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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 Ship Will Have a New Tangled Restaurant

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Disney Cruise Line’s ship Disney Magic is going into dry dock early next year, and will emerge in March with some redesigned areas and new theming. The highlights of the renovation will include an adults-only café, transformed teen club, and a new family dining venue.

Rapunzel’s Royal Table

At the new dining venue themed around the story of “Tangled,” characters and live entertainment will transport guests to the kingdom of Corona for an evening of music and fun featuring Rapunzel and the mischievous thugs from the Snuggly Duckling.

Guests step inside a regal ballroom-themed space, lit by glowing lanterns and adorned with colorful drawings that reflect Rapunzel’s artistic talent. Throughout dinner, guests will be treated to spirited singing and dancing led by the maître d’, a band of musicians, the thugs, and Princess Rapunzel herself. The fun is complete with themed menus, special activities, and a lively parade. The charm of “Tangled” in Rapunzel’s Royal Table is the perfect pairing for “Tangled: The Musical” which is performed on each sailing.

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Redesigned Teen Retreat

Vibe, the space for teens 14-17 is being transformed into a space with an urban loft feel. Teens will enjoy a new coffee and smoothie bar, play video and virtual reality games, and participate in a DJ spin-off and movie making.

Adults-Only Escape

Adults will be able to relax at Cove Café, an adults-only retreat that will be redesigned in a sophisticated tropical style. It’s a great place to sip tea or coffee during the day, and wine or a cocktail and light bites in the evenings. Drink tastings are also available at select times here for an additional fee. Just steps away, the Signals Bar will also be renovated with a similar design.

Elsewhere around Disney Magic, other highlights include the addition of Club Disney Junior in the Oceaneer Club for kids, and a redesigned Rainforest Room with steam and hydrotherapy in Senses Spa for adults.

The enhancements will debut aboard the ship starting March 9, 2018 on sailings from Miami, Florida. The four and five-night cruises visit Key West, Nassau, and Disney’s private island Castaway Cay. On May 14, Disney Magic will reposition to Europe for the summer season.

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Disney Cruise Line to Return to San Diego

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Disney Wonder – Photo: Disney Cruise Line

In early 2019, Disney Cruise Line will be returning to favorite destinations on a variety of itineraries, including an expanded two-month season from San Diego to the Baja and Mexican Riviera. There’s also a notable range of options to the Bahamas and Caribbean from Florida, as well as cruises to the southern Caribbean from San Juan, Puerto Rico. From January to May, all cruises departing from Florida will feature a stop at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.

San Diego

Disney Wonder will return to San Diego for an extended season from March to May 2019, with a variety of cruises to Mexico where guests can enjoy a large array of activities. Two, four, five, and seven-night voyages are all on the schedule, so there’s something for everyone.

Most sailings to Mexico’s Baja peninsula call on the coastal city of Ensenada, known as the “Cinderella of the Pacific” with turquoise blue water and rugged mountainous terrain. Two-night cruises to Ensenada have Friday departures from San Diego, giving guests the perfect weekend getaway. Four and five-night Baja options include a visit to Cabo San Lucas, a destination favored for its arid climate, sunny weather, white-sand beaches, and dramatic rock formations.

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Seven-night cruises to the Mexican Riviera call on Cabo San Lucas and feature snorkeling and scuba diving hot spots Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlán. Guests can soak up the history and Old World charm of Mexico’s Pacific Coast, and take in the beauty of stunning beaches and the nearby Sierra Madre Mountains.

San Juan

In January, three special Disney Wonder cruises will sail to the southern Caribbean from San Juan. The ship will arrive in San Juan after a five-night journey departing January 9 from Galveston, Texas with a stop in Falmouth, Jamaica. On February 3, after the three cruises from Puerto Rico, a four-night cruise will take guests to Port Canaveral from San Juan, just an hour away from Walt Disney World.

Port Canaveral

With three Disney ships in port and cruise itineraries spanning three, four, and seven-nights, vacationers looking for a getaway in early 2019 have a lot of options from Port Canaveral, Florida.

Disney Fantasy continues to sail seven-night Caribbean voyages, with eastern Caribbean itineraries visiting Tortola and St. Thomas, and western cruises calling on Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Falmouth. Disney Dream embarks on three and four-night Bahamian cruises to Nassau and Castaway Cay, and Disney Wonder will alternate similar three and four-night itineraries throughout February.

Miami

To kick off the year, Disney Magic continues sailing from Miami with four and five-night voyages to the Bahamas, plus five-night western Caribbean cruises. Castaway Cay awaits guests aboard every one of these sailings, and other ports of call on the Bahamian voyages include Nassau and Key West. For western Caribbean, a stop in Grand Cayman or Cozumel.

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7 Tips for Your Disney Fantasy Cruise

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Disney Fantasy cruises are packed with activities and adventures for every age group and interest. There’s so much for everyone to experience on these memorable sailings. If you’re planning a cruise on Disney Fantasy, here are seven tips to help you get the most out of your vacation on both land and sea.

Connecting with characters is a Disney Fantasy cruise highlight

1. Reserve popular events in advance.

Disney Fantasy cruises offer a wealth of unforgettable experiences. It’s important to get to know the “My Disney Cruise” area on the Disney Cruise Line website while planning your voyage. On this page, you can learn more about the many experiences, shore excursions, and activities available on your cruise and decide what you’d like to do. Make sure to check ‘My Cruise Activities’ to see what’s offered. Popular activities and excursions can sell out quickly, so it’s important to reserve them in advance. These include events such as the Princess Gatherings, Frozen Meet and Greets, Character Breakfasts, appointments at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, dining reservations at Palo and Remy, and It’s A Small World Nursery babysitting hours for little ones. If you haven’t had a chance to pre-book these activities before sailing, check as early as possible after boarding on embarkation day to see what might still be available.

PODCAST: Review of Disney Fantasy

2. Connect with characters by phone.

Parents and others can arrange free character phone calls in advance for an even more enriching Disney cruise experience. These fun pre-recorded calls are a great way to get the whole family excited about their upcoming Disney Fantasy cruise before leaving home. There’s a limit of two calls per reservation and character phone calls are available only for guests in the United States, Canada, (excluding Quebec) and the United Kingdom. Simply review the “Free Character Call – Request Call” section of your cruise confirmation page on the Disney Cruise Line website for more information. From there, choose your desired character and follow the directions provided in order to schedule your call.

3. Enhance your memories with character autographs.

Character Meet and Greets are popular on Disney Fantasy

Disney Fantasy guests can create their own personalized souvenirs free of charge with character autographs. Autograph books are popular, of course, but guests can also get creative. Feel free to bring along your own t-shirts, pillowcases, and other items to be autographed and get personalized signatures during Character Meet and Greets. Some guests even come with their own picture frame mats for characters to sign, which can then be used to make their framed Disney Fantasy cruise pictures even more special.

4. Make friends with your Personal Navigator.

Disney Cruise Line’s daily Personal Navigator is an important key to getting the most out of your Disney Fantasy cruise experience. If you plan to use the Disney Cruise Line Navigator app, download it on your smartphone before leaving home. In addition to providing detailed cruise information, the Navigator app will also allow you to send messages to family and friends sailing with you once you’re onboard the ship. Character Meet and Greets on Disney Fantasy take place both at set times in designated spaces, and spontaneously throughout the cruise. Check your Personal Navigator to find scheduled times and then arrive at the spot 10-15 minutes in advance to get the most out of your experience. Lines for character greetings are often quite short on port days, so consider spending some extra time on the ship on one or two days to maximize your character interaction opportunities. In addition, don’t miss the Open House events in the Oceaneer Club and the “See Ya Real Soon” character farewell show. They’re truly memorable.

5. Relax over dinner.

Relax over dinner at Animator’s Palate

Cruise ship dining should be leisurely, so take the time to enjoy your dinner. There are a number of evening dining options available on Disney Fantasy. For those seeking a casual meal, buffet dinners are available at Cabanas from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. every night except the first and last night of a 7-night cruise. Dinners at Cabanas feature dishes from the main dining restaurants plus a number of exclusive options. Parents can enjoy relaxing dinners as well. Families confirmed for second seating dining can take advantage of the Dine and Play program, allowing parents to check their children into Disney Fantasy’s Youth Clubs without leaving the dining room. Once seated, parents can simply let their server know that their children will be participating in the Dine and Play program. Kids will receive their meals first while the adults enjoy the full dining experience. Counselors will arrive in the dining room about 45 minutes after the seating begins to sign the kids into their groups in Disney’s Oceaneer Club or Oceaneer Lab and will escort them to the areas, allowing parents to relax and enjoy their dinner. For the ultimate in dining enjoyment, book a meal at adults-only Palo and Remy. The experience is truly exceptional and well worth the additional cost.

6. Get a great spot for fireworks.

One of the coolest entertainment events on Disney Fantasy is Pirate Night, complete with fireworks and a huge “Pirates in the Caribbean” show. Disney Fantasy’s fireworks can be easily seen from Decks 11 and 12, but top viewing spots fill up early. Deck 12 starboard is the best and most popular place to see the fireworks. Arrive about 45 minutes in advance to claim a prime spot.

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7. Fully explore Castaway Cay.

Disney Cruise Line’s Castaway Cay

Popular Castaway Cay has been named the “Best Cruise Line Private Island” by multiple travel publications and it’s exclusively available to Disney Cruise Line guests. With its white sandy beaches and clear turquoise waters, it’s easy to see why Castaway Cay fits many vacationers’ images of an idyllic Bahamian island. There’s much more to Castaway Cay than just beaches, however. Check out all the great activities and shore excursions offered at this port of call. One of the best ways to explore Castaway Cay is by bike. The island features a network of paved bike paths allowing guests to easily reach remote beaches and lookout towers. There are also a wide variety of adventures available here including diving, fishing, snorkeling, and other exciting activities.

Nancy Schretter is Managing Editor of the Family Travel Network.

Photo Credit: Nancy Schretter

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