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Family with 10 and 12 year old Great cruise overall. Boat was packed – was hard to get a chair on the deck anywhere but the adults only section. 1. In general it was a great cruise. As is typical Disney, very smooth operation everywhere, great friendly service throughout, incredibly clean. This is not the best week to book a cruise though – over President’s Weekend – I didn’t realize it but just about everyone in the New York/New England area has this entire week off from school and they are seeking warm weather from anywhere. It was also a Star Wars Day at Sea Cruise so we had a mix of the cruisers, Disney geeks, Star Wars geeks, senior citizens and family. Events were signed up for fast – all the wine/champagne tasting etc were fully booked within hours of the boat departing. Almost impossible to sign up for some of the extra fitness classes like spin – concierge gets to sign up early and when the list made it to the “normal” guests, there were at most 3 spots available on every day. Outside of that though, the crowd was very manageable and didn’t impact the normal entertainment, meals or other activities. 2. Our shows were Opening Night, Aladdin (awesome as always), a physical comedy act (very bad), Wishes (very good), ventriloquist act (bad), Star Wars movie night and Believe (incredible). We had only one formal night and no semi-formal nights. Still did Pirate at Sea day with the show and fireworks and then a great Star Wars at Sea day with great show and fireworks and midnight feast. 3. Cozumel – love Cozumel, prices were great. We opted not to do the long ferry over to Playa Carmen and took a 15 minute cab ride to Paradise Beach ($16). I would highly recommend – entry was $2 each for adults, kids free – we got there by 10am and getting a prime seat was easy even with 4 boats in port. Service was excellent – food was outstanding (we’re pretty picky Mexican food eaters living in San Diego but this was great food). We rented a wave runner for 30 minutes ($65 – much cheaper than Caymans). They have a great water obstacle course right in the ocean – great for everyone to play on for hours - $18 each for a wrist band. My kids loved it. Also a heated pool. It’s an easy, relaxing way to get some prime beach and swimming in. Note that the snorkeling here is bad and there’s definitely no surf. 4. Grand Cayman – very expensive island. Beautiful beaches but most are very narrow and get insanely crowded. We did a private tour with SevenSea charters which took my family of 4 on a small boat with a guide first to Stingray City, then to a snorkel area nearby and finally to a starfish beach. Overall good but expensive - $365 plus tip and took about 4 hours from time they picked us up at the dock. Stingray city is great to see once. The snorkeling is very good but small – you don’t have ¼ mile to snorkel in like you might off the shores of Maui but you do have excellent clarity, coral, and sea life and it’s fairly shallow. Starfish point is an area where there are some starfish – the water wasn’t crawling with them but there were a few and the kids enjoyed the stop. We finished off with lunch at Royal Palms Hotel on 7 Mile Beach. I would totally avoid this place – in fact I don’t find there’s any reason to eat off the boat unless the food is particularly good – we made the mistake here and spent about $130 on a very mediocre lunch and did the same thing on an Alaskan cruise a few years ago. I think everyone would have been happier had we just returned to the ship and eaten on board. 7 Mile Beach is nice but nothing extraordinary and incredibly crowded. Note that Caymans is a tendering port so it’s a bit harder to get on and off. 5. Jamaica – this is a very depressed area. Not much to do unless you take a tour. We opted for a Blue Hole tour with Liberty Tours – for $300 we share a van with another family on a 1.5 hour drive to the Blue Hole (note that the Fantasy docks in Falmouth and some other ships dock at Ocho Rios – Dunns Falls and Blue Hole are all fairly close to Ocho Rios but a ways from Falmouth. Blue Hole was great and not too crowded – about 30 other people up there so it was a slight wait for each jump or activity. We all felt very safe. Our guide held my iphone while taking pictures the entire time and never got a drop of water on it. I’ll also vouch for Liberty – I accidently paid the guy $100 extra in a sealed envelope and would have never known but he promptly returned the $100. This was a fun tour but it is a long drive for only about an hour of fun. Some friends of ours with young kids just walked out to the Margaritaville located at the port and spent the day there – they have a nice pool for the kids and was a fun, festive place and very easy. 6. Castaway Cay – fun day but it’s a bit cooler in February – we actually had a few raindrops and the winds started out strong but eased by 11am. Unfortunately they cancelled all the boating activities for the day so we missed a scheduled fishing trip. Otherwise – the Cay as always is a lot of fun. 7. This was our fourth Disney Cruise and one noticeable thing was the improvement in food quality. We had one so-so meal and one not so great meal but every other dinner was outstanding – much improvement over earlier cruises. Beer selection has gotten much better too. Alcohol policy changed to 2 bottles of wine or 1 six pack per adult on carry on luggage only. However, they didn’t look at our bags at all and I imagine we could have brought in whatever we wanted. We ate at Palo one night which was very good – a bit over the top in their presentation. Not sure if it’s worth the extra $100 or so it’ll cost you including tip but it was a good meal. 8. One thing I wish Disney would do is to change some of their activities. So many of their cruisers are returning families yet the activities in the kids club remain the same year after year – same science experiments, same cooking, etc. Notes: stateroom 7170, partial obstructed verandah, room was good and quiet, aft port side – I prefer being in the forward as I get up early and your close to the gym, adult areas. Only prob with room was an occasional odor from the toilet – didn’t really notice it after about day 2 though. Purchased cruise through Costco for $6500 including a $500 costco card. Next time book fishing trips early as they filled up right away. Book wine tasting early – as soon as you board as they were all filled up as well. Will did not go in Edge at all – get him in there early to make friends – much harder later in cruise. Spin class filled up before list even came out at 530 – they give it to concierge earlier. Animator’s Plate 2nd night best night – don’t miss.

Great Family Cruise

Disney Fantasy Cruise Review by dwojo99

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2017
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah (undersized or obstructed verandah)
Family with 10 and 12 year old

Great cruise overall. Boat was packed – was hard to get a chair on the deck anywhere but the adults only section.

1. In general it was a great cruise. As is typical Disney, very smooth operation everywhere, great friendly service throughout, incredibly clean. This is not the best week to book a cruise though – over President’s Weekend – I didn’t realize it but just about everyone in the New York/New England area has this entire week off from school and they are seeking warm weather from anywhere. It was also a Star Wars Day at Sea Cruise so we had a mix of the cruisers, Disney geeks, Star Wars geeks, senior citizens and family. Events were signed up for fast – all the wine/champagne tasting etc were fully booked within hours of the boat departing. Almost impossible to sign up for some of the extra fitness classes like spin – concierge gets to sign up early and when the list made it to the “normal” guests, there were at most 3 spots available on every day. Outside of that though, the crowd was very manageable and didn’t impact the normal entertainment, meals or other activities.

2. Our shows were Opening Night, Aladdin (awesome as always), a physical comedy act (very bad), Wishes (very good), ventriloquist act (bad), Star Wars movie night and Believe (incredible). We had only one formal night and no semi-formal nights. Still did Pirate at Sea day with the show and fireworks and then a great Star Wars at Sea day with great show and fireworks and midnight feast.

3. Cozumel – love Cozumel, prices were great. We opted not to do the long ferry over to Playa Carmen and took a 15 minute cab ride to Paradise Beach ($16). I would highly recommend – entry was $2 each for adults, kids free – we got there by 10am and getting a prime seat was easy even with 4 boats in port. Service was excellent – food was outstanding (we’re pretty picky Mexican food eaters living in San Diego but this was great food). We rented a wave runner for 30 minutes ($65 – much cheaper than Caymans). They have a great water obstacle course right in the ocean – great for everyone to play on for hours - $18 each for a wrist band. My kids loved it. Also a heated pool. It’s an easy, relaxing way to get some prime beach and swimming in. Note that the snorkeling here is bad and there’s definitely no surf.

4. Grand Cayman – very expensive island. Beautiful beaches but most are very narrow and get insanely crowded. We did a private tour with SevenSea charters which took my family of 4 on a small boat with a guide first to Stingray City, then to a snorkel area nearby and finally to a starfish beach. Overall good but expensive - $365 plus tip and took about 4 hours from time they picked us up at the dock. Stingray city is great to see once. The snorkeling is very good but small – you don’t have ¼ mile to snorkel in like you might off the shores of Maui but you do have excellent clarity, coral, and sea life and it’s fairly shallow. Starfish point is an area where there are some starfish – the water wasn’t crawling with them but there were a few and the kids enjoyed the stop. We finished off with lunch at Royal Palms Hotel on 7 Mile Beach. I would totally avoid this place – in fact I don’t find there’s any reason to eat off the boat unless the food is particularly good – we made the mistake here and spent about $130 on a very mediocre lunch and did the same thing on an Alaskan cruise a few years ago. I think everyone would have been happier had we just returned to the ship and eaten on board. 7 Mile Beach is nice but nothing extraordinary and incredibly crowded. Note that Caymans is a tendering port so it’s a bit harder to get on and off.

5. Jamaica – this is a very depressed area. Not much to do unless you take a tour. We opted for a Blue Hole tour with Liberty Tours – for $300 we share a van with another family on a 1.5 hour drive to the Blue Hole (note that the Fantasy docks in Falmouth and some other ships dock at Ocho Rios – Dunns Falls and Blue Hole are all fairly close to Ocho Rios but a ways from Falmouth. Blue Hole was great and not too crowded – about 30 other people up there so it was a slight wait for each jump or activity. We all felt very safe. Our guide held my iphone while taking pictures the entire time and never got a drop of water on it. I’ll also vouch for Liberty – I accidently paid the guy $100 extra in a sealed envelope and would have never known but he promptly returned the $100. This was a fun tour but it is a long drive for only about an hour of fun. Some friends of ours with young kids just walked out to the Margaritaville located at the port and spent the day there – they have a nice pool for the kids and was a fun, festive place and very easy.

6. Castaway Cay – fun day but it’s a bit cooler in February – we actually had a few raindrops and the winds started out strong but eased by 11am. Unfortunately they cancelled all the boating activities for the day so we missed a scheduled fishing trip. Otherwise – the Cay as always is a lot of fun.

7. This was our fourth Disney Cruise and one noticeable thing was the improvement in food quality. We had one so-so meal and one not so great meal but every other dinner was outstanding – much improvement over earlier cruises. Beer selection has gotten much better too. Alcohol policy changed to 2 bottles of wine or 1 six pack per adult on carry on luggage only. However, they didn’t look at our bags at all and I imagine we could have brought in whatever we wanted. We ate at Palo one night which was very good – a bit over the top in their presentation. Not sure if it’s worth the extra $100 or so it’ll cost you including tip but it was a good meal.

8. One thing I wish Disney would do is to change some of their activities. So many of their cruisers are returning families yet the activities in the kids club remain the same year after year – same science experiments, same cooking, etc.

Notes: stateroom 7170, partial obstructed verandah, room was good and quiet, aft port side – I prefer being in the forward as I get up early and your close to the gym, adult areas. Only prob with room was an occasional odor from the toilet – didn’t really notice it after about day 2 though. Purchased cruise through Costco for $6500 including a $500 costco card. Next time book fishing trips early as they filled up right away. Book wine tasting early – as soon as you board as they were all filled up as well. Will did not go in Edge at all – get him in there early to make friends – much harder later in cruise. Spin class filled up before list even came out at 530 – they give it to concierge earlier. Animator’s Plate 2nd night best night – don’t miss.
dwojo99’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
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Cabin
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Shore Excursions
Ages 10 to 12
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah (undersized or obstructed verandah)
Cabin 07A 7170
Good overall room. Quiet, very near aft stairs, small balcony that was great for price. Slight occasional odor from toilet though.
Deck 9 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins