Five Things to Know About Disney Cruise Line's Fantasy Cruise Ship
World's Best 2016 Awards Rank: #6 Mega Cruise Ship
Best for: Families and Disney-philes
Sails: The Caribbean, Mexico
At a Glance: A Travel + Leisure World’s Best 2016 winner, placing sixth in the Mega Cruise Ship category. Disney Fantasy combines Art Nouveau flourishes, Broadway-level shows, and a long list of Disney-themed activities, making it a find for kids and parents alike.
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There’s Plenty to Keep Kids Happy
Saying a Disney ship is family-focused would be an understatement. On Disney Fantasy, the kid-centric activities are almost too many to count. There’s Pirate’s Night, when kids head to costume shop and salon Bippity Boppity Boutique to dress up like buccaneers for a pool-deck party featuring a fireworks and a pirate show. There’s the Midship Detective Agency, an interactive game where you solve a mystery with clues hidden around the ship. There’s the Oceaneer Club, where kids 3 to 12 play dress up with Tinkerbell in Pixie Hollow and hang out with the characters from Toy Story in Andy’s Room. (There’s also a Small World Nursery for infants, Edge lounge for tweens 11-14, and Vibe for teens.) Bonus: most cabins onboard have an extra half bathroom, so adults can shower while the kids brush their teeth. Even inside staterooms have pullout couches; they also have “magical portholes”—really porthole-shaped screens—that show the scenery rolling by, plus a little animation for fun.
When grown-ups need a night out, they head to one of the ship’s two adults-only specialty restaurants. (Both have a cover charge.) Palo dishes up Northern Italian cuisine like butternut agnolotti and seared sea scallops, and on sea days, it serves a decadent champagne brunch. The most lavish spread on the ship can be found at Remy, which has a five-course French tasting menu featuring refined fare like smoked bison and pigeon pie with foie gras. Spend the rest of the night at Europa, the adults-only district, home to O’Gill’s Pub, the carousel-shaped bar at La Piazza, the Ooh La La champagne bar, the London-themed Tube night club, and wood-paneled Skyline, which has faux windows showing aerial views of some of the most iconic cities in the world.
Restaurants Are More Than a Meal
Most ships have one main dining room. The Disney Fantasy has three, which passengers rotate through during the voyage. (You’ll have the same tablemates and waiter every night.) At Animator’s Palate, shows are projected on screens and art turns from black and white to color on the walls. At the Versailles-inspired Enchanted Garden, passengers order from a seasonal menu filled with dishes like lobster ravioli and marjoram-scented organic chicken. And at the Royal Court, an homage to Disney’s princesses, the menu is filled with French fare like pomegranate-glazed duck breast and roasted wild boar tenderloin. Or check out the beach-themed buffet at Cabana’s, which has palm trees, rattan chairs, and outdoor seating.
There Are Waterslides
Like its sister ship Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy has an AquaCoaster, a 765-foot tube that twists and turns around the ship and, for one dizzying stretch, over the ocean. Passengers make the ride in a two-person raft, splashing down in a lazy river. Kids who need something a bit more sedate can make for AquaLab’s wading pool to play amid the water geysers and pouring paint cans. Or they can head to Mickey’s Pool, flanked by the smaller Donald’s Pool and a one-deck-high slide held up by a Mickey arm. As for parents, they can take a break from the clamor at the adults-only Quiet Cove pool.
The Shows Are Spectacular
Disney knows how to put on a Broadway-level production. At the huge Walt Disney Theatre, passengers choose among Disney’s Wishes, Disney Believe, and the special-effects-laden Disney’s Aladdin—A Musical Spectacular, which sends magic carpets flying high above the audience.