Fantasy Cruise – behind the magic

233 Prospect Park 015Speaking about his first time traveling on a ship bound for France at the age of sixteen, Walt Disney said, “I didn’t need a cushion or a big feather bed.  I didn’t care where I ate.  Everything was an experience…”

While I still feel the same wonderment about travel as a sixteen year old Walt, I do need a few creature comforts.  The Disney Fantasy   delivers.  I think Walt would have approved.

I recently had the opportunity to spend a weekend aboard Disney’s newest cruise ship during a sponsored blogger’s retreat.  The Fantasy, at a length of 340 meters (1,115 ft) and a width of 37 m (121 ft), has a lot to offer.

As you would expect from Disney, there are lots of child friendly activities  and characters including the first Bibbiti Bobbiti Boutique at sea, tween and teen clubs.  The pools are predictably busy and seem a little small for such a large ship but a ride on the AquaDuck Water Coaster, which, while not exactly the Tower of Terror, gives you awesome view of the ship and Castaway Cay.  Each evening offers a number of activities but the best are the Broadway quality shows  at the spacious Walt Disney Theatre.

233 Prospect Park 006The ship is beautifully designed and the rooms are well appointed with plush comfortable beds, as you would expect from a Disney Resort.  As a first time cruiser, I was concerned about feeling claustrophobic  but my room felt airy because of the balcony, a must-have on a cruise.

The ship’s decor recalls another era in cruising (not the Love Boat but that other famous one) with its grand crystal chandeliers and sweeping staircases.  The spirit of Walt Disney is found in the details of the ship but especially in the art  that is throughout the ship.   My favorite was a large dreamy painting of the London landscape from Peter Pan.  The old sketches and paintings remind the modern cruiser of The Walt Disney Company’s roots and is a nice break from the usual Disney licensing extravaganza.

The ship also has a selection of restaurants that are, in my opinion, a step up from the typical all-inclusive resort.  While there were great buffets for breakfast and lunch, it was nice to sit down to a proper dinner in the evening.  Each restaurant had its own personality but I think for children the Animator’s Palate was the most fun for kids even though it might not be as grand as the others.  The chocolate lava cake was divine.   The ship also has two superior dining restaurants:  Palo and Remy.  I did not have a chance to dine at either but I did visit and they had beautiful vistas where I could picture a romantic tête-à- tête with my husband—it’s too bad I left him at home.

Walt Disney, the man, was a dreamer and a forward thinker.  Given his desire to explore the world as a boy, I think a ship like the Disney Fantasy would have been in his sights before long.  As for me, a first-time cruiser, I had a bon voyage on the Fantasy.  I am afraid that Disney might have spoiled me for all other cruise lines.

Recommended Reading:

The man behind the magic : the story of Walt Disney by Richard Greene and Katherine Barrett by Katherine and Richard Greene.

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