It’s National Cruise Week and that means it’s time to explore the idea of a family cruise. Cruise ships and cruise vacations are a great way to bring the whole family together. There’s something for everyone–from kids’ clubs for the little kids to teen clubs for the big kids and spas for mom and dad and the grandparents.
The brand new Disney Fantasy is a breathtakingly gorgeous ship that exudes glitz and gleam and that new ship smell plus everything a family could possibly desire.
We’ve done a lot of cruising and one of the most exciting parts of taking a cruise is the first glimpse you get of the ship as you prepare to board. The Disney Fantasy’s wow factor is over the top. Your first glimpse of this beauty and you may not just hold your breath but you may need to be reminded to breathe again. It’s kind of like ship apnea.
The moment you set foot on this spectacle of beauty and luxury you are transported to another world and another time of grand cruising and yes, Fantasy.
With several outstanding dining options and a change of scenery every night, boredom is an impossibility and enchantment is guaranteed.
The Animator’s Palette dining room is only one highlight and the effects are as astounding as the food. Families can draw a caricature or cartoon figure and later during the meal, it is transformed into an actual cartoon on the wall for all diners to enjoy and revel in the never ceasing Disney magic.
The wait-staff in all of the beautifully themed dining rooms are some of the best you will ever encounter on any ship or cruise line. Each night families are rotated to variously themed dining venues where the same wait-staff follow them from place to place. This is excellent for a number of reasons. The wait-staff will undoubtedly memorize all your preferences and those of the children by the second night and are always just one step ahead with preferred beverages and sides. The various dining rooms with spectacular effects, imagery, music, décor, and themes kept things interesting, intriguing, entertaining, and upbeat.
The Disney Fantasy has a magical approach to offering grown up activities, dining, serene and quiet places, while offering world class entertainment for all ages and lifestyles.
Disney Cruise Line Captain Thor says, “Our ships are unique in that we target couples, elderly, and families. You can get away and relax in our adults-only areas. As people have become more familiar with our product, we see really wide demographics now.”
Most patents will appreciate the chance to escape from the busyness and activities, and yes, even the kids, to simply enjoy a relaxing afternoon in the adults-only pool. Other relaxing adult areas were easy to find.
Dining in Palo, a lovely Italian style restaurant serving exquisite cuisine, proves to be a welcome respite from a busy day of family activities as this is an adults-only option as well.
Numerous lounges and coffee bars with specialty coffee drinks and magazines allow some quiet mom and dad down time as does the onboard Spa and Fitness Center which both are reserved for grown ups.
Adults-only comedy, art shows, and performances were peppered throughout itineraries as well.
On board activities typically cater to muti-generational traveling families who enjoy the array of diverse and well-rounded activities that all generations can engage in together or even separately. Typical itineraries include several different TV and music trivia games drawing participants of all ages, as do golfing tournaments, ping pong tournaments and cooking and ice sculpting demonstrations. Karaoke parties and talent contests also attract all ages as do some of the nightly professional acts.
Entertainment for All Ages
Disney’s onboard world class shows are magnificent.
As Jeffrey Mouton, Dance Captain for Disney Cruise Line says, “We do Broadway-style shows for our guests on each sailing. Disney’s world famous attention to detail and quality shines through from the costumes and lighting to the effects. Some of the effects we have are award-winning and make the audience literally gasp. Each and every show is family-friendly. The production value is amazing and all steps and costumes are different in each production show. We are also the only cruise line that can show first run movies onboard in our movie theater.”
There is never any second guessing that all kids love the Pirate Deck Party and fireworks display which is a highlight of every sailing. The entire ship becomes Pirate-themed all night starting at dinner with the waiters and music right up to the dance party on deck and finishing with the fireworks show right off the ship’s deck which is truly fantastic.
Activities for families and couples alike abound on Castaway Cay. Snorkeling, shopping, tours, swimming, cycling, ocean kayaking and dining experiences are just a few of the countless options. A privately Disney-owned paradise retreat, this little island has a flavor and ambiance all its own and in a good, safe and easy to access way. Characters roam the beaches and dining areas for interaction and photos, but again like the ships, private adults only coves are available in case parents need some serenity and peace.
Whether it’s mom and dad and the kids or multi-generational cruising, the Disney Fantasy has something for everyone and no matter age or activity level every cruiser can create the perfect cruise experience while onboard.
Carmel L. Mooney is the editor of Roadtripsforcouples.com, an online travel magazine. Carmel co-hosts a travel radio show every Saturday afternoon on KJAY 1430 AM in Sacramento. Her family travel column can be read in California Kids Magazine at: www.valcomnews.com You can follow her on Twitter: @CarmelLeeMooney or Facebook. Carmel is also the Executive Director of Pawsitive Service Dog Solutions, a non-profit that trains and places Autism Service Dogs. You can read her service dog blog at: www.pawsitivesolutions.org.