When you go on a vacation, I believe everyone’s goal is to have the best time ever and yet the planning process is often headache inducing. Having visited a few cruise ships recently, I am convinced that cruising may be the best vacation option yet. After visiting the Disney Fantasy, the newest in the Disney Cruise Line fleet, it should be every family’s only option.
I was recently invited to take a very thorough 6-hour family tour of the cruise ship and was absolutely blown away by the Disney Fantasy. From the moment you step foot onto the ship, you know you’ve been transported somewhere incredibly special. Exuding first class all the way, and none of the over the top, in your face mouse everywhere scene you would have expected. There is an understated elegance to even the way the mouse is present.
There is something for every age and every level of engagement. For kids ages 3 to 10, they have the amazing Oceaneers Club and Oceaneers Lab built with 4 themed spaces like the ever fun Andy’s room from Toy Story where kids can pretend to be a toy or have a turn at the Monster’s Inc. Laugh Factory. I know my Ava would be overwhelmed by Pixie Hollow. Inspired by the series of Tinkerbell movies, this fun interactive space transports children to the magical world inhabited by fairies. A pixie dust tree stands in the corner of the room, with glittering lights twinkling among its leaves, and fun acorn and mushroom stools are sprinkled about for children to sit on. This endearing and tranquil environment is designed for dress-up play, individual craft projects and storytelling sessions.
While the It’s a Small World Nursery, for ages 3 months to 3 years, requires an additional fee, it is a very reasonable $6/hour service charge for the 1st child and $5/hour for each additional child. It’s a really nice feature to have on a family cruise ship. The norm being, children under the age of 2 usually staying with their parents, leaving the parent unable to really appreciate the cruising experience. Open throughout the day, It’s a Small World Nursery invites parents to enjoy more adult-oriented adventures during the cruise while their children are safely cared for by trained Disney counselors. Parents should provide baby food, formula, milk and bottles as well as include diapers or pull-ups, diaper wipes, extra clothing and a baby blanket or pacifier, if applicable, when dropping off their child.
While these two areas may keep your kids engaged for hours, there are plenty of family-fun activities to be had all around the ship. I couldn’t help but be impressed by the Aquaduck, the amazing water coaster and AquaLab, the 1,800-square-foot water play area is designed to delight young Guests and their families. With unique design details depicting Donald Duck’s nephews and tons of pop jets, geysers, bubblers and other interactive elements. Right off the pools with shaded protection from the sun, is the adorable 1500-square-foot Nemo’s Reef for ages 8 and under where parents can watch poolside while sipping a pina colada.
My most favorite experiences had to be going to the Animator’s Palate. Combining two of my favorite things, eating and design, families are treated to a truly entertaining dining experience. An experience that’s exclusive to the Disney Fantasy, Sorcerer Mickey leads the fun as black and white explodes into color and “Be Our Guest” reaches new heights. Everybody’s own hand-drawn characters join the colorful production! I can just picture how excited my kids will be to see their drawings come to life.
This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the offerings on the Disney Fantasy and we can’t wait to go on our very first cruise, a Disney Cruise! Cause NO ONE does it like Disney.
For more information on the Disney Fantasy, please visit their website at: http://disneycruise.disney.go.com/ships-activities/ships/fantasy/ To plan your very own Disney Cruise experience order their free DVD here.
Here’s a video except from the Disney Fantasy Christening which the husband and I got to attend featuring the ever talented Neil Patrick Harris. I am still pinching myself.