One of my favorite views of the ship... You can just barely see Aqua Duck!
In this article I’m going to try and tell you about the shows, adult entertainment district and ports of call on our recent Fantasy cruise to the Eastern Caribbean.
WOW! What can I say? There is just so much to do. If you’ll recall from my last article we traveled with a group of nine this time, and it was the first Disney cruise for my friends Pam and John. When we were planning this trip Pam kept saying that she wanted to do everything! Whenever she said that, Shel and I chuckled a little because there is just NO WAY to do everything!
Your Personal Navigator
The first thing you have to do each day is to check your Personal Navigator (PN). This is the daily newsletter/schedule that DCL puts out to help you plan. For the first time ever (though it may be my faulty memory) the first day’s Personal Navigator was in the cruise terminal enabling us to review the first day’s options before we ever set foot on the ship. Whether or not this was a new practice to have the PN in the cruise terminal, let me just say it was wonderful! Although our wait to board was short; sometimes it can be lengthy and having the PN to review was a great way to prepare for your first day on board. Subsequently, each night the next day’s PN is left in your cabin when your room steward does your nightly turndown. I can’t stress enough…. Review the PN the night before! This will help you to decide what you want to do the next day, and when you get up in the morning you can go right to the activity you’ve chosen to do. Just bear in mind; you will not be able to do everything. There are so many activities and opportunities for fun built into each and every day that you’ll just have to cruise again and again to do them all!
The first day’s Personal Navigator gives you a synopsis of the main theater highly entertainment as well as a list of the movies that will be playing each night. Our line up looked like this:
- All Aboard Show
- Disney’s Aladdin
- Disney’s Wishes
- Disney Nature: Chimpanzee
- The Ventriloquism of Kevin Johnson
- Disney’s Believe
- An Unforgettable Journey
The first show of the week is a preview of some of the entertainment for the remainder of the week and is always spectacular. The last show is a sort of recap of those same shows. You might think this is a little redundant, but let me tell you that it never is and both shows are always highly entertaining.
Movies for the week were:
- Disney Nature: African Cats
- John Carter
- War Horse
- Real Steel
- Toy Story 3
- The Help
- Cars 2
- Pirates of the Caribbean 4
I think you can definitely begin to see a theme here about why it is impossible to do everything; and so far I’ve only talked about the nighttime entertainment. Additional cabaret style entertainers were on board to offer adult and family shows featuring magic, music and juggling and there are game shows, talent shows and themed party nights. Oh and don’t forget Pirates IN the Caribbean which features both a family and adult themed celebration as well as the only fireworks at sea; Buccaneer Blast.
Disney doesn’t ignore the daytime either. There are walking tours of the ship and activities such as The Art of the Theme Show Tour, Behind the Scenes, Behind the Magic (a series featuring interaction with imagineers) and Animation, Illusion of Life – Creating a Character and Persistence of Vision. For the adults only, there were tastings of wine, champagne, martinis, tequila/margaritas and a mixology class. I will give you a piece of advice here; if you want to participate in these tastings sign up the first possible moment you can when you get onboard. We were interested in doing several of these and they were almost all filled immediately. We only managed to sneak in one wine tasting.
We went through just a few glasses!
Oh, and of course, don’t forget sun and fun! The Disney Fantasy has raised the bar from it’s sister ship the Dream with the addition of Satellite Falls, the Wading Pool and Aqua Lab. This features join Mickey’s Pool, Donald’s Pool, Nemo’s Reef and Aqua Duck and the Quiet Cove Pool.
There was so much to do onboard that we took advantage of port days and really didn’t spend much time off the ship. Granted, all of our traveling party had already been to our ports of call, but since the ship is so incredible, it really is a destination in itself. However, we did get off for a portion of each port day.
Pam, John, me, Donna, Shel
I didn’t enjoy St. Maarten at all the first time we visited there in 2000. A hurricane had hit the island hard and they were having a difficult time recovering from it. Since then, the island has undergone a tremendous revitalization and it is a beautiful place to visit. The shopping is a little less manic here (in my opinion) than it is in St. Thomas since you have several areas to choose from. If you only want a brief shopping experience there is a great area right at the pier. This was what we did this time. In addition to this those you can go to shopping districts on both the Dutch and French sides of the island. St. Maarten has some wonderful excursions including beautiful beaches and the best zip line excursion I’ve ever experienced. But this trip, for seven out of our nine travelers, a brief shopping trip was all we did due to our desire to get back on board. Only Allison and Steve went on an excursion, participating in the Twelve Meter Regatta. They had a blast and Shel and I were able to get some great pictures of their sailboat!
The pier shopping district in St. Maarten
Allison & Steve are on once of those white sail boats!
The view from Paradise Point
In St. Thomas we all decided to take the Skyride to Paradise Point. If you are looking for something new to do in St. Thomas that’s low-key and done at your own pace, this was a fantastic option. We were surprised by a bit of a zoo at the top of the Skyride and enthralled by the stunning views. Then again, a bit of shopping at Havensight Mall and back onto the ship for everyone. If you haven’t been to St. Thomas before I would also recommend the island tour or a trip to Megan’s Bay. I know everyone thinks that St. Thomas is the shopping capital of the Caribbean, but personally I think the beauty of the island is a much greater draw than the amount of stores you can shop at. Also, this is where you can also get excursions to St. John’s and I highly recommend trying one of these. St. John is much more nature and remote than St. Thomas and the cruise over to the island is absolutely breathtaking.
Our last port of call was Castaway Cay. Since Shel just told you quite a bit about our time there in her most recent article, I’m going to keep my comments here brief. WOW! This is my favorite destination!
Since the Fantasy carries on the tradition of the Dream in offering a nighttime adult’s only entertainment district, in this case, Europa; we tried to end each night in one of the clubs. The selection is fantastic! We managed to spend some of each night in The Tube, Skyline, La Piazza and Ooh La La. The only club we missed was the pub, O’Gills. We love Skyline (don’t forget to find the hidden Mickey in London!) and really enjoyed the relaxing atmosphere of Ooh La La. Of course the serene nature of Ooh La La kind of went out the door each night our group decided to roost there. We have so much fun together that we aren’t exactly quiet!
Ooh La La!
So that’s my not so short wrap up on what do to on your next cruise on the Disney Fantasy. In part three of this series I’ll be discussing rotational dining, the restaurants and the food. AMAZING!
Thanks for reading!!!!
Jo Scholl is proud mom to three wonderful grown children, one of whom is my fellow WDW Fan Zone columnist Shelley. Oh, and I’m also mom to a small black dog named Mickey Mouse!