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This no-nonsense article is jammed packed with our 50 ultimate Disney Fantasy cruise tips!
These quick tips will provide you with the best overview of all that you need to know before your first cruise on the Disney Fantasy!
After reading these 50 Disney Fantasy cruise tips, it’s safe to say that you’ll definitely have a better idea of what to expect on your first Disney Fantasy Cruise.
We skip the fluff in this article and instead, provide a rundown on the Disney Fantasy tips and secrets that will most positively affect your cruise experience.
**Stick around until the end for a FREE printable Disney Cruise Budget Planning Guide! **
Disney Fantasy Cruise Tips: Check-in, arrival, and boarding
- When doing online check-in, select the earliest possible port arrival time. An earlier port arrival time will yield an earlier boarding group number when it comes time to board the ship.
- You may arrive at the cruise terminal early despite your designated port arrival time.
- Boarding group numbers (the order in which you get to go on the ship) are not assigned until you check-in at the cruise terminal.
- Boarding typically begins at 12:00 PM noon.
- Despite your extensive Disney Cruise planning and preparation, you will still be overwhelmed (with excitement!) when first getting onto the ship.
- There is no one directing you where to go or what to do first once stepping foot onto the ship. My recommendation is to print off a map of the Fantasy ahead of time. Then, make your way to the lunch buffet at Cabanas restaurant immediately upon boarding.
Disney Fantasy Cruise tips: Sailing away
- In cruise terminology, “Forward” is the forward part of the ship, and “Aft” refers to the back of the ship.
- In cruise terminology, “Port” is the left side of the ship as you face forward. “Starboard” is the right side of the ship as you face forward.
- Your Disney cruise stateroom will not be ready for you to use until around 1:30 PM. You will be informed via a general overhead announcement. This means having to make your way around the ship with your carry-on items and continue wearing the clothes that you came in until allowed into your stateroom.
- For this reason, pack swimsuits and sunscreen if you hope to lounge around outside on the pool deck until your stateroom is ready.
- Disney Cruise staff will be walking around before you are allowed into your stateroom selling water bottle and drink packages (beer and wine) that will then be delivered to your room.
- For the best view, watch the Sailing Away party that is held on the main pool deck from the deck above the party. Deck 10 on the Magic and Wonder, Deck 12 on the Dream and Fantasy.
- Disney Cruise staff walk around handing out drinks during the Sailing Away Party but take note, they are not free. We found the drink packages unnecessary when considering the carry-on alcohol policy.
Disney Fantasy Cruise tips: Your stateroom
- There is plenty of storage space once inside your stateroom. Dresser drawers are deep, the beds are high enough to fit/store a suitcase underneath, and the ottoman top comes off and has storage inside.
- No need to worry about assembling additional sleeping space each night. Turn down service is performed every evening and your beds will be all ready for you upon returning to your stateroom each night.
- The porthole windows in the Oceanview staterooms are HUGE, provide excellent views, and let in lots of sunlight (the window sill is actually a bench that 2 small children can sit in). Do not shy away from these rooms if you don’t want to pay the price upgrade for a stateroom with a verandah.
- On the Dream and Fantasy, your cabin light switch is activated by your Key to the World Card. You can also place a library card or other card in it for convenience.
Read: Read our additional Disney Cruise Line advice on what we’ll do the same, and what we’ll do differently on our next Disney Cruise. (More great Disney Cruise tips and secrets included!)
Disney Fantasy Cruise Tips: Getting around
- Most people tend to use the large, main stairways instead of the elevators to travel between floors on the ship.
- Even though the ship is huge, you will get a general feel for the layout once you’ve been on it for 2-3 days. I would not let kids roam alone however, for it can be confusing how to get to and from places.
- Make your own or purchase personalized door magnets from an Etsy shop to put on the outside of your stateroom door. Most people do so and you will regret not doing it if you don’t. This also helps children recognize your stateroom door among the thousands of other look-alike doors.
- We did not participate in the ‘fish extender’ tradition and didn’t feel that we missed out, or wish that we had.
Disney Fantasy Cruise Tips: Dining
- Main Dining reservations begin at 5:45 PM with evening showtime starting at 8:30 PM. Second Seating dining begins at 8:15 PM with even showtime starting beforehand at 6:15 PM. (Double-check exact time per your itinerary.)
- You may make requests for your dining time preferences through a Disney reservation agent, as well as again when you check-in at the cruise terminal.
- Your Key to the World Card is coded with your reservation information and table number, as well as has an acronym on the front that depicts the order of the restaurants that you have been assigned to visit i.e. AERA (Animator’s Palate, Enchanted Garden, Royal Table, Animator’s Palate).
- You can also speak with a Disney reservation agent to request which restaurants you’d like to repeat eating at during longer itineraries.
- Many little girls dress up as princesses for dinner.
- The non-alcoholic drink that you order for dinner the first night of your cruise will be automatically waiting for you at your table upon arrival to a restaurant on consecutive evenings. i.e. If your child orders lemonade on the first night, a lemonade will already be on the table for them upon arrival to evening dining the next night.
- Disney Cruise Line serves Coke products.
- Soda is free 24-hours a day at the soda stations on the pool deck.
- Room service is quick and Mickey Ice Cream bars are the most popular item to order. We ordered them every night before bed.
- Remy and Palo are great ‘date night’ options but do know that the food costs are extra and are not included in the Disney cruise fare.
Movies, Shows, and Celebrations
- The evening shows are as amazing as everyone says. Do not miss one despite being tired at the end of the day. In my opinion, the evening shows are just as good, if not better, than versus Disney World!
- Watching a movie in the Buena Vista Theater is a great way to take a break during a hot and sunny day.
- The popcorn and snacks available outside of the movie theater are very tempting but do cost extra money (and are spendy!).
- You can bring food from elsewhere on the ship (pizza, chicken strips, snacks, etc.) into the theater.
- Every cruise has a pirate night and most people dress-up. A red pirate bandana is placed in your stateroom for each member of your party. If you don’t have a costume, wear the bandana somehow (hair tie, necktie, on your head, etc).
- Kids love the self-guided Midship Detective Agency game that is available on the Disney Dream and Fantasy. There are two locations where you can start the game at a Detective Agency booth; Deck 2 near Enchanted Garden, and Deck 5 near “It’s a small world” nursery.
- Make note of when the evening Captain’s Reception is and be sure to attend. Kids can attend too. (Adults are given a free alcoholic drink.)
- Do not miss pre-booking a Disney Character VIP Breakfast during online check-in. Though it costs extra, it is well worth it! Kids can take photos with all of the Disney characters.
- On the day of departure, be sure to attend the See Ya Real Soon Farwell party. It is awesome! (Strange how not many people attend, probably because they’re busy getting packed up.)
Activities and Excursions
- The pools on the cruise ship are not big and are mostly shallow. They are more like ‘wading pools’.
- Long waits accumulate for the Aquaduck waterslide. Get in line 10-15 minutes before it opens each morning for little to no wait.
- On port days, many announcements regarding shore excursions, etc. will be read via an overhead speaker system. Listen carefully as valuable information is shared, as well as when guests are required to return to the ship.
- As you get off of the ship to spend the day on Castaway Cay (pronounced ‘key’), there will be beach towels to grab as you get off of the ship.
- Purchase the Castaway Cay Getaway Package. It is well worth it. We found the bikes to be the best as there are family-friendly biking trails that take you around the entire island.
Disney Fantasy Cruise Tips: Departure
- You have to place your suitcase out in the hallway the night before you get off of the ship. MAKE SURE you save out clothes to wear the next day as well as all of your carry-on and necessity items.
- Bring a spare emergency credit card in case your company freezes yours (if seeing international charges).
- Settle your on-board account the evening before departure. The line for doing so on the morning of departure gets very long.
Disney Fantasy Fun Facts
The Disney Fantasy sails out of Port Canaveral, Florida on popular seven-night Caribbean itineraries. The itineraries alternate between the Eastern and Western Caribbean.
All of the Disney Fantasy cruise itineraries include a stop at Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay.
- The Disney Fantasy first sailed in 2012.
- It was the 4th ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet after the Disney Wonder, Disney Magic, and Disney Dream.
- The Disney Fantasy is 1,115 feet long and 125 feet wide.
- It has 1,250 staterooms.
- The Disney Fantasy can accommodate up to 4,000 guests.
- Each Disney Fantasy sailing involves over 1,450 cast and crew members.
- There are a total of 12 restaurants on the Disney Fantasy, 3 of which provide rotational themed-dining for dinner.
- The Disney Fantasy also features 24-hour room service that is included in your Disney Cruise fare!
- The iconic Disney Fantasy Aquaduck waterslide is 765 feet long. It has a translucent loop that swings you our 13 feet over the side of the ship.
Cost of a Disney Fantasy Cruise
Being a premium cruise line, Disney Cruise Line prices are higher than most mainstream cruises.
This is because the price is more all-inclusive of many on-board foods, amenities, and activities than what other cruise lines offer.
It is important to understand what is included in your Disney Cruise fare in order to understand the charges and to comfortably budget for the final price.
Click here to get our Disney Cruise Budget Planner printable worksheet! Don’t miss out on planning for any and all expenses for your upcoming Disney Cruise!
Wondering about anything else regarding a cruise on the Disney Fantasy? Write a question or comment below and I’ll be sure to respond!Jen
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*Before leaving, be sure to check our Travel Resources Page to find exclusive travel discounts and to book hotels, rental cars, and guided tours.*