I’m onboard the beautiful Disney Fantasy with my parents to celebrate their anniversary. I’ve been on the ship twice previously, once at the shipyard and once at her christening in New York, but I have not set sail on her until now. As a cruise enthusiast and Disney fanboy, it does seem strange to report that I had never been on a Disney cruise before now. And now that I am on my first DCL cruise, I’m asking myself what took me so long to get on one. If you love Disney and cruising, this line is for you.
We boarded yesterday, and I made a point to tour my folks around the youth areas of the ship first since those are almost always off limits to adults afterwards except occasional open-house hours which I discovered on the schedule later. I feel very familiar with the ship having toured it extensively in the past, but some areas were even new to me such as Vibe, the teen center in the bow of the ships.
It was a bit of a maze to access it forward of the deck’s staterooms and promenade, but I’m sure the teens love that aspect of their secluded space. It’s a fun area on a part of the ship typically allocated to crew recreation on most other cruise ships. Here there are video alcoves where they can recline and chill out.
Also inside is a smoothie station, dance floor, and internet terminals. Outside, teens have their own deck with a small pool, two spas and a pop jet grid. While there is no view over the sides of the ship, there is a great perspective of the ship’s forward superstructure and bridge.
Getting younger a la the Curious Case of Benjamin Button, there is also a space specific to tweens, although it was locked up yesterday, so I couldn’t see it. Children get the most deck space to themselves, however, with the Oceaneer Lab and Oceaneer Club complete with play sets themed to Monster’s Inc., Toy Story, and Finding Nemo. Even the It's a Small World Nursery (last photo of this post) makes you want to start crawling again.
Many of these areas can be explored more in photos as a part of my previous Disney Fantasy reporting here
You can’t help but wish you were a kid again when you explore the youth facilities onboard. In fact, I think it would be great if the line offered a ‘swap’ hour or longer where the adults could enjoy the kids areas while the kids could enjoy the adult areas. Why not? After all, the adults seem to have just as much fun getting photos with the characters as the kids – yes, my own experience included.
In fact, it’s amazing just how easier it is to mingle with the characters onboard than it is at the Disney parks themselves. Sure there are lines to take photos, but they are short in comparison to the park equivalents. And nowhere onboard could a bad photo with them be taken with so many beautiful backgrounds.
We’ve also been really impressed with the entertainment and food onboard, including brunch today at Palo, but I will save those for a later blog report...