Vactioneering On The Fantasy, Disney's Newest Cruise Ship
by, 04-14-2012 at 09:37 PM
How does that song go…”Life is just a fantasy”? Well, aboard the newest addition to the Disney Cruise Line, life IS a Fantasy. Disney Cruise Line has remained true to the design of Fantasy’s sister ship, the Dream, while adding a few new features that only improve the cruising experience.
As you approach the Disney cruise ship terminal, you’ll catch the first glimpse of this beautiful new ship, which looks exactly like the Dream from a distance. Once you round the stern of the ship, you notice Dumbo graces the ship as if in full flight.
Fantasy’s decor is in the Art Nouveau style, inspired by natural forms such as flowers and vines as well as elegant curved lines. Art Nouveau includes a total design approach that includes architecture, interior design, and decorative arts such as house wares, lighting, furniture and textiles. The belief of Art Nouveau is that art should be a way of life, which the Fantasy upholds very well.
It isn’t until you walk across the gangway that you see the first style differences from the Fantasy and the Dream. The Fantasy has a magnificent chandelier with hundreds of Swaroski crystals and soft blues, greens and pinks that fan out just like a peacock’s tail. The color scheme is copied on the carpet in rich blues, greens and sand colors with the peacock tail feathers heading up the stairs to Deck 4. Both of these aspects show the curved lines so popular of the Art Nouveau style.
On Deck 5, the big difference is the addition of the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique on the starboard side. Just like in the parks, young girls can be transformed into the princess of their choice with all the personalized attention of a Fairy Godmother in Training. What is different about this location is the addition of a special Fantasy package that adds a tutu, sparkly t-shirt and headband to the Crown package and the Royal Sea Package that includes 3 makeover experiences, a boutique frame with photo of your princess and their Fairy Godmother plus a special invitation with a Glass Slipper Ribbon Necklace and keepsake Glass Slipper.
Little boys can receive the Royal Knight Package that includes hairstyle with colored gel, sword and shield. The most magical part of this Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is the transformation it makes on Pirates in the Caribbean days, when the facility is open to all ages for a pirate makeover as the Pirates League.
As you venture to Decks 11, 12 and 13 you’ll notice some changes in the water areas. First, on Deck 12, midship hidden under the stairway for the Aquaduck, is the Aqualab -, a splash and play area where Donald Duck’s nephews created some mayhem for your enjoyment. It’s a great addition for those older kids who don’t want to hang out in the pool, but want to get wet.
Second, located on Deck 12 forward, you’ll find a new wading pool with a small fountain in the center. This is open for all guests, including those under 18. This is a good place to cool off without getting submerged in water and with the addition of the wind sail covers to shield guests from the sun. There is also a small stage to listen to music (it’s a fantastic place to visit). Third, on Deck 13 is the newest addition for the adult only areas, “Satellite Falls”, a circular wading pool with an umbrella waterfall that also provides some shade. The view from this area is spectacular since it’s on the most forward area of Deck 13.
In the 21+ entertainment area, called “Europa”, you’ll notice some changes from the other Disney ships. Here, each club is dedicated to a different European country. In O’Gills you feel as if you’ve just stepped into a pub to watch the local football match while sipping a pint of Guinness.
Champagne bar, “Ooh La La!”, is a comfortable place to gather and catch up with friends old and new.
“The Tube” is the dance club aboard the Fantasy, which stays open later than any of the other clubs. The music and magic keep going until the wee hours of the morning. The retro disco/Buck Rodgers look is fun and there are lots of spots to sit and relax if you aren't up for dancing the night away.
“Skyline Lounge” is on both the Dream and the Fantasy with rotating scenes of various cityscapes projected into the windows for your viewing pleasure.
On the Fantasy, there have been two new shows added to the stage: “Wishes” and “Aladdin the Musical.” In Wishes, three soon to graduate high school seniors begin to face life in the real world as grown ups. The class valedictorian has decided that she must be more serious about life, while her two best friends want to remain the kids they’ve been for so long. Through the magic of Disney, the audience follows the three on a musical journey that teaches them it’s okay to grow up, but to never lose the child inside. Aladdin is essentially the same show from Disney’s California Adventure park. Though you’ll notice some aspects missing, such as the elephant and the flying carpet scene. Those are both just too large to carry off well inside the Walt Disney Theater onboard the Fantasy. For those who love the scenes with Genie and his smart wit, you may be disappointed at first, because it didn’t seem like there were as many zingers from Genie as there are in California. I’ve heard rumor that Disney wants the actor-portraying Genie to ease into the role before shooting off those one-liners we all love of Genie. The last show is Disney’s “Believe”, which is the same show as guests see on the Dream. Again, there is rumor that the shows are slightly different, but my eyes aren’t so trained to catch any differences.
Dining on the Fantasy and the Dream remain relatively unchanged in every aspect except for Animator’s Palate. Of all the four ships, the Fantasy now has the BEST version of this dining experience! I absolutely want to tell you about every little detail, but there is a part of me that wants to keep the secret so you can enjoy it for the first time and be amazed like everyone was when we dined there. I will say that the animation segments are great, with fantastic Disney tunes playing softly. These are neither too loud nor too visually distracting from your dinner (as they at this restaurant on the Dream) to have a conversation with your table mates. Do try the buttered popcorn soup. It tastes like its name and has caramel popcorn to add a sweet crunchy aspect to the dish. As the new Wishes show says…don’t forget the child inside of you; use the crayons provided to draw on the tables.
This ship also has the popular Palo and Remy restaurants for an additional fee (you'll need a reservation as well).
Remy is an elegant French Restaurant with a killer wine list
Find the hidden Remy?
With all of differences between the Fantasy and the Dream, there are many areas that remain nearly exactly the same as the Disney Dream, such as the staterooms and corridors. The carpets have that new cushy feel under your feet that the other ships may have lost. The children’s and teen areas (It’s a Small World Nursery, Oceaneer’s Club, Oceaneer’s Lab, Vibe and Edge) are virtually the same. Food choices at the different dining locations are basically the same as on the Dream as is the quality of the food. The cast members faces may be different, but even a few of those may be the same. I spoke with Andre from South Africa who works in the photography department and remembered him from my Micechat Cruise in October on the Dream. He was still as friendly and charming as ever! The quality of service guests have come to expect from the other three Disney ships is evident on the Fantasy, though you might find it a bit slower in some aspects as the cast members gain their sea legs and routine of their new jobs. This is to be expected of any new position and we’re sure they’ll be ship shape in now time.
The Fantasy has become my favorite ship in the Disney fleet. Not because it’s the newest, but because I loved the fluidity of the décor and color scheme that is carried throughout the entire ship. Having never studied Art Nouveau, except to do a little research for this article, I can now say it is that style which causes me to favor the Fantasy. The elegant way each part of the ship’s design and décor come together as a whole makes the Fantasy a very special ship indeed.
If you like what you’ve seen here, keep an eye on MiceChat's Disney Cruise Line forum, I'll soon be posting a multi-part trip report with all of the restaurants and activities I experienced on this inaugural voyage. MiceChat has a couple of cruises planned: September 10th through 16th aboard the Disney Wonder (Vancouver to Los Angeles), and another aboard the Fantasy in October of 2013. We’d love for you to join us (just drop me a line and I'll send you the info).
MiceChat's Fairy Godmothers with Captain Mickey
Teresa Cory is founder of Fairy Godmother Travel (Dusty calls me the head pixie). I have been a Disney-only travel agent for 10 years. I've been planning MiceChat group trips for several years and am proud to have been selected as the "Official Travel Agency of MiceChat.com". I'm a native Texan and live in Houston with my husband and our rescued Dachshunds. Both of my boys are in college at Texas A&M. Contact Teresa at FairyGodmotherTravel.com for MiceChat group trip information or for any of your Disney travel needs (or email [email protected]).