The Disney Fantasy is a floating resort that takes Disney’s magic out to sea with style! Our family had so much fun on this cruise (7-day Western Caribbean).
If this is your first cruise, congratulations on picking what is sure to be one of your best vacations ever! At first, I was a bit overwhelmed with all of the details, clubs, activities, and choosing excursions. But looking back on it now, it was such a perfect vacation and not near as complicated as I had thought it out to be.
With over 3,000 passengers and more than 1,000 cast members, the Disney Fantasy is a floating city…but it never felt congested at any point of the trip. With so many activities and venues, there was a good dispersion and no real crowds or lines to speak of. Below are some fun facts about the ship itself, and our family’s favorite things to do on the ship.
Just like their theme parks, Disney is meticulous about the immaculate appearance and maintenance of their cruise ships. When the ships are in port, there are crews cleaning, washing windows and even painting the hull! All of this adds to the overall experience and gives every passenger that ‘new car ride’ thrill.
When we went on the cruise, our boys were ages 14, 13, 11, and 5. Below are some of our Disney Fantasy cruise highlights:
Dining: The dinner rotation on the Disney Fantasy takes you through 3 incredible places – Animator’s Palate, Enchanted Garden, and the Royal Court. And while we enjoyed each one, the Draw Your Own Character night at Animator’s Palate is a must do!
We had most of our breakfasts at Cabanas – if it’s a pleasant morning, eat outside on the fantail of the ship and take in the panoramic ocean views! There was something incredibly soothing about having fresh fruit and a cup of coffee with the morning sun sparkling off of the ocean waves.
The Eye Scream self-serve ice cream cone stand (sponsored by Mike – Monsters, Inc.) is on Deck 11 and is a huge hit. Our kids never tired of the fact that you could get an ice cream cone whenever you wanted!
Entertainment: The evening shows are usually introduced by your Cruise Director who will go over the next day’s activities and exciting things to see and do on the ship. The Cruise Director has near rock-star status as the excitement builds for each of his announcements.
Some of the activities that were popular with our gang:
- Family Game Show;
- Hypnotist Night;
- Comedy shows in the Tube;
- Magic Show;
- and the Towel Folding class (just to name a few).
Pool & Sports Deck: Decks 11-13 on the Disney Fantasy seemed to have it all! This is where you could find our family 2-3 hours each day.
On the actual pool deck, there were 2 pools, the Mickey Slide, Aquaduck, Nemo’s Reef, Kid’s AquaLab. There were also a few hot tubs that had glass floors that hung out over the ocean (very neat!). Towards the bow (front of the ship), there were adult pools and hot tubs.
Towards the stern (back of ship), were the basketball courts, foosball, ping pong tables, and a mini golf course. Deck 11 was also where all the drink stations / soda fountains were and the around-the-clock grills for late night “snacks”.
For our ravenous adolescent boys, the novelty of always being able to order chicken fingers & fries never wore off!
In the evening, chairs were set up, and the scheduled evening movie would play on Funnel Vision (humongous TV screen)! Very popular part of the ship – with lots of space for everyone.
Kid’s Clubs: Our boys probably only spent an average of 1 hour each day in their respective clubs, but they thoroughly enjoyed it.
- The Oceaneer Club & Lab (ages 3-12) had a huge variety of games, crafts, and kid’s activities.
- The Edge (11-14 year olds) had capture-the-flag tournaments, dodgeball and other fun games;
- The Vibe (14-17 year olds) had video game tournaments, basketball games, and their very own pool! I think our boys liked the freedom of getting away from us for a bit and the opportunity to meet new friends.
Initially, I was very resistant to this idea for our family vacation, however…it turned out that a little time apart gave us more stories and happier kids!
Tip: Use the wave phones! We didn’t start using these until a few days into the cruise, but what a great idea! Each stateroom has two phones that you can use to call or text each other by room# (very easy to use). So if the kids wanted to go to their club for an hour, or see a movie, we just sent them off with a phone.
Grand Cayman – Nautilus Undersea Tour: This Grand Cayman excursion was our first one with Disney and I’m really glad that we did it! It included a ride on the Nautilus Submarine that took you on a tour over shipwrecks followed by snorkeling over Hamburger Reef. Very safe – very fun – great time had by all!
Costa Maya – Chacchoben Ruins: The port of Costa Maya is a resort among a very rural and what appeared to be an economically-depressed region. The bus takes you on an hour ride through the countryside and into the rain forested jungle of Chacchoben where ancient Mayan ruins were discovered just decades ago.
This tour was both fun and informative – I’m really glad that we did it. Going there gave us a true taste of Mexico, beyond the coastal tourist resorts. It was an excursion managed with a Disney partner – Personally, I wouldn’t take the risk of doing it any other way.
Cozumel – Fury Catamaran: This was our family’s favorite excursion!
It started with a fun snorkeling adventure along one of the reefs (don’t worry if you’ve never snorkeled – they give you good clean equipment, help you the whole way, and they require that you wear inflatable life vests); you then re-board the catamaran where they open the bar, turn on the music and take you to their secluded, private beach! The beach has an inflatable, floating playground for the kids, kayaks, tiki bar, and much more…you’re not going to want to leave.
The Fury crew made this event…their energy and enthusiasm loosened everyone up (drinks didn’t hurt either). What a blast! With such a fun atmosphere, we met a few families from different corners of the world and enjoyed swapping stories and laughs.
Disney’s Castaway Cay: As if the lure of a private Bahamian Island wasn’t enough…now picture it Disney-style! This was a perfect last port day. It started with me and the older 2 boys running a 5k race in the morning around the island; and was followed with a day of beach relaxation, snorkeling and water sports!
The BBQ Beach Party (lunch) was phenomenal! They had every delicacy you could imagine. They even had a kid’s hang out with pool tables, basketball, beach volleyball, and soccer (“In Da Shade”).
Don’t miss the small Bahama post office at the end of the pier to mail post cards or exchange currency for some Bahamian coins!
Disney Fantasy Deck Plan
Getting from deck-to-deck and place-to-place on the ship can be intimidating at first, but it’s really not all that complicated. The layout below shows you a deck by deck layout of what you can expect to find and how to get from one point to another:
For a more detailed deck plan, check out Disney Cruise Lines webpage.
Our Disney Fantasy Cruise memories will always bring happy sighs and reminiscent day-dreaming (even as I write this). Disney does a masterful job of creating a family-fun atmosphere where it’s nearly impossible to be stressed-out or grumpy – even for a teenager! It’s truly a vacation that you will never forget.
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