in. This doesn't include the salt scrubs, which are about $15 extra. We enjoyed the heated loungers, the showers were fun for a minute, the hot tub was nice but the design is weird and only seats really two people per tub, and I don't particularly enjoy the sauna/steam rooms. I wanted to shower in the changing rooms but apparently they don't provide washcloths? Could not find them anywhere if they do. My mom ended up booking one of the onboard specials for a full body + ankle/foot/scalp massage and a facial. She loved it at the time but was really uncomfortably sore the next day and missed a lot of time on Castaway Cay because of it. Tortola: We did the Island Drive and Beach Break. It was the cheapest option for this port. The roads/driving...I was not convinced we'd make it back to the ship in one piece, honestly. The description mentions a 35 minute stop at Sky World with shopping. Uh, we were there for legitimately 10 minutes and I saw no shopping available. It was also like 9am so the restaurant wasn't running. We got lukewarm bottled water, a couple minutes to take pictures and use the restroom - the observation deck was extra? - then back on the bus. Cane Garden Bay Beach was beautiful but my mom got knocked over by some waves that soured her experience. Beach chairs were included, but they're set up very close to the water and the tide kept sweeping away people's shoes. They gave us coupons for another free drink but wouldn't let us have water because it came in a glass so we couldn't take it with us. Probably wouldn't get off the ship if we returned to this port. St. Thomas: Chose the Ultimate Island Experience here, again one of the less expensive options. Magens Bay Beach was even better than Cane Garden Bay, but you had to rent chairs if you wanted them, and they charge a deposit which can only be paid in cash - we didn't bring any! Waves less strong here, and our shuttle was the first to arrive that morning so the beach was nearly empty. We liked the stop at Mountain Top and found some nice, reasonably priced souvenirs. Would have enjoyed a little more time there. The end of the excursion is where things went downhill. They drop you off downtown for "shopping". What this actually is involves being heckled by locals to look at their handmade goods, being aggressively approached by taxi drivers despite having wristbands indicating we were part of a group, and having a man hustling us into a nearby jewlery shop with no option to say no. My mom asked why we couldn't just use one of the taxi drivers to take us back to the ship sooner than our prearranged transport (which turned out to be via ferry, which isn't mentioned anywhere) and I pointed out again - no cash. Would choose a different excursion next time - no one said anything negative about St John! Castaway Cay: I was happy I had more time to explore the island this visit. Pelican Plunge is fun, I met a bunch of characters, did some snorkeling. The snorkeling was a bust because no matter what I do, the mouthpiece never fits me correctly and I always end up breathing in salt water. I wanted to go out to the deeper "trail" but between the mouthpiece and the buoyant snorkel vest, it was too much effort. I did the Getaway Package (we'd done the Stingrays previously). Floated in the Family Beach area for a short while. Rented my bike out at Serenity Bay and did both bike trails. The trail to the Observation Tower was obviously more popular, and I think a lot of people don't know about the second trail that runs parallel to Serenity Bay. Next time I think I'll just do the float rental and enjoy time on the beach itself. It's not like the view on the bike trail changes, and unless I invest in my own snorkel gear, I give up on that (it's a recurring problem for me, not just this instance). Note that we found the shirt selection a little lacking in sizes - nothing bigger than an XL on the island! Photo Package: We pre-purchased the all inclusive package, which costs $50 more if bought onboard. They will completely refund you or allow you to downgrade to the 10 or 20 image options if you're not happy. I was pleased with our photos on the last cruise so went this route this time. A lot of the special backgrounds in the atrium have a very long wait. On formal night, the line to take pictures in front of the Christmas tree was literally the slowest moving line I've ever experienced for anything. The pick up for the USB on disembarkation morning was quick and easy. Disembarkation: Since we had second seating, we would have had the later breakfast, and I wanted to get off the ship sooner than that to head to Universal Orlando. We went to Cabanas, where I was very surprised to see a full breakfast buffet, not the continental options I was expecting! The line to disembark seemed very long and slow moving, and other more experienced cruisers said this was the slowest it's ever been for them. My mom was able to do airline check in via JetBlue so we didn't have to collect her bags, but since I was staying in Orlando for a few more days, we did have to find mine. Thankfully the customs line itself moves quickly, especially if you have nothing to declare. Yes, we will cruise again, and booked a placeholder on board. We are strongly considering a Bahamian on the Magic in 2021, just trying to decide between a 5-Night alone, or a 3-Night back-to-back with a 5-Night Western Caribbean to Grand Cayman. Our other option would be one of the Mexican Riviera cruises on the Wonder, but we want to try a new ship, and the Magic stops at Key West, which we are interested in visiting. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose the Disney Fantasy due to the fun we had on the ship in 2018 and the fact that it was an 8 night cruise. First I want to highlight the good. 1. Check in was easy and very efficient and orderly. We had rain in the area when ... Read More
We chose the Disney Fantasy due to the fun we had on the ship in 2018 and the fact that it was an 8 night cruise. First I want to highlight the good. 1. Check in was easy and very efficient and orderly. We had rain in the area when we checked in and Disney really got people thru the lines at security very efficiently. 2. The staff was excellent. Our room host was amazing, as was our dining team. 3. The shows were very good. I thought we would be seeing the same shows, but they seemed to tweak them a little bit, to make them fresh. Excellent performers. 4. The characters, as always, were very accessible. They would stay around a little longer than the scheduled time to meet all of the guests that were in line. 5. Our stateroom was very clean. 6. The singers in the atrium were entertaining. 7. My kids loved the activities in the Oceaneers lab (ages 5 and 10). They spent a total of 6-7 hours there and wished they had spent more. 8. Cabanas restaurant is very good for a buffet. 9. Trick or treating on ship was fun for all involved The "not to Disney Standard" (I won't use bad) 1. The Fantasy seems to need some TLC. I know it is hard to maintain a boat when it is only in port for less than 12 hours, but it seems to be showing more wear and tear since last year. I noticed last year they were always painting and cleaning areas. This year, parts of the boat were showing rust (I had the same stateroom last year and used it as a good judge). Last year I would say the Fantasy was a 9 out of 10 and now I say it is a 7.5 2. The prices seem to be creeping up on a lot of things from drinks to bingo. 3. I witnessed two different altercations on board with passengers in the theater. All over seating. The staff tried to diffuse the situations, but it was not handled real well. Not sure if there is a good way to fix it, as everyone is fighting for the same seats. I have sat all over the theater and the only seats that are just ok are the ones on stage left lower. 4. The food on the dining rotation was OK. Was better in 2018 5. The fast service at the V8 cafe was fair for food quality. 6. Previously, we were able to use our DVC discount on any gift shop purchases. Now, we had to spend over $50 to use it. Felt a little cheap on Disney to take that away. 7. We did the Halloween on the High Seas cruise. I guess I was expecting more than a 10 minute story and the pumpkin tree coming to life. But that part of the sailing was disappointing (the trick or treat part was fun for the kids). 8. Goofy's sports simulators are worn out. I thought it was just a golf simulator, but it has a variety of games to play. I took my daughter with me and we tried to play golf, but when you hit the ball, it only goes about 100 yards with a driver. Very frustrating on that so we quit and switched to other games. But the screens had dead spots on them and you had to throw in different areas to make it work. A total waste of money. Just a tip, you can take the whole family in with you to do these if you so choose. When you make the RSVP it doesn't really say much about it. Ports of Call St. Kitts We did the beach excursion. It was a short ride from port and got to see some pretty parts of the island. The beach was nice, the staff at the beach was nice and the food and drink were very good. Antigua We did the Stingray adventure. The girls had fun and I would do this again. San Juan This didn't have a lot to do for families, so we did not book any activities. We walked to the old fort (about a half mile from the ship) and took the tour. It was a fun learning experience for all all ages. The only negative is the people trying to sell you stuff as you get off the ship. Cataway Cay As always, this is the best and worst part of the trip. The island is awesome with tons to do. It's the worst because it means vacation is over the next day. But, the snorkeling is fun, the slides are a blast, I did the 5k and it was fun to walk around the island, and overall, it is a great stopover. Overall a very good cruise. But it seems Disney is slipping a touch in quality. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise because our 3 year old grand-daughter is obsessed with Disney. Our Grand-daughter enjoyed this cruise and overall I thought it was a good solid cruise experience. However, I did not feel it was a good value for the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because our 3 year old grand-daughter is obsessed with Disney. Our Grand-daughter enjoyed this cruise and overall I thought it was a good solid cruise experience. However, I did not feel it was a good value for the money and overall it was just ok. For what I paid for this cruise, it should have been extraordinary and it just wasn't. We were on the eight day Halloween on the High Seas cruise. I'll try to lay out each aspect and describe what I thought was good and bad. We are frequent cruisers, primarily on RCCL, but have cruise most of the other lines as well. CABIN - It was a Family Ocean View with balcony on deck five so it had the oversized balcony. Cabin seemed small to me but it was fine with three people. Four would have been really tight. It was clean and our cabin steward was very nice, towel animals and chocolates every night. FOOD: The food, as many have noted, was just ok. Overall it was average cruise food. I have had worse, but I have had much, much better. My favorite dining room was Animators Palette, mostly because it was interactive and kept my grand-daughters attention during dinner. If you get to see them make your art come to life, that was a real treat. Our dining room team, Allan from India and Alia from Spain were wonderful, hardworking folks, who were very kind and generous with their time in entertaining my grand-daughter. The Buffet in the cabanas was fine, but again, not as good as some, better than others. ENTERTAINMENT: Disney scores high marks here for their Broadway caliber shows. We were fortunate to see Aladdin, Believe AND Frozen on this cruise. All three of these shows were hands down some of the best I've seen on a cruise ship. They had a comic/ventriloquist who was good and a hypnotist (Ricky Kalmon I believe) who I would not see again. KIDS ACTIVITIES: Our grand-daughter went to the nursery. The staff there was lovely and took excellent care of her. She really liked it there and looked forward to it every night we took her. There is lots for kids to do on the ship. Many Character meet and greets, many activities, Midship detective agency, princesses everywhere, character breakfasts, etc. Kids will never be bored. We didn't use the kids club except for the nursery. We went to a couple of open houses and the staff was friendly, but we did not get the total experience since our grand-daughter is not completely potty trained and couldn't go there on her own. ADULTS: We did not enjoy the adult spaces on this ship and thought this is a big negative for Disney. The adult spaces felt cramped and a little creepy to me. There were not a lot of activities geared for adults, other than trivia. There is far more to do on any one of the RCCL ships for adults. We ended up going to bed early most nights. You might say well this is a Disney cruise it's not meant for adults... let me tell you, there were more adults than children on this cruise and there was not enough for them to do. BINGO: If you are a bingo lover, Disney has the best bingo I've played on a cruise ship to date. It was fun, there are several games, the prices are less than other lines and the payouts are good. It was just a really fun time. ROYAL COURT TEA AND BBB - We took our Grand-Daughter for a princess makeover and it was worth every penny. Staff was wonderful and she just loved it. Went to the Royal Court Tea and that was also very fun, but I would suggest to Disney that the $220 price tag should include one adult along with the child. I paid $60.00 to drink a cup of tea and eat a scone. It was a nice show and my grand-daughter got beautiful gifts. I did think it was a little price at $280.00 though. PORTS: We did not do any excursions since our grand-daughter didn't meet the age requirement of most excursions. We got off the boat in St. Kitts and Castaway Key. Castaway Key was nice, but I like RCCL's private islands much better. EMBARKATION/DEBARKATION - Embarkation was not great. Debarkation was smooth and quick. OVERALL - This was a good cruise, we had a great time. The staff was WONDERFUL. Everyone was wonderful with children. We paid as much for this cruise to be in a family balcony stateroom as we did for a two bedroom suite on RCCL. It was simply just not worth it for the value. We are glad we did it one time, but we very likely won't be sailing Disney again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Spoiler Alert for Kids and Adults who "Believe" or Want To About me: 60ish great aunt of these sailing kids, my 11th cruise, first and last on Disney Who Sailed: Extended family of 8, 6 adults and 2 children, including a 5 ... Read More
Spoiler Alert for Kids and Adults who "Believe" or Want To About me: 60ish great aunt of these sailing kids, my 11th cruise, first and last on Disney Who Sailed: Extended family of 8, 6 adults and 2 children, including a 5 year old who turned 6 on the cruise, in 3 balcony cabins booked a year before sailing. Biggest Disappointments: Guest Services Handling of Gifts and Amenities (NOT our Steward, but Management) Before sailing, we arranged and paid online for the birthday child's cabin and cabin door to be decorated with a Star Wars theme as well as sail away champagne for the 6 brave, thirsty adults upon our arrival. As we walked to our cabin, said birthday child saw and loved many other decorated doors so we thought "HOME RUN"! Alas, when we got to our cabin, NO decorations on door or in cabin and one bottle of champagne when we had purchased two online prior to sailing. BOOM, not on board 20 minutes and already hugely disappointed. Guest services initially claimed no knowledge of the purchased decor and questioned second bottle of champagne until we produced receipts. Their lame excuses included paper sticking together, someone not turning the page over, decorations would be installed on child's actual birthday, second bottle of champagne is typically delivered on last day of cruise, etc. As soon as I told them my review would reflect my displeasure, the excuses stopped. To their credit, our wonderful cabin steward, Puri, had the room decorated by bedtime that night but we had to purchase door decor in the gift shop ourselves and install it while the child was otherwise occupied. The beverage manager caught up with me, in person, after dinner to apologize and two bottles of bubbly were delivered to our cabin the second day. Too little too late. Biggest Annoyance: During character greetings and in the buffet, our 5 year old was practically trampled several times, not by other children, but by rude adults muscling their kids through to the front of the line. The use of stanchions at character events and in the buffet lines might help remind the adults of their manners, prevent injuries to smaller, more polite children waiting their turn and improve the experience. Meh, Okay: Our kids are grown up for their age and know the "characters" are just people in costumes. They had fun seeing and having their picture taken with them but were not particularly enchanted. Half of the adults in the group were disappointed that there was no casino and all were insulted by Disney's philosophy that "alcoholic beverage packages encourage overindulgence". Both children felt the kid's club was "kinda like day care" and didn't want to go back. Unfortunately, our itinerary was entirely changed due to Hurricane Dorian, so the shore excursions had to be scrapped. No fault of Disney, but disappointing nonetheless. The Good Stuff: Our cabin steward and dining staff exceeded our wildest expectations every day. The steward was met with a chaotic mess in the kid's cabin each and every morning and always turned it into a peaceful, organized oasis before we returned. Our waiters won the hearts of the children with nightly magic tricks and very special attention such as cutting their meat for them and producing their favorite A1 Sauce without being asked. Stone crab claws for lunch every day can't be beat anywhere, anytime. Impressive accommodations for smokers, very chic, not at all the typical "circle of shame". Overall: Easily the most expensive cruise I have ever been on. Balcony Cabin size and furnishings are comparable to what Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Carnival offer. Food, other than the crab claws at lunch, is also on par with the competition as is the excellent level of service provided by cabin and dining staff. Considering all that, the Disney "experience" should have commanded the difference in price. Sadly, for me it did not. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Outstanding Staff: Heru (cabin steward); Kevin (customer service desk); Melvina (cabin steward) The Great: - received a cabin upgrade; my 8 year old daughter had a fantastic time on the ship Dining: - Buffet meals in the morning ... Read More
Outstanding Staff: Heru (cabin steward); Kevin (customer service desk); Melvina (cabin steward) The Great: - received a cabin upgrade; my 8 year old daughter had a fantastic time on the ship Dining: - Buffet meals in the morning and at lunch were mostly excellent - Supper was usually poor: meats were mostly dried out and of poor quality - when you name a dish a certain name (ie. Jerk Chicken; amaretto desert) ensure that it remotely tastes like said named dish - I have lived in the Caribbean for a number of years, and the Jerk chicken did not taste like Jerk chicken, not even remotely; the amaretto desert barely had a hint of amaretto; the coconut curry was poor overall, although it was closest to the name) - cooks very timid with the spices, very bland - wife ate the worst lasagna of her life, and she's not normally a picky eater - our table partners were far more disappointed with their meals than we were, and would agree that the food served at supper was sub-par - service was just okay, often slow, and at times would get orders wrong - nice people though Entertainment: - Aladdin was good - Magician was poor and kept constantly plugging his wares - Ventriloquist was very good - Comedian was good - rest of the shows - okay for the kiddies, but nothing to write home about Overall Onboard Experience: - excellent for my young child and wife, who spent a lot of time with the characters, at the movies, shows, boutique, tea time, etc. - poor overall experience for myself and my 13 year old boy who wanted to hang out - he's not into the characters and/or into the shows; we spent time on the basketball court, but there is only so much time you can spend with the sun beating down on you all day; - terrible pool experience: my 13 year old who is 6 feet 2 inches tall and looks 18 (three weeks prior a waiter at a restaurant asked him what kind of beer he wanted to drink) did not want to spend time in the kiddie pool with the 2, 3 and 5 year olds; nor did I, as I am over 6 feet myself - to have two grown men hang out with the little kiddies would not only look odd, but it was not something that we were interested in doing - so we went to the adult pool one night at about 10:00 p.m. - spend an hour there, and was great (it was empty) - next night we went again to hang out a bit and cool off, and this time a different attendant questioned his age and kicked him, even though there were only two other people there, and the two of us were behaving appropriately (we were being civilized, not loud, not disturbing anyone, etc.) - talked to Customer Service about the situation, and they were unwilling to budge and/or accommodate, even though I told them that my son would act appropriately, orderly, etc. and not disturb anyone - spoke to 4 managers in total - Yuki was very nice, but could not assist - after speaking to Yuki, two managers came to speak to me at the same time; I found that a bit "aggressive" of them - last manager by the name of Arief (apparently the top customer service manager on the ship) seemed a bit condescending (ie. Mr. "A" we have already discussed this with you...Mr. "A", I am not going to go over the same points that were already discussed"); I am not even sure that he correctly understood everything that I spoke to him about (seemed to have some difficulties understanding- English is my 4th of 5 languages, so there is no excuse that he should not have understood his customers) - overall, other than Yuki, I found the latter managers unwilling to listen; unwilling to use their heads and apply some discretion; all hid behind their "policies") - they all told me that my son and I could hang out together in the kiddie pool, or that my son could go to the teenage pool (true, he could, but then he'd be there by himself and I'd be by myself in the adult pool - not my idea of family time) - kept telling me that if they let my son in the pool, then they'd have to let all other teenage children in the pool (untrue - they gave me a cabin upgrade - they did not give everyone else on the ship an upgrade); we live in world full of policies, rules, etc.; exceptions to these policies and rules are made all the time based on individual circumstance (ie. people get a break from traffic tickets all the time; bureaucrats and politicians intervene in certain cases to make exceptions based on individual circumstances; etc.) - applying discretion is what allows our world to function more smoothly at times... Overall: The staff were nice overall, other than the higher-up client/customer service managers who were unwilling to provide the customer service that Disney supposedly prides itself on. At least for myself and my son, we did not in any way receive our money's worth - we could have done the same cruise with a different line anywhere from 50% - 65% cheaper. Movies on the television were limited. Even though we weren't on the cruise to watch movies, given the fact that my son was kicked out of the pool, we spent a fair amount of time in the room when not playing basketball, eating, at the shows, etc. Read Less
Sail Date August 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
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
Sail Date July 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
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
Sail Date June 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
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
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
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
Sail Date April 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
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
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 March 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
Sail Date February 2019
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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