Spectacular family vacation!: Disney Fantasy Cruise Review by cruisin'momof4

Disney Fantasy 5
Member Since 2010

Overall Member Rating

Spectacular family vacation!

Sail Date: February 2013
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Port Canaveral (Orlando)
There are six of us (my husband & myself and our 4 kids ages 13,11,7,5). Probably the top reason to cruise with Disney is the kids/family entertainment. The Oceaneers Club(young kids club) staff and facility was great... my 5 year old especially made many friends and really didn't want to spend time with us on the boat, except for swimming in the Mickey pool each afternoon. There were even unscheduled character visits in the club several times. Both of my two younger children opted to skip dessert in order to go back to kids club (with the dine&play option where Oceaneers staff pick up kids at the front of the restaurants at 9:15) after our second-seating dinner most nights which says quite a lot about how much fun they were having. We were also very impressed with Edge, the tween club, which had extensive programming for that sometimes difficult-to-entertain age and allowed my two older children some freedom and tons of fun.
The food was spectacular and we ate in the More dining rooms we were assigned each night. We never felt the need to try the optional "upscale" dining restaurants because the food was top-notch at the regular/included dining rooms. Animator's Palate was fun the second night we were eating there with the animation show of characters we each drew on our menus. We ate at Cabana's every morning rather than the dining rooms so we could pick from the extensive delicious buffet (including Krispy Kreme donuts which are a fave with our family and not available near our home!), eat outside on the back deck most mornings, and then get on with our day.We all had fun riding the Aquaduck. We got an early boarding time (11am) to get on the ship and headed right to the pool with our swimsuits so there were no lines to ride when it started up at about 12-12:30. Also we found that the pools and Aquaduck lines emptied out by about 4:30-5:00 each day so we would ride a few times then (without the normal 30 min wait during the peak day time), and still have time for a shower to (maybe) see a show at 6:15 and make our second-seating dinner at 8:15.
We loved the variety shows- a ventriloquist one night and a magician another- which provided laughs for our whole group, but didn't especially love the Wishes show so we skipped the Believe show the last night.
The only critique is the disembarking procedures. Disney usually is impressive with their organization of crowds but not this time (although I'm sure that some of it is out of their control with US Customs). It took an hour to get off the boat from the time we got into line on the ship after breakfast until we walked out of the terminal. Less

Published 03/06/13

Cabin review: 8D6166

HUGE porthole window. Bed was so comfortable. Spacious. We had connecting rooms for the kids and their room (sleeping four) was still a decent amount of space. Tons of closet & drawer space. Felt lots of boat movement in the room (although it was quite windy for several days of our cruise) and had to make sure the bathroom doors were open at night so they didn't rattle.

Port and Shore Excursions

It was a little chilly and overcast so we weren't able to enjoy the beach to its fullest, but it looked gorgeous. I ran a 5K on the island in the morning which was not publicized until the night before when the schedule for the next day is left in your state room. It was low-key and fun but I was disappointed to have to pay for a race shirt afterwards (my choice because I like to get the race teeshirt from different races I've done, but they are usually free). We rented bikes and had a really nice ride around, except for my 5 year old who opted to go to the kids' club on the island. The bike path is paved and flat so very family friendly. We booked the bike rental ahead of time which I found to be unnecessary- there are plenty of bikes, so if I was doing it again I would not prebook/prepay for bike rentals. And on the Disney cruise website when booking the "bike rental excursion" it said that kids had to be able to ride a bike, but when we were there they had both baby seats for the back of bikes and bikes with training wheels available.

Again we booked a private tour, here with Carlos Medina of Charlie's Custom Tours (Charlie is the name of his plush van which seats up to 8) which we found on trip advisor. Carlos was AMAZING and jammed so much into our 7 hours with him. We were able to see SO much more than if we had booked a cruiseline excursion, and again he was so flexible with our needs/wants and our little ones. He was a wealth of knowledge of all things about San Juan, Puerto Rico and had boundless enthusiasm so entertained all of us throughout the day. He used every second wisely and was always aware of the time (especially important for cruise passengers) and we were completely amazed at how much we were able to see: went on a mini-hike in the El Yunque rainforest, through a small village and cave along the coast, and a tour of the Castillo de San Cristobal fort in Old San Juan. He even snapped tons of great pictures and emailed them to us right away so we were able to have group/family pictures wherever we went. We had a spectacular day because of Carlos and I can't recommend him strongly enough!
Read 2979 San Juan Reviews


We chartered a private sailboat which held just the six of us and two crew through Morningstar Charters. They took us sailing to St John where we then anchored to swim on secluded Honeymoon Beach and snorkel (they provided the equipment and brief instruction). They grilled us a delicious chicken lunch and then sailed back to St Thomas. They even arranged the taxi to/from the port to their boat on the other side of the island. Had a fabulous time and it was wonderful to have the flexibility, especially with the little ones in tow. (my youngest napped down below on the way to St John). The crew was very knowledgeable and fun. I would definitely recommend an excursion with them.

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