Disney’s popular Fantasy cruise ship, part of its Disney Cruise Line offerings, was already a fabulous and family friendly way to travel. Now, Disney Fantasy updates enhance the experience with super heroes and super jewelry. Storytelling TravelingMom Teronya Holmes has been on the Fantasy with her family. Read on to find out why these updates have her and her family yearning to chart their course for another adventure on the Disney Fantasy.
Disney Fantasy Updates
Five years ago, my boys were ages 9 and 3, and our trip aboard the Disney Fantasy was our first cruise ever. We had no idea what to expect, but we trusted that if we were in Disney hands, we were in for a great time. We weren’t disappointed! (If this will be your first cruise, learn these 7 cruising terms before you go.)
Fast forward five years to 2017. Disney Cruise Line has announced that the Fantasy will be in dry dock for 18 nights beginning on April 29, 2017, in Freeport Bahamas. When it returns to service, some fabulous new features will be added.
These Disney Fantasy updates will debut on the Disney Fantasy sailings starting May 17, 2017 from Port Canaveral, FL.
The first sailing will visit the Bahamas on a 3-night voyage. (For my family, that is the perfect amount of cruising time. Seven days was a little bit long for us landlubbers.) The ship will then resume a regular sailing schedule that includes 7-night voyages alternating between the Eastern and Western Caribbean, Disney says.
According to a Disney press release, Disney Fantasy updates include:
Imaginative New Spaces for Kids
In Disney’s Oceaneer Club, the new “Star Wars: Command Post” experience lets kids train with heroes of the Star Wars saga and help with missions against the First Order. My boys, now age 14 and 9, would be thrilled to be able to interact with holographic models at a one of-a-kind Star Wars holotable that projects 3-D images of the Millennium Falcon, Death Star and other famous Star Wars ships, meet members of the Resistance and learn to channel the Force.
Disney also is adding an all-new Marvel Super Hero Academy. There, kids will learn from real-life Super Heroes the heroic values of enlightenment, worthiness and loyalty. Kids can learn the ways of the mystic arts with Doctor Strange, who is making first-ever appearances onboard a Disney Cruise Line ship. Children will also interact with and open portals to different locales around the Marvel Universe, and immerse themselves in an exclusive gaming experience.
I absolutely LOVE that I can entrust my kiddos to the excellent care of the Disney Crew onboard so that my husband and I can enjoy some time to ourselves. I love even more that Disney is providing some wonderful life-lessons for them as they have fun!
The ice cream next to the pool is still one of my boys’ favorite memories of our cruise on the Disney Fantasy – my “big” boy’s (husband), too! They will be in HEAVEN with this latest addition!
The new Sweet on You ice cream shop will be themed after the iconic Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts, and designed with charming art details, Disney says. Sweet on You will feature hand-crafted gelato and ice-cream, specialty sundaes, homemade chocolates, truffles and a large selection of candy for purchase, all just steps away from the family pool.
Luxury Shopping for Adults
Parents deserve a treat, too, right? That comes in the form of Tiffany & Co. The jeweler will open an exclusive store aboard the Disney Fantasy where it will sell the Tiffany T collection and other glamorous pieces featuring renowned Tiffany & Co. diamonds.
I have to admit as a confirmed Disney shopaholic, I was a bit disappointed in the offerings to soothe my savage shopping beast on the last cruise. However, my findings on some of our excursions were fun. This addition is something I can’t wait to check out. Hopefully I’ll get to take home some treasure for a souvenEAR!
6 More Time-Tested Reasons to Cruise Again on the Disney Fantasy
Spectacular Disney Fantasy Dining
Meal time is often a struggle for my family. Four people with four distinctly different palates is often a recipe for disaster! Things are different onboard the Disney Fantasy. We actually looked forward to our “Dining Adventure” every, single evening!
Disney assigned us to a table with another family. It was the same family every night of our cruise so we got to know and enjoy them. We were also assigned the same wait staff every night. They followed us from dining room to dining room and became familiar with our individual desires, needs, and specific tastes. This made an experience that might have been a little strange and frightening (dressing for dinner, dining with strangers, and eating new foods…) very comfortable and yet still an adventure!
Disney Fantasy Characters & Shows
Take your cameras because every evening you have opportunities to record those beautiful memories for your family! Be sure to line up to meet the Disney characters for photos and autographs. Our boys insisted on this five years ago, though I’m not sure they would want to do the same today. Unless maybe Ariel and Sleeping Beauty are back…
It was fabulous fun and now we have beautiful photo books to look back upon and relive that wonderful time together. We also got to meet some Disney Characters that we rarely get a chance to see live and in person at the Parks!
The Disney Shows are a MUST-DO! I’m talking about live, Broadway-style performances in an amazing, “glitzy high-tech theatre palace at sea,” as Disney calls it.
Now remember I had two young kids. They are BOYS. They absolutely LOVED these performances! After the first one, we made sure that we were in that theatre as early as possible after dinner in order to get a good seat to enjoy the show. Disney doesn’t skimp on its high-seas shows!!!
Fabulous Disney Excursions to Exotic Locations
We were nervous. Our first cruise ever. We didn’t have a clue what excursions were, and so, horror of horrors, on our first stop at Grand Cayman Island we stayed on board and just went to the pool. Now, we enjoyed this – practically had the ship’s pool all to ourselves. But guys – WE MISSED OUT ON A DAY AT GRAND CAYMAN! I have major regrets about this.
We got smart the next day and asked for help. We were gratified to find that even though we hadn’t planned ahead, Disney Cruise Lines makes planning excursions extremely simple! Our excursion to the Mayan Ruins and Playa Mia, a beautiful white-sand beach with slides, kayaks, rowboats, sailboats, water trampolines, hammocks, shopping, pools, beach chairs and umbrellas, and fresh, ocean-front dining, in Mexico was wonderful!
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Disney Fantasy is Not Just For Kids
I’ve already mentioned the “Oceaneer Club,” an exclusive club just for kids, right? This club is secretly a babysitting service (shhhh! Don’t tell our kids!) so the adults can get away and enjoy all the fabulous amenities the kids refuse to enjoy!
For instance – the fitness center. The spa. Shopping. The adults-only deck and pool. Reading a book by the pool or on your balcony. Ahhhhh….
And, if you crave an “adults only” meal, the kids are always welcome to dine at the Oceaneer Club while the adults enjoy a quiet dinner at Palo. It boasts an Italian-themed decor, live music, and beautiful ocean views. There is a dress code for this dining experience but it’s worth it. (For more on that, read our advice on what to pack for a Disney cruise.)
Disney’s Castaway Cay
Honestly? If Castaway Cay was the only reason I gave my family for booking another Disney Fantasy Cruise, we’d be good to go! Heck, if we could spend the entire week on this beautiful island, my family would be in absolute heaven!
Disney has created a gorgeous, adventurous, exotic, and FUN island just for guests of the Disney Cruise Line. I imagine that this is what my heaven will be like…
Whether you want to try snorkeling, jet-skiing, parasailing, swimming with the stingrays, biking, playing on waterslides, playing volleyball, or just lazing the day away on a raft or in a hammock by the ocean, your wish will be granted.
And if you wish to spend the day in peaceful seclusion, Serenity Bay is for adults only. You can even treat yourself to an open-air massage under a cabana in the beautiful breezes.
Disney Fantasy is Unplugged Family Time
My absolute favorite thing about a Disney Cruise is that we were almost completely unplugged for the entire 7 days! It was “all hands on deck” for this family as we devoted ourselves to spending fun, quality time together. It is so rare to get that these days, even on the best family vacations. Besides, there is SO MUCH to see and do you would be crazy to use your electronics for anything other than snapping amazing photos to record the valuable family memories you are creating!