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Disney Fantasy - Cruise Ship Review - Passenger Reviews

Disney Dream at Castaway CayLaunched in 2012, Disney Fantasy is the second of two much-anticipated sister ships that are modernizing the Disney fleet more than a decade after the debut of the line’s original ships, Disney Magic and Disney Wonder.

Carrying 2,500 passengers at double occupancy and 4,000 with all her kids’ berths filled, Disney Fantasy is 50 percent bigger than her older fleetmates, and offers guests everything that they loved about those other ships while also adding a big helping of new attractions and entertainments, including more and larger kids’ facilities, more dining options, more adults-only retreats and more high-tech fun.

Disney On Deck
Like the older Magic and Wonder, Disney Fantasy is designed with classic art deco and art nouveau styles, and caters to three distinct but interconnected groups: kids, parents and families. Out on deck, the two-foot-deep Mickey’s Pool caters to kids. Shaped like Mickey Mouse’s face and with a giant Mickey hand holding up its two-story waterslide, it’s right next door to Nemo’s Reef, a water-play area with water jets, bubblers, and fountains for kids who aren’t yet toilet trained. Up above, a giant LED movie screen projects Disney favorites. For families, there’s Donald’s Pool, about five feet at its deepest and surrounded by deck chairs.

Both pools can be covered by a huge, sliding deck, which provides space for events like the “Adventures Away!” sail-away celebration and the big “Pirates in the Caribbean” deck party, held once per cruise, with a big fireworks show at the end.

Beyond the ship’s forward funnel, walled off from the main pool deck, is the adults-only Quiet Cove Pool and Cove Bar. The pool itself has three interconnected sections: a five-foot deep plunge pool, a pool with submerged wooden seats, and a shallow sunbathing pool with mist-making machines. The Aquaduck on Disney DreamThe Cove Bar sits right alongside, with six barstools rising right from the water. Deck chairs are arranged around the space, and the wonderful, indoor Cove Café sits right next door, offering specialty coffees, magazine racks, and the company of other adults, sans kids.

The highlight of the pool deck is the AquaDuck, a 765-foot water flume that propels riders in inflatable rafts all the way around the pool deck, in clear tubes that take you out over the side of the ship, with the ocean 16 decks below. It’s popular with both kids and adults, as is the nearby Goofy’s Sports Deck with its miniature golf course, virtual sports simulators, walking track, and sports courts for basketball and volleyball.

Disney For Kids
Disney Fantasy’s kids facilities are the biggest and best in the cruise business, taking up about half a deck and divided into multiple spaces for different age groups.

For kids 3 to 10, the Oceaneer Club offers multiple rooms opening off a central rotunda with a stage for kids’ productions and storytelling sessions, and a big screen for movies. Some of the surrounding rooms are themed on characters and sets from Disney movies. And at Tinker Bell’s Pixie Hollow, kids can dress in fairy costumes and do crafts under a twinkling pixie tree.

Just down the hall, the Oceaneer Lab, also for kids 3 to 10, offers a Sound Studio where kids can create their own tunes on computers; an Animator’s Studio where they can work on their own art and animation; labs for conducting science experiments; arts-and-crafts spaces; and an interactive “Magic Play Floor” that lights up based on kids’ movements. The Lab also hosts lunch and dinner — handy for when Mom and Dad want to get off on their own.

Tweens ages 11–13 get a lounge called the Edge, located within a fake funnel on the ship’s top deck. Teens have their own 9,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor club called Vibe, where they can play computer games, access an onboard social media intranet site, create and edit videos, spin their own dance tracks, or lounge on their own private sundeck. At the opposite end of the kid spectrum, the It’s a Small World Nursery caters to infants and toddlers aged 3 months to 3 years, with lots of interactive features, kid-sized tables and chairs for crafts and games, and a calming naptime room. It’s open at various times through the day, including after dinner, with charges of $6 per hour for the first child and $5 an hour for the second.

Dining in the Enchanted Garden on Disney DreamDining On Disney Fantasy
Dinners on Disney Fantasy follow the same rotating format used on Disney Magic and Disney Wonder for the past decade: Rather than dining at a single restaurant throughout the cruise, or making reservations at specialty restaurants, guests shuttle automatically through three different themed restaurants, with their servers accompanying them.

On one night, families dine in the ship’s main dining room, the Royal Court, whose storybook decor was inspired by films like Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella. On another night, families head to the Enchanted Garden, which serves a seasonal menu in a setting inspired by French conservatory gardens, full of white trellises, fountains and faux greenery. The next night, guests find themselves at Animator’s Palate, where huge, wall-size video monitors transport diners to the undersea world of Finding Nemo. The highlight is Crush, a surfer-dude turtle, who — through a complex interactive system — actually talks with guests, calls out kids by name, and comments on the action in the room.

Adults who want a night alone can dine at the romantic but casual Palo (surcharge $20 per person), serving Italian specialties, or the romantic and formal Remy (surcharge $75 per person), a high-end dining spot that goes for a sublime, Parisian feel, with an art nouveau decor, intimate seating and French-inspired cuisine.

Pirate's Deck Party on Disney Cruise LineNightlife On Disney Fantasy
After dinner, adults get a whole district of bars and lounges to themselves, all set at the end of a long corridor, far from the kids’ facilities. Called The District, the space combines five bars/clubs that all open onto each other and offer completely different experiences.

At the mod, stylish District Lounge, guests can take in some small-combo piano music. At the 687 sports bar, you can order a pint of the bar’s custom-brewed red lager and watch the game. “Pink” is the place for champagne and cocktails; Evolution is for dancing, comedy shows, live music, and cabaret; and the chic, cozy Skyline Bar is the most urbane space on board, with illuminated walls behind the bar showing panoramic images of the Paris, New York, Hong Kong, Rio, and Chicago skylines, with featured drinks to match.

For family entertainment, the 1,340-seat Walt Disney Theatre offers some of the best shows at sea: full-scale musicals inspired by Disney’s back catalogue of films and characters.

Guests can also take in the actual Disney films, new and old, at the smaller Buena Vista Theatre.

And in a particularly fun touch, family fun is scattered all around the ship in the form of “Enchanted Art” pieces, which look like movie posters and animation stills until you walk in front of them, at which point they come to life as miniature films. Cool all by themselves, they also figure in to an interactive detective game in which kids search for clues to help them solve mysteries and save the day.

Deluxe Veranda Cabin on Disney DreamCabins On Disney Fantasy
Like the older Disney ships, Disney Fantasy boasts the best standard family staterooms at sea, each of them extra-roomy and able to sleep at least three or four through fold-out couches and bunks that pull down from the ceiling.

The majority of staterooms come with two bathrooms — one with just a toilet and sink, the other with a bathtub and sink. There’s also a little fridge, lots of storage space, and subtle Disney themes worked into the classy decor. A full 70 percent of staterooms on the vessel have balconies. Outside cabins that don’t have balconies feature oversized portholes, and windowless inside cabins have some special magic in the form of “Magical Portholes”: porthole-shaped video monitors that are hooked up to high-definition cameras mounted outside the ship, broadcasting real-time images of the sea, plus some surprises.

Deluxe family staterooms and suites cater to families of five or more.

Cabin bathrooms are large and well designed, cabin decor is nautical and fun, and there are lots of little niceties, like iPod docks, 300-thread-count Egyptian cotton bed linens, and “Wave Phones” that you can use as onboard walkie-talkies. The magic even extends to the pull-down kids’ beds, which have scenes from Peter Pan painted on the ceilings above them.

Ship Information
Disney Fantasy is specially designed for family cruising. Dining in the Main Dining Rooms is always exciting, with the exclusive rotating dining system, where one changes between the ship's main dining rooms nightly. Entertainment includes live sit-down shows with well-known Disney themes, and Disney's famous pirate deck party.

The Disney characters are onboard for special meet and greet sessions, and for surprise appearances.

Adults are not forgotten. The ship has two restaurants, pool, and some other areas reserved for adults only.

Ship Facts
Year Built 2012 ♦ Ship's Class: Dream Class ♦ Country of Registry Bahamas ♦ Tonnage 128,000 ♦ Length 1,115 ft - 340 m ♦ Cruising Speed 22 knots ♦ Passenger Capacity (double occupancy) 2,500 ♦ Passenger Capacity (incl. upper beds) 4,000 ♦ Passenger Decks 14 ♦ Officers and Crew 1,450 ♦ Officer's Nationality International ♦ Crew and Hotel Staff Nationality International

Total 1,250 ♦ Suites with Balcony 21 ♦ Oceanview with Balcony 871 ♦ Oceanview without Balcony 208 ♦ Inside 150 ♦ Accessible Cabins (all categories) 25 ♦ Disney Cruise Line's cabins are designed especially for families, including a split bath, with sinks and vanities in both, but with the toilet in one and the tub with shower in the other. Amenties in all cabins include luxury bedding, refrigerator (not a minibar), satellite TV programming, and complimentary room service.

Cabin Amenities
TV with music channels ♦ In-Cabin Movies ♦ In-Cabin Internet Access ♦ Private Safe ♦ Refrigerator ♦ Hair Dryer

Traditional 1st and 2nd Sitting Assigned Table Seating ♦ Disney Cruise Line's Main Dining features a rotation system, where you change between three differently themed restaurants each night ♦ Main Dining Rooms: Animator's Palate, Enchanted Garden, Royal Palace ♦ Casual Dining for breakfast and lunch in the buffet style Cabanas ♦ Adult Exclusive Dining in Palo and Remy, two restaurants reserved exclusively for adults ♦ Specialty Coffee Bar ♦ 24 Hour Room Service Available

Public Rooms
Bars and Lounges ♦ Internet Center

Showlounge ♦ Disco/Nightclub ♦ Video Games Arcade ♦ Note that there is no casino on Disney Cruise Line

Sports and Activities
Outdoor Pools ♦ Sports Court ♦ Fitness Center ♦ Jogging Track ♦ Promenade Deck wraps around the ship ♦ Adult Only Pool

Spa and Wellness
Full Service Spa ♦ MedSpa Services ♦ Sauna or Steam Room ♦ Beauty Salon ♦ Yoga ♦ Pilates ♦ Fitness Assessment ♦ Health and Nutrition Evaluation

Children and Teens
Family Cabins ♦ Organized Age Specific Activities ♦ Children's Pool ♦ Several Children's Play Areas and Clubs ♦ Youth Staff ♦ Dedicated Teen Center ♦ Teen Programs ♦ Teen Staff ♦ Group Babysitting Services

Other Facilities and Services
Duty Free Shops and Boutiques ♦ Dry Cleaning and Laundry Service ♦ Business Center Services ♦ Medical Center