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  • Writer's pictureJason Leppert

Cruise Preview: Disney Fantasy, Western Caribbean 2013

Next week, Popular Cruising is off on another cruise adventure onboard the Disney Fantasy from Disney Cruise Line, and we can’t wait to share the experience with our readers. You may notice that our format is a bit different this time. No longer is this a Live Cruise Preview. That’s because we’re changing it up a bit. We’ve discovered that the time it takes to write our reports onboard displaces many opportunities to experience the very vacation we’re reviewing. So, to maximize our coverage from now on, our detailed cruise reviews will be published as a series of articles once we return – as we most recently did for our Un-Cruise adventure on the Safari Endeavour in Alaska.

Cruise Reviews from the Disney Fantasy, Western Caribbean 2013 sailing previewed below: From Under the Toque: A Chef’s Retrospective of Disney Fantasy Cuisine What if the Disney Cruise Line Went Freaky on Fridays?

The Ship

The Disney Fantasy is personally very special to me. She is the first ship I ever saw firsthand being constructed at a shipyard and the first one I ever saw christened in person. In many ways, I was there when she was born, and consequently, the Disney Fantasy feels a bit like my cruise ship baby. And she’s a very large baby – 130,000-gross-tons of Disney imagination that I had the pleasure of experiencing for seven days once before in 2012. My parents and I loved it then, and we can’t wait to head back onboard for round two, with even more of the family along as you’ll soon read below.

The AquaDuck Water Coaster Wraps Around the Top Decks

Provided you are content with giving up a casino, the Disney Fantasy does a fine job of offering something for nearly everyone. Adults and children alike have lots to enjoy on their own and together, and while it certainly helps to already be a fan of Disney to appreciate all of the fine details and story points, it’s not a requirement in order to enjoy the immersive experiences in store. Onboard favorites for families include the famous AquaDuck water coaster (pictured above), rotational dining among three distinct restaurants like Enchanted Garden (pictured below) and a fireworks spectacular at sea.

Enchanted Garden

On their own, kids get an entire deck’s worth of space all to themselves (in case you were wondering where the casino went to). Kid (and kid-at-heart) favorites ship-wide include the enchanted art where paintings digitally come to life as part of scavenger hunt games with the likes of The Muppets. Exclusive to the Disney Fantasy is also Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, a popular retail experience where children can dress up as their favorite princesses or pirates, and Animation Magic where your own character drawings come to life on screen at Animator’s Palate. (Animation Magic will soon be onboard the Disney Magic as well.)

The Itinerary

Disney Cruise Line ships have so much to do onboard that the itinerary is often a secondary consideration. The Disney Fantasy could literally sail the seas alone for seven days with content passengers. The destinations only add to the overall enjoyment, which is especially true of Disney’s wonderful private island, Castaway Cay. Our particular itinerary is a Western Caribbean one making stops at Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel and said private retreat.

The Route (Copyright © Disney Cruise Line)

As of now, our only shore plans include Cozumel and Castaway Cay. After having a blast off-roading in Alaska, we’ll hit the jungle terrain of Cozumel with 4x4s and take a break from the action for discovering caverns with a relaxing swim. Then at Castaway Cay, we’ve reserved a private cabana at Serenity Bay, the island’s adults-only stretch of beach. Our secluded retreat will include plush table seating, chaise lounges, a hammock, refrigerator and freshwater shower. It’s not a bad place at all to be stranded for the day.

The Itinerary (Copyright © Disney Cruise Line)

A Multigenerational Adult Perspective

If you were wondering what’s available on the Disney Fantasy for adults only, there is plenty. In fact, Europa is where we will likely be hanging out during much of our time onboard. Three adult generations of my family will be joining this cruise, and my parents, grandmother, aunt, cousin and I will certainly enjoy our Disney cruise even without kids along. That’s because Europa features some of our favorite venues, namely the Skyline Lounge for its unique wraparound views of nocturnal cityscapes from around the Baltic and Mediterranean. Plus, O’Gill’s serves the best house Irish cream liqueur.

Skyline Lounge

Of course, it’s not all about the bars onboard for us. We definitely fit into the kid-at heart category and are avid Disney fans to begin with. So, there will be no getting us off the AquaDuck, except my grandmother will likely enjoy this particular attraction from a dry distance, and I’m looking forward to catching up on Disney’s library of feature films like Planes and, hopefully with the recent acquisition, the Star Wars prequels in 3D as well. We will definitely keep you posted on the wealth of entertainment onboard. That is for sure.

Fireworks at Sea

Stay tuned for our extensive cruise review series to follow. In the meantime, visit Disney Cruise Line‘s website for more information about the magical Disney Fantasy. We already have reader questions in about the differences between Disney’s Magic-class ships and Dream-class ships as well as a request to outline the pros and cons of taking back-to-back sailings on the Disney Dream versus one on the Disney Fantasy. Do you have any of your own questions you would like answered? Please feel free to post your inquiries in the comments section below, and we’ll include the answers in our coverage…


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