Never having been on a cruise before, I had no idea of what to expect when I boarded the brand-new Disney Fantasy cruise ship for an inaugural media preview cruise in March. Being a parent, I’m extremely familiar with the Disney company and brand, and when I initially thought about what their cruise ships might look like, I imagined something filled with cartoon characters – like a floating version of one of their Disney parks.
I couldn’t have been more wrong! As I discovered pre-cruise while watching some of the very helpful videos posted by my fellow Traveling Mom bloggers, the Disney cruise ships are not only gorgeous, but the cartoon influences are more understated than bold. They still have plenty of Mickey and friends to appeal to the biggest Disney fans, but most areas of the ship are decorated in a simple elegant style – such as the staterooms.
I’m not going to give a guided tour of what the staterooms look like – but you can see videos from Toronto TravelingMom and Disney TravelingMom that give very helpful overviews of what to expect in Disney Cruise Line staterooms on other ships, and one from Finance TravelingMom where she toured her Disney Fantasy stateroom on the same cruise I attended. What I’m going to share are a few things that I didn’t expect or that took me by surprise while on the cruise.
1) The bathroom is split into two sections, only one of which has an electrical outlet. But – not only is the outlet in the ceiling, which took me a while to notice, but it’s marked ‘For Shavers Only’. However, there are plenty of outlets, along with a large mirror in the desk area of the stateroom, which worked perfectly for my flat iron and allowed me an ocean view while doing my hair in the mornings.
2) For folks on the shorter side (like myself at 5’2” tall), you may want to use the desk area mirror altogether unless you’re applying makeup. The bathroom mirror has a very helpful close-up makeup insert, but I discovered that it was located right at my eye level, requiring me to either hunch down to see a normal reflection or try to duck around the inset; either option being awkward when I just wanted to get a quick overall look into the mirror.
3) The shower faucet was different from anything I’d ever seen before and took me a little while to figure out. Basically, there are knobs on either end of the horizontal bar – one of which turns the water on and off and adjusts the water pressure, and the other of which controls the water temperature. Once I understood how it worked, it was very easy to use.
4) Since I was in the stateroom by myself, storage wasn’t much of an issue. But if you’re traveling with your family, you’ll be glad to see the little extra storage options they’ve put in, such as the coffee table/ottoman with a hinged lid and plenty of storage inside:
And the raised bed that easily stores your empty suitcases underneath, along with anything else you don’t need to get to every day.
5) Along with the closet, there are two built-in hooks outside the bathroom area that are convenient for hanging pajamas, robes, purses, etc. Plus, there are two retractable lines in the shower area that you can use to hang wet bathing suits or towels to dry.
6) Every day when the stateroom is made up by the housekeeping staff, you’ll come back to a creatively designed animal shape made from towels and washclothes, often with chocolates incorporated. I was excited to see what animal design would show up in my room every night and can only imagine how thrilled my kids would be with this – especially the chocolate part.
7) It’s true that the staterooms definitely don’t overwhelm you with Mickey Mouse and other characters. But they are still incorporated – if you know where to look. A few places to find ‘hidden’ Mickey shapes are on the drawer pull for the top middle drawer on the desk (the rest of the drawers have basic pulls), subtly incorporated into the design on the shower curtain and liner, on the Disney Cruise Line logo on the towels in the bathrooms, around the bottom of the lampshade, and in the artwork. Maybe you can find a few more in your own stateroom!