I’ve had the pleasure of sailing on Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Fantasy now four times, and that was after I saw it under construction in Germany and christened in New York. So, the ship kind of feels like my baby, and I know a thing or two about it. Here are some tips to consider for making your vacation onboard even more magical.
Adults, Don’t Worry About Kids
Perhaps the biggest misconception adults have about a Disney cruise is that it will be overrun with children, but you needn’t worry. Yes, there are times when there are more kids present, but overall they are so excited to have their own exclusive spaces, that they are seldom a nuisance. Besides, adults have their dedicated spaces too, and there remains plenty for families to enjoy together.
Attend Complimentary Film Screenings
One of the facets of the Disney Cruise Line that its competitors strive to match but can never fully achieve is its acclaimed in-house synergy. As an entertainment studio as well, only Disney hosts midnight premieres of its movies plus first-run and classic film screenings in its onboard theaters and outdoor Funnel Vision pool screen. That means when the latest “Star Wars” or Marvel Cinematic Universe picture is theatrically playing on land, it is also on the Disney Fantasy for guests to enjoy for free.
Take the “Art of the Theme” Tour
There are many nuances to the narrative that Disney creatively presents onboard, and the free “Art of the Theme” tour is a great way to get in on the fun secrets of the ship. For instance, there are subtle nods to “Peter Pan” throughout, and a glow that is visible under the exterior water line at night is meant to represent the ship floating on pixie dust. Here, you’ll also learn about the story behind the ship’s coloring. Hint: the scheme follows that of a popular mouse. And the artwork on the stair landings between floors subliminally directs guests to what is on the next floor. Bonus tip: don’t forget to ride the midship glass elevators and discover the special art therein.
READ MORE: TravelPulse’s Disney Fantasy Review
Play in the AquaLab
The Disney Dream was just recently reimagined, but it did not receive an AquaLab, the interactive water park first introduced here on the Fantasy. It has since been added to the Disney Magic, but on this class of ship, the Fantasy is the only place where kids and kids-at-heart can partake in the antics of Donald’s mischievous nephews – Huey, Dewey and Louie – and “control” the adjacent AquaDuck water coaster with lots of splash fun.
Watch “Aladdin” and “Wishes”
The Disney Cruise Line has set the benchmark for the best entertainment at sea, and all of its live shows are special in their own way. Some are featured on multiple ships, but the fantastic “Aladdin” and “Wishes” are only staged on the Disney Fantasy. The former is a remounted version of the musical that just closed its curtains at the Disney California Adventure park and retells the story of the titular “street rat.” And “Wishes” follows three best friends who celebrate their high school graduation at Disneyland and rediscover their childhood through timeless songs and dance.
Check out the Explorer Pod
Another venue only on the Disney Fantasy is the Explorer Pod at Disney’s Oceaneer Club, one of the kids facilities. This fun “Finding Nemo”-themed space was also featured on the Disney Dream but recently made way for the “Star Wars” Millennium Falcon play area, itself a must-see on another cruise. Now, a memorable “Mine!” seagull watches over a replica submarine just on the Fantasy, where kids can enjoy game stations and a live periscope view of outside the ship. Adults can also check it out during open house hours.
Select a “Star Wars” Day at Sea Sailing
Most recently, the ship began to exclusively embark on “Star Wars” Day at Sea theme cruises as its longer seven-day itineraries are more conducive to extra events. While the select sailings are limited though April 2016 at this time, I expect “Star Wars” to continue being featured onboard in some fashion, if only manifested in coveted cobranded merchandise. In the meantime, special meet-and-greets with the likes of Captain Phasma, trivia sessions and lectures, Jedi training, themed meals, film screenings and a climactic fireworks deck show are rocking the Fantasy.