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7 Tips for Your Disney Fantasy Cruise



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.

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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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Disney Magic Debuts Rapunzel-Themed Restaurant



photo: Matt Stroshane/Disney Cruise Line

Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Magic has emerged from dry dock, and is full of exciting renovations and new features.

Highlights include:

Rapunzel’s Royal Table

Here, families will enjoy an all-new dining experience inspired by the story of “Tangled.” The table service restaurant is part of the ship’s main dining rotation, where guests visit three restaurants – one each evening – on a rotational basis throughout the cruise.

Guests are invited on a delicious trip to the faraway kingdom of Corona, where King Frederic and Queen Arianna are celebrating Rapunzel’s birthday and the anniversary of her return home. Inside the royal ballroom, glowing lanterns illuminate your path and the walls are decorated with colorful drawings reflecting Rapunzel’s artistic endeavors.

Throughout dinner, patrons are treated to live entertainment, including spirited singing and dancing led by the maître d’, a merry band of musicians, the Snuggly Duckling Thugs, and Princess Rapunzel herself.

Photo: Matt Stroshane/Disney Cruise Line

The fun is complete with special activities, a lively parade, and themed menus. The enchantment of “Tangled” in Rapunzel’s Royal Table is the perfect pairing to “Tangled: The Musical,” an original production that guests can enjoy on each Disney Magic sailing.

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Read More: You can view the whole menu here.

Teen Retreat

Vibe, the space for teens ages 14-17, has been transformed into a trendy urban loft environment. There, teens will enjoy a new coffee and smoothie bar, play video and virtual reality games, and enjoy other activities like a DJ spin-off and movie making.

Adults-Only Cove Café

Adults can relax at ad adult-exclusive retreat that’s been redesigned in a sophisticated tropical style – Cove Café. It’s the perfect place to sip a specialty iced tea or coffee during the day, and enjoy cocktails and light bites in the evening hours.

In this peaceful setting by the Quiet Cove Pool, alcoholic beverage tastings are also available at select times for a fee. Nearby, the Signals Bar has been transformed with a similar look.

Other Enhancements

Club Disney Junior has been added to Disney’s Oceaneer Club for kids, and a redesigned Rainforest Room with steam and hydrotherapy has been added in the Senses Spa for adults.

The renovations debuted on March 9, when the ship returned from dry dock to resume its schedule of sailings from Miami. The four and five-night voyages visit Key West, Nassau, and Disney’s private island Castaway Cay.

Beginning on May 14, 2018, Disney Magic will reposition to Europe for the summer season.

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Disney Reveals New Cruise Ship Rendering



Disney Cruise Line will be expanding their fleet by three ships, set to debut in 2021, 2022, and 2023. Today, they’ve released an early rendering depicting the exterior of the new ships.

In keeping with the distinct Disney cruise style, the new vessels will embody the elegance and romance of the golden age of ocean cruising with unique touches all their own. The ships will offer more innovation, new technologies, extravagant entertainment, and more Disney stories and characters than ever before.

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Each new ship will be approximately 140,000 gross tons and each is currently planned to include about 1,250 staterooms.

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Disney Cruise Line Adds New European Ports



In summer 2019, Disney Cruise Line will set sail on new itineraries and to seven new ports in Europe. The line will take travelers on a grand tour of Europe with visits to the Mediterranean in early summer and northern Europe in late summer. Plus, the adventure continues with sailings in Alaska, the Caribbean, and the Bahamas – including new cruise lengths on Disney Fantasy. 

Round-Trip From Rome

The Roman Forum – photo: David Roark/Disney Cruise Line

For the first time, Disney guests can experience Rome as a bookend experience in a single cruise. In Rome, families can explore the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, and the Vatican, and sample authentic local cuisine.

On June 14, 2019, Disney Magic will sail an eight-night cruise from Civitavecchia (Rome). Ports of call include Salerno and La Spezia, Italy; Villefranche and Marseilles, France; and Barcelona, Spain.

Seven New Ports

Disney Cruise Line will call on seven new ports in Europe for the first time in 2019, including Gothenburg and Nynashamn (Stockholm), Sweden; Toulon (Provence) and Brest, France; Cartagena, Spain; Fredericia, Denmark; and Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Belfast is a new destination on the seven-night British Isles cruise departing from Dover, England on September 8, 2019. There guests can explore the stunning Giant’s Causeway and enjoy gorgeous vistas along the Antrim Coast, including the cliffside ruins of the medieval Dunluce Castle.

Throughout the summer, Disney Magic‘s tour of Europe includes engagements in the Baltic, Norwegian Fjords, Iceland, British Isles, and the Mediterranean.

Return to Alaska

photo: Kent Phillips/Disney Cruise Line

In 2019, Disney Wonder will return to Alaska for the summer season. A variety of five, seven, and nine-night voyages will depart from Vancouver, Canada with stops in Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Sitka, Icy Strait Point, Hubbard Glacier, Tracy Arm Fjord, and Victoria.

Caribbean and Bahamas

In addition to seven-night eastern and western Caribbean cruises from Port Canaveral, Disney Fantasy will embark on a variety of special itineraries to the Caribbean and Bahamas throughout summer 2019.  The special itineraries include a three-night Bahamian cruise departing August 7, a six-night western Caribbean cruise departing June 30, an eight-night southern Caribbean cruise departing June 22, and an 11-night southern Caribbean cruise departing July 27.

All cruises on Fantasy in summer 2019 will include a stop at Disney’s private island Castaway Cay, as well as other tropical destinations.

Double Dipping in Castaway Cay

Disney Cruise Line’s Castaway Cay

In 2019, Disney Dream will operate a series of cruises that include two stops at Castaway Cay, so guests can have twice the fun in the sun there. On June 19, July 3, and July 17, Disney Dream will sail from Port Canaveral on four-night Bahamian cruises to Nassau, plus two stops at Castaway Cay.

On June 14, 23, 28, and July 7, 12, and 21, the ship will sail from Port Canaveral on five-night Bahamian cruises to Nassau with two stops at Castaway Cay. These special itineraries are in addition to three and four-night Bahamian cruises from Port Canaveral that visit Nassau and Castaway Cay (once).

Pre-Cruise Experiences and Guided Group Packages

New in 2019, Adventures by Disney will offer pre-cruise guided experiences in Rome and Vancouver. These three-night Short Escapes, also offered in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Barcelona, allow families to experience memorable icons in ways that few can, such as a private, after-hours visit to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel in Rome. Other activities include zip lining, flamenco dancing, and preparing local cuisine.

Families can also enhance select European sailings with an Adventures by Disney package during the cruise. Adventure Guides lead travelers in experiencing the best of each port, guiding immersive excursions and off-the-beaten-path adventures. Additionally, guests will enjoy exclusive receptions onboard and have access to concierge service from these guides throughout the voyage.

These Adventures by Disney offerings open for booking beginning March 8, 2018 with the exception of the Vancouver Short Escape, which will open for booking later this year. To learn more, visit

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To hear a review of Disney Dream, click here.


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