Disney Fantasy - Eastern Carib - Jan 2013
Disney Fantasy Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern
Sail Date: January 26, 2013
Ship: Disney Fantasy
Cabin Type: Balcony
Traveled As: Large Group
Reviewed: 4 years ago
Review SummaryWe were highly anticipating our first Disney Cruise to be the most fantastic vacation our children (5 & 4) had ever had...but were totally let down.
We've cruised 2 dozen times before. The little ones have come with us 4 times. This ship is nothing like a normal cruise experience in some good ways and in my opinion quite a few bad.
The good -
I really liked the 2 phones they give to each cabin to use throughout the vacation. They were so helpful in keeping in touch with the 2 other cabins that cruised with us. They allowed my husband and I to split up and cater to each child individually without having to search a giant ship to find each other when we needed to.
The shows were sooo much fun for the kids (and the adults)!!!! The confetti galore put huge smiles on my kids faces too...just sit within the first 10 rows to experience it.
The character visits were too sweet : ) So much easier and faster than seeing a character at Disney World. They were very much in character and gave each child a unique, non-rushed experience.
OMGoodness the adult only restaurant Remy!!! We went 4 times. We could not get enough. We let Chef Benoit surprise us and choose what we ate for every course and he hit it out of the park! Seriously Awesome. Gerard was our outstanding server every night and we had such a blast with him. He was a big reason why we kept coming back. Unbelievable experience!!!!!!!
The food on the pool deck was so convenient to get a quick snack for the kids or ourselves. The tuna wraps are fantastic. They also have grilled cheese, yummy pizzas, paninis, burgers, wraps. We often grabbed a few quick plates to bring down to the room so the kids could eat dinner before kids club (they went there while we ate dinner at the adult restaurants).
The private island Castaway Cay was a big hit with my family. After travelling to beaches at other islands, looking for food, drinks, etc. it was so nice to have everything close to the ship and right at your fingertips. The slides were a blast, there was a good variety of food, waiters bringing you drinks on the beach, and inner tubes to float in. Perfect no problem beach day.
The duo Roberto and Daria were so talented! We followed them to the different lounges they played each night. Unique covers of your favorite songs!
The way you view and order photos is breathtakingly easy. Instead of scanning through hundreds of strangers pics looking for your own, you scan your keycard and the computer tells you which bookcase and what book they are all in. Brilliant! Such a timesaver!!!
The lack of pools. Seriously ridiculous how little the kids could swim. There are 2 kid pools on the main deck. One understandably shallow (shaped like Mickey's head), and one with a constant depth of 5'3". Neither pool was very large. Both pools were always so packed the kids didn't have room to do anything but tread water. I am not being sarcastic. No matter how well your child swims -it is not safe. Children trying to jump in end up jumping on top of other children, other children can't tread water like a Navy SEAL so they hang onto your children and drag them under. This was such a total disappointment to me. I am used to a cruise experience where children can actually use the pools for swimming not just peeing. Furthermore to have one pool shallow and one pool TOO deep seems silly to me. Why is there no happy medium, like a shallow end in the deep pool. I am 5'2" I couldn't even play in the pool with my kids because I couldn't stand in the 5'3" pool unless I was 5'7" or taller : ( We found a small splash pool 1.5 feet deep that was not usually very crowded on the deck above one of the adult pools...but that fun only lasts so long. We had 4 sea days, we usually have a blast on sea days playing in the pool on deck outside with our kids. This cruise we couldn't wait to get off the ship to find a beach where we could do just that. This ship was just built. WHAT A TRAGIC DESIGN FLAW!
The big slide was a big thrill for my 5 year old and the yellow slide on deck was a hit with my 4 year old. BUT.....to wait for your child at the bottom of the slide means standing and waiting in the shade next to a trash can in the common area where the buffet lets out. So, if your daughter is like mine and does a slide over and over again, you hang out cold in the shade with nothing to do but stand for upwards of 30 min. Bad design. Norwegian Cruise Lines got this one right. The slide conveniently ends facing the pool area. We could sit close by and watch our child whilst enjoying the cruise WE PAID SO MUCH MONEY FOR.
While the kids club is extravagant, has loads of different rooms, and scheduled activities like cooking classes, dance parties, and after the first stint with it my children woke up and couldn't wait to go back....it is too big (area wise) for the younger ones. They seemed to be overwhelmed and weren't really guided enough to the activities that were going on. The 6 kids in our group were between 3-6 yrs and we'd drop them off and hear at the end of the night that they couldn't find each other the whole night. It is a crazy big area and definitely needs more staff that guide and interact with the little ones a bit more. Like I said, my kids did fine. The little ones had some issues though.
Looking back on this review I have listed a lot of pros and a few cons. The cons to me were just that bad that I won't be sailing this ship again. We made the most of the time we had and instead of swimming all day we spent it playing basketball, mini golf, etc. It just wasn't the cruise I expected it to be. I really thought Disney would get the kids pool area right. They certainly had enough other pools on board for the adults and even one dedicated to the teenagers. But their main clientele was ignored. Next time I'll just take 2 cruises on NCL or Royal Caribbean for the price of 1 Disney cruise.