With the increasing number of Americans vaccinated and the urge to travel rebounding, more and more families are looking to book a cruise. If a Disney cruise is on your radar, here’s what you need to know about the Disney Fantasy cruise ship.
The Disney Fantasy cruise ship has sailed since 2012 and has many things that set it apart from other ships. For my three daughters, the biggest one may be that Minnie Mouse is the signature statue. The first Disney Cruise Ship – Disney Magic – had Mickey. And Donald Duck was the star of Disney Dream. But Minnie was the first female headliner on a cruise (Ariel, from The Little Mermaid, fittingly now heads the Wonder).
But it’s not just Minnie for the Fantasy. The ship has a Marvel Super Heroes Academy, and a Star Wars-themed command post.
Covid-19 update: all U.S. departures through June, 2021 are suspended.
A Look at the Disney Fantasy
Many vacationers focus on what they have on vacation. But as a glass-half-empty person, I look at what is missing. And on the new Disney Fantasy cruise ship, it is huge. No casino.
In fact, none of the Disney cruise ships have casinos. For family travelers, this is a huge bonus. No-one staying up late for just one more chance to get lucky. No drunken carousing in the halls.
I’m sure some people get rip-roaring drunk on Disney cruises. It is no temperance vacation, with bars throughout the ship, and the main restaurants offering signature cocktails every evening. But they aren’t the focus of the cruise.
Kids and Disney fanatics (there are many of the latter who are no longer the former) make up the bulk of Disney cruisers, but even an indulgent parent who is not keen on Disney can find plenty to love.
Disney Fantasy Advantages
1. The Staterooms
The Disney staterooms have a water closet with a toilet and sink, plus a bathroom with a shower/bath combo and sink. This is huge whether you are traveling with kids or just a friend. The water closet is big enough for shaving, while another person can shower, put on make-up, or brush her teeth.
2. The Disney Beds
The magnificent beds feature luxury Frette linens and criminally comfortable pillow-top mattresses that would be just at home in a Ritz-Carlton as a cruise ship. I wanted to cram the mattress into my suitcase.
3. Disney Customer Service
The unrivaled customer service includes seamless airport and luggage transport, and a super easy check-in. I filled out most of my information beforehand and on the day of departure sailed through the process in about five minutes.
4. Disney Youth Clubs
Disney keeps kids entertained, whether at the nursery (an extra charge, for kids three months to three years) or with supervised (and free) clubs for kids ages three to 12. There are also separate lounges for ‘tweens and teens.
5. Disney’s Private Island
Disney’s private island – Castaway Cay – is a laid-back, easy to navigate stop on its Caribbean sailings. You can snorkel, swim with stingrays, ride a bike, get an open-air massage or just lounge in a hammock. The kids clubs operate on Castaway Cay, so grown-ups can visit the adult-only beach.
6. Disney Fireworks
One night of the cruise, Disney sets off fireworks. Disney is the only cruise line allowed to set off fireworks. You just have to experience this, being in the middle of the sea. The only thing when you look out is this private light show.
7. Disney Entertainment
There are sophisticated live shows nightly plus live music at the adults-only pool, and a magical show at the restaurant Animator’s Palate. You can actually see Disney characters constantly. And first-run movies play in the movie theater.
8. Water Coaster
The Disney Fantasy has a water coaster, the AquaDuck. The two-person raft splashes through 765 feet of snaking tubes, and transparent and uncovered sections.
Oh, and then there’s the water play area, the mini golf course and basketball court. And that missing casino? Actually, the best thing of all.