Disney Parks

Disney Cruise Line: A Fantasy at Sea

Even more magic sets sail for families on the fourth ship of the fleet.

by Shoshana Lewin Fischer
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Fantasy at Sea: The Disney Fantasy

Building on the classic style of her sister ship, the Disney Dream, the Disney Fantasy is the regal fourth cruise liner in the expanding Disney Cruise Line fleet. Featuring 14 towering decks, a ship length of 1,115 feet and a maximum width of 125 feet, the 128,000-ton vessel includes 1,250 staterooms and has the capacity to comfortably accommodate 4,000 passengers — along with the more than 1,450 cast and crew members. The Disney Fantasy horn is designed to respond back when the Magic and Wonder sound the first line of "When You Wish Upon a Star."

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Fantasy at Sea: Welcome Aboard

The magnificent three-deck atrium lobby on the Disney Fantasy is reminiscent of grand ocean liners of the Golden Age. Art Nouveau-inspired details and patterns in hues of vibrant blue, green, pink and gold lend to the sophistication. A Minnie Mouse staute welcomes guests onboard the ship and throughout the cruise, different characters will pose in the lobby for pictures and autographs — and if you have one of the ship's photographers take your picture, you'll be able to use your Key To The World ID card to find all of your family photos at Shutters.

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Fantasy at Sea: Art Comes Alive

When you walk the decks of the Disney Fantasy, make sure you take a look at the walls. The ship features Enchanted Art that looks like any other picture, until you stop to look at it. With some technological pixie dust, the image comes to life and you never know what will happen next — and you can visit the same picture several times and see something different each time. There's even a scavenger hunt where your family can help Detective Mickey Mouse solve a crime.

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Fantasy at Sea: Magical Portholes

All inside staterooms feature a Magical Porthole, where guests can get a real-time view that reflects where the cabin is — port or starboard. What makes the porthole even more magical is the Disney characters that you'll see swim, fly or float across the window —from Steamboat Willie to Flora, Fauna and Merriweather — around the clock. And don't worry parents — the characters can be turned off when it is bedtime. Another perk in all the staterooms is that the Fantasy elevated the bedframes higher than on the Magic and Wonder. This way, families, who tend to bring a lot of luggage, can store suitcases underneath them.

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Fantasy at Sea: The Happiest Playroom That Ever Sailed

Children 3 months to 3 years will feel right at home at "It's a Small World" Nursery, which was inspired by the beloved Disneyland attraction. The main play area includes a boat in the center of the room that "floats" on a river pattern along the soft surface floor and is surrounded by colorful, kid-sized tables and chairs for toddlers to enjoy crafts, books and games. Infants and toddlers can enjoy playtime, movie time and nap time (in a special quiet area), while their parents take in the adult activities on board. While there is an additional charge to use the nursery, parents can book in advance online.

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Fantasy at Sea: Playing in Andy's Room

Jump into life-size toybox of Andy's Room, where the world of Disney-Pixar's Toy Story comes to life. Children feel toy-sized, because everything around them is built large scale. Kids can play with Rex the dinosaur, Hamm the piggy bank and Mr. Potato Head... and climb through a huge Slinky Dog. Or they head over to the Monster's Academy an immerse themselves in the fun and fright of Mike and Sulley's Monstropolis. there's also Pixie Hollow, where fairy tales aren't just told, they're lived.

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Fantasy at Sea: Becoming Royal

At Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique on the Disney Fantasy, aspiring young princesses and princes receive the full fairy tale treatment with pixie-dusted and piratical makeovers at this very special salon. When young princesses-to-be make their royal entrance at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, they are greeted by their very own Fairy Godmother-in-training who transforms them with magical makeovers. Exclusive to Disney Cruise Line, Captain Mickey Mouse, Princess Minnie Mouse and First Mate Minnie Mouse makeovers plus special Under the Sea packages will be offered.

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Fantasy at Sea: Game Time, Anytime

The Oceaneer's Lab encourages adventure and exploration among those 3-10, but even parents will be drawn to the fun and decor — and the interactive play floor. In the Media Room, kids can kick back and relax in bean bag chairs and watch movies or play video games; they can learn how to sketch (and bring to life) their favorite Disney characters in the Animator's Studio; create music in the Sound Studio and create and imagine in the Craft Studio. Kids can even enjoy lunch and dinner there.

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Fantasy at Sea: A Break From Mom and Dad

If there is any age group that seems the hardest to entertain, it's the tweens, but Edge takes care of that. The hangout for 11- to 13-year-olds (in its own special spot on the ship) features an array of high-tech fun, including a dance floor, notebook computers with a unique onboard social media application and a state-of-the-art video wall that's nearly 5 feet tall. And the great views have an interesting twist: tweens can see out, but guests below can't see in.

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Fantasy at Sea: Chilling Out With Friends

There's nothing worse than being surrounded by your younger siblings on a vacation, or — heaven forbid — hanging at the pool with your parents. Vibe's teen-only area is part-club, part-lounge and all fun just for 14- to 17-year-olds. The decor, which melds urban coffee shop with cool dance club is big on tech, with video wall and a movie room. Plus, on the Fantasy, Vibe has its own outdoor sundeck off the ship's bow, complete with "splash" pools, fountains, pop jets and misters, as well as ping pong and foodball tables — no parents allowed. Teens even have their own relaxation zone at the Chill Spa, which has special treatments just for teens, like the Hot Chocolate Wrap, Surfer's Scrub and an Ice Cream Manicure and Pedicure.

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Fantasy at Sea: Golfing With Goofy

Who better than Goofy to head up the Sports Deck? He's the star of a series of "how to" cartoons (that end up more like how not tos). Families can enjoy playing ping pong and foosball, virtual sports simulators and a Goofy-themed nine-hole miniature golf course, featuring such holes as "Handling a Dog Leg," where golfers avoid a fire hydrant and use Pluto's dog bone to guide them to the hole. There's even special Goofy and Max tees at each hole so mom and dad can play against the kids.

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Fantasy at Sea: Splashing With Nemo

Young children can play under the sea the Nemo and his friends at Nemo's Reef. The children's play area on deck 11 midship is a 1,500-square-foot water zone where kids can splash around fountains, bubblers and pop jets. In addition to Nemo, Dory and Marlin, this splashy spot includes a mini-sized water slide shaped like Mr. Ray, a water curtain that moves back and forth mimicking the East Australian Current, and Pearl the octopus who "inks" herself with a mist of water. Plus, the area is shaded from the sun, making it great for parents who don't want their little ones to get burned.

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Fantasy at Sea: Dive-In Movies

Up on deck 12 you'll find two pools designed for fun: The Mickey pool, with its Mickey shape and Mickey slide is perfect for kids, while the nearby Donald pool is where the families hang out. Above the pool is the 24-by-14 foot LED Funnel Vision where Disney animated classics and modern features run day and night — and you can swim and watch or pull up a lounge chair. It's also the spot where you'll want to head for the Welcome Aboard deck party.

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Fantasy at Sea: Sliding Over the Ocean

You might have to wait 20-30 minutes to ride the AquaDuck, a Disney original at-sea water coaster, but it is so worth it. Travel 465 feet in an acrylic tube from deck 12 off the side of the ship and through the forward funnel — till you take a four-deck splash down into a lazy river. The height requirement is 42 inches or taller for kids with parents and 52-inches for kids alone.

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Fantasy at Sea: A Break From the Kids

There are four pools onboard the Disney Fantasy: one for kids, one for families and two for adults — fittingly called the Quiet Cove and Satellite Falls. Since no one under the age of 18 is allowed, peace and quiet is pretty much what you'll hear every day. Adults can relax poolside, get a drink at the Cove Bar (without leaving the water), indulge in a poolside massage or enjoy a soak in the hot tub.

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Fantasy at Sea: Pure Relaxation for Mom and Dad

When it's time for an escape from the kids, follow your senses to Senses Spa and Salon. Relax room, steam room, dry sauna, steam bath and aromatic Rainforest Room combine to create a two-deck getaway. For the ultimate indulgence, the spa villas offer a private verandah, hot tub and deck, which you can enjoy before or after a spa treatment, like a Thai Massage, Bamboo Massage, Aroma Stone or Swedish Massage.

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Fantasy at Sea: Cocktails Around the World

Europa, located on Deck 4, Aft of the Disney Fantasy, is a nighttime entertainment district exclusively for Guests ages 18 and older. The Tube dance club transports guests to a vibrant metropolitan club via the London Underground. Guests "mind the gap" as they walk across a Tube route map, lounge among mod furniture, pose by a red English phone booth, dance atop an illuminated Union Jack dance floor and enjoy cocktails at a bar inspired by Big Ben and London's many train stations. Other lounges and nightclubs in Europa include the cozy Italian-inspired La Piazza; Skyline, which virtually transports guest to a different city every night; the ship's sports bar O'Gill's Pub (named for the film "Darby O'Gill and the Little People), and the Ooh La La champagne bar.

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Fantasy at Sea: Romantic Dinner for Two

Enjoy a romantic meal for two in a restaurant that makes you feel like you are in the heart of Paris. Dinner at Remy, one of two adult-only restaurants on the Dream, starts off with a chilled Champagne cocktail before the multiple course, French-inspired fare. For an even more memorable dining experience, Remy, inspired by the film Ratatouille, boasts a special Chef's Table dining room where guests can enjoy a unique multicourse menu while interacting with the head chef. Reservations can be booked in advance online.

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Fantasy at Sea: Dinner With Characters

Animator's Palate on the Disney Fantasy brings the magic of Disney animation into the dining room with a new show called "Animation Magic." The dinner show celebrates the Disney animation and allows families to create and participate in a whole new way. Guests' drawings are magically animated to skip, skate and dance side-by-side with beloved Disney characters. As part of Disney's rotational dining program, families will spend at least one night at the restaurant inspired by where the Disney animators work (it's one of the most popular venues on the classic ships, as well). Plus, the chairs feature a familiar red, black and yellow color scheme with a trademark design: Mickey Mouse pants with two bright yellow buttons.

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Fantasy at Sea: Dining in the Garden

Imagine eating in the garden of Versailles surrounded by fountains under a beautiful blue sky. Now bring it inside and you've got the Enchanted Garden, part of Disney's rotational dining program on the ships. The restaurant's sweeping ceiling changes from a blue in the daytime to the golden red of a sunset, finally becoming a display of twinkling stars (thanks to some really cool technology in the ceiling). Breakfast and lunch buffets are also served, so you can get the full effect of the, well, effects.

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Fantasy at Sea: Fireworks for You

The Disney theme parks are known for their "goodnight kisses" — the incredble nighttime fireworks displays that combine lights and music. The Disney Cruise Line goes even further and offers fireworks at sea during "Mickey's Pirates IN the Caribbean" interactive show and deck party on all three ships. It's an even bigger spectacle on the Disney Fantasy. "Buccaneer Blast" is accompanied by songs from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and attractions, as well as Peter Pan. It feels like a fireworks show put on just for you and 4,000 of your newest friends.

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