The Disney Fantasy is a “fraternal twin” to the Disney Dream which launched in early 2011. Both cruise ships are 1,115-feet in length, with 1,250 staterooms and suites and 4,000-passenger capacity. And both are warm and welcoming, elegant and richly detailed – harkening to the golden age of ocean-liner travel of the 1930s.
But veteran Disney cruise vacationers will start recognizing differences the moment they enter the Disney Fantasy’s atrium lobby. Its three-deck expanse is graced with sophisticated Art Nouveau-inspired details and patterns in hues of vibrant blue, green, pink and gold. Glamorous and graceful design elements include a sweeping grand staircase, towering fluted columns, grand piano and an exquisite marble and stone inlay floor.
From the ceiling hangs a cascading chandelier, grand-yet-delicate, that flows downward from a massive stained-glass flourish on the ceiling in peacock hues of greens and blues. The chandelier itself is more than 10 feet in diameter, a one-of-a-kind work of art evoking a peacock in stained glass and crystal beads. The whole effect is continued in the rich carpeting underfoot.
As with each Disney Cruise Line ship that launched before it, the Disney Fantasy has an atrium lobby statue celebrating a classic Disney character. Mickey at the helm, Ariel sitting pretty and Admiral Donald striking a pose have been previously featured. The pièce de résistance of the Fantasy lobby is Mademoiselle Minnie Mouse. Inspired by travel of the 1920s and 1930s, Minnie is cast in bronze and dressed in vintage fashion with a parasol and steamer luggage at her side – posed for keepsake pictures with guests.
Beyond the lobby
There are places and experiences, services, dining and entertainment concepts that are hallmarks of the Disney Cruise Line experience. Here’s more of what’s in store during a Disney Fantasy cruise:
When the Disney Dream launched, it boasted the first water coaster at sea, called Aqua Duck. A 765-foot long, twisting-and-turning scream machine, the get-wet attraction has been a huge hit with guests. So Disney Fantasy has Aqua Duck, too! Plus something new: AquaLab, a water play area where families can frolic among pop jets, geysers and bubblers. There also are separate pools for children, families and adults – plus a special splash-and-play area for little ones.
Outside the wet zone
Disney Fantasy continues the Disney Cruise Line tradition of special, fun-filled clubs, labs and cafes for guests of all ages – Disney’s Oceaneer Club and Disney’s Oceaneer Lab for young children (ages 3-10), Edge for tweens (ages 11-13), Vibe for teens (ages 14-17) and Cove Café for adults – plus the family club D Lounge and It’s a Small World Nursery. In all the youth and family areas, there are activities and games supervised by crew members. In addition, Edge and Vibe are rendezvous spots for age-group games, quests and tours that take youth on adventures throughout the ship.
Exercise and fitness
Fitness has its places, too. Both inside at the Fitness Center and outside on Goofy’s Sports Deck, guests can “work out.” Among the facilities on the sports deck are a basketball court that can be configured into mini-soccer or volleyball court… and a walking track encircling the deck, perfect for those looking for a light – and scenic – workout. The Fitness Center is well-appointed with state-of-the-art cardio equipment and weight machines, and offers personal training sessions and instructional classes (yoga, Pilates, aerobics).
Fun and games
The nine-hole, Disney-themed miniature golf course isn’t “just plain Goofy.” It also stars Goofy’s son, Max. The interactive holes emphasize various golfing lessons – but, of course, with goofy twists. There are simulators that provide a variety of state-of-the-art virtual sports-gaming experiences, ping pong and foosball tables, and an arcade offering a variety of the latest interactive video games plus gaming classics such as pinball and air hockey.
Pampering and relaxation
Senses Spa & Salon offers therapeutic and beautifying personal care services for men and women in a retreat spanning two decks. It offers spa treatments, massages, body wraps, facials, aromatherapy, manicures, pedicures, hairstyling and blowouts, traditional men’s grooming services and more. There’s a “Relax Room” as well as a rainforest-themed aromatherapy steam room and sauna. While most of Senses Spa & Salon is for adult guests 18 and older, it includes Chill Spa – a separate spa for teens offering a wide variety of spa services and treatments, including facials, massages and manicures.
With “rotational dining” serving up a changing menu of thematically magical restaurants, cuisines and mealtime experiences throughout the cruise, dinnertime is an adventure until itself. Royal Court, an exquisite dining room fit for a princess, and Animator’s Palate with it two different shows are just two of the venues that guests experience. But along with the ever-changing fun comes a constant: Guests’ wait staff rotates with them, sharing familiar smiles and knowing likes and needs on a first-name basis.
Adult couples and groups can reserve a dinnertime at two adult-exclusive restaurants – Palo, specializing in Northern Italian cuisine with a contemporary twist, and Remy, the most upscale and romantic dining experience about Disney Fantasy and serving French-inspired cuisine. Both restaurants come with stunning ocean views, an upscale dress code befitting the ambiance, the need for advance reservations and an upcharge.
Shows and deck parties
Disney Fantasy-exclusive “Wishes” and “Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular” are just part of the entertainment offerings in the lavish Walt Disney Theatre – and at other locations as well. A high point is the evening the ship is transformed for piratical family fun including the deck party “Mickey’s Pirates IN the Caribbean” and the fireworks spectacular “Buccaneer Blast,” featuring pyrotechnics choreographed to a dramatic musical score based on songs from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies. There are other deck parties for sure … and movies galore, both on deck and in the Buena Vista Theatre, a chic cinema with plush stadium-style seats that screens first-run movies and digital 3-D films.
On Disney Fantasy, reality includes jaw-dropping experiences resulting from 21st-century technology – whether it’s the young kids at Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab participating in fun and games on a huge, dynamic interactive floor alive with sights and sounds … or the family sitting together at a live performance during which great acting of a great story is enhanced by over-the-top effects … or the family settling down in an inside stateroom with a real-time view of the sea passing by outside via a “magical porthole.”
It wouldn’t be an East Coast Disney cruise experience if each Disney Fantasy itinerary didn’t include a day at Castaway Cay – a port of call that guest comments suggest is the “best stop” of the cruise! It’s a day that can be filled with water fun, beach play or just plain relaxation plus cookout eating.
The Disney Fantasy will sail out of Port Canaveral on seven-night Caribbean itineraries – alternating eastern (St. Maarten and St. Thomas) and western (Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel). Special Eastern Caribbean sailings in November and December 2012 stop at St. Thomas and San Juan, Puerto Rico. All Disney Fantasy itineraries include a stop at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.
Rates for the seven-night Caribbean cruise itineraries on the Disney Fantasy start at $959 per person for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy. All pricing reflects a category 11C standard inside stateroom, Government Taxes and Fees not included.