Disney Fantasy Cruise Review by jmidatlantic
- Sail Date: August 2018
- Destination: Western Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Deluxe Family Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah
We spent a couple of days at Disney World before the cruise, and I highly recommend that if you can work it into your schedule. It allowed us to go on the cruise relaxed and vacation ready. The staff at the Grand Floridian, where we stayed and ate all our meals, went out of its way to ensure that we would have no allergy problems. The servers checked ingredients for every dish before serving it.
That care extended to the cruise line.
We had chosen four staterooms on deck 9 -- midship so we had an additional 2 feet of space -- and our room steward opened the separating walls between the verandas so we and the kids could easily go from room to room.
Disney's family rooms have a heavy curtain between the main queen-sized bed closer to the bathroom and door to the hall, and the various bunk, Murphy, and sofa beds closer to the veranda. It meant that we could keep our lights on, and even watch television, while the children slept behind the curtain. And our room steward, Wayan Warta, didn't mind making up all the available extra beds every night so the kids could choose where to sleep.
There were 15 of us on the trip: 8 adults, 4 children without allergies, and 3 with allergies (one quite severe, with a list of 24 life-threatening ingredients). Here is what we did to accommodate:
* Our staterooms got Disney's special anti-allergy cleaning that removed any trace of allergens
* Our head server, server, and assistant server learned all the children's preferences and all the things that could not be on the allergic kids' plates -- and worked out all meals with us ahead of time, even at the buffet
(Let me digress at this point to give a shout-out to the team that took care of us: Coskun Piskin the head server, Akshay Shetty, the server, and Susila Susila the assistant server stayed with us at every dinner, even though we rotated through the four restaurants. They quickly learned our preferences and got along famously with the children. I Wayan Warta, our stateroom host, started us with scrupulously clean accommodations, and kept them that way -- even keeping track of the various stuffed friends our grandkids had brought along.)
* The chef met with us every day to show us the ingredients listed on the boxes the food came in for everything the kids wanted
* The kitchen produced french fries from pure potatoes cooked in fresh olive oil, pancakes, waffles, and a birthday cake made without eggs, hotdogs for breakfast for the child who would eat nothing else... the list went on and on
* We tried the swimming with the rays excursion, but the rays scared the kids and they were happy to come back on board for lunch, so no problems with food there
* On Castaway Key we went on the glass-bottomed boat, a tame adventure, and then to the Disney buffet, where non-allergy foods were prominently marked
The cousins loved the kid's club, the pools, the water features, the movies, and the shows, but mostly loved being with one another in our rooms. And we were fine with that -- that's why we vacationed together.
The Disney organization is amazing. If it were not for the hundreds of children and the theme, I would have believed we were on Cunard or Regent. Service, decor, and activities were that good. And if Cunard or Regent were to re-brand themselves as child-friendly and family oriented, they would look exactly like Disney. This is cruising for happy families.
No matter how many plans you make and how much you do, every trip with a child at risk is another day to wonder "will there be an issue TODAY"? After the trip our children admitted that they had had fewer problems than at home in regards to the allergies, and that is a credit to Disney. We all enjoyed it so much that we've decided another Disney cruise is in the future for the 15 of us.
And next month DH and I are cruising to Bermuda for five days, to help us recuperate from the excitement of our fabulous Disney cruise.
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The rooms were surprisingly spacious, even when we had four children and two adults sleeping in them (although the kids switched rooms and beds most nights as they paired up with different cousins). A clever heavy drape separated the "adult" side of the room from the children's side (which had bunk beds and even a Murphy bed) so we could put the kids to sleep and stay up to watch television or read.
Storage space was generous: we didn't fill half the drawers and shelves.
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