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5 Cool New Attractions on Disney Fantasy

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Launched in 2012, Disney Fantasy is the newest of Disney Cruise Line’s family of four ships. Sailing on this ship has always been a memorable experience. Recently, the newly reimagined Disney Fantasy emerged from dry dock with some wonderful upgrades. These new additions top off an already superb ship, with exciting activities and amenities that have become guest favorites.

Check out these five features and attractions that will make your Disney Fantasy cruise extra special.

1. Marvel Super Hero Academy

Disney Fantasy’s Marvel Super Hero Academy has a unique set of heroes including the mighty Thor.

Disney Fantasy’s Oceaneer Club for kids ages 3-12 now has its own Marvel Super Hero Academy with a unique set of heroes. This space is designed to resemble Dr. Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum. Kids on Disney Fantasy can learn the mystic arts with Doctor Strange, opening portals to places all around the Marvel universe. The Disney Fantasy Marvel Super Hero Academy marks Doctor Strange’s first in-person appearance on a Disney Cruise Line ship. At the Oceaneer Club, kids also have the chance to meet the mighty Thor and learn what it takes to be a real hero. From Marvel’s Super Heroes, the kids learn about the importance of values like loyalty, enlightenment, and worthiness. Disney Fantasy’s Oceaneer Club also has exclusive super hero courses, video games, and immersive experiences that aren’t available on other Disney ships.

2. Star Wars: Command Post

BB-8 visits Star Wars: Command Post in Disney Fantasy’s Oceaneer Club.

In Disney Fantasy’s Oceaneer Club’s new Star Wars: Command Post area, kids can train with their heroes from the Star Wars saga and help with missions against the First Order. They’ll meet members of the Resistance and learn to channel the Force. Kids will be thrilled when BB-8, First Order Stormtroopers, and other figures from the Star Wars saga come to visit as well. One of the coolest features is interacting with holographic models at Disney Fantasy‘s one-of-a-kind Star Wars holotable, which projects 3-D images of the Millennium Falcon, the Death Star, and other Star Wars ships. The Star Wars: Command Post area also has individual flight training simulators, allowing kids to choose their mission and test their skills. Meeting heroes and other cool activities are scheduled during specific times, so make sure to check your daily Navigator to see what’s going on. If your kids want to meet a specific hero or do a certain activity, talk with the Oceaneer Club Youth Counselors and they can tell you exactly when it’s scheduled so you won’t miss it.

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3. Sweet on You

Sweet on You features hand-crafted ice cream, gelato and other treats.

If sweet treats are an important part of your family’s cruise experience, you’ll be thrilled with this new addition on Disney Fantasy. This cool specialty ice cream shop offers hand-crafted ice cream and gelato, specialty sundaes, homemade chocolates, truffles, and all types of candy for purchase. Themed after cartoon shorts starring Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Sweet on You features 20 different flavors of gelato and 16 different flavors of ice cream which change throughout the cruise. Thirty-two different toppings are available to help make your frozen treat even more unique. Oreo is the most popular flavor of gelato, but Sweet on You has a number of unique varieties like caramel popcorn, oatmeal cookie, and red velvet cake. Strawberry and mint chocolate chip are the most popular flavors of ice cream. Sweet on You is conveniently located on Deck 11 near the family pool.

4. Tiffany & Co.

Disney Fantasy guests can now enjoy shopping at Tiffany & Co.

Disney Fantasy’s exclusive Tiffany & Co. store will delight guests seeking a special luxury shopping experience. This upscale specialty store is a great place for celebrating and commemorating special moments made on a Disney cruise. Guests can browse Tiffany’s iconic collections of jewelry and luxury accessories, including the Tiffany T collection and pieces featuring Tiffany diamonds. All purchased items come in one of Tiffany’s coveted blue boxes topped with a white ribbon bow. There’s even a collection of Tiffany diamond engagement rings for those who may want to pop the question on their cruise. Tiffany & Co. merchandise prices start at $125 on Disney Fantasy. If you’ve found the perfect gift while shopping and want to leave a hint for someone, Tiffany’s staff can help make that dream come true. Just ask about their special “Drop a Hint” service.

5. Senses Juice Bar

This quick-serve juice bar is another awesome spot right next to Disney Fantasy‘s Senses Spa & Salon. Senses Juice Bar features a wide variety of freshly squeezed juices and smoothies made from fresh fruits and vegetables. It’s the perfect place for adults to go after a workout or a massage at the spa. Guests can choose their made-to-order juice tonic from the Senses Juice Bar menu or create their own from a wide selection of fresh berries, fruits, vegetables, and other nutritious ingredients.

Nancy Schretter is the Managing Editor of the Family Travel Network.

Photos: Nancy Schretter

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Disney Cruise Line Details Fall 2019 Schedule

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In fall 2019, Disney Cruise Line will be returning to favorite destinations on a variety of itineraries, including cruises to Bermuda, Bahamas, Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean.

New York

Disney Magic will return to New York City in September for departures to a number of destinations.

Three special 5-night cruises feature two days in Bermuda, allowing extra time for guests to enjoy the island’s pink sand beaches, water activities, shopping, and culture. During two 7-night cruises to the Bahamas, guests will enjoy a stop at Disney’s private island Castaway Cay as well as a day in Port Canaveral, where every guest will receive a one-day Disney World Park Hopper ticket and round-trip transportation to the theme parks in Orlando.

One 5-night cruise to Canada will transport travelers from New York to Saint John, New Brunswick with a stop in Bar Harbor, Maine. Saint John is home to the famous Reversing Falls and the world’s highest tides, where the Saint John River meets the Bay of Fundy.

California

In September, Disney Wonder will spend some time in San Diego for voyages to Baja and the Mexican Riviera. Baja cruises highlight the region’s famous beaches and water activities with calls in Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada, Mexico. Two 7-night Mexican Riviera cruises will feature stops in Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlán, and Cabo San Lucas.

Those sailing on select San Diego-based cruises can enrich their vacation with a pre-cruise package from Adventures by Disney. During the three-night itinerary, guests embark on a behind-the-magic visit to The Walt Disney Studios and Disney Archives, a private tour of Walt Disney Imagineering, and a visit to the place where it all began – Disneyland Resort.

Texas

Beginning late November, Disney Wonder will homeport in Galveston for a special series of cruises to the Caribbean and Bahamas that are 4, 6, and 7 nights. Caribbean cruises stop in Grand Cayman, Cozumel, and Falmouth. Bahamian cruises stop in Castaway Cay and Key West. Two of the Bahamas sailings also stop in Nassau, and another includes a second day in Castaway Cay.

Florida

In fall 2019, Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy continue sailing their extremely popular itineraries to the Bahamas and Caribbean from Port Canaveral. Meanwhile, Disney Magic will return to Miami in November with a variety of itineraries.

Disney Magic‘s lineup includes 3, 4, and 5-night cruises to the Bahamas and 5 and 6-night cruises to the western Caribbean. Most also include a stop in Castaway Cay. Bahamas cruises also stop in Nassau and Key West, and western Caribbean cruises call in Grand Cayman and Cozumel.

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photo: Matt Stroshane/Disney Cruise Line

Disney Dream will be operating 3 and 4-night cruises to Nassau and Castaway Cay.

Disney Fantasy will sail 7-night Caribbean voyages, and every departure includes a stop at Castaway Cay. Eastern Caribbean itineraries visit Tortola and St. Thomas, and western Caribbean cruises call on Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Falmouth.

The vessel will also sail a selection of special cruises; in October, an 8-night voyage will head south for visits to St. Kitts, Antigua, and San Juan. A 6-night western Caribbean cruise will include calls in Costa Maya and Cozumel. Both are capped off with a day at Castaway Cay. In December, two unique 7-night cruises include one cruise to San Juan, Tortola, and Castaway Cay, and another features two days in Castaway Cay after visits to Cozumel and Grand Cayman.

DVC Charter Cruises

Disney Vacation Club has now announced the dates for two special members-only charter cruises. The first is a 5-night Pacific Coast sailing aboard Disney Wonder on May 15, and the second is a 7-night cruise to Bermuda aboard Disney Magic on October 5. Bookings for both open to DVC members on June 23, 2018.

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Cruise News

Is Disney Cruise Line Building A New Private Island?

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Since it was first introduced in July of 1998, Disney Cruise Line’s Castaway Cay has proven incredibly popular with guests and has been named Best Cruise Line Private Island in numerous surveys. And for quite some time now, there have been rumblings that Disney might be looking to open a second private island, with the big question being where. This week, new evidence seemed to indicate (and not for the first time) that the company might be closing in on a location.

Where Disney’s New Island Might Be Located

According to a Bahamian outlet called The Tribune, Disney Cruise Line has confirmed that it is interested in creating a new destination in the Bahamas… although very little information was offered beyond that. Disney spokesperson Kimberly Prunty said, via statement to The Tribune, that the cruise line didn’t have “anything to share about a specific location” but offered assurances that any future project would involve “a partnership with the community” and build on its commitment “to sustainability, protecting the environment, creating jobs and economic opportunity, and celebrating the culture and stories of the area.”

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When it debuted, Castaway Cay was the first cruise line-owned private island at which ships could dock so passengers did not have to take tenders.

At least part of Prunty’s comments caught the attention of The Tribune staff, who noted that they seemed to almost directly reflect the recently and repeatedly expressed concerns of a group of residents from Eleuthera, who hope to prevent Disney (or any other cruise line) from developing the area.

The specific property referenced, Lighthouse Point, is a private property which is currently for sale. Despite it being privately owned, a petition has circulated on Change.org which states in part that “the biodiversity of the ecosystem and the hugely important cultural and historic resources are irreplaceable and should be preserved for the enjoyment and education of the entire community and not just for a select few.”

The Tribune also claimed that a local politico had, as the outlet wrote, “used at least one party-branded function to ‘extensively sell’ residents on the pros of a potential Disney-led Lighthouse Point development.”

The property in question, currently listed with Bahamas Realty, is described as “an ideal setting for a grand vision, with exceptional beachfront acerage, colorful coral reefs and a breathtaking landscape.”

Would you like to see Disney Cruise Line open a second private island? What features would you most want to see featured? 

 

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Cruise News

Booted Pregnant Cruiser Speaks Out

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The mom who was was told she couldn’t board a Disney Cruise Line ship because she was too far along in her pregnancy was surprised by just how much attention her story got… and now, she wants to set the record straight.

“I Didn’t Think There Was Any Concern”

Vlogger Emily Jackson garnered more attention than she anticipated after posting a video detailing the circumstances under which she says she was not only prevented from boarding the Disney Magic but that her entire family was treated badly by Disney cast members and members of the Port Miami security team. Now, she has posted another vlog in order to answer criticisms leveled against her. Not surprisingly, the question asked most often was how the mom-to-be didn’t know that Disney, like most major cruise lines, has a policy stating that women who have passed the 25-week mark in their pregnancy are not allowed on board.

“I first want to start off by saying I was not the one that booked the cruise,” she insists. “That’s all I’m going to say. I had no reason to be… concerned, just because I’ve never had any babies early or anything like that. I was just now 25 weeks. I didn’t think there was any concern. My doctor had told me two days before I was fine to travel.”

Although Jackson’s family could have gone on the trip without her, they made the decision that if she was not able to board the ship, they would all return home together.

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Clearly upset by some of the more negative feedback, Jackson says, “All these people are making it like I knew Disney had this policy and I was going on there thinking I was going to get on  anyways.” Insisting she wouldn’t have made the trip from St. Louis with her two small children if she’d thought there was even a chance of the family not getting on the ship. “I thought I was going on a vacation, so this was a huge surprise to me!”

Jackson’s real issue, however, had nothing to do with being unable to board. “Forget the policy,” she says. “That is not my issue.” Instead, she says their problem was “how they treated us after that point.”

Jackson’s original post claimed that she and her family were escorted out by security guards armed with AR-15s and forced to wait in the heat while their luggage was retrieved. “I’m mad because they made my two babies, under two [years old], wait outside with no water in the heat and get red-faced. I’m mad about all of those things. The fact that they felt they needed AR-15s to escort us out when they knew we had no weapons because we had been through security.”

Jackson claims she was not trying to get attention.

The vlogger goes on to say that she never wanted the kind of attention this incident has created, although it’s worth noting that her two cruise-related vlogs have garnered far more views than has anything previously posted on her YouTube channel. The family did receive a refund for their cruise fare, although they still had many additional expenses — including flights and rental vehicles — associated with the cancelled trip.

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