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  • Writer's pictureJason Leppert

TravelPulse On Board: Disney Fantasy Review



Design

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I had the wonderful opportunity to first see Disney Cruise Line‘s Disney Fantasy while she was still under construction at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany, so the ship does feel like my baby, but that notwithstanding, the vessel is still one of the most exquisitely designed ships sailing the high seas. Architecturally, she exudes the grace and glamour of vintage ocean liners of yore, and technologically, few other ships compare to its long list of modern amenities. On the immaculately maintained surface, the art deco aesthetic is striking from the grand atrium down to the passenger hallways, and the “pixie dust” glow emanating from below the waterline at night is a magical touch.

The ship is perfect for families who are willing to ante up a bit more cash for the ultimate onboard as the ship provides a more premium experience than the other mainstream lines. Even guests traveling without children are sure to appreciate the ship’s incredible thematic attention to detail. Every element exists in service of telling a story in true Disney fashion. Like the other ships in the fleet, the Fantasy forfeits a casino in favor of an expanded kids facility which keeps the young ones well entertained in dedicated spaces. As a result, they don’t overrun the ship as you might initially expect.

There are occasions when children are far more prevalent, but adults have their own exclusive areas to escape to both indoors and out on deck. When she was first launched, the Fantasy had a number of exclusives, some of which have since rolled out onto the other Disney ships, but she still remains the only ship of its class with an AquaLab water play area, and like the Disney Dream, the Fantasy sports its signature AquaDuck water coaster that thrillingly stretches out over the side of the ship and circumnavigates the upper deck.


Accommodations

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The Disney Cruise Line was the first in the industry to introduce family-friendly staterooms, which means their ships generally feature more space and storage than competing lines’ comparable accommodations. Particularly welcome to families and private adults without kids alike are split bathroom compartments with a discrete toilet and sink in one section and another sink and shower/tub combo in the other. Deluxe family staterooms are even more spacious, and forward and aft cabins on deck five feature extra long verandahs.

Even inside staterooms are special onboard the Disney Fantasy thanks to Magical Portholes that digitally display a live view from outside the ship superimposed with playful character animations. As with the rest of the ship, cabins are full of extra details like double clotheslines in the shower, complimentary-use portable Wave Phones (that have been somewhat superseded by the line’s free smartphone app and excellent messaging system), hidden Mickeys and handsome nautical touches throughout.


Activities

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Activities onboard are all about keeping every member of the family entertained whether they are together or enjoying time to themselves or with new friends. The interactive D Lounge is the hub for family game shows, and the Midship Detective Agency ship-wide scavenger hunts, starring The Muppets in one version, employ the video game-like use of the ship’s Enchanted Art collection, which is good fun for all ages. Otherwise, Disney’s Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab keep children occupied with great spaces themed to Disney and Pixar films like Andy’s Room from “Toy Story” and kinetic games involving a pair of digital-screen playfloors.

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