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: March 2019
We (my wife, my almost 2 yr old son, and me) chose this cruise mainly due to some friends who had booked the same cruise. Overall, we had a good time, good service, and good food. The main thing we were hoping for was some family time as ... Read More
We (my wife, my almost 2 yr old son, and me) chose this cruise mainly due to some friends who had booked the same cruise. Overall, we had a good time, good service, and good food. The main thing we were hoping for was some family time as my wife and I both work and as a result our son spends most of his waking hours m-f at daycare. So we chose not to put him in daycare/nursery on the ship. This, surprisingly, resulted in limited options for us on the Fantasy even though it is built for families/kids. Why? 1) My son is not potty trained yet, so all pools were off limits to him. He has been taking swim lessons at home, so everytime we walked by a pool he would ask to go it in, but he could not. There are two "splash" zones open to non-potty trained kids, but one is out of the sun and resulted in being too cold for playing in for extended periods and the other is up on a higher deck and was often too windy to play in for very long. But, to be fair, he did enjoy those areas when he got the chance. 2) the only other area on the ship specifically suited for toddlers is Andy's Room...which was only open to toddlers for a couple of hours a day as the rest of the time it was part of the Oceaneer Club. We did try to take him to other events listed as "all ages", but outside of one coloring event, they were not right for him. But we still had a good time. The only other issue we had was dinner. We had linked our reservation with our friends in hopes of linking our dinners. They have a 2 yr old too and we all were wait listed for the early seating. To my surprise, my family got the early seating but our friends did not. No matter, they will seat us with another family, right? Nope, we were seated with 3 grandparents who were cruising without their families. While they were nice people and we had pleasant meals with them, I am sure we all would have preferred to have been seated with others in similar situations to our own. And the fact that our friends were on the late seating threw their schedule completely off of ours and reduced the amount of time we all got to spend with each other. The service was great, the food was good, the room was nice, and seeing my son meet all the characters was something special. There are plenty of tips out there for Disney cruises, but one thing I would suggest is have two sets of fireworks, waiting until 10:30 is just too late for those families cruising with little ones. Read Less
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: February 2019
BACKGROUND: This cruise was a birthday cruise for my older daughter who is turning 5. We also have a 20 month old girl. We thought about doing the theme parks, but figured that is more stressful and we’d wait until the girls are older. ... Read More
BACKGROUND: This cruise was a birthday cruise for my older daughter who is turning 5. We also have a 20 month old girl. We thought about doing the theme parks, but figured that is more stressful and we’d wait until the girls are older. So we decided on DCL. Also joining us were my brother-in-law, sister-in-law, and their 7 yr old daughter. Technically, I’ve done DCL once before, on the Wonder. But that was a free cruise due to my friend working as a doctor on the ship (I crashed with him). So this was my first true DCL sailing with a family. CABIN: We stayed in 6138 (Deluxe oceanview with verandah), and in-laws had the connecting room. I was very impressed with the room. It didn’t feel cramped in there, even with the crib and diaper genie. We really loved having the two bathrooms and two sinks. And there was plenty of storage space for everything. I really liked that our large suitcases and even our car seat fit under the bed. The cabin location was great, and it was easy to get around everywhere. There was no vibration noise and not much foot traffic outside our room. Having the connecting room was awesome as the kids could go back and forth easily. ENTERTAINMENT: Since our 1 year old goes to bed early, one of us typically stayed in the room after dinner while the rest of the group went out. Out of the shows that I watched, I really liked the juggler and Wishes show, and the Knight magicians were great also. I didn’t care for the rePercussion show at all. We had a great time at the various music trivia contests, and actually won the 90’s one. For kid’s stuff, my older kid really loved all the character meetings. DINING: Overall I was quite happy with the food. The breakfast buffets were excellent- Mickey waffles, pancakes, made to order eggs, biscuits & gravy, fresh fruit, etc were all great. My kid loved the selection of Krispy Kreme donuts. My only complaint about breakfast is that it was very hard to find crispy bacon. We did one sit-down character breakfast and that was good, but we preferred the buffet options. Lunch buffets were also great. I liked the selection of pastas, rice dishes, vegetables, etc. The desserts were solid also (really enjoyed the Oreo cheesecake). The breads were tasty, especially the focaccia (overall, the various breads on the ship were so good!). Sit-down dinners were hit and miss. As others have mentioned, expect convention center banquet hall quality. We typically liked the appetizers and salads. But some of the entrees were not good at all. I can remember a few that I stopped eating after a few bites (chicken schnitzel, sesame tofu, seafood pasta). I did tend to like the filled pasta options (especially mushroom ones). Some of the sides were great, such as the delicious white asparagus. Food temperature was an issue, as many of the entrees were served lukewarm. I never really left dinner feeling stuffed. On the bright side, our servers David and Marko were awesome. We made sure to tip them extra. The other saving grace was that the dinner desserts were overall really good (especially the crème brulee cheesecake and the various sundaes). And the Mickey ice cream bars live up to the hype- they have a terrific dark chocolate shell. We did Palo brunch also. That was a great mix of salads, bread, cheese, seafood, pasta, and desserts. I thought the chicken parm wasn’t as good as people here raved about. But we did have the chef make an off-menu calzone that was so good, and probably the best calzone I’ve ever had. The almond croissant and blue cheese walnut bread were great. For desserts, I loved the tiramisu and cannoli the most. Was it worth $40 + tip per person? I felt it was for me, because I liked having the variety of food. But for someone looking to save money, you’d be fine skipping it. In terms of other food options, we were happy. The late night french fries at Flo’s Café were awesome. The gelato at the ice cream shop was also great, and priced reasonably. Loved the cheesy tater toys with fresh jalapenos at the Irish pub. And Cove Café made great lattes (with really fun latte art). I’m glad they offered a buy 5, get 1 free latte punch card. My one suggestion for the food is to provide more ethnic options. The vast majority of the food options were American and Italian. During the entire week, I only recall seeing one Chinese dish (basic fried rice) and a couple of Indian dishes. I know many people don’t like ethnic food or spice, but I was really surprised by the lack of Mexican (tex-mex) options. I’d consider tex-mex food to very mainstream these days, and even kids love it. But in general, I was happy with the food, and gained 5 lbs! SPA: We purchased the Rainforest room deal for the week. It was very relaxing to visit the various rooms and showers. We even took showers here a few days because the showers were so spacious. The spa uses Elemis toiletries, which I didn’t like as much as the DCL ones. SHIP: The Fantasy felt sizable, but never overwhelming. We found it very easy and fast to get around the ship (especially without kids in tow). Elevators moved quickly. We found everything to be very clean also. My one issue is that the pools were tiny and therefore super-crowded. PORTS: We couldn’t do much in terms of excursions due to the 1 year old. At Tortola, there wasn’t much to do for us, so we just walked around the square a bit. In St Thomas, we did the scenic tram, which was a great photo op. And we did bicycling at Castaway, which was a lot of fun. We spent the rest of the day at the beach there. The clear blue water was awesome (though slightly chilly). I know our 20 month old won’t remember this experience in the future, but I think the 5 year old definitely will. Would we go on DCL again? We want to, but that will depend on pricing also. Even though we went during a cheaper week, this was by far the most we’ve ever spent on a vacation. Eventually I’d like to go on one of the new ships, but will target an off-peak week. Overall, we had a fantastic time and have lots of great memories. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Our Son organised this trip as a surprise for us. It was amazing, we didn't know how we would get on, especially the amount of children on board. But it was a wonderful trip. I read a lot of reviews and U Tube ideas. We ... Read More
Our Son organised this trip as a surprise for us. It was amazing, we didn't know how we would get on, especially the amount of children on board. But it was a wonderful trip. I read a lot of reviews and U Tube ideas. We arrived earlier than our time and we were accommodated straight away( we had 4 boys aged 1, 3, 9 and nearly 11) Our stateroom was great and loved the veranda, much bigger than we expected. From the moment we stepped on board, we were treated really so well. Our stateroom host introduced himself, his name was Windy, he was so nice and kind and always smiling, couldn't do more for us and how he remembered names with so many people I will never know. Our Server was Antonio, so good that after our first evening we stayed on to talk to him and he found out my husband loved Indian food and every night he made a special dinner for him. He was amazing and so friendly. Our assistant server was Sukrawan and Head server Witt, who entertained us with magic. How they manage all the noise, tantrums and amount of people so well amazes us. Our trips ashore to Cozumel, which is 33miles long, 11 miles wide and is situated 12 miles off the coast of the mainland. The Mayans have lived on Cozumel since 300AD. Grand Cayman, named after the Carib Indian word for marine crocodile. Falmouth Jamaica, Positioned between Ocho Rios and Montero Bay. The Day at sea was STAR WARS, which my Son and Children loved as they are Big Fans. It was really good fun and all the dressing up and photos taken with the characters . Cabanas food for breakfast and lunch was unreal. The other restaurants Animators Plalate was the children's favourite, then Enchanted Garden and Royal Court. Everything was the Best and I would love to go again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We did this same cruise (same ship, same itinerary, with the Star Wars Day at Sea) 2 years ago, and chose it again because we loved it so much! Our traveling party: Myself (48), husband (57), our daughter (13), and our niece (24) ... Read More
We did this same cruise (same ship, same itinerary, with the Star Wars Day at Sea) 2 years ago, and chose it again because we loved it so much! Our traveling party: Myself (48), husband (57), our daughter (13), and our niece (24) TRANSFER TO PORT FROM WDW HOTEL: We had a few days pre-cruise at the Beach Club. On Friday we received a letter stating our meeting time and place the next morning (by 11:20 am, Beach Club Solarium). We boarded buses by 11:30 as everyone had already checked in, and reached Port Canaveral around 12:45. EMBARKATION: Possibly the quickest and easiest embarkation I have ever experienced in my many years of cruising. Did the complete online check-in before arrival. Minimal wait at security (minutes at most), up the escalators, right into the check-in line where we received the simplest health form ever (just one for the whole family, rather than one for everyone), and were called immediately to the counter before I'd even filled in the two blanks on the form! I handed over the Port Arrival form, the agent took one group picture (rather than individual pictures) for our identification, and then she gave us a boarding card showing Group 22 and they were already up to Group 28 so we were free to board immediately! Honestly it was so quick we didn't even get a picture under the Mickey entranceway, or near the ship model! The longest line we waited in was to get our boarding pictures taken! I was super-impressed with embarkation. CABIN: We had a Deluxe Family Oceanview with Verandah on Deck 5 Starboard. It was a fabulous choice for our group -- the verandah was oversized and even though the room itself is a bit tight with 4 grown people, there was plenty of storage for clothes (and luggage under the bed). Our location was PERFECT, close to the elevators, not in a busy hall, just a quick trip downstairs to the aft public areas and a quick zip up the elevator to Deck 11 for the buffet or the pools. When (not if!) I sail on the Fantasy again, I'll be doing it in the same cabin! The cabin has a divided bathroom -- one has the toilet and a sink, the other has a shower and the sink. Shampoo, conditioner, and lotion (and bar soap) are provided in the bathroom; however, unlike at Disney parks, their wonderful H2O shower gel is NOT in the cabins. Thankfully we had brought some with us from our stay at the parks. ;-) (It's also available for purchase -- not inexpensively! -- in the shops.) I found the king bed very comfortable, the pillows OK depending on which one got put in my spot each night, and the lighting all adequate. I love the dividing curtain for the king bed from the bunk beds. The kids slept later so we could turn lights on in the morning and not bother them. SHIP: Well, obviously we liked the ship the first time, because we went back! I actually love the Fantasy. First of all, I think it's a really attractive, classic-looking ship. Secondly, it's really well-maintained, inside and out -- neat, clean, shipshape. Third, I think it has a really good layout of public spaces -- the only part that is a little confusing are the public lounges on Deck 4 aft, and it's really kind of a cool little warren in there so even though it's a bit of a maze, it's wonderful! The pools on Deck 11 are not large, but to be honest, I never even attempted to go in one. My "spot" is in the Quiet Cove adult pool area, preferably on one of the four round loungers with a good book. ;-) (But if I could make a recommendation, I think Disney could perhaps add a few more of these round loungers, perhaps on the starboard side ... with only 4 available, all on the port side, they're a pretty hot commodity, and people that get them are prone to stay in them all day long! Or at least their clothes and belongings are.) The upper sundecks in this area are also really nice. Back to the main pools, there are (obviously) a lot of kids there, and if you've got young kids, this is where you'll be. Kids just hang out in the pool and watch the movies on Funnel Vision all day long. The AquaDuck slide is also here, and the lines can get long. I recommend going on a port day if you stay onboard, or after 5pm. DINING: Disney makes use of a rotational dining plan whereby you are assigned to a specific table # at a specific dinner seating, and then you rotate to each of the three main restaurants twice during a 7-day cruise (and a third time for one of them). So for example, our Key to the World card had the letters "ERAERRA" on it. This meant on night one we ate at Enchanted Garden, night two at Royal Court, night three at Animator's Palate, and then so forth. In our case, our extra night was a third night at Royal Court. Enchanted Garden has colored cielings that change colors during the meal, and the flower chandeliers open up as well. Royal Court is more princess/Cinderella-themed, with carriage bread baskets and the like. Animator's Palate is the most unique and interesting, with Mickey Mouse themed chairs and cleverly integrated screens on all the walls that can look like portraits, or come alive and entertain you during the meal. The menu is the same at each restaurant on any given night -- so for example if you are assigned to Royal Court one night, you are not "missing out" on anything they are serving at Enchanted Garden, because all three restaurants have the same offerings each night. Now, the service and food. We were assigned to the second seating, which is at 8:15pm. (First seating is at 5:45pm.) The service was OVERALL very good. We were actually quite surprised and disappointed on the first night when our service was ridiculously, unacceptably slow. We placed our orders at 8:30 and didn't receive drinks until 9:15pm! Then the soups came at 9:30. The entrees did not arrive until closer to 10:00pm. At this point there was no chance of us making our next planned activity and we didn't finish the meal until after 10:15pm. Vacations are too short to be spending that much time in the dining room each night, but I know things happen and I am not a complainer so we just hoped the next night would be better. It was, but it was still considerably slower than I am used to on a ship, and again we missed an evening activity we had planned to attend. I still didn't want to say anything, but we began to arrive slightly early, and we had already reviewed the menus on the DCL Navigator App before we arrived so we knew what we wanted to order. Suddenly starting on Night 3 we placed orders immediately and were eating appetizers by 8:35! It made a huge difference and this level of service remained throughout the week. I don't know if someone else complained, or if there were some kinks the first couple of nights, but everything cleared up on Day 3. Our primary waiter was a little difficult to understand and very brusque those first two nights, and suddenly on Day 3, different person. Spent time with us, showed us fun games, and also got us our food in a timely manner. I'm glad I didn't complain and get him in trouble, but I don't know if someone else did. These are all hard-working people just trying to earn a living and I never would want to make their lives harder! The food itself was good but I won't go for great. A couple of times I got soup that was lukewarm at best, and nothing else was super-hot either. There are not a lot of selections on the menu -- typically 5 main entrees being offered, not counting the everyday offerings of grilled salmon, chicken, or steak. Thankfully I was always able to find something that I could eat. I am not a fan of lobster but I know for some reason lobster is a HUGE thing with cruisers (and I have heard a lot of complaining on chat boards for other cruise lines where lobster has been removed from the menus), so fans of this particular dish will be glad to know there were a couple of nights where lobster was offered. Other food offerings on the ship are Flo's 8 Diner on Deck 11 near the pools, which offers pizza, burgers, chicken fingers, hot dogs, sandwiches, salads, and fruit pretty much all day long, and the buffet on Deck 11 aft called Cabanas. I grabbed something from Flo's most days for lunch as Cabanas was already closed at 2pm when I'd return from my port adventures, and Flo's does a surprisingly good job of serving up decent food. The pizza was much better (according to my niece) than the pizza she got in Cabanas one day, and the fries were always fresh and hot. We did have lunch in Cabanas at least once, and there were similar selections (burgers, fries, etc) but with obviously a bit more variety -- some ethnic foods and pastas, for example, and also a wide array of desserts. (The only dessert I ever got there was on Star Wars Day, and it was chocolate brownie with a Darth Vader chocolate on top, and it was delicious.) We also had breakfast at Cabanas most days, ranging from just cereal and fruit to the full "English" -- sausages, hash browns, grilled tomatoes, etc. I can say that for me, the scrambled eggs were inedible -- I'm sure they're not actually eggs, and also they are cooked way too soft for my particular taste, but people must eat them because they keep making them! Far better choices for eggs were the omelets, whether pre-made or made-to-order. ENTERTAINMENT AND ACTIVITIES: Not having small kids, this is the first cruise I've been on in many years where we did not have a child attending the kids' club. However my daughter (13) was a daily visitor to Edge, the "tween" club which is for ages 11-14. All the clubs (youth, tween, teen) have similar activities at different days and times. My daughter LOVES the programming, from GAGA ball to Heroes and Villains. For adult daily entertainment, my husband, niece and I were mostly drawn to the trivia contests. There was a pretty loyal following for trivia who showed up to most of the 18+ contests that were offered. Most of these contests were held in O'Gills pub, on Deck 4 aft, which is a great little sports pub where for a little extra you can also get a nice warm German pretzel with your beverage. ;-) I would have enjoyed even more trivia or similar contests to be offered, especially on the last day when there was only one! Having done this cruise before, and attended EVERY evening show in the big theater, this time we only attended one! We remembered enjoying EVERYTHING last time, but my niece isn't really "into" the shows, so the only one we went to this time was "Aladdin". It's still great, although I liked it better two years ago. Maybe it was the novelty. So, unfortunately I can't comment on the other entertainment such as the ventriloquist or the juggler. I would love to see something like the dueling pianos (Howl at the Moon) that is available on several of the NCL ships, that's for sure one of my favorites and there is nothing like that for adults here. We did attend a couple of adults game shows in the Tube (also Deck 4 aft), and they were all entertaining, especially the Star Wars Superfan challenge which we all go to take part in. ;-) SERVICE: With the sole exception of the slow and brusque service on nights one and two of our dining rotation, EVERY SINGLE INTERACTION with a crew member was a positive experience. The staff onboard is so friendly, so helpful, always service with a smile. And just to be clear, we ended up LOVING our waiter. It was just a little bit of a rocky beginning. Everyone from bar staff (Jerkson in O'Gills Pub was our favorite) to Guest Services was outstanding. PORTS AND SHORE EXCURSIONS: COZUMEL, MEXICO - We've been to Cozumel probably too many times at this point, so instead of the usual snorkeling or beach (the two main things to do there), we tried something different. We did a ship excursion to Cozumel Ruins, with a trip also to a Cacao "factory". Our guide Miguel was really good, the Mayan ruins were interesting although a short visit there is plenty. To be clear, these are NOT the famous ruins at Chichen Itza! Those are also offered as an excursion but you'd spent most of your day on a bus getting there and back. This was a chance to see some Mayan ruins on a much smaller scale while not spending all day traveling, and we enjoyed it. The cacao factory was not really a factory, it was a demonstration (ironically at Playa Mia which is where we did a beach break excursion two years ago) of chocolate-making and an opportunity to buy chocolate. GEORGETOWN, GRAND CAYMAN - This is a beautiful island and certainly more picturesque and less run-down than Cozumel is. We did a ship excursion which was an "island tour and Saltwater forest". The tour was fine but not really what I expected. It was nice to see the island and we had like 5 minutes on 7-mile beach to take a picture. However the "saltwater forest", which is what drew me in, was not really a forest so much as a boat ride through a bay and then parking in a little clump of mangroves, where we then learned all about mangroves. It was interesting, but not really what I pictured when I read about boating through a "saltwater forest". This could just be that my imagination had a whole different scene in mind. That said, again we had interesting, knowledgeable guides. FALMOUTH, JAMAICA - Having Falmouth before and stayed on board (well, the husband went golfing), we know there's not a lot to do right in this area. However, we had visited Ocho Rios on a different cruise line in the past and loved the Dunn's River Falls/Bobsled Jamaica excursion, so we did that again, albeit with the longer bus ride to get there this time. It was maybe about an hour's ride so really not bad at all. If you've never climbed the falls before, DO IT, it's a great experience. Strenuous, if you're not in decent shape, but the guides are really helpful! And then the "Sky Explorer" chairlift that gets you up to the top of Mystic Mountain to do the Bobsled Jamaica is a great experience on its own. It gets HOT up there and is EXPOSED, so wear sunscreen or even carry an umbrella to shade yourself! Also hold on to your flip-flops! The bobsled is a fun ride, like a self-run roller coaster (you control your own speed). One caveat, you have to exit Dunn's River Falls through the "craft market" -- I always wonder if the Jamaicans will ever realize that if they were not so aggressive and did NOT use so many tricks to get you to buy things (like posing for a picture, etc. etc), they might sell more merchandise? For example, my niece is a souvenir FANATIC, and would have certainly bought something (someTHINGS) had she been allowed to browse the wares. But because you can't even engage in a "hello" without immediately being set upon and wheedled, she, like us, just sort of walked straight through, not looking left or right, repeating, "no thank you, no thank you". I guarantee she is not the only customer they lose for this reason. She's not comfortable with the hard sell but would definitely buy if allowed the peace to do so. CASTAWAY CAY - Funnily enough, we didn't love Castaway Cay on our first visit -- we perhaps weren't prepared for it, found people very obnoxiously grabbing up and "claiming" all the chairs in sight, the slides had long waits, the food was better on the ship, etc. However, this time we had some activities planned and it was a great day! My daughter went parasailing, which she LOVED, and she may even convince me to do it next time. ;-) Then all four of us enjoyed some time floating around in the lagoon for a while, and even though I found the water chilly two years ago in April, this time it was really pleasant (even though only February). Also there was no shortage of chairs or shade. It's just a really well-maintained (I expect nothing less of Disney) island. After our swimming, we embarked on a jet-ski tour. These were doubles so my niece drove my daughter and my husband drove me. It was fun although be warned the water was QUITE choppy just outside the cove, where we went out into the sea a bit. There is a lot of jostling and bouncing and especially with two people on the jet-ski, you can't stand up like you can when you're a single rider to alleviate the impact of the waves. We did enter another quiet cove and got to speed around in there for a bit, and then we parked on a sandbar seemingly in the middle of nowhere and just floated around in the water for a 10-minute break. It was quite peaceful there and almost felt like you were the only people in the world. Our jet-ski was low on fuel and the warning light (and accompanying alarm buzzer) was on the whole ride back, which was very annoying, but we did make it back in. We did not eat at the BBQ this time as we recalled it wasn't great last time, instead we re-boarded the ship around 2:15 and got some items from Flo's, and enjoyed the AquaDuck and pools before most people came back on board. STAR WARS DAY AT SEA: So, this is the main reason we choose this particular itinerary -- we LOVE Star Wars, and my niece is also a huge fan (as evidenced by her runner-up placing in the Star Wars Superfan challenge!) so we wanted her to experience this since we had enjoyed it so much a couple of years ago. While the second sea day (Thursday) is officially the "Star Wars Day", there are two photo ops available all week (the Star Wars Day At Sea background, and the Han Solo frozen in carbonite statue) that you can pose with. Additionally, there is a Star Wars movie every night in the Buena Vista theater, which is a great chance to see the "originals" on the big screen if you never had. (Although, my one big complaint is that these films started at 10:45 every night, which meant we watched an hour at most each night before we had to turn in if we were to have any chance of getting up for our excursions. I believe they should have been shown at least one other time during the cruise!) Then the night before, while not on the Navigator, at 10pm in the Atrium all of a sudden the Star Wars music comes on and the ship is "taken over" by the Empire, led, of course, by Darth Vader and crew. The Atrium was JAMMED with people on all three levels so while I did not see it advertised, obviously people knew it was coming! From that moment on throughout the next day, all the music on the ship's speakers, in the hallways, everywhere, was all Star Wars music, which is awesome, and on that day there are lots of other "experiences" you can choose, for example we had photo ops scheduled with the droids and with Darth Vader, you can also choose Chewbacca, or your younglings (3-12) can train to be Jedi. There are Star Wars-themed events, such as the BB-8 races in the atrium, where kids can sign up to race miniature BB-8's along a mat and the winners go on to the finals. The menus in the restaurants have a Star Wars theme, as do the drinks of the day ("Galaxy in a Glass", anyone?). It's just great fun, and best of all, SO MANY PEOPLE dress up for the event. This could range from just Star Wars t-shirts, the variety of which you can't even imagine, to the full cosplay experience -- one girl in a costume for a character I didn't even know (from Rebels) had spent two hours on makeup and getting dressed, and it showed. It's also the only day they show Star Wars movies all day in the Buena Vista theater, unfortunately the ones being played during the day were the ones I don't like! (1, 2, and 3, although I don't mind 3 and would have watched that one if it hadn't overlapped dinner.) There was Star Wars trivia, and the Superfan challenge, and it is just great fun for Star Wars fans. I have read a negative review on here from a grandma who "happened" to be on a cruise with a Star Wars day at sea and complained there was nothing ELSE to do that day if you don't like Star Wars. It could be a fair point, but for ME, I remember thinking, "it's too bad I'm a Star Wars fan, this would be a GREAT chance to get a lounger at the Quiet Cove, swim in the pools, ride the AquaDuck, etc. -- all the things that are usually much busier! To each his own. WOULD I GO AGAIN? Are you kidding? Just as soon as I can save up for it ...! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Went on this cruise because a friend at work had taken a 3 day Disney cruise to see if it was worth the cost. She came back raving so we thought we'd give it a try. We've been on about 5 other cruises on different lines but ... Read More
Went on this cruise because a friend at work had taken a 3 day Disney cruise to see if it was worth the cost. She came back raving so we thought we'd give it a try. We've been on about 5 other cruises on different lines but never did Disney because of the cost. Embarkation: Spent the 3 days prior to the cruise at WDW and used Disney travel to get to the pier. They picked up our luggage at our hotel room in the morning. We went to the lobby of our hotel to get ready to go on the bus. Everything was seamless and well organized. Didn't see our bags until we got to our cabin. When the bus got to the port, we got off, spent about 5 minutes going through security another 5 minutes to check in and get on the ship. It was that fast and easy. Cabin The ship was more than we expected. Disney details and magic everywhere. We got an oceanview cabin on deck 2. The room was slightly larger than other cabins we've been in before with a ton of storage. The 2 bathrooms (1 with a shower and 1 with a toilet) was really nice. The only annoying thing was having to use your card to get the electricity to work. Read reviews that said to take a throw away card to use instead and this worked like a charm. The bed was absolutely fabulous! THE most comfortable bed we've had on a cruise and we've been on about 5 others on different cruise lines. The TV had most of the more popular Disney movies available complementary. We watched them while getting ready and went through about 5 of them. Dining The rotational dining was a lot nicer than I thought it would be. The buffet was amazing. On other cruise lines the buffet is good but seems an afterthought. Most food in the buffet on other cruises can be hit or miss. The food in the buffet on Disney is perfect every time! It was as good as some of the MDR food on other ships. The food in the main dining rooms was fabulous! My wife and I have noticed over the years that the quality of the food in the MDRs on other ships has slipped since the emergence of specialty restaurants. The cruise lines want to upsell the specialty restaurants and so they save the really good food for them and allow the MDR food to slip in quality. Not so on Disney! The MDR food was great. We chose the late dining time to avoid as many children as possible. Disney didn't miss a trick. They sat us with 2 other couples who were virtually the same as we were. We were all within a few years apart in age. It was very enjoyable. Entertainment The entertainment was Disney. There were mostly really good shows. A few non-Disney ones that were generally pretty good. The late night entertainment was the only good late night entertainment we have experienced on all our cruises and went to it every night. There was so much to do all day every day. Much more than others. The Disney Cruise Line app was fabulous. It took all the info from the Navigator and put it in an electronic form. You could save the things you wanted to do and they'd send you a reminder. Service The service was top notch. Have never had bad service on any cruise. This was a step above those however. Disembarkation Easiest I've ever experienced. The main thing about Disney is the little details everywhere that immerse you in the whole experience. They're everywhere and too many to list. Even if you aren't a total Disney Geek you'll love it. If you are a Disney Geek you will be in heaven! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We were a family group of ages girl 4, boy 5, mom 45, aunt 50, dad 52, and myself the grandmother 76. It is hard to find a family vacation that will suit such a disparate group, but we settled on a Disney cruise out of Cape Canaveral. ... Read More
We were a family group of ages girl 4, boy 5, mom 45, aunt 50, dad 52, and myself the grandmother 76. It is hard to find a family vacation that will suit such a disparate group, but we settled on a Disney cruise out of Cape Canaveral. This was a good choice. Since the little ones could go to the "kids club" for many happy hours and give their parents a break, and there was a small adult pool area for we single women to escape the noise, it worked quite well for everyone in our party. The children were kept so busy and happy, they cried when they had to leave the ship at the end. For the children and their parents it was a great success. Adult areas were a disappointment. There was no library. When I inquired I was directed to Cove Cafe, the extra pay specialty coffee area. It had 5, count 'em 5, books! There were a few old magazines, too. No other reading material was on board. Disney movies played on outdoor screens, in an indoor theatre and all were available on the stateroom TV all the time - which is what they wanted us to watch. The adult pool was tiny with an attached bar, so it was usually crowded. Mostly people stood in place chatting with drinks in hand, their buckets of beer on the side of the pool. It was impossible to swim. The children's pools were larger but with kids in water wings, throwing beach balls and splashing about it was not a place to swim either. We had adjoining balcony staterooms 8520 and 8522 which are quite far forward, but this was intentional to try to get away from some of the noise and thumping of children's feet running up and down the corridors. Amidships was where the atrium with loud music, kids screaming, shouted amplified instructions for games, and endless lineups for meeting the Disney characters went on day and night. Many families with babies and small children tended to have cabins amidships or aft where it was quicker and easier to go up to the buffet and the children's pools. Being forward was quieter and the little ones were able to nap in the afternoons if needed. It also my single daughter, who found the constant noise (and unrelenting music even piped into the hallways) rather oppressive as the week went on, was able to retreat into our quiet stateroom for a break. The ship is huge. It was a long way to walk from forward to aft. As the grandmother with fairly recent foot surgery, and I arrived with a folding wheelchair, anticipating the long walks. My single daughter pushed me in my wheelchair at times, but the hallways are carpeted making pushing it a bit difficult, so more often I walked slowly with my cane. On the other hand, the wheelchair was handy as sort of a double stroller to push the little ones around when their legs were tired. I saw some other older people who had rented electric scooters from Disney to get around the huge ship, and if you have someone in your party who has mobility issues, I would recommend that instead. The Caribbean ports were fine, and Castaway Key was lovely as a beach day. But Falmouth Jamaica was not a Jamaican experience, it was no different than a nice shopping mall in Florida. Designed with a new pier including a large new pretty shopping area fenced off from the rest of island, there was not much to do except shop. Beaches were 30 minutes away and to get out of the fenced area to find a taxi involved a long walk through all the shops to a gate at the end with security guards. We didn't bother. The adult pool was vacated. Most of the regulars had gone ashore, so I was actually able to have a couple of short swims that day in the adult pool. . Embarkation and debarkation went smoothly. Restaurant service was excellent. We were assigned dinner each night in one of the 3 restaurants. Two were nice, especially Royal Court, but Animator's Palate had screens all around the room, and a constant Nemo show running with loud dialogue. It was meant to entertain the children but they weren't interested, and we adults couldn't hear each other speak. So since we were assigned that room for three nights on a 7 day voyage, we were not happy. After one night in Animator's Palate we didn't go again and were forced to eat elsewhere. However, we were able to eat in an extra pay adult specialty restaurant, Palo, while the children were looked after in "kids club". It all worked out in the end. The ship is kept spotless, and the crew are constantly cleaning both inside public areas and the outside of the ship. Despite many small fingers and little runny noses, with hand sanitizer gel and cleaning wipes everywhere, we never were concerned about germs or getting ill on board. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We have a 6-year old granddaughter & thought this would be a great cruise to take with her. However, it turned out to be not so great. The internet is awful, extremely expensive even if all you need to do is to send a short (all ... Read More
We have a 6-year old granddaughter & thought this would be a great cruise to take with her. However, it turned out to be not so great. The internet is awful, extremely expensive even if all you need to do is to send a short (all word) e-mail to keep our granddaughter's Mom informed about a stomach issue she had. We took an excursion that cost us over $300 for the 3 of us that would not let us take pictures & then wanted $200 for 6 pictures. When we complained to Disney, they said they had known about this issue for years and yet had not done anything about it. The swimming pool is so small that you can barely stand up in it much less swim. Our granddaughter loves to swim so she was disppointed. The last day at sea was a Star Wars Day and Disney meant it. There was absolutely nothing to do on the ship if you were not into Star Wars. Not a movie, nothing!! The entertainment on the ship was exactly the same entertainment we had last year on the Magic. Surely there are other entertainers that would come on the ship. The food was always lukewarm. Because our granddaughter had to see the doctor on the ship, we missed our evening meal time so we went to Cabanas. At Cabanas (no reservations taken) we were told that the three open tables were being reserved for people who had called ahead. Isn't that a reservation? So we would not miss the evening show, we went to Flo's where they were out of pizza and had two choices of food items. Again, a very disappointing situation at Disney. We will not be going on another Disney cruise. The characters never showed up at a single meal as they did on the Wonder last year. Obviously the Fantasy does not care about providing an exception "Family Cruise". Actually, the one good thing about the ship was the two doctors we saw on the ship. They were fantastic. Never again on Disney. Read Less
Disney Fantasy Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 0.0
Dining 3.5 0.0
Entertainment 5.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.5 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 5.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 2.5 0.0
Service 4.5 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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