is defined as “a word from the Disney film production of Mary Poppins describing something so indescribable that you have no real word to say it with”. And here I thought I there were no words to describe the Disney Fantasy Magical Preview Cruise
I just experienced.
Silly me. The fourth ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet, the Fantasy launches in a few days, with enough activities, fun, bells and whistles, and overall Disney supercalifragilisticexpialidocious-ness to not only keep you entertained during this seven-night cruise, but talking about it for years to come.
The first thing I noticed about the Fantasy was its size. It is really big. I mean HUGE (1,115-feet long and 14-stories high), with room for a lot of people (1,250 staterooms and suites and room for 4,000 passengers). I also noticed how pretty it was. The outside is navy and white with red funnels with the Mickey logo on them, and hovering over the stern painting Fantasy in gold lettering are Dumbo and Timothy Q. Mouse.
The inside of the ship is even more impressive. A statute of the fashionably dressed “Mademoiselle Minnie Mouse” with a parasol and luggage in the Art Nouveau-inspired lobby calls to mind the elegance and gradeur of travel in the 1920’s and 1930’s. I briefly paused every time I walked through the lobby, to take another look at the chandelier made of crystal and stained glass, and the matching rug. This was the scene of many of the character greetings and the perfect backdrop for pictures.
During the cruise I stayed in a deluxe stateroom with a veranda that was big enough to accommodate my family of 4, had they been with me. But alas, they were not, so I had it all to myself. The large cabin had separate rooms for the shower/bath and toilet, and plenty of closets and drawers for
my family me to unpack and get comfortable.
The Fantasy, like all Disney ships, follows a rotational dining system. Guests are assigned a dining time at either 5:45 or 8:15 p.m., and then you rotate to a different restaurant each night, followed by the same wait staff. At the time of booking, if you’re traveling with friends or family, you make arrangements to sit together. If not, you will be assigned to a table with other guests. If you’re not traveling with children, don’t worry: adults without children will usually dine with other adults, while families dine with other families.
The dinners are delicious four-course meals at one of ship’s themed restaurants: Royal Court has décor inspired by the Disney princesses where guests can enjoy continental French cuisine; Enchanted Garden, inspired by the gardens of Versailles, features a menu offering fresh, seasonal ingredients and Animator’s Palate, Disney Cruise Line’s signature restaurant, is decorated like an animator’s studio, with cuisine as creative as the environment. The popcorn soup, for example, which tasted exactly like buttered popcorn, is nothing, if not creative.
Disney is first and foremost an entertainment company, and with first run movies and musical productions fit for Broadway, you can’t help but be all ears. The Walt Disney Theatre is a 1,300-seat venue where the original productions Disney Wishes, Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular and Disney’s Believe are performed. I have always been a big fan of Disney productions and though Disney Wishes was a bit too High School Musical for my taste, Aladdin, however, was big, bright, and, well, spectacular. I would definitely see it again and recommend it highly.
I did take some time to check out the kids clubs because the next time I take a Disney cruise, my girls will be with me. Disney is extremely proud of their kids’ clubs, and they should be, because they are very cool. It’s a Small World Nursery is for infants and toddlers 3 months to 3-years-old and is a cool as an area dedicated to such little kids can be, but most importantly it’s clean and safe. Move to the Oceaneer Club, for kids 3-to-10 years old, and things get interesting, with a 103-inch plasma screen for watching movies and playing interactive games, an animator’s studio and workshops with an interactive science lab to conduct experiments, create art projects or perfect their culinary skills.
The Edge is a lounge for 11-to-13 year old tweens, and full of hi-tech entertainment, like individual computing stations to play games and access the onboard social media site exclusively for them, a video wall for gaming and movie watching and a dance floor. An indoor/outdoor space on Deck 5 called Vibe, is exclusively for 13-to-17 year olds, with a media room, refreshment area, dance club and on Deck 11, they can chillax at Chill Spa, a space inside the ship’s spa just for them.
After scoping out the kids’ clubs, and promising myself that I’ll take my girls on the next Disney cruise I go on, I found the adults only area, of which there are many. In fact, adults have an entire “continent” to themselves on the Fantasy: Europa. I can start with dinner in “Italy” at Palo, which serves Northern Italian cuisine; have drinks at the French champaign bar, Ooh La La and dance all night in “London” at The Tube.
There are also adult only swimming areas. The Quiet Cove Pool is a multi-level pool with a shallow sunbathing pool, a plunge pool and a deeper pool for swimming. The pool also features the Cove Bar, and is in close proximity to Cove Cafe, where you can grab a coffee, read magazines or surf the internet using the cafe’s WIFI-enabled device. The Satellite Sun Deck is another adults-only area. This new Disney Cruise Line area offers Satellite Falls, a gently falling rain curtain, a splash pool with benches and loungers that allow you to soak up the sun or chill in the shade.
As you know, I’m all about enjoying the journey, and it was so easy to do on the Fantasy, with all the amenities, Broadway-quality productions, world-class cuisine and entertainment.
However, the destination, Castaway Cay wasn’t too bad either. After running a 5k on the island, a found a nice spot at the aptly named, adults-only Serenity Beach, and spent the afternoon soaking up the sun and sipping on tasty tropical drinks.
As they say at Disney, “sea” you real soon.
Disclosure: I received complimentary cruise accommodations from Disney Cruise Line via TravelingMom.com. I was not asked to express any particular point of view.