|Senses Spa & Salon has 17 private treatment rooms, two private villas and more.|
Luxury Travel Advisor was there for the christening of Disney Fantasy in New York and for a preview sailing out of Port Canaveral in Florida in March.
Fast Facts: The Fantasy is 14 decks tall and has 1,250 staterooms. It holds 4,000 guests at capacity.
While there is much being written about the Disney Fantasy, we wanted to see what it would be like to sail the ship in an adult-only environment—in other words, the Disney Fantasy for jetsetters. Here’s our how-to:
|Senses Spa & Salon has a series of steam and sauna rooms.|
Reserve space on one of the Concierge Decks (11 or 12). These come in a one-bedroom format or the posh Royal Suite layout (there are two and they are in high demand, we hear). If these are taken, book in Category V, since Concierge Family Oceanview Staterooms with Verandahs also get dibs on concierge services.
Nice Perk: Concierges will customize your experience ahead of time via a pre-cruise consultation, including celebrations you’ll be enjoying on the ship, port excursions and the option of dining in the ship’s specialty restaurants, Palo for Northern Italian food and Remy, for French cuisine.
|Concierge Lounge has a wide selection of nibbles and its own private sundeck.|
Attention, Foodies: Remy’s menu was created by Chef Arnaud Lallement from L’Assiette Champenoise—a Michelin 2-star restaurant near Reims, France—and Chef Scott Hunnel from Victoria & Albert’s at Walt Disney World resort. Meals commence with a champagne cocktail (ours had pear vodka in it) and can go on for hours, especially if they include a wine-pairing option, which comes at an extra charge. We suggest saving room for the international cheese platter and cordials. Remy cuisine can also be served in-room; guests can also reserve the glass-enclosed wine room.
We love Meridian, the cocktail bar between the two restaurants, one of the most chic enclaves we’ve seen on the high seas. Note: Smoking (including cigars available for sale) is permitted on the decks of Meridian, the only place on the ship this is condoned.
The concierge will also set appointments for you at Senses Spa & Salon, which has 17 private treatment rooms, two private luxury villas and a series of steam and sauna rooms. There’s also a salon, a barber shop for men and a popular spa area for teens.
The concierge lounge has one of the most bountiful food displays we’ve seen; we also liked that is has its own sundeck.
|Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique outfits kids with what they need to look like their favorite princess or pirate.|
Even if you don’t go the concierge-floor route, there are many ways to enjoy the Fantasy. Near the main pool deck there is an 18-and-over area with hot tubs and a pool. The area ascends up two decks for sunning in quietude; there’s also a great deck bar and seating area with attentive service. New on the Fantasy: Satellite Falls is a circular splash pool with benches and a gently falling rain curtain that cools things off on a sunny day. When we were there, a guitar player provided music along the Cat Stevens vein drawing applause from an appreciative audience.
Within the adults-only area is the Cove Cafe, which sells coffee-based drinks, cordials, good wines and liquors. The Cove, which provides daily newspapers from around the world, drew rave reviews during our preview sailing out of Port Canaveral in Florida.
The Fantasy doesn’t skimp when it comes to providing nighttime entertainment, in fact there’s an entire section on Deck 4 dedicated to adult fun. We liked Ooh La La, a champagne bar designed as a French boudoir (Disney had its own champagne created by Taittinger); The Tube, a large enclave designed as a mod British nightclub (English phone booths included); La Piazza—an adults-only lounge on Deck 4, Aft in the Europa district on the Disney Fantasy—has a carousel bar and is a delightful retreat inspired by Italian cities and their decorative outdoor plazas; and Skyline, whose bar backdrop has changing views of European skylines. For the less formal, there’s O’Gills Pub, an Irish bar serving pints of beer and good whiskey, where you can watch sports events on HDTVs.
If you sail to Disney’s Castaway Cay in the Bahamas, you’ll find an adults-only area as well available via a tram. Here you’ll find a dining area that provides a barbecue lunch and an informal bar that immediately transports you to a tropical vibe. There’s plenty of beach area with lounge chairs as well, where drinks are also served.
Although we’re stressing the joy of sailing sans children, we do advise checking out what’s available for kids; you’ll be surprised at the amount of activity going on that you’re never aware of. The fifth floor of the Fantasy is where families will find a majority of the action, where a number of Youth Clubs for a variety of age groups (three months through 17 years) provide enrichment programs, some it very high tech, throughout the day.
The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is a fun stop; kids can select which pirate or princess they’d like to dress like and then get transformed with a magical makeover.
The atrium lobby is worth a visit as well, where Disney characters avail themselves, one at a time, for photo opportunities. It really is fun to watch children run up to Mickey or Minnie Mouse and hug them with true love in their eyes. We liked that live music for adults is provided throughout the evening as well.
For dinner, do try out Animator’s Palate. Upon seating, your waiter will ask you to sketch a figure on your place mat and sign your name. After you hand it over, your meal will proceed. About half way through your meal, everyone’s drawings come to life on screens throughout the restaurant through a unique animation technique created by Disney Imagineering.
Another nice touch: First-run Disney studio films show in the movie theater during the cruise. While we were there The Help and John Carter ran. The musical productions on hand are extremely professional (remember that Disney is an entertainment company, first and foremost), performed in a theater that rivals any on land.
Good to know: Alcoholic drinks are not included in Disney’s rate and there’s no casino on board.
The Disney Fantasy is sailing seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises out of Port Canaveral in its inaugural season.