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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.

Family with young, middle aged, and grandparent

Disney Fantasy Cruise Review by OD2

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2019
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah
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.
OD2’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 3 to 6
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah
Cabin 05B 8522
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. 8520 balcony was a 7A labelled "partially obstructed" but the obstruction was negligible. We opened up the balconies together so we in fact had a large balcony anyway, and used the entire space.

We single women didn't like the divided bathrooms - shower in one room and toilet in the other, but the rest of the family liked that. It is very good for families with children.

Amidships was a multi-storey atrium with loud music, kids screaming, shouted amplified instructions for games, and endless lineups for meeting the Disney characters.The noise there 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 our little ones were able to nap in the afternoons if needed.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.
Deck 8 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Castaway Cay
    This was great for the entire family. Beautiful island and lovely groomed beaches with beach umbrellas and lounge chairs. Convenient washrooms and change rooms. There are slides and floaties for the children, and a BBQ lunch was served which was delicious. The beach bar sent waiters around taking drink orders and delivering them, so some people did not even have to get up, except to go eat. Some people did the 5 K run, others rented bikes, and there are hiking trails. The day was over too soon...wish we were there longer!
    View All 450 Castaway Cay Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Castaway Cay Cruise Port Review
  • Falmouth
    Big fenced area beside the ship is nice and clean and new, but just a shopping plaza. See main cruise review for details. You really don't see Jamaica except at a distance from the ship. But maybe this arrangement is a protection for cruisers, because some places in Jamaica can be a bit dangerous and rough.
    View All 1,322 Falmouth Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Falmouth Cruise Port Review
  • Dolphin Encounter
    $80 pp. Involved van ride for over 30 minutes to the site which had large concrete pools containing a number of dolphins, partly surrounded by sand. There were washrooms, change rooms and a shop. Groups were formed of about 12 people, and led to a pool with a dolphin by a photographer. Each person received a life jacket and descended into waste deep water to stand at the edge of the pool, while the trainer whistled for the dolphin. One at a time each person had 5 minutes with the dolphin and the trainer practising how to use a hand signal for the dolphin to one trick, and then most of the time was for the required photo op touching the dolphin. Our dolphin was Lucy, and a very smart lady! However, there was NO swimming with the dolphin. It was all just standing in the water waiting our turn. They then charged a ridiculous amount for the photo of you with the dolphin.
    View All 80 Dolphin Encounter Reviews